Monday, February 24, 2020

Hunters - In the Belly of the Whale

The first episode of Amazon's Hunters starts off with an exciting scene involving a party guest discovering that her host (Dylan Baker) in a Nazi. After that, "In the Belly of the Whale" gets a bit bogged down in introducing us to young American Jew, and part-time drug dealer, Jonah Heidelbaum (Logan Lerman). Before diving back into the Nazi storyline, the show spends time with Logan and his nerdy friends and sees him getting beaten up by the poster boy for cliched bullies. The murder of Jonah's grandmother, however, proves to be the catalyst to put both Jonah and the episode back on track as it introduces Jonah to his grandmother's friend Meyer Offerman (Al Pacino). That meeting, and Logan uncovering some documents in his grandmother's things, leads Logan to discover three decades after loosing World War II, Nazis have taken root in America. Offerman and his friends are a small independent group dedicated to finding and rooting out the Nazis.

By the end of the episode, Jonah has helped kill his first Nazi (who was responsible for his grandmother's death), learned more about her time in the concentration camps with Meyer decades before, and formally requested to join Offerman and his crusade. On an entirely separate track, "In the Belly of the Whale" also introduces us to FBI Agent Millie Morris (Jerrika Hinton) who is sent to Florida to investigate an odd murder of a longtime NASA employee who she discovers was once a Nazi scientist. Obviously killed by Offerman's people (a plumbing company called Abraham & Sons isn't exactly subtle), the show is foreshadowing how these two threads may eventually lead back to each other and Morris uncovering not only the Nazis but Offerman's group as well.

Because the episode doesn't do much more than introduce the idea of the small Jewish cabal killing Nazis hiding in plain sight in 1977 America, "In the Belly of the Whale" doesn't quite sell me on the show's premise. There are plenty of cheap cliche's here, including Jonah himself who is your average dumb brilliant kid (smart enough to track down Nazis and beat someone at chess in two moves but also dumb enough to repeatedly put himself in physical danger with no recourse three separate times in a single episode). I do have some interest in seeing the rest of the Hunters introduced and learn how they operate, as well as see what happens when Morris begins pulling on the thread she's found in Florida, but, considering how much meandering happens of the course of a single episode, I'm not all the anxious to sit through more long-winding storylines to get to relatively simple answers.

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