Hanna – Episode 2

This post analyzes the Amazon Prime television series Hanna using the 5 Commandments of Storytelling and the Editor’s 6 Core Questions from the book The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne.


This post contains spoilers from the Amazon Prime television series Hanna, so make sure you watch the show before you read further.

The 5 Commandments for Episode 2

Inciting Incident

The inciting incident for this episode is when Hanna is imprisoned in a CIA warehouse and then kills a women pretending to be Marissa and escapes her cell.

Progressive Complication/ Turning Point

There are a number of progressive complications that lead to the Turning Point of this sequence:

  • There are numerous issues with Hanna’s escape
  • Hanna meets Sophie and travels with her family
  • Marissa gives an unknown man directives to find Hanna

The Turning Point is when Hanna realizes she likes this normal life with Sophie and her family.


Hanna must decide whether to stay with Sophie and her family or continue to find her father, Erik.


Hanna decides to find Erik and says goodbye to Sophie in the train station.


Hanna is tracked to the train station and Marissa orders her men to take her, she takes out most of the men and escapes on a train.

Value Shift

This value shift is a -/+. In the beginning, Hanne is captured and locked up, but at the end of the episode she has freed herself and is on her way to meet her father.

Conventions and Obligatory Scenes for the Action Genre

Obligatory Scenes

Forced to leave ordinary world, Hero lashes out – Hanna’s ordinary world is in hiding with her father. Once she experiences life with Sophie, she is tempted to stay.

Hero’s initial strategy against villain fails – To be determined

Hero’s All is Lost Moment, when he must change his approach in order to salvage some form of victory – Too early yet

Hero at the Mercy of the Villain – Too early yet

Hero’s Sacrifice is Rewarded – Too early yet


Hero, Villain, Victim clearly defined – Hero – Hanna; Villain – Marissa; Victim – Maybe Hanna too? Other children that were tested on? (To be determined)

The hero’s object of desire – stop the villain and save the victims

The Power divide between the hero and villain is very large – Hanna is alone, with only her father’s training; Marissa has many resources and men and an agency behind her

Speech in praise of the villain – Not yet; though Erik tells Hanna he has been training her to fight Marissa


This episode continues with more action as Hanna takes out a fake Marissa and multiple guards and hunters. There is room for an internal story, one where Hanna desires a normal life, but I’m not sure the writers will develop this storyline and will instead keep up with the action. Also, we know that Marissa is the chief of the bad guys, but we don’t yet have a Speech in Praise of the villain, no one is saying why this agency is bad or how bad they are.

More Story Analysis

If you want to see more applications of the Story Grid methodology, below are links to my analysis of various novels and television shows in blog posts and podcasts:

Story Grid Showrunners Podcast – Parul, Melanie, and I analyze hit TV series using the Story Grid methodology.

My blog posts analyzing other Television series – my person take using the Story grid 5 Commandments to look at my favorite TV series – Jack Ryan, Batgirl, For All Mankind, Hanna, and more.

Novel analysis – I analyze some of my favorite books using the Story Grid 5 Commandments and 6 core questions – First Blood, Old Man’s War, Waylander, and more to come!

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