Review: Night Sky, family drama and sci-fi mystery

J.K. Simmons and Sissy Spacek in Night Sky

Night Sky intrigued me. It was about a happy older couple who shared a secret about an alien world. The human relationships in the story were warm and wonderful, even as the sci-fi aspects of the story were mysterious and largely unexplained. There are spoilers ahead.

Night Sky was built around the long time married couple Franklin (J.K. Simmons) and Irene York. (Sissy Spacek). It’s worth watching the series to see the two of them work together. Their chemistry was great, their relationship was interesting and complex. As the story progressed and grew, many other characters joined the plot. But the old married folks were the heart of the series. (#EldersRock)

J.K. Simmons and Sissy Spacek in Night Sky

Hidden under their shed was a portal to another planet. They’d gone out there to “see the stars” over 800 times. They discovered it at about the time their son committed suicide. Irene got in her head that she could find an answer there that would help with her grief. Franklin let her grieve as she needed, while he grieved in his own way.

Chai Hansen in Night Sky

All of that was interesting and fascinating by itself, but of course something had to happen to upset the status quo. That something was Jude (Chai Hansen). He appeared in the portal, sick and confused. Irene took him into the house and explained him to everyone as the new caretaker. It was never clear where Jude came from – another time, another place, another world? He had a pocket full of gold Spanish doubloons. Slowly we learned that he was there looking for his father who had traveled in the same way years previously.

Rocío Hernández and Julieta Zylberberg in Night Sky

Meanwhile, on an Argentinean llama farm, Stella (Julieta Zylberberg) and her teen daughter Toni (Rocío Hernández) were having all the mother/daughter teen conflicts that normal families have. Except this family were the guardians of a church. And under the church – guess what? Another portal. This introduced an element of religion into the story that was never explained any better than any other parts of this tale.

Stella and Toni are visited by Tall Man (Piotr Adamczyk). He gives them the information about an “apostate” that must be retrieved. Toni gets a fast education in what her family story really is. Mom and daughter are off through the portal after the runaway. In New Jersey, they meet up with Nick (Stephen Louis Grush). Stella tells Toni, “he’s one of us.” He should be able to track the apostate (Jude, obviously), except Jude cut the tracker out of his leg and smashed it.

They find him anyway. But it takes a while.

Kiah McKirnan in Night Sky

Back with Franklin and Irene York, their granddaughter Denise (Kiah McKirnan) is suspicious about the new caretaker in her grandparents house.

Adam Bartley in Night Sky

The York’s extremely nosy and irritating new neighbor, Byron (Adam Bartley), is curious about what the Yorks do in their shed late at night.

Another important character named Hannah (Sonya Walger) doesn’t appear in the plot until episode 7 out of the 8. Gotta keep those plot twists coming, right?

Much of this series is unexplained. Birth canal-like passages to the portals. Religious references that tie to nothing. A whole society of people meant to keep anyone from escaping whatever they were protecting. And an ending that made no logical sense.

In spite of all that, I still was fascinated by it. Much of the credit for that fascination goes to J.K. Simmons and Sissy Spacek, who shone with perfection.

You can see Night Sky on Prime Video. Women directors included Shari Springer Berman, Sara Colangelo, Jessica Lowrey, and Victoria Mahoney.

2 thoughts on “Review: Night Sky, family drama and sci-fi mystery”

  1. Willard Shank

    I haven’t read your review yet because of the spoilers. I’m on the edge of watching the show but I wonder if the story is finished after episode 8.

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