True Detective: Night Country (season 4)

So far, True Detective: Night Country has everything that it needs to be excellent but suffers from plot bloat and wokeness
66/100352899
Starring
Jodie Foster, Kali Reis, John Hawkes
Creator
Nic Pizzolatto
Rating
TV-MA
Genre
Crime, Drama, Mystery
Where to watch
Max
Overall Score
Rating Overview
Story/Plot
68%
Visuals/Cinematography
75%
Performance
77.7%
Direction
71.3%
Non-Wokeness
40%
Rating Summary
Full of woke and bloated with too many subplots, the first 3 episodes of season 4 of True Detective: Night Country do as much right as they do wrong.

The setting for True Detective: Night Country, Alaska’s “polar night,” is a captivating winter phenomenon above the Arctic Circle, plunging regions like Utqiaġvik into about 66 days of continuous darkness. However, this absence of sunlight unveils a mesmerizing display—the northern lights. The aurora borealis transforms the polar night into a celestial canvas, where vivid ribbons of green, pink, and purple dance across the sky. Far from a mere absence of light, Alaska’s polar night is a unique spectacle that turns the winter darkness into a cosmic showcase of nature’s brilliance.

True Detective: Night Country (S4:E1)

Critical ratings for Episode 1 of True Detective: Night Country - A visual representation of ratings, reflecting the reception and review scores from various sources.When eight scientists vanish without a trace, former partners Liz Danvers and Evangeline Navarro will begin to uncover a mystery that may run deeper than anyone could have believed.

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1 Vacation
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Episode 1 of True Detective: Night Country has all of the elements that could lead to an excellent season of TV: murder, intrigue, interpersonal drama; and instead of ego-driven verbosity crafted to remind the viewer of the writer’s intelligence, the dialogue is solid and natural.

Unfortunately, as episode 1 tries to set the stage for the rest of the season, its writers unnecessarily fill it with too much. Every character has an almost overwhelming amount of personal drama to which the audience is subjected. It’s more than establishing characters; it’s on the edge of suffocation and feels like filler. The mysterious events of the primary plot are more than enough to maintain the intended levels of tension and interest.

Further complicating things, Jodie Foster and Kali Reis’s detectives, Danvers and Navarro, feel artificially forced together. Both are written as clichéd male cop characters that confuse atypical gender roles for originality.

Making up for much of what’s wrong are the performances. Everyone in True Detective: Night Country is very natural and invested. However, unsurprisingly, Jodi Foster’s performance outshines the others., it’s especially noticeable when she interacts with Reis, whose character is perpetually pissy and unlikable.

Filmed on location in both Norway and Alaska, the atmosphere is the show’s greatest asset. In a show like this, it would be easy to go overboard on the cinematics, but Director Issa López refrains and keeps things nice and tight. She’s at her best when taking full advantage of the oppressively dark and snowy tundra while focusing on the show’s more thrilling aspects.  It’s unfortunate that the script that she co-wrote doesn’t allow her to open up her stride and run.

Episode 1 of True Detective: Night Country is a mostly well-done piece with some inherent flaws that may or may not be overcome as the series progresses.

 

WOKE ELEMENTS

About every five minutes (not an exaggeration), there’s a little something tossed in that only lasts for a second, but it’s like having individual BBs thrown at your face every few minutes at dinner. They don’t hurt or affect the flavor and quality of the food, but they get really annoying really fast and ruin the experience of the meal.

 

Womankind
  • The leads’ roles are hard-as-nails cops who are written like men. Maybe it could have worked for one of them. After all, Jodie Foster is one of the greatest actors alive today. She could make a reading of Ikea directions seem compelling. However, neither Reis nor her character are quite up to the task, and it all comes off as a self-insert.
    • It’s exacerbated by the fact that Foster’s character’s subordinate, of course, is a vastly inferior man in all respects, if for no other reason than for Foster to dunk on him.
  • In one of the opening scenes, the one-lady cop is able to dominate a much larger and very fit man. He’s drunk, but he’s also a belligerent a-hole with no respect for women or authority who is at least a head taller, ten years younger, and outweighs her by 40-50lbs.
    • Yes, I know that Reis is a professional boxer, and she probably could have dealt with the guy. However, at one point, she easily restrains him with one hand for a sustained period.
      • Anybody else see that video of three or four lady cops trying to subdue a single skinny drunk guy? Spoiler: he escapes until a large male bouncer gets involved.
  • The lady cop does a reverse booty call.
    • She shows up at the guy’s door.
    • She’s in the dominant position.
    • He stays naked in bed as she cleans herself up and prepares to leave
    • He asks her to stay, and she stoically doesn’t respond, just smirks.
    • He softly says to her, “The next time that you call, I won’t pick up.”
    • Another smirk, and she leaves.

 

Birdshot
  • Foster’s adoptive daughter (exact age unknown: 16 to 20) is introduced after having been caught making a lesbian sex tape. Her sexuality has absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the episode.
  • There’s a smattering of “Police work harder to solve ‘white’ crimes than they do ‘indigenous’ ones” being thrown around.
  • So far, the jerk criminals have been white, while the riotous “activists and protestors” mentioned have been Eskimos. Their lawbreaking is understandable… maybe even noble.

 

True Detective: Night Country (S4:E2)

Critical ratings for Episode 2 of True Detective: Night Country - A visual representation showcasing the reception and review scores from diverse sources, reflecting the ongoing intrigue and quality of the series.Episode 2 of True Detective: Night Country picks up immediately following the conclusion of the previous installment. A mass grave of frozen scientists has been located, creating more questions than answers.

Unlike season one, which starred Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey as partners and unlikely friends, Night Country is full of loathsome and unlikeable characters solving a vague crime that it’s hard to care about. The magic sauce in the first season was the chemistry shared between its incredibly charismatic leads. Despite their character’s deep flaws, audiences found themselves emotionally invested in their success and failures.

So far, in the latest season of the uneven series, the lead characters are as cold and miserable as the frozen tundra in which the series is set. Despite her prodigious talent, Jodie Foster isn’t known for playing warm and identifiable characters, and unfortunately, her costar, Kali Reis, is equally distant and plays a character whose emotions are as hard as a frozen core sample.

Equally disappointing is that the mystery doesn’t seem too mysterious. It wants to be, but the writers have left enough breadcrumbs to make a loaf. An interesting twist or two may be introduced between now and its remaining four episodes. However, with episode 2’s glacial pacing, it’s hard to recommend that anyone stick it out long enough to find out.

 

WOKE ELEMENTS

Girl Power
  • In addition to the two emotionally stoic female leads, 90% of the side characters are coincidentally women, at least the competent ones.

 

Men Are Only Good For One Thing
  • No character, male or female, is a person worthy of praise. However, the show must emasculate men whenever possible.
    • The same emasculated man from episode one who was booty-called is shown being in touch with his feelings and soaking in a bubble bath alone with a series of lit candles.

 

North Lesbos
  • They make sure to awkwardly and needlessly remind us that the 17-year-old character is a lesbian.
    • They also show pictures of a very young-looking girl who is the lesbian’s lesbian girlfriend in a bra.
      • It doesn’t matter that the actresses are “old enough” the show is sexualizing teenagers.

 

They’ve Poisoned The Waterhole
  • There’s a burgeoning subplot about an evil mine callously poisoning the local water.

 

True Detective: Night Country (S4:E3)

true detective night country. ratingsThe third episode of Night Country is a slight improvement over the last one, with slightly better pacing and a more focused story. However, it still suffers from too much character baggage and a need to kick men in the balls whenever possible.

 

WOKE ELEMENTS

 

I Don’t Know But I’ve Been Told, Eskimo…
  • They have yet to naturally squeeze in various character’s lesbianism, but that hasn’t stopped them from trying.
    • Now, apparently, Reis’s character is bi-sexual.

 

Nanook Ain’t Got Nothin’ On Me
  • The indigenous people are deeply spiritual and special, while “whitey” is not so much.
  • “Not for white boys” is an unironically uttered line.

 

You Load 16 Tons, And Whaddaya Get
  • White run/owned min is evil and has no problem poisoning the water supply, and only the Eskimos seem to be affected by it or care.

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James Carrick

James Carrick is a passionate film enthusiast with a degree in theater and philosophy. James approaches dramatic criticism from a philosophic foundation grounded in aesthetics and ethics, offering insight and analysis that reveals layers of cinematic narrative with a touch of irreverence and a dash of snark.

35 comments

  • Ele

    February 1, 2024 at 9:04 am

    “it’s like having individual BBs thrown at your face every few minutes at dinner. They don’t hurt or affect the flavor and quality of the food, but they get really annoying really fast and ruin the experience of the meal.”

    That got a chuckle out of me. It created a great mental image of a put-upon father trying to enjoy his steak while his 5-year-old keeps chucking BBs at him and giggling each time the old man sighs and gives him a pleading look to stop.

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    • Sweet Deals

      February 2, 2024 at 4:01 pm

      I’d say a closer simile would be like receiving an invitation to a “free” dinner and a lecture. Except once you get there, you find the meal is terrible and it’s all just a scam to take your retirement money or sell you a timeshare you don’t want. The meal is a formality and the opportunity to throw BBs at the guests is the point. Just like the plot of the show is a poorly-thought-out formality and it’s really a delivery vehicle to put awkwardly-shoehorned racism, sexism and homosexuality on your TV.

      Some people might show up because they’re hungry and won’t say no to free food, but I’d rather stay home.

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  • Edleeca Thompson

    February 1, 2024 at 5:47 pm

    So, am I to understand that because there may be some truth to the dialogue quote (from the Birdshot) that there’s a smattering of “Police work harder to solve ‘white’ crimes than they do ‘indigenous’ ones” mean that the show is “woke”? Please explain your reasoning.

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    • Jay

      February 15, 2024 at 1:16 pm

      ” Woke” is the opposite of Reality and common sense

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    • Fatnike

      February 26, 2024 at 9:30 am

      lol. You singled out that one thing as if that’s all they said when it’s not that alone but in conjunction with all the other elements that ruin the show. It’s not about the main characters being female, it’s about how they took a high quality show with a wide audience and reduced it to a vehicle for their political messaging. Look up political art. You’ll notice that it’s all terrible and not creative. That’s the problem. The show sucked. It was not to entertain the crowd it was feminist writers “making men uncomfortable” as is their stated goal ever since achieving equality. They don’t actually make us uncomfortable though, as ignoble and obnoxious of a mission that is.

      Reply

  • Borrieboy

    February 1, 2024 at 6:14 pm

    Ep.4 doesn’t fare an awful lot better. It’s getting close to being dumped… All that passé “whitey & men bad”, indigenous women “good & wise but with the addition of mystical powers bs”.
    Not much of a mystery unfolding by this episode. And the indigenous women… wow, are they ugly.

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  • Henry

    February 1, 2024 at 8:24 pm

    I loved the first season of True Detective, and even liked the often-derided Vince Vaughn season, but this is True Detective in name only. Series creator Nic Pizzolatto had no creative input at all, so I’m not sure how they can even get away with calling it that. There is nothing to connect this season to the previous works by Pizzolatto, so the title is just a marketing gimmick to trick people into watching. Like a lot of woke entertainment, it’s trying to piggyback off the success of a preexisting franchise.

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    • Fatnike

      February 26, 2024 at 9:34 am

      They did mention Tuttle and make a bunch of call backs to season 1 to be fair, but it felt like it didn’t serve the plot in anyway except to remind us that even tho nick pizzolatto was pushed out of his own creation so less talented diversity hires could have a chance. You know, instead of just making their own original content they gave to deface stuff that already exists. This is why I don’t believe it’s genuine it’s just Marxist deconstructed(destroyed) agitprop.

      Reply

  • Bunny With A Keyboard

    February 2, 2024 at 12:16 pm

    I wouldn’t say it’s a reverse booty call if it’s a woman doing it. It’s just a booty call. Just because Hollywood sees it as perfectly acceptable for women but not for men doesn’t mean we should treat it any differently.

    Same way reverse racism is just racism.

    Reply

    • James Carrick

      February 2, 2024 at 12:22 pm

      My comment is less about the immorality of the act than it is about the wokeness of the role reversal of the woman as the aggressor.

      Reply

    • Joe Cool

      February 10, 2024 at 8:41 am

      I shut it off after the “I eat old white women like you for lunch” comment to Jodie Foster. You’d never see a white character say that line to another race these days because it’s a racist comment. I barely made it past the scene with the women taking down the drunk guy 4x her size at the beginning of the show. It’s almost like they are required to degrade men and whites a dozen times before the episode is green lit. Such contrived trash.

      Reply

    • Marie

      February 17, 2024 at 5:17 pm

      Woke woke woke. .
      Stop assaulting movies/ series by these terrible limitations, censures and denying the reality.
      At least make these in an artistic way and of course believable!
      Disgusting

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      • Bunny With A Keyboard

        February 17, 2024 at 6:23 pm

        How? How can the woke possibly be expected to make anything approaching reality when they live in a fantasy world where woke propaganda is real?

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    • Anise

      February 21, 2024 at 3:22 pm

      I’ve had many boots calls and I’m a woman. Men don’t have a proprietary on it. Get real.

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      • Bunny With A Keyboard

        February 21, 2024 at 4:45 pm

        I think the point the article wanted to make was, if we have a man show up for a booty call, lead the woman on, and break her heart, then the man is shown as a jerk and the woman as a victim. However, reverse the roles and the woman is shown as empowered and the man as pathetic.

        You might do booty calls, but I don’t expect you smirk if they ask you to stay or if they hate themselves for letting you in. It’s probably far more consensual on both sides and understood not to be anything more, right?

        Reply

  • Easy E

    February 11, 2024 at 2:30 pm

    It might be episode 4, not sure, a white posse shows up with their trucks honking Dixie like the Dukes of Hazzard General Lee. When they leave an orange is picked up which is supposed to clearly symbolize Donald Trump. This is why I hate watching shows with my wife. Can escape biased political cheap shots against half the nation.

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    • Bunny With A Keyboard

      February 11, 2024 at 2:57 pm

      It’s important to remember: if someone is infected with the woke mind virus, it’s not like they suddenly get smarter when it’s time to write something that demands creativity. It’s not a joke when we say that this is the best their woke minds can do. Both the woke who watch and the woke who make it don’t understand how bad it is in the same way that small children might have food chopped up in front of them and can’t understand that the amount of food has not changed.

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  • Gary

    February 15, 2024 at 11:29 pm

    WOKE! Season 4 is God awful! White man bad, and everyone else is good. What a freaking joke Hollywood is these days pumping out woke trash movies!

    Reply

  • Ktuff_morning

    February 16, 2024 at 8:45 am

    Episode 4: I can take the birdshot but I don’t want to invest in a mystery series that in the end will turn out to be ABOUT woke. What else would we expect from a show in this day and age directed by a woman (as they keep reminding us)? No it isn’t a scary horror movie with a cool monster or an intellectually-stimulating drama about a scientific experiment gone awry, it just ends up being about oppressive straight white males getting their just desserts with some ill-defined “mystical wokeness” as a garnish. Jodi Foster’s straight white male bitch shoots his own straight white male father in the head. Wow. They’re taking toxic wokeness to a whole new level; manipulate straight white males to kill each other. Why even did he do that? I would never kill my own father to stop him from killing my boss. BTW not only did the father help cover up the murder but he tried to order a russian mail-order bride. How dare he. Clearly he “deserved” to be killed. Normally I like being right but this is going to get worse. I predict Anne’s suicide will be literally a murder by a white male and all the scientists who died (who happen to be all white males) will have deserved it and, somehow, they will have all died from “guilt”. BTW I loved when Reis got her ass kicked. How often does THAT happen? HBO earns unwoke points for that, but the points will be rescinded if she still ends up getting “revenge” (for something she in fact deserved).

    Reply

    • Bunny With A Keyboard

      February 16, 2024 at 11:02 am

      No woke stories are good, but woke mysteries are especially bad.

      Let’s say you have a murder and the three suspects are a devout Muslim man, a rich white man with an airtight alibi, and a Hispanic woman who’s very clearly hiding a secret.

      You don’t need me to tell you who it was. You already know.

      Reply

      • Sweet Deals

        February 16, 2024 at 9:40 pm

        The murderer wasn’t any of them. It was secretly the dog with the shifty eyes. However, the dog’s owner happens to be the rich white man with the airtight alibi. He just happens to be too stupid to notice that his dog is a murderer and too ineffectual to keep his dog on a leash. Because the culprit was a dog, he can’t be brought to justice because laws don’t apply to dogs. Instead, the rich white man owner has to take the punishment. He will spend the next three years in community service cleaning up dog poop from dog parks with his bare hands while the Hispanic woman lectures him about taking better care of his dog, and the devout Muslim gets rewarded because he knew it was the dog all along. It’s the perfect woke twist ending.

        I couldn’t resist. The joke wrote itself.

        Reply

        • Bunny With A Keyboard

          February 16, 2024 at 9:51 pm

          You do realize that, not only did you spend far more time working on this than the woke would, but it’s far more creative than anything the woke could imagine, right?

          Reply

      • Ktuff_morning

        February 18, 2024 at 11:32 pm

        Yeah, woke mysteries are ambushes.

        Reply

  • Joe shmo

    February 21, 2024 at 3:29 pm

    So let me get this straight. Everyone here keeps commenting about how the women are portrayed as men. So what you’re basically saying is that all men are pompous a******* that are selfserving, ,arrogant, violent, and emotionless.

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    • Bunny With A Keyboard

      February 21, 2024 at 4:36 pm

      I’ve been watching the show Reacher, and the protagonist often comes across as unnecessarily abrasive. He’ll step up to help people when there’s nothing in it for him, but he also gets in a lot of arguments that make him look like a jerk when he could just talk things out like a civilized gentleman.

      Now, the big issue is that the woke will call it toxic masculinity but have no problem with a woman doing the exact same stuff.

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  • Ktuff_morning

    February 22, 2024 at 7:30 am

    Episode 6: I was right it did turn out to be a murder and they tortured the guy with guilt before they executed him. They’re law enforcement officers committing cold-blooded murder without comment or explanation which infers bloodthirsty wokeness is above moral justification.

    And finally, no there’s nothing supernatural here at all, the symbol was just an orange peel. Like I said, the mystical stuff was just garnish..literally! The son wiping up his father’s blood was sickening to tell you the truth. I’m no milksop but the wokeness is just so…graphic…

    I stopped watching at this point. Who cares how it winds down. I was thinking John Carpenter’s The Thing at the beginning and instead all I get was…something truly sick.

    The movie scores on this site are controlled by the web owner, which makes them invalid. Also, there’s very few movies and shows to review. Why can’t we do any movie or TV show we want? At least we can talk about woke in here without being banned.

    Reply

    • James Carrick

      February 22, 2024 at 7:49 am

      Out of curiosity, why exactly are my scores “invalid.?”

      Reply

      • Ktuff_morning

        February 23, 2024 at 8:50 am

        The increment of the scores out of a scale of a hundred suggests a precision which is a power no one man may wield.

        Reply

          • Bunny With A Keyboard

            February 23, 2024 at 10:11 am

            Regardless of what the critics may say, I’m convinced that you are a man.

  • Bunny With A Keyboard

    February 23, 2024 at 10:31 am

    Hope you weren’t expecting to be believed to be a god.

    Reply

  • Bunny With A Keyboard

    February 23, 2024 at 10:51 am

    How about guy? That starts with a little g.

    Being a guy works out, unless you’re Guy Fawkes, but then, that’s big G.

    Reply

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