Emmy Episode Analysis: Matthew McConaughey (‘True Detective’) sees the light in ‘Form and Void’

Matthew McConaughey is attempting to cap off an amazing year by winning the Emmy for Best Drama Actor for playing Detective Rust Cohle on “True Detective.” McConaughey won an Oscar, Golden Globe, and SAG Award at the beginning of the year for “Dallas Buyers Club” and also won a Critics Choice TV Award for “Detective” earlier this summer.

McConaughey gave Emmy judges the “Form and Void” episode. See full list of episodes submitted in top Emmy races.

Not so fast, ‘Breaking Bad’: ‘True Detective’ may crush you at the Emmys

SYNOPSIS: Rust questions the former sheriff, Steve Geraci, about a cold case he’s been puzzling over: the disappearance of a young girl named Marie Fontenot. After Rust shows him a video of the girl being sacrificed by cultists, Geraci admits that the previous sheriff, a man named Childress, covered up the incident. Rust then threatens to kill him if any harm comes to him or his partner Marty (fellow Drama Actor nominee Woody Harrelson).

Later, Rust and Marty look into a small business called Childress and Sons, which turns out to have employed the murderer. When they arrive at the home of the killer, Errol, he flees and Rust chases after him, leading Rust into a maze-like structure in the woods. As he goes deeper and deeper into the labyrinth, Rust discovers several decaying corpses until he is suddenly attacked by Errol. Errol stabs Rust and throws a hatchet into Marty’s chest before Rust is finally able to fire the shot that kills him.

Emmy Episode Analysis: Can Woody Harrelson outshine Oscar-winning costar?

As Rust and Marty recover in the hospital, they acknowledge that they may not catch everyone involved in the crimes, but at least they got the man they were after. Rust later talks tearfully about how he could feel the presence of both his dead daughter and father while he was unconscious. He feels more hopeful about the future and insists that in the ongoing battle between light and dark, the light is winning.

Can McConaughey add an Emmy to his mantel? Here are the pros and cons:


McConaughey gives a great performance, and his crying scene in the episode’s final minutes is the kind that Emmy voters usually love.

Not only does he have great moments in this episode, he also has great moments in Harrelson’s Emmy submission, “The Locked Room.”

McConaughey is Hollywood’s “It” man of the moment thanks to his more selective career choices. The series airing during the Oscar voting period probably helped him win there, and now his status as an Oscar-winner could give him an edge at the Emmys too.


Most of McConaughey’s performance is subdued, and even his crying scene may not be as flashy as a voter might be looking for.

Harrelson also has emotional moments in the episode. He could pull votes away from McConaughey or even win with the material he has in both this episode and his own submission.

Unlike other episodes of the series, this one does not include flashbacks to 1995 that show McConaughey’s character at two different points in his life.

Follow Gold Derby on FacebookTwitterInstagram, Tumblr, iTunes and YouTube

McConaughey is currently the frontrunner to win with 1/2 odds. Do you agree? Or do you think someone else can power their way past Rust Cohle? Make your predictions below.

More News from GoldDerby