Hunters: Our System and Telegraph (Review)

 Hunters - Season 1

A good sign that a series has lost momentum is when images from the episodes suddenly become very hard to find. Going to the press website only to find that pictures have not been posted since episode seven and the show is now on nine and 10. Hunters now at “Our System” and “Telegraph” is suffering this problem.  With its grim delivery, this Whitely Strieber sourced series has been a hard slog from episode one.

The premise is of aliens living among us; wearing our skin and imitating our emotions was a good start. Sadly the show has been so serious that it has been hard to get behind any of the protagonists.  Of the two central characters, Hunter and ETU agent Regan (Britne Oldford) is the most sympathetic of the lot and her colleague Flynn (Nathan Phillips) comes a close second. 

Out of the entire ETU workforce, Finnerman (Sarah Peirse) as the coldblooded killer who rules the roost is despicable. This woman’s focus on complete annihilation of the aliens is sickening and slightly reminiscent of the US Government’s tendency toward genocide when dealing with the Native American contingent. 

The only other ETU agent who comes near Finnerman in attitude is Briggs (Mark Coles Smith). His “the only good alien is a dead one” mantra has never wavered from day one. Even Flynn (Nathan Phillips) beating Briggs unconscious has done nothing to change his snotty and deadly  demeanor. 

In “Our System” Flynn is sent to visit another survivor from Afghanistan whom he has avoided for years. Once there he discovers that the man is not his old war buddy but a Hunter masquerading as his friend. When the alien realizes that he has been rumbled, he beats his wife to death in front of Flynn.

That episode was all about Flynn remembering what happened in Afghanistan and trying to learn why he was marked and saved. It was also about just how many Hunters there are and how insidiously they intermingle with humans.  This hunter even chopped off one leg so it could imitate Flynn’s old chum.

In “Telegraph” it was about Regan’s father breaking the Hunter code. Which allows Finnerman to decoy the aliens into  being trapped, she says, for containment. The truth is very different, Finnerman orders the aliens killed, not contained and she instructs her troops to kill Regan as well.

The unadulterated hatred that Finnerman and Briggs have for the alien race may boil down to human deaths in general but more likely it has to do with  their killing people for their skin.  The repugnance felt by many of the human race was apparent even before McCarthy (Julian McMahon ) began blowing things and people to bits.

Finnerman’s dispassionate approach is not exclusive to Hunters either. When Emme (Shannon Berry) has her message to Flynn intercepted by ETU, where she talks about knowing what Abby really is, the leader orders Regan to “contain” the child. Since contain is often ETU-speak for kill,  Emme has a death sentence passed even though she is Flynn’s daughter. 

Abby returns to explain to Flynn what the purge really is and the trap in the hotel works.  47 alien men, women and children are trapped in the building and Finnerman gives the kill order.  Musa arrives and offers to help his people surrender peacefully. When he realizes that they intend to kill everyone, he strikes back.

Regan barely escapes, with Flynn’s help, and Finnerman looks frightened when she realizes how badly her operation went.  Odds are that she will not be in charge much longer.

In many ways, “Hunters” mirrors the “establishment” stance on things that are different, or more accurately  the religious communities innate hatred for anything that falls out of their realm of teaching. Gays, same-sex marriage and trans-gender issues are all met with the same unthinking hatred as the very different aliens in this show.

Show creator Natalie Chaidez has given us extremists on both sides of the battle line. Finnerman on the human side and McCarthy on the other. Musa could be seen as an extremist except for his focus on saving his people and not annihilating the other side. 

Hunters airs Mondays on SyFy. There are only two episodes left in season one. Stop by  and see what you think.   There are some disturbing images and scenes so be warned, the alien suddenly and viciously killing his human wife was very shocking.  This show should make one think about what is happening on the screen and off. Give it a try.

Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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