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How Hijack Season 1 Subverts The Usual Terrorism Tropes Very Successfully

Hijack on Apple TV+ ended its first season with a breathtaking finale. The finale concluded and wrapped up all the tense and riveting storylines with impeccable precision, creating a satisfying ending. What made the original series so interesting is its use of familiar tropes in brand-new and exciting ways. Find out just how successful the show was in this Hijack season 1 review.

Please note: the Hijack season 1 review will feature spoilers for the season in general and specifically, the ending and major plot points.

Hijack On Apple TV+ Is A Tense Rollercoaster Ride

Hijack season 1 review couple.

Image via Apple TV+

Hijack works as an intense thriller about a plane hijacking that stays away from all the usual tropes for this kind of story. Featuring a story where a group of terrorists hijack a British plane for unknown reasons. Hijack Season 1 plays out as the passengers of the plane try to uncover what’s going on while trying to save themselves and others from an unknown fate.

At the centre of all this is one man, Sam Nelson (Idris Elba), who attempts to save everyone in some unique ways. One of the ways that Hijack Season 1 subverts expectations is through the main character. Elba’s Sam is not an ex-marine or badass special forces guy who is adept at dealing with bad guys. The first few episodes leave it ambiguous as to what he does that makes him qualified to deal with the terrorists.

But the last episode confirms that he’s just a businessman; a negotiator who does big deals and gets people to do what he wants. It’s a characterization that makes the stakes of the show feel real. He’s just a regular guy with the hubris to think he can control the situation, who does the best he can, through street smarts, sheer luck and the support of the other passengers. It’s a refreshing change from an action star who kicks butt and takes names.

The Hijackers In Hijack Season 1 Are Not The Typical Ones

Hijack season 1 review atc

Image via Apple TV+

When Hijack released its first trailer, there was concern about a terrorism drama demonizing Muslims or the Middle East. As can usually happen with these kinds of stories. So I was pleasantly surprised that not only did Hijack not do the stereotypical depiction of terrorists, but actually humanized the British characters quite well. The premise behind the terrorists was pretty unique as well. The core group of 5 terrorists were absolutely bad guys who hijacked the plane to blackmail the government into releasing even worst bad guys from prison. But there were other supporting minor bad guys, whose family members were held captive to coerce them to help the main villains.

It was an interesting twist that really enhances the motivations behind all the drama, seeing that many of the minor baddies weren’t responsible for their actions, given the trauma they themselves were facing.

Greed Is The Main Villain Here And Not Other Ideologies

Hijack season 1 review pilot

Image via Apple TV+

Furthering the point about the bad guys, the main conflict at play was also a surprising twist. While most terrorism dramas center around political or religious ideologies, it was much simple here. The hijack season 1 review cannot be complete without discussing that the motivations of the bad guys was all just capitalism. The villains leaked the hijacking of the plane to the media, causing stock in the airlines to plummet. The main villains bet against the airline, so they were making millions on the Stock Exchange, due to the airline’s stock crashing. It was greed. Plain and simple. Hijack amazingly subverts expectations that the villains will have bigger plans and agenda at play that we’ve already seen a million times.

But instead, it was just plain and simple greed. Money motivated the major bad guys to extort and blackmail other characters, exploiting their love and relationships to coerce them to do worse things. It was a shocking turn as well as a change to what audiences expect from a show called ‘Hijack’.

Hijack Season 1 Review Ends On A Good Note

Hijack season 1 review pilot

Image via Apple TV+

While not technically a limited series, Hijack Season 1 ends very effectively. It ends on a dramatic note that feels uplifting and dramatic. There is no epilogue showing the characters all happy and giving audiences closure. But in a way that feels appropriate for a show that was thrilling from its premiere to its finale.

Hijack season 1 is now streaming on Apple TV+.

What did you think of Hijack Season 1? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter at @theshahshahid

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