HBO’s The Night Of ended on Sunday and to some, it was a great ending. Yet others weren’t satisfied. While the murder was more or less solved, the series still left open the possibility that maybe Nasir Khan could have killed Andrea Cornish.
Looking back at the eight episodes as a whole, there were definitely some winners and losers. Let’s take a look at who emerged victorious and who suffered defeat during HBO’s terrific miniseries that maybe should’ve been called True Detective season 3.
Loser: The Cat
In the final scene with Jack Stone, when he’s tearing up at the ASPCA commercial, it seemed likely that he left Andrea’s cat at the pound to die and felt bad about it. But that wasn’t the case at all!
Even though Stone did end up saving the cat (we’ll get to that later), the cat is still a loser. Why? Well, first of all, its original owner is dead, it was left outside when Andrea was murdered, nobody seemed to want it, and its new owner is allergic to cats. Basically, it’s an unwanted cat who’s only alive because Stone feels bad for it. That’s a sad case for anyone or any animal.
Winner: The Cat
While the cat is a loser, it’s also a winner because it survived and doesn’t have to star in ASPCA’s next commercial! Even though the cat won’t really get to enjoy its new owner’s company because of Stone’s allergies, not being put to sleep and tossed into an incinerator means it still won in the end. Not dying = winning.
Loser: Chandra Kapoor
I mean, honestly, what was she thinking? I guess sometimes, people will really do whatever for those that they love? But does that mean Chandra really did love Naz? If not, WHY DID SHE DO EVERYTHING SHE DID?
Her whole love story storyline was a little off-plot in my opinion, and that’s why she lost. Well, she lost for other reasons too, like: 1) she kissed her client, therefore losing her job and pretty much all credibility, 2) she probably won’t even be with Naz, and 3) oh yeah, she stooped so low that she acquired drugs and snuck them into a jail when there was obviously a camera on her. If she’s not a loser in your book, then you need to rewatch the entire series.
Winner: John Stone
This one was tough because Stone never really got rid of his eczema. However, he did conquer the murder trial and one could argue that his closing remarks were what saved Naz in the end. So while Stone still has to live the rest of his life with eczema and people constantly looking at him funny, he can rest easy knowing that he accomplished something big as a lawyer, getting Naz out of a life sentence.
Another reason why Stone is a winner? HE SAVED THE CAT!
Loser: Naz’s mom:
Someone had to lose in Naz’s family. One could argue it’s the dad who may never be able to drive his taxi again, or his brother who will always be looked at differently because of what his brother being accused of murder.
However, the real loser in Naz’s family was his mother. The writers and producers made it clear that Naz and his mother will never have a normal relationship again, based on the conversation they had in his room. He’ll never get over her doubting his innocence. Additionally, it’s going to be tough for her friends to look at her normally again, and while that’s the case for his other family members as well, she seemed to have the toughest time dealing with it.
Winner: Detective Box:
His golf game seems to be improving AND he finished his career by hopefully solving the murder for real. (You know, assuming Ray actually committed the crime.) On top of that, he picked up his new gig as a security guard at NYU and seemingly got saved from it by Helen Weiss minutes into the job.
Overall, Box also seems like a great guy who won’t have to live the rest of his life wondering if Naz was wrongly convicted. Instead, he can sleep easily knowing they got the right guy (assuming it was Ray). It always seemed like from day one, Box knew Naz didn’t do it and had trouble stomaching that. As a result, Box continuing to dig and getting it right in the end makes him a winner.
Loser: Ray Halle
This guy had motive to kill Andrea and nearly got away with it, because someone else was in the house and had all of the evidence pointing to him. In short, Ray had all the luck in the world, but still struck out.
The financial advisor with a gambling problem (quite a combination there) nearly got away with murder, but then didn’t in the end. Something tells me our final winner won’t be giving Ray tips on how to survive at Rikers.
HE’S A FREE MAN AND SURVIVED RIKERS. HE DIDN’T DO IT! (We think.) When he walked out of Rikers into his father’s welcoming hug, he was an obvious winner. (So was getting through that torturously long walk out of prison. Did anyone else worry he was going to be stabbed?) Naz walked, even though every single piece of evidence pointed towards him.
However, while Naz is a clear winner, he is also a loser in two small ways: 1) it will be tough for him to have a normal life with this on his record, and 2) HIS TATTOOS ARE HORRIBLE. Really, man — if you knew you were innocent and there was a small possibility you’d get out, why would you tattoo “sin” and “bad” on your knuckles? And does a neck tattoo work for anyone?
Regardless of those two points, Naz was not convicted of murder and no longer has to spend the rest of his life in prison. If that’s not a win, then I don’t know what is.
Will HBO bring back The Night Of for a second season? Could it end up being an anthology series like True Detective? (The British series that The Night Of was based on, Criminal Justice, did have a second season, though it attracted fewer viewers.)
While The Night Of wasn’t as good as True Detective season one, there’s no denying that it attracted a similar audience because of its murder mystery storyline. (Such stories are as popular as ever, following the success of Serial and Making a Murderer.) With Game of Thrones coming to a close soon and the possibility that Westworld could flop, since it still hasn’t been released (Oct. 2 can’t come soon enough), whether HBO puts The Night Of on the shelf or brings it back for round two will be worth watching.