Night Sky season 1 – who is Irene York?

May 20, 2022
Adam Lock 0
Amazon Prime, News, Streaming Service
View all

This article, “who is Irene York” contains spoilers regarding the Amazon Prime Video series Night Sky season 1.

Check out the archive of recaps, news, and reviews for Night Sky.

A refreshing stylistic choice in Night Sky was for our two leads to be played by the older generation of actors. Sissy Spacek, who plays Irene, is seventy-two-years old and obviously, a national treasure. Her character, Irene, has lived quite the life, full of otherworldly highs and painstaking lows. This complex and cryptic teacher brings an emotional gravity to the show, as her character grieves the passing of her son and struggles to find meaning in all the insane events that present themselves to her.

Who is Irene York in Night Sky season 1?

Wife to Franklin and mother to Michael, Irene places family first. Flashbacks show how she fell madly in love with her husband and built a quaint family-orientated life for herself in Farnsworth, Illinois. She was an English teacher most of her adult life and helped shape many of her pupils formative years. Lots of these students still live in the local area and are moved by her previous support, happy to return the favor whenever they can. She’s an intensely smart individual as well, who needs to know the answers to the major questions that plague her still. The riddle of the alien portal and the empty viewing platform continue to baffle her and she strives to find a connection between this magical chamber and her son’s untimely death.

Michael committed suicide at a young age, leaving daughter Denise fatherless. Irene was beset with grief and turned inwards. She grew distant from her granddaughter and allowed her health to deteriorate. At the start of Night Sky she is wheelchair bound after a fall and deeply depressed. It takes the sudden appearance of Jude to change all that. This drifter, who she nursed back to health, fills the hole Michael left behind, permitting her a second chance for redemption. She helps Jude search for his missing father and hires him as a caretaker. Thanks to Jude, she begins to walk again, drives for the first time in years and has a reenergized lease of life.

Even with all this progress, she still blames herself for Michael’s death though, something she can’t seem to shake. In hindsight she acknowledges how cold and distant she was with her son. He clearly had mental health issues and she chose to ignore his cries for help. Irene can be selfish and stubborn at times, thinking she is always right. It may be her biggest flaw. Throughout the series she falls out with husband Franklin on numerous occasion, most strikingly, deciding to step out into the unknown without a seconds thought for her safety or Franklin’s wellbeing. Ironically, this naïve determination actually saves Franklin’s life in the finale, where he runs out of oxygen and she walks out onto the alien planet to retrieve him, breathing in the alien air, which she discovers isn’t dangerous at all.

Walking on that alien planet for the first time, the couple journey over the brow of a hill and discover a hidden community. This is Jude’s old home and the secret society the series hinted at for so long. Having taken the plunge and faced her fears, Irene can now explore further mysteries with a renewed energy, hand in hand with her husband. She has redeemed herself in Franklin’s eyes, she now hopes to save Byron’s life too and is eager to find out more of the planet’s secrets. This is a satisfactory arc for Irene, where a depressed and grief-stricken mother found atonement by helping others. She may never truly forgive herself, but she has made the first steps towards loving herself once more and can now move forward with her life.

You can watch this series with a subscription to Amazon.

View all

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.