True Detective: Bedtime Stories
February 12, 2024 2:14 PM - Season 4, Episode 5 - Subscribe

As Prior digs into the links between Tsalal and mining company Silver Sky, Navarro rescues Leah from a local protest that has turned violent. At a meeting with Silver Sky exec Kate McKitterick, Danvers is warned not to pursue the case any further.
posted by Omon Ra (23 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
So I said in the discussion of the first episode that the music was not always to the show’s benefit but golly I was not ready for the stinker they closed this episode on.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 5:35 PM on February 12 [6 favorites]


I've been seeing lots of ire about the music. To me it's kind of a shrug. It's not particularly memorable. Nor all that distracting. Some seem to know the artists and/or the works, so... something. I don't really know either. So I'm not sure what kind of baggage the music comes with.

This episode is finally feeling like maybe I'm not going to get pissed off about the story. Maybe the plot's not going to go magic and all.
posted by 2N2222 at 7:41 PM on February 12 [5 favorites]


The trend of the sad atmospheric covers of well-known songs seems like it started in movie trailers but it thankfully didn't carry over to the actual works. Maybe I'm wrong and it's just wishful thinking that it took this long for them to jump the fence, but sheesh. Ugh.
posted by destructive cactus at 8:22 PM on February 12 [2 favorites]


sad atmospheric covers of well-known songs

By far the worst offender i can imagine here is the UK version of The Traitors. Everything else seems benign in comparison.

Disappointing bits this episode were how clearly they felt the need to spell out the conspiracy. One fewer scene in there would have really benefitted the show.
posted by supercres at 8:33 PM on February 12 [2 favorites]


Absolutely, the scene with Hank and the mine lady was soo ridiculous. It would have had a lot more impact if Hank just showed up out of nowhere. As I've seen in other places online, we're really supposed to believe that Hank is willing to kill in cold blood to become the chief of police? In Ennis?
posted by Cpt. The Mango at 9:04 PM on February 12 [6 favorites]


I dunno, seemed like a natural pipeline progression to me - catfished by mail-order bride -> sadboi acoustic set -> jilted by son -> hobo assassin. We didn't need the dastardly sidebar in a frosty cab, you could have kept that to reveal later.
posted by Molesome at 1:30 AM on February 13 [13 favorites]


Yeah, this has got kind of silly now, but with one episode to go, I'll see it through.
posted by essexjan at 7:26 AM on February 13 [2 favorites]


So I said in the discussion of the first episode that the music was not always to the show’s benefit but golly I was not ready for the stinker they closed this episode on.

I couldn't help it, I was immediately reminded of this.
posted by reclusive_thousandaire at 10:11 AM on February 13 [3 favorites]


I was all for defending this show but wtf was that bs. Way too many threads, way too little focus, way too many dropped balls (Navarro bleeding out the ears? why on earth would we follow up on that)
posted by kokaku at 10:31 AM on February 13 [1 favorite]


Also, i hate on the nose music that tells me what to feel.
posted by kokaku at 10:31 AM on February 13


When I've had a particularly crappy day at work, I've often found the best way to take my mind off my troubles is to throw on some headphones and do some brisk tidying up about the house. Therefore, I think Navarro was only trying to be helpful when—just minutes after Pete blew his own dad's brains out—she thrust a half-empty spray bottle of Lysol into his hands and told him "You clean. You clean good."
posted by Atom Eyes at 3:06 PM on February 13 [2 favorites]


Yeah they didn't do anywhere near enough backstory or development to make Pete shooting his dad make any sense at all.

I also recall with trepidation how many early reviews described this episode (#5) as the one that brought the whole season together, the "WTF" episode that everybody remembers and talks about.

Call me crazy but I can't remember much of episodes 3, 4, or 5 at all.

It's just a lot of oddly edited scenes of things that should feel huge but then go nowhere (teen daughter in trouble, teen daughter jailed, teen daughter released, Pete getting kicked out of his house for working overtime two weeks into a quintuple homicide case, Navarro assaulting three men unprovoked, Navarro getting the shit kicked out of her by said men, Navarro's ears bleeding in a way that replicates every victim in the quintuple homicide they're currently investigating, Navarro's sister killing herself and being found in the ocean several minutes later, Navarro hitting another cop in front of civilians, bizarre inter-agency operating procedures, completely unsecured evidence rooms, the police captain(?) telling the police chief(?) to drop an investigation, the scientist's jobs switching from "looking for the cure to cancer in ancient microbes" to "falsifying environmental stats for the mine", stillbirth stats that would warrant a federal-level state of emergency, etc.). Just a whole mess!

Ennis is also surely the wealthiest small town in all of Alaska based on the state of its rehab and mental health centre (in a town of ~3,000 people??), hospital capable of handling extreme trauma cases (that scientist they found in the ice probably would've been airlifted to Seattle), and on-call anti-riot SWAT team(???).

And yes, the music is excruciating. But I am of course still going to finish the season, which ideally will feature about fifty-five minutes of Rose Aguineau being hyper-competent and pithy and the last five minutes can be reserved for a) what happened to Danvers' family; b) why Danvers is so insanely racist; c) who killed the abusive man in the previous partnership between Danvers and Navarro that we never really fully buy; d) who killed Annie K and why; e) what the scientists were actually researching; f) who killed the scientists and why; g) what role did the mine play in all of it; h) how many other crimes did Hank cover up while trying to buy a woman from Russia; and with hopefully no one saying "not the right question" ever again.
posted by Cpt. The Mango at 4:02 PM on February 13 [10 favorites]


I have three quibbles about how the show treats winter. Given the weather these people are supposedly in, they aren't dressing or acting right, not for the subzero shit they are supposed to be experiencing. Generally, if you're going from a vehicle into a building, you can leave your coat open, ignore the need for a toque or a mask. You're going from one warm area to another. BUT if you are working outside, especially with windchills past minus ten or twenty, if you don't cover EVERYTHING you're risking frostbite. Navarro and Annie, out of the ice, that was just nuts. Cover any exposed skin, that's a hard and fast rule. I get that you don't want to cover the actor's faces but it makes me cringe watching it. Second, it's always snowing in Ennis but there's no goddamn accumulation. They are right on the sea. They should be getting freaking hammered with snow, not just the half a foot or so we've seen. And last, you don't drive into a blizzard that has almost zero visibility like you're flying down a snow free interstate. YOU CRAWL because you can't see anything but the shoulder of the robe and your lights do next to nothing. Damn. Hollywood always gets this shit wrong.
posted by Ber at 4:59 AM on February 14 [11 favorites]


Cpt. The Mango does a good job of laying out all the reveals that still need to happen, which made me realize why I've had so much trouble engaging with these past two episodes after loving the first three: it's because I still don't understand the two lead characters' relationship because the story is withholding who shot Wheeler until the very last second, and that means I can't track either character's changing psychology or motivation because I don't have a starting point.

If Danvers shot Wheeler, then her telling Navarro to drop the case is a cowardly betrayal. If Navarro shot Wheeler, then Danvers telling her to drop the case is Danvers being protective. Which story am I 85% through watching?

I'm curious to know what happened, but I'm past the point of caring dramatically. By delivering the answer so late in the story, it can't enhance my viewing experience; it can only yank me out of the story to retrospectively explain "ohh, so that's what the characters were thinking about when they stared off into space stonily."

The performances are uniformly great and the first three episodes were amazing. But there are so many moments in the last two episodes where things just don't connect emotionally. I don't think it's because the writing is bad or Lopez is a bad storyteller, I have confidence that we'll get every answer in Mango's list in one big revelation domino cascade, and they will all be surprising and make sense. But I think the show mistakes information for experience, and misunderstands how to pace the information out in ways that create dramatic tension instead of mere curiosity.
posted by reclusive_thousandaire at 7:32 AM on February 14 [5 favorites]


I was confused about the photos in the Wheeler case that had been reversed. Can anyone explain what was going on there?
posted by essexjan at 8:27 AM on February 14


They shot him on the wrong side - forgetting he was left handed - so they doctored the photos, which would have documented him hitting his wife with his left hand. Looking at the doctored photos shows her having been hit with a right hand, matching the bullet on the right side of his head.

Pete getting kicked out of his house for working overtime two weeks into a quintuple homicide case

This trope has always always bugged me. "Dammit, I know you saved 37 orphans by defusing that bomb, but it was my mother's birthday! I can't take any more of this!"
posted by ftm at 8:29 AM on February 14 [10 favorites]


sad atmospheric covers of well-known songs

Ah yes, trailercore
posted by STFUDonnie at 8:38 PM on February 14 [5 favorites]


I'm kind of rooting for a Qavvik spinoff. He can be Ennis' Ted Danson, run a bar where everybody knows your name.
posted by chavenet at 12:30 PM on February 15 [5 favorites]


Okay, i've been holding this since the opening episode, because I knew, just knew that they would fail the moment that they mentioned that the last sunset was December 17th, because...that's 4 days before the solstice, which would mean that daylight would return 4 days after solstice, so the "long" night was only 8 days. But, of course, they didn't get the detail right, so now it's the 31st, 6 days after the solstice, so there should be daylight for an ever increasing amount every day.
posted by OHenryPacey at 8:00 PM on February 16 [8 favorites]


If Danvers shot Wheeler, then her telling Navarro to drop the case is a cowardly betrayal. If Navarro shot Wheeler, then Danvers telling her to drop the case is Danvers being protective. Which story am I 85% through watching?

Maybe they shot at the same time from opposite sides and their bullets disintegrated when they collided and it just happened to leave what looked like entry and exit wounds
posted by Saxon Kane at 1:35 PM on February 17 [1 favorite]


so there should be daylight for an ever increasing amount every day

Yeah this oversight kind of sums up the season for me so far. They don’t care much about what Alaska is really like, what scientists or detectives do, it’s not that kind of storytelling. Which is fine if that’s what you enjoy but I guess I was hoping for a little more realism.
posted by gubo at 6:32 AM on February 18 [3 favorites]


I was confused about the photos in the Wheeler case that had been reversed. Can anyone explain what was going on there?

posted by essexjan at 8:27 AM on February 14 [+] [⚑]

They shot him on the wrong side - forgetting he was left handed - so they doctored the photos, which would have documented him hitting his wife with his left hand. Looking at the doctored photos shows her having been hit with a right hand, matching the bullet on the right side of his head.

posted by ftm at 8:29 AM on February 14 [9 favorites +] [⚑]


I think this is what the show was meaning to convey, but I was confused at first as well. Mostly because Foster's reaction to "Did you know Wheeler was left-handed" suggested to me that she was learning that piece of information in the scene at that moment. But I guess we were supposed to assume that she discovered that fact in the time shortly after Wheeler's killing and was just reacting to Prior's revelation that he knew about the deception.
posted by Expecto Cilantro at 11:49 AM on February 27 [1 favorite]


Okay, i've been holding this since the opening episode, because I knew, just knew that they would fail the moment that they mentioned that the last sunset was December 17th, because...that's 4 days before the solstice, which would mean that daylight would return 4 days after solstice, so the "long" night was only 8 days. But, of course, they didn't get the detail right, so now it's the 31st, 6 days after the solstice, so there should be daylight for an ever increasing amount every day.

Assuming this episode took place all over one long day, I think they've just cheated when the solstice takes place to move it to Christmas Eve/Day, which seems kind of spiritually/storybook allowable, and would then let them (I'm guessing) emerge from an ice cave next episode just in time to see a series-ending glimmer of sunrise on the dawn of the New Year. That makes for (roughly) 7 days before a Christmas solstice and 7 days after.

I guess it's fair to say that sort of solstice-on-christmas cheating isn't allowable (and I'd say skipping the week between xmas and nye in between episodes is otherwise a kind of weird storytelling choice here), but I don't think they didn't think it through.
posted by nobody at 7:19 PM on March 2


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