Hit & Run is a fast paced thriller by the makers of Fauda or at least partly by the team of the great Israeli series on the conflict between the Israeli intelligence forces and the Palestinian terrorists.
As a rule my wife and I these days don’t watch crime dramas, or any content that shows violence. In fact, for the past one year, we have stuck to watching Hallmark-variety content such as The Good Witch, Where Calls the Heart and Heartland. We thought there is too much violence and unease in the world as it is, why also have it when we are trying to entertain ourselves?
We were great fans of Fauda, at least the first season, and the subsequent seasons hooked us based on that. I personally love the acting of Lior Raz and that was one of the biggest reasons why we immediately started watching Hit & Run the moment it was suggested by Netflix. There is only one season yet available on Netflix.
The first episode begins with the main character of Hit & Run Segev Azulai being attacked in a New York prison and almost beaten to death. Then the episode begins with a flashback.
Back in Tel Aviv, Segey Azulai, a divorced single father of a teenage daughter, is a tour guide. During one of the assignments, he meets a beautiful dancer from New York, Danielle, falls in love with her, and marries her. For some time, the life is beautiful and flowery.
Danielle frequently goes to New York for various dance-related events, and this time too, she is on her way to the airport and as she stops for a coffee, a car hits her and she dies on her way to the hospital. It is a hit-and-run case. Hence, the name of the series Hit & Run.
A complete catastrophe of events unfolds as Azulai discovers one thing after another about his wife. With the help of his cousin who is in the police, she discovers that it was not a simple hit-and-run case: his wife was murdered. On top of that, he also discovers that she was having a secret affair with another man.
Immediately after the funeral, an intruder enters his house and Azulai kills him. At this juncture viewers realize that he is not simply a tour guide, and he has a different past. He was a part of a militia team who had worked in various conflict zones including Cuba, Mexico and other random places.
Together with his cop cousin he tries to find out why his wife was killed and one thing leads to another and he lands in New York. He teams up with one of his old friends who used to be in the same militia and is currently suffering from PTSD.
There he gets caught in the spy web of the CIA and Mossad. He also discovers that his wife was an undercover CIA agent and she was getting secrets from Mossad and was passing them over to the CIA. First things that the CIA killed his wife but then later he discovers that it was a secret service of his own country, Mossad.
After the first few episodes, the series becomes difficult to watch because you cannot empathise with any of the characters, including the main character played by Raz. Me and my wife both couldn’t relate to even a single character. Contrast this to other series that we have been watching — Heartland and The Good Doctor (a remake of a Korean TV series) — there are so many characters we could relate to, or at least understood why they were doing what they were doing.
In the name of finding the killers of his wife, Azulai not only goes on a rampage himself, but in his wake, also leaves a trail of death and destruction. His cousin, who tries to help him using police resources, is suspended. She is pregnant but still she chases around Secret Service agents and is almost killed in a blast (a bomb placed at Azulai’s place). Ultimately, she is forced to get his boyfriend killed who is actually a Mossad agent surveilling her.
Most of the people who help him in New York either die or get in deep trouble. He himself gets trapped in the crossfire between the CIA and Mossad. Both these organizations are portrayed as street goons indiscriminately killing people like the mafia.
The only thing that seems to matter to him is finding out why his extraordinarily pretty wife was killed and who killed her. Despite the fact that he should be more concerned about the family he has left behind in Israel, especially his young daughter, he relentlessly pursues different people, killing multiple people in the process, although, in most of the cases, it seems what is happening is not in his hands. At certain stages you may understand his dilemma that unless he sort things out, he and his daughter could never be safe, but a normal father would like to be by the side of his daughter rather than leaving her to the others while not being able to contact her for days.
In that pursuit, he brings about great destruction not only to his own family, but also to people who stick with him. At one point, it all seems quite senseless.
There are many holes in the story. Many plots have been twisted just to create tension. It is difficult to emotionally connect with any character — which is very important if you want to stick to a series for a long time. No character has a strong sense of right and wrong. No character has a depth. Even when there is group loyalty, it is quite haphazard and mostly leads to destruction. The main character uses every other character and you end up disliking him.
I’m not saying that you need to like a character to like a storyline, one needs to be able to empathize with the protagonist and other characters of a narrative. You need to bat for someone when you’re watching such a drama. It doesn’t happen in this TV series. The first season is lousy. I’m not looking forward to watching the next season, if at all it comes. Knowing Netflix, it may.