“True Detective: Night Country” will contain Easter eggs referencing past seasons

True Detective is an anthology series, but that doesn't mean the different seasons can't reference each other. The upcoming fourth installment, True Detective: Night Country, is the first season not written by original creator Nic Pizzolatto. However, new showrunner Issa López (Tigers Are Not Afraid) says her version will still contain Easter eggs referencing the show's past.

"There are Easter eggs throughout that you will find and there's a big, big thing in episode 6 that you will discover in time," López said at an HBO press event on Thursday. "It is its own story, but it's still connected. The spiral is there, the way that there are those dark and ancient gods (perhaps yes, perhaps not) working behind the scenes. It is the same universe."

Jodie Foster HBO True Detective: Night Country; TRUE DETECTIVE Matthew McConaughey
Jodie Foster HBO True Detective: Night Country; TRUE DETECTIVE Matthew McConaughey

Michele K. Short/HBO; Jim Bridges/HBO/Courtesy Everett Collection Jodie Foster in 'True Detective: Night Country' vs. Matthew McConaughey in 'True Detective' season 1

True Detective: Night Country stars Jodie Foster as Detective Liz Danvers and boxer Kali Reis as Detective Evangeline Navarro. In the grand tradition of True Detective, the two investigators are tasked with solving a seemingly impossible problem. In this case, it's the disappearance of six men who work on the Tsalal Arctic Research Station in Alaska, just before the onset of Alaska's annual 30 days of unceasing night.

Were supernatural elements involved? What horrors lurk in the darkest night? Setting the story at an Arctic research base evokes John Carpenter's cult classic movie The Thing, though positioning two women at the center also turns the all-male The Thing on its head.

López said that she is not using the typical time-displaced storytelling of past True Detective seasons, where viewers see characters played by Matthew McConaughey or Mahershala Ali at vastly different times of their lives.

"HBO, you guys are incredible in the way that you trust a crazy Mexican," López said. "They were like, 'You can do it. Whatever you want.' Which is terrifying, it's the worst thing."

López continued, "I'm not going to follow the format and I'm not going to follow the way it's shot. I do follow the idea and the aesthetic of this world behind them, and I constantly go back to show you the universe, the world where it's set, which is so unique. This corner of the north, forgotten by the world, Alaska. That I kept. And then the other thing that I thought was brilliant was two characters in a car trying to decipher the workings of the universe and their souls."

True Detective: Night Country is set to premiere in January 2024.

Additional reporting by Nick Romano.

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