It's impossible to separate the popularity of "True Detective" with the quality of the performances in it, especially from Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. So much so that part of the anticipation for season two is about seeing what the show is like without them.
We know that the next story will follow three different characters, but that doesn't mean we'll never see McConaughey back on the mystery series in a future season.
Now that the Emmy season is quickly approaching, the HBO series has reentered the conversation, and in his recent interview with Deadline, McConaughey said that he would consider returning.
"I liked 'True Detective,' the whole series and the experience of making it, so much that I’d be open to doing another one now," he said.
As someone who followed the first season of "True Detective" very closely, I think that while it's important to get some new blood onto the show next season, at some point McConaughey should return.
Not to undersell the many elements of the show, including Harrelson's generally underrated performance, Nic Pizzolatto's smart writing and Cary Fukunaga's brilliant direction, but the show took off like it did largely because of McConaughey's performance.
Even in the age of the haunted TV antihero, Rust Cohle didn't talk like any other character we knew, and the two versions of him, twelve years apart, were only believable because of McConaughey's commitment to both.
The show's appeal in its first season is also connected to a balance McConaughey struck. He's an actor that — through his ups and downs — has established a persona as someone that has much more going on beneath a lovably dim or totally chill exterior. The same can be said for "True Detective," which mashes up a pulpy detective story with Nietzschean philosophy.
Whether it's this, season three, or some story beyond that, here's to hoping that McConaughey makes a triumphant return to "True Detective" eventually. And I think our chances are good because, after all, time is a flat circle.