The Night Of: Three Important Callbacks To Episode One

Aug 09, 2016 by Sarah Moffatt

In last week’s analysis, I found a quote from The Art of War particularly striking:

”It is only one who is thoroughly acquainted with the evils of war that can thoroughly understand the profitable way of carrying it on.”

As I speculated last week, this idea might foreshadow Box and the prosecution winning a conviction thanks to their expertise in putting criminals away, or it might foreshadow a victory for the defense, since Stone knows the underbelly of society better than anyone working for the State.

Case in point: Stone wows Chandra by explaining the effects and uses of Ketamine, the drug Nasir and Andrea snorted (I had assumed it was cocaine) before things went pear-shaped. Turns out, Ketamine is an anesthetic veterinarians use for surgery on horses; it knocks you out, yes, but it also works as an aphrodisiac, which explains Andrea and Nasir going at it despite the fact she was just stabbed through her hand, and how Nasir could’ve stayed knocked out while Andrea was being murdered upstairs. (Asked by Chandra how he knows so much about the stuff, Stone merely shrugs: “I’m a lawyer.”)

Last week’s reference to Call of The Wild foreshadowed a rapid decline into a primal way of living for Nasir in Rikers, and it seems we’re beginning to see the beast become unleashed: there were three distinct callbacks to episode one that show the shift in Nasir’s demeanor – or, maybe we’re seeing his true demeanor for the first time. I’m thinking maybe I need to rewatch episode one (that would make it the sixth time), but with a different mindset going into it – maybe Nasir is guilty.

When Baby-Oil-Guy is on the shower floor bleeding after having the crap kicked out of him by Freddy and his lackey, Nasir is urged to take his own shots, which he does – that’s the aggressive action we’ve seen from Nasir that looks seemingly “out of character.” Then, Baby-Oil-Guy calls him a slew of terrible names as Nasir is walking away, giving him pause before coming back to wail on this guy – I mean, stomping on his face – until Freddy’s lackey pulls him off. Why didn’t Trevor get the same treatment when he called Nasir several racial slurs the night of the murder?

But, as Freddy points out, Nasir puts Baby-Oil-Guy in the ICU and he has no trouble sleeping that night. He then says, “You got some secrets in you, don’t you? And some rage.” Yeah, no kidding.

The second callback comes when Nasir is, um, passing the drugs Freddy had him help smuggle in. As the young kid stares at him, mimicking my same look of horror and disgust, Nasir asks him what the [expletive] he’s looking at. If you recall, when Nasir first gets to the precinct after being detained-but-not-really for reckless driving in the premiere, he stares at a guy across the room, who proceeds to ask him what the [expletive] he’s looking at. It’s hard to speculate on what that might have to do with Nasir’s case moving forward, but I’d wager it has some value being that HBO has released finale posters, which show Nasir sitting next to that guy from the precinct. Coincidence? Could be, but it seems improbable they would use a photo featuring Nasir and non-major character for the finale promo image.

The last callback is not so much a callback as a familiar face: Trevor’s friend who he doesn’t want to talk about, Dwayne Reed (Dwayne Reid? Duane Reade?). I still think Dwayne Reed is a red herring. Yes, he has a warrant out for his arrest for breaking and entering and assault with a knife, but what’s his motive? I agree with Stone’s theory that 22 stabwounds equals a passion killing by someone who knew her; someone who would expect her to be alone. Other than Nasir and Andrea, Dwayne had no way of knowing who was in the house – her father could’ve been asleep upstairs with a sawed-off shotgun under his pillow. Plus, why would he have gone to the master bedroom? Wouldn’t you assume she’d have the smaller room and her mother and father would be sleeping in the bigger bedroom? Someone who at least knew she lived alone and maybe even which bedroom she slept in killed her.

There’s one last question, besides the obvious one, that I am stuck on: WHAT IS GOING ON WITH THAT DEER HEAD?!

The crime scene unit swabbed it for blood, but the head is by the front door, so why does it have blood on it? Why do we keep seeing lingering camera shots of the deer’s eyes? I said before I wonder if maybe there are cameras in there – wouldn’t that be a twist! We saw another shot of the head when Stone and Chandra enter the apartment to do another walkthrough with the defense’s investigator. So, again, I ask: What’s up with the deer?!

Watch The Night Of Sunday at 9pm ET or catch up on HBO on-demand

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