‘True Detective’ Season 3 episode 1 spoilers: Mahershala Ali as Wayne Hays, Stephen Dorff as Roland West

Mahershala Ali

Set in 2015 in the Ozarks, “True Detective” Season 3 will premiere on January 13, 2019 on HBO with an episode titled “The Great War and Modern Memory.” The episode will introduce Wayne Hays, the main character played by Mahershala Ali, the first Muslim actor to win an acting award from the Academy Awards.

Wayne is a retired state police detective from Northwest Arkansas. With his memory failing, he tries to look back at the disappearance of siblings Will Purcell (Phoenix Elkin), 12, and Julie Purcell (Lena McCarthy), 10.

In “The Great War and Modern Memory,” viewers will see Will and Julie’s parents Tom Purcell (Scoot McNairy) and Lucy Purcell (Mamie Gummer) fighting. More than three decades later, Wayne is questioned about the unsolved mystery surrounding the disappearance of Will and Julie.

In 1990, Wayne and his former partner Roland West (Stephen Dorff) were subpoenaed after a major break in the case. While unavailable, Hays gets romantically involved with Amelia Reardon (Carmen Ejogo), a teacher who eventually writes a book about the investigation.

John Charles Dickson will play a young deputy working with Dorff in “The Great War and Modern Memory.” One of the people who lives in the area where a potential crime was committed is played by Katherine Forbes.

A nonsmoker, Forbes had to learn who to look convincing with a cigarette in “The Great War and Modern Memory.” She told Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette that it was Dorff who taught her how to.

Joining Ali, Dorff and Ejogo in the main cast of “True Detective” Season 3 is Ray Fisher, who plays Wayne’s son Henry Hays. Lonnie Chavis plays the 9-year-old Henry.

All of the episodes of “True Detective” Season 3 were written by Nic Pizzolatto, the creator of the HBO series. He told Collider that the new season begins with Ali’s character and “the desire to tell a man’s life story in the form of a detective story and the idea that, if he’s losing his life story, near the end of his life, then who he is becomes the mystery, in a way.”

“I just tried to think about how you could do that,” Pizzolatto added. “The case started to suggest itself, and then the setting and Wayne’s history. It all becomes symbiotic, really quickly, but it starts with the character.”

“The Great War and Modern Memory” will be followed by episode 2 titled “Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye,” which will also air on January 13, 2019. Here is the trailer of the new season:

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