True Detective's Kali Reis and Issa Lopez break down shocking Night Country finale

Kali Reis and Issa Lopez speak to Yahoo UK about the season four finale

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True Detective: Night Country finale ended on Monday, revealing several the truth behind several mysteries over the course of the season. (Sky)

True Detective: Night Country has come to an end, revealing the truth behind the mysteries that have been fascinating viewers and keeping detectives Liz Danvers (Jodie Foster) and Evangeline Navarro (Kali Reis) on their toes.

The drama's fourth season centred on the detectives mission to discover what happened to the eight men who went missing from the Tsalal research station in Ennis, Alaska, and were later found frozen to death, naked and with haunted expressions on their face. In the finale all was revealed, and star Reis and showrunner Issa López spoke with Yahoo UK about the big moments of the episode.

Before we dive into what happened and what Reis and López had to say about the finale, be warned that this article contains spoilers for True Detective season four.

Who killed Annie Kowtok?

True Detective: Night Country (Sky)
True Detective: Night Country revealed what happened to the men that went missing from the Tsalal research station and who killed Annie Kowtok. (Sky)

The season four finale saw Danvers and Navarro catch Raymond Clark (Owen McDonnell) in the ice caves near Ennis, which they learned led to the Tsalal research station. They quizzed him on what happened to Annie Kowtok five years earlier, and learned it was the Tsalal men who had killed her after she destroyed their research when she discovered they made the mines produce more pollutants to speed it along.

Clark claimed that he had no part in killing Annie but the audience was shown how he lied, because Annie survived the initial attack and it was Clark, her boyfriend, who delivered the final blow by suffocating her. This lie, López revealed, was included because she loves the concept of an unreliable narrator.

"We establish it pretty soon in the series, characters are lying to us all the time and we see it pretty early. You know, 'I don't have those files', 'it's not a woman's tongue'. Every single character is lying and this man cannot say out loud because he can not accept it himself," López explains. "He's in denial. I think this is why he loses his mind when he hears the screams, when confronted with that.

"As a last resort he's going to believe that he put her out of her misery and there was no way to save her. We will never know that, the others had stopped and are in horror over what they did, maybe there was a chance to save her? Instead, he finishes her, saying 'I love you' while he does it, which is the case of so many [instances] of tremendous violence committed against women because men love them."

True Detective: Night Country (Sky)
Showrunner Issa López told Yahoo that she chose to reveal the Tsalal men as perpetrators rather than victims because it adds 'layers and layers' to the story. (Sky)

López added that she chose to reveal the Tsalal men as perpetrators rather than victims because it adds "layers and layers" to the story: "Nothing that is apparent at the beginning should sustain at the end. The series takes place in the dark and in the ice, two things that keep things hidden.

"So if you assume that the men are victims, something is coming for you, and the nature of their death seems almost biblical, like a biblical curse... so what is it that unleashed a biblical punishment on them? It has to be the original sin, which is murder.

"They're scientists and they're trying to find something marvellous that will save many lives, [but] that's not the reason anymore. It might have been at the beginning [but] at this point it is an obsession and it's ego.

"It's the fact that they are going to get the credit and and this woman gets in the way of it because they're doing it wrong. You lose sight of what's right or wrong when you decide that you're doing it for a greater good. It's a really old mistake."

What happened to the Tsalal men?

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Detectives Liz Danvers and Evangeline Navarro learned that the men were sent to their deaths by several women from their Alaskan town's indigenous community, as revenge for killing Annie Kowtok. (Sky)

Clark, driven to madness by his actions against Annie, says that her vengeful spirit is the one who came and took the Tsalal men away and exacted revenge. However this is later revealed not to be the case, because Navarro and Danvers realise that the female employees of Tsalal were involved.

Meeting several elder women from Ennis, the duo learn how the women discovered what they had done to Annie and chose to threaten them at gunpoint, send them out into the frozen wasteland naked, and let Annie's spirit decide what to do with them. They explain how the Tsalal men could have returned for their clothes if they wanted to, but that Annie must have wanted to punish them.

Reis admits she was "slow clapping" at the reveal when she read the script, and went on to say: "I was so, so proud to see something so realistic be portrayed on film like that, especially as far as indigenous people and how we are a very matriarchal society where women are life givers, they're very sacred. We are sacred as women, indigenous women.

"We normally take justice in our own hands and we balance the scales and work with Mother Nature, Mother Earth, so it all kind of encompassed [that]. I cannot wait till all indigenous people see it cause it's the band of aunties that get their revenge, and I'm like, 'yes!'

True Detective: Night Country (Sky)
Kali Reis admits she was 'slow clapping' at the reveal when she read the script, and went on to say: 'I was so, so proud to see something so realistic be portrayed.' (Sky)

"It gives most of the answers, but then you still don't really know exactly what happened, but I was so happy to see that. It's good representation as far as the invisible ones are the ones who made a difference — the ones who are perceived as invisible. indigenous women who were perceived as invisible."

Explaining why she chose to write this ending, López reveals that she is "not a believer" in waiting for justice to happen, a subject that is explored in her earlier work Tigers Are Not Afraid.

"That's why when the cops ask, 'why didn't you tell us?' She just laughs and says 'that would have done nothing'. Everything would have ended in the same place. Imagine them going to the police and saying the scientists at Tsalal did this with the power that the scientists have over the mine, and the power that the mine has over the entire state, nothing would have happened.

True Detective: Night Country (Sky)
Explaining why she chose to write this ending, López reveals that she is 'not a believer' in waiting for justice to happen, and so it felt right for the women in her story to feel the same. (Sky)

"More people would have died, probably, so they cannot wait for that justice, something else needs to happen."

In the end, Navarro and Danvers tell the women that the coroner's report revealed that the Tsalal men died in the blizzard, effectively saying they wouldn't report what they had told them. Reis particularly enjoyed this scene, saying that the characters think: "We know the truth, this is for this [moment] here and that's all that matters."

Navarro discovers her name

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Another mystery revealed in the finale is Evangeline Navarro's indigenous name, something that 'brought tears' to actor Kali Reis' eyes. (Sky)

As well as the reveals around both cases, the episode features an emotional moment where Navarro learns her name when she finally decides to stop fighting the spirits calling to her. Her name, it is revealed, means "the return of the sun after the long darkness".

Reis said the scene "brought tears in [her] eyes" when she read it, saying: "I relate to that, it's very personal to me, and then the meaning behind it and also where the name came from specifically —I can't speak for every indigenous person or other people outside of the indigenous community— but everything has a meaning, it's intentional, especially names.

"Our names are very important and we get different names at different stages in our lives when we need those. So to hear Sukanyukchuk and know what it means for her and to know where it came from... it was just revolutionary and is what Navarro needed to hear to feel accepted, to be at peace."

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Kali Reis said learning Navarro's name in the show 'was just revolutionary and is what Navarro needed to hear to feel accepted, to be at peace.' (Sky)

Reflecting on how her character's indigenous name being used, and those or murdered and missing indigenous women in general, she adds: "They tried to silence what she was doing and that's what they've been doing to us for a very long time. So just even being able to say names of missing murdered women in this, real women that go missing, or talk about it — we're not silenced anymore. It's very, very, important."

López explains that she originally intended for Navarro to be Latina, but quickly realised that setting a story in Alaska meant it'd be disingenuous to do so. The showrunner worked closely with Inuit advisers on the show, and it was them that came up with Navarro's name.

"It's perfect and it just closed everything, meant everything, and solved everything with the character," López said of the character's name. "It was so beautiful."

What happened to Navarro?

True Detective: Night Country (Sky)
It is later revealed that Detective Navarro disappeared shortly after the case was closed, and the series ends with Liz Danvers visiting her. (Sky)

The show ends with a flash forward to several months later where Danvers answers questions about what happened to various characters, including Navarro who disappeared shortly after the investigation ended. In the final shot of the season, Danvers is seen visiting a house by a lake and Navarro stands out with her. For Reis and López, the answer of what happened to Navarro is a complicated one.

"I have my thoughts and I like to keep it to myself," Reis explains. "Because I know where Navarro is but nobody knows except for me. But I will tell you this, that whether she decided to follow her sister on the ice or whether she decided she was finally at peace to be able to live comfortably and be proud of who she was, the only person that she would come back and see is Danvers.

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Kali Reis admitted that she has her 'thoughts and [would] like to keep it to myself' regarding what happened to Navarro, but said the only reasons she'd return is to see Danvers. (Sky)

"Whether [she's] just a ghost or she's a real person... she does things very calculated, so she would calculate a way to go see her and then figure it out from there. It's still up to [viewers], I love that you guys get to ponder it out. But that's my only like solidifying answer, that she'd go back to Danvers regardless."

López concurred, saying: "It's a love story, not a romantic love story though there's a massive sector of the internet that is demanding it — they call it Danvarro, which I love, and I'm telling all of these people: listen Episode 7 it's yours, you can write it. You can go in any direction.

"But it's a love story between those two women that love each other in a profound way, and miss each other and love each other and find each other again. They come out the other side after facing the thing that scares them the most, and finding what they lost. So it makes sense that we see them looking at the light and looking at the future in that house."

All episodes of True Detective Night Country are available to watch now on Sky Atlantic, streaming service NOW and are available to download and own on digital platforms.

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Watch the trailer for True Detective: Night Country