Please note: Contains spoilers for episode 2.
Trackers went next level on the action and suspense in its second episode. But it wasn’t all guns blazing – we even got a little romance…but we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
To create suspense you need to create atmosphere. Pregnant pauses, conflicted characters, death stares: all these work to establish atmosphere, and Trackers has it all. You don’t want to be caught in line of sight when Inkunzi’s around, because if looks could kill…But if anyone embodies mood literally, it’s Lemmer – his broody surveillance of Inkunzi is almost noirish as he slugs a drink and sits in the shadows. Those shadows also help set the dark mood of his hunt, as he tracks Inkunzi from clubs to Clifton.
What would suspense be without music? Just imagine Jaws without the now-legendary theme by John Williams (you’re humming it, aren’t you) or Psycho without Bernard Hermann’s screechy score? Trackers wouldn’t be nearly as suspenseful if it weren’t for Brendan Jury’s ominous score. It may be integral to mood, but it’s made such an impression on us, it’s a highlight all on its own.
Milla Has a Date!
She’s not had it easy, but things are on the up and up for Milla. First a new job, now a new bae! The mysterious Becker was glimpsed at the tail-end of episode one, and this week we saw a little more of him, including a thrilling chase through Khayelitsha and a steamy scene with Milla. Ooh-la-la! Or should that be ooh-mil-la?
It’s not all kissy faces and heaving bodies. There are a number of nail-biting showdowns, starting with Inkunzi telling Janina and Quinn to fork the fork off. But wow! The winner here is by far the unflappable Janina. Inkunzi loses his cool and you can see Quinn trying hard to restrain himself, but Janina barely blinks. All the screaming, all the condescension is so much water off a duck’s back to Janina. She’s the director of the PBI for a reason! We do see Quinn finally lose his cool when he grills Julian at the docks. It’s a great counterpoint to Janina’s calm approach, and their differing yet complementary natures are exactly why they’re such a dream team.
All this tension explodes in the final scene when Lemmer tracks Inkunzi to his Clifton home and confronts him au naturel. There’s a lighter, flippant tone at the beginning of the confrontation, thanks to the wonderful way James Gracie and Sisanda Henna play off each other. Gracie uses his skill for dry delivery perfectly as he scolds Inkunzi for disregarding water restrictions. Henna puts his all into pulling off the top-of-the-world gangster, but has his highest moment when his vulnerability is completely exposed (figurately and literally). But the light note quickly darkens as a shootout ensues in the episode’s ultimate showdown…and another character bites the dust.
We already mentioned how awesome Janina was in her showdown (or rather, stare-down) with Inkunzi. But she deserves further mention, because we get to see a little more of her character and history when we see something of her home life. There’s a softer side to Janina, and you understand more why she immerses herself so fully in her work. The scene with her brother is particularly heartbreaking. Her logical and clear thinking – and the importance of needing home to orient yourself – are also beautifully played by Sandi Schultz, as Janina phones in to give a go-ahead on assistance for her mission.
Will there be more showdowns, more romance, and more nailbiting tension?
Keep watching to find out. The third episode of Trackers airs on Sunday 10 November at 20:00 on M-Net channel 101.