Director Justin Lin fixates on roads, highways and interstates throughout the first two chapters of the second season of True Detective. He uses them as ligaments to connect the series together, splicing a few seconds of roadways between shifts in story lines. Yet the only street name he shows to the viewer is for Mulholland Drive, an Easter egg reference to David Lynch’s classic 2001 movie Mulholland Dr., which itself was originally intended to be a TV series.
There are several parallels between True Detective and Mulholland Dr. Both the series and the movie overlay images in silhouettes and use ghostly images of the main characters in their opening credits. The second episode of True Detective‘s second season, “Night Finds You”, opens with Vince Vaughn’s Frank Semyon recounting a childhood drama, and concludes with another nod to Mulholland Dr. Semyon considers that he could have died there, and that his current life is a dream, “something’s telling me to wake up, like I’m not real, I’m only dreaming.” Later on, there is a scene where the three different interests—the city, county and state—discuss the creation of a task force. This scene is staged very similarly to a scene in Mulholland Dr. At this point, there is no way to tell if there are going to be some additional linkages to the movie, or if it was just Lin injecting thought candy for film geeks.