Ever since my boyfriend went out of town last week and I turned to my television for company, I have been telling everyone who will listen to watch Hijack. I opened up Apple TV+ the first night he was away and decided Idris Elba would more than do. Like the other recent hits Line Of Duty and Bodyguard, Hijack is a tense thriller sprung out of a plot about organized crime and terrorism. The show starts strong, with Elba’s character, Sam Nelson, using his skills as a corporate negotiator to insinuate himself with a group of hijackers who take over his plane and begin improvising a plan to bring it home safely. But by the time I got to the finale, I felt like I should apologize to my friends and family for recommending that they watch it.
In Hijack’s seventh and final episode, Nelson shepherds the now double-hijacked plane to a rocky but ultimately safe landing, preventing Amanda (Holly Aird), a second hijacker who pops up in the third act, from crashing into central London. If you don’t think about it too hard, this is a satisfying ending to seven hours of genuinely gripping entertainment. But once someone points out one plot hole, you’ll notice another, and soon enough the entire premise of the series comes crashing down.
Here are the biggest plot holes and annoyances in the Hijack finale, ranked from least to most egregious.
8. Everything about the deplaning scene. I don’t know which is more unbelievable: that the armed forces in charge of arresting the hijackers were seemingly never shown pictures of them, or that all the passengers who had just been held captive for seven hours exited the plane in a calm, orderly line. Trying to get off a plane is one of the more frustrating and chaotic exercises there is, even when it hasn’t been hijacked.
7. The final fight between Sam and Stuart (Neil Maskell). It seems obvious that the writers wanted the show’s final line to be “say cheese” and reverse-engineered the episode from there. While Stuart hanging back on the plane after it lands is understandable—he’ll be exiting straight into prison—Sam lingering in the aisles like he’s saying goodbye to his high school in some kind of ’80s movie is almost as unbelievable as Stuart randomly attacking him, which happens around eight seconds later. Every time Stuart had an easy opportunity to kill Sam in the past seven hours, he passed. Why wait to do it inches away from armed forces?
6. Amanda killing the pilot. He’s not armed and he’s not in the way. Amanda could just walk past him into the cockpit. Instead, she does something that will almost certainly negate the immunity she was promised. She might have been blackmailed into hijacking the plane, but no one made her kill the pilot, and she might as well have killed the first officer too, for all the help she was. The show laid so much groundwork about her being the only person who could safely land the plane, only to keep her buckled in her seat for the entire landing.