What he can do is take control of the hijacked airplane. But will the rest of the passengers help him? And will the kidnappers let down their guard long enough to allow him to do so? The episode, entitled “Comply Slowly,” is a white-knuckler.
Hijack recap: ‘Comply Slowly’
Season 1, episode 6: Kai (played by Jude Codjoe), the son of Sam Nelson (Idris Elba), is under attack. After the terrorist organization that hijacked flight KA29 found out Sam was a problem, it dispatched hitmen to his house to kill his family, including Kai and Sam’s estranged wife Marsha (Christine Adams). Kai has hidden in a closet but he’s not out of harm’s way yet.
Meanwhile, the English government has yielded to the demands of the terrorists who seized the plane, releasing two prisoners, Edgar Janssen (Simon McBurney) and John Bailey Brown (Ian Burfield). Daniel O’Farrell (Max Beesley), who is Marsha’s boyfriend as well as a detective for the London police department, follows them for as long as he can, but they give him the slip after a tense standoff.
Then Janssen sends Daniel a picture on his phone of the woman Stuart shot aboard the plane. It’s proof that they’re killing hostages to stay in control of KA29. Of course, the woman was already dead. She was killed hours ago in the same kerfuffle that killed Lewis, which is currently driving his brother Stuart (Neil Maskell) to madness.
Sam realizes that if Janssen asks for more photographs of dead passengers, they’re out of options if they want to keep everyone alive. He circulates a message to the passengers: Get ready for a fight if it comes to it.
A sixth hijacker kills the pilot
A corrupt journalist named Felix (Rufus Jones) gets a bit of information about the hijacking and is told to release it or his own history of insider trading will be leaked to the press, so he races to his outlet. The news reaches the BBC, which is playing in the house as Kai is trying to call the police. Now he finally knows his dad wasn’t lying when he texted about trouble on the plane several hours back.
Then Stuart gets a text message from Janssen asking for another body, just as the terrorists get wind of Sam’s plan to stoke a rebellion aboard the plane. Stuart freaks out. He can’t bring himself to shoot Sam, so he starts stalking the plane looking for someone else to kill.
A number of the passengers spring into action. And just when Sam seems like he might get the better of Stuart, a sixth hijacker reveals herself. She goes to the bathroom, produces a gun from her bag, shoots the pilot Captain Allen (Ben Miles) in the head and then locks herself in the cockpit.
One more picture of a body
The slow process of getting to know all the passengers (well … not all of them) pays off here when everyone is suddenly called upon to go above and beyond. The guy who seemed like he might be a sleeper terrorist planted among the passengers is the first one to take action when the fighting starts. (I think the actor is Jack Parry-Jones, but to be honest it’s difficult at the best of times to divine who’s playing who. Hijack’s credits are maddeningly vague, and the press images on Apple TV+’s website are frequently just wrong.)
That’s a nice little red herring there, especially because the woman who is the real sleeper (I think this is Holly Aird, but again I’m not at all sure) was not someone we’d spent more than a few fleeting minutes with the whole series.
This week’s episode benefits from nicely choreographed action and tense pacing throughout. I’m very anxious to see how things get wrapped up next week in the Hijack finale.
Watch Hijack on Apple TV+
New episodes of Hijack arrive Wednesdays on Apple TV+.
Watch on: Apple TV+
Scout Tafoya is a film and TV critic, director and creator of the long-running video essay series The Unloved for RogerEbert.com. He has written for The Village Voice, Film Comment, The Los Angeles Review of Books and Nylon Magazine. He is the author of Cinemaphagy: On the Psychedelic Classical Form of Tobe Hooper and But God Made Him A Poet: Watching John Ford in the 21st Century, the director of 25 feature films, and the director and editor of more than 300 video essays, which can be found at Patreon.com/honorszombie.