Somebody asked me, ‘Well, what does this all mean?’ Obviously, as an artist, I hate questions like that, but I could tell they were asking for a governing theme that could encompass everything else that happened. And so I had to think about it. And to me, if there’s one governing thing in True Detective that encompasses everything that the show is telling you — constantly, the show keeps telling you — it’s that everything is a story. Cohle tells you that who you think you are, your identity, is a story you tell yourself. He tells us that religion and philosophy are stories we tell ourselves. Cohle describes them as cathartic narratives, but in confession he’s so good at getting confessions from suspects because he gives them room to create a cathartic narrative. Hart says an investigation is the act of trying to put together a story after the fact, and when he goes over his story in Episode 5, you can tell that Hart used to tell himself one story and now he tells himself another story. The show was never concerned with the supernatural, but it was concerned with supernatural thought, and it was concerned with supernatural thinking to the degree that it was concerned with storytelling. So if there was one overarching theme to True Detective, I would say it was that as human beings, we are nothing but the stories we live and die by — so you’d better be careful what stories you tell yourself.