We’re on season three of The Hunter, the Italian mafia-based thriller that has its origins in true crime (although a fair bit of dramatic license has been employed, it must be said).
If you want to avoid all spoilers for this show, stop reading this article now.
First thing to highlight is that this is not a series you can jump on-board with now, if you’ve not seen the previous two seasons. Based in the late 90s, this is a show where the history and backstories of the characters are intrinsic to understanding what the heck is going on. So, start at the beginning, because – as the song goes – that’s a very fine place to start.
So, where are we? Well, for the past few years, our hero – Saverio Barone – has been hiding in a basement from various people who want him dead, having sent away his lovely wife and daughter, Giada and Carlotta, to a secret location. But he’s back – and he’s keener than ever to see the chief of the Corleonesi Mafia clan, Bernardo Provenzano, behind bars. But poor old Saverio has a major problem, because Vito Vitale – a gang member with ambitions of his own – is gunning for him and doesn’t care much what collateral havoc he reeks along the way, as the Curaro brothers (one dead, one seriously injured) discover when their Fiat is ambushed with machine gun fire by Vitale and co.
Season three welcomes a new face – Paola Romano (played by Linda Caridi), a recently transferred recruit to the team from Naples. As always, the wizened old male cop – Barone – wants nothing to do with the young female cop – Romano – who, he believes, is only there because of her family connections. He tries to palm her off with old cases that he believes she’ll never solve, so as to keep her away from his main goal – bringing down the Corleonesi mafia. But, she’s no wallflower and is determined to make an impression.
Barone is facing demons of his own, with panic attacks and anxiety affecting him whenever he leaves the sanctuary of his basement. But he refuses to take the medication prescribed to him, believing he will become addicted to the drugs.
Much like the previous two seasons, this feisty Italian noir falls somewhere between ‘Gomorrah’ and ‘Montalbano’ – not as violent as the former, and but with more gravitas than the latter. The acting performances are pretty good throughout, and whilst the plot has some questionable twists and turns along the way, the journey is mostly engaging and entertaining.
As I mentioned at the start, I’d recommend kicking off with season one if you’ve not seen the show before. It’s a bleak insight into how parts of Italy were under the control of the mafia during that era; and whilst obviously the storylines are fictional, the fact that the show is based on a real-life individual – Alfonso Sabella – who had to go through a similar set of circumstances to Barone, is quite remarkable.
Walter Presents: ‘The Hunter’ is available as a full boxset on Walter Presents via All 4 from 21st April 2023.