Ending(s), Night Country

LA Times interview with Night Country writer, Issa López reveals something about her thoughts regarding the ambiguity of the final episode’s end (and, to be honest, much of the season). In the interview, López stresses that she was deliberate in creating a story and setting where there can be both rational and supernatural readings of event. Much of what López says holds up – but I’m not entirely convinced that all the unresolved issues about the season are as easily reconciled as she says (for instance, the severed tongue isn’t satisfactorily resolved for me either by the in-show narrative or by López in the interview.


I think that the entire series has two readings. One of them is that everything is connected to the supernatural. The other one is there’s absolutely nothing supernatural happening. The dark brings its own madness and neurosis to some characters. The men walking onto the ice — you can go with they froze to death in a flash freeze and they had paradoxical undressing and delirium because of hypothermia. Or \[you can believe\] they walked onto the ice, and faced the thing they woke up by being in the wrong place. It’s up to you to decide which one of those readings you are going to embrace.


In the very last part of the episode, we see her at peace. It’s up to her to decide if she goes on a walkabout to find herself and come back, as Danvers asks, or if she goes to be with the other women in peace, and is visiting as an apparition.

There’s a dreamlike, phantasmagorical atmosphere that pervades the final episode which makes me question what’s actually taking place. Danvers and Navarro climb through caves and tunnels only to find themselves back at the beginning of the investigation in the scientists’ research base – where Twist and Shout is still being played through the empty corridors and rooms full-volume on loop. Characters encounter the dead and appear to have experiences that are out of chronological order. They walk out into the ice, fall into water, sleep, wake up. There’s a surreal edge to what happens and, the final scene, with Danvers and Navarro share a verandah in a silent, quite peaceful, dreaming.