True Detective: Night Country episode 6 review | A compelling, shocking finale

true detective night country episode 6 review
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Season 4 of True Detective comes to a shocking, emotional conclusion. Here’s our True Detective: Night Country episode 6 review.

And just like that, 6 weeks later, we’re getting ready to wrap up our coverage of the phenomenal True Detective: Night Country. Episode one had us immediately hooked with the disappearance and eventual discovery of the men of Tsalal Research Station and since then, director Issa Lopez has created quite the mystery. 

Episode 6 finally answers the questions we’ve been asking all along. Who or what killed the Tsalal men and what happened to Annie K, the Native woman who was found stabbed 32 times years ago? 

As always, this review won’t have the answers to those questions as we like to keep things nice and spoiler-free, but let’s talk about the shocking ending of episode 5 before we delve into the even more shocking events of episode 6. 

Episode 5 ended with John Hawkes’ Hank shooting Otis Heiss dead and Hank’s son Peter Prior shooting Hank dead in a shocking conclusion. Episode 6 deals with the immediate aftermath of those events; Navarro and Danvers head out to the ice cave that Heiss has pointed them to while Peter stays behind to clean off the bodies and blood. Navarro has instructed Peter to go to Rose (Fiona Shaw) for help with getting rid of the bodies, which results in a scene that’s both surprisingly brutal and tender. 

Meanwhile, Danvers and Navarro head into the ice cave where Annie died and that will hold the key to solving both bizarre crimes. While we can’t say much here, the scenes inside the ice cave are viscerally terrifying. Not in a horror film kind of way, but in a more primal way. Two women descending into a cave where another woman died is somehow incredibly unsettling and I was glued to my screen. 

true detective night country kali reis jodie foster episode 6
Credit: Sky

Things evolve quickly from here. Director Issa Lopez has been taking her sweet time, drip feeding us information for five episodes so all the revelations in episode 6 are enough to give you whiplash. It’s an overwhelming amount of information and the revelations are huge. 

It’s not just the Tsalal and Annie K. cases that we get closure on. We also finally find out exactly what happened at the Wheeler house. By this point, we’ve kind of already guessed it but seeing it unfold is still shocking. What’s most impressive about Night Country is the unflinching brutality. Never does Lopez resort to sentimentalism; violence is shown and felt, but never glorified. 

Episode 6 is the longest of the lot at 75 minutes, yet it feels a tiny bit rushed. I felt out of breath and dizzy after the episode and I slightly wish that it stretched its runtime to the full 90 minutes. Just to give the big moments a little more time to breathe and for the narrative to organically come to an end. What could Lopez have done if the series was stretched to 8 episodes? 

I’ve talked a lot about the supernatural elements in Night Country in these reviews. It’s been one of my favourite aspects of watching this season and my biggest worry was that it would completely be discarded in the final episode, that everything would have a logical explanation. I won’t spoil anything here, but thankfully, Lopez has the balls not to do that. Not everything comes to a neat conclusion by the end, but it’s all addressed. 

True Detective: Night Country is simply stunning telly. It truly is a return to form after two disappointing seasons. Night Country is a clever, violent, compelling entry into the True Detective universe. I’m already planning a rewatch; I feel like I must have missed loads on my first watch of each episode and I’m keen to see how they play when you know the ending. 

That’s it for our weekly reviews of True Detective: Night Country. Thank you for joining us on this dark journey to discover what happened to the men of Tsalal station. 

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