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True Detective: Night Country's Minor Storylines All Have One Major Problem

While there have been some very divisive responses to seasons of "True Detective" following the electrifying first season, Season 4 of the HBO series sees the neo-noir police procedural firing on all cylinders as far as critics are concerned. In fact, "Night Country" has landed a Rotten Tomatoes score that narrowly outshines Season 1 by a single percentage point.

However, even with this amount of hefty praise, no show is without its flaws, and "True Detective: Night Country" is no exception. Though the central story of the missing scientists of Tsalal Station and how the show's chief investigators, Liz Danvers (Jodie Foster) and Evangeline Navarro (Kali Reis), unravel the mystery remains compelling throughout, some of the side stories don't really amount to all that much in the end.

Perhaps most obvious is the dynamic between Pete Prior (Finn Bennett) and his father, Hank (John Hawkes). Of course, the relationship serves to test Pete's loyalties and his moral code throughout the investigation, but the final confrontation between the two feels rushed. Meanwhile, Hank's entire mail-order bride plotline bears no fruit whatsoever, aside from perhaps attempting to humanize the character to some extent.

A few of the plot lines in Night Country lack meaningful payoff

On the note of problematic Pete Prior storylines in "True Detective: Night Country," there is also the tumultuous relationship between Pete and his girlfriend, Kayla (Anna Lambe). The plot sees Pete constantly leaving Kayla in the lurch when Liz calls for any reason and is strangely resolved by Pete going to help Liz yet again in the final episode.

Further extrapolating from that storyline, it's also not explained why Pete is so dedicated to Liz in the first place. Naturally, viewers could surmise that they have a sort of surrogate mother-and-son relationship or that perhaps Liz once dated Hank, but we're never really given a concrete answer to this either.

Finally, there's the troubled relationship between Liz and her stepdaughter, Leah (Isabella Star LaBlanc), in "True Detective: Night Country." Once again, this plot follows a natural progression of teenage rebellion amid their splintered family unit but, as with other storylines, it lacks a meaningful button at the end to resolve the plotline.

Though points like these don't ultimately derail the storytelling of an incredible season of television like "True Detective: Night Country," they do diminish the impact of the latest season of the HBO series. Perhaps with more episodes or less ongoing storylines, Season 4 of "True Detective" could have been even better than it already is.