“City” was an episode missing some of the levity and bonding of the previous installment, and it labored a little too much on the past, but a strong finale kept things intriguing.
This Hanna Episode 3 recap, for the episode titled “City”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
As creepy agents pump Sophie (Rhianne Barreto) and her family for information about Hanna (Esme Creed-Miles) following her a*s-kicking train escape at the end of the previous episode, Hanna herself arrives in Berlin, where, true to form, she steals abandoned pizza from a stray dog, batters a pushy drug dealer, and reunites with her “father” Erik (Joel Kinnaman).
I like the little nuances in Creed-Miles’s performance as she has breakfast with Erik, cooly answering his questions about her journey from Morocco but noticeably brightening when asked about her clothes and the family who took her to France. These coming-of-age elements are nothing new, and thus difficult to sell. I like this version, even if I’m a bit skeptical of how capably Hanna can navigate capital city train stations despite having lived in a cave for 15 years.
Erik takes Hanna to meet some old army buddies of his, Rudi (Stefan Rudolf), Elsa (Katharina Heyer) and Lucas (Peter Ferdinando), who’re evidently clued up on the situation, as he explains that despite her insisting she didn’t tell anyone she was coming to Berlin, she was lying. (If he only knew what got her loose-lipped in the first place.) Hanna is evidently a bit irritated at her return to cold militaristic life; Erik immediately has her dressed back up in cargo pants and boots like an Action Man, so there’s no wonder, really.
Erik’s right though, obviously. And as we see Marissa (Mireille Enos) arrive in Berlin, he and his crew come up with the not unreasonable plan of taking the fight to her before she takes it to them. Thus, they rob an arms depot but leave Hanna alone in the van. For reasons entirely unknown to me, she turns the radio up full-blast and starts dopily dancing in the back, failing to notice — or possibly attracting — the attention of the police. This… is super dumb, if you ask me. I get that Hanna is supposed to be experiencing an awakening, but the idea that she’s completely abandoned 15 long years of training and discipline after one night out is just absurd to me.
Marissa meets with Jacobs (Andy Nyman) and promises to hand Erik and Hanna over to him once they’re caught; this all gets a bit enigmatic and presumably foreshadowy. He mentions Utrax, whom Marissa says she doesn’t want to be involved, and he talks about the dark past he shares with Marissa that haunts them both. Bury Erik Heller and, presumably, bury the past along with him, seems to be the idea. But will it be that easy? I suspect not.
Meanwhile, Hanna is pumping Erik for information about what he did for Marissa back in the day, her newfound rebelliousness evidently starting to interfere in their relationship now too. He explains that when he left the army he “had some problems”, which led to him working for her; there’s more to this, clearly, but that’s all for now. Besides, Erik seems one step ahead of Marissa, who he spies on as she investigates the depot robbery. She figures out he’s using his old army network, but isn’t that what he wants? As one of his old associates says to Hanna, she should never play chess with him.
“City” is an episode that feels designed to flesh out the past, which is necessary for the plot but feels a bit laboured here. It does, however, reveal some intriguing titbits, such as that Erik, while working with Marissa, used to creepily linger outside abortion clinics and talk expectant mothers into signing their children away. Back in the present, Marissa and Jacobs pick up Lucas and try to turn him by offering to clear his bar debts (the implication being that he’s a bit of a drinker, to say the least.) He refuses to be bought, but Marissa, who is turning out to be a great smarmy villain, asks him how much he really knows about Erik Heller; if he knows about the work he did in Romania, and if he knows who Hanna really is. “She’s his daughter,” he replies. “Is she?”
Lucas isn’t the only one getting suspicious of Erik. Hanna herself is starting to get fed up with his caginess and how he’s leaving her out of his planned assassination of Marissa. When she confronts him about the paper that makes questionable claims about her DNA, he tells her its lies and burns it — which Lucas notices. Putting two and two together, he tips off Marissa about the upcoming sting, which I’m not sure I necessarily buy as a character turn.
Either way Lucas pays for it. As Marissa is gearing up to spring her trap, Erik figures things out and switches places with Lucas so that he gets gunned down by mistake. Chaos erupts. Erik manages to escape, but Hanna sets off in pursuit and is almost caught by Jacobs; thankfully Erik’s previously reticent buddy Dieter (Benno Fürmann) is able to intervene. Elsa and Rudi, meanwhile, impersonate a couple of cops and pretend to have arrested Erik, allowing all three of them to get the drop on Marissa. A very last-minute flashback to the lady we met at the abortion clinic earlier makes the implication clear: Hanna is her child, not Erik’s, which at this point is barely a twist at all.