The Night of Finale – The other side of the mirror

The defense rests on one hell of a snafu causing John and Naz to get desperate and Box looks to correct a mistake he made, but will it be enough?

Spoilers for “The Call of the Wild”

Recap:

After presenting one hell of a case casting doubt on Naz by throwing Duane Reade, Mr. Day (the mortician), and Don Taylor under the bus, Chandra feels she needs to put Naz on the stand. John begs her not to (and so are the rest of us watching the show). There are too many holes in his story, too many surprises they have been hit with, and the DA is damn good at ripping apart a testimony when she feels the need to. She may have ignored the three men Chandra placed out there as suspects who should have been investigated, but that doesn’t mean Helen won’t take it easy on Naz.

Image Courtesy of HBO

Image Courtesy of HBO

Chandra ignores John’s advice and convinces Naz he needs to tell his side of the story. Just one big problem, since Petey took his own life, the supply of drugs has dried up and Naz is suffering from withdrawal. If he is going to testify, he needs supplemental help and Chandra is just a little bit in love with him enough to make that happen.

On the stand, Chandra walks Naz through that night as saw it from the first episode. Helen’s turn to question Naz. After tearing open the holes in his story, she has the young man admitting on the stand that he doesn’t know if he killed Andrea or not. Chandra cries silently as she tells the judge “the defense rests.” She knows she just lost the trial by putting her client on the stand. Defeated, John sends the cat back to the shelter.

A gift from the king of Rikers arrives on John’s doorstep and could be the hope he is looking for. It is video of Chandra kissing Naz. John goes to his client and asks for permission to throw the young lawyer under the bus to get a mistrial. There is a big chance the DA will decide not to continue pursue Naz if the case is thrown out. Naz eventually caves to save himself, but he knows he just possibly ruined the career of the one other person who thinks he is innocent.

Unbeknownst to the defense, Box has decided to do the work he should have done if confirmation bias and the idea of retirement hadn’t made him lazy. He looks into what Andrea was doing that night and sees she was looking behind her, like she was afraid someone was following her, when walking towards Naz’s cab. He follows her night back to the bar she walked out of and sees the victim arguing with a man outside who eventually follows her when she walks away. Thru credit card receipts and cell phone records, the detective finds the name Raymond Halle (and everyone including myself and UberApe watching the show shouts “It was the CPA?!?”).

Image Courtesy of HBO

Image Courtesy of HBO

Box takes his findings to the DA that include the possibility of Halle’s embezzlement of Andrea’s trust fund, his gambling issues, his abuse of hookers which lead to a shooting, and his whereabouts on that night. Helen is not sure she wants to go down that road, “we’ve got more on the kid.” Those seeds of doubt are there in her mind. During her closing arguments, Box gets up and walks out just a Naz’s mother had done days before. This trips Helen up and she looks at the defendant as she is telling the story. She doesn’t believe it with the same amount of conviction she did before.

Before Chandra can make her closing arguments, the three lawyers are called into the judge’s chambers to discuss the video John gave to him. He decides to make Chandra the second chair while the ethics board decides what to do with her and they are going to finish the trial with John as the lead. John is not happy with this ruling, but the judge sees right thru what he was attempting to do and is not going to play into it.

The stress of now being the man in charge of Naz’s case spirals John into the worst breakout of his psoriasis, requiring him to be hospitalized. John greets the jury with hives broken out all over his face and his hands covered, but he delivers one hell of a closing argument pointing out the police didn’t look into anyone else. There are other suspects out there with more of a motive, one of them has the MO of stealing knives from the houses of his victims and assaulting that person. Mostly he wants the jury to have doubt. If they doubt Naz could kill Andrea, then his client is free.

Image Courtesy of HBO

Image Courtesy of HBO

After what seems like a little over a day of deliberation, the jury comes back hung. Six people think Naz did it, six think the man is innocent. The foreman informs the judge they are done. When asked if she wants to go at Naz again with a new jury, Helen says no and goes to Box wanting to go and get Halle.

Naz is free to go home, but it is certainly not like before. His parents have to sell their house to pay the legal fees. People have spray painted the For Sale sign in the front yard with swastikas and messages to die. The relationship between mother and son is damaged, possibly beyond repair, because she doubted her son’s innocence. Everyone looks at Naz like he killed a girl, including those who were his friends. All alone, Naz goes back to the bridge where he and Andrea talked, the edge of the rabbit hole, and he smokes the drugs he purchased as soon as he got away from his family.

All is not lost. John was able to save Naz from prison by getting enough people on the jury to see the possibility of innocence. In turn he chooses to save the cat once more and allows the feline to wonder the apartment as his pet.

Conclusions from the finale:

Image Courtesy of HBO

Image Courtesy of HBO

The last conversation between Freddy and Naz before he is free was truly the most touching moment of the whole show. From the beginning the career criminal saw the aura of innocence surrounding Naz and Freddy felt the need to protect the fish the best way he knew how. Yes, Naz is now addicted to heroin and play a part in a murder Freddy committed, but that is how prison life is to the boxer. It is as normal as grabbing a beer and watching a game together. I may have teared up a bit when Freddy left his copy of The Call of the Wild for Naz.

Box and Helen have earned my respect back when they decided to do the investigation they should have done in the first place. I do have to say, when Helen was questioning Naz on the stand, I was on the edge of my seat. I was ready to confess to the murder of Andrea, she had me doubting my motivations that night. Jeannie Berlin really knocked it out of the park by making what is typically a hated character in a show much like this one and made her likable and compelling.

Image Courtesy of HBO

Image Courtesy of HBO

While a part of me is disappointed the killing of Andrea wasn’t given a hard conclusion, I did enjoy how they resolved that case with the implication Halle threw something in the trash that night near his apartment after the time he could have committed the murder.

I was surprised by the ending, if you had read my previous write-ups on the show, I had a very different conclusion in mind. This one was more bittersweet than I could have anticipated and probably a hell of a lot more honest. Naz may have skated, but he was never really found innocent of the charges. The possibility of guilt will hang over him for the rest of his life even if Halle is tried and convicted of the murder of Andrea. Now he has a crippling drug addiction to contend with that will most likely rip his fragile family apart completely when it comes to light. Chandra’s career is over. John goes back to being that guy in the adds.

What did you think of the conclusion of The Night of? Was the show anything like you expected? Were you happy John saved the cat? Talk to me in the comments section below.

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About Nerdling

The Nerdling has an unhealthy obsession with books, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Star Wars. She finds hockey to be the best sport in the world (Go Dallas Stars!) and is working on her first novel, but mostly glowers at a blank screen. You can find her on Twitter @nerdlingstale on Facebook @NerdlingTales or Instagram @nerdling_tales

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