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Season 3 offers a return to form for HBO’s hit crime drama.
True Detective season 3 stars Mahershala Ali as Wayne Hays and Stephen Dorff as Roland West, two detectives who are tasked with investigating the mysterious disappearance of siblings Will and Julie Purcell in small-town Arkansas circa 1980. Scoot McNairy and Mamie Gummer play Will and Julie’s parents (and possible suspects) and Carmen Ejogo plays Hays’ wife Amelia, whom he meets while investigating the case. The first episode, expertly directed by Jeremy Saulnier (Green Room, Hold the Dark), lays out the puzzle pieces.
While True Detective‘s first season played with two timelines, season 3 ups the ante and shows Hays in three different eras: 1980, 1990 (when the case is reopened and Hays is brought back on), and 2015, when Hays is interviewed for a documentary about the cold case. Complicating matters is Hays’ encroaching dementia, which skews his memories of the case and his actions in the present. Ali, who won an Oscar in 2017 for Moonlight and more recently a Golden Globe for Green Book, owns the role and the three iterations of Hays.
Here’s everything you need to know to watch True Detective online for free.
True Detective season 3
The first two episodes of the eight-episode season debut Jan. 13 at 9pm ET on HBO. New episodes will appear every Sunday at the same time.
How to watch True Detective season 3 online for free
There’s no getting around it: If you want to watch True Detective season 3, you’re going to need a way to watch HBO. Thankfully, you have plenty of options, and all of them come with at least a one-week free trial.
1) Sling TV
- Cost: $25 to $40 per month (after a 7-day free trial) | $14.99 per month for HBO
- Sling TV devices: Amazon Fire TVs, Android Fire Stick, Apple TV, Android TV, Roku, Xbox One, Google Chromecast, Oculus Go, and iOS and Android devices
If you’re looking for a live TV streaming service and what to have more say in what channels you receive, Sling TV is your best option. The service has three different base packages—Sling Orange, Sling Blue, and Sling Orange + Blue—and more than a dozen add-on packages. That’s in addition to premium channels like HBO, which costs an extra $14.99 per month after the free trial. (Here’s a complete guide to Sling TV channels.)
- Cost: $14.99 per month (after a 7-day free trial) for HBO | $119 per year for Prime
- Devices: Amazon Fire Stick, Fire TV, Fire tablets, and Fire phone; Roku, Google TV, TiVo, Nvidia Shield, PlayStation 3 and 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Wii
HBO is one of best channels on Amazon Prime Video. If you’re already a Prime subscriber and looking to centralize your streaming all in one place, Amazon is a solid option. You won’t save any money—HBO costs $14.99 per month after the free trial—but it will be incredibly convenient.
3) HBO Now
- Cost: $14.99 per month (after 7-day free trial)
- Devices: Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, and Fire TV Cube, Android TV, Apple TV, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, Roku, Samsung Smart TV, Xbox One and Xbox 360.
It doesn’t get any better than HBO Now. HBO’s standalone streaming service delivers all of your favorite shows, documentaries, and movies in one sweet app you can stream on pretty much every device.
- The best new movies on HBO: 2018 new releases
- The best HBO documentaries
- Here’s what’s new on HBO Go
- Cost: $7.99-$11.99 for Hulu or $40 per month (after a 7-day free trial) for Hulu with Live TV | $14.99 per month for HBO
- Hulu devices: Roku, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire Stick and Fire TV, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Switch, and iOS and Android devices
You can add HBO to Hulu regardless of whether you’re using Hulu with Limited Commercials or Hulu No Commercials. But if you’re looking for a way to cut the cord, Hulu with Live TV offers more than 60 quality channels, including ESPN, HGTV, FX, and E! Regardless of which package you start from, adding HBO will cost $14.99 per month (after the free trial). Here’s a complete list of Hulu Live TV channels.
- The best new movies on Hulu: 2018 new releases to watch
- The best thrillers on Hulu
- Funny movies on Hulu when you need a good laugh
- 10 sad movies on Hulu guaranteed to make you cry
If you’re a gamer with a PS3 or PS4, PlayStation Vue is an obvious choice, allowing you to switch back and forth from streaming to gaming without ever setting down your controller. But the service also works great with Roku and Amazon Fire, among other devices. (Here’s a complete guide to PlayStation Vue channels.)
6) DirecTV Now
- Cost: $40 to $75 per month (after a 7-day free trial) | $5 per month for HBO
- DirecTV Now devices: Roku, Apple TV, Google Chromecast, and Amazon Fire Stick
DirecTV Now offers the absolute lowest price for HBO. You can add HBO to any of DirecTV Now’s five channel packages for just $5 per month. That’s an incredible deal, and DirecTV Now offers the comprehensive channel packages to boot. (You can view the full DirecTV Now channels list here.)
New to cord-cutting? Here are our picks for the best movie streaming sites of 2018 and free live TV apps and channels. If you’re looking for a specific channel, here’s how to watch HBO, Showtime, Starz, Sundance TV, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU, Willow, AMC, FX, Fox News, Freeform, MSNBC, CNN, CNBC, FS1, TBS, TNT, Tennis Channel, Golf Channel, Syfy, HGTV, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim, Bravo, Lifetime, Discovery, PBS, the CW, BBC, CSPAN, NBA TV, MTV, Comedy Central, Food Network, TLC, HLN, A&E, Animal Planet, National Geographic, the Weather Channel, the History Channel, and NFL RedZone without cable, as well as free movies on YouTube. If you’re on the move, here’s how to watch Fox Sports Go and live stream NBC Sports.
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Audra Schroeder is the Daily Dot’s senior entertainment writer, and she focuses on streaming, comedy, and music. Her work has previously appeared in the Austin Chronicle, the Dallas Observer, NPR, ESPN, Bitch, and the Village Voice. She is based in Austin, Texas.