Hijack: Not Responding
July 12, 2023 12:53 PM - Season 1, Episode 4 - Subscribe

An incident team in Westminster scrambles to intercept fighter jets. Sam tries contacting the ground once more when a hijacker is injured.
posted by ellieBOA (15 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Something they do very well in this series is keep in mind that not every character knows what every character knows. It was great to see that the most belligerent hijacker insist that they wouldn't be shot down at the same time fighter pilots were preparing to do just that. (I would believe the Romanian government would be happy to not have to shoot down a plane full of British people, but they would at least keep up the fighter pilot escort, right? Oh well, maybe they stayed near.) Also, I think he is comically wrong about being less likely to be shot down as they go westward. Even if the hijackers believe they've got some kind of government hookup to protect them over British airspace, the French military is kind of trigger happy, non? They would absolutely shoot down a nonresponsive, hijacked plane.

The "reasoning" behind the hijacking makes no sense, so I'm still assuming it's fake. (If nothing else...uh, as they pointed out, these are British criminals. It's not like they can get their guys out of jail and return to the motherland.)
posted by grandiloquiet at 1:27 PM on July 12, 2023 [1 favorite]

The letter that the Home Secretary was given in an envelope labelled demands requested the release of two wrongly imprisoned people in exchange for the hijacking being called off. AppleTV doesn’t let you screenshot so couldn’t see the names.
posted by ellieBOA at 1:44 PM on July 12, 2023 [1 favorite]

Not really showing who the main terrorist shot was just confusing. I think they needed a “previously on” or a little more time to show what was up with that. I am fine with less violence, but it’s like they edited stuff out, but didn’t have the footage to do it a different way.
posted by snofoam at 6:30 PM on July 12, 2023 [3 favorites]

Yeah, maybe it's different for Brits, but I'm pretty sure most Americans take it as a given that if they're not communicating with the military and flying towards a major city, they're going to go down in a fireball.

But maybe Brits don't have that trauma, so it isn't a given?

And yeah, it felt like it was at least halfway through the episode before we figured out who got shot, and I couldn't remember if she was even back there? I mean, I figured it was the ex-con, then maybe the blonde flight attendant, then we kind of went "uhhhhh" until they made it obvious with the mother's meaningful look.

That said, I'm appreciating that they're sort of trying to keep it within the realm of things that are happening in real time and not just "here's the first hour for 5 episodes, then here's the last hour for 5 episodes, nothing meaningful happened between those two points."

Also I'm not sure what the black baggers are doing at Sam's wife's place, but I guess we'll find out next week.
posted by Kyol at 7:09 PM on July 12, 2023

I thought they kidnapped Kai.

The names of the prisoners they demanded released were John Something and Edgar Something—the same names that the head hijacker guy mentioned, something like “Remember, we’re doing this for John and Edgar.”

The hijackers are so bad at what they’re doing (I know, they’re supposed to be). From the get go I was thinking, hmm, you have an airplane full of frightened, angry people and you are determined to deny them all food, water, and lifesaving medicine for 7 hours. Good, good. That’ll go well.

I am really enjoying this and having one episode released per week is proving to be difficult! Idris Elba is so charismatic I would watch him in anything.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 9:55 PM on July 12, 2023 [1 favorite]

Also I'm not sure what the black baggers are doing at Sam's wife's place, but I guess we'll find out next week.

The bad guys going after Sam and/or his family seems weird to me. Didn't he spontaneously get on the flight at the beginning of the series? We haven't seen the hijackers communicate with anyone on the ground, so how do they know to go after him? And they knew about the pilot and flight attendant having an affair, so they had intel on at least some of the people in the plane, but not him?
posted by kirkaracha at 9:57 PM on July 12, 2023 [1 favorite]

Yeah that was puzzling me too. I was trying to figure out if somehow the people on the plane figured out that he had texted his wife (because they have his phone now) and they communicated that to the folks on the ground so they could threaten his family and keep them from going to the authorities??? But that would imply a level of organization I don’t think the people on the plane are capable of.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:04 PM on July 12, 2023 [1 favorite]

Well, the pictures they were working from to confirm the address was the picture that Arby - the lead hijacker - took of Sam's passport, but beyond a "ugh this guy is getting on my tits", I can't think of anything that benefits the hijackers to terrorize his family.

On the other hand, Sam has managed to exfiltrate information from the plane twice now, so if you remove the people he's contacting on the ground, sure - but would the hijacking team _know_ that?

Like ok cleaning up their base of operations and any potential leaks from where the hijackers departed, yeah OK I can see that making "sense" to the hijackers, nobody will be able to figure out who we were because we're working from nonexistent passports. And they may well have been working as ghosts, if the interaction between the home secretary and the guy who gave him their demands suggests that their ground team is highly placed? Or maybe their ground team just has contacts with people that are highly placed, I guess.

And yeah, screenshots of the demands are pretty straightforward - you have Edgar Janssen and John Bailey Brown, release them or we kill everybody on board gnar gnar.
posted by Kyol at 5:24 AM on July 13, 2023

Well, they've not been very competent, but if they were very competent it makes sense to get some leverage over this one passenger who seems to be able to insert himself everywhere and cultivate sympathy with both them and the passengers. I'd certainly be unnerved by Sam.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 5:45 AM on July 13, 2023

Also, the whole "who got shot thing" was really weird. I, too, had the impression that something was cut where that had been made clear. I had to rewind to eliminate possibilities, partly because I hadn't remembered exactly what she was doing and where she was in relationship to the head bad guy who shot her.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 5:48 AM on July 13, 2023 [1 favorite]

And yeah, I think it's that duality that's getting me. Maybe the ground team is more competent than the air team, the air team is just True Believers who might just be sacrificial.
posted by Kyol at 6:36 AM on July 13, 2023

I'm trying to decide if the woman with the dark hair and glasses is meant to be a red herring or if she's Up To Something.
posted by emelenjr at 7:00 AM on July 13, 2023 [2 favorites]

also also c'mon nobody else on the whole plane had a pen that they could use? On the one hand I'm enjoying it and they're being pretty legit, on the other hand there are very dumb moments that I'm not sure if it's just bad writing or "realism". <jazz hands emoji>

And I think she was just there to briefly cast doubt on whether Sam was good or bad with the rest of the passengers, something that has sort of fallen by the wayside in the hours since.
posted by Kyol at 7:51 AM on July 13, 2023

I think there might be an additional hijacker on the plane that hasn't made themself known yet? except he must be flying on a better fake passport that passed the policeman's security check which would indicate some kind of rogue government support.

Also at the end, the Home Secretary was leaving a building with a circular courtyard when he was passed the envelope with the demands. It had gates and you'd think there would be some kind of security when entering so again, rogue government support?

If the hijackers are sacrificial then their demands to release the prisoners is a feint as well and a cover for some rogue government.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 6:16 PM on July 13, 2023

One detail I noticed that speaks to the competence or lack thereof of the hijackers on the plane is that one of the hijackers is shown walking around with his finger on the trigger. In comparison, when Sam picked the gun off the floor he correctly/safely handled the gun with his trigger finger along the gun body and not on the trigger.

It is confusing that the lead hijacker left a voice message and seemed to not have any additional information, but also texted Sam's details to...someone? They know John and Edgar but don't ultimately know who they're working for and/or with?
posted by TwoWordReview at 2:07 PM on September 27, 2023

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