One of the things I liked about this show is how they slowly introduced you to Hanna’s abilities. For quite some time, I wasn’t sure if there was physically something unique about Hanna or if she just had unique training and upbringing. But as things progress, it’s clear she has extraordinary powers of observation, can think very fast on her feet, and has hearing that’s well beyond normal human capabilities.
She’s exceptionally strong and she learns fast and has an excellent memory. She managed to get back to Dieter’s apartment based on her observations looking out of the car windows while crouched on the floor in front of the back seat, and later found Dieter’s export business. Not to mention that she found the address in Berlin that Erik gave her all on her own, and later finds Sophie’s family’s home in London.
I was fascinated at how she observed and understood that Dieter was using his export business to smuggle refugees and later hitched a ride for herself. She also showed her cleverness as she searched Dieter’s apartment for the pouch Erik gave him, and the way she engineered some time alone to search for it by hiding one of the kids’ homework and pretending he dropped it on the floor.
But there’s more going on with her that’s so subtle you might have missed it. Imagine being raised in a forest wilderness with not TV, no video games, no music, no people, no streets or motorized vehicles. The world would seem so overwhelming to you that you might just panic and have a meltdown. But instead, we see Hanna open up like a sponge to experience and observe all of the new things: from the market in Morocco to the ferry to the train station to Berlin and then London, we see her making sense of the world and finding her way around, despite not having any money or prior experience using public transportation.
She also seems to enjoy music and chocolate with nuts, things she didn’t experience in the forest, and she beats Sophie’s brother’s high score on his video game the first time she plays it. She shows empathy for Dieter’s young son when she catches him out of bed for a midnight snack, and she immediately recognizes a connection with Anton, but she has no clue she’s invading Dan’s privacy when she barges into his room while he’s making out with his boyfriend.
We don’t get to learn everything about what’s going on at Utrax, but we do learn quite a lot:
- The subjects are all girls and are known only by numbers. The highest number we see is 249, though I don’t think there were that many girls there.
- The doctor in charge of the science aspect of it insists that they need to be kept medicated until they have received socialization training.
- They’re given some kind of medication at least once a day and are trained in physical combat and also American history and geography, even though the facility is located in Romania. It’s clearly run by some secret branch of the American government.
- These are not the babies that we saw in episode 1, which were apparently euthanized after Erik breached the compound’s security. But we can conclude this is a similar study to what was done with Hanna, except she has not continued to receive the mysterious medication since Erik removed her from the facility (she was hooked up to some kind of IV when he took her, so presumably she had some treatment that accounts for some of her extraordinary abilities.
- Marissa told Erik that she carried out orders from “powerful people” that “nothing must remain” from the operation involving Hanna and the other babies. She warns him that these people “must never know” that Hanna is still alive.
The question is, what are they trying to accomplish with these girls and why? We don’t get a lot of information about this, but we do know that the other babies of Hanna’s age were killed and the program terminated (we assume that Marissa is telling the truth about that), but soon after another round of subjects were acquired and the program started again in the same location.
This time, when the security breach occurs, they decide to move the girls to a new location. Presumably they’ve got too much invested to go completely scorched-earth, or maybe they’re just not willing to kill a couple hundred pre-teen girls.
Looking ahead to season 2 of Hanna
I’m very excited to see what happens in the next season of Hanna on Amazon Prime. Hanna, though she’s only 16, is clearly a mature adult by the end of season 1. She’s learned everything she could from her father and mentor, and now she’s become the mentor/teacher of Clara.
She can clearly take care of herself. There are still mysteries to discover, as we don’t know exactly what the CIA has planned for the girls who were at the Utrax facility with Clara. They were taken to another location and one story line could center on the two girls trying to rescue them.
Marissa’s role within the CIA is in question, though it seems they will see her value even if she didn’t always obey orders. She seems to want to save her job, going so far as to shoot herself in the leg to make her story about being shot by Sawyer believable.
Do you have any theories about what they were up to at Utrax? Who was your favorite character and why? What are you most looking forward to in season 2? Let me know in the comments below.
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