Friday, March 6, 2020

Round Two: Hunters

Hunters: Season 1, Episode 2 “The Mourner's Kaddish” (B)

After a heavily expository ninety-minute opening episode, this normal hour offered a true sample of what this show will likely be like going forward. It’s undeniably and unapologetically gratuitous, showing depravity and cruelty by the Nazis in the camps, exacted in turn by the hunters, and then revisited upon those few actually trying to do the right thing by the sadistic Travis. The opening with Hava Nagila being defiantly played by the Jewish musicians was haunting, and also quite disturbing, as most plotlines on this show seem to be. Introducing the hunters as bat mitzvah guests all coming up to light a candle was clever, and is emblematic of this show’s very committed and purposeful style. I imagine we’ll get into the backstories of each and how they really came into this work in each successive episode, and this hour was just about naming them and their general roles, with Josh Radnor’s Lonny Flash seeming to be the most disposable member of the team aside from its newest and most conscientious member, Jonah. Carol Kane and Saul Rubinek are definitely comic relief as Mindy and Murray, the bickering couple that is also skilled in deactivating alarms. It was obvious that Jonah would take pity on the Nazi pianist, and his codebreaking skills are only going to come in so handy if he constantly wants to take the kinder approach. If he knew what Lena Olin’s Colonel and her horrible henchman Travis were capable of, he’d probably be less reticent about his approach. Let’s hope that the determined Millie doesn’t push too hard and instead realizes that she’d be better off working with the people hunting Nazis than being snuffed out by those trying to rebuild a reich in America.

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