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  • Writer's pictureAntal Bokor

We’re Four Episodes Down in True Detective: Night Country, And Nothing Makes Sense

Jodie Foster. Photograph by Michele K. Short/HBO

I hate to say this about my fellow critics, but, what the hell show are they watching? Sure, True Detective: Night Country has some very evocative elements and great atmosphere, but if you look at the bigger picture nothing makes any sense. And with only two more episodes to go, I’m afraid it won’t ever make any sense.

Maybe the CGI polar bear that Chief Liz Danvers (Jodie Foster) keeps seeing reminds me too much of Lost, and I can’t help but be afraid of loose ends. But as it is right now, all I see are dangling threads with no resolution in sight.

Despite its attempts at shoehorning the brilliant first season into its muddied narrative,True Detective: Night Country, has very little to do with the grounded masterwork that every other season of the anthology show has failed to live up to. But Night Country is stepping into ludicrous territory. I know that the supernatural elements aren’t loved by many, but I could actually see past them if Night Country backed it up with a story that made sense. 

Sure, I’m compelled to see where it goes. But at this rate, I predict it ending in a catastrophic train wreck with a lot of dead main characters–and that’s why the show goes through monumental efforts to make sure that we hate every one of them. From Prior’s (Finn Bennett) nagging wife (seriously, it’s not like there are crazy murders like this every day) to Navarro’s complete lack of care for her partner's consent and constant putdowns.

John Hawkes. Photograph by Michele K. Short/HBO

Even if we’re not supposed to like anyone, it doesn’t make the story any more real. Despite the fact that there’s an unprecedented murder at a research facility, the story spends very little time on its extremely interesting premise, and more time threading a convoluted plot. It vacillates between being a gritty, grounded drama to a Twin Peaks style infusion of the supernatural with none of the charm that made that show so endearing.

I’ll keep watching despite what I know will be an inevitably disappointing conclusion. However, I’d love to be proven wrong. I just can’t see how the story can come together in a satisfying, cohesive way with the little time they have left.

I would have loved to see a show that actually focused on the very bizarre murder at the Tsalal Research Station. But Night Country seems just as happy to spin mysterious yarns that may fail to yield anything of substance at the end.



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