Lucky Man S02E04 “The Trojan Horse” REVIEW
Essential Plot Points:
- Oh Piccadilly. Where Harry and Isabella, dressed to the nines, are heading out for a night on the town. One which involves an alleyway make out session which becomes a mugging.
- And yeah, it goes about as well as you might think; the pearls on Isabella’s necklace break free, tripping the mugger so his knife lands in Harry’s hand. They leave him tied up with NOT MY LUCKY DAY written on his forehead.
- The next morning, Eve visits Isabella and tries to reason with her. Isabella admits she thinks Harry’s family is as doomed as her daughters. She admits that she misses Eve, and then she wakes up and imagines cutting out her eyes…
- Meanwhile, at the A plot, Harry and Suri are called to the recovery of a driverless car from the Thames. It crashed into the river, killing Mary Wells, the test passenger and wife of the venture capitalist behind the company that produced the car, Davey Wells.
- When they check the footage, it turns out Davey took a phone call at the exact moment the car went haywire.
- Suri and Harry visit Wells at home and the office and can’t find him. His staff stonewall them successfully but give them the details of Spikesie, the company that developed the software installed in the car. The two staff there, Rachel and Woody, freely admit that they’re gutted and their careers are over.
- Back at the station, a voice message detailing an argument between Wells and his wife suggests that there was trouble in the relationship. Harry wants to go all in, but Winter orders him to wait until they have full authorisation. Then Harry, who let’s not forget is an enormous jerk, dumps research on the case on Orwell as he’s getting ready to go home.
- He then goes out and makes out with Isabella under a bridge. She all but tells him to join the Dark Side and leads him off for a little unauthorised investigation. Which will obviously totally stand up in court.
- They chat to the security guard at Wells’s building. Harry’s all for leaving, but Isabella points out he has the bracelet. As she does this, someone tries to steal the Security Guard’s car. He gives chase, is knocked over by a cyclist and leaves the door to the building open. In Harry goes.
- He finds Wells sleeping with his PA. And then proceeds to bully the man into taking a swing at him. He tells him to get dressed and looks outside as Isabella looks up at him. We’d like to think the words “Police brutality” and perhaps the words “Disciplinary committee” go through his mind. Or he might just be thinking about chips.
- The following day, Suri and Orwell have done the actual police work that Harry likes to pretend he does. Orwell has discovered that Wells’s wife was about to divorce him and Suri has discovered she was the money. It’s good work. Harry is, of course, a colossal dick about it. Plus he gives Suri Wells’s laptop to look at because obviously he doesn’t do computers or thinking. Suri, who has forgotten that Harry lied to her face last week, just lets it go.
- Wells’s lawyer, it turns out, is Johnny Hawthorne – Anna’s new boyfriend. He, perfectly reasonably, points out all the massively illegal nonsense that Harry’s doing and gets his client released. Harry gets told off by Winter, swears that he doesn’t have Wells’s laptop and then HOLDS IT UP IN WINTER’S CLEAR LINE OF SIGHT… you know what, never mind.
- Harry goes to see Rachel. She admits she’s developed an app called Leveller. It’s meant to make everything fairer; an AI personal assistant that basically combines a doctor, a lawyer and anything else you might need. It’s designed to make life less risky. Harry rather likes her now. She rather likes him. She is immense fun and we hope she comes back lots.
- Outside the station Eve confronts Harry and begs for a chance to explain. It turns out she was Eve’s best friend. She gave her the bracelet because she thought it would make her perfect. She went mad with the power; endless holidays, endless lottery wins. Her two daughters were killed in what Eve is convinced was a luck feedback explosion, the constant bending of probability finally snapping back to tragic, horrible consequences.
- Harry cooks off and Eve begs him to stay away from Isabella, that she’s become a monster because of the bracelet. Eve tells him Isabella is the worst luck that could ever happen to him and that’s the reason the rest of his life is going well at the moment.
- Rachel finds out that a virus was uploaded to the car’s software via Bluetooth and the mobile call was the trigger.
- Harry goes to Winter with the “anonymous source”. Brilliantly, for once, Winter sees through every single element of Harry’s nonsense. He insists on it being run through digital forensics, shuts down the arrest request Harry puts in and sends him packing.
- Suri gets Harry to admit who it was, and clearly doesn’t trust her. When Harry goes, she grabs the files from the laptop and downloads them to a portable external HD.
- Later, Winter comes to see Harry with dinner. Winter good-naturedly shuts his mate down. He’s convinced Harry is gambling, or drinking, or on drugs again. He’s pleasantly surprised to discover Harry’s seeing someone. Winter asks him to go back on the 12 Step rehab program and makes it clear if he doesn’t, Winter will order him to.
- Wells is at Spikesie’s office and demands they launch Leveller. Woody stands up to him and Wells throws him out. Woody storms off, Rachel follows and demands to know what the hell he was thinking. He heads back to the office to confront Wells, there’s a flash and…Wells plummets to his death as he’s thrown out of a window. Rachel runs back in, Woody runs out. Wells is very, very dead.
- Harry and Suri are primaries on the case and talk to Rachel. Suri remains distrustful but Harry is convinced that Rachel’s on the up-and-up. Orwell, basically the only person in the office, is drawn into helping Harry brainstorm what Woody would do to de-stress. They realise it’s gaming; Harry correctly guesses his ID and they get a trace. Without Suri present, Harry takes Orwell and they find him exactly where the ID said they would.
- Nearby Suri finishes going through the laptop. She finds something disturbing and calls Harry but it goes straight to voice mail…
- Harry and Orwell interrogate Woody
- Suri, because she’s worked with Harry long enough to forget how to be a cop, confronts Rachel. She finds that the laptop’s log was altered after Harry gave it to her. Rachel stands up, bounces Suri off a desk and runs.
- Harry checks the world’s most beneficial accidental security camera footage that exonerates Woody – Wells was thrown out of the window by the force of a computer exploding (that’s some anti-piracy software!).
- Harry then gets the voicemail from Suri. He rocks up to Rachel’s office, finds Suri locked-up, frees her and they catch each other up. Endearingly, Harry pleads with her to not become him. Equally endearingly, she suspected Rachel because Harry was blind to her being a suspect and she wanted to cover his arse.
- Rachel’s wiped every computer, but Harry still has Davey Wells’s laptop. He goes home, takes a shower and Rachel triggers a magical malware program that blows the laptop up and causes a fire in Harry’s apartment…
- Harry is, of course, fine. Anna and Daisy meet him at the hospital and they have a sweet moment that’s derailed by Harry’s JUSTICE SENSE spotting that Anna’s hiding something. She admits – breaking every single legal rule there is – that Johnny told her information about the case. Rachel was effectively owned by Wells, a horrific contract that ensured every idea she had for 30 years would be Wells’s property. She visited Wells’s legal counsel to try and get out of it but it didn’t take.
- Back at the station, they begin the hunt. Harry figures out that Leveller is her primary concern and they start looking for it. Aside from Orwell, who they shut out yet again.
- Orwell cracks. He’s done. He files a transfer request with Winter.
- Suri and Harry go visit Woody. He tells them Leveller was locked in a safety deposit box somewhere so Wells can never get it. He also admits that he recognised the style of the code in the Trojan. It’s the same as in Leveller. Rachel is guilty.
- The good news is they have a location for Leveller.
- The bad news is there are hundreds of thousands of deposit boxes in London.
- They detective it out, working out the nearest one she could get to on foot. Harry, with some added luck power, finds her straight away. They confirm she’s in the vault and Harry confronts her.
- Harry tells her that he found out the event was running behind schedule. No one was supposed to be in the car. Rachel didn’t mean to kill Wells’s wife. Rachel tells him everything, how she had to do something. Terrified, she admits she’s run out of options.
- And then she triggers a small brick of plastic explosive with a smartphone attached.
- Harry asks her to show him Leveller. He offers to guess the safe lock combination. He makes her a bet if he gets it right, she lets him see Leveller. If he fails, they die together.
- Rachel lets him.
- Harry figures out the combination first time.
- She freaks OUT.
- Harry grabs her and drags her out of the room and closes the vault just as the explosion goes off. Harry, kindly, arrests her.
- Later, he shows up at Rich’s place. They reconcile in a charmingly hostile way.
- Harry and Isabella go to a jazz bar. He’s pensive and quiet and she calls him on it. He mentions Wells’s death and how it coincided with a text message from her. He tells her Wells was innocent. She, in a roundabout way, suggests no one is quiet innocent enough.
- And Harry sees it, sees the monster Eve described to him earlier in the episode.
We at MCM Towers have a tremendous fondness for possibly-evil automated vehicle episodes. That NCIS episode about the AI Humvee? Bloody love that. What we like even more are stories that start out as one thing and end up as another. This is one of those stories, we like it a great deal.
The “Isabella is a monster” plot gets moved along nicely and actually makes a feature out of Harry’s innate jerkery. Eve has absolutely done wrong, but Harry’s deductive abilities aren’t the same as his lucky ones and you can see him starting to worry at the truth all episode. Likewise, the personal plots move along nicely too. Winter and Harry share a sweet, blokey bonding moment and Orwell gets treated like crap one too many times and asks for a transfer. And it’s not resolved this episode! Go Team Show! And please come back, Orwell!
The main plot is tons of fun too and gives Ryan Gage (The Musketeers, The Hobbit) a nice excuse to get his manbun on as a venture-capitalist-tech-dudebro. But the break-out star this episode is fellow The Musketeers alumni Tamla Kamri. As brilliant techie Rachel she brings a grounded pragmatism and humour to the show that brings Harry out of his grumpy shell very nicely. It’s a real shame she’s the nominal bad guy this week as the two spark off each other really well. Kamri aces this episode. She’s funny and brittle and tragic and we’d love to see her back, or better still, fronting something of her own. And while the explosion at the end is a bum note, the kindness Harry treats her with shows she got under his skin. That helps the episode, the character and the show all in one.
So what starts out as a killer vehicle story becomes a look at tech start-up life, intellectual property law and exploding laptops. It’s fun, chewy big idea stuff and it’s executed really well. Yes some of the technical stuff is going to make people in the field cringe, but know what? That doesn’t matter. This is a straight up fun hour of TV. Bring on episode five.
- We’re not saying Eve and Isabella used to be a couple. But we’re pretty sure the show’s being written like they used to be a couple and it works really well.
- Rachel is GREAT. Very well written, morally interesting character and Tamla Kamri straight up aces it.
- The nasty little smile Isabella and Harry exchange when they’re “mugged” is great.
- The theremin waltz that’s Isabella’s theme is just lovely. Elegant and spooky and skin crawling.
- Orwell stands up for himself! Yay!
- “Jeez I feel old.”
“You are old.” Top marks to Harry being a grumpy old copper. Topper marks for the techie pushing back.
- STAN LEE CAMEO!!!! And this season he gets to speak!
- Yes we know, luck powers. Still that opening mugging was a touch on the nose.
- Harry’s, “Ha you’re a gamer and therefore must suck!” jokes are so outdated the last time we heard them we had a dial-up internet connection.
- The closing explosion feels horribly tacked on and a bit pointless.
- Sure. Woody got a cool-sounding gaming network name with no numbers or letters on the end. Sure he did. BECAUSE HE TRAVELLED BACK IN TIME TO GET IT IS THE ONLY EXPLANATION.
And The Random:
- The Musketeers reunion! Ryan Gage is best known for his role as the foppish King Louis in that show as well as his turn as Alfrid in The Hobbit trilogy.
- Tamla Kamri is best known for her work as Constance on The Musketeers but got her break on beloved BBC3 show Being Human. She also played Lucy in The Inebetweeners movies.
Review by Alasdair Stuart