Far back in the bowels of 2020, the first season of Hunters emerged from virtually out of nowhere. Amazon Prime’s crowning action/thriller/drama, the series depicted a sort of “what if” scenario involving hunting down Nazis, and the rise of a so-called Fourth Reich. In August of that same year, the show was renewed for a second and final season, but as the months turned into years, I was left wondering what had come of it. Finally, nearly three years after its debut, creator David Weil returns to the fold for a powerful, contemplative concluding chapter. It may not be as action-heavy as its predecessor, but this second season of Hunters is a more than worthy follow up, and a genuinely great evolution to previously established characters and world-building.
It has been two years since the failed Hunters mission that disbanded the entire group, and resulted in Jonah (Logan Lerman) murdering the Nazi posing as Meyer Offerman (Al Pacino). Everyone is simply trying to move on with their lives and find a new normal, whilst several of them continue quietly dispatching more Nazis in their spare time. Jonah is now in Paris and happily engaged to Clara (Emily Rudd), though he has no friends or family to invite to their wedding. Millie (Jerrika Hinton) stills tries to play things by the book in taking down Nazis the legal way, but proving their guilt may be harder than it appears. Sister Harriet (Kate Mulvany) swiftly carries out anti-Nazi tasks of her own that are hilariously Sound of Music-tinged, Lonny (Josh Radnor) remains thriving as a Jewish movie star, Roxy (Tiffany Boone) works making art forgeries, and Mindy (Carol Kane) is just trying to raise her children alone in NYC after the awful death of her husband last season. Curiously, Joe (Louis Ozawa) now works with Hitler and his wife, Eva (Lena Olin). Has Joe been brainwashed?
In a genius bit of casting, Adolf Hitler is played by film legend Udo Kier, who perfectly fits the role. He is every bit as heinous and despicable as one would have hoped. Dastardly German Travis (Greg Austin) also returns, now with a new vengeance out to bring down the Hunters. Another new addition this season is Jennifer Jason Leigh as Chava, Jonah’s great aunt, who did not actually die as his late grandmother previously suspected. Chava has been on her own journey, desperately trying to follow the breadcrumbs to hunt down Hitler and defeat his evil once and for all. At the same time, Jonah hunts down the first season’s veritable big bad, and manages to wrangle out the information from him about both Hitler and Eva still being alive! Jonah quickly sets out to reteam The Hunters, with the surprising help of Millie. Can evil ever really be defeated?
This season almost has the setup of a taut heist thriller. In the first couple episodes anyway, it was definitely giving me Ocean’s Eleven vibes. Once the whole gang is back together again, it becomes only a matter of time before the massive final confrontation with Hitler approaches. Each episode feels it is building up towards this grandiose unveiling, whilst Hitler himself does everything in his power to ensure that The Hunters are not successful in their mission. The only thing that really slows the flow is the completely unnecessary addition of Meyer Offerman—I get that they needed to give Al Pacino something to do, especially since he was the biggest name of the first season. However, his story just seems to be going in circles. By the conclusion of it, we barely have learned anything more than what we had before.
While season one had ten episodes yet felt slightly too short, season two conversely feels a little too long at only eight. This is mainly due to a miscalculation in regards to Offerman’s side-story. I will admit it was lovely to have insight on the other characters and their beginnings with The Hunters, but calling it altogether unnecessary feels apt. Still, the final two episodes are powerful and poignant in their own way. Those expecting balls-to-the-wall action sequences will surely leave disappointed, but when Weil is in a more experimental mode, Hunters truly soars. Courtroom drama would appear to have no place in this series, and yet Carol Kane’s Mindy delivers an emotional sucker-punch on the stand. One of the best episodes, entitled “The House,” does not even heavily feature a single one of the major players, but instead focuses on a group of Jews trying to survive living in the floorboards of a home that is forced to change hands by way of a nasty Nazi leader.
Kier’s Hitler seems to have limited screen time, but makes the most of every moment. Again here, the shining star is Logan Lerman. Caught in the middle of drama with The Hunters, an exciting new relationship with his aunt, the delicate balancing act with his fiancé, and complicated feelings about Offerman, Jonah remains the central focus by design. There is a real sense of character growth here, from a quieter, curious version of Jonah when we first met him all the way to this newer, more hardened and fiercely unafraid Jonah. Despite being billed as the last season, Hunters certainly concludes more open-ended than anticipated, and could easily be continued in the form of a movie. Regardless of some minor flaws, Hunters goes out with a bang, forever leaving its mark on the annals of Prime Video history.
The final season of Hunters embraces its birthright when it debuts exclusively to Amazon Prime Video subscribers on Friday, January 13th.