WHATEVER YOUR THOUGHTS are on True Detective: Night Country—Is it as good as previous seasons? Is it too much of a departure from the series’ previous storytelling?—it’s clear that Episode 5 truly ramped things up from the slower pace of the first four episodes. As we begin to approach the season finale, Danvers, Navarro, and Prior have a lot at stake.
This season’s main mystery concerns a group of dead scientists found in some kind of violent scenario, left to freeze in the cold. And their deaths are connected to the murder of a Inupiaq woman years before. As the trio digs deep into the mysteries surrounding their town of Ennis, Alaska, they’ve discovered everyone has their own personal thoughts on the tragedies, and due to the town’s mine (which drives the local economy) being a potential connection to both murders, tensions are understandably high.
Episode 5 really kicks off mid-episode, though, when Danvers makes a major discovery: it turns out Hank’s been following her. And when she hears directly from Captain Connelly that he knows about a previous case that she and Navarro covered up, Danvers connects the dots and realizes Hank has been snooping in Peter’s things to find dirt on her.
Everything really comes to a head, though, at Danvesr’s house. She’s preparing to take Otis Heiss, an engineer, to the caves, where they hope to find Annie Kowtok’s body, and potentially DNA that could implicate someone in Ennis in her murder. But before she can leave with Otis, Hank arrives. There’s a tense standoff. Hank takes Danvers’s gun, and shoots Otis. Hearing the shots, Peter comes in, and points his gun at his father.
Why Did Peter Kill Hank in Episode 5?
Peter quickly realizes what’s going on and points his gun at his father. Danvers tries to talk him out of it, but at the same time, Hank starts to explain himself.
It turns out he’s involved in Annie Kowtok’s case in a big way: he moved her body from where she died, but wasn’t the one who killed her. And as we see earlier in the episode, he’s in league with the mine, which help him pay off his debts and even promised he’d become Chief of Police before Danvers arrived and messed up his plans. If Otis survived and led Danvers through the cave, they would have not only found Annie’s body, but would have definitely found Hank’s DNA on her.
He begs Peter’s help in moving Otis’ body, but Peter stays firm. In a split second, realizing he’s backed into a corner, Hank moves to shoot Danvers. But Peter’s faster than his father and in a shocking moment, Peter shoots his father in the head, killing him.
It’s clear Peter had a choice to make: giving up his morals to help his guilty father, or aiding Danvers in bringing Annie Kowtok’s murderer to justice. In saving Danvers’ life, Peter had to make the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of justice.
With this surprising new twist in the show, we can’t wait to find out who killed Annie Kowtok and the scientists.
Milan Polk is an Editorial Assistant for Men’s Health who specializes in entertainment and lifestyle reporting, and has worked for New York Magazine’s Vulture and Chicago Tribune.