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Who Is The Killer In True Detective: Night Country?

Contains spoilers for "True Detective: Night Country," Part 6

Nobody notices the cleaners ... until they storm the Tsalal research station to rain frosty retribution on its staff. At the end of a season full of chilling twists and turns, "True Detective: Night Country," Part 6 reveals that the people responsible for the scientists' deaths are some of the very first characters the viewers were introduced to: the women at the crab processing plant where Evangeline Navarro (Kali Reis) deals with an assault case.

The scene is Navarro's very first on Part 1, and shows her promptly siding with the female workers who have knocked out an abuser. Seemingly, its main purpose is to introduce Navarro and her disdain for men who hurt women. However, it also stealthily establishes the crab plant ladies in general — and Bee (L'Xeis Diane Benson) in particular — as fearless people who aren't afraid to take the law into their own hands. Later, the show casually reveals that some of them have worked as cleaners at the Tsalal station. 

On "Night Country" Part 6, the penny finally drops. Navarro and Liz Danvers (Jodie Foster) inform the women that Anchorage has investigated the scientists' deaths and ruled out foul play. Upon hearing this, Bee tells them a technically non-discriminating but obviously true story about her and the other women attacking Tsalal with guns and driving everyone they could find out on the ice. They did this to avenge Annie Kowtok (Nivi Pedersen) after finding evidence of her death at Tsalal. As it turns out, the scientists brutally attacked Annie after she found that the much-maligned plant has been deliberately poisoning the area to soften the ice for Tsalal's research ... and her lover, Raymond Clark (Owen McDonnell), is the one who killed her. 

A natural explanation amidst supernatural details

Making a minor character like Bee such a crucial part of the murder mystery is a tried and tested "True Detective" tactic that can be traced to Season 1, where Errol Childress (Glenn Fleshler) turns up fairly early but isn't revealed as the killer until late in the game. Clearing prime suspect Raymond Clark from the Tsalal deaths but revealing him and his colleagues as Annie's murderers is a neat twist, as well. But does this mean that the various supernatural elements in the show are mere misdirections? 

Yes and no. The two cases Danvers and Navarro investigate might be all-too-human tragedies, but "True Detective: Night Country" nigh-constantly insinuates that Ennis is experiencing "Twin Peaks" levels of strangeness. Rose Aguineau (Fiona Shaw) is adamant that the area is uncomfortably close to the spirit world. What's more, so many different people experience unexplained phenomena that it's hard to write all isolated incidents off as imaginary. Whether these are actual ghosts or simply the show's depictions of the various characters' anguish is, of course, up for debate.   

Even if many of them aren't connected to Annie's death or the Tsalal case, recurring strange incidents like the oranges, the polar bear, the increasingly eerie spirals, and the numerous sightings of dead loved ones all indicate that something strange is afoot. Perhaps future seasons of the series will explain more about these mysteries ... though judging by "True Detective's" track record of downplaying its strangest aspects, fans probably shouldn't hold their breath.

Did the mysterious She play a part in the scientists' deaths?

As Rose tells Navarro, not all spirits are benevolent. Much is made about the mysterious "she" Clark freaks out about on Part 1 just before Tsalal's lights go out. At various points, the show hints that she's Annie's spirit, or perhaps an ancient force connected to the spiral symbol. However, Part 6 shows that the entity Clark sees is Navarro, who keeps slipping between the real world and a strange, time-displaced "Night Country" — and meets Clark in the latter state just as Bee's crew hits the station. 

If the viewer's interpretation of the show leans toward the supernatural, Navarro's apparent disappearance in the show's final moments could mean that she embraces her ability to move between worlds and effectively ascends to a higher plane of existence ... perhaps even becoming the mysterious "she" or at least connecting with the entity. Or maybe she just decides to disappear in a non-paranormal fashion. It's a dealer's choice kind of show. 

Despite Bee's story and the mundane official reason behind the scientists' deaths, their true fate is also left slightly open-ended considering how inconsistent their horrified-looking "corpsicle" is with the way people usually freeze to death — and Vince the Vet's (Vilhelm Neto) suspicion that the men died of fright before they froze. Bee specifically states that the women didn't personally kill the scientists but left their clothes in neat piles to give them a chance to find their way back and survive ... unless the much-mentioned "she" wants them.