Lucky Man S02E03 “Double Bluff” REVIEW
Essential Plot Points:
- We open on Eve going for a night time jog. She enters a chained-up pub and heads upstairs. Golding interrupts her and she pulls a gun on him. He poses, drops the bullets he stole and tells her just how bad his luck seems to be. It turns out the bracelet doesn’t want him to escape to Europe. Time for something new….
- The next day Isabella walks through a fountain without getting wet to meet with Harry. She wants him to try his luck. He reminds her that the last time he did that he made his family homeless. She goads him and they walk, remaining dry, through the firing channels of water. Two people with nothing but luck, invincible titans of…
- And then his ex-wife sees him.
- They go out for a staggeringly awkward dinner with Anna and her boyfriend. Mercifully, a dead person is reported to the police and Harry is able to duck and run.
- Suri meets Harry at the ME and tells him that something odd came up in their victim’s autopsy; human flesh in his stomach contents. It turns out that the fingernail and meat was human but it was laced with pork, sage and other seasoning. He was killed by a pie…
- Harry and Suri track down his favourite pie stall. The owner is indignant but tells them where to start looking for her suppliers.
- When they get back to the office, they’re called over to an IT station. There’s footage of Eve Alexandri being thrown into the back of a van. By Golding. Harry panics and sprints off, desperate to get to Anna’s chambers in time.
- Harry rocks up and all seems well. Aside from Anna being murderously angry with him. She finally opens up about just how scared she is and asks why Golding is back. Harry is…well… not super great at comforting her.
- Harry gets back to the station and tries to take control of the case. His boss, absolutely reasonably, points out there is absolutely no chance of the case surviving in court if Harry is anywhere near it. Instead, he gets to work the human remains case. Especially as they got a DNA match.
- Along with Orwell, they head to the address for the victim: Adam Sykes, a forger. The two men watch TSG head in. Orwell is still, basically, disgusted with Harry. The house is empty but there’s a bunch of fake ID documentation in place. Harry starts putting it together; the place is too clean. Sykes was perennially grubby and marked up by his job. Orwell gets CSU to go over every surface with luminol and UV lights. And, eventually, they find blood specks. Arterial spray.
- Orwell and Harry head to Smithfields, the market where the pie maker bought the mince. They split up and Harry throws a coin, at “random”. He follows it to a butcher who is, basically, working in a room of death. The man screams, “I am a horrific killer”. Harry butts heads with him and then…
- CLEAVER FIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT!
- Harry doesn’t die. That’s about as good as it gets. He just about scares the butcher off, calls for back-up but the butcher’s gone. They find his van and… it’s the same van Golding was seen in.
- That sounds…lucky.
- Golding, it turns out, has been killing his victims and baking them into pies.
- So it’s not looking good for Eve. At all.
- Of course, this means that Harry now can’t work either case. He takes this about as well as you might expect. Suri puts together just who Eve Alexandri is and Harry is asked why Golding might want her. He is a very, very bad liar.
- Suri sees it and blows up. She points out that he’s been odd for ages, that he’s lying to her AGAIN. She BEGS him to trust her. Harry, because Harry is a graduate of the Jim Gordon Detective JerkFace School of Police Relations, says nowt.
- Harry ties to reach out to his brother but Rich slams the door in his face.
- Out of ideas he meets Isabella at the British Museum and levels with her. He has no resources. He’s off the case. She levels with him; Eve knew about Isabella’s bracelet. She lied to Harry. Isabella had two baby girls. Eve is the reason they died. Harry is both absolutely credulous and horrified.
- She refuses to talk about it but Harry begs her; she’s the only way he can find Eve and keep his family safe. He begs her. She refuses. He tells her to stay away from him. She tells her she’s trying to save him. Harry leaves.
- Nearby, Golding blows up at the butcher. The plan, it turns out, was to keep under the radar, knock Harry out and lock him in an airtight box and wait for him to die. That’s actually pretty solid. But no, Yarp from Hot Fuzz had other ideas.
- Golding tells him to kill Eve. Eve begs Golding for her life, offers Isabella to Golding in return for her life. It works.
- Back at the police station, and in a show about competent police officers, Orwell and Suri talk about why Harry’s so “lucky”. Well, Orwell talks, Suri works. Suri uses facial recognition software on cash machine cameras to try and find him but she can’t get a result. But Orwell has a plan…
- Golding and Yarp show up at Isbaella’s and ask her to help kill Harry Clayton.
- Back at Golding’s place, he and Isabella spar. She defends Harry and is clearly very, very angry with Eve. Golding points out that Harry doesn’t know about Eve’s “predilections” and when he finds out, he’ll bring her down. She refuses to believe that but Golding points out he’ll only ever love one woman and that gets her attention. The plan is simple; get the the bracelet off Harry, get it on Golding and then they’re home free. They toast to their success.
- Isabella calls Harry and levels with him. She talks about how crippling her grief was. He begs for her help and she agrees.
- Back at the police station, Orwell DOES POLICE SCIENCE! Cross referencing the cash machine usage with mobile phones not on contract or pay as you go in the area. That narrows it down to three. One of those belongs to a woman. Another got dropped in a toilet.
- Orwell and Suri also flirt in a remarkably British and rubbish way and it’s adorable.
- Isabella and Harry “search” for Golding. Which in reality is Isabella bringing the two together.
- This triggers the phone which in turn brings the police down on the same spot.
- A deserted industrial estate…
- One with a huge crowd of swarm of birds over the top of it…
- She leads Harry inside, Golding makes his move and Harry is choked out by the butcher.
- The three of them then take his unconscious form into a clean room and tie Harry down.
- He wakes up, and Golding goes full supervillain monologue. He’s going to cut off Harry’s arm, have Eve put the bracelet on him and call it good.
- And then the birds flock in.
- And somehow Yarp cleaves himself in the head.
- And Eve punches out Golding.
- And Isabella kicks a knife over to her and tells her to kill Golding.
- And Harry talks her down.
- And it works. Just.
- Harry and Isabella tell Eve to go, disgusted by what she kept from Harry. There is a very definite feeling that Isabella is much, much more frightening than anyone thought.
- SO19 and the fun characters show up just as Harry is calling it in.
- Later, Harry feeds Winter the exact ridiculous nonsense that he always does. The conversation turns to Harry’s wife and Winter tells him to go win her back. Harry goes to the function Anna was planning on attending, sees how happy she is with her new boyfriend and has a change of heart.
- Then his phone rings.
- Waiting for him.
- And the pair kiss.
This is a really fun, bouncy little episode that has one real problem; Harry’s an asshole.
Seriously, in the space of this episode he;
- Says startlingly mean things to his ex-wife.
- Tells Isabella to stay away from him.
- Tells Eve to stay away from him.
- Lies to Suri.
- Treats Orwell like a chump.
- Lies to Winter and is super smug about it.
- Takes a selfie with a captured criminal.
- Actually pulls the “what kept you?” nonsense on non-superpowered police officers.
- Almost walks up to his ex-wife, going into a party with her boyfriend and goes, “Hey baby, I still love you. Let’s get back together.”
We know (we hope) this is all tying into the corrupting effects of the luck but it’s still pretty hard to like the guy. And given he’s played by James Nesbitt, a man who is the genetic embodiment of likeable, that’s quite an achievement.
The good news is, outside Harry being an asshole the episode is rather good. Suri and Orwell do great work this episode and honestly we’d watch the Hell out of a show fronted by Amara Karan and Darren Boyd. Plus the crime of the week is actually kind of interesting and fun in a massively nasty superhero sort of way.
Best of all, though, Isabella is front and centre this episode and she is TERRIFYING. Thekla Reuten is the Moriarty (or perhaps the Watson? Or both?) to Harry’s Holmes. Suave, fun and completely consumed with rage she’s an immensely compelling character who is one-part heroine, one-part villain. The episode ends with her very much in Harry’s life and that’s a massively good thing for the show. Likewise its continued focus on the always-excellent Sienna Giullory as Eve. There’s a feeling of the world Harry is part of changing and the show neatly balances urban fantasy, action and police drama really very successfully. Plus Sendil Ramamurthy monologues and that’s always a good time.
Lucky Man is a supremely odd, often very fun show. This episode crackles along too and looks to set up big things in the future. Here’s hoping one of them is sending Harry to Charm School.
- “Brilliant. I’ll start down this end. I’ll see you in a month.” Darren Boyd is always good value but his total contempt for Harry is massive fun this week.
- Harry’s deduction by coin is great.
- Great use of London locations. Using the fountains at Somerset House as a plot point rather than justas a pretty backdrop is almost Hitchcockian.
- “Well she’s fun at least.” SERIOUSLY, Harry? SERIOUSLY?!
- Harry is better at forensics than forensics? Suurrre?
- We’ll take a lot of tropes in our slightly mystical police procedurals here at Pseudopod Towers but as God is our witness we would dance a jig if the, “YOU’RE TOO CLOSE TO THIS CASE! SO YOU WILL CLEARLY WORK IT ANYWAY!” thing never ever showed up anywhere ever again. Ever.
- A brief moment of silence for the various counties the butcher’s accent ricochets through.
- Also for him cleaving himself in the head.
And The Random:
- Nicely handled Sweeney Todd reference.
- The shaved head. The accent. The cleavers. The butcher has to be a Hot Fuzz shout out, right?
Review by Alasdair Stuart