So, who is the killer in HBO’s The Night Of? Let’s look at the suspects…

With the season finale of The Night Of just days away, we still have no idea who did the deed – a mystery that has been beautifully unraveling over the past seven weeks. The seventh, which will air in Australia on Sunday, leaves us with more questions than answers ahead of the 8th and final episode. If you haven’t seen this episode yet, wait until you have before you read through this article – this article does contain spoilers for Episode 7 “Ordinary Death”.

So, with the courts closing in on a verdict for Nasir in his murder trial, this legal team of Jack and Chandra have been showing off more and more evidence that things just aren’t as they seem. We have Jack Stone (John Turturro) finally at the long end of a trial that could set him up for life, his skin condition is finally being managed and we couldn’t be happier for him (I couldn’t be happier to never see his feet again). Along with Nasir (Riz Ahmed), Jack’s charisma and charm is what the entire show rides on and we are so lucky to have had Turturro in the role where the late James Gandolfini once could have stood.

Chandra (Amara Karan) has now crossed the professional barrier with her client Nasir and I’m not sure at all where that’s heading. But both John and Chandra have such a close bond with Nasir that every-time they stumble upon something that may incriminate Nasir’s character in or out of the court room, they do everything in their power to find reasoning behind it. They are proving a great team, and it’s becoming hard to imagine an outcome where they don’t end up with some form of a victory; it’s even harder to imagine this series without them.

Nasir’s father (Salim Kahn) is still trying to sort his life out with his close friends, who are asking him to place his son in further guilt to get their Taxi cab back from the authorities and gain a crucial lifeline back for all of them. Without this income, both Naz’s Dad and Mum, Safar Kahn (Poorna Jagannathan) have to work menial jobs to make up the money for his murder trial, all the while, dealing with the sudden anger and outcast of the community towards them due to Nasir’s alleged actions.

Nasir on the inside of prison is coming to terms with where he is and who he is, giving us all some insight to what kind of person he really portraits, or at least what he is capable of under extreme circumstances. Is he the kid we all wanted to save at the beginning of the series? I believe when it comes to murder cases or any kind of legal trial, where every single piece of someone’s life state (physical and mental) is under scrutiny, we as a society are so quick to judge and piece together what we think is the truth. Everything we are seeing in this show could all be a ruse to what’s really happening, teaching us all a lesson.

On the other end of the law we also start to see some cracks in Sgt Box (Bill Camp) and his investigation methods. I have loved the entire journey of Box thus far. It really is hard to see what side he stands on at the start, but closing in now I am not sure if he wants a quick exit to retirement or if he has some other underlying reasons as to why he does some questionable things.

With only one more episode to wrap things up, there is a huge weight on the show-runners to provide a satisfying conclusion. So, let’s delve into the list of suspects and our thoughts as to “whodunit” ahead of that conclusion…

Nasir “Sinbad” Kahn

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First and foremost we have our man on trial. This wouldn’t necessarily be the most boring of outcomes, would it? Seeing what Naz is actually capable of in his past and current scenarios doesn’t necessarily make him a bad person, or an evil one, it makes him more human. We all make mistakes, but does that make him a murderer? I guess we’ll have to wait and see, but signs have been pointing to him being in the wrong place at the wrong time since the first episode.

Suspect Scale: 6 out of 10

Don Taylor

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Andrea’s stepfather is a pretty easy pick considering all the moral evidence backing it up. If you look at a lot of Paul Sparks previous Film and TV (Midnight Special, Boardwalk Empire) work you would realise he rarely plays a decent grounded character.  But does his ambiguous demeanour have anything to do with murder? He seems like a money grabbing asshole to me… you only have to re-watch the Gym scene to figure that one out. But that might be where it ends.

Suspect Scale: 6.5 out of 10

Duane Reade

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Duane Reade made us all feel uncomfortable in the first episode; staring at Nasir with such hatred outside Andrea’s apartment when his mate was yelling racial slurs. He does not seem like an up-standing citizen. But then again, this show cleverly plays the boundaries between being a judgemental society and a viewer. Just because he is a dark skinned street thug with beautifully big and scary eye-sockets, does that make him a cold blooded killer? Perhaps it was a red herring in that incredibly produced pilot episode, but he did run for the hills when Jack tried to chase him down – so what’s relay going on there? It’s one of the many answers we need to see come to the fold in the final episode.

Suspect Scale: 8 out of 10

Mr Day (The Undertaker)

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If I had to pick anyone, I really do think it’s the creepy undertaker Mr Day. He is by far the most well-kept secret in the series. He keeps all kinds of crazy on the outside and something deeper and darker on the inside. Not the kind of person I would like to have come across on a quiet night at the service station – and he makes it pretty clear he didn’t like Andrea. We shall all just have to wait and see if I’m right on this one.

Suspect Scale: 9.5 out of 10

Andrea Cornish

andrea

Then there’s the victim herself, Andrea Cornish. It’s a bit of a stretch, but worth throwing out there. What was she so nervous about when they met? Why couldn’t she be alone? Was she planning suicide? Did she plan someone to kill her? So many questions and so little time.

Suspect Scale: 3.5 out of 10

Freddy Knight

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Since the only other character who we know was around the crime scene was the cat, the only other viable scenario has something to do with Freddy Knight (Michael Kenneth Williams). Now, we know he couldn’t have been the murderer and he may very well just be the inmate training Nasir to stay alive. But something about his stature and the way he holds himself high when around Naz… it irks me. I feel there is something here that could eventuate. He has shown to have so much influence both on the inside and outside the prison system. Something like this would be the sort of twist that would leave fans of the show reeling – but don’t put it past them to deliver a payoff like this.

Suspect Scale: 2 out of 10

The Night Of finale episode “The Call of the Wild” will airs on HBO Sunday 28th of August in the U.S. and Sunday the 4th of September in Australia on Showcase.

Images Copyright: HBO

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