Something hasn’t been adding up since Freddy (Michael K. Williams) first laid eyes on Nasir (Riz Ahmed). That was a couple episodes ago and after Sunday’s (Aug. 7) episode of “The Night Of,” titled “Season of the Witch,” we have to bring up some suspicions we have of the former boxer’s involvement in Andrea’s (Sofia Black-D’Elia) murder.
It’s the going assumption that Naz is innocent of the gruesome act but that’s not something that matters in prison. Between the random knife wound and the bed being set ablaze, it’s pretty evident that Khan is not safe. Yet, when he was first processed into jail, the nature of his crime was not widely known by the prisoners. If that is the case, why did Freddy show an instant interest in him?
The reason could simply be that he recognized an underdog that needed protection. As an educated fighter, it’s possible Freddy’s only motive was to protect Naz as he said multiple times throughout their conversations. But, Freddy also has connections to the streets and his goodwill towards Khan could be coming from an entirely different place: family.
Now, hear us out. If you take a trip back to the events as they transpired in episode 1, titled “The Beach,” you’ll recall Andrea and Naz being hassled by two men on the street. The vocal one, Trevor (J.D. Williams), made some racial epithets towards Nasir before Andrea beckoned him inside. But it’s Trevor’s friend Duane (Charlie Hudson III) that we should be focused on.
However silent he may be in this interlude, it’s evident by his long gaze up at the couple that he’s someone to watch out for. Upon first glance, it looks like he’s staring down Naz. But upon second viewing, it feels very possible that Andrea was the focus of his creepy attention.
Is Duane the real killer here? It’s very possible, especially with the details Jack (John Turturro) has uncovered about the mystery man. It’s now been discovered that Khan had a separate drug in his blood on the night of the murder. If we stick with this theory, then could it be possible that Duane snuck in and injected Naz with something while he slept? That’d be one way to move him to the kitchen without waking him up.
And while we don’t necessarily know what the motive would be — aside from discrimination against Naz or lust towards Andrea — this could be the connection to Freddy. Whether friends, family or another type of connection, we’ve already gotten a good idea of the boxer’s stance on loyalty.
What better way to set things right on the inside in response to Duane’s violent mistake than to make sure the wrongfully accused Khan does not get murdered in his sleep? And if the chase that transpired at the end of this episode says anything, it’s that Duane sure is guilty of something.
If we’re onto something here, then Jack’s investigation just took an interesting turn. Not to mention, this new friendship between Naz and Freddy probably won’t end very well. But hey, at least that hair will grow back … right?
“The Night Of” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.