Hunted Has A Close Shave

One team makes a smart move while another finds out why fast food is bad for you.

Welcome back to Hunted! Right now, some number of teams are still fugitives, while another number have been caught and a third, smaller number haven't started at all. Meanwhile, they're being hunted by a variety of surveillance and law enforcement experts who, as far as I can tell, don't get any sort of a reward for catching people. They're just doing this for the sheer joy of a job well done, plus a paycheck and prominent placement on a primetime network television show.

Thu And Sentra Update

When last seen, Thu and Sentra were holing up with their pal Rob, and a street team was at Rob's house asking questions. The rules of the game apparently allow the street team to enter the house even though Rob is a little complainy about it. The hunters get up into the attic but don't find anything.

This whole time, Thu and Sentra are 120 miles away at a campsite. I like this because it's the first time we've seen the hunters try something that didn't work immediately. I'm more willing to believe the hunters are playing fair when they don't get incredibly lucky with their every move. But back at Rob's, there's an interrogation going on that's as harsh as it can be given the fact that the interrogator has no legal power to really learn on Rob. He admits to driving Thu and Sentra to a coffee shop, but that's it. There are, of course, CCTV cameras there. Well, I don't think they're literally "closed circuit" television, because that would mean there's no access to the recordings from outside. They're just cameras. But "CCTV" is what they're commonly called, especially in Great Britain, where this show is from.

Anyway, through use of the CCTV network (which is represented here by footage taken by the show's cameras that's not shared with the hunters until they get access), the hunters get Thu and Sentra's license plate.

Aarif And Immad Begin

Aarif and Immad have been gifted with a kayak and camping equipment, which is delightful news. Their plan is to paddle for a couple hours across a giant lake (called, if my Google skills are what I think they are, Northlake), withdraw money from an ATM, and then immediately paddle back the other way, hoping to send their pursuers in the wrong direction. This is a physically demanding task, especially if you're currently fasting.

Meanwhile, in hunter HQ, we are told that Aarif did a Google search for "Is it possible to kayak from Myrtle Beach to Daytona, Florida." This seems like a very specific search, and a very specific time for that search to be discovered. But they're not in Daytona anyway, so it doesn't matter that much. From the spot they land their kayak, they have to walk about a mile to the ATM, and they get a ride back to their kayak.

As soon as they get their money, the alarm bells (figurative, not literal, which seems like a huge mistake) go off in Hunter HQ. So they're spotted in this Anderson, SC city, and the nearest street team is on the way. Aarif and Immad have to hope that they'll get back to their kayak before the hunters get an ID on the vehicle they're in. And the guy who's willing to give them a ride stops to get some ice a block away from the ATM, which seems to stress them out. You can see how it would.

We see "Golf Team" come into the parking lot with the ice truck, and we see the fugitive truck leave. But it's not all that clear how close together those two things happen. Aarif and Immad get away and clamber down an embankment to their kayak. At this point, the hunters are pursuing a red truck that their fugitives are no longer in. That's good news! The bad news is that four hours later, Aarif and Immad are exhausted and floating around in the middle of this lake. They get to a tiny island and camp out.

English And Stephen Begin

It's a little gross that these parents have to immediately abandon their kids. I mean, they're with the kids' grandparents, but it still seems like it would be stressful for the children. English tells her mother to log into both of their emails and send phony messages back and forth, which is a fun idea. Then they go out and hitchhike.

The hunters send a street team to ask questions at an ice cream shop, and they get access to camera footage and a car description. It's a pretty short sequence.

More Thu and Sentra

It's been fourteen days, and they're feeling pretty cocky. They also want some Taco Bell. It seems like it could be product placement, but nobody mentions the delicious new Naked Chicken Chalupa so it probably isn't. They're so hungry and so cocky that they get out of their hammocks and drive on the highway on the grounds that traffic cameras probably can't see their faces or license plate. Unfortunately for them, there are traffic cameras that are explicitly for reading license plates, and the hunters now know where their car is.

So the street team is driving around the general area where the Tran car was seen eighteen minutes earlier. Meanwhile, Thu and Sentra are trying to figure out how to get some Taco Bell without being seen by the cameras there. They get a guy to buy them the food while they hang out in a nearby parking lot, and then they cheerfully eat their food. The street team, which has been circling the area, spots them while they're snacking and boasting about what they're going to do with their prize money. The tagging is pretty clean, and they never saw it coming.

So it's probably not Taco Bell product placement. Especially when one of them says, "I feel like I'm gonna throw up right now." The lesson is that if you're hiding out from surveillance experts, maybe don't leave your secret campsite because you want Taco Bell. It's just not that good a restaurant, guys.

David And Emiley Update

David and Emiley are also fourteen days in. You might remember David as the guy with the large, eye-catching beard that he doesn't seem to have considered shaving at any point. At this point, the hunters have been forced to read David's book The AmerIcan Dream: HisStory in the Making a few times. Did you see the capital I in American, so it spells Amer-"I Can"? And "His Story." It's dedicated to "Mami, Papi, Keetee, G, & Muchie," but the acknowledgements have a lot of regular names that can be followed up on more easily.

We don't see if the name "Holly" is in there, but that's the name of David's law school friend who's now giving them a ride to Vidalia, GA. I'm mentioning the specific city because I feel like places like Vidalia and Anderson don't get mentioned on network shows that often. Back at Hunter HQ, we learn that Holly's phone is being watched, so they know she just drove to Vidalia, and "Creek Road Vidalia" was written on that desk calendar that I am very skeptical about. Holly doesn't live near Vidalia, so maybe it's a lead. In fact, that's exactly where David and Emiley are, but they get a ride from Holly's mother to a Chevy dealer that's Emiley's childhood friend, and he's willing to loan them a car and a cabin in which to hole up.

Emiley explains that it's good to have boyfriends from middle school that will still do favors for you, and it's a little weird if you ask me. They roll up to their remote cabin and verify that there's a secret exit on the other side of a lake. Meanwhile, the hunters are on their way to Vidalia, where they'll try to pick up the trail somehow. Someone in HQ explains to the street team that they should use the "skinny pedal on the right," which is either a folksy way to say "drive fast" or a shocking piece of micromanagement. It could also be a misquote of the 1988 movie Dragnet, in which Tom Hanks encourages Dan Aykroyd to drive fast by telling him "It's the vertical pedal on the right." I admit that's a long shot, because that movie hardly ever gets quoted by people who aren't me. And even then, I'm usually just telling people not to forget their leggings. If you are one of the ten people who enjoyed that reference, you're welcome. We should meet up some time and share our favorite things about the Art of Noise video.

More English and Stephen

Good news! For the hunters! They didn't start with a great last known location, but they learn about a rental location the family owns. So they interview English's parents while the three children are right there. I hope they were sensitive to the kids. The big revelation is that English and Stephen left on foot. That seems like a weird idea to everyone, because it's raining buckets thanks to Tropical Storm Colin. Which, incidentally, puts the English/Stephen plot as taking place June 5-8, 2016, a solid month before David and Emiley.

Anyway, English and Stephen are still looking for a ride, so they're just a few miles away from their starting point. It doesn't look like they had any plan whatsoever. I guess there's something to be said for that, since if you don't know what you're going to do, no one else does either. But the improvising doesn't seem to be working. Eventually, someone tells them about some portable sheds they can hole up in.

This is actually not that far from the plan I said I'd try on this show, where you just hole up within sight of your home and hope you get overlooked as the search radius widens. Let's see how well it works!

More Aarif And Immad

They set out paddling again, and they don't seem thrilled about it. They're not under cover, and they think the lake area is probably being looked at. And they're right! The lake is full of tiny islands, which is the sort of thing the hunters look at. They'd send drones, but the range is too big, so it's time for an actual helicopter. One of the hunters explains that helicopters are great because they sound scary and sometimes cause panic in fugitives. The guys in the helicopter think they'd have to be incredibly lucky to find anyone in all the woods. But they also think it's worth checking out these two guys in a canoe out in the middle of the water. Might as well, right? You never know.

Well, it wasn't Aarif and Immad. There are a lot of places to look in this lake.

The fugitives and the hunters all kind of think that Aarif and Immad are, well, more brown than the average person camping in this South Carolina campground. So the street team takes pictures around to ask questions. The paranoia leads Aarif and Immad to shave their faces. And heads. So they don't look like their pictures. It's a good idea, DAVID. And it makes them less brown, because their skin is much paler in areas that were covered by hair.

Unfortunately, the segment just kind of ends the episode without anything happening.

Final Verdict

You know what? If you're going to watch any episode of this show, you might as well make it this one. It has fugitives making good moves, and it has fugitives being caught because they couldn't live two more weeks without vaguely Mexican-inspired fast food. It has hunters on the wrong trail and hunters on the right trail. And it's got a helicopter without people shrieking about how exciting it is, which years of watching reality shows had made me think was impossible.

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