Warning: This post contains spoilers for episode 5 of True Detective: Night Country.
With just one episode to go, True Detective: Night Country appears to be careening toward a breakneck finale.
While episode 5—available to stream early on Max beginning Feb. 9 at 9 p.m. ET—answered a litany of questions about what's really going down in Ennis, the season's most pressing mysteries remain unsolved. Not to mention that Danvers (Jodie Foster), Navarro (Kali Reis), and Prior (Finn Bennett) are now in a bigger mess than ever.
What happens in True Detective: Night Country episode 5?
After Danvers learns from Otis Heiss (Klaus Tange) that he sustained his injuries—similar to those of the dead Tsalal scientists—30 years earlier while mapping the underground ice cave system where Annie K (Nivi Pedersen) was later murdered, she demands that he take her to the caves' entrance. Still in withdrawal, he insists she get him heroin in exchange for his services, but she refuses.
Danvers and Navarro try to investigate the caves on their own but find that the entrance—which just so happens to be on Silver Sky mining company property—has been blown shut. We later learn "Night Country" is how locals refer to the underground ice caves and that people used to leave that recurring spiral symbol as a warning at places where "the ice would swallow [you] whole."
Danvers is called out to Silver Sky under the guise of meeting with owner Kate McKittrick (Dervla Kirwan) about the protests over the mine. But what McKittrick really wants is to reveal that she has video footage of Danvers and Navarro trespassing on mine property at the entrance to the ice caves. Thanks to Prior, Danvers now knows that Tuttle United, the corporation funding Tsalal, also has deals with a banking company that's a founding partner of Silver Sky—meaning, in Danvers' words, that "the mine bankrolls Tsalal and then Tsalal pushes out bogus pollution numbers for them."
Captain Connelly (Christopher Eccleston) insists in no uncertain terms that Danvers accept the explanation that the Tsalal deaths were caused by a "weather event" by revealing that he knows there was no suicide in the William Wheeler murder-suicide case and implying that he will use it against Danvers and Navarro if they don't drop their investigation.
But McKittrick clearly doesn't want there to be any loose ends. She secretly meets with Hank (John Hawkes) and not-so-subtly suggests that Hank kill Heiss before he can lead Danvers to the cave where Annie K was killed. We learn that, years earlier, McKittrick bribed Hank to move Annie K's dead body from the cave to the location where she was found with the promise of money and the position of Ennis Chief of Police. Danvers' relocation got in the way of his promotion, but McKittrick says things will be different this time around.
Danvers confronts Prior about Hank learning about the Wheeler case—and subsequently telling Connelly about it—from breaking into Prior's laptop, where Prior had been looking into old files that revealed the truth about Wheeler's death. She then takes heroin she stole from the evidence room and picks up Heiss from the Lighthouse.
Back at Danvers' house, Heiss points out the best point of access to the caves and Danvers hands over the heroin. Suddenly, Hank, who has been following Danvers, shows up and a confrontation ensues during which Hank fatally shoots Heiss. Prior also bursts in and as Hank prepares to kill Danvers, Prior shoots his father in the head and kills him.
Navarro shows up and the three formulate a plan to cover up the murders: Prior will clean up the mess and take the bodies to Rose Aguineau (Fiona Shaw) while Danvers and Navarro go to the ice caves in hopes of solving both Annie K's murder and the Tsalal case.
What questions does the True Detective: Night Country finale still need to answer?
Heading into the season finale, the three biggest questions that True Detective: Night Country still needs to answer are: Who killed Annie K? Who or what killed the Tsalal scientists? And how are the two cases connected?
Ahead of the premiere, showrunner Issa López told Vanity Fair that "[The character or characters who] committed the deed are right there in front of you through the entire series."
That means that, unlike in Season 1—where the killer made a singular, brief appearance before the big reveal— Danvers and Navarro have likely been interacting with whoever is responsible throughout the first five episodes.
There are also some more secondary (but nonetheless notable) mysteries that the finale will hopefully address. Where is Raymond Clark? What really happened at William Wheeler's house? Is Navarro actually cursed? What's going on with all the ghosts?
Until next week, we'll just have to keep guessing.
Write to Megan McCluskey at firstname.lastname@example.org.