In 1995, Hart and Cohle interrogate Charlie Lange again for information about Ledoux, his former cellmate. Lange informs them that he showed pictures of Dora to Ledoux and identifies a known associate, Tyrone Weem, as a lead. Lange also tells the detectives that Ledoux told him about a group of rich men who would get together for "devil worship" involving sacrifices of women and children. Hart tracks down Weem at a warehouse rave and forces him to name the East Texas biker gang Ledoux is now cooking meth for, the Iron Crusaders. Cohle, who previously worked with the gang while undercover, takes "sick leave" to infiltrate the gang, giving the excuse that he needs to visit his dying father. Meanwhile, Lisa spitefully tells Maggie everything about her affair with Hart, who returns home to find his family gone and his bags packed. He tries to talk to Maggie at her workplace and is confronted by security officers before Cohle arrives to take him away. Cohle hits the Iron Crusaders hangout masquerading as former security for a Mexican cartel breaking away on his own, using high-grade cocaine taken from the police evidence room to back up his claim. He negotiates with his contact Ginger (Joseph Sikora) that if given a commitment to back a deal with the gang's meth producer, Cohle will help Ginger rob a stash house in the projects. Disguised as police, they rob the stash house, shooting one of the residents, and stir up the neighborhood's inhabitants in the process, resulting in an outbreak of gunfire and chaos. With the actual police on their way, Cohle holds Ginger at gunpoint as they escape the house and make their way through the projects. Cohle contacts Hart who collects them from the scene as the police arrive.
In 2012, doubts in the investigation start to come forth as Papania and Gilbough question Cohle's sick leave, claiming that there are no hospital records of his father. Cohle tells the detectives about his father while Hart feigns ignorance.