Theme and plot analysis are contained in blockquotes throughout the recap.
It’s present day. Rust and Marty are grabbing that beer together. They comment on how they’ve aged and Marty says, ”Father time has his way with us all.” Marty asks why they’re there, and Rust explains that the SPD is looking at him for the Lake Charles murder. He frets over the lack of press for the murder and a potential cover-up; his rhetoric sounds paranoid. Marty expresses concern for Rust’s health, and Rust admits he’s been “functional but hammered” for the past ten years, eight of which he spent back in Alaska working fishing boats and bars.
Marty asks why Rust would come back, and Rust says it’s the same reason why he’s talking to Marty. “A man remembers his debts”, he says, which Marty mistakenly takes as meaning that Rust believes he owes Marty some kind of debt. When Marty says he doesn’t “dwell on the past”, Rust says, “Well, it must be nice.”
(self-deception) Traditional gender roles require arbitrary behaviors or qualities. For straight men, “virility” becomes one of the strongest measurements of their masculinity*, often in the form of how much sex they have, what kind, and how beautiful and young the women (plural, of course) with whom they have sex are. We’ve seen before that aging scares Marty. The limitations that come with age represent the erosion of his virility and masculinity. It was the catalyst for his midlife crisis, which spurred his first affair. (I believe him when he says the death of his father “rattled” him; he feared he was next.)
Despite the clear evidence of his virility (two daughters), Marty had affairs with younger versions of Maggie in order to bolster his masculinity in the face of thinning hair, a sagging middle, and a home life that didn’t only consist of spending an entire weekend banging a hot, young wife. However, he can’t escape “father time” and only now does it behoove him to accept it. On the other hand, saying he doesn’t “dwell on the past” sounds very similar to something he said in episode 3 about not being “too hard on [himself]”, which is why Rust says, “Well, it must be nice.” Marty has grown up a bit about some things, but he’s still got his head in the dirt about other things.
* Traditional gender roles come prepackaged with hypocrisies and impossible standards. When a man ages or is fat or some other adjective that our culture has decided wouldn’t attract a “sufficiently” beautiful woman, our culture panders to those men who may not traditionally exemplify virility (via youth, athleticism) by, for example, pairing aging actors with romantic interests that don’t age with them or giving fat sitcom husbands thin, beautiful wives and thus assuring male viewers that these characters are still virile and therefore masculine because they can still bang a young, hot chick. (Note: I’m in no way suggesting that real-life couples who fit these tropes are at all ingenuine or are “upholding the patriarchy”.)
Rust quickly corrects Marty’s misunderstanding and says, “We left something undone.” He’s only bothering Marty now, having been working on something by himself for two years, because he has hit a wall with regards to resources, and he points out that Marty killing Ledoux may have cut them off from getting the whole story. Marty encourages Rust to “shoot straight with [the SPD]” since Rust is innocent, to which Rust says, “Since when did guilt and innocence define the State PD, huh?”
(pessimism, hypocrisy as the norm, suspicion toward institutions) Rust’s line here nicely fits his season-long attitude about institutions, especially the police. We saw in the last episode what Rust got as a response when he brought up his concerns about the disappearances of women and children. Why would he try to work with the police? Thankfully, in the next episode, Marty attempts to bridge this gap in cooperation, and it ends up being very important.
Rust says he’s dealing with something of incredible scope that Marty would only understand if Rust showed him, so he takes Marty to his storage shed. Marty is very jumpy as they pull up, as Rust gets out, and as Rust opens and enters his shed. Marty even takes his gun out, but it’s unnecessary because Rust isn’t going to kill him. Rust turns on a flood light, and it’s a whole room of String Theory. Besides various papers strewn about, there’s a map on the wall, a laptop on a workbench, an old TV for playing video cassettes, and even a lattice hanging in the middle of the storage unit.
(self-deception) Rust conveys no surprise or outrage at seeing a gun in Marty’s hand. He may not be able to curb his paranoid language, but he knows how he sounds to most people, who walk through life with blinders on. Rust has known for a very long time that Marty is as self-deceptive as the next person, so it comes as no surprise to him that Marty would suspect Rust of “finally” losing it. To Rust’s immense credit, he also knows Marty won’t shoot him. However, I’d like to give the writers the side-eye for a few seconds because Rust-as-the-killer was a weak-ass red herring. The audience is forced to sit through a few minutes of obviously false tension, watching Marty check his gun, pull it out, and tentatively enter the storage unit.
Rust launches into a breakdown of the problematic issues with the Dora Lange case: no physical evidence tying her murder to Ledoux’s place, Tuttle’s intense focus on the case, and women and children disappearing at a higher rate near Tuttle schools as well as along the bayou.
Marty wants more than conjecture, so Rust mentions that the Tuttle-funded preschool (Shepherd’s Flock) that shut down after accusations of child molestation in 1988 reopened in Pelican Island two years later as Light of the Way, which is where Rhianne Olivier went to school. Rust spoke with a former student of Shepherd’s Flock, who recently showed up on the grid with a solicitation charge. We hear some more comments from Rust in voice-over as this former classmate, Toby Boelert (aka Johnny Joanie), walks through a club looking for customers.
It’s 2010 in this scene. Rust has asked Johnny Joanie (Dave Randolph-Mayhem Davis) about Shepherd’s Flock and if they ever saw Reverend Billy Lee Tuttle around. They says their memory is fucked and decided it was all a dream. They further explain, “We’d go to sleep, only sometimes I wouldn’t feel like I was asleep. I felt like I was still awake, but I must have been asleep because I couldn’t move.”
Rust asks what else, and Johnny Joanie gets a little irritated. “I don’t know. There were men, taking pictures. Sometimes…other things.” They say the men had “animal faces”, and that only one other female student saw the faces as well. Johnny Joanie doesn’t remember the other student’s name, and Rust supplies, “Marie Fontenot”, but they only say “maybe” to that.
Rust asks if Johnny Joanie ever saw the men’s actual faces, and they admit they did—once. “Three younger men. I don’t remember them. Just one. He had bad scars all around his mouth, like the bottom half got all burned up.” They thought the man was also a dream, and Rust resignedly tells them, “No, I don’t think he was a dream.”
The plot is self-explanatory up to this point, but I’m taking this aside to talk about Johnny Joanie. I do not have the knowledge that would even begin to qualify me to give a fair critique of the inclusion and portrayal of a non-binary character, especially a sex worker with past trauma. I do know I was crushed to see yet another instance of the trope suggesting that queerness or “deviance” comes from childhood abuse. It’s extremely unfair and unrealistic. Other than that, I only wish to say I appreciate that Rust didn’t try to judge or condemn Johnny Joanie. None of Rust’s body language suggested he was uncomfortable. Rust simply asked them for whatever information they were willing to share. It was also rather characteristic of Rust. Why care about how someone expresses gender when life is a nightmare you can never escape?
Present-day Marty is still dubious about Rust’s theory, and Rust lists the other times that a man with facial scarring was mentioned by the people they talked to back in 1995. A report was filed on behalf of a girl who said a green-eared spaghetti monster chased her through the woods (the burn scars could have looked like spaghetti to a young child). Witnesses at Minister Theriot’s revival church mentioned a tall man with scars on his face. Kelly Reider spoke of a giant with scars on his face. Then Johnny Joanie said ze saw a man with scars.
Rust informs us that the Tuttle family is from a township near Erath. The area had a very “rural sense of Mardi Gras”, including men on horses and animal masks. Marty provides the term “Courir de Mardi Gras“. Rust describes another of the area’s traditions: an annual winter festival that “went heavy on the Saturnalia”. He shows Marty old photos of those participating in the festival, in which women were seated, blindfolded, and bore antlers. In one photo (below), a man in a mask stands next to one of these ladies.
Rust grabs another folder of photos and says, “I got these from a series an artist did in Kenner, right after Katrina. Says he kept running across these ‘stick things’, as he called them.” We see photos of the exact same sort of lattices as the ones we’ve seen throughout the season. Rust theorizes that their scarred man took advantage of the chaos after the hurricane to commit many more murders.
Marty wants to know what Rust wants, and Rust says he needs Marty’s contacts inside the SPD to get access to things like case files, title transfers, background checks, etc. Marty still wants to know why Rust doesn’t take his information to Papania and Gilbough. Rust doesn’t trust them. He points out that Edward Tuttle is the senator as well as the late Billy Lee Tuttle’s cousin, which makes the cover-up a “family thing” with incredible “sprawl”. Marty still can’t be convinced, and even asks Rust in a roundabout way if he had something to do with Reverend Tuttle’s death, so Rust resorts to one last piece of evidence.
This seems like a good time to revisit a theme I brought up once before in episode 4 about “inherited guilt” or a “genetic destiny”, which H.P. Lovecraft often utilized in his short stories. I’ve read quite a few of Lovecraft’s stories, concentrating on those that fall under the Cthulhu mythos, and after io9 reported the show’s literary reference to Robert W. Chambers’ The Yellow King, I also read the first few stories in that collection. I do see a hint of “inherited guilt” in those stories. I’m not going to go into great depth in this post about the plot theory I hold regarding the Tuttle family, but I simply ask that you keep in mind Rust’s assertion that the conspiracy is a “family thing”.
Before we get to Rust’s clinching evidence, present-day Marty visits Maggie. (This visit occurs after the conversation in Rust’s storage shed.) Marty catches up on what his daughters have been doing. Macie is back from teaching with Americorps in Chicago. Audrey, who sometimes decides she doesn’t need her medication, had an art show in New Orleans, and Maggie likes Audrey’s new boyfriend because he “watches out for her”.
Marty asks if Maggie told Papania and Gilbough the truth about their fight in ‘02, and she assures him she didn’t. Neither of them think that Rust did what the detectives think he did.
Again, Macie is barely there and still a “model child”. She’s pretty much only in the show to act as a contrast to Audrey—a rather unfair one due to her paper-thinness. We occasionally see her in the vicinity of the difficulties in her family, but the audience has only the tiniest insight into how she feels about it all. She’s just a small collection of facts to us.
As for Audrey, Maggie’s lines give us more to work with regarding present-day Audrey than those about Macie. Audrey’s characterization has problems, but at least it’s not made of air. What we learn of present-day Audrey is she lives in a big city, is an artist experiencing some success, takes some kind of medication (surely the implication is that it’s for something like depression rather than say, anemia), and has a boyfriend of whom her mother approves. The audience has witnessed Audrey’s fraught childhood with regards to how misogynistic her father acted toward not only her but her mother. Conflating that with the “tortured artist” is pretty cliché, especially because the only art the audience has ever seen Audrey do is those stick-figure drawings of a man and woman having sex. I think we see her use a coloring book when she’s around twelve, but I could be misremembering, and plenty of twelve-year-olds enjoy coloring books without growing up to become artists. If we saw or heard a clearer indicator of her interest, e.g. a throwaway line about how much she spends on sketchbooks, then this wouldn’t feel so lazy.
Maggie hasn’t seen or spoken to Rust since the night she went to his place, so Marty fills her in on how Rust is doing and says Rust asked for Marty’s help, which he has decided to provide, so we know that whatever evidence Rust showed Marty was enough to convince him. He doesn’t give Maggie any further details, and Maggie is surprised that after so much time, they’ve just fallen in together again.
Others have noted that Maggie’s life has “upgraded”. In the screenshot below, we see a far nicer house than the one in which she and Marty lived during their marriage. It’s large, full of nice furniture, and brightly lit. I also recall that we briefly are able to see the ring on Maggie’s finger, and it’s an opulent one. The increased wealth is meant to complement and symbolize a better marriage and a better life after her divorce from Marty. Contrasted with what we see of Marty’s life later in the episode, we could even draw the conjecture that Maggie and the girls are all better off without Marty, while Marty is worse off without them.
Back with Rust in his storage unit, he gives Marty a pair of latex gloves and says that Billy Lee Tuttle owns three houses in Louisiana. Rust waited for Tuttle to be away on a ministry tour back in 2010 to do some B&E (breaking and entering), at which he’s adept due to his time in Robbery with his old police department in Texas. We see shots of Rust in 2010 breaking into and searching one of Tuttle’s houses. Of those home invasions, he says he was aware that he might’ve lost his mind, but his doubt disappeared based on what he found at Tuttle’s Baton Rouge home. He emphasizes that the Baton Rouge break-in was never reported to police, unlike the Shreveport break-in.
I said in an earlier recap to keep in mind that Tuttle didn’t report the break-in to his Baton Rouge house. Papania and Gilbough know the Baton Rouge break-in wasn’t officially reported, but though they accidentally got it right that Rust was the perpetrator, they failed to ponder why it wasn’t reported. Tuttle isn’t fool enough to tell the police that someone stole evidence tying him to some seriously fucked-up shit. Perhaps viewers have already inferred all of that, but what I wanted to point out is that Papania and Gilbough are suffering what Marty called the Detective’s Curse. They failed to see what’s right under their noses, and it’ll happen to them a second time this episode in a satisfyingly similar way to when it happened to Rust.
Rust shows Marty some photos he found in a safe at the Baton Rouge house, which are at least fifteen years old. We only see a few of the possibly newer and thankfully less explicit ones of a young girl blindfolded and bearing antlers as she hesitantly moves about in a forested area. Rust brings out a VHS tape. He puts it in the combo TV-VCR set, gives Marty a flask of hard liquor, and stands at the front of the storage unit with his back to the TV.
Based on Marty’s expression, the increasing frequency of his pulls from the flask, and the sounds of shock and disgust he makes, whatever is on the tape is very disturbing. The only glimpses we see are of several masked adults leading a young, crying girl to an altar, where she is laid down on her back and her limbs are held spread. A darkly clothed adult approaches her.
Rust confirms that no one in the video ever takes off their mask and that the girl in the video is Marie Fontenot. As to how Tuttle died, Rust assumes Tuttle believed he would be blackmailed and/or that others in Tuttle’s circle took him out upon learning what was taken from his safe. Marty asks how he can help and Rust gives him somewhere to start. For many reasons, Marty tells Rust he shouldn’t have the VHS tape, to which Rust says, “Nobody should have this.”
Back with Marty and Maggie, Marty prepares to leave and thanks Maggie “for everything”. Since she hasn’t seen Marty in over two years, Maggie asks him if he’s saying good-bye to her, implying he might believe that what he and Rust are involved in could get them killed. He just thanks her again and leaves.
Rust and Marty carry several boxes into Marty’s PI office, Hart Investigative Solutions, which is part of a strip-mall complex. Marty implies that business is not booming. Sometime later, they’re going through evidence and Marty lays out what kind of resources he can access. Rust asks how Marty’s been, besides work, and Marty is surprised that Rust is asking him a personal question.
We learn that, romantically, Marty has had mostly casual dates and a few short-term girlfriends. We see a scene of Marty viewing online dating profiles with disappointment or perhaps even sadness. He talks in voice-over about mostly staying home, and we see him sitting on his couch, watching TV and eating a microwave meal. Rust says it’s about the same for him and asks about what happened with Beth. They didn’t last, and Marty says Beth “had some problems”.
(misogyny, self-deception) I won’t opine for long about the current state of Marty’s love life, but I’ll provide a quote from Paul J. Ennis for what has to be at least the third time: “[Marty] has just soaked up ideas of how to be a man and tries to live according to them (without reflecting on it all too much as he senses where that leads).” I like this quote because it conveys how blindly and easily we swallow cultural norms, whether good, bad, or benign. Parts of everyday life could look incredibly horrendous (or, conversely, miraculous) to someone outside the culture, but to those living in the culture, it’s “normal”; we just deal with it. In fact, some of us can’t imagine life any differently. The norms that benefit us or seem benign (or, at their worst, seem unsolvable) tend to be what we defend most violently when someone tries to point out their pernicious influences. We refuse to be implicated in a larger, oppressive system. It’s painful. So we deceive ourselves, or rationalize, or ignore, or outright hate. Marty has lived his life as society has told him to live, and now he has discovered where that leads.
As for why Marty left the SPD, Marty says “the job ran its course with [him]”. (We’ll find out later what really set him off.) Marty talks about becoming something you never intended. Rust “supposes [he] could’ve been a painter”, but “life’s barely long enough to get good at one thing,” so “be careful what you get good at”. He staples a missing-persons flyer to the wall.
Marty sits across from one of his old co-workers, Lutz, who is now somewhere higher up the chain of command. Marty tells the following joke: “What do you call a black man who flies a plane? A pilot, you racist bastard. What else would you call him?” He says he’s been taking writing courses to help him finish a true crime novel. He asks Lutz to give him copies of some old case files and offers a bottle of single-malt to sweeten the request. Moreover, he asks not to have to deal with “Fuck and Suck”. (That’s Papania and Gilbough, Marty. Ugh!)
(pessimism, hypocrisy as the norm) On the one hand, it’s…interesting to see Marty use a joke that ridicules racism, and while I know he has ulterior motives for avoiding Papania and Gilbough, using that particular kind of joke only a moment before using sexual slurs to describe the two detectives (when all they’re trying to do is their jobs, even if they’re off-base) seems pretty hypocritical. Even worse, Lutz’s attitude is somewhat resigned or sympathetic upon hearing those slurs used to describe his subordinates.
A nameless, white officer escorts Marty to the department’s records. Marty needs missing persons from as far back as the eighties, but the officer tells him that anything before 2005 that didn’t become part of an official investigation is paper-only, and he opens a door to a room full of file boxes. (You can do it, Marty!) Later, Marty drives to a roadside bar called Doumain’s Domain, where Rust bar-tends. He tells Rust about a connection he found between Duwall Ledoux and a Jimmy Ledoux who lives in White Castle and who owns an auto shop.
In other news, the file for Marie Fontenot is gone. Another man at the bar (the only other one in the whole place) has been staring hard at Marty. Rust obligingly tells Marty that the man is Robert Doumain. His son has been missing since 1985.
I don’t think Doumain ever says a single line on screen. I’m not frustrated by it—more confused than anything else. Perhaps his taciturnity is meant to be creepy or intimidating, but it comes across as kind of silly. At least he isn’t expressing his grief with anger? (Although, intimidation is a flavor of anger.) I wish writers allowed their bereaved male characters the full spectrum of ways to express grief and didn’t confine them to a thin slice of the spectrum where it’s “manly”.
Rust and Marty go talk to Jimmy Ledoux, who by all appearances is actually a rather stand-up citizen. They ask about his relation to Duwall, who the man says is “my dad’s second cousin or something”. He says his father didn’t like that part of the family. He asks why they want to know about Duwall, and Rust gives a vague answer about a missing girl. Jimmy heard about how Duwall and Reggie died and calls them “sick shits”. Marty asks for anything Jimmy can remember about them. He shrugs and said they were just kooky.
Here we have more of those family connections, but thankfully this offshoot of the family is removed from all the shadiness.
When Rust asks about a man with scars, that jogs Jimmy’s memory. His expression darkens. He tells them a story of when his father let Duwall and Reggie come along to make use of his deer camp with him and Jimmy when Jimmy was about eleven. Duwall and Reggie brought the scarred man as well, who was staring at Jimmy all night, every time he looked at him.
Later, Rust and Marty are driving somewhere in Marty’s car. It must be somewhere near Erath because Rust looks around and says, “Fuck, I don’t like this place. Nothing grows in the right direction.”
(Chambers reference) I’m tagging this as a Chambers reference, but it was a common device with many of Chambers’ contemporaries to describe areas touched by “evil” or otherworldly planes as having dimensions that the mind cannot reconcile. Other ways in which authors would flag these haunted or mysterious places (or persons) include impossible colors and disturbing smells, the latter of which we’ve also seen, though the show slyly insists that Rust smelling “aluminum, ash” is due to his synesthesia.
Rust and Marty visit a woman who once worked for Billy Lee Tuttle as a domestic worker. Miss Delores (Carol Sutton) lives with her grandniece Fi in a housing project, and Fi warns them that her aunt tires quickly in the heat. Marty tells Fi a bogus story about them doing ancestral research for “mineral rights along the coast”.
Rust confirms that Delores worked for Tuttle for nineteen years. (This Tuttle would be Billy Lee’s father.) She remembers Billy Lee and Edward as children. Rust asks about other cousins, and she says “all sorts of brothers, cousins, kids just running around” because “families were bigger back then”. When Marty asks about children outside of Sam Tuttle’s marriage, Delores laughs and says, “Don’t you know it.” Apparently, Sam Tuttle had many children and many “lovers” outside his marriage. I put lovers in quotes because, as Delores tells it, “He didn’t like a woman… See, once she had it done to her, he didn’t like them but that one time.”
(misogyny) Treating women as “used up” or “disposable” after having sex with them is misogynistic. A woman’s worth is not solely based on her sexual experience. Sex is not a commodity, nor is it finite.
Rust asks about a child with scars on the bottom of his face. Delores is very helpful when she says, “I think that was Mr. Sam’s grandchild. His daddy did that to him, that poor boy.” She’s not sure if his last name was Childress or a LeBeau, but then realizes she shouldn’t be talking to them. Rust holds up his ledger, which contains drawing of the lattices and asks if she recognizes the items.
Things get weird. She asks if he knows Carcosa. When he asks what it is, she touches one of the drawings and says, “Him who eats time. Him robes…it’s a wind of invisible voices.” Fi has caught on to the fact that they’re not there about mineral rights. Delores says, “Rejoice. Death is not the end.” She repeats this as much as she can before coughing overtakes her.
Fi makes Rust and Marty leave. She tells them that her aunt has dementia. Rust says Delores made a lot of sense to him. Fi says, “That should worry you, mister.” Rust tells Marty he hopes Delores was wrong about death not being the end.
(Chambers reference) And now Rust’s intuition about “nothing grows in the right direction” has somewhat culminated. Much of what Delores says upon seeing the lattices relates to what we’ve seen so far in the show. She name-drops Carcosa and gives us an eerie description of the Yellow King. She talks about time and death. Recall that Reggie Ledoux, before Marty shot him point-blank in the head, told Rust, “You’ll do this again. Time is a flat circle.”
Rust reiterated that second part when he explained M-brane theory and the fourth dimension to Papania and Gilbough, saying that to those perceiving our world from the fourth dimension, time wouldn’t exist. “In eternity, where there is no time, nothing can grow. […] So death created time to grow the things that it would kill.” Recall that Rust has repeatedly lamented that life is a trap, or a “nightmare you keep waking up into”, which is why he hopes that Delores was wrong about death not being the end.
All of this combined paints a very terrifying picture of the Yellow King and the “secret truth of the universe”. When Fi tells Rust that Delores making sense to him “should worry [him]”, she’s not belittling him or her aunt. She’s warning him.
Remember that Delores believes the scarred man was mutilated by his own father. Retain her description of the king’s robes as “a wind of invisible voices”.
Back at Doumain’s, Marty has an update on Marie Fontenot’s file. Though the sheriff at the time signed off on labeling it as “made in error”, it was a deputy who first took the report. The deputy was Steve Geraci, who if you’ll recall was the mustached white cop that Rust slapped back in 1995 for drinking on the job. That Geraci didn’t mention anything about Marie Fontenot at the time is very suspicious. Geraci is now the sheriff of his home parish of Iberia, and Marty says the only person who can arrest Geraci is the state governor. Fortunately, they’re not looking to arrest him.
Geraci hates Rust, so Marty attempts to get information. He primes Geraci by dropping Marie’s name on the phone, and after they’ve golfed for a bit, Geraci blames not remembering Marie’s report in ’95 due to drinking. He then gives Marty surprising detail about a twenty-year-old missing persons report. He didn’t talk to Marie’s family directly because the sheriff at the time, Ted Childress, knew the family.
As they part ways outside the country club, Geraci suggests putting the Fontenot family in touch with him, but Marty gives him a made-up story about it just being some tiny inheritance and says not to worry about it. Geraci drives off and Marty phones Rust to say, “Better get those jumper cables ready. The motherfucker’s lying.”
We’ve heard the name Childress several times now. In the first episode while chasing down a possible connection to Marie Fontenot, Marty and Rust personally spoke to Sheriff Ted Childress, who is mentioned just above. When they were interviewing Delores, she turned to her granddaughter to ask if the child burned by his father was a Childress or maybe a LeBeau (she could have also been searching for the name Ledoux in her head but came up with LeBeau). One of the two jail guards who escorted Guy Francis to take a phone call (made from a payphone in the middle of nowhere and which scared him enough to make him commit suicide) was named Childress. More of those family connections.
Rust is at Doumain’s and a truck pulls up. Maggie has come to visit him. Rust is terse the entire time. Basically, she has come to make sure that what they’re investigating won’t get Marty hurt. Rust can’t tell her that and says, “It never sat right with me, and it doesn’t now, you asking me to lie to you about him.” Rust tells Maggie to leave because she “classing the place up”.
(self-deception) Rust’s line about lying to Maggie about Marty ties into his unwillingness to help anyone around him fabricate a narrative to make themselves feel better.
At Marty’s PI office, he and Rust are sharing a drink. Rust asks the real reason why Marty quit the police. Marty tells him that, at a crime scene, he saw the remains of an infant whose drug-addicted parent tried to “dry” it in the microwave. He asks Rust why he returned to Louisiana, and Rust says he wanted to see to “this”, pointing at their evidence room, “before getting on with something else”. He says, “My life’s been a circle of violence and degradation, long as I can remember. I’m ready to tie it off.”
In case it’s not obvious, Rust intends to kill himself. This intention will be relevant to understanding some of his lines in the last episode.
Marty has joined Geraci for some fishing. They talk amicably for a short time, and Marty brings up Marie Fontenot again. Geraci entertains a question, but then tries to shut down the topic. Rust joins the party and points a gun at Geraci.
Papania and Gilbough are driving the far-out roads of the bayou, looking for the church where Rust and Marty spoke with the black minister. They think they’re lost and stop when they spot someone mowing the grass of an old cemetery. We see a familiar face answer their question about the “Son of Life” church, which he says shut down in 2005 after hurricanes.
It’s the same man who was mowing the grass outside of Light of the Way and briefly spoke to Rust before they went chasing after Reggie Ledoux. The sun is to the man’s back, so it’s hard to make out certain details on his face. Papania and Gilbough get directions back to a main highway, and Papania says the man really knows his way around. The man starts to answer, but Papania says thanks and drives off before the man can finish.
The man gets off his mower, wipes his forehead with a rag, and the camera comes around to give us a better look at his face, the bottom half of which is covered in burn scars. He says ominously, “My family’s been here a long, long time.” The camera pulls back and we see that he’s been mowing that patch of grass in a spiral pattern.
Like I said earlier, Papania and Gilbough fail to see what’s right in front of them. The same thing happened to Rust in episode 3 when he talked to the man mowing the grass outside the shut-down Tuttle school.
See you again for the eighth and final episode: Form and Void.