“It’s not true”: True Detective Season 4 Director Reveals Real Reason Behind Matthew McConaughey’s Iconic Dialogue After Original Writer Publicly Shamed Her

'True Detective: Night Country' director reveals true reason for including Matthew McConaughey's iconic line in the fourth season.

“It’s not true”: True Detective Season 4 Director Reveals Real Reason Behind Matthew McConaughey’s Iconic Dialogue After Original Writer Publicly Shamed Her


  • 'True Detective: Night Country' director, Issa López, denies simply paying homage to Season 1 in the fourth season.
  • She clarifies that the iconic Matthew McConaughey's phrase wasn't planned but felt natural in the series.
  • This came after original writer Nic Pizzolatto criticized Season 4's ties to Season 1.
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Fans of True Detective Season 1 must remember Matthew McConaughey’s character, Rust Cohle, saying “time is a flat circle” in a memorable scene. Series creator Nic Pizzolatto wrote those lines, but he wasn’t involved in writing True Detective: Night Country.

A still from True Detective: Night Country (2024)
A still from True Detective: Night Country (2024)

Despite being credited as an executive producer, Pizzolatto made it clear on social media that he had no part in season 4’s writing. True Detective Season 4 is the only season which is not created by him—who wrote every episode of the first three seasons.

This season, titled Night Country, is helmed by Issa López. She took on the role of director and co-writer for all six episodes of the new season. Now, the director of True Detective Season 4 disclosed the true motivation behind McConaughey’s memorable dialogue. This revelation came after the original writer (Pizzolatto) criticized her publicly.


True Detective: Night Country Director Denies Paying Homage to Season 1

Matthew McConaughey
Matthew McConaughey as Rustin Cohle in True Detective

In True Detective: Night Country, was the director, writer, and showrunner Issa López simply trying to pay homage to the lauded first season? Not exactly. As per López, there’s more to it. She told EW

“I do know that the hardcore Pizzolatto Forever fans are going to perhaps believe that it was put there just to appease them, but it’s not true. That phrase, it was not something that I planned on putting in the series at all. I think it’s super cheesy to say, ‘I will find a place to put this.'”

This came after Nic Pizzolatto reportedly made remarks on social media, since-deleted, writing, some Season 4 plot points that connect to the show’s first season are “so stupid.” He told one fan (via Variety), “I certainly did not have any input on this story or anything else. Can’t blame me.”

Even though Pizzolatto didn’t like it, Season 4 of True Detective still references Season 1 with small clues. These include talking about Tuttle Industries, Rust’s dad Travis, and the recurring eerie spiral symbol.


True Detective Director Reveals Origins of Iconic Line

Director Issa Lopez revealed that it was this symbol that led her to the iconic line “time is a flat circle.” In Season 1, the symbol represented a pedophilic cult and Carcosa – their alternate reality. But, in Season 4, “it’s just the access to the other places, to the ‘other world,'” The 52 year-old explains to EW:

“And as I say in the series, it’s ancient, it’s older than the ice, it’s older than Louisiana. It’s older than Ennis, and it’s always been there and it will always be there.”

True Detective
A scene from True Detective: Night Country

Keeping this in mind, López penned the climactic showdown between Clark and the detectives, where he reveals Annie’s fate. The Mexican director said: 

“Organically as I was writing the scene, [I thought] if you’re going to go with the version of there’s something mystical out there in the ice, and there’s something in the darkness that is awake and has forever been where this ancient spiral is, and that is also connected to Annie… Then Clark says Annie has always forever been in that cave, and she will always be there, and all of us are doing the same things forever — that’s a line that I wrote — I [then realized], because time is a flat circle! It just came so naturally. And it is a scientist who says it because that concept is based in quantum physics. So it is a scientist who needs to say it.”

She asserted that the connection between the two seasons was unplanned but genuine. The lines spoken by the characters felt natural and fit seamlessly into the story.


All six episodes of True Detective: Night Country are available on HBO Max.


Written by Shreya Jha

Articles Published: 947

Shreya is an Entertainment News Writer at Fandomwire. She has over a year of experience in journalistic writing with a deep knowledge of entertainment world. After completing her bachelor's program in Journalism and Mass Communication, Shreya is now pursuing her master's degree in the same. Apart from being an avid reader, she's a huge Swiftie and K-culture buff. So yeah, when she's not writing, she will be caught listening to Tay or watching "Business Proposal" for the 100th time.