Maybe it’s just knowing Logan Lerman started in a YA franchise attempt (he was Percy Jackson) or because he’s got the dagger in his hand during the awesome opening titles every episode, but I wasn’t expecting him to have a whole “I feel super-guilty about killing these Nazis who are trying to kill us” arc.
While the team gets their introductions—Carol Kane is great, Josh Radnor is great—Lerman hangs out with his civilian friends and frets about his lifestyle choices. Except he’s also reading his safta’s journal entries from the concentration camp and her young ghost, Annie Hägg, is haunting him while he does awesome Saturday Night Fever dance routines to show how carefree life can be when you don’t think about the Nazis.
And there’s very good reason to think about the Nazis—turns out they’re plotting to do something terrible in a couple weeks, just the latest in an annual list of terrible things they’ve been doing since the end of the war—like assassinating Kennedy.
The episode also shuffles second-billed FBI agent Jerrika Hinton quite a bit. She starts the episode in imminent danger from evil little Nazi hitman Greg Austin, but ends it completely out of that danger and free to go on her expository investigation. She meets up with a fellow FBI agent—Sam Daly (Tim Daly’s kid)—and it seems like it means something, but not really. Just more treading water in her investigation, more exposition drops, then some more of her home life problems. Turns out Hinton’s closest lesbian story arc doesn’t just remind of “Mindhunter,” it directly lifts from it.
There’s some great stuff with Dylan Baker, a fantastic “how to spot a Nazi” public service announcement commercial with Radnor and guest star Hailey Stone (not all White people are Nazis but all Nazis are White people), and some iffy “you’re the Batman in our friend group” reinforcement for Lerman.
So Lerman’s not the lead I was expecting and Hinton’s pretty thankless all things considered, but “Hunters” is still sturdy.
Even if the idea of an open all night comic shop in late seventies Brooklyn is wholly absurd. I could be wrong. But… it seems absurd.