‘The Night Of’ episode 3 review: John Stone has competition

The third episode of HBO’s “The Night Of” proved to be an exercise in politics as much as murder. While Nasir continued to struggle to get accustomed to life behind bars at Rikers Island, attorneys on the outside waged war as questions of representation started to become present.

At first, John Stone did seemingly have Naz all to himself, and he acted like it. He gave his parents his “fee” of $50,000 after some minor negotiation, and thought that they would eventually agree to work with him. His read on the situation was not terribly wrong when you consider some of the outside circumstances present here, including the sole fact that Naz’s parents were in a frenzy, and uneducated about the good lawyers and the bad.

When high-powered attorney Alison Crowe made a free offer, recognizing the fame she would get from the case, it made sense for the parents to take that, especially when they heard of the reputation Stone has. It’s all true. The truth here is that Stone was probably connected to Naz much more than he wanted to admit. He also apparently got rather connected to the cat at the crime scene, even if he’s allergic.

As for how Naz fared in prison through most of the back-and-forth on the other side, it was a struggle. While the other inmates did not hurt him or attack him, he was a stranger in a strange land. He was disappointed to learn of Stone’s exit, and the greatest moment of danger for him came when told to meet Freddy, a mysterious man who may be the most connected inmate there is. His introduction was fantastic in so many ways; he could relate and connect to Naz through their shared background, but it’s still clear he’s dangerous. He can control the guards, and probably hurt him in ways few others can. Through his lengthy monologue and offer of “protection,” he made all of that clear. Behind bars, an alliance may be the only way that he is able to survive.

Three episodes in, and “The Night Of” remains incredibly compelling, addictive television. The hour may not be entirely filled full of content (Freddy may be a little “True Detective” for our taste right now), but we’re not going to deny that we were glued from start to finish. Grade: B+.

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