True Detective: Night Country Hits Us With a Tragic Twist Ahead of Next Week’s Finale — Read Our Recap

The body count keeps climbing on True Detective: Night Country — and this time, we know exactly who did it.

The season’s penultimate episode (which dropped early on Max on Friday, ahead of this Sunday’s HBO premiere) opens with Navarro still reeling from the death of her sister and Danvers grilling junkie recluse Otis Heiss for information on the ice caves. He shows her an entrance and will tell her how to get inside… if she’ll get him some heroin. Danvers turns him down flat, but when she and Navarro check out the entrance, they find it sealed off by a rockslide. (Almost deliberately, you might say.) Meanwhile, things are tough on the homefront: Peter gets kicked out by his wife Kayla, and Leah gets roughed up by the cops and arrested during a chaotic protest at the mine.

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Danvers gets called into a meeting with Ted and mine owner Kate McKitterick, who presents her with video of Danvers and Navarro trespassing on mine property to find the ice cave entrance. Danvers insists she’s still pursuing the Tsalal case, but Ted informs her the forensics report says the scientists were killed by a freak weather event, not murdered. Danvers tries to protest… but then Ted hints that he knows more about the William Wheeler case. Later, Kate gets into a car with Hank and flatly tells him that Danvers “can’t find that cave.” Without putting it into words, she encourages him to snuff out Otis Heiss… and promises him a promotion if he follows through.

True Detective Night Country Episode 5 Hank
True Detective Night Country Episode 5 Hank

Navarro is doing laundry when Qavvik brings her a stone with a spiral design on it, along with a guy who says those stones are used to mark entrances to the ice caves. Navarro excitedly takes the news to Danvers, but Danvers tells her the Tsalal case is now closed — and that Ted knows about William Wheeler. She tells Navarro to just let the whole thing go, but Navarro refuses, and to get revenge, she lets Leah out of her holding cell. She also heads out on the ice with Rose to spread her sister’s ashes in the freezing water, but she gets lost in a hallucination and nearly falls into the cracking ice before Rose saves her.

Danvers tries to make peace with Leah, but Leah reminds her that her protests do matter, citing the staggering number of stillborn children among Native women. So Danvers pays a visit to a local undertaker who has a room full of tiny coffins made for all the stillborn children — a heartbreaking sight. She heads back to the police station and confronts Peter, thinking he must’ve told Ted about William Wheeler. But really, they find, Hank looked at Peter’s laptop and leaked the damaging info to Ted. Danvers badgers Peter to ask her what really happened with Wheeler, repeatedly barking at him: “Wrong question. Ask again.” When Peter realizes that Danvers and Navarro may have killed Wheeler and staged it as a suicide, Danvers grimly tells him: “As smart as you are, you need to learn when to stop asking questions.”

True Detective Night Country Episode 5 Peter
True Detective Night Country Episode 5 Peter

Danvers goes back to Heiss and promises she can get him heroin if he’ll show her the ice caves. She checks him out of his facility and takes him home, calling Navarro to meet them there. Heiss points out the cave entrance on a map and then goes to the bathroom to smoke heroin — and then Hank shows up, saying he needs to bring Heiss in on a warrant. Danvers is suspicious and wants to call Ted, but Hank throws her phone away… and pulls a gun. Heiss tries to escape, but Hank shoots him dead on the spot. Peter, who’s now staying with Danvers, enters with gun drawn, and Hank asks him to help him move Heiss’ body. He also admits: “I didn’t kill Annie K. I just moved her body. Blood is blood, Petey. Remember that.”

Despite Danvers’ protests, Peter won’t lower his gun, and when Hank turns his on Danvers? Peter shoots his father in the head, killing him. Navarro arrives to find a bloody crime scene, and she urges Danvers not to call Ted, since he’s in on this, too. They have to cover up Hank’s death, she says, since he was there to stop them from finding out what happened to Annie. Peter volunteers to clean up the crime scene, and Navarro tells him to take the bodies to Rose. With that, Danvers and Navarro hit the road to find the ice caves that may just hold the answer to our season-long mystery…

What’d you think of this week’s True Detective? Who do you think killed Annie K.? And what do you think happened to the Tsalal scientists? The finale is next week, so drop all your thoughts and theories below.

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