On Sunday night HBO rolled out Episode 2 in its new series The Night Of. The episode’s title, Subtle Beast is a reference to Detective Dennis Box (Bill Camp). Box, like any good detective wants to solve the case. ****SOME SPOILERS AHEAD*****
But this is where it gets tricky. Box wears sympathy on his face, and when he speaks, we hear sympathetic tones.
After discussing the case with the DA, he understands that a confession would a) solve the case, and b) would go a long ways toward making the case as open and shut as he wants it to be.
But when Box interceded with the desk sergeant to allow Naz’s parents an opportunity to see their son and talk with him, he was again showing a sympathetic side. Of course Box knew that he would not be breaking any rules if he monitored the conversation between Naz and his folks.
Box and all detectives may NOT listen or view any discussions between the suspect and his attorney. But no such rule exists for family members.
Naz noted the camera mounted on the wall and after that, he told Box that he would not speak with him anymore.
Apparently the advice that had been repeated and repeated often by attorney Jack Stone (played by the marvelous John Turturro) at last, had sunk in.
But there’s more, much more going on other than what Detective Box does or wants to do. Let’s talk about Attorney Jack Stone. We got a good look at his skin ailment (eczema or psoriasis) on his legs and feet. How did that happen? Mostly because Stone was wearing sandals and was sockless. Not only did we get a good look at his bare ankles and feet, but so did some of the passengers riding in the same subway car as did Stone. Stone was kind of low-rent in his way. We know that he found his clients by hanging around in precinct station houses. So it was perfectly normal for him to say that he got the case because he was ‘in the right place at the right time.’
We also found out that Stone had a black wife (or ex-wife) and an adult son. That’s about all we learned (about Stone’s personal life) this week as no other background or back story was provided.
We also learned that the New York Justice System was kind of an old boys club. Jack Stone knew the personnel at various precincts, he knew bailiffs, and was on a first name basis with some judges. As we heard – you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.
But more than that, we are to understand the monolithic structure of the New York Justice System as a self-contained structure that had been and would be an institution forever. The lawyers, judges, prosecutors, as well the victims and perpetrators would change; they’d come and go, and no matter who was speaking in any of the courtroom, the system retained its own life.
And that made it all the more scary as watched, protected by being in the safety of our own living rooms as young Nasir Khan began his own trip into the depths of the system. I can’t give the writer Richard Price and the Director Steve Zaillian enough credit in this regard.
From a holding pen in the 2-1, Khan was transported via a van to the Tombs, a jail connected to the NYC Criminal Courts building. Khan was marched from the van into the depths of the Tombs. The walk seemed to be ever-downward through a series of gates, fences, locked doorways that needed to be buzzed from a control station in order to open.