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New True Detective season 3 trailer hints at the main character’s mysterious past

Season 3 looks like it will focus on the sins of Detective Hays’ past

Austen Goslin (he/him) is an entertainment editor. He writes about the latest TV shows and movies, and particularly loves all things horror.

HBO has released another trailer for True Detective season 3, and while it’s still heavy on mystery and light on answers, we’re starting to piece together the basic plot.

As we’ve seen from previous trailers, this season will follow Detective Wayne Hays, played by Oscar winner Mahershala Ali, across two or three decades as he continues to be haunted by a case of two missing children that he couldn’t solve in the 1980s. In this new trailer, we can see just how much this case affected Hays, as we see him return to some of the crime scenes years later, still haunted by the mystery and his inability to solve it.

While the trailer does provide us those few details, it also piles on a whole heap of Ozark swamp mysteries. Detective Hays has a moment while eating dinner where he hints at a mysterious and dangerous past; a character throws out “killer” as a casual nickname; and an interview set when Hays is older and grayer than he was in the ’80s makes it clear that something about this case went very wrong.

Thankfully, the trailer stays well away from actual answers, leaving us with just teases and possible misdirection until the season actually premieres on Jan. 13, 2019. Just like in previous seasons of True Detective, most of the writing for season 3 has been handled by series creator Nic Pizzolatto — with the exception of the fourth episode, which is written by Deadwood creator David Milch.

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