Hijack – Season 1 Episode 1 “Final Call” Recap & Review

Final Call

Episode 1 of Hijack begins at Dubai Airport. Flight Kingdom 29 is about to take off on a 7-hour journey to Heathrow in London. Captain Robin Allen and First Officer Anna Kovacs will helm the plane. But as we will soon learn, not for long!

The boarding process is almost over. Just a couple of passengers are left to join the others. One of them is Sam Nelson (Idris Elba), our protagonist who walks in with no bags. He barely makes it, although the other passenger, Alec, does not get there in time. Sam encourages the airline official to let him through and Alec boards the flight with Sam.

Little does Sam know that Alex has brought with him a duffle bag that will decide the future of the 200 passengers on board Flight 29. Deevia, Collete, and Arthur make up the cabin crew for in-flight services. The former will be heading the crew for this flight. The next few scenes establish some names that the series might focus on. Although it is not yet clear which one of the passengers will be more involved in the thick of things, we will have to wait for more episodes to let it materialize.

As is the norm, we see some bickering between passengers, including Kate Miller and Susie over the issue of allocated luggage space in the cabin. The plot kicks into life when Naomi, who is travelling with her friends Mona and Kacey, finds a bullet in the washroom. She informs an elderly gentleman, Terry, about it. Terry had been helping her with her luggage In reality, he is one of the five hijackers on the plane. He takes the bullet from Naomi and assures her he will take it to the cabin crew.

He instead takes it to the leader of the pack, Stuart, who is sitting in first class. Sam notices them and instantly realizes something is wrong. They have an argument about what to do next. While Terry believes they should move their plan forward, Stuart wants them to wait. He asks Tery to tell the girls that he handled the situation, which he does. But Mona is suspicious and calls a crew member. Arthur answers her call but he is clueless about the bullet.

We turn our attention to the ground briefly. Sam was married to Marsha, who now lives with their son Kai. She is currently dating Detective Inspector Daniel O’Farrel. But Kai does not approve of their relationship.

At the airport, we see Neela, a staff member at the security gate, rush home as her husband Senil tells her it is an emergency. Shortly after Arthur is called by Mona, as the hijackers spring into action. Stuart, Terry, Jaime, and Jaden take their guns out. They instruct everyone to be seated and hand over their mobile phones. Arthur tries to warn Anna and Robin. But Jaime stops him.

Sam successfully talks two other passengers out of a plan to attack the hijackers. It would have only led to someone seriously getting injured. The group knows the personal details of Captain Robin. The cockpit crew is instructed not to give access to hijackers in such a scenario. But Stuart brings Collette to the door and threatens to kill her. He knows that every time Robin and Collette come to Dubai, they sleep together. Anna tries to prevent Robin from opening the door but he ruthlessly beats her with his bottle. Collete’s life is spared by Stuart who takes control of the cockpit.

Robin had previously alerted an air traffic controller of a “serious security incident.” But he assures the controller nothing is going on with Stuart’s command. Sam has cleverly sent a text to Marsha, informing her of something serious happening on the plane but not revealing that it has been hijacked. She informs Kai and Daniel of this. Neela does not find Senil or her daughter at home. At the end of the episode, we learn that Sam is a “negotiator” or a “handler” who is often employed by corporates to do this tricky job. Sam gets up to Stuart without any qualms and surprisingly, offers his help instead of doing anything heroic.

The Episode Review

Hijack’s episode 1 was oddly vague and did not clearly establish the central conceit. Although it was only an introduction to our characters and the plot, we ended up not taking much away. Other than the plane being hijacked, there was not a lot of info. Sam’s profile and background are still unclear. He would ideally be at the helm of keeping the situation under control on the plane.

The hijacking itself did not seem too convincing. One can find sympathy because of the restraints of the television space, but the effort here seemed half-baked. It is too early to rule out this new Apple+ series but we need more grounded and taut storytelling with clear answers in the next few episodes. If that doesn’t happen, sadly, this flight surely won’t be taking off.


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You can read our full season review of Hijack here
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