HBO — THE NIGHT OF — 2016
This is a crime series of a completely different taste and feel.
It is all based on sloppy police work. Circumstantial becomes the rule of law and they arrest the one who is circumstantially indicated by the surface evidence and they do not try to find more, except, for the main cop, after his retirement, and in just a few hours he finds another trail, another track that should have been explored and it reveals a very serious criminal mind that goes free since the crime is attached to someone else who is of course innocent.
The second originality is that the District Attorney, or at least his representative or deputy is not particularly dynamic on these circumstantial elements and she accepts the comfortable situation of an easy case to win. She knows all along the accused is not guilty. She knows all along the police thinks so too. But both do not bother to go beyond the surface. They don’t even scratch it. They just plainly hide behind it. Bureaucrats. Who cares about the accused, since he is a Muslim Pakistani or a Pakistani Muslim: one way or another it does not deserve the protection of the fourteenth amendment. Quite in phase with the present situation in the USA, just prophetic in 2016.
The third originality is that this young man who is just slightly dirtier than virginal though innocent of the crime he is accused of, finds his way to power in prison, the famous Riker’s Island. He becomes one untouchable person and he is the strategic accomplice of an act of justice. One inmate used the service of a younger one for his sexual drives and this younger one ends up “suicided” in the showers. The master inmate of the prison is informed and decides that the inmate responsible for the death of the younger one has to be executed. He is under the nose of the warden distracted by our Pakistani requesting some asthma medicine.
He becomes a drug mule too from outside to inside via his lawyer and his rectum. And there we get to the fourth originality: lawyers. The first lawyer is a marginal lawyer who is only paid when he gets the expected results. A woman from an uptown lawyer team steals the young man by promising the family they will have nothing to pay. But she drops him when he refuses to accept a deal because “he did not kill the girl” hence he pleads not guilty. That very nice lawyer drops the file in the lap of her assistant who goes to the first lawyer to be able to take the case to court.
But that young lady let herself become intoxicated by the young Pakistani, though he does not try to seduce her. She more or less gets the machine going. But all lawyer-client interviews in prison are filmed, and the video of the “seduction scene” comes out. The young assistant is pushed back into the second position. The judge informed the disciplinary committee or commission. She will be disbarred. The lawyer who is still her boss and had dropped the case let her know that on the day after the end of the trial she can clean up her desk and leave. Still a nice lady. How can an accused innocent person go through justice in such conditions?
He can because this confusion leads the jury to a split situation that is unsolvable since it is 6 to 6. The judge then declares the trial finished and asks the prosecution, the people mind you, if she wants a second trial as soon as next week with a new jury. She knows the real criminal is still running since the retired cop has provided her with the elements that are slightly more than circumstantial, including a withdrawal from the dead lady’s fund of several hundred thousand dollars for that suspected individual, but the withdrawal was done by her stepfather who had obviously paid him for some personal service and a video in a street shows that man having an argument with the young woman just before she escapes him by stepping into our Pakistani’s taxi. The stepfather recuperates 100% of his twenty-year older wife who just died (that was not the first one in his career as a coach for old ladies) instead of only 50%. The rest then is routine about checking the movements of the said suspect. So the deputy district attorney decides not to continue the case and drop the judicial procedure.
And our young man is free, not cleaned up, not proved innocent, just bureaucratically freed of all charges. That’s how an innocent man can recapture his freedom, and during that time the initial lawyer who had to present the final arguments of the defense by decision of the judge is sinking in some allergic reaction to the cat of the killed lady he managed to recuperate after all in his apartment. How can a grown man be allergic to a cat? Simple, Doctor Watson, simple, as they say.
Dr. Jacques COULARDEAU