Michelle Monaghan may be the female lead in the HBO whodunit series, True Detective, but up until the most recent episode, she hadn’t been given much to do or a prominent story line in the series. So far, the male leads, Matthew McConaughey (Rust Cohle) and Woody Harrelson (Marty Hart) have dominated the action, tracking their exploits as Louisiana homicide detectives. Monaghan plays Harrelson’s wife, Maggie, in the series. With a great story line, top flight actors and superb directing, True Detective has become one of the hottest shows of the current season. And after the latest episode, we can now see how Michelle Monaghan’s Maggie got her revenge.
True Detective unfolds over the course of 17 years, as Rust and Marty track down a serial killer from a 1995 case, while relaying their story to a new set of detectives in 2012. The latest episode, “Haunted Houses” tells everyone what really happened between Marty and Maggie in 2002. Maggie recounts her memories to the new detectives in the episode.
If you are a die hard True Detective fan, or a fan of Michelle Monaghan for that matter, and haven’t seen this episode yet, read on at your own risk, as plot details are about to spill… After Monaghan caught Harrelson in yet another cheating, lying scenario, she realized the only way to truly make him sorry, and to get him out of her life and their daughters’ lives for good, was to do the unthinkable: She slept with his partner, Rust. When asked if She felt that the characters were attracted to each other, Monaghan explained:
No, I don’t think there’s an attraction between them. I think she’s certainly attracted to Rust’s mind. I think she goes over there with the sole purpose of, yes, getting the ultimate revenge, to betray him with the person Marty is most threatened by and who he’s closest to, and that would be Rust. And she does that ultimately to protect herself and her family from Marty’s behavior.
Monaghan was asked why Maggie had to cheat on Marty with Marty’s partner, Rust, instead of with a stranger:
She goes out to that bar, looking to get picked up or to pick a guy up and then tell Marty, but I think she realizes that wouldn’t be enough. I think Marty would look at it and say, “Alright, well an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Let’s move forward now.” And I don’t think she really believes his behavior is going to change, and I think it dawns on her then that her only out is Rust.
And finally, Michelle describes how Maggie carried out the act:
She goes over, almost sort of like a predator. She knows what she’s after. When she walks in, I think she sees that he’s been drinking, that he’s in the middle of his investigation, he’s vulnerable, and it dawns on her that it’s going to be easier than she thought.
Once Maggie and Rust consummate the deal, Maggie feels terrible about using Rust in that way. She doesn’t feel remorse for what she did, or for how Marty may feel, but only because she hurt and used her friend. It is a powerful episode, and Michelle Monaghan turns in a tremendous performance.