Comparison between the TV version and the extended version (both included on the German Blu-ray from Warner Home Video).
In 2014, the first season of True Detective caused a stir. Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson shone in a dark criminal case where they had to face their own demons. In 2015, Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughn were starred in a next season, which in itself has its own qualities, but was not as popular with critics and audiences. In 2019, Mahershala Ali was added to the third season, which was again better received. In three time periods from 1980 to 2015, Ali's figure suffering from dementia tries to explain the disappearance of two children.
As you can read in an interview with author Nic Pizzolatto on Esquire.com (caution: SPOILER!), the season finale was the subject of much discussion on Reddit, Instagram and in other forums. Pizzolatto also mentions that several scenes with Henry and his father had to make way for the TV broadcast due to lack of time. Even Amelia's death and the (possibly therefore difficult?) relationship between Wayne and his daughter Beccy would have gotten more room at the beginning. We reported that there would be an extended cut of the season finale on the Blu-ray and here it is.
The Extended Cut runs 7.5 minutes longer and inserts some longer scenes. Right at the beginning, Wayne talks to Amelia in front of the school and here their relationship is deepened. The scene with Amelia's death in 2013 actually accounts for the biggest part of the runtime difference with about 4 minutes. Towards the end there is a longer conversation in the car between Wayne and his daughter and the promise by Pizzolatto was kept. As already described by Pizzolatto in another article on Esquire, there are more fundamental communication problems between father and daughter than just further tensions due to the mother's death. All in all, the extended version offers a clear added value for fans.
Runtimes are ordered as follows: TV version Blu-ray / Extended version Blu-ray
02:34-02:38 / 02:34-03:37
In the TV version only Wayne is shown again after the greeting and faded over to him in the car.
The Extended Version switches to an outdoor shot and shows a conversation between Wayne and Amelia.
Amelia: "Well, what do you have in mind, Mr. Hays?"
Wayne: "Playing hooky the rest of the day. Maybe pickup Penguin Ed's for dinner. Keeping you in bed all weekend."
Amelia: "I don't know where you get the stamina."
Wayne: "Now, the teacher said Henry don't seem interested in other kids. I think he's lonely."
Amelia: "You're funny."
Wayne: "How am I funny?"
Amelia: "The teacher said that in 4th grade. Henry's 20 years old and in his second year at State. He's got a girlfriend, a few, I think."
Wayne: "I know that."
Amelia: "I think he broke out of his shell in high school, honey."
Wayne: "Yeah, but still."
Von der letzten Aufnahme wird dann auch hier zu Wayne im Auto übergeblendet.
Extended 58,8 sec longer
25:26 / 26:25-26:41
Before the scene in the bar we can see West sitting in front of it in the car. He sighs and puts his badge down.
37:40-37:53 / 38:56-39:09
On the mention of lithium as a medicine, the TV version remains consistently in the conversation.
In the Extended Version, there are two flashbacks and West instead.
Extended 0,6 sec longer
38:56-39:01 / 40:12-40:21
In the Extended a short flashback follows with a soft fade and the off comment is a bit longer: "...we just played. I play this game with funny dice with the boy, and hide-and-seek. And Miss Isabel..."
In the TV version, there are only two shots of Watts and Wayne.
Extended 3,8 sec longer
45:15 / 46:35-46:40
Watts a little earlier, he shakes his head and says: "I knew you'd been talking to them film people."
54:58 / 56:23-60:34
Before you see the thoughtful Wayne from 2015 in bed, there is another scene two years earlier. Wayne and Amelia are talking in the bedroom, apparently planning a trip and finally her dying quietly in her sleep.
Amelia says, while Wayne ponders an old family photo; "What are you doing?"
Amelia: "You, thinking? Thinking about what?"
Wayne: "Us. The kids. Me being half a fool and almost none of it happened."
Amelia: "Oh, stop. Come on."
Wayne: "I know. I'm just saying I know. I mean, I'm real grateful to you. Thank you for our life."
Amelia: "You haven't been like this in a long time."
Wayne: "Yeah, I know. It's just... It's just now. I feel something. I don't know. It was like someplace I hadn't been, but I had been to. It's just... I felt all of a sudden like I had to let you know. Right away."
Amelia: "You don't have anything to feel bad about, hon."
Wayne: "Hey. You are pretty-looking, huh? This old thing."
Amelia: "Well, you earned it. I saw you."
The next morning, Wayne says in front of the mirror: "Check this heater before we go. I woke up ice-cold. I was thinking, baby... Why are we going to France at all? I'd rather spend another week in Nairobi or Italy. Hmm?"
He sees that Amelia doesn't move in bed and shakes her in disbelief.; "No, not yet. No. No, not yet. Wait... Oh, no."
251,3 sec (= 4:11 min)
66:11-66:15 / 71:47-73:19
The car ride starts slightly earlier in the Extended, daughter Beccy expresses a few critical words.
Wayne: "We don't talk much, do we?"
Beccy: "It's been awhile. You and I tend to leave voicemail, so. It's not that... I mean... I love you, Dad, but since Mom passed, we don't connect that much."
Wayne: "I didn't mean for that to happen."
Beccy: "Well, you know, Mom was the one who called every Sunday. She'd put you on the phone for a couple minutes, but she was the one who called."
Wayne: "I've never been good at reaching out. I come to see that. And now I'm forgetting things. Everything."
Beccy: "You don't know why you were out there at all? Nothing?"
In the TV-version, the follow-up shot starts a little earlier (and Beccy says "It's different than I remember." like in the last shot).
Extended 88.5 sec (= 1:29 min) longer
67:22-67:25 / 74:27-74:45
Wayne hands over keys and a note to his son in the Extended Version at the beginning of the scene and says: "No more driving for me, I guess. We'll figure something out. Uh..."
In the TV-version, an additional close-up to start with and here he says (as in the last shot from the Extended) "Had this in my pocket...".
Extended 15.9 sec longer
68:45-68:46 / 76:06-76:15
In the Extended Version, some dialogue with West and finally the shot with the son interfering in the conversation a little earlier.
West: "Oh. Hello, miss. I'm Roland West."
Heather: "You sure are."
In the TV-version, Wayne moves down longer in the same shot instead and in this shot you can already hear the son introducing his wife Heather off screen (what you see here onscreen in the Extended).
Extended 7.7 sec longer