The first season of ‘Hanna’ served more as a training arc for its titular character. Hanna was raised in isolation by her father, who relentlessly trained her to face the world outside. At the end of the season, we learned that Hanna’s father was protecting her from a secret CIA organization that trains teenage girls to become assassins, under a program named Utrax. In an attempt to stop Utrax and its unethical operations, Hanna’s father died while Hanna got the responsibility of finishing what her father had started. Her only ally is Clara, a defiant victim of Utrax’s sinister plottings.
Season 2 picks up right where the first season left. But this time around, the stakes are higher, the revelations are bigger, and the action, grittier. Season 1 was entertaining in the sense that it managed to subvert itself from most tropes of espionage dramas. However, it was still weighed down by its decorative yet unnecessary teenage melodrama. The second installment topples these flaws, barely hobbles with its pace, and proves to be a satisfying follow-up in almost every possible way.
Hanna Season 2 Recap
After the first season’s tragic conclusion, Hana and Clara are still in the forests. Hana now leads the way as she knows a lot more about the world outside than Clara. For Clara, defying Utrax has more to do with her urge to know more about her mother, her origins, and her true identity. While for Hanna, it’s all about seeking revenge and fulfilling her father’s purpose. However, Marissa has other plans. Guilty of what she did in the past, Marissa is now determined to save Hana. But while she’s at it, Clara falls for another one of Ultrax’s plottings and ends up in their new facility known as “The Meadows.”
When Hanna breaks into the government-run organization and tries to save Clara, she discovers that things are not the same anymore. The girls who were once imprisoned and forced to follow a fixed protocol, now have many more allowances. They have names, backgrounds, families, friends, and even distinct identities. But for Hanna, who has seen the world outside, all this seems fishy. But the longer she stays at The Meadows, the more she dissolves into its home-like structure. She even gets a new name, Mia, and her grief for her father does not help her either. As a result, Hanna finds herself at a crossroads—either settle for what she has at The Meadows or walk with the purpose that her father gave her.
Hanna Season 2 Review
From Utrax to The Meadows, from Hanna to Mia, almost everything changes in the second installment, and yet, still stays the same. The tables have turned. Hanna was once determined to destroy Utrax. But now, for a while, she, too, becomes a victim of their manipulative methods. Meanwhile, Marissa, who was once an ally of the Utrax, is now determined to take them down, with her smugness on a whole new level. As most may recall, the biggest issue with season one was its depiction of Hanna’s adventures in the real world. Its coming-of-age drama, or rather, its lack thereof, had little to no significance in its overarching plot. Season 2 does not shy away from pulling off something similar. However, this time, it executes it with a lot more depth using its themes surrounding identity and family.
Midway through its runtime, the action of the series unfolds in The Meadows, which is a social structure created specifically to get the girls accustomed to the real world. While it’s intriguing to see how the Utrax manipulates these girls, as a viewer, it’s strange to notice how easily malleable their minds are. They are all merely driven by a simulated reality that, in some ways, even alludes to real life. The show’s forte, with its depiction of this simplistic and understandable simulation, feels real. More so, it hits home because of the great performances of its teenage cast.
Somewhere around its fifth episode mark, the show allows you to perceive The Meadows from Hanna’s perspective and not as a third person. In the first season, we got to see how she never belonged in the world outside as her DNA, in itself, is unique. The second season shows how even when she’s with girls who are just like her, she’s a misfit. She has seen far too much of the real world to fall for Utrax’s trap. In these moments, Esmé Creed-Miles (Hanna) makes you feel every little sliver that comes in her character’s way.
Along with her, Yasmin Monet Prince (Clara) also proves to be an extremely talented actor, perfectly imbuing the emotional vulnerability of her otherwise vigorous demeanor. Not to mention, Karen-O’s “Anti-Lullaby” is again sporadically placed as a backdrop for several scenes. Although repetitive, it’s a perfect fit for the series—an ode to girls who never knew their mothers.
The final act of the season drifts back to its old game of cat-and-mouse. But this time, it comes with higher stakes and better adrenaline-pumping action sequences. More so, it cleverly leaves only bits and pieces of the fabric that finally connects and concludes all of its underlying mysteries. Overall, ‘Hanna Season 2’ is an utterly unpredictable and satisfying follow-up for what started as a seemingly directionless action thriller.
Read More: Is Hanna Based on a True Story?