Episode 6 provides refreshing context at the right time as it ends into the important chapters. The Hulu series gives Anna’s version of events to help the audience understand Antoine’s hunch.
This recap of Hulu’s No Man’s Land season 1, episode 6 contains significant spoilers.
We recapped every episode — check out the archive.
Episode 6 opens with Anna, who is still distraught after her partner Navid was executed. She’s now in Cairo after leaving her family behind and joined a research laboratory at a museum. Antoine is leaving her voicemails, but she isn’t responding to them. It’s her birthday, and she ends up in a conversation with Stanley at a restaurant who apparently works at a human rights organisation for the Middle East. Stanley talks about Iran and Anna’s ears perk up. The table then wishes her happy birthday, and she ties her hair up in her signature style, just like Antoine noted when he saw the news footage at the start of the series. Episode 6 is giving a new angle of this story, from the eye of Anna.
Offering to go to Iran
At work, Anna is offered a project in Iran, but she doesn’t want to go. Stanley is troubled by one of his asylum cases at the NGO — it’s a person in Iran, and he’s concerned. Anna offers to go to Iran for him to help solve his issue. He accepts her offer. Anna spends her time excavating as part of her job and then travels to Tehran over the weekend to help her friend out with Stanley’s case; she delivers a passport, and in return, she’s given a letter. Nothing is what it seems early on in episode 6, as we soon learn.
Answers in Sussex
Anna then visits Sussex, United Kingdom to visit her friend. She enjoys a meal with Stanley’s friends, and it’s a good atmosphere. After dinner, she talks about the letter she was given in Tehran; she wants to know what her mission really was. Stanley brings her to a private room and talks about how an activist was poisoned with radiation — they are going to test the letter for radiation. This was not an NGO mission at all…
Stanley then reveals to Anna that he is Israeli and works for the country’s Intelligence. Anna laughs in disbelief, but then it sinks in that he’s telling the truth. She suddenly feels used and says that he isn’t the “good guys”. Stanley brings up Navid; he knows about him and that everything up to this moment was a test — he emotionally encourages her to continue with the operation. He tells her she can make a change. Stanley is so casual and blase about the situation; you can tell this is his life’s work.
Anna joins the cause and rejoins her science job in Iran. She hears how demonstrations ended in violence in Tehran. When Anna returns to Sussex, Stanley pulls the operation as it’s too dangerous. He now wants to refocus on the military nuclear program in Iran, and he asks Anna to help. She agrees — Anna is in deep now and needs to build a trusted network.
As part of her mission, Anna shows Helan at the excavation site a photo of her sister Gilia; she fights for the YPJ. Anna tells her they are fighting for the same and that the excavation site is a cover-up. Anna asks Helan for help. She agrees to join the effort; Anna seems to be enjoying her new role in the world.
The attack on the scientists
While on her way to Sussex, Anna sees a news report on a deadly attack on Iranian nuclear scientists. This sets her back, and she rings Helan, who is at the excavation site, and sends her a warning message. Anna storms to Stanley’s; she’s angry about the attack and she knows Helan will not be able to escape. Stanley tells Anna that she wanted this and that she needs to stay until they figure out what to do next. Episode 6 shows how Anna has been made into a pawn in this vicious world.
Stanley gives Anna an update on Helan; she was arrested with her husband, and they didn’t survive the interrogation. He also reveals that Iran knows everything about Anna, so she needs to go to Israel as that it would be her safest place. Stanley calls Anna a natural, and he wants to find a way to protect her. Anna declares that she’s out.
But you always get the sense that Anna wants a purpose in her life as she pretends she does not want to continue with Stanley’s missions.
Anna carries out lectures and continues science research after quitting her role for Stanley. One evening, she gets a text that leaves her pondering. She writes a letter for Antoine. While outside, she is tracked down by a couple of men, but then there’s an explosion. It’s presumed she was inside the car that exploded, but it turns out she snuck inside a truck to get away. Anna has faked her own death, and Iranian intelligence believes she is dead. Stanley tells her that everything has been taken care of and she cannot return to France or her family.
Anna hops onto the back of a truck, and it looks like she is joining the YPJ. Her brother was right; she is alive.
No Man’s Land season 1, episode 6 provides refreshing context at the right time as it ends into the important chapters. The Hulu series gives Anna’s version of events to help the audience understand Antoine’s hunch.
Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.