Saturday, March 30, 2019

REVIEW: 'Hanna' - Hanna Meets Sophie Who Shows Her a Typical Life for a Teenager in 'Friend'

Amazon's Hanna - Episode 1.02 "Friend"

Following her capture by Marissa's men, Hanna must fight to escape from the Moroccan CIA facility and join Erik in Berlin. Along the way, she meets Sophie, a British teenager on holiday with her family, who gives Hanna her first proper taste of the real world and the thrill of adolescence. Yet despite this glimpse at normality, the threat of Marissa and her operatives is never far behind.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Amazon's Hanna.

"Friend" was written by David Farr and directed by Sarah Adina Smith

Sophie and her family are obvious plot contrivances in order to aid in Hanna's escape from the CIA facility in Morocco. No, she doesn't need them to actually break out of the place. She does all of that by herself. She catches the operatives by surprise with just how trained she is. She even manages to steal a DNA test that proves that she is abnormal in some way. That explains why Marissa is so interested in capturing her alive. And yet, the show is maintaining the mystery as to what's so special about Hanna. She is unique because of her upbringing in the wilderness. She doesn't always know what it means to be a teenager in today's world. However, no one is overtly suspicious of who she is. Sure, Sophie's family has their questions about her because they see it as odd that a teenager like her would be trusted to go on vacation by herself with no supervision whatsoever. She appears to be lost without this family. It just seems like a somewhat forced plot point in order to contrast Hanna's life from that of a normal teenager. She is not screaming at a demanding parent who is forcing the family into a group activity to bring everyone together. That's what Sophie and her family are doing here. It's a little broad without a whole lot of depth to it whatsoever. Her parents understand that it's strange that Hanna is tagging along for this journey for so much of the time. Hanna is experiencing the world for the first time here. But she only really opens up to Sophie. In that regard, it's just to the extent that people are hunting her down. That's the reason why she and her father have lived in isolation. Her journey right now may be one of pure rebellion. Erik has already reached the rendezvous point. Hanna is following her training by sending a coded message to him to let him know that she has escaped and is fine. Marissa and her team were deceived into believing that she was just an innocent young girl. Of course, Marissa is plotting her own tricks as well. She isn't putting herself in danger just yet. She understands this is a covert mission that requires help that can't be traced back to the agency. She is quickly able to track down both Erik and Hanna. Both just manage to continue evading capture. With Hanna, there are close calls though. It's terrifying to see Marissa's men in the hotel room with Sophie's younger brother. It's more terrifying to see that Hanna left a gun in that room. She wasn't quite thinking about what's best for her own protection before she started drinking during the night. This is her attempt at a typical teenage rebellion. But she is also unaware of the social conventions of going out to a club and flirting with boys. She has a new friend in Sophie who encourages her but also pulls her away from going too far. That is very admirable even though she can sense that something more is going on with Hanna. She only sees the true person when Hanna is under attack. That's a very climatic moment. One where the audience doesn't see the reaction from Sophie's parents despite a gun going off at the train station. Hanna only stops from killing the agents sent there to kill her because Sophie pleads with her not to. That is a strong distinction as well that may continue to prove Sophie's influence on Hanna even though they are going their separate ways for the moment. These agents will continue to hunt Hanna down. Will she continue to show no remorse? Or will she start thinking about her actions more now that she's gotten this taste of normalcy?