Hunted, Episode 2: Review

HUNTED, Thursday 11th October, BBC ONE, 9pm

Hunted’s back, and in this episode Hunter, who is also a hunter (!) becomes hunted (!!). Christ.

Given the writers’ predilection for word play, they probably already know that Sam Hunter is an anagram of ‘Name Hurts’, and also, incidentally, ‘Trash Menu’, but if they don’t, expect it to be the lynchpin of a later episode.

Anyway, in this episode, Sam stays undercover at the Cockneys’ house, whilst Hassan, betrayed and captured, is bundled into their basement for interrogation. Here, he takes turns being beaten up by the Cockneys’ magical chain which inflicts only superficial and photogenic injuries, and being interrogated by Sam, who thinks he knows who tried to have her killed.

Of course, Sam’s been asked to take out the now-compromised Hassan anyway, so she’s aided by her very own magical plot-moving device: a sticky pad containing a rare poison that takes 60 seconds to absorb into the bloodstream and kill. Luckily though, if it’s ripped off after 58 seconds, it causes no ill-effects whatsoever. In fact, if anything, it makes Hassan stronger and more liable to involve himself in crowbar fights.

In any case, Sam gets her information: the murderer was – who else? – The Man With The Single Easily-Identifiable Distinguishing Feature! I knew it’d be him! He’s always up to no good.

In the episode’s other plot line, Sam bonds with Stephen’s son Edward, reading him a bed time story, and rubbing the scar on her stomach, as she screams into the camera, “Are you getting this? Are you?!!â€? and a sign flashes with the words ‘Emotional Resonance: Pay Attention!’

Despite what I’ve been saying, this week definitely is an improvement on the last; there are fewer clichés for example, and the plot is starting to pick up a little bit, but it still struggles with sophistication.

I think the best example of this is that old spy thrillers always had the problem of 2D morally-unambiguous characters. Modern ones deal with this in two different ways, they either embrace the ridiculousness and strap in for a good old-fashioned goodie versus baddie narrative, or they go dark and sophisticated and complicated.

But this does neither, it’s said “We need morally ambiguous characters, so here are two of them: one on the good team who might be bad and one vice versaâ€?.

They are displayed proudly despite their crudity; they might as well have been stuck up on the fridge.