The BEST episodes of True Detective

Every episode of True Detective ever, ranked from best to worst by thousands of votes from fans of the show. The best episodes of True Detective!

An anthology series in which police investigations unearth the personal and professional secrets of those involved, both within and outside the law.

Last Updated: 11/27/2023Network: HBOStatus: Continuing
Form and Void
7468 votes

#1 - Form and Void

Season 1 - Episode 8 - Aired 3/9/2014

An overlooked detail provides Hart and Cohle with an important new lead in their 17-year-old case.

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The Secret Fate of All Life
7611 votes

#2 - The Secret Fate of All Life

Season 1 - Episode 5 - Aired 2/16/2014

A violent denouement in the forest clears the Dora Lange case and turns Cohle and Hart into local heroes. Each man settles into a healthier rhythm of living as Hart returns to his family, and Cohle starts a relationship while gaining a reputation as a closer in interrogations. As time passes and his daughters grow older, Hart faces new tensions and temptations, and Cohle learns from a double-murder suspect that there could be much more to an old case than he'd once thought. In 2012, Gilbough and Papania put their cards on the table, presenting new intelligence that threatens Cohle and causes Hart to reassess everything he thought he knew about his former partner.

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Who Goes There?
7860 votes

#3 - Who Goes There?

Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired 2/9/2014

Hart and Cohle hunt for their newly identified suspect, Reggie Ledoux, a meth cooker who shared a cell with Dora Lange's husband and recently skipped parole. As Hart's personal life collapses around him, Cohle immerses himself in an old criminal identity from his narco days, contacting an East-Texas biker gang known to deal with their primary suspect. Cohle's undercover work takes him to a dangerous edge where the law has no place, and both men must confront the cost of living a false life.

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Haunted Houses
7103 votes

#4 - Haunted Houses

Season 1 - Episode 6 - Aired 2/23/2014

In 2002, Cohle and Hart begin to fall back to familiar and violent obsessions. Hart exacts savage vengeance on a pair of teenage boys, and Cohle becomes convinced they left something undone in 1995. Working on his own, Cohle traces a sinister connection between missing children along the coast and evangelist Billy Lee Tuttle's Wellsprings Program. Hart is reintroduced to a former prostitute he met during the Lange investigation. In 2012, Papania and Gilbough question Maggie, now divorced from Marty, about Cohle and Hart during 2002, the year their relationship fractured and Cohle quit the force following a suspension.

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After You've Gone
7152 votes

#5 - After You've Gone

Season 1 - Episode 7 - Aired 3/2/2014

Hart and Cohle call a truce to investigate a series of disappearances that may be related to the Dora Lange murder and the Tuttle family.

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The Locked Room
8157 votes

#6 - The Locked Room

Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired 1/26/2014

A hidden image at the burned-out church leads Cohle and Hart to Joel Theriot, a tent-revival minister whose parishioners finger a scarred “tall man” seen with Dora Lange. Brought in for interrogation, a sex offender matching the description is quickly dismissed by Cohle, despite offering a confession. Hart gets sidetracked after Maggie sets Cohle up with a friend at a C&W bar. Looking to establish a pattern of murder, Cohle pores over old case files, finding a connection with a woman assumed to have drowned years earlier.

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The Long Bright Dark
10812 votes

#7 - The Long Bright Dark

Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired 1/12/2014

Former Louisiana State CID partners Martin Hart and Rustin Cohle give separate statements to a pair of investigators about the murder of a prostitute, Dora Lange, 17 years earlier. As they look back, details of the crime, replete with occult overtones, are accompanied by insights into the detectives’ volatile partnership and personal lives.

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Seeing Things
8881 votes

#8 - Seeing Things

Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired 1/19/2014

Under pressure to land a suspect in the Lange murder, Quesada warns Hart and Cohle that they might be replaced by three detectives from a new task force. The pair lobbies for extra time to follow up on a lead that takes them from a rural cathouse to an incinerated church. With his marriage to Maggie already strained by work, Hart finds respite away from home.

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The Great War and Modern Memory
3124 votes

#9 - The Great War and Modern Memory

Season 3 - Episode 1 - Aired 1/13/2019

The disappearance of a young Arkansas boy and his sister in 1980 triggers vivid memories and enduring questions for retired detective Wayne Hays, who worked the case 35 years ago with his then-partner Roland West. What started as a routine case becomes a long journey to dissect the crime and make sense of it.

Directors: Jeremy Saulnier
Watch Now:Amazon
The Final Country
2337 votes

#10 - The Final Country

Season 3 - Episode 7 - Aired 2/17/2019

Following up on new leads, Wayne and Roland track down a man who left the police force in the midst of the Purcell investigation. Meanwhile, Amelia visits Lucy Purcell’s best friend in hopes of gaining insights into the whereabouts of the mysterious one-eyed man.

Directors: Daniel Sackheim
Watch Now:Amazon
Hunters in the Dark
2378 votes

#11 - Hunters in the Dark

Season 3 - Episode 6 - Aired 2/10/2019

Wayne and Roland revisit discrepancies in the Purcell case that were hidden or forgotten over the years. Among those being reevaluated is Tom Purcell, as well as Lucy Purcell’s cousin, Dan O’Brien. The glitter of Amelia’s book release is tarnished by a voice from the past.

Directors: Daniel Sackheim
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Now Am Found
2402 votes

#12 - Now Am Found

Season 3 - Episode 8 - Aired 2/24/2019

Wayne struggles to hold on to his memories, and his grip on reality, as the truth behind the Purcell case is finally revealed.

Directors: Daniel Sackheim
Watch Now:Amazon
Black Maps and Motel Rooms
3531 votes

#13 - Black Maps and Motel Rooms

Season 2 - Episode 7 - Aired 8/2/2015

Ray, Ani and Paul take precautionary measures to elude detection and untangle a dark mystery. Frank deals with the fallout of his betrayal.

Directors: Daniel Attias
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If You Have Ghosts
2430 votes

#14 - If You Have Ghosts

Season 3 - Episode 5 - Aired 2/3/2019

Wayne finds himself in a no-win situation as new clues emerge in the Purcell case. Roland wrestles with how to keep evidence secure as lawyers demand a new investigation. Amelia finds her relationship with Wayne imperiled by her writing aspirations and his jealousy.

Directors: Nic Pizzolatto
Watch Now:Amazon
The Hour and the Day
2532 votes

#15 - The Hour and the Day

Season 3 - Episode 4 - Aired 1/27/2019

Hays and West see a possible connection between the local church and the Purcell crimes. As the detectives search for one suspect and round up another one for interrogation, Woodard finds himself targeted by a vigilante group.

Directors: Nic Pizzolatto
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Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye
2870 votes

#16 - Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye

Season 3 - Episode 2 - Aired 1/13/2019

Hays looks back at the aftermath of the 1980 Purcell case in West Finger, AR, including possible evidence left behind at the Devil's Den, an outdoor hangout for local kids. As attention focuses on two conspicuous suspects--Brett Woodard, a solitary vet and trash collector, and Ted LaGrange, an ex-con with a penchant for children--the parents of the missing kids, Tom and Lucy Purcell, receive a cryptic note from an anonymous source.

Directors: Jeremy Saulnier
Watch Now:Amazon
Down Will Come
3854 votes

#17 - Down Will Come

Season 2 - Episode 4 - Aired 7/12/2015

The detail works a pawn-shop lead to close in on a suspect in the Caspere case. Frank revisits his past to pay for his present. Velcoro, Bezzerides and Woodrugh struggle to keep the case straight in the face of corruption.

Directors: Jeremy Podeswa
Watch Now:Amazon
Church in Ruins
3515 votes

#18 - Church in Ruins

Season 2 - Episode 6 - Aired 7/26/2015

Desperate to locate a missing woman with intel on Caspere, Frank meets with Mexican drug dealers. Ani infiltrates an exclusive inner circle, with Ray and Paul keeping close tabs.

Directors: Miguel Sapochnik
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Omega Station
3660 votes

#19 - Omega Station

Season 2 - Episode 8 - Aired 8/9/2015

Frank, Ray and Ani weigh their options as Caspere's killer and the scope of corruption is revealed.

Directors: John Crowley
Watch Now:Amazon
The Big Never
2674 votes

#20 - The Big Never

Season 3 - Episode 3 - Aired 1/20/2019

Hays recalls his early romance with Amelia, as well as some cracks in their relationship that surfaced after they married and had children. Ten years after the Purcell crimes took place, new evidence emerges, giving Hays a second chance to vindicate himself and the investigation.

Directors: Daniel Sackheim
Watch Now:Amazon
Other Lives
3570 votes

#21 - Other Lives

Season 2 - Episode 5 - Aired 7/19/2015

Ray and Frank contemplate new life choices. Ani and Paul follow a lead up the coast.

Directors: John Crowley
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Night Finds You
4260 votes

#22 - Night Finds You

Season 2 - Episode 2 - Aired 6/28/2015

Ben Caspar's autopsy reveals the gruesome details of his demise, and Ray and Ani wonder if it has anything to do with his fondness for prostitutes. Meanwhile, Frank looks into what might have happened to his missing fortune.

Directors: Justin Lin
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The Western Book of the Dead
5420 votes

#23 - The Western Book of the Dead

Season 2 - Episode 1 - Aired 6/21/2015

The disappearance of a city manager disrupts a lucrative land scheme and ignites an investigation involving three police officers and a career criminal who is moving into legitimate business.

Directors: Justin Lin
Watch Now:Amazon
Maybe Tomorrow
3925 votes

#24 - Maybe Tomorrow

Season 2 - Episode 3 - Aired 7/5/2015

Paul works the prostitute angle, while Frank receives the first casualty in a secret war, and steps back into a world he’d left behind.

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