All 6 episodes of True Detective: Night Country, ranked worst to best

Was Night Country a worthy addition to the True Detective catalog or a snow-bound waste of time? Let's walk through the season and figure it out:
True Detective: Night Country
True Detective: Night Country /
1 of 6

The fourth season of True Detective wrapped up this past weekend, bringing to an end another standalone tale about grizzled gumshoes trying to figure out who done it, and maybe discovering the secrets of the universe in the process. This time, the heroes are chief of police Liz Danvers (Jodie Foster) and state trooper Evangeline Navarro (Kali Reis), with an able assist from fresh-faced young police officer Peter Prior (Finn Bennett, who low-key steals the show if you ask me). They have to solve a whopper of a mystery: how did a bunch of scientists at the Tsalal Arctic Research Station outside the remote town of Ennis, Alaska end up naked and dead on the tundra? Looks like a job for a detective. Truly.

This was the first season of True Detective not managed by series creator Nic Pizzolatto, who jeered the show's new direction from the sidelines. Issa López stepped in as writer and director and the show got a new subtitle: Night Country. Was this the refresh that True Detective needed, or a folly in the snow?

We're gonna walk through all six episodes and see if can't puzzle that out. Let the ranking begin:

True Detective: Night Country /

6. Episode 2

I think True Detective: Night Country got better as it went along, as we come to understood more about how the characters approach situations. Episode 2 is in something of an uncomfortable middle place, where we don't know the characters especially well yet and the mystery isn't developed enough to carry the show on its own.

Still, the episode entertains throughout. We pick up right after our heroes find the frozen dead men outside Tsalal. Things start with a bang when they discover that one of them is still alive. Twisted and damaged and frost-bitten beyond recognition, but alive. Night Country isn't afraid of a little body horror.

From there, the team moves the pack of frozen dead guys, known as the "corpsicle" to a local hockey rink for defrosting. The corpsicle is probably the single best image to come out of this show, and it makes its debut here. The characters continue to develop, particularly Jodie Foster's Liz Danvers, who we learn is sleeping with her boss Captain Ted Connelly (Christopher Eccleston). Leave it to an HBO show to give us a frank depiction of sex and hedonism after 50.

The episode ends with the revelation that Raymond Clark, one of the scientists at Tsalal, isn't among the dead, meaning he's still out there. Is he behind this monstrous act? And if he isn't, does he know who did? The show tries to milk a lot of dread out of this moment, but it's the weakest ending to any episode this season.

We have four more episodes to go before we crown a winner. Click the button below to continue: