A fresh start
Running away alone for a fresh start, where she can overcome the mountain of trauma she has been through, is the best choice Hanna could have made for his young hero. She’s what, only 20 years old right now? Since she left the forest, she fights almost every minute for her life and for the lives of those she loves. She lost her mother, her adopted father, her super soldier sister and her deadly hostile adoptive mother – who died while helping Hanna bring the Utrax operation to the world. Hanna has earned the chance to live in the world and find out who she is and what she wants.
If the show had brought Hanna to oven-ready domestic bliss with Abbas and Nadiya in a pressure cooker, or had chosen to keep Marissa alive and let her live life with her ersatz daughter, it wouldn’t have served her guidance well. Utrax, Erik, and Marissa all turned Hanna into a deadly weapon; now she can decide who and what she is. Being alone and being free to be who she wants to be is Hanna’s true happy ending.
Freedom to choose
The freedom to rebel against authority, make your own choices and forge your own identity really emerged as the theme in season two of Hanna with the introduction of The Meadows. There, Utrax’s teenage killers were expected to blindly accept the false lives created for them and unconditionally follow horrific orders. In season three, when Hanna sees the political activist Abbas speak, his talk sounds like he is being spoon-fed by the establishment. She has been lied to all her life, even by the people she loved and trusted. Hanna is struck by Abbas’ words and passion, which are all part of her attraction to him. Older and already with a firm grip on his political identity and beliefs, Abbas would be a benign yet obscuring figure to Hanna at this point in her life. If she’d gone straight into a life with him, would it really be that different from being told what to believe by Utrax, or Erik, or Marissa, or any of the other figures trying to mold her into their vision?
On what subject, season three introduced Ray Liotta as Utrax’s shadowy chairman Gordon Evans, the ultimate domineering “father” who tried to turn the girls into his personal weapons. He’d had a test flight decades earlier, we learned, on Marissa Wiegler herself, or “Mary” as she called his battered daughter. For decades, Marissa’s sadistic and estranged father had been pulling the strings in her career without her knowledge. He was behind the Pioneer group and presumably gave Marissa the traumatizing order to kill the Utrax baby subjects after Erik rescued the baby Hanna.
That choice of story put Marissa closer to the Utrax subjects, all of whom had been traumatized by the same cruel figurehead. (There is a sickening suggestion that Marissa was abused both sexually and physically by her father, especially when—to create a diversion for Hanna at the headquarters in Vienna—she asked “Daddy’s new pet” Brianna Stapleton, “Can he still getting hard?”) While we’ve seen Hanna, Clara and Jules reject controlling influences and question the stories they’ve been given, we’ve also seen Mireille Enos’s Marissa do the same. She has been on her own questioning journey, which culminated in overcoming the demonic father who shaped her.
While they have all fought to break free, Marissa has also fought for redemption, and in the season three finale, she achieved it. She killed her despicable father, stopped the soldiers about to execute Hanna, Abbas, Nadiya and rebel assassin Jules, and exposed the Utrax program to the world, thereby saving the lives of the thousands of potential teenage murder targets that would be killed as Max’ algorithm was put into practice.