The Human Hunt

*Warning – this post contains spoilers for The Blacklist episode 6, air date October 27, 2014. If you haven’t caught up yet, you’ll probably want to skip this.

There are a ton of great shows on this season (in my opinion), and since hubby and I can’t watch three shows at once (or even two – I know, it’s so unfair…), we generally end the week with a list of six shows to catch up on over the weekend before the next week’s line-up starts. The Blacklist is one of those shows, and we watched last week’s episode this past Saturday.

*Spoilers start here for both The Blacklist & When She Cries, so don’t whine at me that you weren’t warned…twice!*

I found the taxidermy element in last week’s show to be both gruesome and fascinating (yes, we know I tend toward the macabre – have you read my books?), but naturally I was very interested in their take on the human hunt – that is, hunting humans for sport, like animals. The ear-tag idea was an intriguing twist I hadn’t seen before, and I couldn’t help wondering whether that actually worked, or whether some of those “taken down” previously had been accidental. Given that the “hunter” was a pretty odd duck – apparently quite capable of fairly high-level reasoning, but still not quite right in the head, I’m betting it might have taken awhile for that lesson to sink in.

I also found it interesting that they did, indeed handicap the hunter, mentally speaking. And while his family, trending more toward the “normal” end of the mental spectrum loved him enough to enable his nasty hobby, capturing “live prey” to release for him in a pseudo-secure hunting environment, they never actually participated in the hunts themselves. It left me to wonder whether the writers were implying that while mentally stable (?) people might *think* about hunting other humans, only the mentally unstable would actually do it?

Or perhaps it’s a case of the lesser of two evils. You know your loved one is going to kill – it’s in his/her nature. So giving them a “controlled” outlet for that particular propensity seems like the best way to keep your loved one out of jail/the insane asylum. Which makes a certain amount of sense, if you can get past the whole “killing other people is more wrong than a lot of other potentially damaging hobbies” thing.

Wanna watch? Catch The Blacklist on the NBC site.

In When She Cries, Patrick hunts humans not because he’s mentally ill, but rather because he’s extremely intelligent and enjoys the particular challenge of hunting his own kind. It’s a mental game for him more than a physical one, and he’s figured out how to make a living doing it, which is pretty ingenious, if distasteful. Certainly it could be argued that this is a mental defect – a problem in his DNA or the way he was raised, maybe both, that causes a lack of respect for human life. I think though, that if you bring together evolution and atheism, it’s not unreasonable to view all humans – yourself included – as just another species of animal. And animals routinely kill others of their kind. Most often it happens in power struggles, but some kill apparently just for the fun of it, and some even for no apparent reason at all. Deviant behavior, certainly, but not as uncommon as we’d probably prefer.

I certainly don’t expect you to answer on this blog, but a question to ponder for the week: If you had no choice but to be thrust into a human hunt scenario, what would it take to turn you into the hunter, rather than the hunted?

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