Almost every moment is more intense as we build up to the end and all sides are digging in to survive. At the trial the prosecution builds its case and the defense deflects what it can and continues searching all angles. As for Naz he seems settled in the Rikers life while those on the outside fight for him or damn him. Here is a Part VI recap before we see where this all leads in Part VII.
Now the defense tries its luck. Some damning evidence faces Nasir Khan. We still don’t know, maybe he is guilty. Maybe, the life he has settled into at Riker’s is his only reality now ad yet the good fight is still fought in his name.
Part VII: Ordinary Death
Graphic crime scene and autopsy photographs accompany the Medical Examiner’s explanation of the numerous stab wounds to Andrea’s body. Naz’s mother Safar, unable to assure herself of her son’s innocence, leaves the courtroom. Stone learns from Andrea’s financial advisor that Andrea’s stepfather, Don Taylor, is deeply in debt, and speaks to an ex-wife who divorced Taylor for domestic battery. Naz’s friend Amir admits on the stand that Naz dealt large quantities of Adderall. A high school coach reveals Naz was suspended not once, but twice, for violent behavior. As the trial moves to the defense phase, renowned pathologist Dr. Eli Katz offers explanations for the wounds on Andrea’s and Naz’s hands, and how an intruder could have entered the brownstone unseen. Petey, whose mother is the mule for Freddy’s heroin supply, kills himself. Naz admits he knows why – one of Freddy’s crew, Victor, repeatedly victimized the young man. As Box celebrates his retirement with his NYPD colleagues, Freddy, abetted by Naz, kills Victor in retribution.
There were plenty of good moments in this episode the most exciting of which took place at the trial or at least this writer thought so. But first some other points as this review jumps around just like this episode did.
Sorry, but I saw Petey’s death coming. Someone meaningful had to die in prison and there were not that many to choose from. The guard room was right there though! They did not choose to see someone hunker down in the john? Well, as I think about it – yeah it was possible not to see Petey huddle there because, hell, they can’t even see in a brightly lit room that a lady is hiking up under her dress to grab drugs out of her birth canal! Slightly off topic, but it must take a special type of person to be a drug mule. First, for a woman to stash them up there in the hope the package doesn’t break. Then, the inside guy swallowing the package and not choking or catching an STD! Then they still have to pass it. Ugh!
Also interesting all season long is how Nasir’s family has reacted to it all. Small scenes but effective ones. Part VII holds two such moments as Chandra confronts Safar for running out of court and Salim and the whole stolen cab issue. Also added is Box’s cleaning out his desk and getting to a retirement party. He seems glum about it all or is that him feeling regretful on how he treated his last case? The episode’s title refers to a line of text on his insurance form. Is all this to say that all that preceded Box’s retirement including Nasir’s case, is all just part of the ordinary grind before you check out?
Now onto the trial. We are witness to the battle between Mrs. Weiss and Chandra as it went back and forth. For the prosecution we had the Medical Examiner detailing the stabbing wounds on both parties; the school coach establishing the violent behavior of the defendant when he was a school student and Amir, a one-time friend of Nasir, who established Naz as a drug peddler. There was not much Chandra had in defense of those claims. Her biggest stumble, however was kissing Nas in prison. How could you be so dumb! We are reminded that it was caught on camera too.
However, when it was her turn to draw testimony, she held her own. She had the aid of Dr. Katz, who was the guy taking all the pictures at the crime scene. His appearance on the stand was the best moments in the hour. He saw and testified things that the crime scene crews did not. He even introduced the idea of someone else having access to the brownstone via the broken gate. Nice bit of work indeed. And then there was Detective Box subpoenaed and called to the stand. How ironic it would be if Box was responsible for getting Nasir free!
I can almost hear Chandra’s closing argument now: She would state that Box, soon to retire, needed to wrap up just one more case (a sensationalistic one it turned out) before calling it quits. He races to the conclusion, mainly because evidence set it up that way, that there was a cut & dry perpetrator in Nasir. He did not fully investigate or check any leads or witnesses and let crucial facts slip by because they did not fit the story he wanted to rush through. He even went against training and removed evidence from inventory.
Chandra pointed out in this episode that he never learned of Duane Reade or looked into Mr. Bell or Mr. Taylor, but Stone and Chandra have. In fact Stone gets threatened by Don Taylor, the victim’s shifty stepfather. By looking into these people, seemingly on the periphery of the matter, the defense has a great chance of proving reasonable doubt or better. That realization has to play out in Part VIII. How it ends up is anyone’s guess especially since the preview for the final episode is intentionally vague.
Did we catch all the clues?
Is there enough evidence to offer a new suspect?
What of Freddy and the Khans?
How about Detective Box?
Will we be satisfied with the outcome either way?
Will he see the crime played out as it really happened?
Do we have faith that our justice system works the way it should or not?
There are so many questions. The conclusion, airing SUNDAY, AUGUST 28 for a full 96 minutes, may give us all the answers or perhaps not. Will we ever really know what happened the night of…
About The Author
Editor at Large of HBOWatch.com and the internet's foremost HBO expert.