The mysterious case is opened, Stephen chooses a side, and Sam's in the greatest danger of the series so far in this week's episode of Hunted.
I tuned in to episode 7 of Hunted with the knowledge that the series would not be returning for a second season (or at least, not in the BBC incarnation that we have been introduced to). Although I'm disappointed that we won't get the chance to explore this world further, I'm glad we found out now rather than after the finale; this way, I'll be able to watch the finale aware that it's not just the end of this story arc but the series' final hour, and respond to any final questions or unresolved plot-lines with that in mind.
And judging from this week's episode there are bound to be a number of things left open-ended. Sam's luck hasn't improved any since we last saw her. Following his seeming discovery of her secret identity last week, Stephen is torn and betrayed; it isn't long before he's pulling Sam away for a confrontation about her secret identity. In a surprise twist, Sam manages to convince him of her innocence before dad Jack turns him the other way again. I now feel rather sorry for Stephen; he's been ceaselessly used as pawn by both Sam and his father. Hunted paints a rather bleak portrait of familial and romantic relationships.
|No one was more gutted to hear of 'Hunted's cancellation than Sam herself|
This brings me to another 'family' relationship, of sorts - the compelling father-son relationship that has developed between Fowkes and Dave Ryder. The two characters met a few episodes back in a staged accident that mirrored Sam's introduction to Stephen in the premiere - initially a chalk 'n cheese (where does that expression come from? As if chalk goes well with anything!?) duo shouting at each other at any given opportunity, they developed a surprisingly tender companionship that was greater explored (and then destroyed) in this week's ep. It was one of Hunted's more subtle and interesting character studies, a bitter old man and a loose cannon special agent forming a bond in an East London boozer. It's also something that's been tragically neglected by critics writing about the series, and it's clear that Fowkes is genuinely in pain following Dave's demise.
As suspected, it turns out that the team's employer has far more sinister motives than they would have believed - but who would have thought that it would be Polyhedrus, the enormous corporate behemoth, that was pulling the strings all along? This concept of fighting 'in the belly of the beast' could have been an interesting development for a second season; hopefully next week's episode will provide us with an insight into how each character deals or struggles with this knowledge.
Once again Melissa George is on top form, appearing to effortlessly move through some rather demanding fight scenes as well as conveying Sam's complex emotional state. It's been enjoyable watching her as Sam Hunter, and I can only hope that Cinemax make the right decision and allow the show to continue.
Seven down, one to go.
What did you think of this week's 'Hunted'? Do you think the BBC made the wrong decision not to continue with the show? Share your thoughts below!