‘True Detective’ Off To A ‘Toxic’ Start In Season Four, But Has Huge Potential


Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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This article contains spoilers from “True Detective: Night Country” episode 1.

The first episode of “True Detective: Night Country” dropped Sunday on HBO Max, and the iconic show definitely received a major makeover since the last time we tuned in.

With two powerful female leads and arguably one of the creepiest plotlines in the show’s history, season four of “True Detective” probably isn’t for everyone. But it is definitely worth the watch. In the first episode, we’re introduced to Alaska during the first days of night. And within the opening scene, we already know something is deeply, possibly supernaturally wrong is this hellish landscape above the Arctic Circle.

The show’s female protagonists are portrayed by Jodie Foster and Kali Reis, and both are the type of women that most men hate. They’re masculine, blunt, angry lady cops who don’t suffer fools gladly. I don’t know whether I dislike Foster’s character, Liz Danvers, because I’m supposed to, or because I can already see the character arc laid out in front of us and I absolutely hate being able to guess the direction of a story ahead of time. Either way, I still have to know how things turn out for her.

Reis plays Evangeline Navarro, and her storyline is probably the most interesting so far (even though her sex scene was very uncomfortable). My guess is writer-director Issa Lopez is leaning into a mishmash of “Winter’s Bone” and “Wind River” meets the stereotypical alien/monster horror tropes. These are both tried and tested forms of entertainment, and I think they’ll do fine, even if the script is a bit soap opera-y at parts. There is still time for improvement!

Lopez is already dealing with backlash for her work. Apparently, a bunch of “toxic” trolls online are trying to plummet the Rotten Tomatoes score for the first episode, Variety noted. Although this may be important for Hollywood types who use these rankings as social capital, it doesn’t really mean much to the rest of the world. (RELATED: ‘Lawmen: Bass Reeves’ Is Exceptional, And The Most Important Series Of 2023 (REVIEW))

If you like shows like “From” or “Haven” or just about anything with a supernatural, violent, murder-mystery vibe, you’ll be able to enjoy “True Detective: Night Country.

But is season four as good as the previous season? No, not so far. But it’s somewhat hard to compare this new vibe to previous seasons. As a standalone show, I’m here for it. And the mystery we’re here to solve? It doesn’t get much better than this, despite the tropes.