Sunday's premiere of The Night Of, HBO's new murder mystery miniseries, ended with a young woman murdered, a young man in jail, and a bunch of unanswered questions about the evening in general. Obviously the big one is "Did Naz do it?" but the dangling threads don't end there. Here are the other things we're wondering about at the end of Episode 1:
1. Why is Det. Box playing good cop? Det. Dennis Box (Bill Camp) is a hard-assed grump... except when it comes to Naz (Riz Ahmed). Why is Box so nice to him? It definitely seems like more than just a "good cop" act. Is it really just that Box senses Naz is innocent, or is he sympathetic towards him because of Trevor's (J.D. Williams) anti-Muslim comments when he was first questioned? Or is there something else at play?
2. Why did the police bring Naz back to the crime scene? Maybe the answer is as simple as "the writers needed to move the story along," but the circumstances of Naz being brought back to the apartment feel a little too convenient. He's pulled over for reckless driving minutes before the cops get the call about the break-in at Andrea's apartment, and they decide to bring him along for the ride rather than letting him go? Seems far-fetched at best. (Although, I suppose the same could be said for the circumstances that get Naz back to Andrea's apartment in the first place. Was it really just her looks that made him decide to ditch the party and spend the night with her instead?) Also, the no-nonsense female cop is my favorite.
3. Why did Naz run? I — like, presumably, most people who are reading this story — have never been in a position where I've been faced with the very real possibility that I just committed murder. So I'm not sure how I would behave — so no judgment about Naz's actions in the aftermath of his disastrous night with Andrea (Sofia Black D'Elia). But shoving the murder weapon in your pocket and running out of the house while breaking a window, and then trying to make a break for it in the police station seems like not the best plan. (Actually, I'm still on the fence about whether removing the murder weapon from the crime scene was a brilliant or incredibly stupid move.) Granted, Naz's version of the story is incredibly incriminating, but he probably should have owned up to his connection to Andrea before the cop pulled a bloody knife out of his jacket pocket (or gotten rid of the knife in the first place)... right?
4. How will Naz's parents respond? The episode ends with Mr. and Mrs. Khan (Peyman Moaadi and Poorna Jagannathan) finding out that their son's been arrested for murder, and stole his father's cab to boot. Given that Naz's mother didn't even want him going to "that type of party" in Manhattan the first place, it's a safe bet that it's not going to go over well, to say the least.
5. Did Naz do it? Obviously the most important question of all. Based on this episode, I'm inclined to say no. But that begs the question, who did? We don't know much about Andrea, other than the fact that she has a few fetishes, is used to getting her way, uses drugs, and didn't want to spend that night alone. Who was she trying to forget about or run away from when she hopped into Naz's cab and demanded to be driven to the beach — and is that person someone who would want her dead?
The Night Of airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.