Six episodes in and Hunters is finally going places. Where it’s going, however, is still a bit unclear.
Up to this point, the show has set up a bunch of different narrative threads and mostly stumbled through them. We’re still trying to find out exactly what Regan’s origins as a hunter are, the circumstances behind Flynns former wife/current alien Abby and her involvement in the invasion, what McCarthy explicitly has to do with Brother Number Four, and who Brother Number Four (Serhat Caradee) actually is, other than the so-called “bin Laden of little green men.” But you still have to admire Hunters, which handled each early individual storyline by providing far more questions than answers, because it’s finally delivering on its set-ups and tying them all together.
Last week’s big moment occurred when Flynn (Nathan Phillips) came face to face with the missing person (or alien) he thought was his wife, only to find out she was a hunter all along. In this episode, we see the brief fallout before the ETU picks up some serious intel on the whereabouts of their number one guy — and number four alien. Flynn has seemingly moved on, tossed his wedding ring in the garbage disposal, and gone on a long weekend bender to try and forget. When he shows back up at work, he’s ready to quit, but not before the money laundered by the inept IMF agent Abby was working get tracked to a Turkish prison. He joins back up in an easy — and disappointing — role reversal.
But it’s there in the prison in Bunker Soldier,” in a possibly self-imposed exile, that Brother Number Four is secretly manipulating the hunter invasion. Maybe Flynn wants to personally see this entire thing through? Before you can say “E.T.,” Flynn, Regan, and Briggs plan a mission to extract Brother Number Four back to ETU headquarters to stop the invasion once and for all. But three operatives infiltrating a heavily guarded Turkish prison won’t be easy — “Expect a war zone,” is what they take from the mission brief — and neither will figuring out exactly why Brother Number Four is there in the first place. It’s more of the tedious mysteries of Hunters at work.
Thankfully, we’re shown in a series of flashbacks that Brother Number Four assumed the identity of a Romanian farmer named Musa Wazari after the alien’s ship crashed in a remote forest in 1980. He eventually sets up shop there, broadcasting a series of transmissions over shortwave radio similar to Cold War numbers stations. He wants friends, but it’s five years of broadcasting strange sonic messages in vain before he finally hears someone or something clicking back. Brother Number Four starts his invasion the grassroots way, by recruiting fellow hunters to his cause but posing as anti-Communist soldiers within Romania working for the CIA. His CIA contact: our ETU Commander Jackson.
This is all a lot of information in a very short period of time, as if the writers for Hunters forgot to include the plot in the earlier episodes. Introducing at least a little bit of this early on would have driven home the idea of Brother Number Four’s ubiquitous involvement in the hunters’ invasion, as well as simply given the ETU some legitimate fieldwork action to undertake. In retrospect, the jungle jaunt in “Maid of Orleans” seems so unnecessary.
But perhaps the most unnecessary reveal is Jackson’s relationship to Brother Number Four. It should be some huge revelation, but details are frustratingly kept at a bare minimum and all we get for fallout is a quiet scene of Jackson distraught in his office. The implication of Jackson somehow being one degree away from the alien responsible for all this is there, but the follow-through isn’t. It’s bad that they used to be friends, but couldn’t they use that to their advantage?
The prison-riot scene almost makes up for the letdown (compounded by the unfortunate disappearance of the Abby and McCarthy characters this episode), as Briggs intentionally causes the inmates to rampage against the guards in order for the team to reach Brother Number Four. But because this is a cliched action scene, the trio gets separated and Regan makes it there first. Briggs and Flynn are left wondering what happened, while Regan escapes, seemingly working with Brother Number Four.
Why? Because she’s the mole? Because he could possibly give her answers about her birth? Because Hunters needs to make some drama without giving the narrative reasons for those story beats to happen? The operative question at this point in the show is “Why?” Hunters needs to let us know.