VIDEO: Mahershala Ali Looks Back at the Macabre Missing Children Case That Ruined His Career in Official ‘True Detective’ Season 3 Trailer

Carmen Ejogo and Stephen Dorff co-star on the critically acclaimed police drama, returning Jan. 13 to HBO

Mahershala Ali investigates a macabre crime in the heart of the Ozarks on Season 3 of “True Detective,” HBO’s critically acclaimed police drama. From the looks of the official trailer, however, this just might be the case that breaks him.

“November 7, 1980. It was just a case when I caught it,” Ali’s Arkansas State Police detective Wayne Hays explains in a conversation framing the clip (above). “I didn’t know it would be my last.”

Detective Hays appears at different stages of his life in the new teaser and, according to the season’s official description, the grisly story unfolds across three separate timelines. He seems to be partnered up with “Blade” actor Stephen Dorff, and together they investigate a mysterious crime involving two missing children.

“I never stopped coming up with theories about that case. There’s no certainty,” Hays continues over a montage of strained conversations, occasional gunfire, bleak crime scenes, and puzzled-looking police detectives. “My whole brain’s a bunch of missing pieces … Things I’ve seen, things I know wouldn’t do anything but cause harm.”

Season 3 also stars Carmen Ejogo (“Selma”) as an Arkansas schoolteacher connected to the missing children as well as Mamie Gummer (“The Good Wife”) and Scoot McNairy (“Argo”). It also boasts the return of series creator Nic Pizzolatto, who penned Season 1 of the series, which helped Stern Show veterans Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson both score Emmy nominations.

When McConaughey returned to the Stern Show in 2017, he opened up about playing Detective Rust Cohle on the gritty crime drama and revealed a willingness to return to TV for the right role. “I don't give a damn what screen it's on, look at the quality of this script,” he told Howard, adding, “If another [‘True Detective’ script] came around, I'd sure give it a read.” Check out more of the interview here.

“True Detective” Season 3 debuts Sunday, Jan. 13 at 9 p.m. on HBO. Watch the official trailer (above).

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