True Detective: Night Country episode 3 recap and major moments explained

True Detective: Night Country continues to unravel the big mystery with each episode, and tonight's was no exception.
True Detective: Night Country
True Detective: Night Country /

True Detective: Night Country is back with a brand-new episode tonight which follows the ongoing investigation of what happened to the scientists at the Tsalal Arctic Research Station and how it connects to a murder from years ago. Liz Danvers (Jodie Foster) and Evangline Navarro (Kali Reis) are piecing together the clues, but so far there are more questions than answers.

Tonight's episode is surprisingly slower than last week's which is a little disappointing, as Danvers and Navarro question a couple of people who could be key to the investigation. Elsewhere, Peter Prior (Finn Bennett) is still waiting for the men's bodies to defrost, and his father, Hank Prior (John Hawkes) leads the search to find Raymond Clark. As you'll remember, the second episode ended on a cliffhanger as they discovered Clark was not part of the dead group of researchers and instead is free — and probably on the run.

WARNING: Major spoilers for True Detective: Night Country episode 3 below.

Let's break down the biggest moments of tonight's new episode of True Detective: Night Country, along with questions we have leading into next week!

True Detective: Night Country /

The search for Raymond Clark is on

The episode begins with Hank leading the charge on the search for Clark, and he invites some unwelcome guests (well, unwelcome by Danvers) to help. Remember, Clark has a connection to Annie — they had some sort of relationship that's confirmed to have been romantic in episode 3 — and now that they know he's alive, he's their suspect. Not only might he know what happened to the researchers, but he probably also knows what happened to Annie. It's possible he was involved in her murder.

While this is going on, Danvers has a conversation with Prior about her past with Navarro. We'd learned so far that the two women used to work together but something happened between them that turned them into enemies. At the police station, Prior wants answers, and Danvers tells him a story I'm not totally sure I buy. She recalls a murder-suicide case that happened years ago, saying Navarro couldn't get over it and thought they could've done more to prevent it. While this might've happened, I don't really believe it's the driving force that caused a rift between them.

Earlier on in the season, there's a moment between Danvers and Navarro where Navarro wants to talk about what happened in their past, seemingly wanting to hash things out or even apologize. There seems to be more to the story than Danvers told Prior, especially when you also factor in the possibility that Danvers had a child. Remember that memory she has of a little boy with a stuffed polar bear last episode? There's a lot more to her past than she wants to confront.

True Detective: Night Country /

Danvers and Navarro get closer to the truth

Danvers might not want to talk about her troubled past with Navarro, but at least she's willing to leave it behind them for now, for the sake of the investigation. While working together, they find photos of Annie and Clark together, one of which shows them kissing. They were definitely in a relationship, and Danvers and Navarro ask themselves why they kept it a secret. One clue leads them to a local hairdresser named Susan, who has some intel to reveal about Annie and Clark's relationship.

According to Susan, she used to go to Tsalal to give the researchers haircuts, and one time, Annie came along with her. Annie and Clark had a quick connection which turned into a relationship, and Susan notes she thought it was weird that Annie wanted to keep it a secret. Susan also reveals she was dating a man named Oliver at the time who worked as the equipment engineer at the research station. According to Susan, she told the police about Annie's relationship with Clark after she was murdered, but no one ever looked into him.

Danvers and Navarro assume it was Hank that Susan told, and Navarro especially is incredibly angry. They eventually track down Oliver, who is living off the grid. But instead of getting any insight from him, he threatens the two women with a gun and they're forced to leave.

True Detective: Night Country episode 2 /

The researchers might've died before they froze

Another major moment from the third episode of True Detective: Night Country is a revelation discovered by a veterinarian Prior calls over. Though the vet doesn't deal with humans, Prior and Danvers are desperate for answers anywhere they can get them. The vet takes a look at the frozen bodies and says that he believes the men died before they froze. He notes the looks on their faces and the fact that they have self-inflicted wounds. According to him, when animals freeze they enter a hazy state, where they're almost relaxed as the freeze kills them.

As the looks on the men's faces indicate, they definitely were not relaxed or clouded when they died. They were alert and absolutely terrified. But what could've killed them before they froze? That's the big question the investigators and viewers watching at home have going into the fourth episode.

True Detective: Night Country episode 4 premieres next week on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024, only on HBO and Max. Check back with us at Hidden Remote for our continued coverage of the best mystery show on TV right now!

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