Whether you have or haven’t watched the incredible first season of Norwegian action/crime drama Codename Hunter, all stateside Euro TV fans can now stream it via pay-per-view.
And the two biggest reasons why you should add Codename Hunter: Season 1 (Kodenavn Hunter) to your to-watch list, or just binge-watch it now, are the performances by Ane Dahl Torp (Occupied, The Sandhamn Murders) and Kristoffer Joner (The Revenant, The Wave).
Seriously, they make the show.
Torp as Gisela “Kikki” Søderlund and Joner as Frode “Jonna” Muller are the driving factors of my having watched the first season four times since it premiered in the US in May 2015. They play really well off each other, and their strand in the storyline is the most compelling.
The six-part serial revolves around a secret team of multi-national operatives (codename: Hunter) who are brought together to infiltrate and take down the criminal organization responsible for the fatal hijacking of a prisoner transport on its way to Oslo. It is during the brutal siege that two police officers are killed, including the brother of Norwegian cop Bjørn Rønningen (Mads Ousdal, Varg Veum).
Although the hijackers escape, one of them is wounded from a gunshot fired off by Bjørn, which leads us to the introduction of Kikki and Jonna. Their story begins in a bar in Gothenburg, Sweden, and ends on a rooftop in Oslo, Norway.
The wounded man is an accomplice of Jonna, who finds Kikki pouring drinks at a bar. With a bit of persuasion from a mutual acquaintance, she accompanies him to help the guy with a bullet in him with her elementary nursing skills. The thing is, Gisela Søderlund is neither a bartender nor a nurse, but an undercover operative for the Gothenburg Police.
As such, and with her connection to Jonna, Dan Wester (Jan Sælid, NAV, Norway), the international organized crime analyst who heads up the Hunter team, sees Gisela as the perfect infiltrator for the hijacking investigation. Her handler, Maria Milinkovich (Alexandra Rapaport, The Sandhamn Murders), isn’t so sure.
But Gisela is. She’s already established a rapport with Jonna, beyond their shared love of kick-ass motorcycles, to the point where he reveals to her his real identity of Frode. Plus, she wants to stay on the case, dangerous as it is. And she does, getting in deeper and deeper with Frode and the gang of criminals he runs with, while ensuring she maintains her cover.
Despite being on opposite sides of the law, Gisela falls for Frode (and he for her, despite his, um, issue), and the Hunter team knows it. What they don’t know is whether or not she’s switched sides…
As for the main strand, concerning the investigation into the intelligence leak that gave the hijackers the information they needed to pull off the convict’s escape from police custody, it’s good, too. The Gisela-Frode one is simply more intriguing. Much more.
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