the night of naz

The Night Of Recap: And When He's Dissed... Oooh, Fire!

Well, that settles it. After this week’s installment of The Night Of, I’m swearing off even the most innocuous misdemeanors, like jaywalking or tossing a martini in the face of Ann Coulter.

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From the opening images (rolls of barbed wire dotted with fluttering plastic bags) right through that closing shot of Naz’s cot engulfed in flames, I felt like I’d been completely immersed in the Rikers Island expeirence along with the wide-eyed college student indicted for a murder I’m pretty sure he didn’t commit.

Thanks to the deliberate and meticulous unspooling of plot, atmosphere and dialogue, I can now imagine navigating a life in which you’ve got to wear shoes in the shower to help ensure you don’t wind dead with “your brains bashed in and your guts on the floor.” I can feel the panic of having to decide whether to accept an offer of “protection” from an alpha inmate — without knowing the exact terms of the deal.

8f931333eef2fdd70e8616bf156535e31121844737080e7ba30fad82b94e1316As Naz survives his first few days on this dark and terrifying planet — where a piece of raw veal is as packed with menace as it is protein — there’s plenty of action on the outside, too: a change of lawyers that, hard as it might be to admit, is probably the right call. More hardship for Naz’s bewildered family. And even a treacherous path for the forgotten tabby left orphaned by Andrea’s demise.

Hey, nobody said this was going to be easy viewing (although even Game of Thrones occasionally breaks the tension with an Olenna Tyrell one-liner). On that note, let’s recap the action from Season 1, Episode 3, “A Dark Crate.”

the night of turturroHIT THE ROAD, JACK | Looking to cement his status as Naz’s attorney, Jack Stone visits Naz’s parents and makes his pitch, but even in their fragile state, they’re not sold on the snake-oil pitch. (Right after telling them the words “I guarantee” are always a lie, Jacl “guarantees” no competent lawyer would work cheaper than him.) Jack makes some noise about how Naz is facing life imprisonment (true), but its clear he’s never had a case like this land on his desk. He asks for a flat fee of $75,000 — half that if it doesn’t go to trial — then drops to $60K, $55K, and finally $50K as he learns the Khans have only $8,000 in their bank account. With the retainer still unsigned, Jack visits the hard-boiled D.A., who tries hard to humor the grizzled courthouse vet, but finally loses patience when he keeps asking for some kind of plea. Instead, she gives him the number of a very reasonable tailor, and suggests he get himself a suit for the trial, preferably not in brown.

It’s hard not to feel for Jack as he wraps his eczematous feet in Crisco and saran wrap, visits a support group for his fellow eczema sufferers, and tries to do right by Naz, bringing him fresh clothes and practical jailhouse tips. But when Naz tells Jack his parents have hired a different attorney, Jack is at a loss to come up with any grand words of advice. He winds up back at the scene of the crime, picking up Andrea’s forgotten cat and bringing it to a shelter where it’s almost certain to be euthanized. Let’s just hope it’s not a parallel for Naz’s fate.

10eeba19e1b3e1aaf7efc2920e13b1529fb19ad80e90f667fbe61c0985cdefbbSOMETHING TO CROWE ABOUT | We meet sleek, media savvy attorney Alison Crowe (Glenne Headly) during a perfectly modulated press conference regarding a flight attendant’s suit versus an airline. When she sees Naz’s case on the news, she sees… an opportunity? a chance to do some good? both? Time will tell. She recruits Chandra, an Indian-American associate, to help her connect with Naz’s family, and by the time they leave, they’ve impugned Stone’s reputation (“He is barely a lawyer”) and secured the high-profile gig with the promise of top-notch, pro bono work.”This is the kind of case that reminds me why I wanted to be a lawyer to begin with,” Crowe says, and she’s convincing, too. But when Stone confronts Chandra in the sterile lobby of Crowe’s firm — “Is this what you went to law school for: To be a prop?” — it’s hard not to have second thoughts about the defense attorney’s movives.

THE BOXER |  As Naz checks in to Rikers and tells a corrections officer that he’s got no gang affiliation, her response is ominous: “In that case, good luck to you.” Once he’s put in the general population, though, Naz winds up on the radar of Freddy (The Wire’s Michael Kenneth Williams), a former boxing champ who’s at the top of the pecking order at Rikers, thanks to his money, his strength and his connections in the streets.

When Naz is awoken by a trio of terrifying inmates asking, “you rape that girl?”, Freddy sends him a pair of shoes (“for traction,” explains Naz’s next door neighbor). And this leads to the longest, most tense/terrifying shower scene ever. Please tell me I wasn’t the only one pleading with Naz from my couch to just do a quick lather and rinse — with no repeat.

fa469baa7dc3ae2ed1117c369eba390f8f45c1ae6b68c621fb22bdf4cc95ae7d99cdc4f9c80d34909b1911d618e2528fFreddy has Naz summoned to his cell, telling him the nature of his crime means he’s “a celebrity here — not the good kind” and that Rikers is a “whole separate judicial system. You’ve been judged and juried — and it didn’t come out good for you.” There’s a deeply unsettling interlude — I think there are sexual undertones to it, though I’ll admit I was so squicked out, I can’t be certain — in which Freddy makes Naz close his eyes, hold out his hand, and feel a piece of veal. It’s an animal that “stays in a dark crate, half blind in the dark, waiting to die,” Freddy purrs, before finally getting to the point: “Do you want my protection?” When Naz fails to respond — and then tells Dude on Adjacent Cot With Insane Knife Tattoo on His Face that he’s rejecting the deal (whatever it entails), his cot gets set on fire, with pretty much everybody in the joint snarling at him with murderous rage. To quote the great philosopher Lucille Bluth, “This does not bode well.”

IN OTHER NEWS… Naz’s dad fesses up to his cab partners that their vehicle is stuck in an impound lot – but all they learn when they go to pick it up is that it’ll likely be locked away until a trial ends (possibly longer if there’s a civil suit). The helpful impound cop tells the partners their best bet might be to file grand-theft auto charges against Naz — and he gives ’em (coincidence alert) Stone’s card as a referral. Did I mention someone’s snapping pics of Naz’s dad as he goes about his day? Or that the media have dubbed Naz the “Brownstone Butcher”? Or that Det. Box has those beat cops re-writing their “night of” reports. The male officer needs to leave in his story about vomiting at the scene, too, since it’ll help the jury understand the gruesome nature of the crime. “Nasir Khan looks like any other college kid,” he explains. “We have to fight that.”

What did you think of this week’s The Night Of? Is Nas better off with the new lawyer? And what’s Freddy’s end game? Sound off below!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Johnny says:

    So much time spent on Stone’s eczema and I can’t figure out why!
    You may want to mention the possible lawsuit for grand theft that the two other co-owners of the cab might file against Nasir. I’m sure the writers didn’t drop those scenes in the episode for nothing. The new lawyer is an interesting development but we’ll have to see what her agenda is in the coming weeks. I wish the episodes moved a little faster but the depicted Rikers atmosphere was tense and fascinating to watch.

  2. Nancy Lawson says:

    the female attorney reminds me of Gloria Allred always ready to get in on a case that promises media attention. That being said I’d have to take her offer. I’m wondering how Stone stays on this cases.

    • Debbie says:

      Stone will uncover something no one else does as he’s obsessed with the case. Or Naz will contact him when something goes wrong with Glenne Headly.

  3. Hellenic78 says:

    Um yes there were sexual undertones in that scene. And Omar rules.

  4. Guest says:

    I felt bad for Stone he looked really down, but I can’t blame the parents for choosing a more experienced lawyer. What a brilliant mini series so far… can’t wait to see what happens next!

  5. MzTeaze says:

    It’s obvious that the high powered attorney has an agenda and Naz is just another prop for that agenda. I think his parents will come to regret their decision to sign her eventually. I didn’t think Freddy and the veal had sexual undertones only because he was shown having sex with the female guard. The guard alluded to a long term relationship since he was paying her rent. The veal, I think, really sort of represented the situation Naz finds himself in – young, naive and being led to his (probable) slaughter without a clue. Jack being highly allergic to the cat just like Naz will come back again. I think it will be because Jack needs an antihistamine (the strong kind that makes you drowsy) for his eczema, he will eventually realize that Naz was given something similar that caused him to pass out at the kitchen table.

  6. Leslue says:

    This is the best show since “Breakung Bad”. If not better
    Only 5 more episodes ……. More please

  7. Judi says:

    What language is Nas speaking with his parents? Since they are Pakistani, I’m assuming it’s Urdu. So why does the fancy lawyer’s sidekick (“Your parents are from India? Close enough!”) apologize to Nas’s parents that her Hindi is rusty? Granted, as Stone points out, she’s only a prop, but why is she speaking to them in Hindi? Not to mention they both speak English perfectly well. Is there a reasonable explanation for this that I’m too ignorant to see, or are the producers assuming most of the audience is too ignorant to care?

    • plungerbailey says:

      Hindi and Urdu are basically the same as spoken. A lawyer conversing in your mother tongue would surely be comforting in a situation like this. But I think you are right that normally they would speak English to each other in other situations

    • Alan W says:

      Yeah, why not Pashto, Punjabi, Sindhi, Balochi, etc.?

  8. Heather Waters says:

    I think the cat plays a bigger part…. Don’t know what yet..