Cohle has had a couple of hallucinations in True Detective, especially during the final showdown. I am wondering if those hallucinations mean anything in particular.

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    Related (if not even duplicate): What was the galaxy formation Rust saw before confronting Erol Childress?
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Oct 3, 2016 at 23:39
  • It ties into the construct of how Cole perscieves the universe, although I remember that some of his philosophical musings tended to contradict his expirience. The problem w/ getting 2 the bottom of this, has to do with "magical realism" as device, because despite seeming like it has supernatural macrocosmic phenom., NP stated that it wasn't and so we are to draw real-world explainations for these things. But to even use these surreal elements would I think be about questioning either the nature of characters reality or their own identites, which at the very least adds tones of uncertainty and Mar 16, 2018 at 18:27
  • dramtic suspence. Despite that I feel one can interpret it both ways (real-world surrealism or some form of cosmic magic), at the end of the day the story is about little shards of light being able to fight against the darkness, not matter how we specifically identify "good" or "bad". It's more about the struggle within in order to deal with the struggle without and Cole's musings/hallucinations reflect that idea IMO. Mar 16, 2018 at 18:30
  • I am at work and sadly don't have the resources to post a full explanation, but the hallucinations can be seen as physical manifestations of Cohle's larger Nihilistic philosophy. The second image you posted is a direct reference to the nihilistic speech Cohle had just given, about how there had once only been a void (giant space funnel) but now there is light. If I can remember this when I get home tonight I will post a detailed answer , but in case I forget I wanted to give you somewhere to start.
    – foxsfer
    Jun 15, 2018 at 14:02

1 Answer 1


At the time when I watched it, those scenes made me believe the things the killer was saying about being reborn etc. I think they were intended to help the viewer question the reality of the show.

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