Sam Nelson knows that the assailants aren’t pro. So his peace negotiation with the hijackers shouldn’t be that difficult. But what is their aim? Do they want to send a message? And where do they intend to take the plane? Also, no one on the plane can use his or her phone. So the only two people who know about the situation and aren’t on the flight are Marsha and Daniel. So, will they try to contact the authorities? Episode 2 of Hijack takes things up a notch. Here’s how.
Sam’s nightmare comes true when the two guys who he had stopped earlier take another chance at grabbing one of the terrorists (Jaden) and almost succeed. Sam even manages to grab a gun and point it at Stuart, and we can see the fear in his eyes—the fear of death—the fear that every passenger is carrying inside them. While Sam returns the gun to him because all he wants is to go home safely, it is clear that he knows that Stuart is vulnerable. He is afraid of dying.
Daniel calls up a woman named Zahra, who happens to be his ex. She is a Detective Chief Inspector at the Counter Terrorism Command. Their apparent companionship is only due to the fact that they once were together. And that is why, when Daniel asks her for help concerning the situation that he is in, she agrees. She calls up her friend at CTC, who then contacts Air Traffic Control (ATC) supervisor Simon at Heathrow, London, who reaches out to the Dubai ATC supervisor, who confirms that the “security incident” was a false alarm. The message is sent down the chain to Zahra, who informs Daniel. Daniel calls Marsha up and gives her the good news. She and her son are both relieved. They couldn’t be farther from the truth.
From the way Sam has been speaking, Stuart ends up listening to him, if not trusting him. So when he notifies Stuart that the pilot (Robin) might pose a problem, we know that Stuart will consider it, and he does. But what is Sam after here? The plane is on autopilot, which means all Robin has to do is set the course, and it will take the plane anywhere he wants it to. Stuart checks this with Robin, trying to understand how autopilot works, and then brings him out of the cockpit. This seems to be Sam’s move to speak to Robin. With him in the cockpit, he is unreachable. But if he is sitting in a passenger’s seat, he is reachable. How? Via the video game on the seat-back screens that are a part of the in-flight entertainment. In the chat, Robin informs Sam that there has been no contact with the ground authorities yet. And since they are about to enter Iraqi airspace, if Iraqi ATC doesn’t get any response from the captain, it will scramble military jets, and no one knows what the result will be.
If they get no response at all, it will be a threat, and they might just shoot the plane down. So, when the Iraqi ATC contacts flight KA29, Stuart, with Sam’s help and a bit of struggle, forces Robin, against his wishes, to speak back. But the time taken between the first contact and the captain’s confirmation is a bit too long for the Iraq ATC to not doubt that something is wrong. However, they have to make do with Robin’s confirmation. As per Sam, Stuart wanted Iraq to scramble the jets so that the hijack situation could be handled. But it would have made things go from bad to worse. While this makes sense for Stuart, we realize that all of it was just a distractive stunt for Sam and Robin to do something else, something that Stuart and his team could never realize. While speaking to Iraq ATC, Robin shifted the course of the plane. This is a distress signal for anyone tracking the flight. We hope that some hijacker isn’t tracking it from the ground. That wouldn’t be good. But who else can receive the signal?
Alice Sinclair arrives late at the ATC in Heathrow, London because she has had to drop her son off at alternative childcare. She learns about the security incident reported by KA29 and the false alarm and finds it weird. She convinces Simon that somebody onboard contacting them via the Counter Terrorism Command is highly unlikely to be a false alarm. On top of that, there was no more contact because the Wi-Fi inside the flight was off. Simon, too reassesses it in his head and, after double-checking with Dubai, calls up Iraq ATC. They share KA29’s path in real-time, which reveals that the plane has shifted its course by 3 degrees. This is the plane telling them that something is wrong and reaching out for help. So, this is what Sam and Captain Robin Allen pulled off in their scripted grapple. They managed to send a message to whoever was watching that they needed help. Had it not been for Alice, the small shift wouldn’t have been noticed by anyone. Clearly, Alice is someone who has been in the aviation sector for a long time, and Simon trusts her instincts. Her doubts make her an expert in her field. Had it not been for her, they wouldn’t have noticed the shift because it was too small and had to be zoomed in.
Does Abdullah Meet Neela?
Among all the people involved in the chain of communication mentioned above, it is only the guy at Dubai ATC from Episode 1, Abdullah, who is doubtful about flight KA29. He doesn’t want to waste any more time being indecisive, so he decides to find out whatever he can that might give him some answers. He reaches out to the security staff to look at the CCTV footage at the check-in counters. He sees Neela (the baggage handler) speaking to someone on the phone before leaving, although it is unsure whether her shift is over. On his way home, airport security informs him that Neela left early after calling in sick, which is unusual because she didn’t appear sick at all. She was in quite a hurry. He decides to meet her. Upon arriving at her home, he finds a couple of British cleaners who direct him upstairs to where Neela and her husband are. Abdullah heads upstairs and calls out, but there’s no reply. He heads inside the bathroom and finds the couple shot to death.
Hijack Episode 2 ends with Abdullah being shot in the head by one of the cleaners. So, it seems that the network of hijackers isn’t as small as it initially seemed. They have people taking care of every last bit of evidence that can be traced back to them. With Abdullah, the two cleaners have to get rid of the bodies and wipe the whole room clean so that not even a single strand of hair can be recovered from the spot.
How big is the network of the hijackers? What will be Sam’s next move? Stuart has started to believe him, which is a good sign. And the shift should have made the ground authorities aware that something is wrong; at least, that’s what Sam and Robin think. But they do not know that they are right to think so. This is just the beginning, and we cannot confirm anything until the 3rd episode of Hijack arrives.