My recap of episode 1 is HERE.
I knew episode 2 would be very different from episode 1, Forest, since Hanna’s previous life has been broken beyond repair. But after waiting a month and a half for the next installment, the image that was stuck in my mind from the first episode was the tall, forbidding forest and dark, imposing cave Hanna was raised in. I expected episode 2 to show her escape and the beginning of her education in the wider world.
And it does. It’s a splash of immersion into the life of a typical 21st century teenage girl, which only serves to highlight how out of touch Hanna is with not only her peers, but everything in our busy, urban, mechanized world. You know from the moment you see Hanna’s future friend, Sophie, covered by a dog filter app, that there’s no way Erik Heller could prepare Hanna for this. She’s on her own in the modern world, and will have to sink or swim based on how quickly she can adapt.
Sophie looks like she’ll be an excellent wing-girl to Hanna as she adjusts.
The episode opens with Sophie lying on her bed, trying out different filters, while her family packs the car for a driving vacation. I confess, I restarted the episode a few times, because I thought it must be an ad, or a different show! Thankfully it wasn’t, because I want to keep Sophie forever.
The rest of this typical British family is impatient with Sophie, and demand she get down to the car so they can leave. Sophie is messaging with “MisterDan”, who wonders if Morocco, their destination, even has wifi. Sophie’s brother, Jay, is already worried that they’ll miss the ferry.
Sophie arrives downstairs with probably more luggage than the rest of the family put together. You never know what kind of situation might come up!! Just wait, everyone will be glad that Sophie has extra clothes.
After some more fussing, the luggage gets squeezed into the camper van, and the family, Mom Rachel, Dad Tom, Sophie and Jay, set off for their month-long drive to Morocco and back.
Back to Hanna’s reality. When we last saw her, Hanna had allowed herself to be captured by Marissa’s people so that Erik could escape certain death. Before Erik and Hanna separated, they agreed that Hanna would send a postcard to Peter Olsson at a certain address in Berlin, and they would meet up afterwards. Erik emphasized to Hanna that Marissa lies about everything, so Hanna can’t trust her.
At the end of episode 1, Hanna was helicoptered out of the forest, allowing her first view of anything beyond her lifelong home. Marissa gave orders for her to be taken to “Camp G”, but to be kept off the books. This is a personal operation for Marissa, tying up the loose ends of her past life.
Now, Hanna sits in a dark, barren cell. There is also a teddy bear in the cell, propped up against one wall and looking oddly out of context. I’d bet a significant amount of money that it’s a nanny cam. Hanna is sitting in another corner, with her back to the wall, in order to give herself the best view of the entire room, including the window and doors. She seems to be out of it, but reacts immediately to voices outside her door.
A man and a woman converse. She tells him that Hanna hasn’t moved since she was brought in, and no one else has tried to talk to her. “Paris” wanted him to be the first to talk to her. He orders the woman to get Hanna washed then bring her to him.
Hanna’s possessions are bagged and tagged. She has her first shower and gets a good look at herself in a mirror. She’s given a prison jumpsuit and something to eat. They put her in a more comfortable cell, where “Paris”, who is Marissa, can observe her through CCTV.
A soldier asks her questions from behind glass. Hanna ignores the disembodied voice. They are obvious questions about her life in the forest. She eventually responds to a question about Arvo, saying he showed her the stars. She’s continuing to pretend she’s a brainless “girl”, playing on what they expect from a teenage girl who was raised in the woods. She asks to speak to Marissa.
Sophie’s family spends the first part of their time in Morocco at the beach, then prepares to tour more of the country and go sightseeing. The kids are whiny and not enjoying the trip.
Marissa sends in a fake to talk to Hanna instead of going herself, but she directs the questioning. Fake Marissa asks if Hanna knows that Erik worked for her.
While Fake Marissa is with Hanna, Real Marissa and her sidekick, Carl Meisner, get a call from the facility’s lab informing them that the results from the routine DNA and med testing they do on all detainees are in and what they’ve found is extraordinary. Marissa is angry, because she didn’t order the tests and doesn’t want knowledge of the results to spread. She orders them sent to her, using her “fake-nice” voice.
Hanna, with her enhanced senses, was able to hear their conversation through fake Marissa’s earpiece. Fake Marissa continues the questioning and indoctrination, telling Hanna that Erik kept her in the forest because he killed Johanna, Hanna’s mother.
Hanna leans forward to wrap her arms around Fake Marissa, aka Richards, in a hug, as if to thank her for saving Hanna from her murderer father. Richards rocks Hanna in her arms, comforting her. The guard in the room asks if he should get her something, by which I assume he means a sedative. Richards agrees.
Hanna uses that moment of distraction to pull a hairpin from Richards bun and palm it. At the same time, Marissa realizes that Hanna’s faking her emotions and tells Richards to get out of the room.
Too late. Hanna slices Richards’ throat and takes out the various guards she encounters on the way to the lab using more traditional hand to hand methods. Hanna finds a female soldier in the lab, and her test results. She takes the lab report and the soldier’s uniform, then escapes through a forgotten emergency tunnel, chiseled through bedrock, into the Moroccan desert.
Sophie’s family is having one of those days. They appear to have taken a wrong turn into the middle of nowhere in the desert, and now they have a flat tire in the blazing heat. Tempers are cranked up to 11, until finally Sophie storms away from the camper van and the road, screaming that she’s going home.
Marissa has sent out a platoon, plus helicopters and humvees, to search for one petite woman in the desert. It doesn’t occur to them how easy they’re making it for her to hide from them.
Sophie gets lost, and can’t get a cell or wifi signal. She goes old school and yells for help. After she gives up, she stumbles quietly along, hoping to find her family. Instead she finds Hanna, who didn’t notice her coming.
One quiet teenage girl did what all of Marissa’s goon force couldn’t do.
Sophie asks for help finding her family. Hanna doesn’t answer, just starts walking. Sophie trips on her broken flip-flop, but Hanna offers her a hand up. Then Hanna offers her a drink from her canteen. In amongst the murder, rampage, theft of lab results and single-handed escape from maximum security confinement, Hanna also managed to grab a fully supplied pack with water included.
Whereas most of us are Sophie, and lost within minutes while probably having forgotten any preparations. Sophie does get points for stealth and the ability to hone in on help. She’s not a total loss.
Marissa goes home to her family, who are actually her French boyfriend, Olivier, and his son, Benoit. Benoit hasn’t fully accepted Marissa yet. Smart kid.
Marissa goes to the bedroom, where she pops open a small hatch in the floorboards. She removes a document, the official order to wipe the evidence of Utrax’s human experimentation program, after Erik Heller’s security breach, when he took Baby Hanna from the nursery.
The girls continue through the desert, until Hanna hears a motor. Once it gets closer, Sophie realizes it’s the camper van with her family, so she flags them down. They bring Hanna along with them.
Hanna tries to convince them that her father, an Amsterdam accountant, encourages her to travel on her own and that her mother is dead. Sophie holds her hand in solidarity, but Tom and Rachel find her a bit sketchy.
The story would’ve worked better in Europe, where Erik thought she’d be. There, she could appear to be within an hour or two of home or whoever she pretended to visit. Morocco is just too far outside of anything Erik planned for.
Marissa goes to a gay strip club to meet with an old colleague, known as Jacobs, who now works in private security and runs several of his own operations. He asks if she wants coffee, and she tells him she gave it up. She informs him that Erik Heller and Hanna are alive. She can’t use official channels to take care of them.
When the family reaches the city where they’ll catch the ferry, Hanna hops out, intending to find her way back to northern Europe on her own. She wanders through the outdoor market and is overwhelmed by the colors, movement, sounds and smells.
The family eat at a cafe and have a family meeting. They realize that no one is getting along and decide to cut the trip short.
Sophie: “You can’t solve a marriage by just running away to some African country, Mum.”
Sophie spots Hanna looking lost in the market, and the next thing we see is the camper van driving onto the ferry. Sophie looks like she’s hiding something, and touches the baggage to her right. The rolled up blanket she pokes at isn’t big enough to be Hanna, so I assume Hanna is hidden on the floor, underneath everything else in that part of the van.
Once the ferry gets underway, the family get out of the van to enjoy the views. Rachel apologizes for planning a vacation that no one enjoyed. She tells Sophie that next year she can have the type of vacation she wants, with discos and boys. Sophie goes inside to browse the shops.
Hanna is already there. Sophie asks what her deal really is- human trafficking? Runaway? Escaping a bad relationship with a boy? Hanna lets Sophie think it was a boy, which Sophie promises to keep secret.
Human trafficking is closer to the truth, if you look at the roots of why people want her dead or captured.
The girls have fun for a while, the first time that Hanna’s ever just been a kid, trying stuff on, making faces for silly photos, eating junk food. It’s evening by the time they get back to the van. Sophie’s phone has been off all day, and her parents are angry. They aren’t in the mood to humor Hanna anymore. Tom wants to take a hard line and turn this obvious runaway in to the police. Rachel decides that they should give her a break and a ride, because everyone’s been young and made mistakes.
While Tom and Rachel are deciding, Hanna spots Jacobs watching her from one of the upper stories of the ferry. She tries to keep her face hidden, and gets in the van as quickly as possible.
Sophie did a makeover on Hanna on the ferry. She’s gone from fatigues to cute sunglasses and some of Sophie’s clothes that “show off her figure”. They allow her to blend in with the crowd more easily, too.
I’d be more comfortable if she’d change her hair, though. Bright pink, blue or some other unnatural color her pursuers aren’t expecting would help.
When the family stops at a souvenir store, Hanna shoplifts a postcard, envelope and stamps. She uses them to mail Erik the postcard to Peter Olsson which they agreed on, to let him know she’s okay. Sophie is watching her, but doesn’t say anything.
Marissa visits Erik’s mother in Germany to see if he’s been in contact. Mrs Heller says that she hasn’t heard from him in years. Marissa puts on her fake nice face and voice, which looks like her face is cracking, but she can’t resist adding a threatening tone at the end.
As if Mrs Heller could have missed the threat before.
Erik buys 2 kilos of goose fat, then takes it to the dock at night. He strips down and slathers his skin with the grease, probably for extra warmth, but also as an excuse to get in Joel Kinnaman’s contractually required shirtless scene. Then he swims to Germany.
Sophie convinces her parents to stay in a hotel for one night, instead of camping. She puts makeup on herself and Hanna, plus new outfits, then they go out to a club. Hanna tries alcohol, despite Erik’s warnings that it would slow her reaction time. She loosens up and dances with abandon. After a couple of false starts, she learns how to enthusiastically make out with a boy.
After they leave the bar, the girls sit outside and talk. Sophie is surprised again by Hanna’s lack of knowledge about social media. She says she wants to visit Hanna in Amsterdam. That prompts Hanna to confess a version of the truth to Sophie. She says that she doesn’t really live anywhere.
She’s on her way to Berlin to meet her father, who’s been protecting her from the people who want to harm her. Hanna doesn’t know who those people are, but she still has the stolen copy of her test results. She shows it to Sophie, who’s able to interpret that it says her DNA is abnormal. Hanna puts the test results away and Sophie gives her a friendship bracelet to remember her by.
Meanwhile, Jacobs’ people break into the kids’ hotel room, where Jay is sleeping, and search the room. They take the gun from Hanna’s pack, but leave the rest.
Two dead border control guards are found on the shore that Germany shares with Poland. Marissa and Carl are sure that Erik killed them after swimming across from the other country.
Erik goes to the hostel where Hanna sent her postcard. He introduces himself as Peter Olsson, who has a reservation that now he can’t keep. The receptionist has some mail that arrived for him- Hanna’s card. He looks at it with relief and touches her photo for a moment. It’s likely the first photo he’s had of his daughter.
Back in the van, Rachel sits in the back and visits with Hanna while Sophie naps. She knows they snuck out the night before, and says she was more like Hanna when she was young, more of a loner than a social butterfly like Sophie. Now she has a family of her own and she’s hardly ever alone. They are almost to the train station where they’ve planned to drop Hanna, but Rachel senses that Hanna don’t really want to leave them.
Jacobs and his people are following the van and prepared to capture Hanna at any time. Marissa orders them to take her immediately. Jacobs wants to wait until she’s clear of Sophie’s family, so as not to endanger them.
They say their goodbyes, and Rachel slips Hanna some cash. Sophie walks Hanna to the platform of her nonexistent train. Hanna tells Sophie that she doesn’t want to leave them. Sophie writes down her address, so that Hanna can visit.
The girls hug. While they’re hugging, Hanna notices Jacobs’ people watching them from all over the station. She tries to push Sophie away, to get her out of danger, but Sophie doesn’t understand and won’t just leave.
Jacobs walks up to Hanna and says, “Hanna, we have your father. You should come with us. He wants to see you. Everything’s okay.”
He, of course, looks trustworthy and normal, like an authority figure. Hanna knows the truth, and she strikes out, beating him up very efficiently, then taking on a few more of his men. When one pulls a gun on her, she jumps off the balcony to the ground floor, holding on to the guy she was fighting. She uses him to break her fall, so she’s fine.
They’ve drawn a crowd, but Jacobs’ men keeping coming. Hanna gets all of the goons down, and grabs a gun. She’s about to shoot one, when Sophie screams at her to stop. Hanna stops and shakes herself, like she’d gone into a trance and wasn’t fully aware of what she was doing. She fires into the air, then runs for the trains. She races to catch up with the train that’s just left, hopping on the back. Sophie’s followed her outside, and watches her disappear.
I love that Hanna got to have this interlude of relative safety to get used to the world and figure out how to interact with people who aren’t Erik. After the life she’s lived she needed and deserved it.
At the end of the episode, Hanna had mixed feelings about leaving the family because, besides not wanting to rush into a life of danger and solitude, even though she loves her father, she was soaking up the first female companionship she’d had in her life. She probably never realized human interaction could be like that. Sophie and her family opened up an entirely new world for Hanna.
On the other hand, Marissa is as bad as advertised. She doesn’t care who gets hurt, or what’s right or wrong. And she makes sure that she herself isn’t endangered or implicated.
Current favorite fan fiction idea: They get rid of Marissa so they can live safely, and Hanna talks Erik into moving in next door to Sophie. Erik has to pass as a normal suburban dad, with all of the single mothers after him, while Sophie and Hanna run wild as typical high schoolers, then college students. And Erik and Hanna fight crime at night, with Sophie in the bat cave as their handler. No way is Sophie letting them have that kind of fun without her.
Amazon, I think we could make the show work this way by season 3. The series long Big Bad is obviously Utrax. I will allow a version of the story that tames Marissa so they can all work together to stop the Evil Corporation from Human Experimentation and Murder over the course of several seasons. But I insist that Sophie’s in on the Scooby gang.
In fact, I bet more of the Utrax babies survived than just Hana. I bet there were baby science and engineering geniuses, etc in that nursery, too. And Sophie is one of them. That’s why Hanna and Sophie clicked so intensely.
Images courtesy of Amazon Prime.
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