Hanna – Episode 7

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 7

Inciting Incident

Eric tells hanna about mother and experiment

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Treadstone – Does the Story Work? Not Really!

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.

Does the Story Work?

I have watched three episodes so far, and my honest opinion is: no.

My expectations given the previous Bourne movies was some good quality action/ fighting scenes. I don’t feel that the series has reached the level that the movies were at. I wasn’t excited about any of the fighting scenes, except maybe the one in the bar in Alaska.

If the screenwriters had gone in a different direction, following a form of the Bourne books, I could have accepted that. It would have been a little less action and more espionage, but that would have been fine. But the espionage/ secrets here are too many and confusing, so in my opinion that have failed there as well.

But really, the worst part of the series, is I just don’t care for the characters. There are too many and then there is the additional complication of the second timeline. I really can’t keep track of the characters, I don’t even really know any of their names.

How could they have done better?

As I mentioned in a previous post, they could have stuck with just one character in the beginning – for the first or second episode, before waking up other sleepers.

The series Hanna does this very well, we get to know Hanna and her father before introducing other characters from different storylines. The same with Killing Eve, there are a number of characters (Eve has all the MI5 and MI6 staff and Villanelle has Constantin), but there are only two storylines so it’s easier to keep track of who belongs to which world and you can ease into the different characters.

In Treadstone – you have Frank from the past who has a number of CIA buddies. There is Petra from past and future who has a boss and a husband. The journalist Tara who saves the N Korean girl. The CIA contacts for Tara. You have a number of leaders in the CIA in DC. There is a whole storyline of characters in N. Korea. Now there is another bunch of characters in India. And there is another storyline of characters in Alaska and Kentucky. So, by my count, you have 7 storylines that will inevitably collide at some point, but we’re on episode 3 and they haven’t really. How much screen time is any one character getting really?

Right now, I personally haven’t witnessed any OMG moments that make me think this series will stand out. I predicted the wife in Kentucky being some kind of agent before it happened, so a lot of tropes that aren’t satisfying.

Sorry for those of you who liked it, but I won’t be watching any more or reviewing anymore episodes. Too bad, I had some high hopes for the series.

Next week though, I’ll start on the new Jack Ryan series. Hopefully, they stepped up their game.

Until next time.

The Story Grid

For more information about the Story Grid, go to the Story Grid Webpage to find free videos and articles on how to implement the methodology.

Read these articles for more information about the 5 Commandments of Storytelling and the Editor’s 6 Core Questions from the book The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne.

For an example of how these techniques are used, read Jane Austin’s The Pride and the Prejudice with annotations by Shawn Coyne.

Story Grid Editing

If you are interested in having your manuscript reviewed by me, see my Editing Services.

Hanna – Episode 6

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 6

Inciting Incident

Marissa finds Sophie’s family

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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

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

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 & BH

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

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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