Last week's episode of The Night Of proved that Naz (Riz Ahmed) has the capacity for violence, and this week's installment revealed that he has a history of attacking people who provoke him. (He's also started smoking crack and has gotten a prison tattoo at Rikers.)
But it also introduced two narratives that point to other suspects in Andrea's murder: one, that Andrea's stepfather murdered her so that he could inherit his ex-wife's estate; and two, that the hearse driver at the gas station murdered her because... well, he hates women.
Other notable tidbits in the episode: Chandra (Amara Karan) has an awkward encounter with Mr. Khan (Peyman Moaadi), who is now working as a delivery guy for a restaurant, and we also learn that Freddy (Michael K. Williams) got himself sent back to Rikers by arranging for an extra murder charge to be added to his crimes, so that he could be closer to his wife and kids when they want to visit.
And all this with only one more episode to go before the August 28th finale! This show is leaving us with a lot of loose ends to tie up, and I'm starting to feel concerned that we won't get a definitive conclusion when all is said and done.
Here are the burning questions we're left with after Episode 6:
1. Was Naz dealing drugs? Based on the comments Det. Box (Bill Camp) comes across on Naz's Facebook page, a handful of people seem to be very grateful to Naz for doing them a favor. Could he have been supplying them with Adderall in addition to taking it himself? Or possibly writing papers for some of them? Granted, even if he was doing one or both of those things, it likely doesn't have anything to do with Andrea's murder - but it is another interesting point that Naz has withheld from the detectives and his lawyers.
2. Is the hearse driver the creepiest character we've seen? Ding ding! We have a new suspect in Andrea's murder - the hearse driver, whom Chandra tracks down and who tells her that he noticed Andrea has "that vibration" that some women have, indicating that they'll destroy you if you don't strike first. Back away slowly, Chandra. Back away slowly. Also, he refuses to tell her where he went after he left the gas station on the night of Andrea's murder.
3. Does Naz's history of violence prove anything? We learn in this episode that when he was a freshman, Naz got kicked out of school after throwing a boy who had allegedly taunted him about 9/11 down a flight of stairs. When confronted with that fact by his lawyers, Naz said he had been bullied about his Muslim heritage since the towers came down when he was in fifth grade, and he just snapped.
4. What did Naz witness in jail? The simple answer to this one is that Naz noticed Petey (Aaron Moten), Freddy's meekest protégé and the one whose mother smuggles in the 8-balls, giving a blowjob to another man in the cell. But here's where I'm confused - Naz later gets attacked in the shower by the blowjob recipient, who threatens to shank Naz if he says anything. Is this a homophobia thing, or is it that Petey doesn't want to be seen as having ties to any other prisoner other than Freddy? And if that's the case, what will the repercussions be? I have to admit, the entire situation left me scratching my head.
5. Did anyone else find Naz's call to Chandra incredibly disturbing? Naz uses the cell phone Freddy gives him to call Chandra, because, as he puts it, he misses having someone to say goodnight to. (She correctly points out that he could always call his parents.) For the first time, at least to me, Naz's actions felt really off-putting and manipulative - like he was trying to signal to Chandra that he had procured a cell phone in prison, either for bragging rights or possibly to intimidate her? I guess it also could be that Naz might be developing a crush on his lawyer, but either way the phone call left me with a bad taste in my mouth.
6. Did Andrea's stepfather kill her? We officially meet Paulo Costanzo's character in this episode. He's CPA Ray Halle, who handled Andrea's mother Evelyn's finances after she passed away. He tells John Stone (John Turturro) that Andrea's stepfather Don (Paul Sparks) has had several restraining orders filed against him, and has a history of marrying wealthy older women. When Evelyn died, she had about 5 or 6 million dollars, which all went to Andrea. (Don wanted half of it, according to Ray, and Andrea's eerie-in-retrospect response was "over my dead body.") Now that Andrea's out of the picture, the stepfather gets it all.
7. Did Naz do it? At this point, I'm just not sure.
The Night Of airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.