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Spoiler warning: considering this is discussing the very end events of the first season of Amazon's Hunters, this post contains extremely sensitive spoilers. Do not read further if you do not want to have the ending ruined. You've been warned!
The season one finale of Amazon Prime's Hunters leans into its pulpy roots, with a pair of twists that will leave viewers with their jaws dropped.
Both twists were foreshadowed to a certain extent, but still were total game-changers in multiple ways.
We break down what that ending means below.
So you've made it through all 10 bloody, violence-filled, action-packed episodes of Amazon's new historical revenge fantasy series, Hunters. You've gotten your fill of both Logan Lerman, Al Pacino, and the rest of the gang, and well, no need to beat around the bush: you've just seen that ending.
There's, of course, a lot to talk about in the episode. A few major threads are setting up, putting characters in positions that will certainly continue into a second season: that includes the psychopathic young American neo-nazi Travis Leich seeming to start an Aryan army from prison, and FBI Agent Millie Morris getting the resources to start her own in-system Nazi-hunting task force. But that's not what you want to hear about right now; no, we're here to talk exclusively about those two enormous, outrageous twists that came at the back end of the episode.
And talk we will:
The Truth About Meyer Offerman and The Wolf
Throughout the season, we heard about a search for Meyer Offerman's white whale, a Nazi doctor called "The Wolf." Meyer (Al Pacino) is the leader of the Hunters, a rich man bankrolling and organizing the entire operation; along the way, he's also revealed to be Jonah's grandfather (the two met at his Safta's funeral; Jonah was brought in on "The Hunt" not long after).
In nearly every episode, we see flashbacks to The Wolf endlessly torturing Meyer at Auschwitz. As the story goes, Wilhelm "The Wolf" Zuchs was enamored with Ruth (Jonah's grandmother), but she rejected him; he noticed that she instead was drawn to Meyer, and thus Meyer became the object of his jealousy and sadism. At one point, a scene depicts The Wolf pulling Meyer out of bed and forcing him to choose between Ruth being shot to death, and Meyer shooting a random innocent Auschwitz prisoner. Meyer chose to save Ruth, and wound up killing 11 innocent people that night—he chose the love of Jonah's grandmother.
By the end of the season, Meyer has changed Jonah—he's convinced him that he was not only meant to be a part of the hunt, but eventually to lead it. Jonah looks through his grandmother's notes, and eventually realizes that she had found The Wolf. Jonah goes to find him, confirms his identity, and kidnaps him, bringing him to Meyer. Jonah is troubled, though, when Meyer eventually kills this man he believes was The Wolf—his grandmother's note says that Meyer has been waiting his whole life to say the Mourner's Kaddish for The Wolf. Meyer stabs "The Wolf" in the back of the head, killing him, but recites no prayer, something Jonah immediately notes. He puts things together, and comes to teh terrible realization: "Meyer" is really The Wolf, and has been ever since the end of the war.
We can talk another time about whether this twist works narratively speaking or not, but logistically it sort of had to happen. Al Pacino is Al Pacino; he probably wasn't going to be a part of a TV series for multiple seasons, and any character he ended up playing probably would have something up.
So, yes, Meyer Offerman really was Jonah's grandfather—but this person he's been spending so much time with...isn't Meyer Offerman. Meyer tells Jonah that he's right, and the whole truth trickles out from there. The Wolf killed the real Meyer, stealing his identity Dick Whitman/Don Draper style, and for the last 30 years has been living as a vengeful jewish man, despite his true identity as a sadistic Nazi. While he's still The Wolf in actuality, he claims to have learned his lesson—he doesn't ask for forgiveness, but truly does seem to believe in all of his acts. He really does believe in The Hunt, and says that it's his purpose. But despite this, he's not a Jew. He still did all the things he did, and as much as he's been a literal Wolf in sheep's clothing, he is who he is. A central theme of Hunters is whether you need to fight evil with evil, and much of Meyer's philosophy is explained with this twist.
Upon learning this, there's basically no turning back for Jonah. He cannot possibly forgive this man for what he did to both of his grandparents, and, thus, finally completes his first Nazi kill. He shoots Meyer/Wolf before finishing him off with his Grandmother's blade that he found in the very first episode. He did what he had to do, and while it made for a tough explanation to those remaining on the Hunters team, it needed to be done and helped him continue to grow into the person he was meant to be. While "Meyer"'s words ring a bit hollow with the realization of his true identity, the coming-of-age factor remains; Jonah has grown into the person ready to lead this vigilante group.
In retrospect, it was clear for a while that something was up with Meyer; that was more apparent than ever in Season 1, Episode 5, when Meyer shot the woman they believed to be the Nazi propoganda filmmaker Tilda Sauer point blank without properly verifying her. Roxy and Lonny left that moment horrified, but slowly moved past it in the next few episodes. It seemed like the show was just giving Meyer of a mean streak, but, clearly, it turned out to be something much more significant.
So, while Season 2 of Hunters almost certainly seems like it's coming, it's a fair assumption that we won't be seeing any more of Al Pacino (outside of, maybe, some flashback scenes). Still, Pacino was consistently the best part of the show and played the character perfectly. Take a bow Mr. Pacino! Now onto the (somehow) more insane twist.
Meanwhile, in Argentina...
In the aftermath of the Meyer/Wolf reveal (and his death), the team undergoes some major changes. Mindy moves away/retires to be with her family, and Joe quits the team. While walking the street, though, we see Joe get struck by a car and hauled away. Eventually, it's revealed that Joe was brought down to Argentina, where he's brought to dinner with The Colonel—revealed to have survived the Episode 9 car crash she was in with Meyer.
But that's not all, because as Joe sits, powerless, at the outdoor dinner table, things begin to come into perspective. Throughout the episode, we've seen shots of some blonde-haired children playing in a field with a kickball—these are revealed to be The Colonel's children. And when the children are called for dinner, so, too, is The Colonels' significant other—and when she calls her significant other, their identities are revealed. "Time to eat, Adolf," she tells him. "I'm hungry, Eva, darling."
Yup, they went there. "The Colonel," or, "Eva," is revealed to be Eva Braun. Meaning her Adolf, obviously, is Adolf Hitler. In the Hunters world, these two have survived and escaped to Argentina—obviously setting up a future storyline for season 2.
It's worth noting that this isn't exactly uncharted ground; Hitler was depicted with an entirely fictional death in Quentin Tarantino's Inglorious Basterds as well, being shot to death a hundred times with a machine gun in that one. Hunters would appear to be building toward a similar crescendo. But still—this twist is f*cking bananas.
Granted that she was only ever referred to as "The Colonel," Eva Braun's identity and reveal makes total sense. It's something we should've thought of more while watching, but there was simply too much else going on to give it any thought.
It's also not clear as of now why Joe was brought to their rendezvous in Argentina (where many real Nazi officers escaped to following WWII), but it could mean that the Colonel was particularly impressed with his fighting at the corn syrup plant that led to their foiled plot. It also goes to show that while the Nazis may have been stopped momentarily, they're nowhere near finished.
With the remaining Hunters team—led by Jonah but also including Lonny, Sister Harret, and Roxy—talking about a move to Central/South America, and this ending revelation, it would seem like a collision course is surely on the way in Season 2. Where this bonkers story goes from there, well, is anyone's guess.
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