True Detective may on its face seem like a male driven neo-noir where knights rescue damsels in distress from beasts who make fetishes out of women and sacrifice then to a light or dark lord. But beneath that is a feminist subtext which represents that patriarchy is a failure despite its persistence. We know from the first episode that Harrelson’s character (Hart) is destroying his marriage by blindly claiming ownership over his house, his mistress, and his case–hell–even his secretary. He plays them like pianos and gets them to do what he wants. Yet we know he fails. McConaughy’s character (Cohl) represents the man who’s life has already failed and yet he persists–a train wreck still running its wheels off as it heads toward a canyon. Cohl tries to show Hart where they’re both headed and his false chivalry (which will undoubtedly unravel before seasons end) is an attempt to regain what he’s lost by proximity. While the woman seemingly have no agency it is a touchstone of the previous genre in order to set the femme fatale away from the rest and I hope to see it fade as the genre of noir is bleeding into neo-noir.