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True Detective: Night Country                    review by Bobby Blakey

In 2014 creator Nic Pizzolatto unleashed the crime series True Detective on the masses. Each season is a self-contained narrative with new casts and crimes each time. Each season has featured an impressive cast leading the charge and the most recent season, True Detective: Night Country keeps it going starring Jodie Foster and Kali Reis and created by Tigers Are Not Afraid director Issa Lopez.

True Detective: Night Country follows eight men who operate the Tsalal Arctic Research Station who vanish without a trace when the long winter night falls in Ennis, Alaska. To solve the case, Detectives Liz Danvers and Evangeline Navarro will have to confront the darkness they carry in themselves and dig into the haunted truths that lie buried under the eternal ice.

I loved the first couple of seasons of this series, but for whatever reason I never got back to it with season 3. Thankfully with each season stand alone I was able to dive right into this one and see if held up as well as the previous seasons. I can say that it has a different vibe to what I remember with the previous seasons and that is a good thing further allowing it to stand all its own.

Placing it in Alaska gives it an eerie vibe all its own that lends to the murder mystery tone it always offers up. The story is set up as the usual murder mystery you expect but infuses some of the Alaskan legends into the story bringing some moments that make you wonder if there is a supernatural element this time around or is it all in their head.

The cast is great with Foster and Reis leading the charge. I wasn’t surprised by Foster being so great as she always is. This is not a very likable character that is disconnected from everyone in the story for her own personal reasons. Even with those she tries to connect with is awkward and uncomfortable and never really works. My favorite in the show is Reis as Navarro who brings a similar performance, but with more power and attitude. She has her moments of connection but also keeps people at arm’s length.

The story not only works towards solving the mystery, but also the evolution of these strong female leads as they also find some forgiveness of their pasts and a look forward to the future. It is just as intriguing in its mystery as the other series but does move at a slower pace in my opinion. It takes a while for anything to happen and weaves into other plot points that are not all necessary, but still work.

At only six episodes it uses all of these elements to stretch it out before making any head way in the case. I would have preferred to just stick to the case and get in deeper than it did at times to offer up a stronger ending. It was fine when all said and done and direction I didn’t really expect, but also nothing overly exciting in the end.

In the end I did find it the weakest of the seasons I have seen, but still worth checking out. In addition to all the episodes of the series this release offers up bonus content including recaps and numerous featurettes taking you behind the crime.

Decide for yourself and grab your copy of True Detective: Night County available now on Blu-ray and DVD from Warner Bros and HBO.

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