‘True Detective: Night Country’ Episode 4 Review

‘True Detective Night Country’ Episode 4 Review

True detective season 4 review: True Detective,  Anthology series in which police investigations unearth the personal and professional secrets of those involved, both within and outside the law.

'True Detective: Night Country' Review: Iced In
‘True Detective: Night Country’ Review

True detective Series Directed by

Director Number of Episodes Year
Cary Joji Fukunaga 8 2014
Issa López 6 2023-2024
Daniel Sackheim 4 2019
John Crowley 2 2015
Justin Lin 2 2015
Nic Pizzolatto 2 2019
Jeremy Saulnier 2 2019
Daniel Attias 1 2015
Janus Metz 1 2015
Jeremy Podeswa 1 2015
Miguel Sapochnik 1 2015

True Detective Season-Premiere Recap: The End of the World

Welcome back to the mysterious world of True Detective. It might seem similar to the old True Detective, where serious cops in a gloomy place solve a puzzling crime, but there’s a change in charge. Nic Pizzolatto is not in charge anymore. He led the successful first season that even broke the internet with its finale. The following seasons were not as liked by both critics and viewers, and the series took a long break. Now, after five years, it’s back — with a new setup? Issa López is now the writer, director, and showrunner

True Detective: Night Country unfolds in the made-up town of Ennis, Alaska. This mining outpost is so close to the North Pole that one December night, the sun sets for the last time, leading to weeks of continuous darkness. In a notable change from previous stories, López has chosen two strong lady cops to maintain order: Jodie Foster plays the tough police chief Liz Danvers, and boxer Kali Reis portrays Liz’s colleague and sometimes rival, Evangeline Navarro, a state trooper haunted by the unsolved murder of a local Iñupiaq woman. Unlike Pizzolatto’s stories that were eerie and humid, Night Country takes on an icy, dark, and playful atmosphere. Even the selected theme song, Billie Eilish’s “Bury a Friend,” with its delicate yet intense sounds, signals the series’ refreshed tone.

‘True Detective: Night Country’ Episode 4 Review

Now, the first thing that Night Country wants to tell you about Alaska, and it makes sure to explain this in the opening minutes, is that it’s an extremely cold, untamed, and unwelcoming place. Additionally, due to the age of the ice, it’s a valuable location for scientists studying the origins of life on Earth. This is supposedly the mission at Tsalal Station, a secret research lab where eight men on staff suddenly disappear. The only early clue we get about how and why this happens is a researcher whispering, almost like a prophecy, “She’s awake.” The next time we see Tsalal, the men are gone, and the only sign of foul play is a severed human tongue on the floor beneath the kitchen island.

The perplexing case is now in the hands of Liz and her resentful second-in-command, Hank Prior (John Hawkes, a consistently well-cast actor). Arriving at the scene before them is junior officer Pete Prior, Hank’s son, who holds the chief in higher regard than his own father. It’s the third day of unending darkness in Ennis, and it’s been a week since anyone last heard from Tsalal’s international crew. Their TV is still on, and the men’s cell phones are scattered around. If someone hadn’t written “WE ARE ALL DEAD” on a whiteboard, you might think they were about to return any moment, questioning why the cops are there without a warrant.

Hank, who’s not great at thinking things through and holds sexist views, thinks this is the likely scenario. Liz decides to bring in search-and-rescue helicopters. Apart from the unsettling discovery of a HUMAN TONGUE ON THE FLOOR, she concludes that the men have been missing for days because the mayo on an abandoned sandwich has become runny. Drawing from her experience as a mom who has cleared out old sandwiches from her truck, she knows that mayo turning runny happens quickly. Hank, on the other hand, doesn’t know this because he’s an inattentive dad who belittles Pete in front of their boss. The dynamics here are pretty clear: Liz isn’t just a woman in a position of authority; it’s her experiences as a woman that make her more qualified than Hank. Meanwhile, Hank genuinely believes he’s going to marry some woman from Vladivostok he’s never met but promises to visit for Christmas soon.

If it seems like you’ve seen Jodie Foster investigating crimes before, Night Country wants you to know she’s not a clumsy Clarice. She possesses the profound knowledge and methodical curiosity of Hannibal Lecter; she quickly identifies the severed tongue on the ground as belonging to a Native woman, scarred from licking thread to mend fishing nets.

Hank isn’t Liz’s actual partner on the case, thankfully. Neither is Prior Jr, although he’s a good guy and a quick learner. When Liz returns to headquarters, Navarro is already waiting in her office because news of a severed human tongue spreads fast. The haunting cold case for Evangeline is the murder of Annie K, a local activist whose dead body was discovered without its tongue a few years ago. Liz insists it’s just a coincidence, but there’s no way to be sure; she simply wants Evangeline out of her office. The truth about their shared history unfolds slowly in the first episode: they used to work together on the force until Navarro was pushed into the trooper’s office. Liz makes some racist comments about Navarro’s “spirit animal,” but it’s clear she’s not fully committed to it. Whatever issue she has with Evangeline is more personal than that.

After Evangeline departs, Liz requests Hank for Annie’s case file because, unsurprisingly, it’s her tongue. How often do tongues go missing in an average small town? Hank has kept some records at home, but he hesitates to find it. It’s uncertain whether he has a reason for wanting Annie K’s case to remain unsolved or if he just enjoys sticking it to his boss. Liz gets Pete to retrieve the files from his dad’s place after work hours, causing some trouble with his wife, a nursing student named Kayla. Pete and Kayla have a son, Darwin, and it’s evident that Pete is trying hard to redefine the family dynamic in terms of fatherly involvement. Despite risking disappointment from his wife and son, he ultimately follows Liz’s orders.

Parenthood is a recurring theme across the episode. Liz is called away from work by an Ennis mom angry that Liz’s stepdaughter, Leah, was making a sex tape with her 16-year-old daughter (Leah’s age is unclear). Liz’s parenting style is tough love with a side of disinterest. She’s screaming at Leah in the cab of her truck when they hit an ice slick — a moment that reveals mother and daughter both have some baggage when it comes to auto collisions. Leah worries they’ve hit something when they clearly haven’t; as Liz approaches a vehicle that has crashed, the approach triggers a half-memory, perhaps of the last time her feet crushed the ice on the way to a similar scene.

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