The Night Of: Jessica Chastain, Elizabeth Banks criticize finale
The Night Of finale left many of its characters in precarious positions, but none arguably fared as poorly as Chandra (Amara Karan). The young lawyer was left jobless and could have been headed for disbarment after her actions over the final episodes, a conclusion Jessica Chastain and Elizabeth Banks aren’t particularly happy about.
On Wednesday, the Academy Award-nominated Chastain tweeted her displeasure with how the show handled Chandra, which included kissing her client Naz (Riz Ahmed) and later smuggling drugs to him so he would avoid withdrawal before testifying. Chastain wrote, “I was loving #TheNightOf until that final episode. Chandra becomes complete idiot overnight? Amara Karan (&women everywhere) deserved better.”
Banks soon joined in on the conversation and echoed Chastain’s thoughts on the character’s moves. “I was literally yelling NO at my tv every time she did something stupid,” Banks wrote. Chastain then replied, “Me too! I was SCREAMING NO! I wanted to throw my laptop across the room. I kept it cool though & the computer is safe.”
In addition to kissing Naz and giving him drugs, Chandra made the questionable decision to have Naz testify, which backfired in a major way when Naz said he didn’t know if he committed the murder that placed him on trial.
EW’s own critic, Jeff Jensen, also agreed with the two actresses, calling Chandra’s choices “problematic” and “boggling.” “I took Chandra to be smart, so her blunders were, at the very least, too infuriating to be entertaining, and at the very worst, terrible writing,” he wrote. “They were setups for more melodramatic beats that flattered other characters, most notably, Stone’s stirring, heroic closing argument. Not only did the show sell out Chandra, they damned her to facilitate a male lead’s catharsis and triumph.”
While many fans agree with Chastain and Banks’ opinion on the surprising path Chandra ended up on, some of the character’s storyline, including the inappropriate relationship, came from Criminal Justice, the British series that inspired The Night Of.