Previously on The Night of, “The Season of the Witch”
As hate crimes against Muslim-Americans increase around the city, a little light is shed on Nasir’s experience as a Muslim in New York City after 9/11. Through good old-fashioned police work, Box uncovers another blemish on Nasir’s supposed clean record: a violent outburst against another student got him expelled, and later led to a school transfer. When Naz tells his side of the story to Stone and Chandra, he admits to not feeling bad for what he’d done – as he’d been relentlessly bullied – but bad that he’d caused his mother pain. This is a very real and complicated look at what it’s like to be a person of color in America.
Chandra also does some investigating and finds the hearse driver who spoke to Andrea at the gas station. He’s the hotepiest hotep to ever hotep, likening Andrea to a cat who toys with balls of yarn (men) until one strikes first. Basically, she asked for it. Chandra is rightfully suspicious as he also followed the cab out of the gas station that night.
Interesting to note that he mentions the story of Samson and Delilah, which perfectly sums up his thoughts on women being evil seductresses intent on bringing down powerful men, and just last week Naz cut off his hair and immediately gave up all of his power to Freddy. He only sinks further into prison politics this week.
The fact that Box, who’s been lauded as this great detective, hasn’t questioned the driver when he’s had the same access to the surveillance videos is disturbing. Not that the character feels anything more than yet another red herring – still, it doesn’t give the viewer much faith that the police will investigate beyond developments that fit their narrative. As such, Weiss continues to enlist professionals who will say what she wants on the stand. The mix of narcotics and alcohol in Naz’s system that night has been known to incapacitate some, while others can function just fine. Guess which cases she’ll speak to at trial?
The case continues to wear on Naz’s family in completely heartbreaking and unfair ways. His mother was fired from her job simply for being his mother, and takes work as a custodian to bring in money. His father now delivers food, which leads to an extremely awkward encounter between him and Chandra when he arrives with her dinner – dinner he leaves at her doorstep without accepting payment. And Hasan has a brief appearance, tagging his school’s lockers with spray paint.
As the trial gets underway, Naz makes more questionable decisions including getting a tattoo: one letter on each of three knuckles spelling out SIN. I’m assuming the other hand has BAD. He also accepts a hit of heroine – the same drugs he smuggled in – from Freddy after turning him down once. Curiously, the one offer he refuses (a crisp white shirt and black tie for court) turns out to be the one gift from Freddy he should have accepted as the clothes Mrs. Khan provides for her son has Naz arriving for his first day in court looking like “an extra from West Side Story.”
Chandra is definitely capable, if not a little too eager, but most importantly (according to Naz) she genuinely believes he’s innocent. It remains to be seen if this will be enough. She agonizes over her opening statement only to take Stone’s short-and-sweet advice in the end. She doesn’t press the prosecution witnesses too hard, either. Her compassion and optimism make for a nice counter against Stone’s grizzled been there/done that demeanor. (If this were to turn into an anthology series where Stone and Chandra take on different cases, I’d be totally fine with that.)
Stone visits a Chinese herbalist whose powders cure his foot condition. Good thing that, as Stone spends a lot of time pounding the pavement in search of answers. An off-the-record conversation with Andrea’s accountant reveals her stepfather Don’s past with older rich women, and opens up a possible motive for him to have committed the crime as he now inherits her mother’s millions of dollars.
Again, this seems like information Box should have easily unearthed himself. And since the accountant was seen arguing with Don at Andrea’s funeral, it’s entirely possible he’s an accomplice. I said back in episode one that I’d be fine with the series not revealing the killer, and I’m happy that it appears we will get an answer to the crime (whether Naz receives a guilty verdict or not), but I wish a bit more time has been devoted to the investigative side of the case so all of this doesn’t feel so rushed.
The Night Of - Part 6 = 9.7/10