The plot continues to thicken on HBO's The Night Of.
On Sunday's episode, Naz (Riz Ahmed) had the chance to take a plea deal that would see him serving a maximum of 15 years in prison if he pled guilty to manslaughter. But to everyone's surprise, (most of all his lawyer's), he balked when faced with actually saying the words that he killed Andrea. Looks like this case is going to trial!
In prison, Naz continued to be courted by Freddy (Michael K. Williams), who for some reason seems determined to take the young accused murderer under his wing. He claims it's because he wants a college-educated companion at Rikers with whom he can participate in intellectual discussions. But is that his only motivation? Speculation on that and 11 other burning questions from this episode below.
1. Who's the guy Andrea's stepfather is seen arguing with at the cemetery? Answer: Royal Pains alum Paulo Costanzo! But who is he in the context of The Night Of? We'll have to wait until future episodes to find out, but something tells me Andrea's stepfather has a more significant role in her death than we might have initially anticipated.
2. Why is John Stone (John Turturro) a better detective than Det. Box (Bill Camp)? Even though he's been kicked off the case, it seems that Stone is still determined to get to the bottom of who killed Andrea. He goes through her photos, locates the tattoo parlor seen in one of them, and traces the angle of the photo to a nearby apartment/rehab center. Why haven't we seen Box doing any of that kind of detective work? And again, why is Stone so disrespected by most people?
3. Why is Stone still so obsessed with the case? Stone's detective work also begs the question, why is he still so obsessed with Naz's case? After all his legwork, he even goes to the trouble of giving Chandra (Amara Karan) the file on Andrea's stint in rehab. Sure, he charges her $500 for the file he paid $300 for, but money can't be the only thing that's driving him, can it?
4. Why does Freddy want Naz to align with him so badly? Freddy says that seeing the college-educated Naz walk through the doors at Rikers was "like a care package for my brain." But frankly, his interest in the prison's newest inmate seems to be verging on obsession. Freddy gets caught staring at Naz on several occasions and even gives him a green prison jumpsuit to wear for his arraignment, a protip that Alison (Glenne Headly) agrees will make Naz seem less like a criminal in the eyes of the judge. Can it all really be chalked up to the fact that they're both well-educated guys from Queens?
5. Is Alison one of the good guys? In this episode, Alison reiterates her disdain for John, tries to get Naz to take a plea deal (after telling Naz's parents one of the reasons they shouldn't hire Stone is because he'd probably try to cop a plea), snaps at Mr. Khan (Peyman Moaadi) for interrupting her press conference after Naz's court appearance, and reneges on her promise to offer her services to the Khans pro bono. As we wondered last week, can Alison be trusted?
6. Is Stone trustworthy?The Night Of certainly isn't doing anything to disprove the notion that all lawyers are corrupt. In addition to overcharging Chandra for Andrea's rehab file, Stone also sleeps with one of his clients after getting prostitution charges against her dismissed. Yet he still seems to have Naz's best interests at heart...
7. Who shanked Naz, and why? Who's the inmate who shanks Naz, and more importantly, what was his motivation? Theory: it was one of Freddy's crew, in the hopes that the assault would force Naz to go to Freddy for protection.
8. Why does Chandra tell Naz not to take the deal? Is it just Chandra's naiveté and inexperience showing when she tells Naz not to take the plea deal if he really didn't do it? It's going against the advice of both her boss, Alison and John Stone.
9. Stone's totally going to adopt Andrea's cat, isn't he? That call to the animal shelter makes me think it's a pretty safe bet that Stone's going to have a four-legged friend by the end of Episode 5.
10. Why did Naz's friend turn on him? The biggest "WTF" moment of this episode came when Naz's "friend" in prison suddenly threw a mug of ... something on him, after previously confiding in Naz about his niece's murder. Seems like a pretty harsh way to tell Naz he should have taken the plea deal.
11. Is aligning with Freddy a good move? Or is it just going to get Naz in more trouble? Whether or not Naz should trust Freddy is maybe the most important question of the episode. Naz's mug-tossing "friend" certainly doesn't think so ... but then again, he's also the one who probably just gave Naz third-degree burns, so pick your poison. That's the last straw for Naz, and he finally tells Freddy that he needs his help to survive his time in Rikers. Is this a good idea, or potentially the worst idea?
12. Did Naz do it? Based solely on the fact that he can't bring himself to admit to killing Andrea, I'm still sticking with the theory that Naz is innocent. Or, at the very least, if he did kill Andrea, that he doesn't remember it.
What were your burning questions after Episode 4? Share your questions and theories in the comments below!
The Night Of airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.