Episode 3 of Hulu’s No Man’s Land continues exploring the character of Antoine Habert trying to find his sister, Anna, who he believes did not actually die while fighting ISIS in Syria. He has joined a group of Kurdish fighters.
Initially, they do not fully trust him as he is warned to stay out of the way. However, Antoine knows he must assist in their efforts if he is ever to find out what really happened to Anna.
Also, in this episode, we become familiar with Iyad Bel Tagi (Jo Ben Ayed), Paul Wilkins, and Nasser Al-Shammri. In a flashback, a young Paul is told by his father to tell Iyad to stop playing Moonlight Sonata on piano.
We also see the characters bond as the young Iyad gives young Paul a haircut. Iyad, Nasser, and Paul fight off bullies in the flashback, utilizing a belt.
However, years later, as war rages on, the piano that Iyad used to play is burned, as ISIS considers music a distraction from Islam.
No Man’s Land and finding one’s place
There are some other memorable moments from the flashback scene. A young Iyad talks about how people in the building can’t afford food, yet they can somehow afford alcohol and lottery tickets.
He also tells Paul that the Quran gives him hope that he’ll be different from those people. In other words, he seeks to be special in some way.
Still looking for Anna, Antoine is still traveling to meet up with another battalion. He meets Woody, nicknamed after Woody Allen.
One is named after Claudia Schiffer, and Ryan is nicknamed “Captain America.” Though Antoine lacks any such name, he proves to be valuable by giving directions on bombing the bridge, which is considered strategically vital against ISIS.
ISIS keeps killing people
Nasser is operating secretly against ISIS and reveals that ISIS has been ordered to capture every westerner they can find. After Ryan (AKA Captain America) recites a poem about being a patient sniper near the bridge, Sarya (Souheila Yacoub) counts down the bridge’s destruction.
However, as hostile vehicles approach, Ryan gets shot in the throat by an ISIS fighter! (And no, it probably wasn’t just a critique of the poem.)
This episode of No Man’s Land is eventful, but the action never feels forced. In fact, it feels very much like it could be based entirely on true events.
That being said, the story, much like the character of Antoine, gets a little distracted away from that initial question of “Where is Anna?” Nevertheless, an attentive viewer will still have that in mind as the story progresses.
The story of Iyad, Paul, and Nasser is another interesting dynamic of this episode. Granted, with all the different things happening, it is potentially easy to lose track of every individual character’s arc.
It’s also tricky to figure out which characters carry the most importance and which ones are simply present in the scene (aside from Antoine, of course). In this case, hopefully, a viewer doesn’t get too attached to “Captain America” because he gets taken out pretty quick (Cap, we hardly knew ye!)
What are your thoughts on this episode of No Man’s Land? Let us know in the comments!