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Who Does Matthew McConaughey Play On True Detective?

From making audiences laugh in "Dazed and Confused" to winning an Academy Award for "Dallas Buyers Club," Matthew McConaughey has been known to give stellar performances. Many would agree that one of his absolute best takes place on the small screen in HBO's "True Detective." But who does the actor play in the show's first season?

The first run of "True Detective" was an award-winning, critically acclaimed affair. In terms of viewership, a report from Vulture indicated that the Season 1 premiere, which aired in January 2014, was the biggest debut for a series from the premium cable powerhouse since 2010. Additionally, "True Detective" had the highest gross viewership of any first-season series on HBO since 2001. Out of all the recognition the captivating crime drama received during its initial outing, a considerable amount of credit went to McConaughey's performance as Rust Cohle. 

The Louisiana State Police homicide detective, also known as The Taxman, went above and beyond the call of duty several times, including participating in an off-the-book undercover heist gone wrong and crafting a counterfeit shootout to keep his partner out of trouble. While his beliefs may seem a bit bleak and his personality is not very sociable, the dark, gritty gumshoe proved to be the kind of individual people want hunting monsters like Errol Childress (Glenn Fleshler). 

Cohle is most certainly a fan favorite, which is why followers of "True Detective" might be excited to learn that some evidence suggests he could potentially make a comeback.

Could Rust Cohle come back in True Detective: Night Country?

The first trailer for "True Detective: Night Country" proves the series is back on track, but it has also sparked some serious speculation regarding a potential return for Rust Cohle, who was completely absent from Season 2 and only mentioned in Season 3. While no official announcement has been made confirming Matthew McConaughey's involvement in the fourth season, several clues might indicate there is a chance Rust Cohle could be in the mix.

Of the many worthwhile things to notice in the trailer, fans probably recognized the infamous spiral around the 1:19 mark — the same symbol associated with the murders in Season 1. While it may just be an Easter egg, there is one individual that has ties not only to the symbol, but also to its location. It was revealed in the first run that Cohle grew up in Alaska (the setting for Season 4) and claimed to have visited the area sometime after 2002, before finding the killer in 2012.

While the character's return is, at the point, all speculation, McConaughey has said he would reprise the role. The actor told Esquire, "It would have to be the right context, the right way." Regardless of whether he returns in "True Detective: Night Country," or any other iteration of the series, fans can always relive Cohle's exciting arc in Season 1 over and over again.