Vol. 17, No. 09 – Jan 24 – Feb 6, 2024 – Movie Review

Streaming Spotlight by Cindy Summers
True Detective: Night Country – MAX

4 out of 4 palm trees

Night Country” is set in Ennis, Alaska,150 miles north of the Arctic Circle in mid December when they see the last sunset of the year. Local Police Chief Liz Danvers (Jodie Foster) presided over the small town comprised of Alaskan natives and those who relocated to work in the town’s mine. The TSALAL arctic research station located just outside of town housed 8 scientists from around the globe investigating the scientific origins of life primarily through drilled ice cores.

The TSALAL scientific team was going about their usual daily activities when Clark appeared to have a mild seizure, then said looking fearfully “She’s awake” just before the lights went out. A delivery man came from town three days later to find everyone gone, as if they had left abruptly (uneaten sandwich on the kitchen counter, DVD movie playing over and over) but in dropping his keys on the floor discovered a severed tongue.

When Chief Danvers arrived, Captain Hank Prior (John Hawkes) and his son Officer Pete Prior (Finn Bennett) had arrived earlier and had done an initial search, not finding any sign of the scientists though no vehicles were missing and there would be no way they could survive outside. Chief Danvers determined the eight men had been gone for at least 48 hours and the tongue’s discoloration also seemed to indicate 48 hours, as well as indentations due to constantly repairing fishing nets confirming it was a native woman’s tongue. Chief Danvers also found the message scribbled on a whiteboard that said “WE ARE ALL DEAD”.

Trooper Evangeline Navarro (Kali Reis) was waiting when Chief Danvers returned to the office wanting to know about the native tongue that was found, believing it was related to the past murder case of Anne Mosu Kowtok that they both briefly worked on together. Annie was found on the outskirts of the villages stabbed 32 times with star-shaped wounds and her tongue cut out. The murder weapon was never recovered and the details regarding removing her tongue were kept from public knowledge.

Annie was an activist fighting the town’s mine who had a lot of haters, driving everybody nuts including locals and mine workers. Navarro worked on the police force as a detective at the time and wouldn’t let the case rest, bugging the wrong prominent people like Kate McKittrick specifically. Detective Navarro showed up at McKittrick’s house demanding answers and even got in a couple fights with mine workers, so was taken off the case and that’s when Danvers came to town to take on the police chief’s position.

The Annie Kowtok case happened several years prior, so Danvers felt there was no way the tongue could have been Annie’s due it medically appearing to only have been detached a couple of days before being discovered at TSALAL. Danvers believed there may be something related to Annie’s case to review but the files were at Captain Hank Prior’s place due to a previous fire at the station, so she asked him to return them though he seemed a bit put off by the request.

Meanwhile, outside of town Rose Aguineau (Fiona Shaw) received a ghostly visitation from her deceased friend Travis who guided her out into the night to a place near TSALAL where the scientists were all frozen together in the ice, naked and appeared terrified. When Chief Danvers arrived and asked Rose how she knew where they were, Rose said “Travis showed me” and though Danvers knew Travis was dead, no one else had been able to find the scientists until then.

Season 4: 6 – 60min episodes


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