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S03.E06: Hunters in the Dark

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1 hour ago, Fable said:

Story-wise, this season has been a bit messy and convoluted, and I don’t think the story telling is quite as tight as in season 1 (never watched season 2, so no basis for comparison there).  Sometimes, it seems confusing, but not unlikable.  What I do, however, like better is the character building.  I did like the characters in season 1, a lot in fact, but I find this season’s characters so much more rich and compelling. 

The characters and acting are great, but I’m finding the story a little over cooked. I was actually quite bored during the first half of this episode. 

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You can do a character study of Hays without having the case that haunted him his whole life be this big sprawling thing. It could have just been the girl got massive PTSD from seeing her brother killed and just ran away.

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13 hours ago, Fable said:

Story-wise, this season has been a bit messy and convoluted, and I don’t think the story telling is quite as tight as in season 1 (never watched season 2, so no basis for comparison there).  Sometimes, it seems confusing, but not unlikable.  What I do, however, like better is the character building.  I did like the characters in season 1, a lot in fact, but I find this season’s characters so much more rich and compelling. 

I think the dialogue (which to me is the essential element to building compelling characters) in this season is so far superior to previous seasons that it is in an entirely different universe. I could barely get through the first two seasons because I kept thinking to myself that actual human beings, in the modern world we live in, do not speak in the manner those seasons were written. It makes it impossible for me to find such characters compelling, because they aren't really human to me, but rather just tropes and obvious devices of the author. There have been so many scenes this season which just ring entirely, humanly, true to me.

 

10 hours ago, ganesh said:

You can do a character study of Hays without having the case that haunted him his whole life be this big sprawling thing. It could have just been the girl got massive PTSD from seeing her brother killed and just ran away.

Yeah, that could have been every bit as compelling, perhaps more, because the examination of character would not have the distraction of "The Huge Conspiracy" to be resolved. I'm willing to see how this wraps up, however.

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There's only 2 episodes left, so I'm going to close out. It just strikes me that the 90s investigation is barely off the ground, and then they threw all the other stuff in this late. 

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2 minutes ago, ganesh said:

There's only 2 episodes left, so I'm going to close out. It just strikes me that the 90s investigation is barely off the ground, and then they threw all the other stuff in this late. 

Yeah, I suspect as much as well. The whole "Sinister and Powerful Hoyt Chicken" may be a real misstep. A simple case of a pedophile cop fouling the investigation for a long period of time may have been a much better story element.

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So much is going down, so close to the ending, I am really curious to see if they can wrap this up. So now it looks like Julie was possibly sold to the chicken people by her mother, either for some kind of creepy sexual exploitation, or because Julie is the result of an affair between her mother and some Purcell, and they want to raise her there. Of course, why they wouldn't just send her to private school somewhere in that case instead of locking her up in some creepy basement pink room would be anyone's guess I suppose. It looks like she was sold by her mom to these people who traffic in young girls, and Julies brother tried to protect her, and was collateral damage. Maybe the people they saw talking to the kids were scouts looking for kids to take for this evil corporate guy?

I think that Will and Julie created the hole,and used it to pass messages to each other. The cops saw something sinister due to the nature of the case, but I could just as easily be something totally innocent. 

The actor playing Tom is doing amazing work, you could really see him falling apart more and more as things went on. Honestly, I kind of got a vibe more than once that Tom and Roland had some kind of romantic encounter, or even some kind of relationship, and finding out that Tom might be a closeted gay man makes me think so even more. I think Roland might be bisexual, just WAY on the down low about that part of himself.

I think it adds an interesting context to Roland commenting a few times on Wayne's tendency to threaten suspects with prison rape. Every time, Roland points out that its super fucked up and specific, without ever really saying anything more about it, and it just rolls off Wayne as more banter, but he does tend to look uncomfortable with it. There is always an element of homophobia in those kind of "cop threatens suspect with prison rape" kind of scenes we have seen a million times, so maybe thats why that got his hackles up? Or maybe Roland was abused at some point, so rape is a tough topic for him, which also adds some context to the scene last week where Wayne was ranting about what a whiny bitch the grown up teenage suspect was being when he was still clearly upset about his rape threats, and Roland was clearly annoyed with him and was just not engaging at all. Or maybe both, or neither? Obviously being raped or sexually abused doesent make a change a persons sexual identity, but young LGBTQ people are at risk for rape, abuse, and sexual exploitation, especially in prison. 

I wonder now if Amelia knows more than she is telling Wayne? Really, Amelia missed her calling as a cop, she is a pretty good detective! The arguments between Wayne and Amelia are pretty understandable from both sides to me, even if I like Amelia probably a bit more, at least in that time period. Amelia is really passionate about this case and wants to follow her passion, but Wayne isnt wrong that its kind of messed up that she is using his case to help her career. 

That last shot was super creepy. 

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8 hours ago, Bannon said:

I think the dialogue (which to me is the essential element to building compelling characters) in this season is so far superior to previous seasons that it is in an entirely different universe. I could barely get through the first two seasons because I kept thinking to myself that actual human beings, in the modern world we live in, do not speak in the manner those seasons were written. It makes it impossible for me to find such characters compelling, because they aren't really human to me, but rather just tropes and obvious devices of the author. There have been so many scenes this season which just ring entirely, humanly, true to me.

I agree 1000%.  I've especially appreciated the way they've depicted Hays and Amelias' marriage and the relationship between Roland and Hays.  They make real-world mistakes in their relationships and are relatable.

Some of the story is far-fetched, i.e. Woodard blowing up and then shooting a bunch of people, the pink room and Tom breaking in, and making his way to the basement, but I'm ok with that because I'm appreciating the relationship parts of the story much more than I have in the previous two seasons. At least between Hays and Roland and Hays and his wife and children.

Edited by Jextella
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Am I correct in saying that when the case was re-opened in 1990 they still did not find the "real" killer/kidnapper and as of 2015 it is still unknown?

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19 minutes ago, Dminches said:

Am I correct in saying that when the case was re-opened in 1990 they still did not find the "real" killer/kidnapper and as of 2015 it is still unknown?

They haven't said yet. It's possible that it was "solved" again in 1990, or that it was not. The scenes with the TV interviewer seem to imply that it was not solved.

Spoiler

Perhaps the continuing references by Hayes and West to "what we did in 1990" could mean that they solved the crime, but covered it up for some reason.

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2 hours ago, Gobi said:

They haven't said yet. It's possible that it was "solved" again in 1990, or that it was not. The scenes with the TV interviewer seem to imply that it was not solved.

  Reveal spoiler

Perhaps the continuing references by Hayes and West to "what we did in 1990" could mean that they solved the crime, but covered it up for some reason.

I do think they may have come up with a new guilty conviction in 1990 but the fact that Hays and West are trying to solve it again in 2015 makes me think that they didn't get the right person in 1990.

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4 hours ago, Dminches said:

Am I correct in saying that when the case was re-opened in 1990 they still did not find the "real" killer/kidnapper and as of 2015 it is still unknown?

It kind of sounds like it wasnt solved in 2015, with the reporter talking about how weird the case was and how many unanswered questions there were/are. Or its possible it was "solved" but there is still a lot of doubt about it, or people dont really like the answer they were given. Apparently Wayne and Roland arent happy with how the case was solved or not really solved either.

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7 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

why they wouldn't just send her to private school somewhere in that case instead of locking her up in some creepy basement pink room would be anyone's guess I suppose.

She's a famously missing child whose photo is all over newspapers and TV. If they want to keep her after Will's death, they have to keep her hidden.

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So is it possible the reporter is the missing girl, trying to find out what happened to herself? 

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1 hour ago, ganesh said:

So is it possible the reporter is the missing girl, trying to find out what happened to herself? 

It's 35 years since the disappearance in the reporter timeline, so she would be early 40s. That actress looks too young (she is 32.)  I wondered if the character might be Julie's daughter.

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I think they said in previous episodes that someone was convicted posthumously of killing Will, and now they are saying that Woodard was tried for it "in absentia". But surely being tried "in absentia" doesn't apply when the accused is actually dead?

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If "that guy I saw on TV pretending to be my father" is actually Hoyt, then it might be that Julie isn't referring to the press conference at all. Maybe Hoyt is like an evil Frank Perdue, who used to be on TV all the time hawking his chickens.

But I guess Hoyt wouldn't have been "pretending to be Julie's father" in his chicken commercials. "Hi, I'm Henry Hoyt, father of that missing girl Julie Purcell, and you haven't lived till you've tasted my chickens."

Edited by Milburn Stone
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On 2/12/2019 at 6:39 AM, Tighthead said:

The characters and acting are great, but I’m finding the story a little over cooked. I was actually quite bored during the first half of this episode. 

When you choose to tell a story like this convoluted back and forth between 3 time periods, there has to be a reason.  Not just that it's your thing.  I don't think they really have a reason, other than it's how they roll.

I was bored to tears.  Just get on with it!

You can have incredible character development and present your series in chronological order.  This isn't necessary.  It's making me think they have nothing to say.

My question is, if we are to believe that Hays has PTSD, have they ever showed us why?  He went to Vietnam is not enough.  Lots of people went to Vietnam and didn't end up with PTSD.  It's sloppy storytelling if that's the case here.

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38 minutes ago, meep.meep said:

My question is, if we are to believe that Hays has PTSD, have they ever showed us why?  He went to Vietnam is not enough.  Lots of people went to Vietnam and didn't end up with PTSD.  It's sloppy storytelling if that's the case here.

I don't think the show has ever actually said that Hays has PTSD, but if he does, going deep recon in Vietnam is certainly enough reason why.

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Other than being kind of closed off, I don't see any overt evidence Hays has PTSD. In 1980, Roland remarked that he saw people who 'came back different', but there was no indication that Hays thought that about himself. He just acknowledged that it was a real condition.  

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23 hours ago, ganesh said:

So is it possible the reporter is the missing girl, trying to find out what happened to herself? 

This never crossed my mind.  It's an intriguing idea. 

Edited by Jextella

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15 hours ago, Milburn Stone said:

But I guess Hoyt wouldn't have been "pretending to be Julie's father" in his chicken commercials. "Hi, I'm Henry Hoyt, father of that missing girl Julie Purcell, and you haven't lived till you've tasted my chickens."

Another possibility is that Julie saw on television a man who has pretended to be her father when visiting her in the pink room. The wording is vague. If she remains convinced that Tom is her father, then she would be skeptical of claims from any of her captors or visitors that he was her real father.

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Someone said Julie would be too old to be the reporter in 2015, but that it might be her daughter. 

Either way, the reporter having a direct relation to the case. 

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How old would Julie be in 2015? Early 40s? Maybe I'm bad at judging ages, but I don't think that it's completely improbably for the reporter to be that old. A lot of women in the entertainment industry keep themselves very well "preserved". 

I kind of hope that's not the case, though. I don't know why. It feels a bit cheesy? 

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That's why I added it might be the daughter, as someone else followed up. 

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On 2/12/2019 at 7:42 PM, tennisgurl said:

The actor playing Tom is doing amazing work, you could really see him falling apart more and more as things went on. Honestly, I kind of got a vibe more than once that Tom and Roland had some kind of romantic encounter, or even some kind of relationship, and finding out that Tom might be a closeted gay man makes me think so even more. I think Roland might be bisexual, just WAY on the down low about that part of himself.

We know that Wayne did something in 1990 Roland feels he should apologise for. As soon as we got the revelation about Tom's sexuality, I wondered if it was something he learned about Roland's relationship with Tom that he leveraged against him.

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A few thoughts

Strange that Wayne had to tear off a piece of paper and put it through the peephole.  Obviously a rolled up paper would fit, no need to test it out.

Roland did seem a little over protective of Tom, but I don't think he's gay.   

Rust Tom breaking into the Tuttle Hoyt mansion to expose the Yellow Chicken King...really?  

The bouncing timelines worked in season one, but just seems annoying and unnecessary.

Wayne's memory conveniently comes and goes.

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7 hours ago, Razzberry said:

The bouncing timelines worked in season one, but just seems annoying and unnecessary.

I think the bouncing timelines premise (Wayne's dementia/Alzheimer's) should work even better than season one's generic flashbacks and flash forwards, but, yeah, it's not quite there.
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7 hours ago, Razzberry said:

Wayne's memory conveniently comes and goes.

Wayne's memory coming and going may seem a little too plot-convenient, but that is how age- and Alzheimer's-related memory-loss works. I mean, it's not like he had a literal anvil fall on his head, heh.

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3 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

Wayne's memory coming and going may seem a little too plot-convenient, but that is how age- and Alzheimer's-related memory-loss works. I mean, it's not like he had a literal anvil fall on his head, heh.

Right,  but I mean earlier, like when he's talking to Amelia in bed.  She wants him to open up, but he shuts that down by saying he doesn't spend any time remembering things.  Then he lights another cigarette and looks darkly into a mirror.

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3 hours ago, Razzberry said:

Right,  but I mean earlier, like when he's talking to Amelia in bed.  She wants him to open up, but he shuts that down by saying he doesn't spend any time remembering things.  Then he lights another cigarette and looks darkly into a mirror.

I assumed Wayne's avoidance of "opening up" in his young-adult years was Vietnam PTSD.

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On 2/13/2019 at 12:35 PM, meep.meep said:

When you choose to tell a story like this convoluted back and forth between 3 time periods, there has to be a reason.  Not just that it's your thing.  I don't think they really have a reason, other than it's how they roll.

I was bored to tears.  Just get on with it!

You can have incredible character development and present your series in chronological order.  This isn't necessary.  It's making me think they have nothing to say.

All of this. It feels like a waste of good actors and the kernel of a good story.

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9 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

I assumed Wayne's avoidance of "opening up" in his young-adult years was Vietnam PTSD.

Well, that and the fact that in 2015, he keeps seeing himself surrounded by the people he killed in Vietnam.  People who are confused about the timelines are missing the point.  This whole story is about a man who spent his entire life avoiding his past having to come to terms with it, and just at the moment when his memory starts to fail him.  The case was never solved.  Who knows if it will be now?

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I honestly don't mind the jumping of times.   I think it adds quite a bit to Wayne's story as a person.  I like that they are showing us an older person with the onset of dementia.  It's real and it happens.  I don't think they could have done that without multiple timelines.

In season 1, I really didn't care what happened to the detectives as people (other than not wanting them to die).  In season 3, I care about the detectives.  Season 1 had a much better crime story (other than the craptastic ending), but Season 3 has a much better human story (and it better not have a craptastic ending!).

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