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Why True Detective: Night Country's Missing Scientists Are So Disturbing

Every season of "True Detective" is centered around a mystery that seems nearly impossible to solve. However, the murders at the center of "Night Country" are especially eerie. It seems like there can't possibly be a logical explanation for the creepy way that the Tsalal scientists walked off naked into the cold, only to freeze to death close to one another.

While that mystery is eventually explained later on in the season finale, the crime that set this chain of events into action is revealed much earlier on. As surviving scientist Raymond Clark (Owen McDonnell) tells Liz (Jodie Foster) and Navarro (Kali Reis), the team murdered Annie Kowtok after she discovered that they were falsifying reports and deliberately polluting the area.

However, it isn't a quick death for Annie in "True Detective: Night Country." The team holds her down, beating and stabbing her before she's finally suffocated by Clark. It's a horrific reveal, but one that leads to the realization that the scientists couldn't have accomplished everything on their own.

It took a lot of people to cover up the crime in Night Country

Considering how bloody the murder becomes and the fact that all of the scientists are complicit, it's hard to imagine that they could bury the evidence themselves. Well, that's because they didn't. It is also revealed in the season finale of "True Detective: Night Country" that Hank Prior (John Hawkes) moved the body and cleaned up evidence at the behest of Diane Benson's character.

This is what Hank means in the previous episode when he says that he didn't kill Annie; he only moved her body. It's also the set-up for the attempt he makes on Liz's life, which culminates in him being shot to death by his own son.

While "True Detective" has already set an incredibly high bar with previous seasons, "Night Country" is a fresh approach that puts women front and center and dives into a world that is rarely explored on television. All in all, the events feel reminiscent to the murder at the heart of Taylor Sheridan's "Wind River," in which an Indigenous woman is attacked by a group of men before freezing to death while trying to escape.