‘Hanna’ Episode 8 Recap: “Utrax” Let It Burn



“Utrax” provided a solid, above-average conclusion to an inconsistent season, leaving things on an uplifting and cathartic note.

This Hanna Episode 8 Recap for the episode titled “Utrax” contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.

And in what feels like no time at all (okay, the middle episodes were a bit laborious here and there) we have reached the end. And it feels just about right that “Utrax” is immediately characterized by a shift in dynamics. Marissa (Mireille Enos) is holding Sawyer (Khalid Abdalla) hostage and pumping him for information on Utrax Regenesis, while Hanna (Esme Creed-Miles), who has apparently never seen a rabbit she didn’t kill, is bossing Erik (Joel Kinnaman) around and deciding what they’re going to do next. The answer should be obvious: They’re going to the Utrax facility, and they’re going to rescue the girls who have been forced to endure the life of captivity and experimentation that Hannah was saved from.

We have a name for Trainee 249, who I had been referring to as “Mahan” thanks to Utrax’s dodgy paperwork: Clara (Yasmin Monet Prince). She is, by her own admission, “different”, much like Hanna herself, so she becomes an ally when Hanna and Erik break into the facility with the intention of busting everyone out. But the other trainees aren’t compliant; this life is all they’ve ever known, and they’ve been bred, literally, to unflinchingly obey orders. There’s a distinct horror vibe to these programmed automatons, especially when Sawyer, having escaped Marissa, instructs them to attack any intruders. Hanna attempting to appeal to their humanity is really the show’s underlying theme of self-discovery and embracing your differences in microcosm; while she has learned that it is okay not be normal, the trainees are terrified of their difference and retreat into the extreme discipline and structure that they’ve been taught since birth.

There was a lot of action in this final episode, presumably because all of the plot’s mysteries had been revealed and there was little left but catharsis. It was as satisfying as you’d expect to watch Hanna and Erik tear through Utrax security, even if it was quietly tragic that almost all of the trainees were bundled onto a transport and taken elsewhere, to continue their life as weapons. (There was, smartly, some low-key indication of dissent brewing among the ranks.)

Sawyer was underwhelming as a villain, and his unceremonious fate — coolly shot by Marissa so that Erik, Hanna and 249 could make their escape — was fitting for him. Marissa entering the burning facility and hearing once again the crying babies in her memory seemed fitting for her, too, even if it felt like she could have stood to be more instrumental in the story’s end.

Erik, I think inevitably, succumbed to his injuries and was buried at his request alongside Hanna’s mother, Johanna (Joanna Kulig). All who remained, in the end, were Hanna and 249, both finally free, hand-in-hand, ready to confront a new world on their own. And don’t forget Sophie (Rhianne Barreto); everything Hanna learned from her about being a teenage girl she will presumably pass on to 249, who is even less familiar with the real world than she is.

This was, if you ask me, an above-average conclusion to a relatively average season. And at least it was hopeful in its ending, even if some aspects were left ambiguous or intentionally downbeat. The show’s essential message of embracing who you are and who loves you came through and left its mark, which I suppose should be considered a success.

Jonathon Wilson

Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.

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