Amazon Prime’s Hanna
Season 1, Episode 2: “Friend”
Directed by Sarah Adina Smith
Written by David Farr
* For a recap & review of the Season 1 premiere, “Forest” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “City” – click here
Sophie (Rhianne Barreto) is on Snapchat while her parents and brother try to pack the car for a caravan-style vacation in Morocco. They eventually head off on their family adventure for a few weeks. On vacation, Sophie meets a dude and they make out a while. “I‘m not on Facebook, I don‘t believe in it,” she tells him before leaving.
She’s a free girl, enjoying all the rightful freedoms afforded to her.
It’s a far cry from where Hanna (Esme Creed-Miles) has been taken in a “Moroccan rendition facility,” locked away by herself with a teddy bear in a cell. She’s stripped of her animal-like clothing from the wilderness. She’s put in a shower, which feels harsh and odd to her. She sees herself in a mirror for the first time.
She’s taken into a room where she’s interviewed. Elsewhere, Marissa Wiegler (Mireille Enos) and Carl Meisner (Justin Salinger) watch from their offices. The young woman asks to speak with Marissa. They send someone else posing as Ms. Wiegler. Probably a good idea, seeing as how she gets her throat cut. Hanna proceeds to kick the living shit out of the soldiers, killing her way through the halls of the facility. Interesting and awesome how she kills a bunch of men and lets a woman soldier live— she recognises most men as a threat. She gets a soldier’s uniform, the results of the DNA test, and makes it to a door leading out of a rock face.
What about those “remarkable” DNA results? The sheet reads ABNORMAL.
On vacation, Sophie gets pissed off with her family’s squabbling over nonsense and walks into the desert. She quickly realises she’s lost after calming down. At the same moment, Hanna’s fleeing across the rocky terrain. As expected, the two young ladies run into each other.
At home, Marissa keeps her past, and present, locked away even from her significant other. She has top secret papers about the Utrax-Facility in Romania, which Erik Heller (Joel Kinnaman) broke into 15 years prior. In a gay strip club, she meets a man— Jacobs (Andy Nyman)— to tell him Erik’s alive, as well as what’s occurred involving Hanna. She needs help outside of “official channels.”
Eventually Sophie finds her parents on the road. They take Hanna along with them in the van. It’s a culture shock-type scene with her sitting in a modern vehicle, listening to “Boys Don’t Cry” by the Cure. She tells everyone the rehearsed story about her father being “an accountant in Amsterdam.” A sweet moment: Hanna mentions her dead mother and Sophie silently grabs hold of her hand.
They say goodbye for now. Hanna’s dropped off in the city where she’s suddenly surrounded by the urban sprawl of society, something she’s never known. Meanwhile, Sophie and her family see their vacation fall apart between the parents’ troubled marriage and the kids’ boredom. This also prompts Sophie to sneak Hanna into the van when they get on the ferry.
On the boat, the girls get silly and enjoy themselves, if only for a short while. Outside the terminal, Hanna sees Jacobs from afar. She knows just by his gaze he’s after her. Problem is, Jacobs has quite a wide reach. He’s got his eyes on the family van. Uh oh.
Marissa has gone to see Erik’s mother in Germany, not realising he’s already there, somewhere, living under the radar. The mother claims she thought her son was dead. Her son is out on the ocean, rubbing himself in goose fat and tying his kit into a plastic bag [goose fat for heat is an English Channel swimmer myth]. He slips into the water.
Where’s he going?
Hanna’s experiencing new bits of life. She goes to a club with Sophie, where she has a drink for the first time. She knows booze “slows the reactions” because of what her father taught her. Nevertheless, she drinks, hits the floor and dances, and lives a real life for once with her new friend. While they’re out partying they have no clue Jacobs and his big scary friend are at the parents’ house seeking answers.
“Where do you live?”
“I don’t know”
That night, Hanna reveals to Sophie she’s going to Berlin to find her father. She tells her about some of her strange, mysterious past and about the people “trying to hurt” her. There’s a deep sadness in Hanna due to being closed off from the world. Nice to see her get this time with Sophie before whatever inevitably comes next.
Erik swam from Poland into Berlin, where he murdered a few border guards and headed for his next destination. He’s received a postcard from his daughter, so he knows she’s making her way to him gradually. She’s being watched closely by Jacobs. When Hanna leaves Sophie and her family at a train station, she realises there are people following her. She’s forced to use her fighting skills to get away from the men. Sophie and everybody in the station witness everything, including when Hanna’s about to shoot a man— she stops when Sophie calls out to her. Then off goes Hanna, hopping onto a passing train. She’s watched by Sophie, who’s amazed at what she’s seen. Worlds collide.
Soundtrack note: The great tune playing at the end, fitting perfectly with the weird goodbye to Sophie + the sending of the postcard to Hanna’s father, is “Send Me a Postcard” by Shocking Blue.
Father Gore’s totally sold now.
Hanna is a legit adaptation of the original film, giving us a deeper, wider scope on the central character, as well as filling in the world around her, too. The film was great, but part of what felt lacking was more world building, considering there’s such a rich backstory to Hanna and her father. Not all films should be turned into a series. This is one that’s benefiting from the adaptation, and the writing/directing’s been solid so far.
“City” is next.