On the previous episode of Anna, the titular character wanted some one-on-one time with the dreamy Pietro. They spend the day together flirting, swimming, and even dropping some acid. Unfortunately, while she’s away, her little brother is kidnapped by the Blue Kids. In her haste to retrieve Astor, Anna is lured into a store owned by a former classmate and taken captive.
We pick up with our hero imprisoned by the surviving twin. With the death of his brother, Mario needs someone for company and to also dig out the cellar so he can make ice cream. It can be unsettling the level of his cruelty towards Anna and he sees it more as breaking in a pet. There are a number of mind games as he switches between nice and mean to keep her disoriented. The silence other than the dialog adds to the disturbing nature of their interactions. There are no distractions and you really focus in on the captor and captive.
The sudden appearance of Pietro at the store, gives Anna the time to break free. The scenes build the suspense with the love interest sensing something is off while in another room Anna desperately tries to alert anyone of her presence. Pietro’s aid in her rescue but his reluctance to help save her brother further develops upon the turbulent relationship. They both have feelings for each other but the dystopian landscape makes them concentrate on themselves and their needs first and foremost. I’ll add it’s pretty unsatisfying that for his villainous streak, Mario doesn’t receive a real comeuppance except for some of his supplies being raided.
Elsewhere, Astor is initiated into the Blue Kids. The religious imagery of his “baptism” into the gang seems fitting since their leader, Angelica, is a cultlike figure. Her followers worship her and have undying loyalty. She’s developed an enchanting world for her subjects and her obsession with reality TV of yore and sports introductions provides a twisted aspect to how she rules.
In the season so far, Anna has done a good job of developing its characters through flashback whether it’s the protagonist or the twins. Angelica is no different as we see how she was prior to the pandemic. She’s your typical oblivious, entitled, and spoiled rich girl who was heartless even before the world fell apart. She’s so indifferent in her role in the death of a small girl but is aware enough to put up the theatrics at the funeral. Rising to a prominent role in the present world has only encouraged her mean streak and arrogance.
Anna manages to infiltrate Angelica’s compound as a contestant in the ruler’s sadistic take on a talent competition. While inside, she’s able to locate her brother but is unable to do anything yet or risk blowing her cover. As the episode ends, the only living adult we’ve seen so far makes another appearance as she’s paraded around Angelica’s followers. Both these parts create more intrigue as you want to see if Astor can be rescued and to learn more about this mysterious grown-up and how she survived.
With the introduction of Angelica, “The Hyenas Laugh” continues to paint a bleak world but adds an entrancing allure with the empire she has built. Also, bringing the siblings in closer proximity to each other and another appearance of the only adult in the room intensifies the interest in the story moving forward.
New episodes of Anna are released Thursdays on AMC+.
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