‘Hijack’ Episode 4 Review/Recap: How Is The Catastrophe Averted?

So far, so good. The last three episodes of the new Idris Elba starrer Hijack were taut enough to always keep the viewer engaged and surely a bit faster-paced than the latest one. The new episode brings some intense geo-political thrills into the picture while Sam, the pro negotiator, tries to find a way to send a message from the plane down to his ex-wife Marsha. There is a poignant tete-a-tete between Sam and one of the hijackers. It drags on a bit, but it just goes to show how quick Sam is on his feet to make the best of an almost hopeless situation. The episode focuses more on the imbalance of political powers, where Britain typically has had the upper hand, but now the tables have turned, and the plane is flying over Romania. The problem may escalate and result in the plane getting shot down by Romanian fighter jets unless Sam can get the message across and the force down in London can figure it out. Is he able to do that? Let’s find out:


Spoilers Ahead

Why Does Sam Change His Strategy?

In the previous episode, the plan to figure out whether the hijackers had blanks in their guns worked. Sam was certain that the bullets were not real, so he could begin to take down the hijackers, starting with the most vulnerable one, which is why he sneaked out of his seat and went to the back to get hold of the old Marcus. But the plan backfired as Gerald, the leader, loaded real bullets in the gun and shot a poor woman who had gone looking for Lizzy. The killing meant Sam could not take down Marcus, as whoever had the real bullets would take another innocent life on board. Sam does have an advantage if he lets the hijackers remain under the illusion that nobody knew about the fake bullets. Marcus ties him up. Sam doesn’t resist and waits for his opportunity to get out of the situation, which arrives soon.


Ryan, one of the hijackers, had been stabbed by one of the sick man’s family members during the ‘medicine’ fight. He doesn’t realize it, but it has done more damage than he thinks. He starts to bleed profusely and asks the attendant for help. Sam sees it as an opportunity. He offers to help patch up his wound. Ryan resists and makes up his mind to call ‘Terry.’ Sam realizes he is calling for Marcus, and that he’d just let his real name slip out. Although he can see Marcus, he convinces Ryan that he has left, and Ryan is forced to let him help with the dressing. Sam comes across as someone who just cares for the ‘poor’ hijacker but all he can think about is how to make the most of the opportunity of being alone with the anxious Ryan. Sam gets Ryan to think that he is just a simple guy wanting to be with his family, and when he gets a chance to use Ryan’s phone, he deftly sends a message to Marsha.

Why Doesn’t Gerald Communicate With The Romanian Jets?

Gerald, the lead hijacker, who killed the woman, was finally in control of the plane. Everybody was seated with no movement, and he thought he had a smoother ride ahead in his plan. It wasn’t to be. As soon as KA-29 entered Romanian airspace, the need for Robin, the pilot, to come and talk to air traffic control arose again. Gerald couldn’t control his frustration and took it all out on the headset that was essential for Robin to communicate with the authorities. His rationale was that Romania was just a small country, and what harm could they do to a British airplane that was just moving to its target: London?


He was utterly mistaken, as the Romanian ministry had decided to send fighter jets and take a look at the situation. The plane was heading towards Romania’s capital city, Bucharest. When the jets come around, Bella, another hijacker, warns Gerald that they might shoot down the plane, to which Gerald, in his unique fashion, replies that he isn’t worried about that possibility at all. It’s not as if it’s wartime! He orders the windows to be curtained, as no information should go out to fighter pilots about whether the plane is hijacked or not. Seeing the jets, one of the attendants draws the blinds open, and the fighter pilot realizes the plane is hijacked after they see one of the hijacker’s guns through the window. As they are not aware of their mission, the Romanian authorities assume the worst and prepare to shoot the plane down.

How Is The Catastrophe Averted?

Back at British Air Traffic Control (ATC), Alice, who had a pivotal role to play in helping Detective Zahra figure out that the plane was indeed hijacked. Now, she feels responsible for not being able to help when the Romanian ATC keeps pestering her about the plane’s destination. How could Alice know what the hijackers wanted? She was just an employee of the ATC. Alice gets an opportunity, however, to explain to British Foreign Secretary Louise Aitchison the potential tragedy they have on their hands. Aitchison gets a call from Romania’s Interior Minister that they are about to shoot the plane down if British intelligence fails to uncover the hijackers’ mission. If she could assure him that the hijackers were coming for London, Romanian authorities would let the plane pass through Bucharest. Failure to do so meant that the plane would be shot down by the fighter jets. They had tried contacting the plane, and Gerald had begrudgingly got Robin into the cockpit as well, but as he had damaged the headset, Robin could not communicate with the fighter pilots about their destination.


It was all up to Sam. Although he wasn’t aware of the geopolitics in play, he used Ryan’s phone to send a message to Marsha. It was Ryan’s mother’s phone number. Marsha didn’t understand it but knew that Sam was definitely in trouble, as he mentioned in the message that he was tied up. Marsha sent the message to Daniel, who, in turn, sent it to Zahra. They both confirm that the hijackers are British, which means that Aitchison could finally convey this to Romania’s Interior Minister. Just seconds before the fighter jets were about to shoot down the plane, the information reached the Romanian authorities, who ordered the fighter jets to stand down, avoiding the catastrophe.

Sam helps resuscitate Ryan, and it is this goodness probably that ultimately helped avert the disaster. If he hadn’t helped Ryan at all, he would neither have had the opportunity to message Marsha, nor would the Romanian jets have gone away. They would have shot the plane down. So, in a poetic way, Sam helped the villains, but in the grand scheme of things, he unknowingly negotiated for the greater good. The next episode could involve much bigger problems. The main question still remains though – Why have they hijacked the plane? In the end, there is finally a clue about the hijackers’ real demands. It will only be revealed in the next episode and with it will come myriad other problems. Only the next episode can tell.

Ayush Awasthi
Ayush Awasthi
Ayush is a perpetual dreamer, constantly dreaming of perfect cinematic shots and hoping he can create one of his own someday.

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The new episode brings some intense geo-political thrills into the picture while Sam, the pro negotiator, tries to find a way to send a message from the plane down to his ex-wife Marsha.'Hijack' Episode 4 Review/Recap: How Is The Catastrophe Averted?