Prime Video’s ‘Hunters’ is set in the seventies when Nazis have built good lives for themselves in America. Having fled the war, they immigrated to other countries, with thousands of them coming to America as a part of Operation Paperclip. Now, three decades later, they are on the brink of executing a conspiracy that aims to bring back the rule of Hitler. One would think that only ex-SS officers and German Nazis are a part of this, but the show reveals that one of the key players is a young American who is driven purely because of his hatred and in the quest of embodying everything that Hitler stood for. In the end, he makes a move that leaves the audience, as well as the characters who had trusted him immensely, dumbfounded. If you are wondering why he did that, then here’s what you should know. SPOILERS AHEAD
Why Does Travis Shoot Eva?
From the moment Travis was introduced in ‘Hunters’, it was clear that he is playing his own game. He is hired by The Colonel, later revealed to be Hitler’s wife, Eva Braun, as the clean-up guy. His job is to clean the mess made by others, who are much higher up the ladder. However, Travis quickly proves that he is far more qualified than that. By the end of Season 1, she shows that even prison can’t hold him back from furthering his white supremacist ideology.
At the beginning of the second season, Travis is brought to Argentina by Eva who seems to be fed up with Hitler’s leadership. For the past thirty years that Hitler spent in hiding, it was Eva who, posing as the Colonel, continued the work in America, so much so that she came very close to executing a very evil plan. If it wasn’t for the Hunters, she would have succeeded. Still, she did more than what Hitler did all these years in hiding, which is why she believes that she should be the real leader of the Nazi regime now.
Eva’s intention behind bringing Travis to Argentina was to have a loyal man by her side, someone who wouldn’t hesitate from killing her husband if push came to shove. She was the brains and Travis could be the muscle, as he had proved himself quite efficient at doing away with the people who stood in his path. However, Eva didn’t stop to wonder that this very thing could be the reason behind her own downfall, and she has to pay the price for it.
In the final episode of Season 2, after Hitler is arrested, prosecuted, and sentenced to life in prison, Eva decides to finally launch the coup. She succeeds in freeing Hitler while he is on the way to the hospital after a suicide attempt. She reveals that she means to kill him then and there and then feed into the myth that he escaped and is living somewhere else in hiding. Obviously, he will never be caught, which will only make him a more powerful figure in the eyes of his Nazi followers. Meanwhile, Eva will declare herself as Hitler’s successor and the real leader.
Eva asks Travis to shoot Hitler, but he kills her instead. It turns out that he shared Eva’s thoughts and ambitions. He, too, believed that Hitler was too old to be running things now. A younger leader was necessary. However, he didn’t have any intention of following Eva. He wanted Hitler to declare him as the next leader. Because Travis was not directly related to Hitler, he needed that affirmation from the Nazi leader so that his leadership would be considered credible by other Nazis.
One could say that Travis’ claim was justified because he had proven himself to be just as racist, anti-semitic, and misogynistic as Hitler. Even if Hitler died of natural causes, Travis would have never accepted Eva as the new leader because he couldn’t have a woman in a position of power over him. In any case, it was always his intention to lead the movement, even if it meant killing his fellow soldiers, which is what he also did pretty frequently in the first season. It is no surprise that he did the same when he found himself incredibly close to having Hitler’s power.