The Night Of: Episode 4 – The Art of War – Recap and Commentary

Episode 4 of the HBO hit series The Night Of aired Sunday night. The episode was entitled The Art of War which certainly can be called a reference to the ancient Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu because what we had in this episode was, aside from the fact that we saw no tanks, howitzers, or automatic weapons, definitely within war’s parameters.

Episode 4 of the HBO hit series The Night Of aired Sunday night. The episode was entitled The Art of War which certainly can be called a reference to the ancient Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu because what we had in this episode was, aside from the fact that we saw no tanks, howitzers, or automatic weapons, definitely within war’s parameters.

Here’s what he said –

“I left my parents’ house to go to a party in Manhattan. I got lost and Andrea got into the back of the cab, thinking I was the real cab driver. We drove uptown. We talked. She gave me something — some pill. We went back to her place. We drank. She gave me something else — some powder. We went up to her bedroom. We had sex. And then, I fell asleep and woke up in the kitchen. I went upstairs to get my clothes and say goodbye. I went to her. And I saw that she was dead. I panicked. I ran.

“That’s all I remember.”

Later Naz would be on the receiving end of a prison made napalm dousing. Hot boiling water, accessible from a wall spigot so the prisoners can make tea, plus a dollop of baby oil is altogether way too hot and incendiary for the human skin to handle.

Speaking of skin, Stone continued to wrap his feet in Crisco and Saran Wrap, which basically did nothing for him. Poking and prodding with a wooden chopstick wasn’t a good idea either. So Stone visited a new doctor who prescribed a corticosteroid, a drug taken orally, instead of topically.

That led us to Stone’s neighborhood pharmacy where we got a cameo by Fisher Stevens as a chatty pharmacist. Oh you don’t want to take these, said the pharmacist, Because there are serious side effects.

Like what, said Stone.

Like severe loss of hair, shrinkage of your testicles, and a heavy dose of acne.

Scary, huh. But I’m told this isn’t correct. These are the side effects of anabolic steroids, but not necessarily corticosteroids. Lacking a degree in either pharmacology or medicine – I’m just passing this on. But I won’t bet on its accuracy.

As I said above, Alison Crowe decided to step away – because as she said before no one wants a trial if avoidable. So basically she attempted to get Naz to take a plea deal. The same thing she had warned the Khans that Stone would do. Plus she was not interested in spending her law firm’s time and energy and money in defending Naz. That’s why she wanted Naz to take the deal.

So, as expected, this brings Stone back into play. He’s still working the case (in his detective mode) which was something that Detective Box was no longer doing. Stone took pictures with his sell phone, and discovered that Andrea had some connection to a rehab facility called Invictus House for drug addicts.

This led us to another cameo. This time it was Aida Turturro, who is John Turturro’s real life cousin. We all remember Aida who played Janice Soprano.

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Any way Stone makes a deal with a sleazy guy who was with Aida, who promises to get Stone images of all of Andrea’s records at this drug rehab in exchange for $350 dead presidents. Of course these copies would be inadmissible as such.

Stone, as well as Detective Box, also attended, or should I say watched from the periphery Andrea’s funeral. This resulted in a brand new possible suspect. Don Taylor, Andrea’s step Dad was seen having a heated conversation with a young man. Stone got some of this on video. Who is he?

Later Stone approaches Chandra Kapoor , the Indian lawyer, whose parents were from Mumbai. She’s the one who worked for Alison Crowe. She has since then agreed to represent Naz. She agrees to buy the docs from Stone for $500. Oh that Stone, always playing the angles.

Chandra says, These won’t be admissible without a subpoena.

Stone replies, So get a subpoena.

Meanwhile back at Rikers, reality has finally set in for Naz. Being silent and aloof didn’t work for him. Just look at his arm which was shanked, and then his other arm which was burned.

So Naz has no choice but to align himself with Freddy and accept Freddy’s offer of protection.

Now, at this point in time Freddy is still mostly a cypher. We aren’t quite sure why Freddy has made the offer to protect Naz. I don’t think it is sexual because we’ve already seen Freddy having sex with a female corrections officer. We’ve also seen Freddy beat the shit out of another prisoner in a prison sparring match.

So we know he is violent, and we know he admires education. He was impressed when Naz told Freddy that he’d already read the Jack London novel Call of the Wild. This is a book about survival in the wild. Though the central character is the dog called Buck – the reference is unmistakable. Like Buck, Naz came from a home and was fully integrated into civilization. The inference is that for Naz, his life in Rikers is very much akin to what Buck faced when he landed in the wilds of the Yukon Territory.

We will have to wait and see how Freddy protects Naz and how their relationship develops.

Things to Consider:

  • Who was that young man arguing with Andrea’s Step-Dad in the Cemetery?
  • Speaking of Don Taylor a) he might have a key to the 87th Street building, b) maybe he inherits the 87th Street building if Andrea dies. and c) he didn’t approve of Andrea’s lifestyle.
  • Was Freddy behind some of the events that happened to Naz in Rikers – like a) the burning bed, like b) the slashing of Naz as he return to Rikers from the court, and c) the napalm incident – all of which may have engineered by Freddy to encourage Naz that he needed protection.
  • The cat. Yes that, darned cat. While we all realize that it isn’t really about the cat. Rather it is about that under-the-step gate and doorway into the 87th Street building.
  • Who was behind giving Naz the prison grey/green jump suit which would replace the orange jumpsuit which is a designation for a violent criminal. Was Freddy’s hand in this?

Theories:

This new prisoner who told Naz about a woman’s murder. How he’s in jail instead of the real killer. And this is the guy who napalmed Naz.

While Naz’s arm was burned – could this guy be a product of Naz’s imagination? I mean we’ve never seen this guy outside of his conversation with Naz from the next bed.

Is Detective Box, now at a point where he is really unsure if Naz is the killer. Will he eventually find himself unsatisfied with the case he has handed over to the prosecutor. I think Box will change his stance, as will Prosecutor Helen Weiss.

Have you noticed the changes in Naz? He’s no longer looking a deer frozen in the oncoming headlights. He is able to look people in the eye. I’m not sure if this helps us determine if Naz is guilty of the crime as charged, but he is likely to become less of a hated figure within the cell-block. I think you can tell just from the look of him at this time.

Will Chandra be up to the task. I think so as she isn’t a real party to the clubby New York Justice System. We know this for sure as she advised Naz to NOT take the plea bargain.

Some think that Naz’s brother looks kind of hinky. Well, I’m not saying there couldn’t be any animosity between Naz and his brother, I just don’t see how the brother could have found Naz on 87th Street. And even if he did – what was his motive to kill the girl?

Some say that Stone is a bit too shady to be trusted. Maybe so – after all he overcharged Chandra for the rehab documents and he had sex with that prostitue (an exchange of services for services). The contrary argument is that he seems to be not too shabby as an investigator.

Summary: As the number of questions keeps on rising, as theories appear, as there is a growing list of topics to consider – all of this means one thing. The Night Of has captured a lot of attention. I expect the series to get even better.

Last Note: Salim Khan’s taxi still sits unclaimed in the car pound.

See you next time.

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