In 1995, Hart and Cohle locate the owner of the burnt-down church, preacher Joel Theriot, learning that Dora Lange was often seen with a tall man with facial scarring, and begin searching for him while being pressured to turn the case over to the task force. Hart begins to reconnect with Maggie despite her fascination with Cohle, and assaults Lisa's new boyfriend out of jealousy, questioning his own morality. Cohle goes through dead body files in search of cases similar to Lange and learns of Rianne Olivier, a supposed accidental death that shared elements with Lange's murder. They learn through Olivier's grandfather that she attended Light of Way, a religious school owned by Reverend Tuttle, before running off with her boyfriend Reggie Ledoux, a drug dealer, repeated sex offender and former cellmate of Lange's ex-husband, and head out to question Ledoux.
In 2012, the Papania and Gilbough interviews of Hart and Cohle identify their character flaws, particularly Hart's hypocritical views on morality and Cohle's nihilistic view of the world.