‘Hijack’ Episode 5 Review/Recap: Why Couldn’t The Plane Land?

Past the halfway mark already, Hijack is getting ready to enter the third act of the limited 7-episode series. The new episode serves as a bridge between the exposition and the climax and, hence, is the weakest in the series in terms of the thrills you’d expect. It felt like the episode had the burden of explaining a lot about the hijackers and their intentions, removing the veil from the mysterious criminals. The most annoying part, though, is how the actors seem to sacrifice their characters’ traits so quickly in this episode for their dialogues, which lose their organicity pretty quickly. The circumstances of the episode leave Idris Elba’s character Sam Nelson running back and forth, trying to make changes to his strategies. The secrets about the deaths that occurred in the previous episodes aren’t revealed in toto, but we get the hint that whoever the hijackers are working for is pretty serious about their demands. Here is a recap of episode 5:


Spoilers Ahead

How Does Sam Devise His Next Tactic?

In the previous episode, Sam saved Ryan’s life, which is why, at the beginning of this episode, he is given leeway to stay around in the cockpit when Gerald forces Anna Kovaks, the bruised co-pilot, to talk to the Hungarian officials. Sam’s hands were still tied up, and while being escorted back to his seat, he saw Anna’s badge, which had the Hungarian flag on it beside the English one. As the series has so far established, Sam’s eye for detail is unmatched. This little detail about the flag makes him come up with yet another strategy.


Sam confirms with the passengers about Anna’s flag and deduces that she can speak Hungarian. The plane had flown past Romanian airspace, which meant it was nearing Budapest, Hungary’s capital. If Sam could maneuver the situation in such a way that ensured the landing of the plane in Budapest, he would have succeeded.

How Does He Bait Gerald?

For setting up Gerald, he acts sincerely and requests that he land the plane. Sam knew he could say it vehemently, as he held a winning hand of cards. ‘I called mom’ is the first thing Ryan mumbled to Gerald when he gained consciousness, and Sam figured out that they were brothers. If Gerald didn’t land the plane, Ryan would die. What Sam did not reveal is that it is a complete fabrication. The doctor had told Gerald that Ryan was stable, and now Sam was trying his luck with his lies. Gerald is not just unconvinced. He is fed up with Sam’s super-smart suggestions and promises to kill another innocent person on board if the doctor tells him otherwise. Sam does manage to avert this tragedy with the help of the attendant, who passes the message to the doctor just in time, and Gerald starts to use his veto power and takes Anna to talk to the Hungarian authorities to let the plane land.


Why Couldn’t The Plane Land? What Are The Hijackers’ Demands?

Gerald is visibly flustered after the doctor lies to him about Ryan’s condition. Gerald could only foresee Ryan’s imminent death if he didn’t get the necessary medical attention. The other hijackers, who up until now were treating him as the leader of the outfit, suddenly started to oppose his decision to land the plane. Sam witnesses this confrontation. They were probably too concerned with their own lives at this point to take Sam back to his seat. Bella refers to Gerald as Stuart, revealing his real name to Sam. How he will use this information will be interesting to see.

Back in London, England’s Home Minister Neil had received the hijackers’ demands in an envelope. It contained a letter that was read out in front of everybody in Collingwood House, where Zahra, Louise, and others were trying to find a solution. Edgar Janssen and John Bailey-Brown are the two persons of interest, and the hijackers want them released from prison. Failure to do so would result in the deaths of all 216 passengers on the flight. Neil is not too impressed with their threat, as it didn’t seem like they had the criminal makeup to commit a crime of that scale. Louise could sense his plan of action. He would not negotiate with the hijackers even though they might do some damage. Louise’s instinct was correct, as back in Dubai, Abdullah and Neela’s corpses were discovered by Dubai police. Neela had let the hijackers pass the security check because they had kept her family hostage. After receiving this news, Neil is convinced of the hijackers’ abilities.


If Neil had seen the infighting among them on the plane, they would cease to appear so menacing. The hijackers may be killers, but they are just pawns in a much bigger game. Sam finds this out when Terry asks him to make Stuart cancel the landing. He reveals to Sam that the people the hijackers are working for have Sam’s information as well as the hijackers’. If the plane deviated even a little from the plan, Sam’s family would be in trouble too. He was a ‘troublesome’ character, and they had prepared to ‘neutralize’ him. Sam couldn’t let that happen, so he made a U-turn on his own plan and started to convince Stuart to stop the landing.

Ryan overheard Terry explaining the dire consequences of going off track. He knew that Stuart would go against everybody and let the plane land in order to save him, so he sacrificed his life by removing the pen from his chest that was helping him breathe. Stuart had lost his brother and was left with no reason to land in Budapest. Meanwhile, Zahra had decided to fight fire with fire and asked Danny to bring Ryan and Stuart’s mother into custody. She thought that Stuart was the mastermind behind it all and was preparing for a possible negotiation later, and Stuart’s mother could be leveraged. She proves to be a little more athletic for her age than Danny anticipated and runs out to the highway, fearing arrest and possibly ending up dead after getting hit by a truck. Zahra was on the wrong track. She didn’t have any clue that the person Stuart was working for had already sent his hitmen to Sam’s house, where his son was waiting for him. Does Sam manage to save him? The answers will come in the next episode.


Hijack Episode 5 answered a lot of things, albeit hastily. The fact that the headset was broken and Robin couldn’t communicate with the Romanian jets had no bearing on this episode when Anna easily communicated with the Hungarian officials. Barring the artificial dialogue and certain goof-ups, the ending makes Sam seem more vulnerable than ever before. He doesn’t know his son is in trouble, and it would be interesting to see his reaction if he gets to a point where he has to negotiate for his son’s life. That would be the ultimate test for the master negotiator, but the possibilities are endless, and only two episodes remain. Let’s hope Sam manages to keep the damage to a minimum.

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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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Hijack Episode 5 answered a lot of things, albeit hastily. The fact that the headset was broken, and Robin couldn't communicate with the Romanian jets had no bearing on this episode when Anna easily communicated with the Hungarian officials. 'Hijack' Episode 5 Review/Recap: Why Couldn't The Plane Land?