‘True Detective’ Season 4 Episode 3 Recap & Ending Explained: Was Annie’s Death Of A Supernatural Nature?

Does Ennis have an exorcist handy? Because by the look of things, there may be a supernatural perp that Danvers is unknowingly setting up a meeting with. And I highly doubt that “she” will have the patience for a procedural interrogation. The frozen landscape of the fictional Alaskan backwoods doesn’t just preserve whatever dies in the ice but nurtures a curse that’s starting to take on a much more vicious shape.


Spoilers Ahead

What Caused Danvers And Navarro To Fall Out?

Is it too early to form a speculation-based idea about our leading ladies? With just three more episodes to come, I can safely say that even if there’s more to them than meets the eye, their unexplored depths won’t come as big shockers. So, Navarro’s in, albeit temporarily. I’m even going to go out on a limb here and say that the only reason Danvers has reconsidered her stance on Navarro is that she’s bitten off far more than she can chew. But what we (and Peter too, I guess) are far more invested in is what could’ve happened for the two to end up so bitter about each other. Even though we get a slight peek into the last case that Navarro and Danvers had partnered up for, something seems fishy about the way Danvers’ recounting doesn’t exactly line up with what we see. It’s an age-old trick, of course, to show us the truth so we can catch a character in a lie. But the fact that Danvers tweaked a few major details while quenching Peter’s curiosity gave me the chance to do what I love: come up with my own theories (it’s up to you to decide if they’re far-fetched or legit). So hear me out here. The Wheeler guy was clearly still alive after killing his girlfriend. But in the retelling, Danvers claims that he’d shot himself by the time she and Navarro arrived at the scene. Could Navarro have been the one to kill the man, putting Danvers in a tough spot where she had to make up the lie to protect Navarro? From what we’ve seen, the short-fused trooper loses her cool really fast when she’s faced with an abuser. In the first episode, she’d even messed with an abusive guy’s car. Would it be too much of a stretch to assume that, in a fit of rage, fuelled by the sight of the dead girl she’d failed to save, Navarro shot the perp to death? That’d explain why Danvers had deemed her unfit to protect and serve.


Do They Have A New Lead?

There’s no letting bygones be bygones between these two. But when they’re in the same room together, not at each other’s throats for once, the magic that happens really makes you wish the two never parted ways. It takes Danvers a few glances at a bunch of pictures to figure out that Annie and Clark’s relationship wasn’t as much of a secret as they thought. Someone clearly had to have been there to click the pictures that weren’t selfies. And the blue hair dye smudge on the back of a photograph gives Navarro the chance to show how good of a detective she really is. Off they go to pay a visit to Susan, their first real break in the investigation. The thing is, whatever turn the investigation takes, it only serves to prove one thing: neither Danvers nor Navarro were actually as on top of things as they thought. For instance, they had no clue that Susan used to frequent the Tsalal base to give haircuts to the boys. They were also unaware that there was a certain Oliver among the scientists, the equipment engineer, who dated Susan for a while before taking to the ice for the life of a hunter. After the odd meeting with Annie’s nervous friend, they not only have a brand new lead to follow, but they also have a bone to pick with Hank. Now, I have no idea why Hank is the way he is. Maybe he is just an insecure loser, someone who wants to protect his fragile ego so badly that he employs civilians to find Clark in the thick ice. A drink thrown at his face is the least he deserves for keeping Annie and Clark’s relationship a secret, and that too because he deemed the deceased girl a floozy. No wonder his son finds solace in seeking some parental approval from Danvers. Although how healthy it is for Peter and his marriage to Kayla is questionable. 

Did Qavvik Just Get Through To Navarro?

It’s not just the homebrew that Qavvik is proficient with. He also knows just the right buttons to push for Navarro to let out all she holds in, lest people see her weaknesses and exploit her. There’s always been a softer side to Navarro. But there’s no space for the cotton candy woman to wind down and embrace how sensitive and kind she really is. How quickly she lets her guard down with Qavvik is a testament to how desperately she’s been waiting for someone to ask the right questions. Yes, her lack of self-restraint around abusers she can’t stand is way more personal than she usually lets on. She couldn’t save her mother from the abusive clutches of her father. And worse yet, she couldn’t keep her from walking out and dying at the hands of an unidentified killer. Ennis is colder to its people than the ice that covers it throughout the year. And Navarro, even though she grew up in Boston and never got to know her Inupiaq name, is someone Ennis considers her own.


Was Annie’s Death Of A Supernatural Nature?

Let’s just cut to the chase here. There’s no way True Detective would string us along all this while only to disappoint us with a bland, rational conclusion. Even if a human being made of flesh and blood was behind the deaths that have shaken the frozen town to its core, chances are that the supernatural elements are going to serve a much grander purpose than we could possibly foresee. The mine may not be directly responsible for Annie’s death, but it’s evidently taken more lives than it takes accountability for. It’s ironic, really, how it’s the mine that provides jobs to half the population of Ennis, something they absolutely need for survival, while simultaneously infecting the town with a rapidly festering rot. Babies dying in the womb and black water filling up the sink are but a minor price Ennis pays to survive. What if, and bear with me here, there’s an entity who’s taking the liberty to kill a few in order to save the town in the long run? While it may sound pretty far-fetched as of now, there’s no telling what road True Detective is going down this time around.

The thing is, it would’ve been far more feasible to rule out the possibility of something supernatural being at play here if the narrative didn’t trap someone like Navarro in its convoluted web. She’s not one to entertain irrationality if she can help it. But the inexplicable, random orange that keeps coming back to her in the lonely, snowy terrain is something that even Navarro can’t make head or tail of. Was that Travis’ ghost leading him to track down the gate to the realm of the dead? It’s getting harder and harder to hold on to the possibility that it may just be an inherited strain of mental illness. The kid who she saw when she was transported to another realm was perhaps the son that Danvers had lost. And if Navarro really does see and talk to ghosts, it’s possible that no amount of medication can fix her sister’s paranoia, since Julia also claims to be visited by her dead mother.


Episode 3 goes all out with its hints and signs that something sinister is afoot. The lack of a proper pathologist only comes as a blessing to Danvers, who, despite her reservations, gives Peter’s vet cousin a chance to inspect the frozen corpses. Now, the vet may not have the pomp and frills of a “real” doctor, but handling ginormous, frozen animal corpses does give a guy the kind of experience that big city doctors simply do not have. And it’s this very experience that makes him entertain the possibility that the scientists died of sheer fear—cardiac arrest—before freezing. What else could it have been, if not something supernatural, that’d gotten the scientists so terrified that they’d run out in the freezing night absolutely naked?

It makes sense that neither Danvers nor Navarro have given Lund surviving the ordeal much thought. I mean, the guy’s in a coma, with his arms and legs amputated. But following up on the lead about Oliver doesn’t really get them any closer to uncovering the truth either. Oliver most definitely knows far more than he’s willing to share with the two detectives he doesn’t seem to be too fond of. No harm is done, though, considering Lund shocks the doctors and nurses with his sudden awakening from the comatose state.

What the ending sequence had in store for Navarro was another nudge towards the possibility that the threat may not be entirely human. Now, it might’ve just been Navarro’s tired mind playing tricks on her. But Lund’s last action before the fatal seizure could’ve also been the unknown entity’s way of intimidating Navarro. In the second episode, she was told by Rose that some spirits only come back to take the person they’re haunting back with them. Is Navarro’s mother waiting for her and her sister beyond the realm of the living? But let’s not waste more time wondering about things we can’t possibly find an answer to as of now. Your mind’s probably already consumed by that eerie video Navarro and Danvers found on Annie’s phone. The Inupiaq activist was just about to reveal something grave and sinister before her mouth was shut forever. It looked like a cave of ice where Annie probably took her last breath. Did it have something to do with the voodoo-ed-up trailer that was frequented by Clark and Annie? While we can’t keep new questions from popping up every time we get close to finding an answer to one, I’m ready to put my money on one thing: whatever or whoever’s haunting the town’s more emotionally “open” residents most likely had something to do with Annie’s murder.

Lopamudra Mukherjee
Lopamudra Mukherjeehttps://muckrack.com/lopamudra-mukherjee
Lopamudra nerds out about baking whenever she’s not busy looking for new additions to the horror genre. Nothing makes her happier than finding a long-running show with characters that embrace her as their own. Writing has become the perfect mode of communicating all that she feels for the loving world of motion pictures.

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