The Night Of Episode 2 Recap: Who Is The "Subtle Beast"?

Photo Courtesy Of HBO.
HBO's new crime thriller The Night Of has us in its grips as we try to figure out who killed Andrea Cornish.

In the second episode, titled "Subtle Beast," we learn a bit more about Naz's case, catch a glimpse of the inner-life of attorney John Stone and peep at Detective Box's personal motives, all while guessing at Andrea's shady history.

It's a slow-moving show, meant to be an eight-part movie, so instead of summarizing the play-by-plays of each hour-long episode, we're plotting out all the new clues, new suspects, and reemerging information. So, follow along every week for a collective brainstorm.

We're also posting all our crazy theories here.

Spoilers ahead.
New Suspects
Andrea's stepdad is definitely a potential suspect in my book. Don Taylor, in his leather jacket, and scruffy beard, comes off as nervous, sketchy, and definitely guilty of something. The most damning piece of evidence against Don is that he lied about the recognizing Andrea's body. Why would he do that? Is he just ridden in guilt from knowing that his stepdaughter has been gruesomely killed while he slept soundly in his Queens apartment? (If he was even there... I'm hoping to hear his alibi statement from him in a future episode.)

Taylor did contribute interesting background information about our victim, though. Key takeaways: she had lots of boyfriends (more potential suspects) and heavily-abused drugs.

When Naz's parents are being picked up to visit him at the precinct, we get a glimpse of Naz's brother standing in the doorway of the home, blankly staring at his parents. I'm getting a weird vibe from him. Remember that he's the one who wakes his parents up in the middle of the night to tell them Naz is missing — could he know something? Is that why he didn't go to visit his brother with his parents?

Naz's mom
isn't a suspect at all, but she did have a shady moment. When Box came to collect evidence from Naz's house, she looks mighty suspicious when she tells her husband that she's doing "laundry." What was up with that?
Debunked Theories
No theories have been debunked yet. It still seems to me that Naz is not the one responsible for Andrea's death. Her own stepfather didn't seem too surprised or disturbed by the news of her passing — he couldn't even rule out the idea that she was a prostitute.

Predictions
There is much circumstantial evidence pointing to Naz, but that may change as more witnesses and cops turn out to be astoundingly unreliable. The two cops who originally picked up Naz had to rewrite their statements. The male cop even requested that he leave out that he threw up to protect his reputation (Because being sick from seeing a brutally stabbed body is embarrassing, and concealing weakness is way more important than having a truthful and thorough recap of the night. Amirite?)

What else would cops do to protect their reputation? Hopefully Stone catches onto the inconsistencies around the case and uses that to Naz's advantage.

We also find out how manipulative Detective Box, a.k.a "the subtle beast," can be. Stone calls him a "talented oppressor." Heeding Stone's warning, Naz eventually gives Box the cold shoulder. In return, Box calmly walks over to his whiteboard full of open cases, and dramatically scribbles "MURDER" next to Naz's name, thus officially charging him with Andrea's death.

To make matters worse, Box puts Naz in a Harvard t-shirt, which gives off the impression that he is a privileged rich kid, immediately alienating him from the fellow inmates. This seems to be all part of Box's elaborate plan to subtly wear Naz down emotionally until he admits to committing the crime.

This episode's most compelling Box moment though, is when he BLINKS when talking about Naz. Maybe he doesn't think him so guilty after all.

Reoccurring Things To Think About
There has been a lot of water symbolism in the show so far. During Andrea's autopsy examination we hear creaking pipes, and see leaky sinks. During Naz's commute to jail, we are shown murky puddles and dirty sewage drains.

The cat surely also means something. One of the crime scene investigators notes the overwhelming presence of cat hair in the girl's bedroom, but notes that the cat is missing. Did the killer take the cat? Could the pet somewhere provide a piece of evidence that could help, or hurt, Naz's case?

The obvious Taylor Swift and Katy Perry-style bad blood between Box and Stone will certainly come to a head. Stone is clearly the underdog, with Box as the big, bad bully detective. Maybe that will change?

Medical issues
seem important here, namely Naz's asthma and Stone's eczema. Could this be an outward sign of their feeling like outcasts? Stone seems to be very aware of social prejudices, (for example, a Pakistani-American being referred to as “some Muslim freak [who] carved up a girl”) — perhaps that comes from being treated like a literal leper on the subway.

Also, Box's obsession with classical music is downright eerie.

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