True Detective Just Went Fully Supernatural — And Its Mystery Could Get Even Stranger
Stay away from the water.
True Detective: Night Country is by far the most supernatural season of True Detective so far. From hallucinations, voices calling in the night, and even a zombie-like survivor awakening from his coma, a logical explanation for everything seems less and less likely. Supernatural explanations may be off-brand for True Detective, but in Night Country, they may be the only way to explain everything that’s happened satisfyingly. Part of that explanation may come from a local myth directly connecting the central mystery to the devastating death in Episode 4.
Spoilers for True Detective Season 4 Episode 4 follow!
In Episode 4, Detective Evangeline Navarro comforts her sister, Julia, who is dealing with supposed mental health issues that lead her to wander around Ennis on Christmas Eve, barely clothed. Navarro brings Julia to a residential treatment facility, but when she calls her later to check up on her, Julia is in the snowy wilderness, where she slowly undresses and folds all her clothes — much like the clothes of those who died in the Tsalal Station — and walks into the darkness. Later, we learn that she walked into the freezing ocean and drowned.
This heartbreaking scene is a continuation of many themes of this series so far: deeper intuition being dismissed as mental health issues, the desecration of the nature of Ennis by the Silver Sky mining company, and Evangeline’s own issues with faith. But it also echoes one of the biggest themes: ignoring the Indigenous culture that makes the community so strong to begin with.
The details of Julia’s death evoke a Nunavut-area mythological creature known as a Qallupilluit. The Qallupilluit is a banshee-like figure who lures children to the edge of the water for her to kidnap and bring to the depths below, used as a warning to keep children from wandering too close to the water.
But many of the finer details seem to match the mystery in True Detective. To lure the children, the Qallupilluit would emit a hum, much like the auditory hallucinations we see throughout the series, and her appearance matches that strange ghostly woman seen multiple times in Episode 4.
There’s even a connection to the mining protests: one of the biggest scandals around the community is the inordinate number of stillborn births in the Ennis community. It’s possible that the cause may not be chemicals in the water but instead, an angered mythological creature who is demanding children even before they are born, and Julia was just more attuned to her call drawing her into the water.
The scientists at Tsalal Station were found in the snow, not in the water, but it’s possible they heard the call too and were just frozen before they could even reach the water, explaining why their clothes were so methodically folded. This theory is the perfect way to represent the way Indigenous culture is being overtaken in the local area and how ignorance of its culture can lead to missing huge clues — like how Julia’s death could solve the entire mystery itself.