True Detective fans slam major plot hole in Season 4

Daisy Phillipson
Agent Navarro in True Detective Season 4HBO

True Detective: Night Country is facing backlash after fans spotted a plot hole in Season 4 Episode 4.

True Detective’s debut season belongs in the upper echelon of prestige TV. Despite his controversies, Nic Pizzolatto at the very least crafted an intricate narrative, one bolstered by atmospheric cinematography, philosophical musings, and career-topping performances from Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson.

What followed were a series of missteps – including a rush to capture the glory of its predecessor – which ultimately resulted in a disappointing second season. While Season 3 rectified a number of these issues, the latest entry – Issa López’s True Detective: Night Country – was said to be a return to form when it premiered last month. 

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However, there have been ups and downs in Season 4 so far, with a number of viewers taking issue with the (perhaps) supernatural elements and writing style. With the arrival of Episode 4 last night, fans are now highlighting a rather bothersome plot hole. Warning: Spoilers ahead!

True Detective fans slam major plot hole in Season 4

In True Detective Season 4 Episode 4, Navarro’s (Kali Reis) sister Julia (Aka Niviana) walks out to the Alaskan sea and dies. There are a number of inconsistencies with this sequence: why Julia was allowed to check out of the mental health facility; how the Coast Guard found her so quickly (on Christmas Eve, no less); and how they were able to notify her next of kin in mere hours.

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You see, Navarro checked Julia into the Lighthouse, a social assistance facility, as she was struggling with the same mental health condition as their mother. After Julia escapes and dies, Navarro confronts the receptionist, but he simply says admissions are voluntary. 

However, as pointed out by Forbes, “Voluntary admission to a mental health facility doesn’t mean patients can simply come and go freely. This is not how it works anywhere in the United States, at least.”

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Prior to this, Julia had checked herself out and headed to the shipwreck, where she stripped naked and wandered into the icy, Alaskan ocean, dying in the same way their mother and Travis did. But just hours later, Navarro gets a call from the Coast Guard notifying her of Julia’s death. 

Julia in True Detective Season 4HBO

The chances of this happening are near impossible, with one viewer writing on Reddit, “Randomly spotting Julia’s body like that in the dark ocean is insane to me.” To which another replied, “I was in the Coast Guard and did a couple patrols looking for bodies in the ocean in Alaska. It is basically a less than 1% chance.”

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“She walked out onto the ice and into the ocean in the middle of the night. Ennis is supposed to be near the top of the world,” added a third. “So there happened to be a Coast Guard boat that happened to be near where her body was and they happened to ID some random Alaskan resident immediately?”

“Happened at night too. People don’t realize how absolutely dark the ocean is. Just vast amounts of nothing,” commented a fourth, while a fifth said, “And identifying her and contacting next of kin even though she was naked with no identification on her…”

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Some did come up with an explanation to the Coast Guard identifying Julia’s body so quickly, however, including this person who said: “Tiny village probably has a rather limited number of Native women with blue hair and tattoos.”

The experts were equally displeased with the plot hole, with Forbes adding that the entire sequence is “symbolic of all the other ways that this show is so unbelievably sloppy and lazy and detached from just the basics of plausibility.”

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If you want to make up your own mind about True Detective: Night Country, Episodes 1-4 are available on Max now, which you can sign up for here.

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About The Author

Daisy is a Senior TV and Movies Writer at Dexerto. She's a lover of all things macabre, whether that be horror, crime, psychological thrillers or all of the above. After graduating with a Masters in Magazine Journalism, she's gone on to write for Digital Spy, LADbible and Little White Lies. You can contact her on daisy.phillipson@dexerto.com