Episode 5 of ‘True Detective’ sheds additional light on the mystery of the disappearance of Tsalal scientists and the murder of Annie Kowtok, and despite several hints pointing toward the realm of the supernatural, we’ve learned that the mystery is more earthly in nature. Liz has discovered that Silver Sky Mine owns the cave in which Annie was murdered and Kate is desperately trying to block the access to the cave even going as far as to hire Hank Prior to murder Otis, the only person that could take Navarro and Danvers to the cave. Something about that cave seems to spell trouble for the mine as a whole but what exactly?
Brook Range cave holds the final key to solving the mystery
Ever since that video of Annie Kowtok was discovered on her phone it was obvious that she wasn’t killed in Ennis, her body was moved from what appeared to be an ice cave. Liz and Navarro wrongly assumed that there were no caves in the vicinity of Ennis and Liz’s friend Bryce corrected them that there were. Since Ennis is close to the Alaskan Brook range, the area was littered with caves of all kinds, the cave in which Annie was murdered among the most dangerous of all.
Still, it wasn’t impossible to explore the cave considering that a man named Otis Heiss managed to map it several years prior before he was involved in a horrific accident similar to what happened to Tsalal men. Now Otis seemed to be the key to exploring the cave despite at least three people being in the cave without his help.
When Liz discovered that Silver Sky Mine was actually funding the Tsalal research, especially their research into the mine’s effects on the environment, things started clicking into place. Things got even clearer when Liz and Navarro discovered that the site where the cave is located belonged to Silver Sky Mine. Huh.
To make things even worse, Kate had Liz and Navarro visiting the site on camera and she made some vague threats and warned them against trespassing on the mine’s land. If she was trying to hide the fact that there was something terrible in that cave, she did it poorly.
Later that evening, Kate met with Hank prior and blackmailed him into killing Otis Heiss, the only person who can show the alternative route to the cave to Liz and Navarro. Hank was on the line whether to help Kate or not, and we also discovered that he helped cover up the murder of Annie Kowtok and move her body in exchange for money and the promise that he would become the new police chief. Kate delivered the money but failed to give him the position of chief of police since Liz unexpectedly got transferred to Ennis by Conelly.
Hank did manage to kill Otis, but not before he showed the alternative route to Liz, and of course, Hank was later shot and killed by his own son Peter Prior.
What is Kate trying to hide so desperately?
Kate mentioned to Hank that Liz cannot go near the cave under any circumstances, obviously, the cave holds the evidence on who killed Annie, perhaps some DNA evidence that could eventually be traced to Kate even though I doubt that she killed her directly. Remember it’s ice-cold in that cave which means that any organic material would last for a long long time. But, it’s also not likely Kate’s primary concern.
Kate is afraid that Liz and Navarro will find whatever Annie found and got her killed. Remember Annie was an activist trying to get Silver Sky Mine to leave Ennis, and she apparently found something important just a moment before she was killed.
Annie most likely found overwhelming evidence that mine was to blame for all the stillbirths in the area and for the water being toxic and she was most likely working with Clark, however Clark for some reason survived, well at least survived long enough to take her phone.
It’s clear that whatever evidence Kate is trying to cover up in that cave, it spells game over for the mine and everyone involved in it. It might even result in lengthy prison sentences. Just about the only thing we do know regarding that cave is that any person who has the ability to actually go there has to be eliminated in one way or another. Annie was killed, Hank was killed, Otis was killed and Clark who is currently in the “Night Country” is as far as we know also dead.
Could Oliver Tagaq be Annie’s murderer?
One of the characters we met over the course of the season was Oliver Tagaq. He was an equipment engineer for Tsalal Research Station up until Annie was killed. Following that he quit his job and went to live with the nomads. Liz and Navarro questioned him once and he was pretty rude, going as far as to threaten them. Tagaq claimed that he had no idea what the spiral symbol meant, and he promptly disappeared when Navarro discovered one stone with the spiral symbol etched into it in his house.
Now it doesn’t make sense for Oliver not to know what the symbol means because a) he obviously needs to hunt living in the wilderness and surrounded by other nomads, B) the other more experienced nomads would tell him about both the “Night Country” and what spirals actually meant. There’s also the fact that Liz noticed that in the freaky video from Tsalal when one of the scientists was having a mental breakdown, someone switched off the electricity, that’s exactly what happened in the cave in Annie’s video as well. Considering that Tagaq has experience with equipment and obviously engineering it’s likely that he had something to do with the murder, at least indirectly like Hank Prior.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below!