Beyond time being a flat circle, there's one fact we know for sure: the second season of "True Detective," other than being on HBO, and written by Nic Pizzolatto, is totally unconnected to season one. Or is it? Particularly as there was at least one giant, honking reference to The Yellow King in the middle of the second season premiere.
For those who don't remember (though I'm pretty sure you remember), The Yellow King was the over-arching, all-encompassing question mark over the mystery eventually solved by Rust Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) and Marty Hart (Woody Harrelson). Was he a man? Some sort of Cthulu-esque monster? A deity?
Turns out, "he" was actually a gigantic sculpture made of bones, worshiped by several prominent families because they believed it would make them powerful.
So, did you see The Yellow King in the premiere? I'll give you a clue: he shows up halfway through when Ray Velcoro (Colin Farrell) is looking into the mess at Casper's apartment. They discover a ton of weird, fetishy items, and in the middle of that is the Yellow King.
Still don't remember? Okay, here you go:
STILL can't see it? Fine, here's Velcoro gazing his haunted, steely stare at the bad boy himself:
Pretty obvious now, right? Sure it's not a cave-sized sculpture of animal bones, but true to the new season's setting it's the Hollywood version of The Yellow King -- a skeleton, wearing a crown dressed in finery.
If anything, it's what a good portion of the folks watching season one thought The Yellow King might look like, when he was discussed online. And beyond that, it's a pretty pointed commentary, right? Where TYK was front and center at the mystery of season one, he's barely worth a second glance in season two.
The bones have been placed to rest, a new season is beginning, and the weird mysticism that pervaded Cohle and Hart's investigation is gone, for the corporate corruption of Velcoro's possible redemption.
Goodbye, Yellow King. It's time for you to make the flowers in TV heaven.