True Detective: Night Country brings to mind The Thing and Twin Peaks

True Detective: Night Country episode 2
True Detective: Night Country episode 2 /

Have you had the chance to catch the first couple of episodes of True Detective: Night Country on Max? Whether or not you have seen the first three seasons of True Detective, the current season is definitely worth a watch so far.

It’s definitely giving me The Thing and Twin Peaks vibes, plus it stars Jodi Foster as an Alaskan Police Chief that always seems to rub people the wrong way. It’s a joy watching her work with a dark storyline once again.

The storyline involves a fictional town called Ennis, which is in Alaska. The town is just beginning its Polar Night cycle, so if you loved that aspect of 30 Days of Night, this season of True Detective might be right up your alley.

We are introduced to some strange, possibly supernatural events from the beginning of the first episode. A herd of deer suddenly stop and panic, appearing to run off the edge of a cliff. Then we briefly meet the scientists who are stationed at the TSALAL research facility; we observe them hanging out together before one of them has some sort of seizure, then turning to another and stating in a horrified tone of voice, “She’s awake.” It's a phrase we will hear at least two more times in the first episode.

True Detective: Night Country /

The next time we see the researchers, they are frozen in the snow, naked, with looks of terror on their faces. What happened to them? That is what we hope to find out during True Detective: Night Country.

In addition to Chief Liz Danvers, we also get to meet Trooper Evangeline Navarro, played by Kali Reis, and these two talented actors have GREAT, antagonistic energy together. Evangeline was demoted after becoming too involved in the murder case of Annie, an Inupiaq woman whose body was found with its tongue removed. She consistently tries to persuade Danvers to re-open the case and find out who murdered Annie.

Interestingly, when Danvers checks out the TSALAL facility, a woman’s severed tongue was found. Does it belong to Annie? Danvers deduces from ridges on the tongue that it likely belonged to an indigenous woman, who scored the ridges from licking the lines of fishing nets.

So, as I said earlier, there are strong homages to John Carpenter’s The Thing – most notably, the men who work at TSALA, and the cold darkness. The Twin Peaks vibes come from the quirky, extremely interesting characters who inhabit Ennis. There is a nice mix of humor and darkness to the townspeople (and the town itself), which was something I personally loved about Twin Peaks.

While I have not watched the first three seasons of True Detective yet, I thoroughly enjoyed the first two episodes of True Detective: Night Country, and I am looking forward to finding out how this creepy story unfolds.