RECAP: Did Naz Just Make A Life-Ending Decision On ‘The Night Of’

By 08.01.16

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Spoilers ahead, but you already knew that.

For my money, The Night Of is the best show airing on television right now. The plot, the cast, the writing, the cinematography, are all top notch. Which is to be expected from a TV show on HBO. Sunday night’s episode of the suspenseful crime drama was the midpoint of the eight-part miniseries, and it did not disappoint.

Episode 4, titled “The Art of War,” found Nasir ‘Naz’ Khan looking for new allies in the courtroom and in prison. One of Naz’s new friends is Freddy, a former star boxer who has risen to power inside Rikers prison. Freddy, played by the always sensational Michael Kenneth Williams, sees promise in Naz and appreciates that he is well-educated.

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Freddy tells Naz that the two books that prisoners always read when they’re locked up for “obvious reasons” is “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu and “The Other Side of Midnight by Sidney Sheldon.” Like a courteous Barnes & Noble employee, Freddy points out that Jack London’s “The Call of the Wild” is the hidden gem in the prison library. However, Nasir has already read it.

Williams, who has been kingpins before as Omar in The Wire and Chalky from Boardwalk Empire, said he based the character of Freddy on one of his nephews who is serving time. “He is literally a model prisoner. He inspires me. He does service, he’s got a degree,” Williams told L.A. Times.

In this episode, you see that Freddy is not only running Rikers because of his celebrity status but also because he is ruthless. He forces a fellow inmate to box him and brutally punishes him with punch after devastating punch because he attempted to run a rival cell phone business inside the prison.

The timid Naz accepts Freddy’s protection (But what will Freddy want in return?). This comes in handy when his former prison guide Calvin, who seemed to be his friend and gave Naz advice on proper prison decorum, goes berserk and burns him with a mixture of scalding water and baby oil.

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