Hijack – Season 1 Episode 5 “Less Than an Hour” Recap & Review

Less Than an Hour

Episode 5 of Hijack begins with Stuart inspecting Lewis at the back of the plane. Sam is sent back to his seat but not without keen observation. Firstly, he confirms from his fellow passengers the nationality of First Officer Kovacs. The plane is flying over Hungary and he has an idea.

Secondly, he gauges from Stuart and Lewis’ conversation that they are actually brothers.  Zahra instructs Daniel and Erika to go to Elaine’s house. Elaine is Stuart and Lewis’ mother. Home Secretary Neil arrives and reads the demands of the hijackers out loud. As mentioned in the previous episode, their only demand is that Edgar and John, who were arrested earlier in the year, be released from jail.

Louise jumps at the opportunity to comply with the request. She does not care if the hijackers have “demonstrated” a history of violence before this. Neil does not want to “negotiate with the terrorists” and wants tangible proof that they are capable of violence.  In a tense moment, Sam gets up from his seat and calls Stuart over. He plays a hunch by saying to him that David, the doctor, believes that Lewis only has “less than an hour” to live. 

Stuart had earlier asked David if Lewis was going to be alright and he said yes. But Sam recontextualizes his statement in how Stuart asked him: in a threatening way. As Stuart goes back to confirm, Sam quickly asks Deevia to call David on the AFT and tell him what to say. The plan works as Stuart now contemplates landing the aeroplane in Hungary.

We finally turn back to Dubai where we see the “English cleaners” about to leave the house. Before they can do it, one of the kids in the neighbour’s house knocks at the door. They scare him away but his mother finds it odd. She quickly phones the police who come in and discover the macabre scenes. Kai unexpectedly arrives at Sam’s house and leaves him a message to the effect.

Back in the plane, Jaime expresses her reservations about landing the plane. It turns out that Lewis and she were romantically involved at one point in time. Stuart presses on that emotional side of hers to further soften her. Robin is called to know how the landing and takeoff would go. Sam intervenes and says that Kovacs should handle the interactions as she speaks Hungarian. 

Kovacs is still miffed at Robin who banged her face up in episode 1 and demands to take to the cockpit alone. On the ground, Zahra briefs the Foreign and Home Secretaries about the organization. It is called The Cheapside Firm and they run an international drug trade, among other things. The network was busted in November last year. These men are high-ranking members and ruthless in their operations. Kovacs begins talking to the Hungarian ATC and is able to communicate that they are hijacked. The Hungarian ATC contacts the British FPCC and Alice relays to British Counterterrorism that the plane is landing at Gyor Airport. 

Jaden and Terry get wind of what’s going on. They cannot allow the plane to land as any deviation from the original instructions would result in the death of their families. Terry informs Sam that they had sent the details of his address and family to the organization and if the plane lands, his family would be in danger as well. The Hungarian ATC approves the landing and sends the military to the runway prepared to enter the plane and take the hijackers down. It is then revealed that Lewis and Stuart’s father, Peter, was killed by Cheapside for not obeying instructions.

It was Terry who killed Peter as his refusal would have resulted in the death of his family. Lewis agrees that the plane shouldn’t land and takes out the Biro from his chest. As a result, he can no longer breathe and succumbs.

Daniel and Erika go to Elaine’s house. But she claims to know nothing. She is in fact so scared of talking to them that she slips out of the house and walks to her death on a busy highway. Stuart is heartbroken seeing the lifeless body of his brother. Meanwhile, the plane doesn’t land and stays in the air. 

The news about Neela from Dubai ATC breaks in the Counterterrorism office. Neela’s family was being kept hostage by the English cleaners to force her to allow the weapons on the plane through security. The episode ends on a frightening note as the cleaners arrive at Sam’s house and hear Kai’s movements upstairs. He tries to hide but it is unclear what happens next.

The Episode Review

Episode 5 was well-rounded on all story points, touching upon them efficiently. The narrative is now on its course to be a three-way street, including Kai’s race against time. There isn’t much that the people on the ground can do except release the prisoners and hope that the hijackers stay true to their word. Lewis’ death, though a tragedy, must be seen as one man down from their side. Even then, do not expect the passengers to do anything about it.

Hijack is approaching its business end. Although the storytelling has been taut till now, jumping forward and anticipating what could happen at the end leaves the show a little weak. It is futile to hope for something heroic to happen on the plane. It is pretty much settled that no one will act out and play the saviour. 

Unlike Liam Neeson in ‘Non-Stop’, Elba’s Sam is playing it smart. His self-serving interests place him differently in the scheme of things. So how will Hijack surprise us now?

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