The True Detective season 3 finale premieres tonight at 9/8c on HBO. The episode is titled “Now Am Found” and the Xfinity synopsis of tonight’s episode reads, “Wayne struggles to hold on to his memories, and his grip on reality, as the truth behind the Purcell case is finally revealed.”
Season 3 centers around Detective Wayne Hays, played by Oscar-winning actor Mahershala Ali, who is a retired, 70-year-old Arkansas state police detective. Hays’ story, which plays out over three separate time periods covering the 1980s, 90s and 2000s, involves Hays attempting to uncover the unsettling story of two missing children in the Ozarks – Will and Julie Purcell.
Fans are hoping the finale will answer a slew of questions that have been nagging viewers for weeks, including what really happened to the Purcells (and if the case will finally be fully solved), how Hays’ wife Amelia dies, who/where Julie Purcell actually is, and the biggest question of all – who killed Will Purcell and kidnapped Julie?
Fan theories and rumors about who the season 3 killer really is have been abundant leading up to the season finale. Read on for our top three favorite theories:
Mr. Watts & Isabel Hoyt Kidnapped Julie & Accidentally Killed Will
Probably the most obvious theory involves the white heiress Isabel Hoyt and her milky-eyed black companion Mr. Watts. As fans have learned throughout season 3, Isabel became increasingly unhinged after her husband and young daughter died, and Mr. Watts stepped in to help take care of her following their deaths.
Viewers are almost certain that it was Isabel and Mr. Watts playing games with the Purcell children in the woods, so fans have been theorizing that Isabel, driven mad with grief after the death of her own child, plotted to kidnap the Purcell kids with Mr. Watts. In the midst of the actual kidnapping, Will might have been killed in the scuffle, and then possibly left in the cave (in the disturbing prayer pose) out of guilt. Refinery 29 believes Isabel and Mr. Watts then took Julie to the creepy pink room in the basement of the Hoyt mansion that was glimpsed in the episode “Hunters in the Dark,” before she escaped some time later on.
Hays Already Figured Out Who The Killer Is But Keeps Forgetting
With most of season 3 centering around Hays’ memory loss issues, the idea that he might have already figured out who killed Will Purcell and kidnapped Julie isn’t totally unbelievable. A user on Reddit believes Hays might have already figured out the case, but forgets the next morning when he wakes up.
“I wonder if Hays and Roland solve the case, and Hays has forgotten by the next day. I think that would just be heartbreaking,” the Redditor suggests, to many comments agreeing that it’d be a tragic twist. Mahershala Ali also told the Mercury News that the finale made everybody who watched it weep, so the user may be on to something.
Hays is Actually The Killer & Has Been Covering His Own Tracks Every Time The Case is Re-Evaluated
Although somewhat unlikely, an interesting fan theory involves Hays actually being the murderer. This Redditor believes Hays, who has suffered from memory issues throughout the season as he ages, has actually been removing incriminating evidence against himself every time the case is reopened or new evidence surfaces. The Redditor also believes that his wife Amelia figured it out, so he bumped her off too.
“What if the killer is Hays?” the user wrote. “And all this memories about investigation is old Hays suggestions because he doesnt clearly remember it. And in fact back then he was removing the trail of evidences to him. His wife could understand that in the process of book writing and then be killed by him. Thats the reason of his memory loss bacause [sic] it was huge shock. And as Roland said they did some bad shit back then. Also reporter can be that girl who wants Hays to remember all that and have her revenge. I guess this theory is stupid and can be easily destroyed by your arguments but it would be hell of a plot twist.”
Knowing how twisted and dark the True Detective seasons are, the theory isn’t totally far fetched, although we don’t believe this will be the case.
Who do you think killed Will and kidnapped Julie? Did we miss anybody? Let us know in the comments below! And tune in Sundays at 9/8c on HBO to keep up with the case.