Hunted Episode 4, Review

“We need the answers before we ask the questions,â€? says Keel in this week’s episode. Well, sorry Keel, I know you’re very vague and important, but we’ve all got questions.

Like how does Sam even do her job with that many flashbacks? It’s probably difficult enough doing data entry, let alone being a spy, if you have to stop every five minutes to remember that time you did something in black and white.

And while were on it, what kind of spy doesn’t keep her mobile on silent? Even I keep my mobile on silent and you can generally find me just by following the trail of socks.

And speaking of socks, why does Sam wear such grey underwear? It’s the colour of a Windows 95 notification window and it depresses me.

Of course, I’ll never get an answer if I ask like that. The correct way to ask a spy question is to say, ‘What do you know about Sam’s grey underwear?’, wait for someone to say ‘What’s Sam’s grey underwear?’, then shoot back ‘That’s what I need you to find out’ and stride purposefully out of the room to have another conversation where no-one says hello or goodbye.

These unanswered questions are irritating enough on their own terms, but infuriating when you consider that Hunted’s main strength is that everything’s easy to understand. I like that it’s comfortingly clichéd, and the way everything’s laid out for you.

I like that Sam’s post-it notes, discovered by Aidan, literally say things like “Who?â€?, “What?â€? and “Was it this guy?â€?, with a big arrow and a photograph.

I like that they’ve thought, “Okay, we’ve got a new black character and he’s a criminal, better be careful here. Oh wait, I know how we’ll get the PC brigade off our backs, we’ll have a scene where he plays rap music too loud in his car, and we’ll call him Tyrone!â€?

More than anything though, I like how young Edward announces, “It was very cold at the cemetery this morningâ€?, which roughly translated means, “It was very sad at the cemetery this morning.â€? I personally can’t wait for Edward’s first kiss bathed in bright sunshine, the thunderstorm as he’s dumped and the happy little rainbow when he starts exploring his sexuality later that year.

The above are all highlights, but you do feel there are moments when they’ve missed a trick. For example, when the ‘left wing economics expert’ is bludgeoned to death with a bust of Karl Marx – an inspired touch, I’m sure you’ll agree – the murderer doesn’t say “The only antidote to mental suffering is physical painâ€? or “You were right, Marx is hard!â€?.

This is an awful shame. But there is good news: the director has stumbled on a fantastic shot for dramatic dialogue scenes, in which one character stands in blurry profile, whilst the other talks to camera face on, and they all look like they’re in the Mamma Mia video.