Last night the magnificent miniseries The Night Of concluded with a 95-minute episode, wrapping things up in the case of Nasir 'Naz' Khan, but leaving things open-ended enough for a second season to be tackled in a number of ways. (Spoilers ahead.)
The show is based off of the BBC's Criminal Justice, which featured a case like Khan's in the first season, and a totally separate case in the second. However, HBO's version left things where the story from season one could continue, or characters from it could walk into a new storyline. The network hasn't announced if the series (which was a passion project of the late James Gandolfini) will be renewed or canceled. We reached out this morning and were told, "We do not have any sort of official comment."
However, Steven Zaillian said at the TCA in July, "We're thinking about it, you know. And if we come up with something that we all feel is worthy of doing, we'll do it. This was designed as a standalone piece. That being said, there are ways of certainly, you know, kind of taking what it feels like and what it's about and doing another season on another subject. So we're talking about it."
Like True Detective (and also like Criminal Justice), the show would likely come back with all new characters and a new case. However, there are some ways to bring these beloved characters over to a new season—and that's something that should be considered given the audience's strong reaction to them, and how spectacularly the second season of True Detective (and even the Serial podcast) flopped.
Some theories about how this could go:
- Josh Kurp at Uproxx is calling for a spin-off called Box & Weiss, where the lawyer and former detective solve crimes together.
- Caitlin Gallagher at Bustle speculated that since Criminal Justice writer Peter Moffat "is also credited as an executive producer on The Night Of... it makes sense that if The Night Of is renewed, it could possibly be based on Criminal Justice's Season 2 plot of a domestically-abused woman who is under investigation for killing her husband." The first season of The Night Of pulled heavily from the first season of Criminal Justice.
- At the conclusion of season one, we leave Naz lonely and with a pretty bad drug addiction, so the story could continue following him through this time, as Box and Weiss bring Andrea Cornish's true killer to justice.
- Freddy, played by Michael K. Williams, was another excellent character, though it seems difficult to bring him into a second season unless Naz stays in touch with him, or he's used by Box, Weiss, or John Stone for informational purposes.
- Stone (and his cat) should really be at the center of the second season—John Turturro's eczema-suffering, subway ad lawyer character was given a shot at the big leagues through his dedication to Naz and his high-profile case, for which he delivered a spectacular closing argument. (Maybe in the 2nd season he could bring Chandra Kapoor's career back to life, too.)