Early buzz around Hunters included comparisons to Battlestar Galactica. It’s too early to tell if that high praise is warranted, but the premiere showed lots of promise.
A secret government agency (Exo-Terrorism Unit or ETU) are tracking a group of terrorists called Hunters. The Hunters appear to be human, but are not. Whether they are aliens, some kind of experiment gone wrong, or mutants remains to be seen. What the team does know is that one of the leaders, McCarthy (Julian McMahon), has kidnapped an FBI agent’s wife, Abby Carroll (Laura Gordon).
The ETU enlists Abby’s husband Flynn (Nathan Phillips) in their search, revealing what it is they really do – on the news their escapades are reported as the actions of a heroin task force – and convincing him that joining them is the best way to get his wife back. Excellent play considering Flynn was able to find where McCarthy was holding his wife before the ETU did, though they both got away.
Besides their speed and strength, what makes Hunters truly dangerous is the idea that they could be anyone, and this is especially frightening when one tells Flynn they have infiltrated the ETU and that he can’t trust them. This may be true considering how quick they were to bring Flynn aboard, and I suspect they know more about why McCarthy took Abby than they’re letting on.
McCarthy’s use of music (OMD to be exact) – playing it for Abby when he snatches her and using it to relay a message to a cell member – suggests Abby may actually be a Hunter and not know it. He also plays it over and over again while she cowers in a cage like it’s a trigger of some sort.
A lot of what goes down in the first episode is typical fare for this genre, but one of the more intriguing developments is ETU’s Regan’s (Britne Oldford) connection to the Hunters. Is she one of them? Does the agency know? What about the fellow ETU agent she’s secretly sleeping with?
On the flip side, one of the least appealing parts of the premiere involved Flynn’s adopted daughter, Emme (Shannon Berry). Her father was Flynn’s partner, and after he was killed Flynn took her in. She has emotional issues and seemed to be closer to Abby than Flynn, so how their relationship goes with Abby gone is somewhat interesting, but the first episode did little to make me care about the character.
The alien effects are well done – slimy and animalistic, but that’s to be expected given the network. And The Hunters’ growls and clicks immediately amp up the tension when they’re near.
I’m all in on this show. I’m a fan of Oldford and McMahon, and I’m looking forward to watching Oldford kick all kinds of ass – Hunter or otherwise – this season.
Hunters S1E1 = 8/10