Season 1, Episode 3
Date of release: March 29, 2019 (Amazon Prime)
This show has some serious tension going on, as well as the realistic depiction of not-so-violent violent action. Erik walking around the hotel and throwing smoke grenades looked like it came straight from a real-life experience of one of the writers or producers of the show, finally being able to put the experiences into a script and then to a screen for once. The smoke grenade just explodes, creates a few sparks that brighten up its surroundings, but other than that it’s all smoke, and it’s all panic and terror for everyone around Erik, who think they are in the middle of a terrorist attack. The hotel “attack” scene is a serious contender of one of the best scenes of 2019 television, but I’m not really focusing on the word “serious” here, because I already know I am too lazy to make a Best Of list at the end of the year. But if I would do one, guarantee is that this scene is a contender in some category.
Besides all that, this was generally a fantastic episode. I am in love with the style and execution of the show, and in this particular hour I appreciated how Hanna wasn’t even the main character. Granted, it was expected that Hanna would become a secondary character at one point, and that the story would help itself with a flashback narrative, but I appreciated it a whole lot that Erik was put under the spotlight with this episode, and how he sort of turned out to be an antagonist in Hanna’s story as well. He doesn’t answer her questions, he only talks about how he wants to kill Marissa, and there could be a chance that Hanna never believed him when he said he didn’t kill her mother. From this episode forward, I can imagine Hanna distancing herself from her father, and the conflict between the two becoming a major storyline for the remainder of the season, and maybe even the entire show, as it won’t be this easy to figure out who really is the supervillain in the show, and who has Hanna’s best interest at heart. After this episode, I don’t even think anyone has Hanna’s best interest at heart.
So far, every episode looks and feels differently. The premiere episode was somewhat of a survival drama in the snowy woods — two characters trying to survive, and a kid trying to grow up among no people at all. The second episode sent Hanna to the big world. She traveled, she made friends, she connected with humanity and started to like it. It’s what life would look like to her when she does no longer have to deal with whatever Erik was planning for her. This episode had Hanna pushed to the background, as she was only able to watch what Erik and his army friends were doing. It’s what life would be like for her, when no one around her gives a shit or believes in her, when she is being rejected left and right and no one is listening to her (with the exception of Erik listening to her once, after she had reservations about Lucas’ fear). It’s sort of like each episode is built around the premise of Hanna being dropped in a particular slice of life, and her task is it to figure out how to live in it, maybe collect all those different life experiences, so she can make her own life at the end of the season or series. Naturally I am interested to see how Hanna’s experiences come together at the end, and whether she will be allowed to choose one of the experiences for her permanent life. And according to this episode she might have found some enjoyment in the life of a party girl. Dancing it out in the van like she just transformed herself back to the club from the previous episode could be proof that Hanna just wants to be a normal girl.
That kind of could compare Hanna to the likes of Buffy Summers and Sydney Bristow, whose lives were predetermined by (sometimes evil) men beforehand, with the two women being pushed into the lives they were trained for from a very young age. At one point you could create an A-Force with these women characters, write them around a story in which they not only have to save the world, but also get rid of all the (sometimes evil) men who think they can define the life of a baby girl before she even had the chance to tell them what she really wants to do. And not unlike the vampire slayer from Sunnydale, California, Hanna is being pushed into the world of spy games and murder, all while she wants to experience the adventures of being a young woman on the verge of maturity. And if the show goes into exactly that while building the potential conflict between Hanna and Erik, then I will definitely be interested in the show for the remainder of its run. While it might be a cliche of the genre to see a woman defy the men who chose the life for her, I do like to see it play out on the small or the big screen.
Best part of the episode: Hanna dancing to club music. She made the tight van space count.
Worst part of the episode: Damn, Berlin became a shit town, after it was ransacked by a group of soldiers. That it was so easy for a weapons depot to be broken into is beyond any reasoning. No alarm system going off when the fence was cut, no absolute panic by the two cops closing in on the van, knowing that something is fishy and some of their weapons might get stolen right now… The Berlin police should sit down and learn how to keep guard.
Weirdest part of the episode: How Marissa managed to turn Lucas just by mentioning the secret and potential lies that is Hanna is kind of hilarious. For so long he saw himself as unbreakable, that he can’t be bought when it comes to selling out his friends, but mention Hanna, and the chance that Erik might not even be her father, and suddenly Lucas works for Marissa… Okay then.
Player of the episode: The flashbacks might have been there to fill some airtime and give attention to the origin story, but Johanna turned into an interesting character nonetheless. Faced with one difficult decision after another, she was essentially the character fighting for Hanna before her life began. Besides that, she is a deceased character, and yet the show gives her depth.