‘True Detective’ Star Kali Reis Explains Why Navarro Passed the Weight of Annie K onto Danvers: “She’s Yours Now”

True Detective: Night Country Episode 5 ends in a bloody showdown between father and son. Good boy cop Peter Prior (Finn Bennet) is forced to kill his crooked cop dad Hank Prior (John Hawkes) to “save” Ennis Police Chief Liz Danvers (Jodie Foster). So the penultimate episode of True Detective Season 4 on HBO ends with a patricide that is swiftly covered up. However, the scene from True Detective: Night Country Episode 5 that has oddly stuck its jaws into me over the past weeks is one that comes earlier. After Danvers is threatened off of the Annie K (Nivi Pedersen) case, Evangeline Navarro (Kali Reis) has a unique reaction. Instead of fighting to keep the case going, Navarro passes the burden of solving Annie K’s murder onto Danvers’ shoulders.

“She’s yours now,” Navarro tells Danvers.

It’s a brilliant piece of acting from boxer-turned-television star Kali Reis. Moreover, it marks yet another change in Navarro’s arc. After losing her sister Julia (Aka Niviana) to suicide in True Detective: Night Country Episode 4, Navarro’s purpose hasn’t wholly changed, per se, but shifted. Without her sister as an anchor, Navarro is adrift. She’s picking fights with locals, contemplating her purpose, and refusing to fight Danvers on this latest development.

However, as Kali Reis explained to Decider, by transferring the weight of Annie K’s case to Danvers, Navarro is forcing the police chief to hear the call to action that’s been spurring her for years.

“She wanted Danvers to know what she’s been carrying around,” Reis said. “Danvers didn’t understand. She’s always like, ‘Let her go! Let her go!’ She’s always telling her to let her go.”

“And [Navarro’s] like, ‘I physically and spiritually cannot let this woman go. So now you take it over because you’re trying to close this case to save your own ass. I don’t have nothing else to save. My ass doesn’t matter. Julia’s gone. So now you take this because I’m going to still figure this out. But since you’re closing this door, you hold on to that.’”

“Now you get to feel a little bit of what I felt every single day.”

Navarro’s gambit pays off. Danvers takes it upon herself to continue to pursue the connections between Annie K’s death, the mystery of Tsalal, and the corruption of Silver Sky.

Offscreen, Reis said, this scene also signified yet another instinct where Jodie Foster was a perfect collaborator.

“Shooting that with Jodie?” Reis said. “She was so — ugh — I absolutely love her. She’s a good friend now.” 

“Like, the collaboration, she really understood what we were trying to get in that scene. Navarro kind of losing her shit and trying to get everything together and then, but she really realized, oh, ‘You’re abandoning ship now, okay? You do that. I’m going to build a raft to continue this. But you hold on to your abandoned ship.’”

We’ll have to wait until the True Detective: Night Country finale airs on Sunday, February 18 to find out if Navarro and Danvers are able to navigate the stormy waters ahead.

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