Sleuths for Truth: A TRUE DETECTIVE Roundtable – Season 4, Episodes 4 & 5

The polarizing finale has already aired, but we’re playing catch up because Justin has been slammed with life stuff… but we promise, we’re still here and we have thoughts to share

Before we dive into this week’s episode, let me first remind everyone… there will be spoilers. So let this serve as a SPOILER WARNING and if you’re caught up with the show, we hope you’ll stay, share your theories, and let us know what you think about True Detective: Night Country. We’ll be posting every week with our latest thoughts on what happened and what we think is going to happen. If you’d like to join in our final post on the finale and the season wrap-up , you can submit your thoughts to me at [email protected] by 11:59 PM EST Sunday February 25th.

While many reading this have probably already seen the finale, keep in mind everything we had to share about these two fantastic episodes was prior to learning how the season would wrap. These two episodes created a ton of Internet buzz leading into the finale, complete with all types of theories, praises, concerns, complaints, and all that jazz. The dude bros kept complaining (and spoiler alert, they haven’t stopped since – with additional complaints about the finale and bellyaching about the announcement of Issa Lopez being brought back for Season 5). But, the crew here seemed to really enjoy watching everything unfold.

For our catch-up discussion on the 4th and 5th episodes, Sarah and Brad take the lead with some awesome thoughts they had before the season finale aired… let’s start with Brad’s thoughts on episode 4…

Brad Milne (Episode 4)

As we open upon episode four of this season, Danvers remains haunted by the images on the video of Annie Kotuk last moments on earth. The feminine energy that has been a strong through line throughout this season continues with Danvers both showing tenderness to both her stepdaughter and then to Navarro’s sister as the cold open concludes. After we hear Billie Eillish crooning about burying friends, Navarro consoles her distraught sister and manages to convince her that perhaps seeking treatment is the smart play. Both Reis and Foster continue to play well off of each other, their alliance always an uneasy one. They have a give and take relationship, especially as they confront school teacher Adam Bryce, Danvers forcing Navarro to work lead so as not to earn any fury from Bryce’s betrayed wife.

The male members of this season also have moments to shine, as well. The younger continues to demonstrate both his competence and his allegiance to Danvers, even when everyone else seems to be more urgently in need of his time. Christopher Eccelston returns, and though he insists on friendship, the impression that he has motives bordering on ulterior. And Pete, played by the always brilliant John Hawkes, has a moment as he awaits the arrival of his mail order Russian bride. The hope vanishing in heartbreaking fashion when he realizes she has not arrived as promised would be his Emmy moment if he were to have one. In an instant the crestfallen look on his face would be enough to break your heart if his character was worthy of any pity, from his behaviour throughout the first season. Also, Eddie Qavvik (Joel Montgrand) continues to shine in his role as Navarro’s put upon bedfellow.

It’s Reis, though, who feels like the MVP of the episode. Both in the haunting way she bids unknowingly a forever goodbye to her beloved sister, standing on one end of the hallway while her sister disappears down that hall. When she finds out that her sister has surrendered to the demons she checked into the facility at the episodes beginning to thwart swallow her whole. She goes off in search of trouble and easily finds it. First, taking out her fury on the employees of the voluntarily rehab centre. Then, instigating a fight with the same man she arrested for abusing his wife or girlfriend in the season premier. It’s an unfair fight and the outcome while not fatal isn’t pretty.

We also find out more of what happened during the Wheeler arrest. Navarro seeing things that may or may not be there, as they have a confab with each other early Christmas morning.

The episode ends with Navarro and Danvers on the trail of Raymond Clark, living in the remains of a broke down dredger. It’s a fun game of cat and mouse, with a haunted Navarro seeing things that cannot be, and Danvers coming face to face with Otis Heiss.

As the season continues to hurtle towards its conclusion I remain hooked. The investigations mix of mystical horror, and straight up mismatched detective procedural continues to be worth the commitment of time. Really love this season, easily my favourite since season 1.

(@BradMilne79 on X)

Brad Milne (Episode 5)

We are all in the night country now. The penultimate episode begins with us witnessing the cremation of Navarro’s sister Julia. It’s easily the most somber cold open yet.

There is a protest at the mine which turns into a riot that the Alaska state troopers are called into quash. Leigh Danvers step daughter throws an object which strikes Navarro in the back of the head but because of the riot gear startles more than inflicts damage. However, another state trooper takes exception and begins to attack Leigh, but Navarro intervenes on the side of right, wanting to protect the child of her ally, but Danvers being her usual standoffish self instead decides to have Navarro book Leigh into custody. Things further deteriorate as Connolly’s true motives are revealed as he tells Liz to drop it, when Kate McKittrick who runs Skyline mining in Ennis brings both into the head office to tell them the cause of death for the Tsalal men was basically accidental, as well as to enquire why Danvers and Navarro were on Skyline property at the mouth of an abandoned mining cave. With no murders the case is closed, Connolly getting assurances from Danvers she understands. To hedge her bet McKittrick enlists Hank to make sure that the engineer Otis Heiss who was taken into custody at the end of the previous episode is disappeared. When Hank claims he is not a killer, McKittrick obfuscates, but it’s clear that his death would be helpful McKittrick wanting to keep Danvers from somehow implicating the mine. Liz tells Navarro as much when she returns form her dressing down at Sun and the two women share an uncomfortable exchange, which ends with Navarro putting the unsolved murder of Annie on her. Her conscience getting the best of her, she enlists the help of Otis Heiss, who during earlier questioning says he will help if she provides his drug of choice. She is unwilling earlier in the episode but after Navarro lays the guilt on thick she agrees. In a move harkening back to season one Danvers steals heroin from evidence, much like Cohle had stolen cocaine in the first season.

The episode comes to a head at Danvers home. Where Pete has been staying after it’s revealed he blabbed to Connolly that the way Navarro and Danvers say the Wheeler case came to an end wasn’t the real truth. So she tells a homeless Prior after being booted from his not so happy home by his wife, to move out to the shed behind her home. Of course Hank has been trailing Liz and arrives intent on removing Heiss from her supervision by any means necessary. Things hit the fan when Peter arrives on the scene after hearing the gunshot that killed Otis, and after Hank seemingly aims his sights on Danvers, Peter kills him.

All hell has officially broken loose. As we are all in the dark country now. Everything I have said about the season in earlier recaps holds true, and I look forward to seeing how it all plays out.

(@BradMilne79 on X)

Sarah Jane

Boy, these last two episodes such packed a wallop!

We learn from Prior that the Tsalal station is funded by the Silver Sky Mining Company. That wasn’t really a surprise. The station was there to put out favorable data about the mining company. It’s clear that mine is poisoning the people of Ennis but you wouldn’t know it by the Tsalal figures. We also find out where Annie was murdered. AND there was a show down between the Priors, father and son. That, my friends, was one satisfying death. Danvers was told by Connelly to stop her investigation of the deaths of the Tsalal team. Apparently, they died in a weather event. Yeah, we know that shit ain’t right. I smell a cover-up! Danvers and Navarro aren’t going to stop looking into both the Tsalal deaths and Annie’s death. They know they are linked, they just need to find the rest of the missing pieces of the puzzle. All the while, Navarro is dealing with the suicide of her sister, Julia.

I’m really enjoying this season. Again, I’m loving Foster’s performance. She’s tremendous as Danvers. I hope she pops up in more things over the next couple of years. Reis, on her part, is holding her own with Foster. She’s new to me but I think she’s been great, so far. The young Prior, Finn Bennett is fantastic. He’s new to me, as well, but I think he’s perfect as the “freshman”.

I’m also in love with the setting. It’s dark, cold, isolated, and goddamn eerie. Especially so when you compare it to the hot, steamy, closeness of the previous seasons. I was happy we got the latest episode early because of the Super Bowl but now, we have to wait just that much longer for the finale. Will all the pieces be found and will everyone make it out alive?

(@FookThis on X)

While I personally, don’t have much to add for this 2 week recap that Brad and Sarah haven’t shared, I am excited to share my final thoughts on the season as a whole and the finale in a few days, so join use Monday for a final wrap-up of this fantastic season of premium television.

The Finale

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