blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Hunters (2020) s01e07 – Shalom Motherf***er

“Hunters” and the secret history of July 13, 1977! It doesn’t just tie into an actual historical event, it causes an actual historical event. It also then directly ties into Summer of Sam then… I wonder if you could cut the entire movie into “Hunters” and just have it be a subplot.

The Nazis cause the New York City blackout of 1977. Maybe if the episode weren’t so wonky it’d be a better twist.

The whole episode’s not wonky, which is almost what makes it most frustrating. Yes, everything involving Pacino—who starts the episode deciding he’s going to keep more secrets from his team—and Jerrika Hinton (who knowingly lets the Nazis play her so she can close one or two open murder cases and not avert a terrorist attack) is wonky. The showdown between Pacino and Hinton is particularly bad because it’s unbelievable Pacino was able to mastermind anything. He gets painfully played in interrogation… and somehow never asks for a lawyer.

But Louis Ozawa finally gets a great moment or two, one with Josh Radnor (who’s so good) and another with Tiffany Boone (who still doesn’t get enough to do) and sort of assumes the unappreciated utility man position on the show. Radnor and Ozawa are trying to infiltrate a veteran’s hospital and Radnor mugs his way through a group therapy session talking to real vets like it’s a shitty war movie. It’s amazing stuff. Then Ozawa just tops it with his real sharing.

There’s a big suspense set piece with the team trying to avert the Nazi attack at Grand Central Station, which feels very New York movie, but then they’re laughably bad at tailing Greg Austin and it’s like… okay, the “Hunters” aren’t so much “Hunters” as bumblers at this point.

The episode ends on a very sad note–with another ghost coming in to forecast the tragedy—and it’s affecting as all hell, it’s just not particularly good. Pacino’s out of his depth, Hinton’s out of her depth… she’s continuing the U.S. Government protecting Nazis and he’s just so inept at masterminding what else would you expect from his team but disaster.

The show still works—it’s still got loads of accumulated goodwill (Dylan Baker’s amazing as always)—but it’d be nice if they could successfully execute this very important episode.

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