Secrets & Rage
Note: The following review goes into detail about the episode. SPOILER ALERT!
Following out from last week’s bomb of an episode (the good kind) in “The Art of War,” this week’s “The Season of the Witch” felt… odd. In its prior entries, The Night Of relied on realistic occurrences to let the story unfold itself subtly. In its fifth episode, the stakes seemed exaggerated and the narrative seemed manufactured.
Alison Crowe’s resignation from Naz’s case opened up the opportunity for Chandra to take the wheel and play partner to John and vice versa. The dichotomy set up in this episode was the police building a case against Naz and the John and Chandra duo building a case for him. This is where the story felt less than authentic given the on-the-nose symmetry with the progress on both sides. For the sake of the story, this was fun to watch, but it felt unattached from the narrative style that preceded it.
This is not to say that the result of what we got wasn’t necessary, though. On the side of Helen Weiss and Sgt. Box, we got the tox screens which revealed an amphetamine (adderall) in Naz’s system, the staged verdict that the cut on his hand was from the knife and the coordinates of his travel that night. On the side of Chandra and John, they got the same tox screen results, blood outside of Andrea’s apartment and Trevor’s true alibi about where he was and with whom he was with that night. The latter team’s revelation led to the reintroduction of Duane Reade, who John impulsively ran after, leaving himself in a possibly deadly situation by the credits.
Naz’s time in prison last week was exhilarating (for the viewer, of course). For two episodes, Freddy’s protection was a mystery in the form it would take, what the consequences would be and how it would change Naz. We got an answer for the trio of inquiries with Naz’s mentor turned attacker beaten and bloodied on the bathroom floor. Given the chance to exact his revenge, Naz gave a little and then, in a state of mind we’ve never before seen him in, Naz gave a lot. With this previously unseen behavior, this does significantly blur the line of whether Naz is innocent. Freddy’s protection in exchange for Naz’s knowledge solely was debunked here, too. Many warned Naz against getting involved with Freddy and the reasoning is ripping through. With Naz now peddling drugs through the prison, the risk of this case ending abruptly because of it is rising to a threatening level.
“The Season of the Witch” gave us a look at some detective work from veterans in Weiss and Box and from unlikely heroes in John and Chandra. Each side has some ammo for use against the other, and this episode told a great tale in both sides working to do so. We may have ended on a scary note, but this episode had a noticeably poppier feel, featuring characters who are prime for comedies in the snide Saul the Pharmacist, the voyeur-happy Dr. Katz and the nonchalant M.E. Harry Chester. This didn’t distract from the grim situation afoot, with Freddy using Naz more and more, Naz showing a nastier side and John getting stuck in a dire situation.
Did Naz anger make you question his innocence? How great is the John/Chandra team up? Tweet me @NerdDot. Also, be sure to follow us @YouNerded for more ‘The Night Of’ reviews.
*We do not comment on anything relating to previews for the next episode and beyond.
The Night Of: “The Call of the Wild” Review
Vice Principals: “The Foundation of Learning” Review
The Night Of: “Ordinary Death” Review
Joe Hill’s ‘The Fireman’ Review
How Speedrunning Changed My Perception of Games
Vice Principals: “Circles” Review
The Night Of: “Samson and Delilah” Review
‘Batman: The Killing Joke’ Review
Vice Principals: “Run for the Money” Review
The Night Of: “The Season of the Witch” Review