14 ordinary men and women have to go on the run from the government for 28 days. They can use any means necessary as long as they stay in the UK and in the remain of the law. With only six fugitives left, will any of them make it?
Freddie Young and Jacqui Omer
The episode focuses on a new team of fugitives, the mother-in-law and son pair, Freddie Young and Jacqui Omer. The pair from Essex begin their time on the run by driving from Essex to London. Whilst the Hunters quickly use ANPR to track their car, the pair make a smart choice by switching cars in London and then changing their appearances. The pair then travel to a caravan park in Caister-Upon-Sea where their plan from there is to have no plan. They intend to stay in a caravan for the duration of the show. Does Caister-Upon-Sea sound familiar? It's where the Singh brothers tricked the Hunters into thinking that's where they were hiding. The Hunters deploy a ground team to catch what they think is the Singh brothers hiding there, but is actually Freddie Young and Jacqui Omer. So, whilst Freddie Young and Jacqui Omer started well and showed good initiative by changing their cars and appearances, this was completely undone by their whole "not having a plan" plan. This is obviously a terrible plan. You can't just wing going on the run. You need to be prepared for when things so inevitably go wrong. John Lennon said that "life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans" and having even a bad plan is better than having no plan at all. Jacqui and Freddie weren't really in the show enough to make an impression on me, but I argue that their carelessness was legitimate reason for them to be caught, although the Hunters did get lucky as well.
Time on the Run: 5 days.
Since Lauren has split from her best friend, Emily, we have seen little of her. This episode is no exception. All we know is that she is hiding out in Derbyshire having blagged a hotel room for £20.
Status: At large
Time on the Run: 20 days
Much more is seen of Lauren's former partner-in-crime, Emily Dredge. Emily continues to remain off the Hunter's grid by hitchhiking. However, it obvious that she is close to breaking point and to raise her morale a little, she asks the person she's hitching a lift from to send her bank card to her mum in Brighton, to trick the Hunters into thinking she is hiding there. From here, Emily travels to Cleethorpes where to relax herself a little, she engages in some of the amusements there. You can criticise her for being careless, I can completely empathise and respect, for once, her decisions. In prolonged situations, where you are under continuous pressure, it can be good to do something fun and relaxing, to stop yourself from going insane. Emily explains to her cameraman that they are playing mini-golf, as it is nice to do something normal for a change.
This is when Emily takes the biggest risk of anyone in the series and decides to travel to Brighton, so she can see her baby son Ernest. She uses all of the tricks she's learnt from being on the run and travels from Cleethorpes to Brighton for £20 by hitch-hiking, stowing away and constantly changing her clothes. She avoids detection and makes it home to Ernest safe and sound. Again, I can't fault Emily for this. Her devotion to her baby son is very touching, especially after how she abandoned Lauren. However, what I can fault her for is her plan to divert the Hunters by sending her bank card to Brighton. Her plan was for her mum to use the bank card to trick the Hunters into thinking she's in Brighton, yet there are so many problems with this plan. The most obvious is that visiting Ernest was never part of the equation. There was no way that Emily could know when her bank card would arrive in Brighton nor when her mum would use it, meaning that visiting Ernest has become twice as risky, as it would alert the Hunters to her presence, which is exactly what happens. Once Emily realises that her mum has inadvertently led the Hunters to the doorstep, she becomes angry at her, which is very unfair. After all, her mum didn't know that Emily was going to come home. However, by the skin of her teeth, Emily escapes the Hunters and hitches another lift away from Brighton.
Status: At large
Time on the Run: 20 days
Stephen Cole and Martin Hardiker
Little is seen of Stephen and Martin in this episode. All we know is that they are still cycling along Britain's canal network and whilst they stay off the Hunter's radar, they cycle straight into the path of a very angry swan. This makes for one of the more amusing moments of the episode, as the pair comment on how they've outwitted CIA analysts and intelligence experts, yet their way is being blocked by a swan. Miraculously, they make it past the swan and continue on their way.
Status: At large
Time on the Run: 21 days
Adam and Emma Channell
Most of the episode is devoted to this husband and wife team. Adam and Emma's time on the run begins with them leaving behind their London home and hiding out in the Yorkshire Dales. Their plan is to avoid detection by camping and living off the land. One of the Hunters, Deputy Intelligence Expert Ben Owen remarks that "whilst going rural as a fugitive, you have vast space to hide in, you no longer have access to a lot of networks, you can't make contact quickly, you're up against the elements." As the Hunters have no strong leads on Adam and Emma, they monitor the communications of the pair's inner circle to see whether they are contacted. The Hunters also search Adam and Emma's flat, but find few clues to their whereabouts. They instead find a red herring implying that the couple are hiding in Dartmoor. However, the couple are still in Yorkshire and don't call any of their friends. Yet the cracks begin to show early on, as Emma struggles to adapt to the rough camping lifestyle, which is not helped by how it continuously rains. This notwithstanding, she perseveres and the couple hike through the pennines during the day and camp during the night.
Whilst the couple think that they are safe from the Hunters, this is far from the truth. The Hunters see ATM camera footage of the Channells withdrawing money in Finsbury Park. They then use ANPR to track their car to Milton Keynes train station and from there they use CCTV batoning, where they track the fugitives using CCTV cameras in train stations to place them in the Yorkshire Dales.
Emma continues to struggle with camping and the pair call in a favour to stay at a friend's farm for the night. Here, their paranoia becomes obvious, as they think that a pick-up truck and broken down car is the Hunters tracking them. After this the pair leave Yorkshire and travel to Wales, where they intend to continue camping. Whilst Adam is initially sympathetic to Emma, he becomes progressively more frustrated with her, especially when she refuses to use a campsite and insists they go into town to find a room. Adam is annoyed that Emma is being too negative and is really hindering him from keeping morale and energy up. The pair then come up with an audacious plan, the likes that Ricky Allen would be proud of, to taunt the Hunters. They send a postcard to the Hunters mocking them about how they haven't caught them yet. The postcard also is supposed to trick the Hunters into thinking that Adam and Emma are still in Wales, where they have actually travelled to London, where they hide right under the Hunter's noses. Adam and Emma's audacity continues, as they watch a cricket game at Lords and then decide to use their vast network of friends to shelter them. Like Emily, the pair decide to play this trick in order to keep their spirits up. Under so much pressure, it is good to do something normal to stop yourself from going insane. So, whilst, the pair are playing with fire, I respect their choices.
When arranging for their next place to stay by using a friend's phone, the Hunters are alerted to their presence and travel to their hideout and surround the building. Whilst, the Channels' friends lie for them, the Hunters are not fooled and are convinced that the fugitives are being sheltered there. Emma realises that it is impossible for the pair of them to escape and decides to give herself up to give Adam a chance to escape. Although, this ultimately fails, it was very moving to see this couple's devotion to each other, especially when they were arguing so much earlier.
My attitude towards the Channels kept sliding. At first, I didn't like either of them, due to their constant arguments and how Adam was effectively bullying his wife into keeping moving, but by the end, it was obvious how much they loved each other and I felt that this made them much more likeable as a pair. Unlike Emily and Lauren, the pair didn't split up when the going got tough. They stayed together and rode it out together.
It is revealed that after the show, Emma was in her first weeks of pregnancy, which explains why she struggled so much whilst being on the run. Congratulations, Emma and Adam!
Time on the run: 12 days
So this was a bit of a strange episode. It featured the most amount of fugitives, but as always concentrated on some much more than others. Whilst I thought Jacqui and Freddie started off smart, they made the foolish decision of staying in one place. I also found that since Lauren and Emily have been apart, they've become a lot more likeable, probably because they're not around to argue with each other. Whilst we didn't see much of Stephen and Martin, I still liked what we saw and they're still my favourites to win. Due to their loyalty and devotion to each other, Emma and Adam were the best couple in the show. I really admired how Emma gave herself up for her husband and I would like to think I would do the same. This episode really made me think of the dangers of becoming too complacent. Whilst it is fine to blow off a little steam, this has to be done carefully and in moderation. Adam and Emma really play with fire by watching cricket and they ultimately end up being burnt.
Top 3 tips for being on the run:
1. Always have a plan. Things always go wrong, so be prepared when they do. Jacqui and Freddie are caught, as they didn't plan. In fact, they had no plan. If they had an escape route from the caravan, then perhaps they would still be on the run.
2. Don't stay in one place! It is only logical that whilst on the run it is safer to stay on the move. If you hide in one place, chances are somebody will stumble across you, which is exactly what happens to Jacqui and Freddie. Lauren and Emily haven't been caught yet, due to how they are constantly hitch-hiking.
3. Do not become over-confident. The moment you underestimate your opponent is the moment you're beaten by them. Emily took a huge risk in returning home and if she had gotten caught, then I might say she had become over-confident. Whilst Adam and Emma hiding out in London was very audacious, it was also very cocky and it resulted in them being caught.
10 fugitives have been caught.
4 are left.
Will any of them make the distance?