Episode 5 brings the story together more and ends on a particularly shocking note. Here’s our True Detective: Night Country episode 5 review.
I believe I owe Issa Lopez an apology. Last week, I complained that I needed the story of True Detective: Night Country to come together and for certain subplots to be resolved.
Well, she’s just gone and delivered on that! The opening credits (more on those in a bit) list four writers for this episode, which normally isn’t a good sign. Too many cooks in a kitchen and so on. However, much like with The Last Of Us season 1, this penultimate episode of a thoroughly thrilling season might be its best.
As always, we’ll keep this a spoiler-free review of this week’s shenanigans, but we will delve into how things ended last week. Danvers and Navarro, investigating a dredging station, found Otis Heiss, a drug addict wearing Annie’s coat, who suffered similar injuries to the Tsalal men years ago.
Now in a care facility, withdrawing from a pretty severe heroin habit, Otis might be able to unlock the case of the Tsalal men and Annie’s murder. That being said, Danvers is told to shut the investigation down as the powers that be in Anchorage have decided the men froze to death in a bizarre weather-related accident. Yeah, right.
I’ve criticised Pete and Hank’s relationship before in these reviews and those two characters still feel a little on the thin side, but Finn Bennett really carries his weight here as Peter Prior. It’s not easy either; he’s surrounded by a cast of older, more experienced acting powerhouses but episode 4 really gives Bennett a chance to shine alongside Foster and Hawkes.
Now then, about those credits. I find myself never skipping them and that doesn’t happen often. Even Buffy The Vampire Slayer’s catchy tune becomes head-ache inducing when binging the iconic series, but I find myself glued to the screen with True Detective’s opening tune.
Set to Billie Eilish’s Bury A Friend, the opening credits are atmospheric. Mostly consisting of a dark road, shots of someone drowning and the occasional polar bear, I find them to be the perfect mood setter. I believe the kids these days would describe them as “pure vibes”.
It’s not just the newly Oscar-nominated Billie Eilish who gets to do a bit of singing here. John Hawkes, playing Hank, soulfully plays his guitar and sings how there “is no God”, while his somewhat estranged son secretly listens outside. I’m not religious, but if there ever was a place you could describe as godless, it would be Ennis, Alaska.
It’s a nice, quiet moment of stillness in an episode that is otherwise busy with giving you more clues and closure. While there isn’t always a lot of time to develop characters in Night Country, it’s nice to see that there is time for quieter moments even if they don’t necessarily move anything forward.
If the previous episodes have been a little slow to move the story forward, episode 5 fixes that. An overwhelming amount of information is presented but my jaw dropped several times. We won’t delve into the ending itself, but it was shocking, satisfying and captivating.
True Detective: Night Country comes to an explosive conclusion next week. Join us as we dissect it further!