Lucky Man S02E06 “Point Of No Return” REVIEW
Essential Plot Points:
- And here we go. Harry and Eve in a pool hall. Harry is NOT. HAPPY. He tears a strip off her for forcing his hand on Isabella. She warns him. He isn’t having it.
- Meanwhile, a plane is coming in to Docklands airport. We’re sure this’ll be fine.
- Twist! It lands!
- Twist! A ground crewmember then executes everyone aboard and steals a case!
- Suri and Harry take the case and Suri reveals she may be suspended for pounding the crap out of Cartmel last episode. She’s genuinely worried. Harry no longer knows how to be and tries to hand wave it away. Winter shows up, reassures Suri that given the size of the case she’s needed and takes them into the hangar where the bodies are laid out.
- Turns out a Norwegian import agent was aboard with bonds worth 30,000 Euros. Harry has his doubts that’s what the killer was after. More so when he realises the phones have all been taken. The assassin didn’t want to be seen.
- And then a phone rings inside the plane.
- A phone, hidden by a passenger in their final moments, shows the assassin’s face. They’ve got him.
- Back at Harry’s old house, Daisy is obsessively watching the footage of her dad walking through speeding traffic. She’s convinced he has powers. Anna isn’t having it.
- Back at the station, Suri’s hand is thoroughly messed up from bouncing it off Cartmel’s face repeatedly. Harry walks her through why they’re all in the job: anger; rage; they’re all there because they’re furious at the way the world is. The trick is knowing when to let it out.
- This is both good advice and unbelievably terrible advice. Which is pretty much Harry at this point.
- Isabella, rolling endless double sixes at a nearby bar, calls and tries to charm her way back into Harry’s life. He shuts her down. She rolls ones.
- Winter’s got a positive ID on the shooter; Jurgen Bloch, former private security contractor turned assassin with a victim list a mile long.
- Orwell asks why everyone on board needed to die if he had a specific target. Harry points out that by killing everyone else that muddies the waters. The real question is why Bloch obfuscated his target.
- The answer, as Suri points out, is he has another target.
- One he hasn’t hit yet.
- Winer breaks the team down into searching for possible secondary targets among the family and associates of the dead. And Harry and Suri notice the odd scar on Bloch’s neck… It clearly strikes a chord with Harry.
- Harry goes to see Eve, demanding to know how Isabella’s children died.
- It was a hit. And Isabella responded by running the assassin off the road, cutting his throat and nailing ing him to a tree.
- The killer’s name was Jurgen Bloch.
- The next morning Isabella brings Harry breakfast. Rich, because he’s one of the smartest people in the series gets the Hell out of Dodge double quick.
- Harry shows her the footage of Eve’s interrogation from last episode. Isabella claims she doesn’t do anything and people just get the luck they deserve. She backs off, suggesting she leave London for a while and then… she sees Jurgen Bloch’s photo among Harry’s stuff.
- She loses it. And leaves, giving Harry the choice between what they have or throwing it all away.
- Back at the morgue, the pathologist has determined Block’s real target: Elliot Ames, the only victim to be shot multiple times. This was the person Block had to kill, not the ones he used as cover.
- Ames was an art restoration specialist who took a very long time coming back from an extended holiday. Almost as though he was trying to stay under the radar. Suri’s first instinct is drugs and she has discovered that Ames’s girlfriend runs an art gallery nearby. Harry, Suri and Orwell head over.
- At the gallery, Hannah, Elliot’s girlfriend, reveals that she is in fact his ex-girlfriend. She’s still distraught at his murder and reveals that he fell in with a couple of rich, affluent travellers. She explains that she travelled with him while it was fun and then his funds got cut off by his parents.
- Elliot, she reveals, fell in with Anders and Livia, a pair of backpacking scroungers. She’s pretty sure he got involved with both of them.
- Thanks to social media, Orwell gets them deep background on the two and discovers that they both arrived in London recently. Orwell has their addresses pulled up and Harry complements him on his work in a manner that still manages to be dickish. Orwell is still leaving though. Harry tosses a coin to decide which address to hit first.
- Elsewhere, Isabella looks through photos of her kids…
- Harry pulls up at Anders’ apartment just as he heads out. Almost like he was lucky…
- Harry follows the backpacker, confronts him and… Bloch shoots the man in the leg.\
- Harry drags him away as the assassin methodically stalks them. He raises his gun, Harry raises his bracelet and… random chance saves their lives long enough to get on a bus.
- At the station, Suri tells Harry that Anders didn’t make it. They take a moment, then go through Anders’ belongings. Harry spots a hidden pocket, rips it open and finds a painting in a sealed case.
- Ladies and gentlemen, Rich is in the plot!
- Turns out the painting is a Francis Bacon sketch. One that’s worth at least six million Euros.
Rich reveals that art collecting at this level is a constant chess game with people hiding behind shell companies and putting bounties out for specific works.
- Harry calls Suri and Orwell who are going through Anders’ phone. Orwell has found “Stark 1600” and a date written in Anders’ belongings. Rich identifies Stark as an art dealer who has a major presence in London. Harry heads over… and Daisy is waiting outside. She’s staying over.
- As Rich quietly puts on actual trousers, Harry basically runs away from his own daughter.
- Isabella barges into Eve’s pub. And basically beards her up for torturing her staff. They fight, as much as people with inherent luck powers can, to a standstill. Isabella wants answers.
- At Rich’s, Daisy calls the true infant of the family on the truth; that her dad needs backup. And it needs to be them. Rich is okay with it.
- Harry is tearing across to Stark’s gallery to try and stop Bloch when Isabella calls. She asks him to stand down for 24 hours so she can take her revenge. Harry isn’t having it and, thanks to her luck powers, she gets an idea of just where Bloch will be.
- At the gallery, Orwell and Suri roll up looking for Stark. They do this with a couple of SO19 guys who are clearly doomed. Orwell and Suri find Stark in the main gallery, sitting quietly.
- Suspiciously quietly.
- Deadly quietly…
- The sketch is on the ground. There’s the sound of a scuffle.
- Bloch rounds the corner with Livia in one hand and a gun in the other.
- He asks for the police radios and for them to pass him the sketch.
- Orwell asks Bloch to take him instead of Livia.
- Instead, Bloch breaks her neck, shoots Orwell in the chest twice and Suri disarms him, grabbing the gun. He mocks Suri, daring her to open fire and she does exactly that.
- Orwell wore a vest! Yay!
- On the way out, Block picks up the assault rifle from one of the SO19 guys (told you!).
- Isabella arrives and they face off. She dares Bloch to kill her, brandishing her bracelet. She initiates a series of events that will finish with Bloch crushed beneath a chandelier but…
- …Harry arrives and tackles him out of the way. They struggle. Bloch knocks Harry out.
- Some time later, Isabella wakes Harry up and their ideologies clash head on. Isabella gives him a choice; Bloch or her. And of course, Harry chooses her.
- Nearby, a badly injured Bloch is picked up by his driver. He does field surgery on himself to dig the bullet out and gets ready to head home.
- Harry and Isabella are giving chase. Isabella explains that he’s on too many watch lists to use normal flights. He’s a pilot who flew himself in to a small airfield on the outskirts of London. She’s been monitoring his plane and knows that he’s making a run for it. They have an hour to get across London. That’s pushing it. Except they both have luck bracelets.
- Harry and Isabella arrive at the airfield. Harry tries to persuade her not to kill Bloch but she’s determined. Harry kisses her, handcuffs her to the car and goes to arrest Bloch.
- Isabella tries to pick the lock and of course, finds the keys on the floor of Harry’s car.
- Harry fails a stealth roll or three and Bloch attacks him. Harry sprays Bloch with aviation fuel, knocks his gun away and… Isabella picks it up. Bloch tries to bluff his way out and it does not go well. Isabella puts the gun on Bloch’s head, Harry begs her to not pull the trigger and… she relents.
- She drops the gun, Bloch picks it up, fires, and the bullet hits the aviation fuel and… well, you can imagine the rest.
- Isabella puts the gun to Harry’s head… and leaves.
- Later, with all three sketches retrieved, Winter debriefs Harry. At this point, Winter is smart enough to know there are things he doesn’t want to know. It was an accident. That’s all. But, as Winter points out, a lot of accidents seem to happen around Harry. He asks if there’s anything Harry wants to tell him. Harry says no, and that he maybe just needs a change of luck.
- Orwell and Suri are waiting for him. The good news is Suri has her first official warning and that’s it – nothing worse. The better news is that Harry finally accepts that Orwell doesn’t suck, and gives him some jelly babies as a thank you for helping Suri not die. He’s really happy. And still getting a transfer.
- Harry and Eve meet up at the pool hall and Harry apologises. Sort of. Eve admits because Isabella was such a lovely person when they were younger, she gave her the bracelet thinking she would do good things with it; instead she became corrupted. Harry figures out Eve gave him the bracelet to balance her out. She tells him to end the game and the message is clear; he has to kill Isabella to stop her.
There’s a fair bit to enjoy this episode. Orwell and Suri are great fun; Winter is rapidly becoming aware of his senior officer having some major problems; and Daisy and Rich compare notes on Harry. There’s even some nice escalation on the Eve/Isabella and Eve/Harry conflicts which both neatly propel the show into very weird, skewed urban fantasy territory. Lucky Man is trying to become something very different to the Dempsey & Makepeace-esque London Lethal Weapon-alike it initially threatened to be. If it can complete that transformation it’s going to be unlike anything else on TV right now.
But to do that, it can’t have many more episodes like this.
The basic premise is fine, and there’s even some solid policework which is done by Orwell and Suri, of course. But from the moment Pavlov’s cellphone triggers at the exact right time to the world’s most obvious death by immolation the action this episode feels forced to the point of lunacy. Not two weeks ago, this was the show that managed to combine intellectual property theft and tech crunch culture with murder by smart car. This week? Guy shoots a whole lot of people and dies horribly. That’s pretty much it. Oh, apart from an escape by London bus. Oooooh, thrilling.
It’s not the central plot is entirely bad either, it’s that there are multiple points where the only way it works is for people to be really, REALLY stupid. Why does Orwell wear a vest but Suri presumably doesn’t? Why does Harry think locking a woman who is essentially a Luck Goddess up with basic handcuffs will work? There are two or three points like these and you can hear the gears creak on every single one. This show should be better. It usually is.
That being said, the arc plots get a nice workout and it’s always fun to see Rich do something other than yell at Harry for stealing his clothes. The show’s still making progress still trying new things. But this week it leans on some old, tired action clichés and it pays the price for it.
- Side character development galore! Orwell is still a grumpy cuss who knows a lot about modern art! Suri is accepting just how bloody angry she is! Winter is no longer blind to Harry’s stupid luck! Rich REALLY likes John Wick movies!
- Lots of nice development on the bracelets and Eve’s use of them too. We really like how intimate the tragedy at the heart of this season is and how understandable Isabella’s total fracturing is.
- The Acme-style luck chains that Harry and Isabella both generate this episode are top fun.
- “Divest thyself of those fine garments and join me in worship in the church of John Wick.”–Rich, you are OUR people, sir.
- “Pretty full of itself but it does have a certain neo-Dadaist humour to it don’t you think?” And you Mr Orwell. Seriously we would take an, “Orwell is quietly competent and singularly unimpressed’ spin-off show any day.
- “I should probably get some jam. From the… jam… shop.” And a cornetto!
- “Interpol has a file on him that reads like Tom Clancy’s Big Book Of Ideas”. And if Winter could be Orwell’s boss, so much the better.
- The, “He took the phones…” BA-RING! Moment is immensely clunky.
- Yes, Harry. Handcuffing the woman who has had her bracelet far longer than you’ve had yours and clearly knows how to work it better in your car and wandering off is absolutely the right thing to do.
- So… Bloch was crucified and had his throat cut and lived. Then doused in avgas and incinerated. That is a little bit extreme even for this show.
- The set-up for that was really cludgy too.
Review by Alasdair Stuart