Hanna Season 1 Episode 6: Mother Recap

Hanna S1Ep6 Erik, Marissa & Hanna in Elevator.png

Episode 6, Mother, reunites Hanna and Erik. But first, Erik is held prisoner by Sawyer and tortured, while Hanna has a fight with Sophie, then agrees to leave quietly with Marissa as her daughter/prisoner. There are some good character moments and fun action scenes, plus a major reveal. But the main reasons for this episode are to give Marissa and Hanna a chance to meet face to face at last and to move everyone toward their place for the final two episodes.

Recap

The episode opens on Sawyer visiting Erik in the basement dungeon where he’s keeping Erik nearly naked, on the floor, with an air conditioner blowing on him. The torture is made worse by throwing buckets of cold water on him at frequent intervals.

Sawyer wants to know where Hanna is. So does Erik. “I don’t know where she is because she didn’t tell me. She’s smarter than all of us. Don’t look so surprised. You made her that way.”

Sawyer is really nothing more than a glorified flunky with an out of control ego. Definitely not part of the team that made Hanna. Probably hasn’t even bothered to read the file. He’s gotten lucky so far. Marissa is the smart one, and I don’t think that Hanna actually is smarter than her. That makes me wonder, again, if Marissa is an early prototype for the Utrax project.

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Hanna Season 1 Episode 5: Town Recap

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In episode 5, Hanna has made it to London and is hiding out in Sophie’s garage, sleeping in the family’s camper van. She’s thrown head first into the deep end of normal teenage social life in this episode, which she does her best to navigate. Between her sheltered upbringing and her heightened responses due to her manipulated DNA, she has a tougher time than most girls her age. As always, Hanna’s common sense and abilities also come in handy when she needs to read people or defend herself.

Both Hanna and Erik struggle to deal with the consequences of Hanna’s discoveries about her background. Erik is seriously wounded, which stops him from searching for Hanna, leaving him in despair. Hanna is depressed, grieving the relationship she thought she had with Erik.

Sawyer and Marissa develop a power struggle over the case. Sawyer continues to use heavy-handed methods and takes Marissa off the case, despite the depth of her experience with Erik. As usual, Marissa takes matters into her own hands.

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Hanna Season 1 Episode 4: Father Recap

Hanna S1Ep4 Hanna & Dieter Drink Turkish Coffee and Discuss Fear

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.

Recap

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.

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Hanna Season 1 Episode 3: City Recap

Hanna S1Ep3 Erik & Marissa 2005

As befits an episode called “City”, episode 3 of Hanna picks up the storytelling pace and keeps the characters in motion. Hanna and Erik are reunited and must work together against their nemesis, Marissa, who finally gets enough screen time in this episode for character building and to reveal her backstory with Erik. The episode also has some parallels with episode 2, as Hanna is thrown into another established, troubled family. In this episode they work with Erik’s old Army gang, where she’s again relegated to the role of child, even though she’s much more than that.

Recap

Hanna’s train pulls into Berlin, as Jacobs visits Sophie’s family to question them about her. He falsely claims that Hanna’s mother is alive and has asked him to find her daughter, because Hanna’s father, who she’s been staying with, is dangerous and unstable. Then he shows the family a photo of the two guards Erik killed on the Polish-German border.

Since the family don’t know they’re in an action-suspense series and this sort of thing is to be expected, it’s very upsetting for them. Jacobs and the family all keep pushing Sophie for any information she might be holding back, out of loyalty to Hanna.

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Hanna Season 1 Episode 2: Friend Recap

Hanna S1Ep2 Sophie & Hanna in the Morrocan Desert
Sophie & Hanna in the Moroccan Desert

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.

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Amazon Cancels The Man in the High Castle: Season 4 Will Be Series Finale

Plus Official Season 4 Teaser Trailer

Another one bites the dust.

As the title of the post says, the upcoming season 4 of Amazon Prime’s The Man in the High Castle, which will be released in the Fall of 2019, will be its last. Many suspected that this would be the case when the show was given an early renewal for season 4, after it had taken so long for season 3 to be released. Another high quality show lost to Jeff Bezos’ short attention span.

But, despite my sadness over the loss, I feel there’s some good news here as well.

For one thing, look at this amazing poster! For another, a teaser video was also released today. And, in an interview with Deadline, the executive producers of the show, Isa Dick Hackett and David Zucker, strongly hinted about the possibility of a sequel series or film.

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Hanna Season 1 Episode 1: Forest Review and Recap

 

The rest of my Hanna recaps are HERE.

The pilot of Hanna was available for 24 hours after the Super Bowl, in early February. I wrote this review and recap then, 6 weeks before the rest of the season dropped. As far as I can tell, the pilot wasn’t changed.

Review

Hanna is an Amazon Prime original series which is based on the 2011 film of the same name. The series stars stars Esme Creed-Miles as Hanna, a 15 year old girl who’s been raised alone in the woods by her father and trained to be a survivalist and fighter; Joel Kinnaman as Erik Heller, Hanna’s father and a former agent who took his infant daughter on the run to escape the relentless pursuit which killed Hanna’s mother; and Mireille Enos as Marissa Wiegler, a rogue CIA agent who’s been hunting Heller and his family for many years and will stop at nothing to find them.

Amazon is advertising the story as “equal parts high-concept thriller and coming-of-age drama”. I can’t help but notice the similarities to Les Miserables and the Jean Valjean/ Cosette/ Javert storyline, one of my favorite stories of all time. In this version, Cosette is the star, and gets to show what she’s made of.

But, never fear, if you don’t like 19th century French literature or operatic 80s musicals. This is a thoroughly modern action-mystery-thriller in the vein of Hunger Games or Nikita. Hanna has been trained by her father since birth and has extraordinary talents, but she doesn’t know who she is to the outside world, or why she’s being hunted. Her father has kept her sheltered from the rest of humanity, but has taught her as much as he could about the world from their cave in the forest.

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The Man in the High Castle Season 3 Episode 6: History Ends Recap

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Episode 6, History Ends, is a profound episode, full of movement and transitions, but also quiet mourning and contemplation. The episode takes place during the 2 days after Joe’s death, and before John Smith’s swearing-in as Reichsmarschall. We see Juliana silently, but intensely, mourning him and trying to process what she’s done, and what this act says about her. She always has a bottle of liquor and a cigarette in her hands, and looks at as few people as possible. Her time is spent tying up loose ends in San Francisco, including sending a message to her mentor Tagomi. Then she enlists Wyatt’s help to get back to her other family, Hawthorne and Caroline.

The Smith family, on the other hand, should be able to breathe a little more freely, with the Rockwell/Hoover/Adler threat taken care of and John’s newest promotion. Helen is back to her old self, even feeling a bit frisky. But John is feeling renewed pressure from Himmler, and hasn’t properly grieved Thomas. Helen’s therapy has helped her move on and find renewed purpose, while John has another Thomas’, from other realities, dangling before him. With all of his loved ones and confidantes dead or threatened, and nowhere on this world for him to go, traveling to a better reality has got to be appealing to Smith.

But for now, he has to help Himmler destroy American history, and possibly the rest of his family. In this episode Smith gets word that Joe, his surrogate son, is dead, which causes him to revisit the betrayal he still feels over the murder of his surrogate brother, Erich Raeder, who was also under his protection. He’s lost his actual son and brother and his replacement son and brother, and he might not have the strength to lose more. He’s begun closing himself off to Helen and the girls, so that when he loses them, it won’t hurt so much. He focussing all of his energy on his work and on the Thomas in the films.

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The Man in the High Castle Season 3 Episode 5: The New Colossus Recap

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The New Colossus is such an eventful episode that it’s hard to know how to even summarize it. The title refers to the centerpiece of Nicole’s Jahr Null plan, replacing the Statue of Liberty with a new statue based in part on the image of Thomas, but also to John Smith and the power he accrues, which is supposed to keep him and his family safe, but instead hangs like an albatross around his neck.

The themes of identity, spirituality, community and responsibility continue to be explored this episode. Frank engages in soul searching before his bar mitzvah, trying to discern how to best atone for his sins while keeping his current community safe. Helen works through her grief and wonders how to reconcile her feelings about Thomas’ death with being a strong wife and mother. Juliana struggles with the meaning of the films and how they relate to her relationship with Joe in this world. John has to come up with yet another scheme to retain power and protect his family, this time breaking up my dream team of Rockwell and Hoover.

The episode begins with Himmler overseeing the graduation exercises executions of more Lebensborn assassins. His favorite is a tall, broad, blonde named Hans, who is the best the Reich has to offer. Hans is able to shoot fleeing Jews in the back faster than anyone ever, making Papa Himmler ever so proud.

Keep repeating to yourself that even in this reality, the Reich will fall eventually, and take some deep breaths.

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The Man in the High Castle Season 3 Episode 4: Sabra Recap

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Episode 4, Sabra, focuses on the strained partnerships and heightening tensions of the alternate reality of The Man in the High Castle. Ed and Robert begin their journey back to the west coast, complaining at each other the whole time. John and Helen continue to struggle with their grief over Thomas’ death and the increasing scrutiny and pressure on them because of John’s promotion. Joe and Juliana grow physically closer, but choose every word they say carefully.

Meanwhile, the JPS begins experiencing protests over the fuel shortage because of its effect on everyday life. Wyatt shows up at Juliana’s door, wanting to get to know her better. Thelma and Nicole also get to know each other better, in an illegal way that could get them both reeducated at best and executed at worst. Tagomi and his painter get to know each other better over dinner, but Joe has plans for dessert.

The title, Sabra, refers to the Catholic community outside of Denver that secretly shelters a community of Jews, called Sabra. The term sabra means a native-born Israeli Jew. It’s taken from the name of a cactus fruit that’s tough on the outside but soft and sweet on the inside.

The Neutral Zone and the Japanese Pacific States turn people into this version of themselves, people who are tough and wary but can still have normal relationships with those they trust. In the Reich, trust is virtually impossible, as even one’s closest friends and loved ones might be convinced to turn one in for the good of the state. Joe was once a  young cactus fruit, but now he’s been squeezed dry, and the shell that’s left works for Himmler.

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