I am very fond of tooting my own horn. As a reminder, I have mentioned Hanna (the Amazon Prime TV show) every season it has been on since 2019 as a show you should be watching. Now, as the series has run its course, (alas it is true that the third season is the final season) I would urge you to binge-watch all three seasons.
All three seasons are currently available for free on Amazon Prime. In my humble opinion (IMHO), it is a perfect complement to the offerings that we have already and will continue to propose, cajole, and share during Codename: Capricorn.
We originally had planned to keep our secret agent and espionage celebration to the month of January, but we love the genre and have had some challenges that have limited our opportunities to post. Consequently, we have decided to continue through February with more offerings that are endemic of the spy genre, and I for one feel buoyant about it.
Regarding Hanna last year, I advised that people watch the TV show because the first two seasons had been stellar, and I believed that the show could only get better. It has, although the showrunner was very clear that the show from its conception was designed as a three-act play: each season building on the premise of a young girl coming of age as a DNA-enhanced super soldier.
In the first season, it is revealed that Hanna Petrescu’s mother was recruited as a single mother to give up her baby to a Romanian facility named Utrax, where the 3-month-old fetus was implanted with wolf DNA. The fictional enhancements supposedly increased Hanna’s bone density (making her stronger and physically more durable).
The enhancements also gave her advanced sensory abilities as far as stronger eyesight, smell, and hearing that attune her to any subtle changes to environment and surroundings. The enhancements coupled with the training she received from Eric Heller, the man who is her father for all intents and purposes, make Hanna a very valuable weapon.
In the first season, Hanna (Esme Creed-Miles) is taught to fear and hate Marissa Wiegler (Mireille Enos) the CIA operative that contracted Eric Heller (Joel Kinnaman) to enlist desperate pregnant women willing to give up their babies to the program. In the pilot, Joanna, Hanna’s mother has changed her mind and wants to keep her baby. With Erik’s help they escape the facility. With the escape, the CIA is prompted to close the facility and destroy all evidence of the program, including the babies.
Season One is all about showing a 15-year-old Hanna (super soldier in training) as a young girl come-of-age. We have seen the rigorous training that she undergoes, living isolated in the forest alone with her father, poorly socialized, and trying to navigate the social ambiguities of being a teenager in the modern world. As the lone survivor of the Utrax program, there are numerous villains looking to exploit Hanna’s unique talents.
Erik continues to protect his daughter, but as every father grows to understand, there comes a point in time when every parent must let the children learn on their own. Regardless of how helpful we want to be, sometimes in spite of, the child needs to explore their own individuality.
At the end of Season One and into Season Two, we learned that the Utrax program had been re-established one year after the dissolution of the original program as Utrax Regeneration without Marissa Wiegler’s knowledge. These girls were not gifted with the original formula that included wolf DNA, which was lost with the original facility. Also, Wiegler’s perceived failure with Hanna resulted with an altered methodological paradigm.
The subsequent crop of teenage CIA operatives, require chemical enhancements which they use in the furtherance of CIA operations (read that as assassinations) throughout the world. Hanna returns to the educational facility called the Meadows in an attempt to free her “sisters” from the indoctrinations of the Agency. She essentially is able to infiltrate and return with the objective of destroying the program once and for all.
In Season 3, Hanna returns to the Meadows as its biggest success-story. She is touted as a super-agent despite her continued resistance to indoctrination methods. In fact, she has even begun to transform former enemies into sympathetic allies or even outright protagonists.
The fact that Hanna was created to be a super soldier without her agency (right to self-determine) rubs some people the wrong way. It creates a sense of wrongness in some of the characters we hate, and we learn that the puppet master throughout the entire series is none other than a figure called the Chairman (Ray Liotta). The ending is something that is awesomely unexpected and perfectly attenuated with the tone of the series.
Hanna has from the beginning called to my parental instincts, because her father is so immensely human, making mistakes that can only be seen from a perspective of distance and the OMG! I have done that! Yeah, unfortunately most parents make these mistakes, me included or dare I say especially. I cringe at the failures and marvel at the successes, and continue to love Hanna even when she disappoints, because that is what Dad’s do.
I loved this show, and I suspect that I will continue to do just that, for a long time coming! Even if it is only in re-runs, but I have a sneaky suspicion that there’s still a lot more to say.