The trial begins while Detective Box, Chandra, and John each explore new leads.
Spoilers for “Samson and Delilah”
Both the prosecution and the defense are working on their cases in the short time before jury selection. Helen looks into the drugs and if it is plausible Naz could have possibly murdered a woman while on his potent cocktail. Detective Box uses Facebook to learn more about Naz’s life before that night. On his page, there are pictures of Naz being a normal person, but a post stands out. Friends calling Naz a savior dated a little over a month prior to Andrea’s murder and the detective is curious as to why. Box notices there are two different high schools on Naz’s profile page. The second one is much further away than the first one. Naz had been suspended when he threw a kid down the stairs, breaking his arm. When Naz came back after his time was up, the fighting got worse and Naz was transferred out.
When Chandra questions him about it later, Naz explains he and other Muslims were getting jumped because of 9/11. At first he didn’t understand why (he was only in the 5th grade at the time) he, his brother, father, and friends were being beaten. One day Naz decided he had enough and shoved the kid down the stairs. He never felt guilty for what he did, but he did feel for his mother. Afterward Safar could only look at him with confusion, wondering why her son would do such a thing.
Chandra follows a possible lead when she sees a man driving a hearse talking to Andrea at a gas station the night of the murder, then follows after Naz and Andrea leave. Using his plates, she is able to track the mortician down. As Mr. Day prepares a body for a funeral he explains what he thought of Andrea. “She got that vibration some women got. Next thing you know, they’re dead” he states to the lawyer. “Women like that out to destroy you. Sometimes you got no choice but to strike first,” Day continues on, thoroughly frightening Chandra. When she asks where he went after Naz and Andrea left the gas station, Day becomes cold and accuses her of being one of those women. “Read your bible. Judges 16. That’s all a man need to know” the mortician advises her. She takes a bible to John and reads “Samson and Delilah” to her partner wondering if the mortician used the tale of a woman’s betrayal to justify killing Andrea.
John follows a lead of his own knowing blaming a random mortician for a murder will not hold up in court. Wondering why a 22 year old, jobless, drug addict could afford a brownstone in Manhattan (something all of us were wondering way back when Andrea brought Naz back to her place), John looks into the property’s owner. Eventually, John follows the paper trail to a hedge fund manager, Ray Halle (Paulo Castanzo), who handled the mother’s, and eventually Andrea’s, financials. He is also the man John witnessed Don fighting with at the funeral.
Upon her mother’s death, Halle told Andrea her stepfather would be getting half of the inheritance. “Over my dead body” was her response according to the money man. Don is many years younger than he late wife and was only married to her for two years. During that time, Don quit his job to play house husband. Halle looked into him and found the former personal trainer usually dates “the grey ladies” and has been served with a few restraining orders. Don had even threatened Ray when he was told he Andrea would inherit everything. Now with his stepdaughter dead, Don will get the money and the house.
The trial begins and the prosecution goes first. Helen starts to establish Naz and Andrea’s movements up until they both arrive at her place. She then progresses on to Naz’s behavior after being pulled over till the time the knife is found in his jacket. The DA is painting her narrative for Naz. The young man stole a cab, kicked two men out of it, but allowed a beautiful woman to ride with him and bought her alcohol. After being pulled over for suspicion of DWI, Naz acted like a man guilty of something much worse.
In prison, Freddy is enjoying the crack (courtesy of Petey’s mother), and making “a proper convict” of Naz. The former boxer explains why cell phones are “cash machines” in prison, arranging for Naz to have some ink done, and talking to his protégé about the two defense lawyers. John, according to Freddy, is good, but Chandra is too emotionally invested in Naz’s case. Naz likes that she believes Naz’s story, but “only a new lawyer” wouldn’t know his story is not important.
After refusing the first few times he is offered, eventually Naz gives in and starts to smoke the crack. While high, Naz calls Chandra and confesses he misses telling someone “that’s not an animal in a fucking zoo” good night. She encourages him to call his family, but Naz refuses. He starts to tell her something, but stops himself and wishes her a good night.
Questions, Thoughts and Theories:
Before you get too freaked out over the mortician, I think he is nothing more than a red herring who also serves as a lead-in into the story of “Samson and Delilah,” which I have a theory about. And just so you know in addition to covering the deceased’s exposed skin with makeup, Morticians will paint the nails of the bodies they are preparing to cover the bloodless look in the hands. Even the men’s hands.
Naz’s behavior is prison is not helping him when it comes to having a nice guy image for trial. Shaving his head and getting ink helps to paint him with the hardened criminal brush. While it is easy to criticize him for his decisions, it helps to remember Naz is trying to survive the “wild” in Rikers Island.
Naz’s new wolf tattoo is a call back to The Call of the Wild, which Freddy recommended he read as a survival guide. That book and the tale of “Samson and Delilah” may be clues as to how the story will end for Naz, and maybe Freddy as well.
In the bible story, Samson was a Judge of the Israelites who was given supernatural strength by God to fight evils. His power lay in his hair which he never cut. Samson fell for Delilah and she betrayed him to the Philistines for money. She used his love for her to trick him to confessing his fatal flaw. When he slept, she shaved his head and left him to his enemies who blinded and enslaved him. As his hair grew back during his time of subjugation, Samson was able to harness his strength one last time to bring the pillars of the Philistine temple upon himself and the entire village, killing them all.
Naz’s hair cut may have been afterwards, but Andrea is the Delilah to Naz’s Samson. She used his feelings against him and her greed (she rightfully refused to give Don any money) directly led his imprisonment. Now he is no longer the good kid we initially saw him as, he has been revealed as someone with a temper and violent without remorse when he feels he is justified. She brought out his weaknesses which may lead to Naz’s continued imprisonment long after the trial is over.
Freddy can also fit as a Delilah type character, but I think his arc is more tied to The Call of the Wild. While in prison, Naz becomes Buck, the main dog in the classic book. Buck becomes the leader of his pack after killing the former leader in a fight (Naz beating Calvin after his attack). Buck is eventually saved from his abusive owners (again Calvin) by Thornton, an experienced outdoorsman (Freddy). Thornton nurses Buck back to health (Freddy teaching Naz how to survive in prison) and even wins some money off of Buck’s strength and devotion (Naz smuggling in drugs for Freddy as a favor for keeping him safe). Buck in turn saves Thornton when he nearly drowns in a frozen lake (possibly Naz’s intelligence gave Freddy someone on a more equal plane to converse with?).
How the book ends spells trouble for Freddy. While Thornton mines for gold, Buck explores the wild and becomes friendly with a wolf from a pack (possibly Petey or another inmate). When Buck returns home, Thornton has been killed by a tribe of Yeehats (maybe the man Naz saw getting serviced by Petey kills Freddy when he finds out Petey is being used like that). Buck kills the tribe in revenge and gets into a fight with a wolf pack (Naz murders Freddy’s killer). Buck successfully fights off the wolves (Naz is found innocent of the murder of Andrea) and finds his friend with in the pack. The wolf convinces Buck to come with him into the forest and no longer be a pet, but the wild animal Buck was born to be (Naz remains in prison for the murder he committed there).
What did you think of last night’s The Night of? Do you think Naz and Freddy are going to end up like Buck and Thornton? Do you see Andrea is Delilah? Let me know what you think in the comments section below.