'True Detective' Finale: Mahershala Ali Says Hays 'Desperately' Needs to Solve the Case

Jim Halterman
Finale HBO

"As long as they can't solve this crime, they're not whole," says True Detective's Mahershala Ali of his character, Alzheimer's-stricken former detective Wayne Hays, and his ex-partner Roland West (Stephen Dorff) on the HBO crime drama.

The well-plotted third season has revolved around the case of a missing girl — and her murdered brother — hopscotching around three time periods: 1980, 1990 and 2015.

'True Detective' Episode 7 Goes Back to Where It All Began (RECAP)

'True Detective' Episode 7 Goes Back to Where It All Began (RECAP)

'True Detective' past meets 'True Detective' present in the penultimate episode of the season.

The ticking clock in that last timeline has been Hays's unfortunate, and increasingly frequent, memory lapses, robbing him of vital clues. "Wayne is grasping at things that'll help him not sink so fast, and the case is part of that," Ali says. "He desperately needs to close this out."

The February 24 finale will at last reveal the truth.

To play Hays up to age 70, the 45-year-old actor was made over with gray hair and wrinkles. Looking in a mirror was no problem, Ali says: "I didn't see myself, and that was the gift."

But his daughter, Bari Najma, reacted differently. "She's only 2, so she would get a little scared!"

True Detective, Season 3 Finale, Sunday, February 24, 9/8c, HBO