After Marty surprises Cohle, wife-beatered and sweaty, having mowed his literal lawn and enjoying tea with Maggie, he has a big dumb fit about it. Maggie introduces Cohle to her friend Laurie (whom we've heard he'll consider marriage material down the road), at a cowboy bar where Marty spots his young girlfriend having a life of her own. Of course, he is unable to deal with this and stalks her home so he can beat the hell out of her guy.
Later -- after we learn that the tiny Barbie-gangbang daughter is now also drawing primitive porno for her classmates, so that whole part of the story's going great -- Maggie and Marty have the same boring fight as usual, and of course in 2012 he once again explains condescendingly to the other cops about how cheating on your wife is the only possible way to be a good husband or whatever, and it's so dumb some more.
No matter what, though, Marty's always going to less of a jerkoff than Cohle, who spends the episode being even more college freshman about everything than usual, eventually so full of it the investigators almost stop paying attention altogether. But based on his last monologue -- masturbatory nonsense about serial killer victims having a really good time towards the end of their serial-dying experience -- it's becoming clearer that at least one of the red-herring psychos they're searching for is Rust Cohle himself. I highly doubt that he could shut the fuck up long enough to kill a person, but we'll see.
The 1995 case moves along gorgeously as usual: The church graffiti leads to a tent revival (Shea Whigham, who is in everything now) whose yokel parishioners point him toward a "tall scarred man" that was associating with Dora at some point. There is a very tragic fellow you can see in the credits -- who is not the guy because he has no genitalia -- then a very tragic masturbating fellow that Cohle gets to confess basically by doing Jedi mind tricks on him. But that's just mostly like as a mean joke to make him crazy, because Cohle is a fucking weirdo control-freak.
Desperate to hold onto the case, Cohle gets into the microfiche, plumbing old records and cases for keywords. A drowning victim whose antlers may have been misplaced but who was marked with the same designs as our girls leads to a crab-fishing swamp person, and thence to her ex-boyfriend, a truly loony individual named Reggie LeDoux that promises, in two weeks, to rain hell on our boys wearing nothing but a jock, a gas mask, and his self-respect.
Over the course of several interviews in 1995, it was determined -- and exhaustively confirmed -- that Dora Lange had gotten herself involved in some kind of cult. A flyer from her stuff led the boys vaguely toward a burnt-out church which revealed more antler-lady artwork, as more cases supporting Cohle's theory about a serial killer continue to mount. It's a race to prove the theory before the Jesus Crew takes over the case. Meanwhile, control-freak Marty is having trouble controlling his various women, and Cohle continues to reveal more and more of his infinite personal problems.
A crew takes pictures of the antler art at the old church, which we learn was burned down four months previous, and the CID puts out an APB on these "Friends of Christ." This leads the Boys within the week to a tent revival where everybody is very glamorous in their apparel, and very into being at church.
Pastor: "He saw you in those dark corners, He heard you... You are a stranger to yourself, and yet He knows you... And when your heart hardened, made you liken to the stone, and broke you from His body, which is the stars and the wind between the stars, He knew you. That is forever. This world is a veil... And the face you wear is not your own. It is merely the limitation of your senses."
Marty is kind of annoyed by all the dramatics, but not half as much as Cohle, who loves nothing more than telling stories about how awesome he is, no matter how desperately the evidence is leveraged.
Cohle: "What do you think the average IQ of this group is?"
Marty: "Ugh. You've got to feel pretty cornered if you need to get yourself off like that."
Cohle: "But they have obesity and poverty! And they give money to the church!"
Marty: "You just described people. You are talking about America like you're not American. It's pitiable. So, not everybody wants to sit alone in an empty room beating off to murder manuals. Some folks enjoy community, the common good."
Cohle: "But how can it be the common good if I think it's stupid? Me, who has demonstrably cut myself off from the common good and thinks we should all commit suicide, and therefore am an expert."
Pastor: "Your sorrows pin you to this place. They divide you from what your heart knows, and there are a lot of good hearts out there. I see a lot of joy out there."