Hunters Season 1

Well, so… that happened. And I’m still sorting out the entire season, one that started so brilliantly and mysteriously then veered into comic book action, until collapsing in a heap for the most artificial surprise ending since an M. Night Shamwow film debuted in a theater.

SPOILERS for Hunters Season 1 follow:

If you don’t know this show, the basic premise is a bunch of vigilantes — an Asian Vietnam vet, washed up actor, MI 6 Nun, etc. — spend their time and their founder’s fortune hunting Nazis living in America.

The characters treat this idea with slack jawed disbelief while the audience, which has been getting a steady stream of this stuff since The Boys From Brazil, just wishes they would hurry and get it already.

Surprisingly, Al Pacino plays the Jewish millionaire who leads and bankrolls the group. Surprising for two reasons: I don’t think he’s ever done TV before and also because this is one of his more nuanced performances. Every now and then he breaks out the Hoo Hah! style, but only when called for.

The action, of which there is quite a bit, is broken up be devastating flashbacks to the camps. These stories don’t get better or less impactful with time is all I’ll say about them.

The mystery plays out very nicely over the first six episodes before it dives into a conviluted terrorist plot run by a cartoonish Fourth Reich and then barrels into a horrific twist ending that yanks the viewer right out of the story.

It’s actually a pretty good series up until the last three episodes and I will definitely watch the next season if there is one. And though the finale was much, much less than I had hoped for, they did leave us with one haunting image targeted directly at our modern sensibilities.

The lead Nazi henchman murders his own lawyer in prison as a sacrifice to put himself at the center of a new movement of antisemites. The season finale fades out with him leading the other prisoners in a chant we know all too well from current attempts to stir up race divisions in our already divided country.

“The Jews will not replace us.”

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