Season 1, Episode 4
Date of release: March 29, 2019 (Amazon Prime)
Most of the times, remaking a feature film into a television show only exists as an idea, because writers and producers (and the TV network) hope that viewers jump in due to name recognition. And while the TV adaptation gets necessarily expanded, just to fill the additional time, there never seems to be a TV adaptation worthy of consideration of being a better product than the film it originated from. FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS is an example of a show better than the film. PARENTHOOD, too, but those shows had it easy to become great television dramas, as they were dealing with character depth and soap opera storylines, making them “easy”-to-write television shows. But here is HANNA, turning into a completely different television adaptation fo a feature film. It’s almost like David Farr realized while writing the 2011 film that he wasn’t able to get into all the stuff he wanted to, due to a constrained running time, but thank the heavens that streaming television exists, so Farr was able to finally expand on the character he created for the sake of the character. HANNA, the 2011 film, and HANNA, the Amazon Prime show, have now become two entirely different entrances of the eponymous character, and I get the feeling that HANNA, the 2011 film, was always supposed to be like HANNA, the Amazon Prime show.
I already came to realize this during the previous episode, but this hour made it certain: Hanna is experiencing various stages of life. Life she should have had as a normal human being. Life she is craving for, because the spy games turn out to be terrible for her character development. In the first episode she is living life as a secluded human, showing us what it’s like to be an abnormal person. The second episode showed us Hanna on the run, proving the point of the first episode, and establishing that Hanna is anything but ordinary. But the second episode also made clear that Hanna would like to live a normal life, and that the spy games she was born into isn’t to her liking. The previous episode had her planted in a big city — alien to her, maybe even a little scary. But she is starting to see what it’s like to be normal. She converses with her father’s friends, she plays football (or at least she attempted to), and she is being treated like the girl she is supposed to be at her age: not respected by her father, not being listened to (except for that one thing about the men with guns in the hotel), not being respected as who she is. Because really, which 16-year-old is being respected or listened to by her parents? This episode went a step further and had Hanna be placed inside a functioning family. A mother, a father, a couple of kids — it’s almost like Hanna was part of a family for a few minutes, and once more she came to experience the life of a normal kid. All while continuing to navigate around the spy games she was born into, having to uncover more secrets that will eventually disconnect her from that life entirely. Until it will pull her back in, which is what I think will the finale be about. Especially after Amazon Prime has renewed HANNA for a second season.
I’m glad that Hanna learned halfway through the season that Erik was lying. I loved that she ran away from him, no shits given about whether he survives on the airfield or not, and I loved that she took initiative for real once, behaving like a 16-year-old girl would when being told by her father to stay put (by not listening to her father). If she can’t get any straight answers from the people who watch over her, then she guessed she might be better off getting the answers on her own. And she does all this while experiencing life once more, as she was walking through the nightlife of Berlin, probably not liking much of it. But it’s not like everything is so rosy about a metropolitan city in the middle of the night. When the night breaks, the ghouls and drug addicts come out to play, and a 16-year-old girl usually doesn’t fare well in that environment.
The only thing I was a bit annoyed about during this episode was Erik and Marissa’s relationship. I get that he needed her help to get out of the country, but David Farr could have played the question-and-answer game pretty well here and deliver back story through dialogue, just to finally explain what the secret program 16 years ago was actually about, and why unhappy pregnant mothers-to-be were collected in the first place, for babies to be genetically upgraded in the womb. The answer to that question might be obvious, but who knows if the CIA planned to use supersoldiers like the SSR in the Marvel Cinematic Universe once wanted (and after them S.H.I.E.L.D.), or if there might even be a much sinister agenda behind the project, which Erik essentially went against, just because he developed a connection with Johanna.
Best part of the episode: Hanna hiding in Dieter’s car and experiencing for a hot second his job as smuggler was a bit weird at first, but it turns out it was a great lead to getting Hanna to England and see her best friend again. Now that Hanna makes this stupid mistake of wanting to be part of a family, wanting to have friends, she is essentially risking Sophie’s life, as well as her family. This is where the show should become a little more exciting, as Hanna is going to defend that family with all costs, while Erik will try to get back to Hanna.
Worst part of the episode: Erik and Marissa weren’t talking about a lot, when they were face to face for most of the episode. A little disappointing in hindsight.
Weirdest part of the episode: Is Jerome a recurring character now? After Michael has been finished the way he was served off, it almost looks like one of Marissa’s colleagues, who happened to be a menace, is being replaced by a new colleague of Marissa’s, who also might be a menace. Not that I think Michael and Jerome are similar, but it feels awkward that one character had to be killed off, just for Marissa to immediately get a replacement character.
Player of the episode: It turns out that Dieter was not an asshole after all. He really loves his kids, he loves his wife, and he loves his criminal job. Plus points for always staying calm with a strange girl in his apartment, whom he knows could kill you in your sleep. It’s like he trusted her, which could also mean he knew all along that Hanna was trying to do whatever she thought she had to do, and he never stopped her.