Episode 4 finally brings Erik and Marissa (Joel Kinnaman and Mireille Enos) together for an extended confrontation. While Erik holds Marissa hostage and they reflect on their shared history and the ramifications of Erik’s decision to rescue Hanna as an infant, Dieter brings Hanna home to stay with his family. She’s exposed to another version of a typical family, this one functional and happy, with a very involved, kind-hearted father.
She’s also exposed to a range attitudes about her father, including the skewed information Marissa has fed the public. Hanna begins to question who Erik is to her and who she wants him to be.
After rescuing her from the chaos of the fighting, Dieter brings Hanna to his family home to stay with him for a couple of days, until things settle down. He introduces her to his sons, Armin and Bijan. The police search the area around the hotel, looking for Erik and his gang. Jacobs and his main henchman, Costigan, return to their hotel room, where they find the story is all over the news, with Erik Heller given as the suspect in the murder of Lukas Taylor.
Jacobs is angry, since this is supposed to be a secret operation. Plus, he can’t find Marissa. She calls while he’s mid-tantrum, to say that she has Erik, and she wants to meet with Jacobs in an hour at Baumen Cafe in Prenzlauer Berg, Helmholtzplatz.
Marissa isn’t in the cafe when Jacobs gets there. She calls him again and tells him to get back in the car. She’ll meet him there. He goes back to the car, and gets in. Costigan is in the drivers seat, dead.
Marissa isn’t in the car. She’s being held hostage in an abandoned building. Instead, Erik greets Jacobs like an old friend, with the addition of a gun to his head. He wants Jacobs to give him all the information he has on Marissa.
Dieter feeds the kids while Hanna sits in the living room and processes her morning. Dieter brings her some Turkish coffee and sits with her. He asks what’s wrong.
Hanna: “The smoke. I couldn’t hear. I couldn’t see.”
Dieter: “Well, you got frightened, that’s all. Never happened to you before?”
The news comes on the TV, saying that Erik Heller, a native Berliner who murdered his girlfriend, Johanna Petrescu, in 2003, then disappeared, is now wanted for other murders. Hanna asks if it’s true. Dieter doesn’t answer, since he doesn’t know the truth about Johanna.
His wife, Sima, comes home at that moment. Dieter introduces them. Sima has seen the news and figures out that Hanna belongs to one of Dieter’s old friends from his unsavory past. She’s annoyed that Dieter has gotten involved with them again.
Marissa is tied to a chair in a filthy basement, with Rudi guarding her while he plays with his phone. She’s as sharp-eyed as ever. Erik brings in second chair and sits in front of her, after offering her a cigarette, which she refuses. He tells her she looks good, that her looks have improved with age.
Marissa is listening carefully to Erik. She asks what he wants. He brings up her comfortable, official, middle class life as Deputy Director of CIA European networks, stationed in Paris. Marissa wonders where he got his information from. He tells her that Jacobs was very forthcoming
Then he reminds her of the bar in Kopenick where they met, when she was a radical black ops CIA operative and he was a drunken ex soldier with no future. She chuckles affectionately at the thought. He goes on to say, “Here we are, all these years later.” Her smile drops, then becomes her fake smile.
Erik pulls out a phone and shows her photos of her boyfriend and his son, asking who they are to her. She says those are just leftover photos from an old case. This time, it’s Erik who laughs, but it’s a cold laugh. He tells her the photos show Olivier Moreau and his son Benoit, who live in the 8th arrondissemont of Paris. In Marissa’s apartment.
Erik shows her more photos of the two, including the background on the home page of what’s obviously her personal phone. He asks if she’s become a mother to Benoit, but Marissa shakes her head “no”.
Erik: “No. I guess that’s complicated, given your past.”
Marissa, pleading: “Don’t touch them. Please. They’re innocent. They don’t know anything about this.”
Erik, bitterly: “Innocent like Johanna Petrescu? Innocent like that? And look what happened to her.”
Erik the chess player has laid the stakes on the table and disarmed Marissa quickly. I think her fear that he’ll hurt Olivier and Benoit is real, just like his need to avenge Johanna’s death. But given Marissa’s orders, it sounds like she’s not his real enemy, anymore than he’s hers. They’re both ultimately pawns with deep personal grudges.
Marissa asks what he wants. He tells her that the warrant on him for the murder of the border guards and Lukas means that he can’t move freely anymore, and there’s nowhere for him to hide. Law enforcement everywhere will be looking for him.
He doesn’t know that she arranged for the warrant. He might be even more ruthless if he did. But the warrant was a ruthless move on her part, meant to get him killed.
He’ll leave her family alone, and in exchange, he wants her to find him a way out of the city and to make sure they aren’t followed. She’ll go back to her life, and he and Hanna will live theirs. Marissa agrees. To prove he’s serious, Erik kills Jacobs in front of her.
He shoots Jacobs in the head, in cold blood. It’s a shocking moment. Even Rudi, who’s standing next to him, is taken aback. Marissa flinches and appears shaken for a minute, then draws her composure back around her. I suspect Erik had it in for Jacobs because he was the one who chased Hanna across Europe.
Hanna lurks around Dieter’s home as the family goes through their normal routine. Dieter and the boys try to get her to join a tickle fight, but she helps Sima in the kitchen, instead. Sima warms up to her a little as they talk about cooking. She tells Hanna that she’s never met Erik, because Dieter knew him in the army. Dieter has good, honest work now, and she wants it to stay that way. Hanna says that her father is honest.
Dieter gets a phone call, then tells Hanna and Sima that he has to go out for a while for work after they’ve eaten. Sima isn’t pleased. Dieter sets up Hanna’s bed in the living room on the couch.
After dinner, when he’s ready to leave, he checks in with Hanna. She asks where he’s going, but he still says it’s just work, and tells her to get some sleep. Hanna asks to see Erik. Dieter says she’ll see him soon, once he has everything set up. He closes the door between the living room and the hall. Sima and Dieter quarrel briefly before he leaves, but he insists he’s just going to his produce export business, which transports vegetables to London.
Hanna stuffs pillows under a blanket so it looks like she’s asleep, then sneaks out the back way and follows Dieter to his car. She cleverly breaks a window in a car down the block from his, so that the sound will lead him to investigate. While he walks down one side of the row of cars, she sneaks down the other side and slips into the back seat of his car, curling up on the floor in the dark.
Dieter examines the car but can’t see anyone nearby, so he goes back to his own car. As he drives across town, Hanna gets another glimpse of the sights and sounds of the city. He pulls into the loading dock at his produce business, with a small truck following. Several men get out of the truck. Dieter guides them into the produce van that’s currently being loaded with crates of vegetables. As they get in, he tells them, “When the truck gets on the ferry, you stay silent. Not a word until you get to England, you hear?” Once they are safely loaded, the van drives away and so does he.
So, not a completely legal business then, if he’s smuggling people from Germany to London. But it’s also a victimless crime.
Dieter’s next stop is the abandoned building where Marissa is being kept. Rudi and Elsa won’t let him get very far, because if he sees Marissa, then he’s complicit in all of the crimes committed in the basement, which are serious ones. They give him a pouch from Erik, which he asked for Dieter to keep. If things go wrong, Erik wants Dieter to send the information in the pouch to the newspapers.
Dieter leaves, after telling them to be careful. Hanna has already jumped out of the car. She heard Dieter’s conversation. Now she hears Marissa and Erik speaking in the distance, and follows their voices.
Marissa: “How much have you told Hanna?”
Erik: “I’ve told her what she needs to know.”
Marissa: “Does she know who you are?”
Erik: “No. She doesn’t need to.”
Marissa: “What about the truth? Doesn’t she deserve to know that?”
Hanna makes a small noise, which Erik hears. He stops the conversation to follow the sound. Hanna runs away, leaving by way of a barbed wire fence. She cuts her hand and leaves a drop of blood on the fence, which Erik finds.
Marissa shouldn’t have known that Hanna was there, but I think she did. If she’s a prototype of Hanna, with enhancements of her own, she could have heard Dieter’s conversation, and heard and smelled Hanna. It was too much of a coincidence that she asked those questions at just the right time. If she can smell hormonal changes the way that Hanna can, it would explain how good she is at manipulating people.
And here, again, Erik shoots himself in the foot. All Marissa did was ask some relatively innocent questions that she knew his answer to, because Lukas told her that Hanna was antsy about knowing the truth and Erik was putting off telling her. Marissa sabotaged Erik, but he gave her the material to work with.
Hanna walks back to Dieter’s home, through different sections of the city, seeing many types of people and places for the first time. Now that she can take it in on her own terms, it’s not frightening. But she doesn’t know how to avoid surveillance cameras. She does have such a good memory that she takes the exact route that Dieter took.
A choir is practicing at the Berlin Cathedral with the church door open, which draws Hanna inside. It’s the first time she’s encountered that kind of soaring majesty in music and art. After taking a long look around, she stands still, with her eyes closed, to absorb it all.
Hanna’s enhanced senses make her sensitive to the same things as everyone else, but she can probably get more out of the arts and nature than most people, because of her sensitivity to nuance. Erik knew she’d need to fight, and that’s his specialty, so that’s what he taught her. But she’s capable of much more. Her connection to nature and her responses to music in the last few episodes show that.
She successfully sneaks back into Dieter’s flat, and finds another miscreant who’s out of bed, young Armin, who’s was hungry and is eating yogurt. Hanna promises she won’t tell if he doesn’t, and they get rid of the evidence of his crime. They promise to keep their secret together, and she sends him to bed.
She’s sweet and gentle with him, showing she also has empathy toward people. She’s taking a completely different, more subtle approach to her current situation, instead of Erik’s method of bulldozing through any potential threats.
The next step in Erik’s plan is to have Marissa meet with her assistant, Carl Meisner, at a cafe where they can watch her. They have her tell Carl that she’s captured Erik and is keeping him in a secure location. He has sensitive information that’s vital to National Security, so she can’t risk taking him through proper channels. She needs Carl to authorize a rendition flight tonight from Finnow Airport with one civil aviation pilot and no American or German military or intelligence at the airfield. They need to lift the Interpol warrant at 1800 hours.
Carl is confused, because this is so far outside of protocol, and he doesn’t have the authority to order it. Marissa says she really needs it, and she’ll call later for confirmation. Before she leaves, she pushes her cup toward him and tells him he can finish her coffee.
Hanna makes sure that she has a few minutes alone in the apartment that morning to search for the pouch Erik sent to Dieter. She finds it, with two documents inside. Her birth certificate, with the father unknown, and the document her mother signed giving her over to Utrax, with Erik listed as the recruitment officer.
I don’t think Hanna had ever questioned that Erik was her biological father until the last few days. Now she has proof that he’s not, straight from him, that he refused to share with her. He was going to have it sent to the newspapers without anyone ever talking to her about it first. She’s devastated that the only person in her world for most of her life seems to be someone untrustworthy. At the very least, he’s refused to tell her the truth about herself.
Giant parental fail.
When Carl returns to the office, his passkey doesn’t work. Everyone in the office has been fired and the Deputy Director sent a new boss, Jerome Sawyer, to clean up the place. Jerome Sawyer is arrogant, brash and rude.
Back in the basement of the abandoned building, Erik asks Marissa where Johanna is buried. Marissa says she made sure that they buried Johanna in the local graveyard, the way her mother and sister wanted.
Erik confirms that Marissa told Johanna’s family that he killed her. She says that she had to, because he broke his contract.
Erik: “She changed her mind. She was the mother of a child and she changed her mind.”
Marissa: “Too late.”
Erik: “How can it be too late? It was her child.”
Marissa: “But she signed it away.”
Erik: “It’s that simple, huh? Just a signature on a piece of paper. And there I was thinking your new French lover might have changed you.”
Marissa: “Do you know what I think? I think you feel guilty. When she came to you, begging to have that kid back, you let your heart get in the way of your responsibility.”
Flashback to Erik in a cafe, recruiting another mother. Johanna is outside, and pounds on the cafe window. He goes outside to her, reminding her that he said to stay away. She wants her baby back. He drags her away from the building, saying that it’s not safe for her there. She threatens to go to the police. When Jacobs pulls up, Erik takes her to a more hidden spot.
He tries to convince her to forget about this baby. She should find a man and have a new baby. But she won’t give up on her baby. Before they took the baby away, Johanna saw the baby’s face and heard her cry. She’s knows that the baby is hers. She gave her a name, Hanna. She knows that Erik is a good man, who’s not like the others.
Marissa picks up the story again, saying that he made Johanna a promise he couldn’t keep. In trying to keep it, he recklessly caused her death. “It’s a selfish little muscle, the heart.” Then, because he failed to do his job, she had to do hers. She couldn’t just let them go. They killed Johanna together.
After finding out Erik isn’t her biological father, Hanna calls Sophie in London. She can’t bring herself to say anything, because how could she make her life make sense to Sophie? She can’t even make sense of it to herself. But Sophie figures out it’s her anyway. Hearing Sophie’s voice helps Hanna.
Sawyer has a long interview/interrogation with Carl, who had no idea of the way his day was going to go when he got up this morning. Sawyer asks if Carl has had anything to do with Utrax. Carl denies all knowledge of Utrax, and becomes quite defensive about it.
Next, Sawyer goes over the sketchy circumstances of Carl’s meeting with Marissa and her unorthodox demands. Carl also gets defensive about those. I’m thinking it’s not the first time he’s had to answer questions about Marissa’s off the books operations.
What Sawyer is looking for are the details of the meeting that Carl might not have thought too hard about in the moment, which might turn out to be messages from Marissa. Carl realizes that Marissa made a point of giving him her coffee, but she stopped drinking coffee years ago, because it made her anxious. Sawyer wonders if she was telling Carl that she was anxious.
He finally explains to Carl that he and his people think that Erik Heller has Marissa, instead of the other way around. If that were true, the coffee clue is exactly the kind of message she’d send, which is indeed what she did. Sawyer plans to give Erik the plane he asked for.
Erik tells Marissa that she’ll make her confirmation call in an hour. He has Rudi tell Dieter to get Hanna ready to travel.
Marissa can tell that he’s still troubled about something, and asks what it is. He asks what happened to the Utrax facility. Marissa says they were ordered to close it down, and she obeyed her orders. Erik asks what happened to the other children.
Marissa: “You really want to know that? Lethal injection. Painless. And then we burned their bodies in the incinerators.”
As Marissa continues speaking, they both look sick and go through various stages of looking like they might faint or crack up. Finding out that his actions triggered the murder of the other babies is almost more than Erik can bear. Living with what she had to witness and carry out has been almost more than Marissa could live though and keep her sanity. Recounting it for Erik now is almost too much.
Marissa: “Utrax was a very risky operation. 100% authorized at the highest level. 100% deniable. You cracked it wide open. You risked people’s careers, so it had to be dealt with. The orders were clear. Nothing must remain. I scorched the earth because of you.”
Erik: “So Hanna is the only one left.”
Marissa: “Mm. And that’s why I came after you. Because I promised people that it had been dealt with. powerful people. People who must not know that she’s alive. Who must never know.”
Erik walks away. Marissa stops herself from becoming anymore emotional. She was crazed looking when she talked about keeping Hanna a secret. I think Hanna has become a symbol to her, the surviving child who makes the horrible things she had to do worth it. Marissa wants Erik dead because she doesn’t trust him to keep Hanna safe and under the radar. Or at least that’s what she wants Erik to think. She’s so complex and hard to read. But, like Erik, she also changes her mind and plans on a dime.
Dieter has the family say goodbye to Hanna before he takes her to the airport to meet Erik. They’re all sad to see her go. She’s still stunned from her discoveries. Dieter grabs Erik’s pouch to bring with him.
Once they get word that Dieter is on his way, Erik tells Marissa that he’s leaving her with Rudi. She’s to make one more phone call, telling her people that she’s decided to go with them. Rudi will supposedly let her go once the plane takes off.
As Erik walks away, Marissa tells him that even if his plan works, and he gets where he’s going, Hanna will fnd out the truth. “Children always do.”
Erik turns back to her. He strokes her cheek and says, “I love Hanna. And I loved her mother. Who have you ever loved?”
Marissa follows him with her eyes as he leaves. Erik tells Rudi to kill her once she’s made her final phone call.
Sawyer brings in his own team of go-getters to work on the case. They quickly find an image of Hanna on surveillance footage from the night before. Sawyer gives Carl the evil eye, to make sure he understands how inferior he and Marissa’s entire team are.
Dieter picks up Erik. He checks in with Hanna. She’s listless, but nods her head that she’s okay.
Rudi has Marissa make the call to tell Carl that they’re on their way to the airport. Carl tells her that there’s coffee waiting for her on board, a clear signal that they understand what’s going on and have a plan. A few minutes later, Rudi hears a noise, but she tells him it’s rats.
Then she starts in on the psychological manipulation, trying to get him to doubt himself and Erik, or to consider turning himself in. Rudi points his gun at her head. He doesn’t doubt Erik, but he does hesitate to shoot. He takes long enough that Sawyer has time to get in place and shoot him instead. Marissa allows herself to show her shakiness for a moment after Rudi is dead, even though she seemed fine while the gun was touching her forehead.
Sawyer calls his team before speaking to Marissa. Then he tells her that her friends at Utrax sent him.
Which would mean that Utrax already knows that Hanna is alive, so it’s time for Marissa to change her game plan again. She gets her face-breaking smile.
Erik and his friends say goodbye, then Dieter drives away. Erik tries to lead Hanna to the plane, but she doesn’t follow. She has no knowledge of this plan or how precarious it is. All she knows is that, in her mind, she’s been lied to for her entire life, and Erik has ignored her and her questions for days.
Erik tries to drag her to the plane. She pulls out her birth certificate and shows it to him, then asks why it says “father unknown”. Isn’t he her father? Erik says that of course he is, but Hanna knows he’s lying. He tells her he’ll explain, but she doesn’t believe him anymore and doesn’t want to go anywhere with him. He keeps trying to convince her to get on the plane. She beats him up a little.
Then she asks if he killed her mother. He doesn’t realize that story been all over the news and is shocked by the question. He tells her he didn’t, he loved Johanna. But everything that’s happened over the last four episodes finally comes to a head for Hanna. Erik was her foundation, and now she can’t trust him.
She screams at him that he’s lying, that everything he says is a lie, and to leave her alone, then runs away.
Erik turns around and sees a line of police cars headed straight for him. He calls Rudi, and Sawyer answers, telling him it’s over. A tac team files out of the plane, telling him to get down on the ground. Erik fires a few shots, then runs for the fences.
Hanna is far enough away to disappear into the darkness, but she sees what’s happening and is even more upset. This isn’t what she wanted.
Sawyer and Marissa catch up with Erik as he’s climbing over the fence. Sawyer shoots him at least 3 times. Marissa watches and isn’t happy. It’s hard to tell if she wanted him to get away or she wanted him dead.
Dieter and Elsa pull up and rescue Erik amidst heavy gunfire. You’d think he’d tried to kill the president.
At Dieter’s produce business, three guys ride in the back of the latest van headed for London. Hanna is stowed away nearby.
That plane was a deathtrap. Hanna’s hesitation stopped them from getting arrested, maybe shot on sight. Marissa wants Hanna alive, but Sawyer’s motives aren’t clear. The only reason the shooting didn’t start sooner is because Sawyer is a control freak and wanted to be there for it.
What will Utram want to do with Hanna? Will they want to capture her and do tests on her, since she’s an experiment that unexpectedly survived? In situations like this, the corporation generally views the altered human as their property. They certainly treated the rest of the babies like property.
When Erik says to Marissa that acting as Benoit’s mother would be complicated, given her past, was he only referring to her job as supervising recruiter for Utram, or is there something more in her past that would make it difficult for her to become a mother? At this point, he doesn’t know what happened to the rest of the babies in the Utram program after he rescued Hanna, or how much it damaged Marissa.
Marissa has been keeping Hanna alive and a secret from Utrax. She sees Erik as a liability in this endeavor. She might be right, because he only seems to have one game plan: snatch Hanna, run, and hide. There was no way his scheme with the plane would ever work. But I won’t call it unrealistic for him to make the plan, because hijackers and terrorists have come up with equally unlikely plans.
Utram is giving me Orphan Black feels. If you haven’t seen Orphan Black, go watch. As soon as you’re done with Hanna and The OA. Amazon has it on Prime Video.
Erik & Marissa- Spiralling into a Deathmatch
Erik made a point of impressing upon Hanna that Marissa always lies, but I’m not sure she lied more than a few times in this episode. I think she generally uses the truth, but selectively. With Erik, she particularly uses truths he doesn’t want to hear. That’s the most effective form of manipulation.
They were both more open and honest with each other in this episode than we’ve seen either of them with anyone else. Erik may not have loved her, but his feelings for Marissa are intense and she cared deeply about him. They bonded over their shared experience with bringing these infants into the world who wouldn’t have existed otherwise. Until he broke the pact, left her and forced her into infanticide.
Marissa puts up a good front, but you could see in this episode that she’s emotionally fragile underneath it all. She’s also still stronger than almost anyone. I think that in the intervening years she’d forgotten how much she cares about Erik, and spending time with him again brought that up. That may be why she tried to kill him so quickly in episode 3. He gets under her skin as easily as she gets under his, and she didn’t want to give him time to trigger her.
Erik wasn’t immune to her effect, either. His need to essentially monologue was his mistake, and he let down his guard once he captured her, forgetting that the rest of the CIA and Utram would get involved, once both of their names were attached and she wasn’t around to keep it quiet. If he’d killed Marissa quickly, he and Hanna could have gotten out of town quietly, before Sawyer got involved, without worrying about her finding them again. But he’s stuck in the past and needed to relive their history for closure and the satisfaction he would get from knowing she was dead.
In the end, Hanna gets out-of-town nonviolently and under the radar, using Erik’s connection to Dieter, exactly how Erik wanted to escape. Had Erik let go of his deathmatch with Marissa and his addiction to secrets, they both could have ridden to Britain with the cauliflower, then gotten new identities there and gone anywhere.
In the end, Marissa didn’t have to tell Hanna lies to separate her from Erik. Erik kept too many secrets for too long, so that they began to look like lies, and drove her away by himself. He was so used to being able to control all of the information she received that he didn’t fully consider what would happen once they were out in the world.
He also wasn’t prepared for her to grow up and declare her independence. Hanna’s need for more freedom and to be in control of her own life is what started the series, and it continues to be a driving force. She refuses to be treated like a child any longer.
Ironically, the episode called “Father” was used to show us both Erik’s failings as a father and how successful he’s been, then to have Hanna thoroughly reject him. Hanna has quickly adapted to the city, despite his worry that he’d lose her to the urban jungle. That comes down to his training as much as it does to her DNA.
She’s also able to fit in with new people and situations, despite the extreme isolation of her childhood. That again, is because Erik gave her a well-adjusted, secure foundation. In my experience, making sure children feel safe and loved during their early childhood is one of the most important things parents can do for their future well-being.
The first half of the season has focused heavily on father figures, but that time is over. Erik is still Hanna’s father and always will be, despite the questioning she’s doing now, but this is her time to seek out the influences and experiences that he couldn’t provide for her alone in the cave. As with all young adults, she needs to try new things that are scary, and test herself in the world.
The key scene for Hanna this episode is her talk with Dieter, when he explained to her that she froze in the street because she was afraid, and we had the revelation that it was something she’d never felt before. Erik challenged her in so many ways, but his primary goal was always to keep her safe, this is the confirmation of how successful he was. She was a loved, secure child who was never scared that bad things were going to happen to her.
That childhood cocoon made her strong when she was younger, but if it continues, it will weaken her. She’ll lose the chance to learn to cope with adversity while she’s still developing. She’s an extraordinary person, so she needs to learn under extraordinary circumstances.
Who Killed Johanna?
It’s true that Marissa and Erik killed Johanna together, but Marissa twists and stretches that truth to guilt Erik.
Johanna might still be alive if Erik hadn’t helped her. Or she might have found someone else to help her and still died in the escape, or turned to drugs and alcohol in her depression, or taken any number of other paths. We’ll never know.
But, in this reality, Marissa ultimately killed her. Erik only helped put her in the situation that led to her death. His crime was underestimating Marissa and Utram.
Marissa didn’t have to pursue them so relentlessly that someone ended up dead. She seems to be quite good at cover ups and breaking rules, she could have made it look like all three of them had died and let them go. This is and always was a personal vendetta for Marissa, and that’s why she won’t back off, not because of company policy or threats.
When Marissa talks about the heart being selfish, she means her own. Every other major character in this saga has acted in the best interests of at least one other person besides themselves. Marissa is the only one who is in it for personal revenge and greed alone. She’s the only who’s treated Hanna like a possession to be fought over. She only acted to protect Olivier and Benoit because she was blackmailed into it. Normally, she keeps her two lives separate and lies to them as well.
She’s complex, and not all bad, but she’s used people’s emotions against them for so long that I don’t think she knows how to operate any other way.
Who Killed the Utrax Babies?
Utrax did. Whichever executives at Utrax gave those orders and set up the threatening environment that lets employees know they must comply with orders such as that or risk their well-being, or even lives, is responsible.
Marissa herself bears some responsibility, because she seems like she had a choice about becoming involved, knew what she was getting into, and then kept getting more involved out of greed. She seduced others by exploiting their weaknesses, like the way she hunted down Erik after he left the first time. She taught him to do the same thing with the expectant mothers.
But it’s important for us to remember that it was Utrax that murdered the babies, not Erik. It was clear from the look on Erik’s face while Marissa was talking that he had no idea that he was working for people who were so evil. He rescued one child and kept her hidden for many years. Utrax stopped looking for her, and they would have been safe if it weren’t for Marissa’s obsession.
If Erik could do it, then Marissa could have found a way to sneak a few babies out herself, but she didn’t, as far as we know. She and Erik watched as Hanna was born as if they were proud relatives. They were invested in those children.
Instead, Marissa scorched the earth, by which she means not just the facility and the program, but also her heart, and she blames Erik for it. She brought him on the job, twice. She was his supervisor. Why didn’t she catch the telltale signs that he was about to go rogue? She actually blames herself, and shifts her guilt to him.
But just as the deaths from World War 2 need to ultimately be blamed on the Nazis, Utrax’s corporate culture caused this. They were involved with seriously unethical human experimentation. It’s not clear how much Erik and Marissa knew about what the facility was doing, and they should have asked more questions. But if Erik hadn’t been the one to trigger a scare that caused the death of the children, sooner or later, something else would have. It’s clear that Utrax viewed the subjects as disposable, so it was only a matter of time.
Agency & The Legend of the Dead Babies
The three women, Marissa, Hanna and Johanna, have largely driven the action for the show so far. The conflicts are really between them, with Erik choosing sides and fighting for whichever woman he’s helping at the moment. But he got shot at last three times at the airport, and all three women are done needing his protection or help.
Johanna is dead. He’s thoroughly betrayed Marissa. And Hanna doesn’t need to be protected any longer, instead she needs to be mentored. He’s starting to get in the way and get left behind, as fairytale parents do at a certain point. Erik needs to either find his own story again, or accept that he’s now a supporting character in Hanna’s life. I worry that the trauma of learning about the dead babies, on top of being rejected by Hanna and reexperiencing the loss of Johanna, with affect his will to live.
Marissa was wrong when she said that Erik saved Hanna out of guilt. The story itself is similar to legendary infanticides, in which the powerful ruler orders the massacre of babies to save themselves, but one infant, a chosen one, survives in order to eventually bring down the evil ruler. The child is raised by at least one adoptive parent, giving Erik’s rescue of Hanna an air of destiny. But the parents die or are relegated to the background by the time the Chosen one’s adult story begins. And there is no guarantee that the chosen one will be good rather than evil.
The first one is Exodus chapters 1&2, the Old Testament story of Pharoah ordering the midwives to kill all of the baby boys born to the Hebrews in Egypt, because he was worried that the Hebrews were becoming too powerful. The midwives made excuses and disobeyed Pharoah, so he ordered his soldiers to throw the Hebrew baby boys into the Nile. This ultimately led to Moses being put in a basket in the Nile, found by the Pharoah’s daughter, and raised in the Pharoah’s household as her son.
The second infanticide story is from the New Testament, the Massacre of the Innocents from the Gospel of Matthew. King Herod orders the death of children aged two and under in order to try to kill Jesus. Depending on the version, Jesus and his parents are either already on their way to Egypt, or both Jesus and the infant John the Baptist are cleverly hidden by their mothers.
In medieval French legends, King Arthur is warned by Merlyn, his friend, wizard and advisor, that a newborn child will bring about his end. Arthur orders the death of all of the May Day newborns to prevent the prophecy from coming true. However, the subject of the prediction, Arthur’s illegitimate son Mordred, and the baby’s mother, Morgause, survive, and the prophecy plays out as foreseen.
Images courtesy of Amazon Prime.
2 thoughts on “Hanna Season 1 Episode 4: Father Recap”
appreciate the in depth reviews!
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