The rumors have turned out to be true, True Detective: Night Country does in fact contain a reference to Jodie Foster’s '90s horror classic The Silence of the Lambs, and it was so well hidden we almost missed it!
During the latest episode, simply titled Part 3, Officer Evangeline Navarro (Kali Reis) attempts to withdraw information from her lover Eddie (Joel Montgrand) about the missing scientist Oliver Tagaq, but in return Eddie wants to know more about her secretive upbringing. He uses the term “quid pro quo”, meaning a favor or advantage granted in return for something, an iconic phrase once said by Anthony Hopkins’ Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of The Lambs.
The Easter egg, as pointed out by Dexerto, is a pretty satisfying one since lead actor Foster stars in both True Detective season 4 and the horror flick. But what does it all mean? Let us refresh your memory. In the classic cannibal film, Foster plays Clarice Starling, an ambitious FBI trainee sent to visit convicted man-eater Lecter in the hope of drawing information out of him to help with a separate ongoing murder case. Starling offers Lecter a transfer in exchange for his help, but the murderer is unhappy with this deal and demands to know more about the agent’s traumatic childhood. “I tell you things, you tell me things. Not about this case, though, about yourself,” says Hannibal. “Quid pro quo. Yes or no? Yes or no, Clarice?”
Despite True Detective's Navarro and Eddie’s relationship being completely different from that of Clarice and Hannibal, the conversation is eerily similar as both women have dark and disturbing pasts that the men in front of them would like to know more about. When The Silence of the Lambs comparison was first mentioned late last year, we expected Foster’s character Detective Liz Danvers to make a nod, but the similarities between Clarice and Navarro make for a much more interesting Easter egg.
But that's not the only nod the third episode makes toward the 1991 movie. At the very end, in one of the series' most unnerving scenes so far, Officer Navarro is alone in a hospital room with Andrew Lund, one of the only surviving Tsalal scientists found in the human corpsicle. Suddenly Lund sits up, turns to Navarro, and says “Hello, Evangeline,” a line strangely similar to Lecter’s most famous quote “Hello Clarice.” Coincidence? We think not!
The first three episodes of True Detective season 4 are available to stream right now on Sky Now TV and Max. Episode 4 airs on Sunday, February 4 in the US on HBO and Monday, February 5 in the UK on Sky. For more, check out our list of upcoming TV shows heading your way in 2024.