Batwoman Episode 1 – Does the Story Work? Unfortunately, not so far.

This post analyzes the Batwoman Series using the 5 Commandments of Storytelling and the Editor’s 6 Core Questions from the book The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne.

SPOILER ALERT!!!

This post contains spoilers from the Batwoman series, so make sure you watch the show before you read further.

This is a one shot blog post, mainly because I don’t think the story is working and I’m not sure if they will be able to fix it in the series given the path the writers have chosen to go down, so I probably won’t watch the rest of the series.

Expectations and Problems

I had high hopes for this series. I enjoyed Gotham. The Batman universe is very iconic. There was a lot of possibilities, so I gave the first episode a shot.

Here is the wikipedia blurb:

Three years after billionaire philanthropist Bruce Wayne and his vigilante alter-ego Batman disappeared, his cousin Kate Kane sets out to overcome her demons and become a symbol of hope by protecting the streets of Gotham City as Batwoman.

wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batwoman_(TV_series)

So, I assume this will start with an origin story. It starts with future Batwoman getting survival training by diving into an iced over lake, retrieving a key to her handcuffs, and un-cuffing herself and then using the handcuffs to break through the ice. I liked this scene. Batman had often searched out mentors during his career, when he started and also to reset when something went wrong. I didn’t have a problem with this.

But I do have a lot of other problems.

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Treadstone Episode 1 – 5 Commandments

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

SPOILER ALERT!!!

This post contains spoilers from the USA Network television series Treadstone, so make sure you watch the show before you read further.

The 5 Commandments for Episode 1

Most of this first episode is setup for the rest of the series I guess. There are at least four main characters that I can see right now:

  • John Bentley, an American agent in East Berlin in 1973
  • SoYun, a North Korean young lady who appears to be a sleeper agent
  • Petra – a Russian agent with some fighting skills that initially seduced and drugged John Bentley in 1973 and appears to be the keeper of Stiletto 6 in current time
  • Doug McKenna – an oil rig worker in Alaska who appears to be a sleeper agent
  • And some CIA agents, but not sure which are important now

It’s difficult to find the 5 commandments as we’re not sure if this will be a collection of different stories or ultimately about one agent and the others will play a part in his life.

On the positive side, there is a lot of action from the beginning to the end. There is a lot of mystery as to what is happening (maybe too much). The writers have delivered on that part. However, I don’t think they’ve given enough to the viewers to really hook them. For me it’s a bit confusing, and less “Wow!!!”. It’s possible this will be resolved in the next episode.

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Treadstone Season 1 Introduction – Initial Story Analysis

I’m still finishing analyzing Season 1 of the Hanna television series from Amazon Prime, however, since Treadstone just started (on the USA Network but also available for purchase on Apple TV), I wanted to analyze that show as well week to week. So, I’ll start having two posts a week, one for each show.

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Hanna Episode 5 – The 5 Commandments and the Midpoint

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.

SPOILER ALERT!!!

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

Midpoint

This is the midpoint of the series/ story. If this was a novel, something significant would change here, usually a ‘false victory or a false defeat’ according the Save the Cat! Writes a Novel book written by Jessica Brody. And I think we have that at this point.

Since Hanna’s escape from the safe house in episode 2 (at the beginning of the middle build for those of you who know the Story Grid process), the value change of the story has been going progressively toward the negative.

  • She escapes and finds a nice family to travel with, then the agency finds her and almost captures her at the train station.
  • Then she goes to the agreed upon location to meet her father but he isn’t there initially.
  • When she finally reunites with Eric, he is planning missions that don’t involve her and hiding things from her.
  • Finally, she discovers a document that proves Eric isn’t her father and the he has not been truthful with her, and when she confronts him at the end of episode 4, she makes the decision to not go with him on the plane. Hanna runs and Eric gets wounded. I’d say that classifies as a false defeat (hopefully false).

Additionally, it will be very difficult for Hanna to return to the same relationship she formally had with Eric, blind devotion. This is a classic progressive complication.

So, what are the 5 commandments fo Episode 5?

The 5 Commandments for Episode 5

Inciting Incident

Hanna has made it to the UK and is hiding in Sophie’s camper.

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Hanna Episode 4 – The 5 Commandments

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.

SPOILER ALERT!!!

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 4

Inciting Incident

Erik threatens Marissa to work with him or he will hurt her family.

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Hanna Episode 3 – The 5 Commandments and the Beginning Hook

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.

SPOILER ALERT!!!

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

The Beginning Hook

I think we’ve seen enough of the series to determine the Beginning Hook. Most of this is seen through flashbacks in Episode 3, and the end of the Beginning hook is at the end of Episode 1, but we wouldn’t have the whole picture until episode 3 was complete.

There are 5 core scenes in the Beginning Hook, and since this is the Thriller Genre, they will all turn on the global value of life and death.

Inciting Incident: Erik works for Marissa, who works for an agency called UTREX, finding pregnant women who no longer want their babies. He convinces Johanna to give up her baby, Hanna, to UTREX who will do experiments on her. This is the life/ death/ unconsciousness of the baby Hanna.

Turning Point: Johanna changes her mind and asks Erik to help get her baby back, thus saving Hanna’s life.

Crisis Question: Does Erik risk his relationship with Marissa and his well paying job at UTREX to rescue Hanna, saving her from an unknown fate?

Climax: Erik decides to do the right thing, thinking of a human life over his own wealth, and helps Johanna steal Hanna back.

Resolution: Johanna is killed during the escape, Erik and Hanna escape to Romania to live in off the grid in the wilderness until they are found and hunted by Marissa’s people when Hanna is 16. Hanna is captured and Erik escapes. Before the separate, Erik tells Hanna he has trained her all this time to kill Marissa.

The Beginning Hook – After convincing Johanna to give up her baby, Hanna, to be experimented on by UTREX, he decides to help Johanna rescue Hanna when she changes her mind, but Johanna is killed during the escape and Erik trains and raises Hanna in the wilderness until his old boss finds them and captures Hanna.

The 5 Commandments for Episode 3

Inciting Incident

After escaping Marissa’s agents, she flees to Berlin where she meets up at a pre-arranged location with her father Erik

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Hanna Episode 2 – 5 Commandments

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.

SPOILER ALERT!!!

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.

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Hanna Episode 1 – 5 Commandments

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.

SPOILER ALERT!!!

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 1

Inciting Incident

The inciting incident for this episode is when Erik steals Hannah from the hospital and tries to escape with Johanna.

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Hanna Season 1 Introduction – Season Analysis

For the next couple months, I’ll analyze Season 1 of the Hanna television series from Amazon Prime.

Here we have the 6 Core Questions every editor asks when he/she reviews a manuscript, they are the core of any great novel, the key parts that make or break the story.

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Jack Ryan Conclusions – Does the Story Work?

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

SPOILER ALERT!!!

This post contains spoilers for the Jack Ryan television series, so make sure you watch it before reading on.

In Conclusion – The 6 Core Questions

So, we’ve reviewed the 5 Commandments for each Episode of Jack Ryan, and mentioned some of the Obligatory Scenes and Conventions along the way, but here is the complete 6 Core Questions based on Shawn Coyne’s book The Story Grid.

Once again, after reading a novel one time (or watching a series), an editor should be able to answer these 6 Core Questions without “having any serious head scratches”. These questions will help the editor determine where any problems are in the story.

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