The poor execution overshadows the fascinating premise and stellar performances
Last Updated: 03.12 PM, Jan 13, 2023
Story: After three long years, the “Hunters” return for their last hunt. Set in the 1970s, the alternate-history drama follows a group of Nazi hunters who are on a mission to eliminate a group of Nazis who are hiding in America. The first season ends with several revelations, and the second season will see the team on an International mission — the search for Adolf Hitler hiding somewhere in South America and plotting his Fourth Reich.
Review: “Only magic can fix this world” — these words are quite haunting judging by the show's premise. Based on real-life Nazi hunters and the covert US government program, Operation Paperclip where almost 1600 German scientists, engineers, and technicians were given employment in the United States, the show runs wild with several conspiracy theories. Helmed by David Weil, who made his directorial debut with the series, and produced by the comedy and horror enthusiast Jordan Peele, this season starts on a wacky but serious note.
The first season received mixed reactions from critics and viewers alike, but Al Pacino’s performance as Meyer Offerman, the leader of this oddball team had everyone enthralled. Regrettably, the revelation of the real identity of Meyer as the ‘Wolf’ jeopardised his return in the second season. However, he does return but only through flashback scenes. We travel to 1975, two years before the incidents of the first season where Meyer is a Jewish philanthropist who is handed out cheques from the great Frank Sinatra. The flashbacks do get a little exhaustive at times but the narrative behind the recruitment of each member helps gain a sense of their arcs and certain events in the first season. The irony that Meyer took the identity of the man he tortured in the concentration camps and started this organization to hide his own identity is a hard pill to swallow. Although, the irony of the situation takes the cake.
Back in the story’s ongoing timeline, we see the beloved boy wonder, Jonah Heidelbaum portrayed by Logan Lerman living a double life. Estranged from the other members, he is continuing his work as a “hunter” but with much less guilt and living an ideal life with his fiance as a PhD student in Paris. One common quest unites the team again — the hunt for Adolf Hitler (Udo Kier). In the universe of Hunters, the Nazi tyrant is living a comfortable life in South America and plotting his Fourth Reich in the shadows with his wife Eva Braun, who was introduced in the first season as the Colonel. FBI agent Millie Malone (Jerrika Hinton) also joins Jonah in his quest after she fails to indict a Nazi priest because of her weak case despite eyewitness accounts from survivors.
The search for Hitler is on, and the audience is introduced to some of the newest additions to the show. A mysterious woman who has been searching for Hitler for decades and is ready to go to any lengths. The series opens with her gouging out a man’s eyeballs and placing them on a butter sculpture which gives us a sense of what to expect from her character in the future. The mysterious woman is introduced as Chava Apfelbaum, a Nazi hunter like the rest of the team but with more experience. Therefore, the question arises whether she will be able to bring some order to the team.
There is exponential character development this season, especially in Logan Lerman’s Jonah, who has taken over the reins as leader after Meyer’s death. But Jonah’s aspirations for a normal life almost render his efforts for the cause futile. But that wide-eyed naive boy in him has disappeared, an effective and confident leader taking charge has replaced him. For a change, the team is consistent with their goals unlike season one, but the slow pacing dulls the first few episodes. But, the unnecessary violence and disconnected plotlines continue, and the poor narrative choices are obviously no help either. Pacino’s character still holding a central position through flashbacks just proves the show’s desperation to keep his character the focal point. And the untimely flashbacks are one of the major setbacks this season. Even though the season does struggle initially, the story starts to take shape towards the end and finishes on a fitting note, giving a proper conclusion to the series.
Verdict: Hunters season 2 presents its characters in a more organized way when compared to the first season. But poor execution and noticeable plot holes subdue stellar performances by its cast.