Previously on The Night Of, “The Art of War”
“The Season of the Witch” brought out a new side of Naz and a side of Freddy we knew was there, but was hoping didn’t emerge when it came to his arrangement with Naz. Under Freddy’s protection, Naz gets his very own cell and an opportunity to get a little payback on the man who doused him in “The Art of War.” Naz takes one kick, which seems to satisfy both him and Freddy. But when the man taunts Naz, one of Freddy’s boys has to pull Naz off the guy before he kills him. Then, Naz wastes no time flexing Freddy’s muscle, taking over the common room TV while sporting a new shaved head.
Would Freddy have asked Naz for a risky favor (well, not so much asked…) were it not for this display of a dark side? Probably, but Freddy does make it clear he sees Naz’s rage and his secrets… and he likes it. Freddy wants more than Naz’s intellectual company and enlists him to swallow balloons of drugs brought in via the vagina of another inmate’s mother. Naz has not only accepted Freddy’s friendship and protection, he’s flaunted it. He can’t say no. Despite Stone’s warning that this could jeopardize his ever getting out of prison, Naz completes the task and delivers the drugs.
Chandra Kapoor (Karan) enlists Stone’s help in Naz’s case, which he gives in exchange for $30,000 up front. Considering his investigator may have found new evidence at the crime scene, and the fact Stone tracks down a missing witness, this may have been a smart investment on her part.
Stone definitely has something to prove. His new skin medication has caused erectile dysfunction, a presentation at his son’s school leaves the boy humiliated, his hooker/girlfriend seems ready to dismiss him for good, and his foot condition has spread to his hands. He needs a win and hopes to score one with Naz’s case, even after learning that their client hasn’t been completely honest with them.
Toxicology reports show that Naz and Andrea had the same drugs in their systems except one: an amphetamine in his blood was absent in hers. Despite not having a prescription, Naz admits to taking Adderall, but promises he hasn’t lied about anything else.
While Stone and Kapoor work to find evidence to free Naz, Box goes over the timeline hoping to find something to ensure a conviction. We’ve seen how the system can be very matter-of-fact and devoid of emotions, but “The Season of the Witch” highlights how the same evidence can be twisted to suit the desired narrative. The district attorney hopes to sell the moments after Andrea entered the cab as premeditation to murder. Naz kicked out the two men who’d gotten in the cab, but not Andrea. She surmises it was then that Naz decided to kill her. Box doesn’t seem convinced.
The most disturbing part of the investigation came when the DA sought the advice of the medical examiner: Could the cut on Naz’s hand occurred when he was stabbing Andrea or reaching through the broken glass of the front door? The ME is willing to say whatever the DA wants him to on the stand.
This was the best episode since the premiere and it’s partially due to the series finally diving into the investigative phase of the story. While it has been an interesting dissection of the criminal justice system in New York, the whodunit aspect is way too compelling to ignore. Watching the night unfold from the perspective of the prosecution and the defense should be interesting.
What really sends this episode over the top is the acting. Michael K. Williams and John Turturro were stellar, as usual, and Amara Karan has a nice chemistry with Turturro (I died every time she looked at his feet). Riz Ahmed, though, totally blew me away. He has transformed Naz into a different man – one with secrets, one who has quickly taken on the attitude and mannerisms necessary to survive in prison. One capable of murder? We shall see.
The Night Of - Part 5