The most surreal new episode of TV to stream on Max right now might not actually be the episode of And Just Like That… where Carrie Bradshaw happily gives up her iconic Sex and the City apartment to settle down with Aidan , but this week’s all-new installment of Investigation Discovery’s Body Cam. Body Cam Season 7 Episode 10 “No Hiding Place” follows the harrowing 2021 Joseph Manhard manhunt. It’s a surreal look at how a 911 call can escalate to a desperate high-speed car chase, a bloody carjacking, and even a hostage situation that ends in death. And while Body Cam does all it can to make the cops look like heroes, it’s the ordinary civilians caught up in this nightmare that come out looking by far and away the best.
Body Cam premiered on Investigation Discovery (or ID) in 2018. A sort of modern day Cops, the show mixes raw boy cam footage, real life 911 calls, and sit-down interviews to bring viewers along on hellacious police encounters. Now, thanks to the Warner Bros. Discovery merger, Max users can catch new episodes on the streaming service after they air on Tuesday nights.
Body Cam Season 7 Episode 10 “No Hiding Place” starts off with a 911 call from wanted felon Joseph Manhard’s brother. He is worried that his brother, armed and already on the run from authorities, will harm him, his partner, or Joseph’s own ex-girlfriend. Cops are dispatched to the brother’s house, but miss the suspect not once, not twice, but three times. What follows is a frantic high speed chase on Utah highways that only comes to a head when Manhard’s car crashes in an industrial park. While the authorities think they have the place on lockdown, Manhard shoots a civilian and steals her car to get away, sparking yet another pursuit.
However the real heart of this surreal tale is when Manhard takes refuge in a family’s suburban Salt Lake City home. Holly Jo Samuelson is initially Manhard’s only hostage. Her husband is out cold thanks to a sleeping pill and she notes that Manhard is fine with ignoring her “anxious” daughter sleeping in the basement. Holly — who is a dead ringer for Jess Bush’s Nurse Chapel on Star Trek: Strange New Worlds — recounts how she tried to manage “Joe,” going so far as to fetch aluminum foil for his heroin habit. However, things get dicey when her other daughter arrives, followed by the girl’s boyfriend (who is a dead ringer for Manhard).
At the same time, we see a veritable army of officers converge on the neighborhood, including SWAT snipers. The juxtaposition between the cops haplessly knocking over trashcans while Samuelson pulls off cool-minded courage in her living room isn’t as flattering to law enforcement as I’m sure the producers of Body Cam intended the show to be. Still, it’s fascinating to learn that at the time it was reported that key officers didn’t have their body cams activated even though we see footage from them in the show.
**Spoilers for Body Cam Season 7 Episode 10 “No Hiding Place”/real life events you can google**
Obviously Samuelson, her family, and the cops involved survive the encounter. (Otherwise how could they recount their version of events?) However, it does end in death. Joseph Manhard is eventually shot by SWAT sniper Jared Tadehara and he dies of his injuries at a hospital. While Body Cam neatly ties Manhard’s death up in a tidy bow — going so far as to reveal the Samuelsons and Tadehara are as close as family now — a simple google search reveals a greater tragedy. Manhard was mourned by his family, including a son and two daughters.
What made Body Cam fascinating to me was that while it’s clearly intended as a form of thrilling copaganda, it more often revealed the reality that everyone in these situations are just human beings. Officers make blunders, suspects make mistakes, and real people find their lives in danger. Again, Body Cam is a surreal show, especially considering it shares a streaming service with Chip and Joanna Gaines and The Righteous Gemstones.