Stan Lee’s Lucky Man S02E07 “Second Chance” REVIEW
Essential Plot Points:
- Harry tells Isabella that they can never be together because of her casual approach to murder. She bids him goodbye and warns, “The guilty will be punished, Harry.” She then causes a car crash just to piss Harry off, apparently.
- Harry tells Eve he thinks he must be, “The guilty one.”
- Harry and Suri investigate the murder of a property developer in Soho in a flat owned by a guy called Sam Browning, who has gone into hiding.
- However a long black hair under the victim’s fingernail and a Green Dragon casino chip in his pocket implicate Lily-Anne Lau.
- Harry interviews her but she denies knowing the victim.
- The hair, which is Harry’s evidence, goes missing. Winter forces Harry to let Lily-Anne go.
- Winter thinks the department must have a mole aiding Lily-Anne. He pretty much interrogates Orwell about the possibility.
- Orwell is evasive because he doesn’t want to reveal his alibi – he was being interviewed for a new job with a private security firm. But it turns out the firm doesn’t exist. Somebody is framing him, making sure he has no alibi. Someone has also stolen his keychain. Orwell goes dark.
- Winter and a new character called Ed are back at the crime scene. Ed is replacing the usual forensic pathologist, and gets a decent share of lines so clearly he’s clearly going to key to this episode. He’s nowhere near as fun as the usual guy.
- Isabella kidnaps Eve, ties her up and leaves her to drown in a water cistern in her apartment.
- Harry tracks down Sam (more through luck than skill, it seems). He says he saw Lily-Anne kill the property developer – she wants the flat to turn it into a bar; Sam owed her money so she said she would have the flat in lieu; but the property developer then offered Sam many times what he owed Lily -Anne, so she wasn’t happy and killed him in front of Sam.
- But before Harry can get Sam to make an official statement, a gunman appears and kills Sam.
- Anna goes to visit Isabella and asks her what’s really going on. Isabella shows her the real power of the bracelet with a display of one-woman Russian Roulette. Anna scarpers, disturbed by what she’s seen.
- Isabella, when Anna’s gone, breaks down, then goes to rescue Eve before she drowns. She says she hasn’t forgiven her but says, “I’m going to drag you with me in this life you gave me,” as her witness. She also gets Eve to promise that she’ll destroy the bracelet after Isabella dies.
- Orwell gives himself up to Harry and Suri. They believe his story that he’s being set up.
- Winter is furious Harry is shielding Orwell.
- Harry works out the Ed is the leak.
- Turns out his daughter is a gambling addict in debt to Lily-Anne who used this as leverage blackmailed Ed into doing her bidding.
- But they need real proof of Ed’s story, so they wire him up and send him to entrap Lily-Anne into making a confession.
- Lily-Anne is too clever to fall for that though, but not clever enough to notice that Ed also switched her phone. So when she makes a call ordering a hit on Ed, the police swoop in an arrest her.
- Orwell decides not to get a new job.
- A a celebratory drink later, Harry sees Winter talking to Isabella.
So, season one vamp Lily-Anne Lau returns, talks the talk, and walks… right into a trap. It’s not clear if it’s Harry luck powers or Lily-Anne’s abject stupidity that saves the day here, but let’s face it: anyone who murders the prospective buyer of a property, on that property, and then plans to buy that property for themself had better have a much more competent lackey on the police than Lily-Anne had. No wonder she falls that ludicrous phone switch gag.
Maybe she’s caught the stupid bug off Harry, though, who thankfully seems to finally be recovering from it. Harry is back on the ball after spending most of the season so far off it the ball was filing a missing persons report. Harry works out Orwell is innocent! Harry works out Ed is the mole! Harry tells Isabella she’s not great girlfriend material! Harry tracks down Sam by waving his mobile at random women in the street! Um, okay, we’ll put that last one down to Harry’s luck power. This show really should make the bracelets glow when they’re in use so we know when a handy coincidence is luck power at work and when it’s just really lazy writing.
But apart from Harry getting his act together, Isabella slowly – and fascinatingly – falling apart as the cracks in her sanity really start to show through and that great (though not entirely untelegraphed) twist at the end, there’s not an awful lot that stands out in the episode. The main plot boils down to “Lily-Anne kills a guy to buy a new bar” which is hardly the most thrilling villainous plot in telefantasy history. The “mole” element is pretty much pointless because we only see one scene with the guy who turns out to be the mole before he turns out to be the mole; plus it’s obvious Orwell isn’t the mole from the way Winter is desperately to pin it on him. The procedural elements are pretty much non-existent as Harry just lucky guesses his way to solutions these days.
In the middle of all this gravy there is one piece of juicy meat; Isabella’s solo Russian roulette routine and its fallout – Isabella freeing Eve just so that Eve can witness what she’s going to do next (now that sounds ominous). There’s some wonderful acting here from Thekla Reuten and Eve Best (though Sienna Guillory has little to do other than go, “Glug!”), especially with Anna going from a perceived position of power over Isabella to running out of the house like she’s seen the devil in stilettos.
So, once again the arc plot is more interesting than the plot of the week. Unfortunately there’s not an awful lot of the former and a great deal of the latter this week.
- We loved little glance Orwell gave Suri when Harry arrived at the crime scene at the start of the episode and started checking the body for clues; it so clearly said, “He going to have a lucky break, isn’t he?”
- Isabella’s solo Russian roulette scene was incredibly tense.
- And her reason for “saving” Eve was downright chilling.
- The final shot was a great cliffhanger.
- Thank God Harry realised Orwell was being framed pretty quickly. We don’t think we could have handled him giving the guy any more casual grief.
- The phone swap feels like a cheap trick, because it comes from nowhere with no foreshadowing, comes across like a particularly unlikely plan B (who knew she’d leave her phone on the desk?) and is badly shot so that you barely notice it even on a rewatch. Excusing all this with Harry’s luck powers is stretching suspension of disbelief a little too far.
- Plus, that phone looked far too crappy for Lily-Anne. She’s a smart phone user, through and through.
- Having Ed introduced only in this episode just so that he can be outed as a traitor feels like a real waste. He either should have been introduced a couple of episodes ago or they should have used the regular forensic pathology guy. Sure, he’s a great, fun character and it’s be a shame to lose him, bit the impact would have been a lot greater.
- Whether Winter is a complicit traitor or just being played by Isabella (presumably we’ll know next week) he really is turning into little more than a plot device at the moment. This week, his readiness to accuse Orwell was so out of proportion it felt like he was actively in on framing the poor guy. But that wouldn’t make any sense (why would Isabella care about Orwell?) so presumably he was just being the worst man manager in the world.
And The Random:
- Orwell isn’t particularly observant, is he? If he’s looked at the names on the buzzers at the building where he went for a fake interview he might have noticed they were all suspiciously the names of famous artists and poets, so presumably fake: J(M)W Turner, Will(iam) Blake, TS Elliot (with an extra ‘l’ and (R) Seigfried (Sassoon). Not sure about Carter, though.
- Plus, the buzzer Orwell uses is the blank one… if that isn’t suspicious, what is?
- Oh, and here’s a random shot we really liked, and we’re not even sure why…
Review by Dave Golder