The first chapter of Sam Hunter's story concludes in one suitably bloody and frenetic hour...
WARNING: Spoilers ahead!!!
As much as this episode represents Sam's completion of the Snow Maiden narrative (that is, in essence, a rather overt symbolic representation of the character's central problem), it also depicts the meltdown of Byzantium's espionage team. Before episode's end, the entire squad has effectively been scattered, with several members of the team playing unexpected roles in Sam's downfall (again).
|We learn Sam has been keeping secrets from Aidan in Hunted|
Over 8 episodes Hunted has depicted a rather bleak perspective on personal relationships, suggesting that the ones we love are capable of double-crossing us without warning and with only the slightest provocation. I was surprised by both Deacon and Zoe's betrayal of Sam in the final few minutes (both, through similar but separate incidents, are essentially blackmailed into luring Sam to Victoria Dock in order to carry out an attack on her). This moment would have felt much stronger, if only we had been given a stronger indication of the link between the characters. There was never all that much camaraderie between Sam and Zoe, but I presume some kind of friendship forms the back-story of Sam's history with Byzantium. Either way, I think they're both well and truly off the Christmas card list this year.
The culmination of the episode comes after Sam managed to (finally) kill Jack Hunter. There was always going to be a rather vicious showdown between these two characters, and while I was unsure why Jack felt the need to evacuate the house before attempting to drown a poisoned, virtually defenseless Sam, I was glad to see her kindly and quietly dispose of him (by kindly and quietly, I of course mean that she pushed him off a balcony and cracked his head open like a boiled egg). That Sam achieves the goal of destroying Jack only to be shot again by her former allies highlights the sense of injustice that pervades the world of private espionage as it's depicted in the series. Hunted has shown us that in this world, its employees are mere commodities; in this episode, Sam is treated with all the love and affection of a disposal razor.
If Hunted is to continue, I would very much like to see more of Sam, and the soft side of her personality that is hinted at towards the close of the episode. Once again presumed dead after the shooting at Victoria Dock, Sam is back in the countryside. At this point we learn that the baby we thought she lost way back in episode one appears to have survived.
Although I wasn't entirely convinced by this revelation, I am keen to see how Hunted plays with the dense back-story that has only been hinted at so far. Will season 2 effectively play like Kill Bill on television? If so, it suggests that there's plenty about the solo-Cinemax version of Hunted to get excited about.
What were your thoughts on the series finale? Were you happy with the resolution of the Stephen-Jack-Eddie storyline? What would you like to see in Cinemax's continuation of the series? Leave your thoughts below!