“Shalom Motherf***er” competently raises the stakes with the death of a major character and the unveiling of the Nazis’ dastardly plot.
This recap of Hunters Season 1, Episode 7, “Shalom Motherf***er”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
Now that we’re pretty comfortably in the back half of the first season, Hunters Episode 7, “Shalom Motherf***er”, begins to blur the lines between right and wrong, heroes and villains. Millie (Jerrika Hinton) is asked outright by Grimsby (James Le Gros) if she’s willing to break the rules to get the job done; Murray (Saul Rubinek) and Mindy (Carol Kane) grapple with whether or not to avenge Aaron’s death by killing Moritz (Ronald Guttman). These predicaments assume a few things. The first is that, in the case of Millie, “the job” is worth personal sacrifice for the greater good, and the second is that, in the case of Murray and Mindy, what their son’s killer did is worthy of death. Most people would argue that these things are true, but the episode itself argues that these things are matters of degrees and often inflexible personal codes. It asks if doing something, regardless of the outcome, is worthwhile if you can’t live with yourself afterward.
Biff (Dylan Baker), you can imagine, would be able to live with himself whatever he did, which is why he has no issues threatening Washington Post journalist Josie Parker (Angela Oh), whom Juanita (Becky Ann Baker) has compelled to press him on a South American outfit which will profit from the trade deal he is being praised for brokering. But his careless posturing has already begun to catch up with him in Hunters Episode 7, or at least with Dottie (Celia Weston), whom he finds dead at the hands of an assassin he ultimately kills.
The quest for the Ghost (Bill Corry) continues in “Shalom Motherf***er”, with Lonny (Josh Radnor), Jonah (Logan Lerman) and Joe (Louis Ozawa) looking into Timothy Randall at the Maryland Department of Veteran Affairs. Lonny’s misbehavior at a support group is juxtaposed with Joe’s contrition in contextualizing his Vietnam flashbacks, explaining how he was forced to mercy-kill an injured child. It’s heavy stuff that helps to give Joe, a two-dimensional character at best, some new shading. It’s hardly outside-the-box development for a war veteran to have experienced awful things in wartime, but it’s also not an unwelcome wrinkle.
A surprise in Hunters Episode 7 is that the Ghost is on life support, tended to by a wife, Una (Mary Jo McConnell), who flees. Jonah, being the Codebreaker, figures out that a music box used with the German lullaby broadcast reveals a new code which designates the location of a pending chemical attack. The stakes are officially raised, and it’s probably about time since the Nazi schemes have been a bit nebulous so far.
Not at all skimping on reveals, we also get confirmation that Meyer (Al Pacino) is Jonah’s grandfather, though before this can be discussed further Millie arrives with a warrant and arrests him for Richter’s murder. He won’t confess, but he also can’t sway her to his point of view very easily; an imminent attack sounds like a convenient cover story, and without proof that they share an enemy, they can’t become friends.
But the imminent attack is very real, and continuing its trend of thoroughly raising the stakes, “Shalom Motherf***er” makes some daring decisions. Murray is tragically killed while trying to disarm a bomb planted by Travis (Greg Austin) at Grand Central Station. It took seven episodes, but the first major character death lands with some impact, as does a fusion of the show’s fiction with real-life history as another Nazi device causes the 1977 New York City blackout. Travis is able to stab Lonny, and Katarina Löw (Megan Channell) is able to offload her deadly cargo to Tobias (Jonno Davies) as Manhattan is plunged into darkness.
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Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.