If you haven’t seen last night’s satisfying, creepy True Detective finale, THEN TURN AWAY NOW BECAUSE WE’RE ABOUT TO SPOIL THE SHIT OUT OF IT. If you have though, then it’s likely you went to bed last night with petrifying images of TD‘s Big Bad, the hatchet-wielding serial killer Errol William Childress, seared into your brain. Some fans of the show have been complaining that after a season of conspiracy theories and supernatural speculation, True Detective reverted to a cliched version of a Southern, inbred, psychopath as its arch villain. This is true, but it does not diminish the fact that Childress is one of the most nightmarish figures to appear on television, well, ever. Credit goes to writer Nic Pizzolatto for dreaming up the hulking, scarred murderer in his nightmare factory, and to TD‘s costume and makeup departments for bringing him to life, but let’s also give props to Casting Director Christine Kromer, who saw in actor Glenn Fleshler a quality that would allow him to embody Childress with both a sense of Southern hospitality and uncontrollable fury.
As for Fleshler, a gentle giant who some of you might recognize as George Reemus on Boardwalk Empire, he’s spent most of his career performing bit parts in well-known projects like The Good Wife and Blue Jasmine, before booking the lead role in every nightmare I have for ever and ever. To assuage my—and presumably your—fear that Errol Childress is going to stab me in the stomach, lift me up by my neck, and tell me to “take off my mask,” here are a bunch of pictures of Glenn Fleshler looking friendly, cuddly, and generally non-threatening. Remember, acting.