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The Night Of - S01 E02

Crime . Drama . Mystery
 

As attorney John Stone counsels Naz, lead detective Dennis Box investigates the crime.

 
Episode Title: Subtle Beast
Airs: 2016-07-17 at 21:00
  • Jeff Korbelik

    The wide-eyed Ahmed is perfect as the naive young man who can’t seem to make a right decision. That is until he agrees to let Turturro’s Jack Stone help him. And Turturro hits the right notes as the cynical attorney who has his work cut out for him.

    The Lincoln Journal Star Full Review
  • Vicki Hyman

    How Naz's religion (he's the American-born son of Pakistani immigrants) becomes a factor in the case is a natural part of the narrative but never feels like a polemic--The Night Of is too subtle for that. Its brilliance is in the way, thanks to the moody, unrushed direction and pointed, spare dialogue, everything feels freighted with meaning.

    Newark Star-Ledger Full Review
  • Tim Grierson

    The Night Of doesn’t break new ground so much as it showcases a group of actors, writers and directors working at an exceptionally high level, merging potentially familiar genres into a thoroughly absorbing study of disparate characters brought together by a murder whose perpetrator remains a mystery.

    The Wrap Full Review
  • Mary McNamara

    It sings. Mournfully, triumphantly, poignantly, of failed dreams and second chances; of the simple mistakes that accumulate into tragedy, of the cold calculations required by redemption. But mostly it sings of itself, an anthem to television’s unique power to turn a series of understated performances into sustained magnificence.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Glenn Garvin

    A stunning fusion of style and story. The Night Of is noir to its very soul.

    Reason.com Full Review
  • Matt Roush

    As complicated and layered as life itself, The Night Of is an instant classic. [11-24 Jul 2016, p.16]

    TV Guide Magazine Full Review
  • Nancy DeWolf Smith

    If the series were only about the doe-eyed and inscrutable Naz, it would be interesting enough. But it is bursting with other characters and heart-ripping portraits and morality playlets with a life of their own. The main attraction is the disheveled lawyer Jack Stone (John Turturro, in a mind-blowing performance).

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Ed Bark

    This is HBO’s best “limited series” since Angels in America, which in 2004 won all of the major Emmy awards in its category.

    Uncle Barky Full Review
  • Matthew Gilbert

    Looks as though the TV drama of the summer, perhaps of the year, has finally arrived. The Night Of is a remarkable piece of work, restoring meaning to overused adjectives such as “gripping” and “powerful.”

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • David Wiegand

    Unquestionably, though, the most significant contributing factor to the character’s [John Stone's] magnetic credibility is Turturro’s performance, a masterful assemblage of all those little details from the script, brought beautifully to shabby, world-weary life by Turturro’s finely honed skill. Ahmed is almost as good, and if he falls just shy of making Naz’s radical transformation inside Rikers fully credible, it’s really because the script fails him.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Scott D. Pierce

    It's enthralling. The Night Of looks like this summer's TV obsession.

    The Salt Lake Tribune Full Review
  • Brian Tallerico

    It is Agatha Christie meets "The Wire," and it's one of the best things on TV in an already-great year.

    RogerEbert.com Full Review
  • Chuck Barney

    This adaptation of a BBC series differentiates itself in enough ways to keep things fresh and riveting.

    San Jose Mercury News/Contra Costa Times Full Review
  • Alan Sepinwall

    Through seven of its eight hours (HBO didn't give critics the finale in advance), it's vital and gripping. It's not an imitator dressing itself up in the trappings of a classic HBO drama, but the real deal.

    Hitfix Full Review
  • Hank Stuever

    This is good, strong procedural television that respects the art form and commands our attention.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Ben Travers

    [Naz's] journey just transitions from active to passive, becoming more about the limited series’ overall message, while John’s is designed to pick up the torch for the personal perspective established by Naz in the premiere. It’s in this transition that The Night Of flexes its subtly brilliant powers of seductive storytelling.

    Indiewire Full Review
  • Verne Gay

    The series never quite convincingly establishes what could have been a powerful undercurrent-- whether Naz and by association the rest of New York’s Muslim community had been tried and convicted based on their Muslim faith alone. That’s OK. Everything else--and everyone else--cclicks just about perfectly.

    Newsday Full Review
  • Joshua Alston

    Thanks to the grounded performances, The Night Of, like the similarly themed Serial, will have audiences ready to render their own verdicts, convinced they know the characters well enough to telegraph their actions. The only glaring flaw with The Night Of comes from Price’s efforts to humanize each character with novelistic quirks.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Jeff Jensen

    These powerfully acted investigations drive a narrative that meticulously tracks the procedures, language, and culture of the actors’ work. In doing so, The Night Of produces endless richness and sobering meanings about the degrading cost of a flawed justice system.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Marlow Stern

    Though its title screams Christmas flick, HBO’s absorbing new miniseries is a pitch-black procedural that combines the system-is-broken outrage of Making a Murderer, the menacing atmosphere of Oz, and the shameless topicality and plot twists of Law & Order: SVU. And the first of its eight hour-long chapters plays like an elegant, extended version of the first three minutes of SVU.

    The Daily Beast Full Review
  • Ellen Gray

    The performances, in fact, are so uniformly strong and the direction so deft that it's possible to overlook a plot that, like The Killing (and Netflix's new thriller Marcella) introduces a few too many Law & Order-like plot twists to be totally believable.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Isaac Feldberg

    HBO's next great drama has arrived; The Night Of is a relentlessly dark and devastating look at the U.S. criminal justice system that feels eerily tailored to our consummately conflicted, painfully divided times.

    We Got This Covered Full Review
  • Todd VanDerWerff

    Yes, all of this has been done before. But at every turn, Price’s writerly flourishes give The Night Of’s characters more depth than the usual stock figures. The result is surprisingly invigorating.

    Vox.com Full Review
  • Spencer Kornhaber

    The writing for three episodes I’ve seen of The Night Of dazzle through extreme competence: clean cause-and-effect narratives, crisp dialogue, and just the right amount of shading in characters’ backstories and quirks.

    The Atlantic Full Review
  • Sonia Saraiya

    The Night Of is compulsively watchable and extraordinarily rewarding, a brilliant and addictive mystery that inspires the viewer to go back and watch the same scenes again, looking for subtler character beats and hidden clues.

    Variety Full Review
  • James Poniewozik

    [A] tense and exquisite limited series on HBO. ... The later episodes become a more conventional legal story, as Stone patches together a defense, and the case becomes Nancy Grace-ified in the media. There are nods to TV legal series throughout.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Willa Paskin

    With its first episode, The Night Of tears out of the driveway, scary and thrilling, like a muscle car. But just as it’s about to open up and do 100, it slows down, unwilling to become a joyride. Instead of proving Naz’s innocence, future episodes take in the scope of his circumstance. For all that The Night Of shares with Serial and Making a Murderer, it shares as much with The Wire, a series about the omnipotence of dysfunctional power structures.

    Slate Full Review
  • Ken Tucker

    A completely engrossing murder mystery, courtroom drama, and family saga.

    Yahoo TV Full Review
  • Matt Zoller Seitz

    It follows the Slow TV template recently perfected by the likes of American Crime and The People vs. O.J. Simpson, giving each scene maximum space to breathe, often more than it needs. But the net effect is hypnotic, like reading a fat crime novel filled with memorable characters and atmospheric details.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Robert Bianco

    There are times, it's true, when a little more narrative urgency might have been nice. Still, in a summer where few series seem to have captured the viewing public’s imagination, speed may not be too much to sacrifice. So go slow. This Night is worth it.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Chuck Bowen

    The narrative's broad strokes are compelling, particularly as defensive attorney Jack Stone (John Turturro) begins to uncover the murder suspects who detective Dennis Box (Bill Camp) couldn't be bothered to dig up, but it's the textural flourishes that distinguish The Night Of from more formulaic courtroom fare, such as the continuing emphasis that Zaillian and Price place on the notion of ritual as cultural currency.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Tom Long

    Turturro bites into the role with bitter humor and wounded idealism. Still, it’s Ahmed, at times resembling a young Andy Garcia, who is at the heart of this series, with his innocence being stripped away as the slow wheels of justice threaten to grind his soul. It’s powerful, and timely, stuff.

    The Detroit News Full Review
  • Rob Owen

    Deliberately paced but never dull, The Night Of offers a serialized criminal story that’s more interested in the characters and the criminal justice system’s process than in the crime itself.

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Full Review
  • Rob Lowman

    It doesn’t break any new ground, but unlike most crime procedurals, it’s neither facile nor jokey. Whether in the end Naz is guilty or innocent may not matter. The series ultimately succeeds on its mystery and as a provocative trip through the justice system.

    Los Angeles Daily News Full Review
  • Daniel D'Addario

    As a crime drama in the vein of a more sprawling Law & Order or a less philosophical True Detective, The Night Of succeeds wildly.

    Time Full Review
  • Allison Keene

    Stone’s uncertainty (but desperate desire) in trying a murder case at all gives The Night Of the boost it needs to make it interesting, since the show itself isn’t as interested in the events of that night so much as how they are perceived by others (the police, the community, the jury).

    Collider Full Review
  • Dan Fienberg

    Great care has been taken in almost every aspect of bringing the former Gandolfini passion project to TV. That care may peak early with a premiere that should be in Emmy consideration at this time next year, but subsequent episodes still hold an elevated, pulpy crime novel feel, dampened only slightly as contrivances begin to settle in.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Gail Pennington

    Apparent familiarity doesn’t make The Night Of any less involving, though, in large part because of Ahmed’s charismatic and sympathetic performance as Naz.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Josh Bell

    The show frequently loses sight of the murder mystery, introducing alternate suspects who then disappear for multiple episodes. Khan himself is a bit of a cipher, which might be necessary in order to keep the audience guessing as to his guilt, but makes him less interesting to watch as the series progresses. Stone, however, is fascinating, even if the show sometimes spends too much time on overly symbolic details of his life.

    Las Vegas Weekly Full Review
  • Mark A. Perigard

    At one point, The Night Of might have been groundbreaking. But in the wake of the excellent ABC series “American Crime,” which has walked the same outrage with far more nuances, sophistication and a superior cast, The Night Of feels so last decade.

    Boston Herald Full Review