Hanna's Utrax Conspiracy Is Even Much More Nefarious Than We Thought

Photo: Courtesy of Amazon Prime Studios.
Warning: Spoilers ahead for Hanna season 1 finale, “Utrax.”
From the jump, we know the CIA conspiracy at the center of Amazon Prime VIdeo’s Hanna is monstrous. In the very first scene of the series premiere, “Forest,” we see Erik Heller (Altered Carbon’s Joel Kinnaman) break into a shady government facility housing countless babies. He then risks his life to break a single baby — the one who will grow up to be the eponymous Hanna (Esme Creed-Miles) — out of the building. An expensive and deadly helicopter led-chase follows, all in pursuit of baby Hanna. Something is very, very rotten in Darabani, Romania.
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The small silver lining in Hanna is that, by all accounts, the terrifying initiative that turned babies like Hanna into science experiments has been discontinued. The Utrax program, as was the baby-abducting set-up’s codename, is over. Hanna is the CIA’s final loose thread.
Then episode 6, “Mother,” rolls around, confirming the Utrax program is thriving with a brand new class of captive girls (now fully grown into teens). If you pay close attention up until the aptly titled finale “Utrax,” you’ll be able to put together the nefarious goals of the program — and the fact it’s probably doomed.
As one gleans throughout Hanna’s first season, the basic purpose of Utrax is to turn its young subjects into super soldiers. Hence Hanna’s own “unique,” as CIA black ops agent Marissa Wiegler (Mireille Enos) describes the teenager, talents and Girl 249’s (Yasmin Monet Prince) near supernatural hearing. It’s our glimpses into Girl 249’s life that reveal what Utrax wants most for its so-called trainees. Since this is a CIA facility, one would assume the trainees would be learning how to pull dangerous spy missions on foreign soil. If that were the case, they would need to know other languages or customs.
Instead, it seems these highly trained killing machines are being prepared to assimilate into American life, totally undetected — and therefore even more dangerous. Their cultural studies class revolves around learning the American states and their capitals, along with the words of the Declaration Of Independence. If these trainees were being deployed into Eastern Europe or the Middle East, it’s unlikely they would spend this much time memorizing American political trivia. The snow drifts of Russia are not known for their reliance on state capital pop quizzes.
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Is the real goal of Utrax, which already sounds like “you track,” to spy on and eliminate American citizens?
While that question goes unanswered, the finale confirms the CIA is going to continue with this dubious program, even after everyone involved flees the Darabani complex. As all the trainees — save for new Hanna ally 249, whose real name is Clara Mahan — are in a military air transport, an unseen woman announces over a loudspeaker the girls are headed to airbase 910, where ever that is. From there, they will go to the enigmatic Wilberforce facility. Although it’s unclear what Wilberforce is, it shares its name with an 18th-century British politician and an area in Ohio.
While the government promises training will “continue as normal,” a few silent cues suggest Hanna and her call to escape have awakened the trainees' more rebellious natures. Girl 217 (Jasmine Breinburg) and Girl 242 (Áine Rose Daly) turn to each other in suspiciously and hold some very lengthy eye contact. Some would even call the glance side-eye. Considering the fact 242 wouldn’t even break protocol to look at 249 during the lockdown earlier in the episode, something has changed. That makes sense, since Utrax’s head of science, Dr. Kunek (Noah Taylor, aka the guy who chopped off Jaime’s hand in Game Of Thrones), repeatedly reminds the CIA how integral his heavily monitored and scheduled medication is for the trainees.
“It’s not safe for them to be held in restrictive areas for more than a few hours,” Kunek says. “Until they receive socialization training, I need to constantly medicate them.” By the finale, the girls have been restricted and unmedicated for at least a full day, if not more, due to the lockdown and subsequent rush to evacuate the facility. In between all the Hanna-created chaos, there was no time to administer Kunek’s mysterious medication or allow for physical activity.
As the Amazon-provided trivia for “Utrax” says, the teens of the episode, like 217 and 242, could be used in “future stories” for Hanna. Prepare for things to get much weirder — and bloodier — before they get better.
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