Hunted Season 1 Review “Snow Maiden”

We’ve finally reached the end of Hunted, and it finished in much the same way as it began – complicated, convoluted, silly, and more than a little bit mad. It’s also still gorgeous to look at and completely unashamed of itself. There’s been much to admire in the last eight weeks of glossy spy-drama, but that doesn’t mean I have the foggiest what’s been going on.

We begin with Sam recounting her favorite fairytale, ‘The Snow Maiden’, in which a lot of heavy-handed parallels are contained. This has supposedly been the key to unraveling Hunter’s character all along, and we’re definitely not supposed to forget it. As the maiden reunited a boy with his father she “looked upon those two happy souls” her icy heart melted, and she died. From this point onwards, we know how Hunted has to end, and it does – just about. Though she appears to die in the episode’s final moments, the series ends with her alive and well, and back in the Scottish mountains. To top it all off, Aidan and Sam’s infant daughter is actually alive, and the father has no idea.

‘Snow Maiden’ is definitely a season, not a series, finale, and that means that almost none of the answers we’ve been waiting for actually arrive. Who is the half-fingered man? What did Sam go through at the Oast House? Whose side is the fake Dr. Goebel really on? What is Aidan’s real name? Where do Hourglass fit into everything? None of this information is offered to us, but plenty of extra complications are inserted in its place. For example, Tyrone is actually Turner’s illegitimate son, who he asked to poison and drown Stephen’s wife, and Polyhedrus is responsible for the murder of Turner’s eldest son.

But for the most part, these eight episodes have been primarily designed to set up big mystery and intrigue for seasons to come. It’s too bad that the BBC have cancelled it, then, as a move to HBO next year will almost certainly mean less lovingly photographed shots of London and a more episodic structure. Something about Hunted has turned viewers off, and it’s almost certainly because of the serialized narrative. The one thing the show can’t be faulted on is how it looks, and this finale does things no differently in that respect.

But is this enough? Is it enough to place a ‘strong female’ lead into a show that offers her no recognizable personality to complement her ‘strong female’ actions? Sam Hunter was the main problem I had with the series this year, as it’s notoriously hard to connect to a show when you can’t connect with its protagonist. Will this improve next year? Probably, since she’s no longer walking around blindly with vengeance on her mind. Instead, she now has a daughter to look after and some useful information to help her on her quest. I just hope a second series can remember that a complex mystery matters not when no one can follow the clues.

What did you think of the episode, and the series? Will you be tuning in for season two? Let us know in the comments.