TV

True Detective Season 4: Night Country Is Hiding a Sneaky Season 1 Connection


There’s more to Hildred Castaigne’s epigraph at the start of True Detective: Night Country than you think.

Fiona Shaw in True Detective Season 4
Photo: Michele K. Short/HBO

This True Detective article contains spoilers for Night Country.

True Detective: Night Country hasn’t been shy about drawing connections to season 1 of the hit crime series, down to the very clear supernatural bent of the new case, which sees Detectives Liz Danvers (Jodie Foster) and Evangeline Navarro (Kali Reis) investigating mysterious disappearances in rural Alaska during the region’s long polar night. Trailers for season 4 have even teased a familiar swirling symbol, the same one that a pair of odd couple Louisiana detectives followed all the way to Carcosa and the Yellow King back in 2014. In fact, with the premiere of Night Country, it really feels like we’re back in the “good ol’ days” with Rust and Marty.

Danvers and Navarro’s case inevitably leads them to the icy sea beyond the fictional town of Ennis, where they find the final resting place of the scientists who disappeared inexplicably from the research station earlier in the episode. Drawn on one of the victim’s foreheads is that symbol, reminding us that time is a flat circle and something spooky that can’t be easily explained is definitely afoot. The sweet spot for any season of True Detective. But that’s not the only way the first episode calls back to the season 1 case that led Rust and Marty to cosmic horrors in the Bayou and two truly fucked up siblings.

From the very first second of the episode, before a single character has popped up on screen, before the mayonnaise has hit that doomed sandwich, before “she’s awake,” there’s an epigraph. It goes like this: “For we do not know what beasts the night dreams when its hours grow too long for even God to be awake.” – Hildred Castaigne

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