Sunday night’s season finale of True Detective, the HBO crime drama phenomenon that has attracted nearly 11 million viewers per episode, became a (murder) victim of its own success, crashing HBO GO and launching the inevitable social media cri de coeurs.
Select fans who tried to access the show on HBO GO were greeted with the appropriately titled “Fatal Error” and a continuous revolving progress circle, causing more than one “Time is a flat circle” joke on Twitter and Facebook.
“Due to overwhelmingly popular demand for #TrueDetective, we’ve been made aware of an issue affecting some users,” HBO GO tweeted not long after the show’s 9 p.m. EST start time. “Please try again soon.” As The Daily Beast noted, HBO has approximately 28.7 million subscribers, meaning that around 38 percent of overall HBO subscribers were watching the show.
Last week, in anticipation of Sunday night’s season finale, the show’s creator and showrunner Nic Pizzolatto debunked some of the many theories on the identity of The Yellow King and his possible connection to a satanic cult. Responding to a popular theory that one of the two detectives was involved in the murders, Pizzolatto responded, “I just thought that such a revelation would be terrible, obvious writing. For me, the worst writing generally just ‘flips’ things: this person’s really a traitor; it was all a dream; etc. Nothing is so ruinous as a forced ‘twist,’ I think.”
In our final episode recap, Sean T. Collins noted that “this story’s very much a creature of its genre, of its influences and clichés” and that it was “execution, not originality, that distinguishes True Detective in the end.”
“True Detective‘s power lies in the way it made us feel when we watched it,” wrote Collins. “Like Rust and Marty, we’ll always have the memory of being drawn into its dark territory.”