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'True Detective: Night Country': Jodie Foster pulls you into haunting, ominous murder mystery

The "True Detective" anthology series returns with its best season since the original

The famed HBO True Detective series is back for Season 4, with True Detective: Night Country, starring Jodie Foster, Kali Reis and Finn Bennett, and proves to be the most haunting season in the series.

How to watch True Detective: Night Country: Crave in Canada, HBO and Max in the U.S.
Showrunner and director: Issa López
Cast: Jodie Foster, Kali Reis, Finn Bennett, Fiona Shaw, Christopher Eccleston, Isabella Star LaBlanc, John Hawkes, Anna Lambe, Aka Niviâna, June Thiele, Diane Benson, and Joel D. Montgrand
Number of episodes: 6

Watch True Detective: Night Country

Where to watch 'True Detective: Night Country'

True Detective: Night Country debuts on Sunday, Jan. 14 at 9:00 p.m. E.T. on Crave in Canada. The show will air on the same date, at the same time, for U.S. viewers on HBO, or stream on Max.

How many episodes are in 'True Detective: Night Country'

True Detective: Night Country is six episodes, with each episode released weekly until the finale on Feb. 25.

Jodie Foster in HBO's True Detective: Night Country (Michele K. Short/HBO)
Jodie Foster in HBO's True Detective: Night Country (Michele K. Short/HBO)

What is 'True Detective: Night Country' about?

Liz Danvers (Foster) is the police chief in Ennis, Alaska. Under her are deputy Hank Prior (John Hawkes), and his son, Peter (Bennett), a new officer who isn't particularly close with his father. Peter is really taking guidance from Danvers, even if that means not spending a lot of time with his wife, played by Anna Lambe, and their young child.

Working separately from the group Alaska State Trooper Evangeline Navarro (Reis), who previously worked with Danvers until one particular case severed their ties.

True Detective: Night Country takes place throughout several days of December darkness in Alaska, which is when Danvers and her colleagues are sent to investigate the disappearance of a group of scientists from the Tsalal Arctic Research Station.

It not only sets Danvers off on a complex murder mystery, but there's a link to an unsolved case that's preoccupied Navarro, the death of Indigenous woman Annie K., who was stabbed 32 times and her tongue was cut out.

Kali Reis, Jodie Foster in True Detective: Night Country (Michele K. Short/HBO)
Kali Reis, Jodie Foster in True Detective: Night Country (Michele K. Short/HBO)

Is 'True Detective: Night Country' worth watching?

The first season of True Detective landed in 2014 to widespread acclaim and True Detective: Night Country is the best since the anthology series' first season. In fact, it may be the most anxiety-inducing and stressful season yet.

The fact that the title sequence is set to Billie Eilish’s "Bury a Friend" really sets the tone for the story you're about the step into.

Part of that feeling comes from the setting for Night Country. Different from the seasons set in Louisiana or the Ozarks, the darkness of Alaska adds an element of mystery and fear to the story.

Throughout the season, there are several storylines happening parallel to the core detective story. This ranges from Hank being scammed by a mail order bride, to the mining company that employs most of Ennis facing continued protests for polluting the environment.

There's a level of understanding amongst the characters that Ennis is a place where odd things happen, where people see the dead in this frigid, dark and ominous place. Pair that with the sound of faint whispers and it's a haunting combination for Night Country.

Watch True Detective: Night Country

Foster is, as expected, spectacular as Danvers. While the detective is that harsh, abrasive and sarcastic character, who has made work her life after facing significant loss, Foster injects the character with such specific nuance, including some much-needed comic relief, that she leaves you completely engrossed in the character's story, and therefore the larger narrative at play.

Reis as Navarro is the perfect match for Foster. Navarro is facing her own layers of trauma and complex family dynamics, particularly with her sister's mental health struggles, but she still effectively goes toe-to-toe with Danvers in a really appealing partnership. One thing is certain in Ennis, it's really the women who get things done.

With Night Country really having quite a robust range of characters to build this community, not every character is as well developed and utilized as Danvers and Navarro, which does occasionally make you wish you had more time with certain individuals.

It's also debatable whether or not Night Country needed its few callbacks the True Detective stories of the past, but it's not too much of a groan to be that distracting.

Ultimately, our recommendation is, if you really want to sink into the whodunit, it will be worth a rewatch once the full season ends next month.