True Detective 4×06 Review: “Night Country” Part 6 – Season Finale

true detective season 4 night country episode 6 finale review
Liz falls through the ice in True Detective Season 4 “Night Country” Episode 6 (Image via Trailer)

Episode 6 of True Detective season 4, “Night Country”, offered an intense finale that provided a bunch of answers while keeping the mysterious supernatural elements going.

With how things have played out during the previous episodes, I was very interested in seeing how the finale of “Night Country” was going to handle the real and surreal aspects of the case being worked on by Liz and Navarro. I mean, I knew the murders couldn’t be tied up with a simple, “The ghosts in the snowstorm did it!” because Liz and Navarro had to bring some physical evidence to the table due to the nature of playing detectives on such a show. On the other hand, I also didn’t want to see the writers completely throwing away the paranormal elements by explaining everything through empirical data. 

I’m glad to report that the finale was able to strike the right balance. Yes, we got a grounded explanation about what happened to the Tsalal scientists. However, the narrative still told the audience that there was something supernatural afoot as well.

Major spiritual aspects of the story this season were showcased via Navarro. And the finale was no different. The opening had Liz and Navarro dig into the underground ice tunnels, and it was Navarro listening to a strange voice that led them to the little research station the Tsalal scientists had built.

Now I have to say, the writers could have handled the reveal a bit better. The research station was directly under the Tsalal Research Station and it felt weird seeing Liz and Navarro happen upon it without mentioning how close the tunnels were to said station. I guess they likely spent more time walking around inside the tunnels, but it felt like a few minutes to me.

The small underground research center and finally being able to interrogate Raymond Clark linked to what we already knew about the Tsalal scientists wanting access to an ancient microorganism buried in the permafrost. Apparently, the microorganism held the key to planet-changing biological discoveries. The only new information we got from Raymond was that the scientists were faking the numbers of the pollutants being produced by the mine. Turns out, the scientists wanted the mine to produce more pollutants because it helped soften the permafrost. 

I liked how Liz and Navarro handled Raymond. I’m not saying they did the right thing, but I understand why they did what they did considering the circumstances. The dude had attacked both women and even after being tortured (by being forced to listen to Annie’s last video on loop), he still managed to lie about his role in her death. I think Liz and Navarro realized he was lying about his hands being clean.

By having the three characters stuck in the research center due to the snowstorm, the writers took the chance to continue developing Liz and Navarro’s relationship. We learned about what happened during the Wheeler case the two worked on in the past. We also had Navarro bring up Liz’s dead son Holden and the message he wanted to give Liz through Navarro.

Of course, Oscar-winner Jodie Foster killed in the Holden-related scenes. Liz being angry at Navarro for mentioning Holden in such a manner was definitely in character. As someone who didn’t (or didn’t want to) believe in the spiritual realm, Liz wasn’t going to entertain Navarro’s need to deliver a message from the beyond. However, being around Navarro and working on the current case had also changed Liz’s understanding of the paranormal. It also made sense for her character to give in (after experiencing a near-fatal incident) and allow Navarro to share Holden’s message.

Liz’s acceptance of Navarro’s spiritual connection also had her state that even though she was okay with Navarro one day deciding to follow the strangely appealing voices, Liz would appreciate her coming back. The two started out rough when the show began due to their professional history, but the finale had the two women rebuild their relationship and land on mutual respect. There’s still going to be friction between them if they ever team up on another case, but at least, I think, they will continue to consider each other as friends. 

Coming back to who killed Annie, it was revealed to be the Tsalal scientists. They weren’t happy about Annie finding their research and the pollutant numbers after she began dating Raymond. She had to go. The entire flashback scene was quite intense, especially with how it was visualized. As they say, horror can be heightened for viewers if creatives know how much of an incident should be kept offscreen. And Issa López and her creative team knew exactly what to show without overexploiting Annie’s murder.

As for who killed the Tsalal scientists? The answer linked back to episode 1 and the women who worked as cleaners at the research facility. Knowing the cops weren’t on their side, they had to take matters into their own hands to ensure Annie got the justice she deserved.

Take note; the women didn’t technically kill the scientists. They simply rounded them up, stripped them naked, and had them run into the snowstorm. They left their clothes behind in case the men found their way back. And while one might conclude the severe cold killed the men, you have to remember that according to the unofficial forensic analysis that Liz had Peter’s friend do, the men had been killed before they froze to death.

There’s also the unanswered question of how Annie’s tongue was found at the Tsalal Research Centre the night the men were attacked.

So, yeah, the overall narrative of “Night Country” kept the supernatural thread going. The men were likely killed by the spirits they encountered that night because of what they did to Annie and how they played a role in polluting the environment (which had caused stillbirths and destroyed wildlife). The men died in fear which was something that, according to the unofficial forensic analysis, didn’t happen when people succumbed to the cold.

I get certain viewers not appreciating the conclusion involving a bunch of women taking revenge in such a manner, especially a group made of Indigenous women. But as far as my opinion goes, considering what’s been happening in “Night Country” and the focus on Indigenous women from the very start, everything connected well together. Also, let’s not pretend that the police and similar authorities have had a good track record of properly serving such communities (Killers of the Flower Moon anyone?). 

The case was brought to a close by Liz sharing a video that had Raymond confessing to falsifying the pollutant report. Hank and Otis’ deaths were justified as well. And Navarro disappeared in the wind. Apparently, she’s still out there because as Liz said, no one really leaves Ennis. I loved the final shot of Liz and Navarro seemingly sharing the same space together.

Talking about a couple of gripes, I have to mention Navarro seemingly leaving Qavvik. That felt like an unnecessary thing to do if Navarro wasn’t exiting Ennis permanently.

Also, Peter’s storyline needed more time during the finale. The young cop had to kill his father and then go to Rose to help dispose of Otis and his dad’s bodies in the sea. Even though he was doing okay after the short timeskip, I feel the finale didn’t allow him the chance to express his emotions.

All in all, True Detective season 4 “Night Country” was a strong addition to the long-running franchise, with obvious callbacks to the first season. I don’t know when a new season will be released, but I do want Foster to do more roles where she cracks open murder mysteries.

What did you think of True Detective: Night Country Part 6?

Let us know.

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.

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