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Hunted: Season Finale Impressions

Sam Hunter walking through hedge maze

Hunted is a bond-esque television drama written by Frank Spotnitz for BBC One staring Melissa George as Sam Hunter, the butt-kicking espionage operative working for the private intelligence agency, Byzantium. Like a female version of Bond, Sam has the knack for getting herself into trouble, although nothing she can't fight her way out of with her to-be-expected incomparable training, but most of all the sex appeal we have come to expect from attractive and talented spy flick stars. Unfortunately, that same sex appeal is ruined by her petulant sulking and weak moments that betrays the tough character personality she is attempting to develop into.

figuring out who attempted to kill her
When Sam is betrayed by members of the very intelligence agency she works for, she goes into hiding in order to recover from the attempt on her life that cost her the life of her unborn child. During her recovery she gathers together any information she can find on Byzantium, looking for clues that will lead to the identity of those who betrayed her and why they'd made an attempt on her life, which as the story progresses, is apparently tied into a project called Hourglass, and a traumatic experience she suffered as a child.

The villian of the showHaving recovered from her injury and loss, Sam returns to Byzantium when she realises it is the only way she can find answers to the puzzle surrounding her. She is welcomed back into the team, although many surprised to see her, including her once boyfriend, and the father of her dead baby, Aiden Marsh. Knowing she is their best operative, they quickly throw her back into the action, assigning her to gain the trust of Stephen Turner. Rescuing his son from a staged kidnapping attempt, Sam is quickly brought into Stephen's home as a nanny for his son, Edward, when she takes on the persona of Alex Kent, a single woman desperately in need of a job. Sam uses the secret identity and position to get close to Stephen's father, Jack Turner, and discover the secret he is using to blackmail a large conglomerate organisation that has ties to Byzantium. The story escalates when she discovers ties between the attempt of her life, the mysterious Hourglass project, Byzantium and it's largest parent company, Polyhedrus.

Sam ustilising a lighter as a flamethrowerI had wanted to believe in the show that so much reminded me of a UK version of Alias without the cheesy acting. It was supposed to be the show that filled the gap left by the hit show Spooks, and clearly the network had dropped a huge ton of money into it. The production quality is high, although on occasions suffers from some below-average acting and scripts. On the whole though, the show appeared to have potential, and a decent amount of action and intrigue to keep me interested. Unfortunately, ratings slipped on the show and now it looks to be on rocky ground. BBC One is choosing to drop support for the show, but Cinemax hasn't given up hope quite yet. We will see a second season, but it might go the way of Strike Back and become a hugely different show. It will still feature the sexy Melissa George, although some may consider that a negative, rather than positive, based on her acting skills. But she has a pretty face, right? That always sells.

Sam with her ex-boyfriend and partnerThe greatest problem I see with Hunted is the unresolved plot arcs. I believe, given the funding and support, the holes would have all been filled in time and answers given, but the show was surviving on a severely limited number of episodes for a story that easily needed double their allotment. The simple truth was, there were far too many stories going on in the show for it to possibly reach any satisfactory conclusion. The worst of this being the briefly visited, but unfulfilled relationship Sam develops with Stephen and his son. I was disappointed how easily they threw away all they'd worked towards regarding them in those last episodes, although I suppose his character was too weak to truly take her interest. On many occasions, Stephen frustrated me with his inability to stand up to his father, even after discovering all Jack's dirty, dark secrets. With the move away from BBC One, we should be worried that those questions we had by the end of the finale might very well be left unanswered. It is a shame, because the series did show a good level of untapped potential that I had hoped they would in time work their way into.

Overall, the series was intriguing, but ultimately an unsatisfying watch. I enjoyed watching it, but would have liked there to be at least a full season of episodes so they could flesh it out properly.

1 comment:

  1. Spoiler for those who haven't watched the final episode:

    There is one thing for sure, I can't for the life of me figure out how she kept the fact that her baby still lived from us all. Clearly it is her baby in that last scene, but where was the baby in the first episode when she was recovering? The time between getting shot and returning to her little hideaway cabin was too long. It makes me think they threw that curve ball in at the last moment without any planning beforehand. Not to mention the fact that she is back there in the place where she recouped after the attempt of her life when unmistakably Sam said she was going somewhere else completely to chase after the fingerless man who had kidnapped her as a child.