Thursday, April 4, 2019

REVIEW: 'Hanna' - Hanna and Erik Storm the Utrax Facility to Free Even More People in 'Utrax'

Amazon's Hanna - Episode 1.08 "Utrax"

When Erik reveals to Hanna the truth about Utrax, she is determined to take action. Meanwhile, Marissa attempts to find out from Sawyer what has really been going on at the facility

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.

"Utrax" was written by David Farr and directed by Anders Engström

Hanna has had a sense of longing throughout this entire season. She had a very specific upbringing where she was isolated from the rest of the world. She was raised by a man she believed to be her father. And now, she is confident in calling Erik that. There may be no biological connection between them but he is the person who raised her. He trained her into the woman that she is today. And yet, she still felt that yearning to explore the world and find a connection. This entire season has been somewhat focused around the idea of her trying to find a place to belong. The forest was never a longterm place for her despite it being where she spent her childhood. Sophie's life was enticing but couldn't accept every component of Hanna's identity. And then, Marissa told her that she was completely unique. There was no one else in the world like her. That was devastating. It was also untrue. Now, she finds a new sense of purpose in trying to break the girls out of the facility that housed her as a baby. The Utrax program started up again shortly after Marissa decommissioned it. Everyone feels personally motivated in disrupting this facility to ensure that the same mistakes aren't made again. The people overseeing the program are clearly training these young women for a reason. Of course, there hasn't been a whole lot of human or emotional stakes in this twist in the story. Noah Taylor has popped up as the doctor overseeing the science. But he has been pretty one-note in complaining to whomever is in charge about the girls being taken off their regular schedule and needing their medication. The only other person of interest here is the operative known as 249. When Hanna breaks her free, her name is learned to be Clara. However, she isn't even aware of that beforehand. She too has had a totally unique upbringing. She grew up isolated from the world with a strict and rigid schedule. The other people in this facility were unable to break free of the constraints placed on them. They had to completely obey with the program. Of course, that makes them mostly willing to follow orders. They refuse to question or challenge the status quo. So even though Hanna presents herself as a hero in this moment rescuing them, they refuse to escape to a potentially better life. Clara is the only one who realizes there is so much more going on in this world. She too has had that sense of longing. She is more than willing to run away with Hanna and Erik. It's just unfortunate how all of this is building to Erik's tragic death. This hour also highlights how he is much more caught up in reminiscing about the past and the last time he was in this facility. Marissa feels that nostalgia as well. Meanwhile, Hanna and Clara are focused on the mission at hand. Erik pushes through an incredible amount of pain to end this program. There is the sense that he is successful in a way. The buildings go up in flames. But the program isn't ending. Hanna and Clara only have each other. It's basically them against the world at this moment in time. That is special because it can clarify so much about their fears of being all alone with their unique abilities. But it could also only increase the targets on their backs. Their greatest ally in Erik is dead. Marissa seems to be willing to protect them now. But she is also interested in further expanding her relationship with Utrax. It's all very complicated. The emotional though-line of the season was just a little too murky for it to all be very effective here. That was a significant problem throughout the eight episodes. It isn't magically solved here. Though this is an exciting and action-packed finale that is entertaining as such.