The first season of Prime Video’s “Hunters” series followed a fictional crew of civilians in late ‘70s New York who took out Nazis hiding in the US following Operation Paperclip. The team not only uncovered a German conspiracy to birth a Fourth Reich on American soil but discovered that one of their own was a former member of the Nazi regime.
The hit squad returns after almost a three-year hiatus for a second and final season this week, and features the entire team returning — including former MI6 agent and warrior nun Sister Harriet (Kate Mulvany), hacker and former Black Power movement member Roxy Jones (Tiffany Boone), munitions expert and Holocaust survivor Mindy Markowitz (Carol Kane), flamboyant actor and intel specialist Lonny Flash (Josh Radnor), former Marine Joe Torrance (Louis Ozawa Changchien) and new leader and codebreaker Jonah Heidelbaum (Logan Lerman). Jerrika Hinton also returns as FBI Agent turned Hunter Millie Morris in an expanded role.
Created by David Weil and executive produced by Jordan Peele, the first season of “Hunters” sits somewhere between “Inglourious Basterds” and “The Boys” in tone and violence. Season 2 sheds a little of its on-the-nose humor in exchange for humanizing its characters by confronting the moral ambiguity of killing people for a living. Weil also found a creative way to include Al Pacino’s character Meyer Offerman (aka – Wilhelm Zuchs) and Jonah’s grandmother Ruth Heidelbaum (Jeannie Berlin) in flashbacks after both characters died last season.
This season is more “whydunnit” than the first season’s “whodunnit,” which has a lot to do with the fact that the character and the universe have already been established. In addition, this round’s prize is much more significant – hunting Adolf Hitler.
We met Hitler at the end of Season 1 when we saw Joe being kidnapped by the cartoonish henchmen sent by Nazi leader “The Colonel ” (Lena Olin). Joe was brought to a compound on Hitler’s estate in Argentina for a terrifying meal.
At the start of Season 2, the Hunters, scattered throughout Europe, have disbanded after an op gone wrong. No longer a team, Jonah has continued solo missions while attempting to live the average life of a postgraduate student in Paris while keeping his slayer side hustle (And his real name) a secret from his fiancee Clara (Emily Rudd). Meanwhile, Morris makes a drastic decision after an FBI operation set to take down a Nazi war criminal fails to prosecute. So between Jonah’s new intel on Hitler and Morris’ frustration with bureaucratic red tape, together they decide to join forces and put the band back together to take down Adolf Hitler.
However, halfway through their first intelligence mission, the team learns the hard way that they are not the only ones hunting Hitler, but they’ve stepped right into the op of another group led by assassin Chava Apfelbaum (Jennifer Jason Leigh). Apfelbaum has a direct connection to both Harriet and Jonah that convinces the teams to join forces on the hunt rather than kill each other.
As long as Travis Leich (Greg Austin), The Colonel’s Neo-Nazi prodigy doesn’t get to them first.
“Hunters” Season 2 weaves in and out of two different narratives and timeframes. One story follows the hunt for Hitler in 1979, while the other goes back to 1972 before the Offerman’s Hunters were established. This narrative portion answers some of the show’s biggest questions: Why did Wilhelm Zuchs, a former Nazi, decide to live as Meyer Offerman, a Jew? And how did he manage to assemble a team of Jewish Nazi Hunters in the first place?
The final season still retains a 70’s exploitation look and feel (shag haircuts and all), as well as shortened episode run times. Although there are fewer concentration camp torture scenes than last season (even Joe’s reprogramming is left to a small montage sequence), there is still enough blood and gore to give the show the pulpy comic book feel fans of “Hunters” have grown to love. Including a wacky “Sound of Music” song and dance number in the mountains of Austria featuring Harriett that ends with her stabbing a Nazi head of the household in front of his children.
Where the first season relied heavily on Pacino and Lerman, this season is more of an ensemble performance and produces some fantastic scenes for individual actors to shine. Mulvany, Hinton, and newcomers Tommy Martinez and Rudd’s performances are so good you almost forget how terrible Leigh’s Eastern European accent is.
Even though this final season of “Hunters” is a little easier to follow than the first, the series still feels inconsistent. “The House,” one of the most moving episodes of the season, is a masterclass in horror satire and features the story of a German architect and his wife who went to great lengths to hide Jews in their home. This episode’s connection to the main storyline would have made for a fantastic ending to the show, but the series finale episode, “The Trial of Adolf Hitler,” feels campy, rushed, and out of step with the rest of the season.
The final season of “Hunters” is more balanced but just as bonkers as its first, and while it does manage to tie up many dangling plot threads, the audience is still left with quite a few questions unanswered — and something to be desired.
All episodes of “Hunters” Season 2 are now streaming on Prime Video.