“Man is always prey to his truths. Once he has admitted them, he cannot free himself from them.”
In a scene near the end of Michael Curtiz’, 1942 classic movie Casablanca, the main protagonist Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) meets with Captain Louis Renault (Claude Rains), in a scene that ultimately sets up the end of the movie. Dissected from the rest of the film, this scene seems rather improbable: Rick proposes a scheme that requires the buy in of other players. This is, of course, totally and completely irrelevant to the plot, and yet leads into one of the best and most quotable final scenes in film history.
Indeed, the plot of Casablanca was just a necessary element to allow the characters to react to each other. Episode seven of season two of True Detective, “Black Maps and Motel Rooms”, serves the same function. Writer Nic Pizzolatto needs to merge as many of his loose strings together as possible to lead into the season finalé.