Why Pete Did THAT In True Detective: Night Country Episode 5 Ending Explained

Warning: spoilers ahead for True Detective season 4’s episode 5.


  • Peter’s decision to kill his father, Hank, is driven by a sense of justice and morality, as he learns about Hank’s corrupt actions and betrayal.
  • Hank’s murder creates a major hurdle for Pete, Danvers, and Navarro, as they must work together to cover up the crime and protect themselves from being implicated.
  • Exposing the Silver Sky mine and its illicit activities will be the biggest challenge for Danvers and Navarro, as they navigate a web of powerful forces and potential cover-ups.

Peter does something unpredictable in True Detective: Night Country‘s episode 5’s ending, making it hard not to wonder how his actions will impact the events of the season’s finale. In its early moments, True Detective: Night Country‘s episode 5 highlights how Otis Heiss hardly recalls anything about his past but claims that he and his team were hit by a blizzard. He also reveals that Raymond kept chanting, “She’s awake,” which is exactly what he said before hell broke loose on the Tsalal researchers in True Detective: Night Country‘s opening arc.

While Ennis’ pollution crisis gets worse and Danvers’ daughter, Leah, also joins the protests against the mines, Danvers and Navarro struggle to hold on to the central murder cases after higher authorities try to shut them down. However, in True Detective: Night Country‘s episode 5’s ending arc, the two detectives refuse to give up and try seeking Otis’ help, hoping that he will be able to guide them to the ice caves. However, things take a violent turn after Danvers brings Otis home, and the episode ends with Peter making some shocking decisions.


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Why Pete Killed His Father At The End Of True Detective: Night Country Episode 5

Pete feels betrayed by his father

Officer Peter Prior talking to Chief Liz Danvers in True Detective Night Country

The build-up to the climactic moment where Peter kills his father, Hank, begins when Pete realizes that Hank is a corrupt police officer. After Danvers meets Kate McKitterick and Ted Connelly at the Silver Sky mine, and they ask her to stop her investigation surrounding the Tsalal researchers, she realizes that Hank has been leaking information about them and has also been hired by McKitterick to erase all evidence they have gathered. Since Peter has a strong sense of justice and morality, unlike his father, learning about his father’s real motives breaks his heart.

In True Detective: Night Country‘s episode 5’s ending, Hank shows up at Danvers’ place to arrest Otis. When Danvers refuses to comply with him, he shoots Otis, which alarms Peter, who had been living with Danvers after learning the truth about his father. Realizing that his father is trying to conceal evidence surrounding the Annie case, Pete points his gun at Hank. Although Hank tries to get inside Pete’s head by reminding him that they are the same blood, he further infuriates Pete by revealing that he had moved Annie’s body from the cave to the town after she was murdered.

Peter ultimately reaches the end of his wits when his father asks him to join forces with him and encourages him to help him hide Otis Heiss’ body. Therefore, when Hank raises his gun to shoot Danvers, Pete impulsively reacts and shoots his father to protect Danvers. Although he instantly regrets his actions, he did not have a choice because Hank might have killed Danvers as well if Pete had not stopped him.


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Why Hank Killed Otis Heiss

Hank was working for Kate McKitterick

Many early scenes from True Detective: Night Country hinted that Hank was working for the authorities that run the Silver Sky mine. For instance, Navarro and Danvers had previously learned that a local hairdresser, who knew about Raymond and Annie’s relationship, had reported everything about Annie to Hank after Annie’s death. However, Hank had intentionally kept the information to himself. Hank was also a little too eager to kill Raymond Clark and had even hired civilian gunmen to get him murdered before the police force caught him alive.

True Detective: Night Country‘s episode 5 confirms that Hank took these provisions to ensure that no one investigated Annie’s murder and the ice cave where she was killed because Kate McKitterick had hired him to do so. How Annie’s murder connects to the Silver Sky mine remains a mystery, but Danvers theorizes the Tsalal researchers were pushing out bogus pollution numbers to hide how the mine was polluting Ennis. Annie must have figured this out, which likely led to her murder.

All this bitterness eventually accumulated within him, leading him to kill Otis.

Solving Annie’s murder case would expose the Silver Sky mine’s malicious activities, which would land its leading figures like McKitterick in trouble. Hence, to protect herself and the mine, McKitterick recruits Hank to erase all the evidence surrounding Annie’s death. When she realizes that Otis could lead Navarro and Danvers to the ice cave where Annie had learned the truth about the mine’s illegal activities, she asks Hank to get Otis out of the way to prevent Navarro and Danvers from getting to the caves. In return, she promises that he will get to become the next chief of police.

Although Hank initially does not plan to kill Otis, he feels infuriated when Danvers tells Peter about his corrupt actions. Hank’s interaction with McKitterick also reveals that she was going to get him appointed as the next APF chief before Danvers took the position in Ennis. This suggests that Hank had always been jealous of Danvers and was also likely frustrated after the Russian mail-order bride scam. All this bitterness eventually accumulated within him, leading him to kill Otis.


What Happened To Annie In True Detective: Night Country?

Although True Detective season 4’s episode 1 does not reveal everything about Annie’s mysterious death, it hints at what might have happened to her.

What Pete Killing Hank Means For Night Country: Will He Get Away With It?

Hank’s murder creates one major hurdle for Pete, Danvers, and Navarro

Hank confronting Peter at the skating rink in True Detective Night Country

Danvers could easily become the primary suspect for both murders because she was last seen with Otis.

Before leaving for the caves with Danvers, Navarro asks Pete to find Rose, who will likely help him get rid of Hank’s body. Since Pete himself is a cop, he will also know how to clean Danvers’ home in such a way that there is no evidence of Hank or Otis’ murders. Navarro also says that the storm will help them cover their tracks, allowing them to leave no trace of being together at Danvers’ home.

However, one thing could still land them in trouble: Danvers had checked Otis out of the facility where he was imprisoned. If Pete plants Otis’ body in Hank’s truck, Danvers could easily become the primary suspect for both murders because she was last seen with Otis. The people working at the facility where Otis was imprisoned would also testify she took him home, potentially exposing her involvement in the crime.

Will Danvers & Navarro Be Able To Expose Silver Sky?

Exposing Silver Sky will be their biggest challenge

In nearly all True Detective seasons, the leading detectives usually find the central murderers but are never able to overpower the big villains. For instance, in season 1, the FBI denied all rumors surrounding Errol Childress’ relationship with the Tuttles, which eventually saved the powerful family’s reputation. Considering how even the leading forces behind the Silver Sky mine are powerful enough to conceal all evidence surrounding a gruesome murder case, they will likely find a way to shield themselves. In fact, it seems like they have already covered their tracks by proving that the Tsalal researchers were not killed.


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How Will True Detective: Night Country End?

Like its predecessors, True Detective season 4 will probably end on a bittersweet note

Jodi Foster as Liz Danvers and Kali Reis as Navarro in True Detective Night Country

In True Detective: Night Country‘s final arc, Danvers and Navarro will eventually find what Annie had discovered in the ice cave. Since Otis reveals in True Detective season 4’s episode 4 that Raymond Clark is in the “Night Country,” they might even encounter Clark in the caves. Through Clark, they will not only be able to figure out what happened to Annie and who killed her but also learn the truth about the researchers’ murders. Clark may also provide them with crucial evidence that could help them expose the Silver Sky mine.

Danvers and Navarro may also find a semblance of resolution in their respective journeys. While Danvers will likely find some peace after being tormented by her son’s death for years, Navarro will learn to trust her instincts and abilities instead of seeing them as a curse. Peter will probably struggle to come to terms with what he did but will eventually become a good police officer, unlike his father in True Detective: Night Country.

True Detective

season 4’s finale drops next Sunday on HBO Max.

True Detective

In this anthology series, each season follows a different detective or set of detectives as they forced to confront some horrific truths about their town and themselves. No matter the setting and characters, each detective must unravel lies and clues to solve the chilling mysteries around them.

Release Date
January 12, 2014

Matthew McConaughey , Woody Harrelson , Colin Farrell , Rachel McAdams , Taylor Kitsch , Mahershala Ali , Carmen Ejogo , Michelle Monaghan , Michael Potts , Ray Fisher , Jodie Foster


Nic Pizzolatto


Cary Fukunaga

Nic Pizzolatto

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