Friday, February 21, 2020

REVIEW: 'Hunters' - Jonah Wrestles with the Morality of Joining the Hunters on Their Next Mission in 'The Mourner's Kaddish'

Amazon's Hunters - Episode 1.02 "The Mourner's Kaddish"

Jonah seeks to prove his worth to The Hunters, who are skeptical of Meyer's decision to welcome a teenager into their ranks. They narrow in on a Nazi war criminal whose love of music inspired a horrific act during the Holocaust. Back in Florida, the inconsistencies of Gretel Fischer's death give Millie a new lead. Meanwhile, Nazis continue sowing the seeds of their ominous plan.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Amazon's Hunters.

"The Mourner's Kaddish" was written by David Weil and directed by Wayne Yip

It's starting to seem as if this show is all style and no true substance. It absolutely wants to make the argument that the Nazi hunters may not be any better than the people they are killing. And yet, they feel an urgency to do so because of some nefarious plot that reaches the very top of the government. As such, it's the latest example of a conspiracy thriller. One with a lot of flash in order to distract and entertain. It is always fascinating to watch. But it also feels a little counterproductive when it comes to detailing the horrors that occurred in the Holocaust and how those actions have shaped families for generations. Jonah is the entry point into this world. He was personally motivated to get vengeance for his grandmother. She was killed and he felt powerless. And now, Meyer has welcomed him into The Hunt. The other hunters don't want him there. They just see an inexperienced kid who can't possibly help them with this important mission. Of course, it's inevitable that he will be a member of The Hunt and eventually earn the trust of each of these characters. It's just cryptically teased that each of them is doing this for a reason. It doesn't just have to be because they suffered during the Holocaust. That was what motivated Meyer and Ruth into starting it in the first person. There are people of profound faith who feel like they have to rise up against the forces that wanted to condemn their people. But there are also the people who were blind to it for so long and seem destined to fail to see it happen all over again. That feels like the perspective that Agent Morris brings to the proceedings. She is someone who comes away with a new understanding of the Hansel and Gretel fairy tale after engaging with apparent Nazis who share those names. She suddenly sees the witch as someone who was vilified by the outsider's perspective and was condemned because of their horrifying views. She can relate to being otherized. And yet, this is an increasingly deadly world that wants the audience to be painfully aware of the threats that are closing in. Travis has already destroyed the world of Morris' connection in the Florida police. She used him as a valuable resource to bounce ideas off of in this case. He gave her up to protect his life even though that was probably futile. The show may just be underscoring how Nazis are brutal and vicious with no overwhelming sense of guilt or emotion about the views they express. Travis can calmly threaten anyone around him because he believes they should have been killed off a long time ago. Their sheer presence is enough for him to believe society isn't perfect. He wasn't a Nazi during the rise of Hitler and the concentration camps. He came up as the next generation. He still ascribes to those views and is lethal in carrying out this mission for the Colonel. Again, those plans in South America remain very vague and mysterious. The Hunters don't really know anything about it. They can't crack the code being broadcast. Instead, they put the Nazi on trial which puts this conflict right in front of Jonah. He has to decide whether or not he believes in capital punishment. The rest of the Hunters view this as them conducting justice by presenting the evidence against these criminals. It may be nothing more than a staged trial to produce a foregone conclusion. Jonah is susceptible because he doesn't know what to expect. It's all an abstract concept until now where he doesn't quite know how to handle the morality of it all. That projects as being the core thesis of the story. But the show openly embraces the brutality of the violence on display and constantly throwing its characters into perilous situations. That could grow tiring rather quickly. It's only the second episode and it already seems as if the show is running out of something meaningful it wants to say and do. That's a problem. It is certainly harrowing to watch Jonah try to wash the blood off his fingernails. People are concerned about him. And yet, he has been traumatized anew because he doesn't know how to cope with any of this. He and his friends project a sense of maturity that is beyond their years. He believes he can handle whatever the world has to offer him because he has already met the age requirements the government has put in place for him to be of service. And yet, he truly is a child who may be forced to make heinous decisions that he will come to regret later on in life when others question how he went along with all of it in the first place. And yet, that may all be cast aside because of the ongoing Nazi conspiracy and the need to stop them no matter what.