The Night Of: Ordinary Death
August 21, 2016 7:42 PM - Season 1, Episode 7 - Subscribe

The defense presents its case in the trial of The State v. Nasir Khan.
posted by komara (29 comments total)
 
I'm a lawyer; this trial is so painful for me to watch. I used to nitpick Law and Order but oh my GOD that was NOTHING compared to this. I can ignore little things and suspend disbelief when appropriate, but this is just distressingly ignorant of the most basic principles of evidence. I wonder if they even hired a lawyer to consult in the script but just ignored all of their suggestions. If I was that lawyer I'd be freaking out and taking this consult off my resume. I'm sure non lawyers don't care and that's totally fine, but when even the sillier episodes of Boston Legal are more realistic than this seemingly serious drama, it's very weird.

Sin bad? lol wtf
posted by gatorae at 8:08 PM on August 21, 2016 [9 favorites]


Ok gatorae I'm totally with you on the SinBad thing. Seriously? That's the tat he went for? No.

I feel like after the initial rush of this show, it's been falling apart a bit, but this ep really was a mess to me. From those hand tats to the full on murder to the kiss with the attorney! That was just....oh....painful painful painful. Ugh. I really enjoyed this show, but right now the only thing I enjoyed were the bits about the cat.
posted by miss-lapin at 8:47 PM on August 21, 2016


SinBad

It is his nickname in Rikers. But it's embarrassingly over the top. Might as well have gotten a "maybe i did it" tat.

What was the deal with the murder in the beginning? I expected that to play a role somewhere in the rest of the ep but it just was tossed in and then dropped down the memory hole.

Something did seem off about the courtroom scenes in this one, even to this layman who doesn't know much about court procedure.
posted by dis_integration at 8:58 PM on August 21, 2016 [2 favorites]


Oh, the kiss with the attorney was a mess. I didn't make any sense with Chandra's character at all, and if her boyfriend leaving her is supposed to be groundwork, it wasn't enough.

I did enjoy finally hearing the defense's crime scene investigator lay out his theories, and I still think the actor playing the prosecutor is doing a really good job with her role. Mostly though, this episode is a mess.

I really enjoyed this show, but right now the only thing I enjoyed were the bits about the cat.

The cat escaping to come and sleep with Stone was the best part, followed by Stone admitting that he didn't want to get rid of it.
posted by gladly at 6:07 AM on August 22, 2016 [6 favorites]


The cat escaping to come and sleep with Stone was the best part, followed by Stone admitting that he didn't want to get rid of it.

The little character moments like this (as well as the cinematography and direction more generally) are the things that I enjoy the most about this show. Some people have been speculating that the cat is going to help Stone crack the case, but I don't really know if that works in a narrative like this one. I would be fine if the purpose of the scenes with the cat was just to establish something about his character.

The Chandra-Naz kiss definitely felt like the most tonally 'off' moment in the entire show. I would expect that sort of misconduct between counsel and client to be pretty uncommon, to the point that it felt like a major distraction from the larger points the show seems to be trying to make about the failures of the justice system.
posted by Kosh at 7:15 AM on August 22, 2016 [3 favorites]


Man, that kiss. What a horrible creative choice.

gatorae, as a layman, the trial scenes seemed much more realistic than Law & Order, but maybe I was fooled by the distinct lack of Jack McCoy's histrionics. Be curious to hear at least a few of the things they got so wrong.

Sadly, I would agree the show has been on a slow decline, with each episode more boring, less engaging and less believable than the one before. I hold out some hope that a we'll get a great final episode (scheduled to clock in at a hefty 95 minutes) that ties everything together in a satisfying way. But that hope is pretty thin.
posted by Frayed Knot at 7:40 AM on August 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


"the cat is going to help Stone crack the case"

The farther along we get the more I'm sure there's no 'cracking the case' to be had. There's no follow-up on Duane Reade. We've known about the gate that didn't latch since E01. We saw creepy mortician for like 5 minutes. All they're doing is showing us-the-viewers (as a stand-in for us-the-jury) that there's reasonable doubt.

sometimes clumsily
posted by komara at 8:27 AM on August 22, 2016


I'm still loving the show -- each episode has had me riveted to my seat, leaning forward in full attention and muttering things to various characters. (Mostly it's, "Naz, don't do that. Don't do it, Naz. Goddamnitsomuchrightnow, Naz.")

But, yeah, that kiss. Ugh. For that I was muttering, "Please be a dream sequence, please be a dream sequence, please be a dream sequence...."

I'm guessing something is going to come up that exonerates Naz, but it's too late for him: either he's already too far down his wrongful path or Freddy gets transferred and somebody is able to get to Naz without his protection. Not holding out hopes for a happy ending.
posted by lord_wolf at 8:57 AM on August 22, 2016 [3 favorites]


The little character moments like this (as well as the cinematography and direction more generally) are the things that I enjoy the most about this show.

Yeah, even if the show doesn't add up to the sum of its parts, there are great performances and moments in every episode. It's beautifully realized, even if the mystery and the timeline don't make a lot of sense.
posted by gladly at 9:54 AM on August 22, 2016 [4 favorites]


There have been repeated shots emphasizing Naz' left-handedness, so the boyfriend and I are convinced that is going to be the big reveal in the final episode that breaks the case in his favor. Which doesn't make any sense in the flow of the trial, but the trial has been a mess so who cares? I am also half expecting the cat to somehow be the key witness - which would be more nonsense, but at this point that is what I expect. The Chandra kiss was where I just flat gave up on anything about this plot being satisfying, though some individual scenes have been excellent.
posted by the primroses were over at 10:53 AM on August 22, 2016 [4 favorites]


I was SURE the kiss scene was fantasy
posted by supermedusa at 11:29 AM on August 22, 2016 [2 favorites]


Again they showed Andrea and Naz kissing (in flashback) and again they showed her bloody hand on the side of his head/face, and again I'm left wondering if that's somehow going to factor in to everything. You know, like proving that he showered at some point, though you'd expect a DNA sample from the drain to have been brought up if so.

and if it doesn't show up in the narrative then I'm writing off this whole season (you know, after it's done) because if you're gonna meticulously build a show around nitpicky details then don't screw up the nitpicky details.
posted by komara at 1:19 PM on August 22, 2016


because if you're gonna meticulously build a show around nitpicky details then don't screw up the nitpicky details.

Yeah they've got one more episode to fire about 100 chekov's guns. Don't think they can pull it off. I'm enjoying it though.
posted by dis_integration at 2:38 PM on August 22, 2016 [3 favorites]


I rewarched ep1 tonight.

The date of the murder was October 2014.

But, Naz had all that trouble in high school after 9/11, 13 years earlier.

So, he's 30 yrs old???

The cat definitely knows who did it, but he's not talking.
posted by bricksNmortar at 6:18 PM on August 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


bricksNmortar: But, Naz had all that trouble in high school after 9/11, 13 years earlier.

The previous version was shot in 2012 with James Gandolfini as John Stone, so it was at least 4 years closer to 9/11. (The UK version aired in 2008, although the Pakistani-American/ 9/11 angle is unique to the American version, with Ben Whishaw playing the defendant.) Apparently it was partially given a new lease on life because True Detective dropped the ball on their season 2, so HBO scrambled to find something for the time slot and pulled it off the shelf. I suspect that's why it started so strong but some of the precision is falling apart as the season progresses, but maybe I'm wrong.
posted by bluecore at 6:11 AM on August 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


So, he's 30 yrs old???

I thought he said he was in fifth grade when the towers came down. Also, he was in college when he got arrested.
posted by bondcliff at 6:28 AM on August 23, 2016


I enjoyed the courtroom scene despite all of its problems. The cross examination of the pathologist was pretty much stolen from "The Staircase".

So did Naz get rid of his inhaler at the end of the show because it could incriminate him or was it just part of the ruse to distract the guard from the killing?

The finale is 96 minutes long.
posted by futz at 10:24 AM on August 23, 2016


Am I the only one who wondered why, assuming Naz didn't stab her, the inhaler appeared to be lying in a pool of blood but wasn't spattered with it?
posted by carrienation at 10:37 AM on August 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


I don't believe that's the same inhaler, but he asked for another to distract the guard while the other inmate got killed.It was pretty clear from how things went down that this was an orchestrated plan.

This initially had a True Detective feel to me. Sadly it's not living up to it.
posted by miss-lapin at 1:47 PM on August 23, 2016


"I don't believe that's the same inhaler"

I believe carrienation was referring to the crime scene photos that appear to be a wash of red except for the yellow-orange evidence ID tag and the blue-gray inhaler, apparently untouched by blood.

Maybe Naz (and his possessions) are coated in Teflon or something. No blood on him, no blood on his inhaler, nothin'.
posted by komara at 2:35 PM on August 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I was referring to futz's question "So did Naz get rid of his inhaler at the end of the show because it could incriminate him or was it just part of the ruse to distract the guard from the killing?"
posted by miss-lapin at 5:29 PM on August 23, 2016


So this has only an episode to go and in about four episodes has gone from "compelling" to "incoherent and utterly unrealistic". I'm not even going to bother taking a guess at the outcome since the system that is producing it is a total mess.
posted by turbid dahlia at 5:51 PM on August 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I don't believe that's the same inhaler

I assumed that it was but perhaps not and it was obviously an orchestrated plan. Reddit is on a "the hearse driver did it kick". If that turns out to be the case I will be pissed.
posted by futz at 8:10 PM on August 23, 2016


"I was referring to futz's question "So did Naz get rid of his inhaler at the end of the show because it could incriminate him or was it just part of the ruse to distract the guard from the killing?""

Whoops, sorry, jumped on the wrong part of that one.

My opinion on the actual thing to which you were responding is no, he's not trying to get rid of it - it's just the best way for him to distract the guard the longest, and the showrunners wanted to prove to us that he still had it or something, I don't know, but there's no way he would know to / need to get rid of it that instant because of the trial.

... I don't think.

maybe I'm giving the show too much credit.

Man, I can't wait for next week just to see how either brilliant or stupid this show ends up being in the end.
posted by komara at 9:00 PM on August 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Well, in this episode a lot of attention was paid to the inhaler and it was evidence and not treated as such and now it is probably gone. As evidence I am not really sure what story it told but I have a few ideas. I also saw the kiss coming many episodes ago but that doesn't make it less cringeworthy.

Perhaps it was just a distraction ruse but this isn't the first time they have focused on that inhaler. The only thing that I am sure of (not really sure at all) is that the cat is a big part of the puzzle.

And what about the open window that was accessible via the tree? Lots of dangling chads in this show.
posted by futz at 9:41 PM on August 23, 2016


The Night of Chekhov's 1000 Guns
posted by komara at 6:57 AM on August 24, 2016


I don't know. Considering how poorly put together this last ep was, I'm not sure if the inhaler has much significance or if it's just another false lead to make us think they're going to reveal what actually happened.
posted by miss-lapin at 1:17 PM on August 24, 2016


Sometimes I feel as if they are making a joke about murder mystery plots-- especially those with amateur detectives. Stone goes to the gym and asks around about the stepfather, while the stepfather is in the room. The stepfather confronts him immediately: "Do you think you're invisible?" No, he's just behaving like your typical guy in a detective novel on whose lack of common sense the plot depends. But instead of hoping the audience is not going to notice it, they draw a line under it. Even with the cat, they're making you laugh at yourself-- or wince, or something-- for rooting for it at the same time that these awful consequences are playing out for Naz's family. But it's not broad satire, and at times it seems very earnest.
posted by BibiRose at 8:40 AM on August 25, 2016


This show was on track to be one of the best. I have never experienced an awesome-to-garbage quality shift like this in any television show -- it's particularly surprising coming from HBO.

For me, the kiss was the most shark-jumpy, script-bungling, and ultimately show-killing event so far (the nonsensical courtroom shenanigans comes close, too - made L&O seem like the pinnacle authenticity).

Chandra should have her own fucking show, dammit.
posted by alrightokay at 1:24 PM on September 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


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