The first episode of “The Night Of” was fantastic, and of course with that comes one thing and one thing only: Expectations. Could episode 2 live up to the hype of the pilot? We really see much of that coming down to a matter of perspective.
For example, if you found yourselves frustrated in any way with the pacing of the first episode, that remains the same here. This is a show that is extremely deliberate, and more so than anything else, you get the sense that the purpose here is to real put you into a feeling where you are right there in Nasir’s shoes. We saw that as he spoke with his family, insisting that he did not kill Andrea despite whatever “subtle beast” Box or the police claimed. Then, we saw Box try to break through to him on an emotional level, and we would understand why a guy like Naz would want to ignore Stone’s instructions. Box excels at being the good cop in the sea of aggressors, and he almost broke through to get what he wanted … even if that was not completely in line with what may have been the truth in this situation.
Two episodes in, and we’re not any clearer to knowing what really happened to Andrea. Yet, we did learn tonight that she has a stepfather, and the house she was killed at belonged to her mother and by proxy her. We also saw further evidence that this is not Stone’s everyday case, and even his family is surprised that he is taking it on in some way.
By the end of the episode, we were introduced to Helen Weiss, a prosecuting attorney who met up with Box to discuss some of his findings in the case. This came of course after he searched both the taxicab and Naz’s home, which unnerved the family further (especially the part where they started taking stuff). He vowed to Weiss that he had the evidence and could put her away.
At the arraignment, Stone tried to make a case to allow him bail, but the prosecution claimed that his “family roots” in Pakistan could make him a flight risk … even though he had never been out of the country. Bail was denied, and this story became all the sadder.
In the end, we find “The Night Of” compelling television, largely because it is so difficult and also challenging. It is clearly taking its time, and creating an interesting picture where you don’t quite know who to trust beyond our main character. Box puts on a better face with Naz than Stone does, and that raises all the more questions about who really cares … and whether or not it really matters. Above all, this was fantastic and hopefully, will continue to be so. Episode Grade: A-.
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