111 voters

The Best Episodes of True Detective

Updated October 13, 2018 576 votes 111 voters 4.7k views16 items

There are so many good episodes of True Detective, but which ones really stuck with you? Do you like "Who Goes There" the best, or is "Form and Void" your favorite episode of True Detective? To determine once and for all what the best episodes of True Detective are, let's rank every True Detective episode from best to worst.

True Detective is an American anthology crime/mystery drama airing on HBO that reboots with every season. Created and written by Nic Pizzolatto, True Detective made its debut on January 12, 2014, and starred Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. Season two of True Detective saw Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn, and Rachel McAdams assume the lead roles. While season one is set in Louisiana, season two takes place in California. For its first season, True Detective received seven Emmy Award nominations.

Vote up your favorite episodes of True Detective, and downvote any bad episodes that you really didn't enjoy, despite how much you love the series as a whole. It can be painful to put one True Detective episode over the other when there are so many good ones, which is why you can vote on however many episodes you like.

  • 1
    Season 1 Episode 4: Hart and Cohle hunt for their newly identified suspect, Reggie Ledoux. As Hart's personal life collapses around him, Cohle immerses himself in an old criminal identity from his narco days, contacting a biker gang known to deal with their suspect.
  • 2
    Season 1 Episode 5: A violent denouement in the forest clears the Dora Lange case and turns Cohle and Hart into local heroes. In 2012, Gilbough and Papania put their cards on the table, presenting disturbing new intelligence.
  • 3
    Season 1 Episode 8: Season One Finale. A seemingly arbitrary detail in a photograph, along with a homeowner's old tax records, provides Hart and Cohle with a vital new lead in their 17-year-old case--which they pursue to an apocalyptic confrontation.
  • 4
    Season 1 Episode 7: After Marty is shown a harrowing piece of evidence, he and Cohle forge a truce as they probe a murky conspiracy of disappearances connected to the Dora Lange murder, a path of connections that leads to the Tuttle family.
  • 5
    Season 1 Episode 1: Series Premiere. Martin Hart (Woody Harrelson) and Rustin Cohle (Matthew McConaughey), lead investigators in a macabre 1995 Louisiana murder, relive the case and their partnership in the wake of new info.
  • 6
    Season 1 Episode 2: Under pressure to land a suspect, Quesada warns Hart and Cohle they might be replaced by three detectives from a new occult-crimes task force. Later, they follow a lead that takes them from a rural cathouse to an incinerated church.
  • 7
    Season 1 Episode 3: 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. Hart gets sidetracked after Maggie sets Cohle up with a friend at a C&W bar.
  • 8
    Season 1 Episode 6: 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.
  • 9
    Season 2 Episode 4: 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.
  • 10
    Season 2 Episode 8: Season Two Finale. Frank, Ray and Ani weigh their options as Caspere's killer and the scope of corruption are revealed.
  • 11
    Season 2 Episode 7: Ray, Ani and Paul take precautionary measures to elude detection and untangle a dark mystery.
  • 12
    Season 2 Episode 6: Desperate to locate a missing woman with intel about Caspere, Frank meets with Mexican drug dealers.
  • 13
    Season 2 Episode 1: Season Two Premiere. 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.
  • 14
    Season 2 Episode 2: Ray and Ani investigate a victim's depraved background, as does Frank, while Paul probes the Vinci PD.
  • 15
    Season 2 Episode 5: Ray and Frank contemplate new life choices; Ani and Paul follow a lead up the coast.
  • 16
    Season 2 Episode 3: 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.