Duck, Duck, Goose
Episode 2 of Hunters moves into a much more surreal, light-hearted tone, which is certainly an odd choice as the group start hunting their first Nazi – Karl Holstedder.
After an opening segment involving the Jews in the concentration camps defying rules and playing music, we cut back to Jonah who deciphers a written message and realizes it’s in relation to one of the Nazi’s, Karl Holstedder.
After being introduced to the gang, courtesy of a surreal montage segment, Jonah gets to work with the others. Its here we learn that Holstedder used to host his own singing horror show inside the holocaust camp called The Star Of Buchenwald.
Meanwhile in Florida, Millie continues her investigation and visits Detective Sommers, showing him the picture of Greta and subsequently building another link from her colleague’s expertise. Millie follows the lead after finding out Greta’s case has been completely wiped from the system and visits Frannie Fischer, who tells her her husband died in a car accident. Only, when she searches through his belongings after excusing herself, she finds a medallion and pictures that hint at him being a Nazi.
In Washington, The Colonel arrives and blackmails the Senator. There’s not much to this storyline this episode but suffice to say, this isn’t the last we’ve heard from this antagonist.
With a plan in action, the hunters circle Holstedder’s house before converging in the main atrium, proceeding to tie him down and give him what the Jews never had – a fair trial. With witness statements from Buchenwald, Lonny stumbles upon a hidden room and after picking the lock, he and Rox head in and find a homegrown radio set-up, one that appears to be broadcasting a message.
When they ask Karl, he refuses to engage, leading them to torture him through a grueling sound endurance test. Eventually Jonah convinces Geyer and the others to stop, and it’s here Holstedder announces that he was just following orders in playing tapes.
With the group preoccupied with the broadcast, Jonah heads into the room and gives the man a glass of water. Unfortunately, this is just the distraction he needs, proceeding to smash the glass and hold Jonah up with a shard of glass to his throat. Although Joe saves him from his fate, the ensuing blast also kills the broadcast, forcing the Hunters to leave.
Meanwhile, Travis abducts the Sommer Household and holds them up at gunpoint, forcing them to divulge information about Millie. With Travis now on the hunt for her, and Jonah struggling with the constant ringing in his ears, we end the episode by cutting back several hours prior and seeing the broadcast deciphered, spelling out an important date and details on what’s going to happen in the future.
Is there a massacre coming? What do the broadcasts mean? And just who are the next targets for the Hunters? There’s plenty of unanswered questions here and Hunters is doing a relatively good job keeping the mystery going throughout the series while ramping up the tension. More so than the first, episode 2 sees a much more comedic undertone seep into the series and this will ultimately make or break your experience with this. To be honest, the jokes rarely land and although the lighthearted segments are used to try and offset the darker Nazi story beats, it doesn’t always work that effectively.
Still, the third act to this chapter is the highlight here after a relatively laid-back first half, and with an overarching narrative now starting to sneak into the plot, the show leaves things wide open going forward.