April 17, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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True Detective: Night Country “Part 2”

Season Four, Episode Two

I’ll say this much for this season of True Detective:  it sure is going for the creepy.

The question for me, then, is whether or not this True Detective  is trying too hard.  There’s a good deal of, well, stuff going on here, and I think that may be worth noting since I think there’s only six episodes here.  Beyond whatever is going on with Danvers and Navarro, there’s the father-and-son Priors, with the father Hank possibly being catfished while the son Peter is maybe ruining his home life by doing whatever Danvers asks of him, the implication for this episode seems to be that Liz Danvers has a lot of former lovers in town, and then there’s old Rose Aguineau who may have some spiritual insight on things as someone who is maybe a witness.  Meanwhile, both Danvers and Navarro are dealing with issues involving relatives of their own.  Is this too much?

I, honestly, don’t know yet.  It’s very possible that the show can balance all of these storylines, but that’s a real wait-and-see at this point.

That said, one of the things True Detective at its best can do is balance compelling character work for whatever detectives are looking into the crime, the brutal and often bizarre crime itself, and maybe a hint of something otherworldly.  And I’ll treat the season three lead character’s senility in his old age as a hint of otherworldliness.  There’s stuff here, but if this season is trying to emulate season one, then Aguineau’s line about how you shouldn’t confuse mental illness with contact with the spirit world is pretty relevant.  The pile of corpses and the condition they are in, frozen as they are in a solid block, could very well be signs of hypothermia.  Plus, it turns out one of the residents of the Arctic station, the one who had a relationship with the murdered activist woman, is not among the pile of corpses.

Then again, the episode also reveals the station scientists were researching possible ancient bacteria that could do things like treat cancer and the like.  And the only real line of dialogue that came out so far from the station was one of the men there saying “she” was awake.

So, what could I make of all this?  I mean, I saw Christopher Eccleston, here as a state trooper or something named Ted Connelly, the man who is both Danvers’s off-and-on-again sex partner and the cop who set her up as the chief of this small town, speaking with…some kind of a weird accent.  There’s an abandoned trailer full of stuff that’s a tribute to  Anne Kowtok, set in the creepiest way possible, and a whole host of other things that are probably shooting for something that isn’t normal, but I think the better explanation is, given this story is set during the multiple days of night period in this part of the world, the general cold and inhospitable environment, and how it’s soon to be Christmas, this might just be the sort of unforgiving place where people are going to probably go a little nuts just to cope.

Or not.  Not only was there one scientist missing, but one of the corpses wasn’t dead either.