Friday, July 3, 2020

REVIEW: 'Hanna' - Hanna's Reckless Impulses Cause Numerous Problems for Marissa in 'To the Meadows

Amazon's Hanna - Episode 2.03 "To the Meadows"

Hanna returns to Passway and follows the drugs out of the city, aware that they will lead her to The Meadows.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides 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.

"To the Meadows" was written by Paul Waters and directed by Eva Husson

Marissa is actively trying to help Hanna. She wants her to escape to a better life. She sees the opportunity to make that so. It is fleeting for a number of reasons though. Hanna may always be reckless. She goes into any situation with her guns blaring. That isn't how Marissa operates. She can absolutely make the fatal approach when it is necessary. She helps Hanna by killing Sonia before she strikes. Sonia was good for information at one point. Killing her shows that Marissa is on Hanna's side instead of John's. And yet, Marissa keeps John on the line knowing that he can still provide information about what Hanna will be facing when she discovers the Meadows. Marissa has been in this game a long time. John explained how she has always been the best. That continues to be true even though she can't take on Hanna in hand-to-hand combat. Hanna operates in a very impulsive way. It's all dictated by what she can see and feel in a moment. That makes her a bit jarring as a character because it is never consistent for too long. Right now, the only core motivation that is keeping her going is the thought of rescuing Clara. The audience operates with the understanding that Clara is being bombarded with emotional manipulation to get her in line with the program. All of the trainees are enduring that kind of psychological pressure. Clara and Sandy clash because Clara feels isolated and abandoned while Sandy views Clara as nothing more than an unnecessary hassle. They are manipulated into accepting the program and each other. With Sandy, the manipulation comes from her being asked to add religion to her backstory. Leo introduces that so casually. He talks about it being a core part of who she is. She accepts that and latches onto the message of forgiveness. That is crucial for her. But it's mostly just necessary for the people in charge to keep everyone compliant. John needs this program to work. It will be costly for him if he has to eliminate one of the assets. He talks about that casually too. That would likely mean killing them though. He can't allow these girls to be free. He has to control them no matter what. That includes Hanna. It doesn't take him or one of his operatives seeing her in the face to know that she is still alive. They come to that conclusion because of the attack on the pharmaceutical company. An innocent woman isn't charged with murder. Hanna doesn't even really care about that. She just has to follow the man who can lead her to the Meadows. That scientist having to deliver a package is the only reason why the plot keeps moving. Hanna can't lose him. He is the only tangible lead that she can feel. She welcomes Marissa's assistance. But she is always playing catchup to the impulsive decisions that Hanna makes. Meanwhile, Hanna believes that Marissa has done nothing but lie to her. She believes Marissa has been working with John this entire time. As such, she has to fight her way to freedom. She has to bear this journey by herself. Marissa views herself as an ally. She is someone doing good in the world. She allowed Clara to be captured again. Now, Clara is forcefully given an emotional resolution with her mother. That allows her to accept that this program is the only place in the world that can make her feel whole. Hanna can see that in an instant when they reunite. The program remains just as terrifying and manipulative. But Hanna has that empathetic beat of knowing that it's her selfish desire to rescue the person who made her feel full when they were in the woods together. That clarity also means she is captured by the armed soldiers who may wish to force her into compliance as well. These young woman want to believe they have agency over the decisions they make. And yes, they do to an extent. But so many choices were taken away from them a long time ago. Now, so much is built on lies. Terri and Leo may believe they are making things better. But they may not know the full extent of this program and the lethal repercussions John may have planned for the future with these agents. They may all make the argument that they are creating a community of people who understand each other. That sense of camaraderie can be empowering. Great bonds can be forged through common experiences. Hanna is different but has still been targeted by this program. Her gifts have to be controlled. She can't be allowed to operate on her own terms. She is reckless and careless when she does. That could be used against her. But the audience should also inherently be rooting for her freedom despite how frequently she kills with no real concern for human life or just how easy it is for her to sneak around undetected.