Hanna: Season 1 (Amazon)
If you haven’t watched Hanna on Amazon Prime, you might want to check out my spoiler-free review of this unique show. The review below contains spoilers all the way to the end of season 1 of Hanna.
I’m not going to go episode-by-episode through the season. Instead, I’m going to talk about several issues that I feel will be of interest to viewers and speculate on what will happen in season 2. Join in the discussion by leaving a comment below.
Hanna’s relationship with Erik
Let’s just get this out of the way first, since it’s probably what’s foremost in your heart if you just finished watching the Hanna season 1. Hanna and Erik have a very complicated relationship, and it goes through some ups and downs during the season, but through it all, they clearly love each other. From what we can tell, though Erik has done some questionable things in the past, everything he did with regard to Hanna was motivated by love for her and a desire for her best interests.
We can see that Hanna has both the teenager’s natural desire to be independent and also a justifiable hunger for the truth about herself, which Erik at first is not telling her. She finds a piece of paper with information about her DNA and zeroes in on the fact that it says “abnormal.” But Erik takes the paper and destroys it. Then she acquires another paper which lists Erik as a “recruitment officer,” and her birth certificate listing her father as “unknown.” Clearly something highly suspicious is going on.
Hanna feels betrayed because Erik has kept many details from him and equates this with lying, so she leaves and reunites with Sophie. When Marissa finds her and tells her Erik is dead, Hanna goes with Marissa in hopes of learning the truth about where she came from. But she also realizes how much she loves Erik, even if he’s not her biological father.
When they come together again, it’s amazing to watch how well they work together without having to stop and have a long discussion first. We also see a bit of a shift in roles — he tells her about the girls at Utrax and Hanna is the one who decides they have to get them out. She also takes care of his wound. She’s done with the training phase — she’s now able to care for him and take a leadership role going forward.
Erik is clearly a strong man and also strong-willed and determined, but by the end of the season he’s been shot twice and it seems to be beyond belief that he could survive. And while we mourn his death with Hanna, we also are encouraged by the strength she shows in making sure he has a proper burial and then heading back to the only real home she’s ever known, bringing Clara, a.k.a. 249, along.
There are no loose ends: he’s told her all the secrets he’s been keeping from her and she understands he was protecting her from a complicated truth. His loss will leave a big hole in her life, but it promises growth and new relationships for Hanna in season 2.
Sophie, her family and her friends
Hanna has no place to go when she runs away from Erik in Berlin. They don’t show how she makes her way from Berlin to London; we just know she memorized the address Sophie gave her and that she stows away in the back of one of Dieter’s produce export trucks, because she earlier observed him providing some “travelers” a shady lift out of the country. So we don’t see Sophie’s reaction when Hanna suddenly shows up without calling ahead.
Despite Sophie’s seemingly close friendship with Dan, she must be longing for a girlfriend because she immediately bonds with Hanna. The two are so different that they each appreciate every aspect of the other’s personality. Sophie is patient with Hanna, not making fun of her as Hanna fills in the gaps of her knowledge of how the world works.
Hanna says she can’t trust anyone, but in essence she’s trusting Sophie, at least somewhat. She sees Sophie and her family as examples of “normal” people. I really hope these characters are in season 2 of Hanna, I want to see them again.
Erik’s relationship with Hanna’s mother
It was unclear for a long time what was happening between Erik and Hanna’s mother. But after watching the whole season, it appears that Erik recruited Johanna to sign away all parental rights and give her baby to the Utrax program.
At some point, Johanna changed her mind, and we can read between the lines that she saw something in Erik that made her feel he would be on her side. Eventually, the two of them came up with a scheme whereby Erik would go in and get the baby and the two would escape somewhere together with the baby, presumably to raise her and be a family.
Erik tells Hanna that, “I loved her. Very deeply.” But as we saw early in the first episode, the car crashed as they were being chased by Marissa and Johanna died, leaving Erik to escape with Hanna and become a single parent.
Erik managed to get Marissa to tell him where Johanna’s body was buried, and he takes Hanna to the cemetery, where Hanna later buries Erik’s body. These scenes at the cemetery bring closure and allow Hanna to move on even as she is grieving.
Erik’s relationship with Marissa
The relationship between Marissa and Erik is complicated and interesting. They don’t spend a lot of time together on screen, but in episode 4 we learn that Marissa recruited Erik to work as part of a secret CIA operation she was overseeing.
Erik was coming out of a career as a soldier and needed a job, apparently. It’s clear they have similar skills and have been carrying similar baggage from their respective roles in the original project Utrax.
Erik seems to hold Marissa responsible for the evils of the project, since from his perspective, she was in charge of it. She, in turn, obviously holds a tremendous amount of guilt about her actions, but also realizes that the higher-ups hold both the ultimate responsibility and a potential threat if Hanna’s continued survival is discovered.
When Erik kills Jacobs, and Marissa clearly realizes his death is on her since she involved him in this off-books operation.
The one thing Erik and Marissa seem to agree on, besides their shared guilt over their involvement with the first iteration of Utrax, is that Hanna needs to stay alive. Sawyer, Marissa’s boss, also seems to agree that Hanna needs to stay alive. We never find out what they plan to do with her if they captured her.