Elizabeth Reaser Was Squashed By The McConaissance

HBO's True Detective had an incredible inaugural season thanks to factors like the much buzzed about McConaissance, director Cary Fukunaga, and a truly wicked mystery, but a new deleted scene has been released and we can't help but wish it hadn't been tossed to the cutting room floor.

The scene courtesy of Bleeding Cool (h/t io9) features Matthew McConaughey's Rust Cohle and his then-girlfriend Lori (Elizabeth Reaser of Grey's Anatomy and the Twilight movies) arguing over having kids, indicating that the relationship was far deeper than what we saw in the quick cuts on the actual series. What's more is that the scene gives an actual voice to Reaser's character; throughout the fifth episode — the only episode on which she appeared — her utter silence was quite remarkable. It seemed rather odd that the series would have hired someone like Reaser to do little more than smile and hold Rust's hand at the dinner table.

In this deleted scene, Reaser has the chance to actually act. And what's more is that she performs an essential function in unraveling the enigma that is Rust Cohle. From what we can see in this conversation, Lori accepts Rust's philosophical side and actually seems to appreciate parts of it. But when she broaches the topic of having kids with him, he balks and says he'll never do it; not with her, not with anyone. But rather than acting dejected and hurt immediately, she actually attempts to talk the issue through with Rust, finally pointing out one essential truth: his ability to spout his philosophical truths as gospel while acting in a way that defies those supposed beliefs.

True, we did learn that Rust's outlook was imperfect throughout the season, but this scene contextualizes it in a rather lovely way. Between that and the fact that Reaser was swept under the rug when this scene was cut, it's hard not to imagine how the episode would have benefited from keeping this bit of context in.

But alas, HBO only gives each episode so many minutes to tell its story and at almost three minutes long, this non-essential, but not unimportant interlude was just begging to be cut. Lucky for us, deleted scenes and extended episodes on DVD are a thing, so at the very least, we can use it to retroactively fill out the True Detective universe.

Image: HBO