Stan Lee’s Lucky Man S02E10 “A Hero Of Our Time” REVIEW
Essential Plot Points:
- Even after Winter’s murder, Harry is reluctant to put the lucky bracelet back on despite Eve urging him to. He’s been able to reconnect with his wife and daughter since it was taken off him.
- Harry sends armed police to raid Isabella’s apartment, but they find only a very puzzled – and outraged – family. Isabella has been using their apartment while they’ve been on an extended holiday and has left no sign she’s ever been there.
- Outsmarted, Harry is finally convinced by Anna to wear the bracelet again – she is fully aware what that means for her and their daughter Daisy but she knows that Isabella must be stopped.
- Harry goes to see Eve, who replaces the bracelet on his wrist.
- She also tells him the only way to stop Isabella is to kill her; she gives him the golden gun that Jay used to kill himself.
- Almost immediately, Harry has a chance encounter with Isabella. She’s clearly shocked to see he has the bracelet again, but uses her luck powers to get away.
- Harry sends Anna and Daisy to New York to keep them safe (does that make any sense?) but is too late to reach brother Rich.
- Rich is kidnapped by Isabella’s henchman, Rui.
- By an amazing stroke of luck, Harry’s team finds Rui, and pull him in for interrogation. Rui calls Isabella a Goddess. He also says there’s a message for Harry from Rich on his mobile phone.
- Harry listens to the message – Rich in obvious distress and in need of rescuing – and loses it with Rui, beating him up in custody (so his luck bracelet must be working fine since he’s not immediately pulled from the case and suspended).
- With a combination of luck and investigative skills, Harry works out where Rich is – tied up on the bank of the Thames, with the tide coming in – and rescues him.
- Suri and Orwell work out that Isabella is watching them, and track her to the CCTV observation room. They arrest her.
- But this is all part of her plan. She wanted to be captured so that her belongings would be taken up to Harry’s offices as evidence. She’s also engineered events so that Harry is out of the office.
- She escapes from the cell she’s thrown into, then detonates a bomb via her mobile phone. It blows up Harry’s offices killing many of his colleagues and leaving Suri seriously injured.
- Isabella watches the carnage from across the river in the Tate Modern. Then she sees Harry standing in the hole the explosion has made in the wall of the building. He’s luring her over for a final showdown. She obliges him, crosses back over the river and sneaks into the blast-damaged offices.
- She’s confronted by Harry. She explains that she’s taking away from Harry everything that he holds dear so that he knows what it’s like to be her.
- Harry aims the golden gun at her, but she brings down a joist and escapes onto the roof…
- …but Harry uses his powers to hamper her escape.
- On the roof they have another showdown. Isabella says Harry will never be able to shoot her because if he does, he’s on the next step to becoming her, and he’s too good a man to do that.
- Harry tells her he wishes he’d known her before she had the bracelet as he essentially thinks she is good underneath it all.
- So Isabella makes the decision for Harry – she takes the gun and shoots herself…
- Eve arrives, takes the bracelet off Isabella and lobs it into the Thames.
- Not that Harry’s taking much notice… he just walks out of the building stunned.
Well, that was… okay. The trouble being that after two such great episodes, okay is a bit of a disappointment. Especially for a season finale.
Let’s start with a disclaimer: if you’ve come here wanting an explanation of how Isabella could kill herself, when two weeks ago her powers made a gun malfunction to stop herself doing exactly the same, don’t bother reading on. We don’t know. We can makes guesses. We can come up with theories. We can infer things from information we’ve been given. Presumably she simply didn’t really want to die back then and the bracelet knew; but she is ready now. Maybe a sense of self-preservation kicked in, unconsciously triggering the bracelet’s luck powers. Maybe she’s realised that Harry in full control of his powers can defeat her, so she just gives in. Or maybe the bracelets wanted Isabella to die (she does say they prevented her flying away), but only when she’d finally admitted to herself what she had become. Or maybe killing a good man (Winter) was a step too far.
But getting bogged down in plot logic also misses the point that the big denouement disappoints in another more important way; it’s all way too sudden. One minute Isabella is a vampish supervillain, concocting overly complicated plans to make Harry lose everything and everyone near and dear to him, then after one not-very-inspiring rooftop speech from Harry she’s ready to kill herself to stop him turning into her.
It’s not a completely unforeshadowed development. There have been hints in previous weeks that Isabella is not happy with what she’s become, but they were fairly minor. Plus, “villain suddenly seeing a chance at redemption through suicide” is a bit of a cliché and a convenient get-out clause for Harry. We’d have preferred something cleverer, that explored what happens when two luck bracelets are being made to work against each other. There could still have been the emotional angle with Isabella admitting what she’s become and Harry trying to defeat her without becoming her; we’d just like to have seen a real jawdropping piece of luck/bad luck engineered by Harry come into play at the very end. Poetic justice and all that.
It’s a shame the vague ending drags the episode down because there was a lot to enjoy. The explosion in the cops’ HQ was a real shocker. The way Harry tracked down Rich was a lot of fun. And the repeated idea that Isabella was trying to turn Harry into the new her by taking away everything from him is chilling. It’s wonderfully tense in places, and the feeling of a dangerous cat and mouse game going on once Harry has his powers back is effective.
It’s a perfectly serviceable season finale, but that fumble at the final hurdle shows that the series is still hampered by some of the problems of season one; mostly, a reluctance to truly explore the concepts at its heart.
Oh, hang on… what if Isabella isn’t dead? Now, that’d be a major stroke of luck.
- End credits extra scene, just like an MCU movie!
- Although utterly pointless (who was ever going to see it?) we did love Isabella’s little supervillain flourish, blowing a kiss in a video message on her mobile before blowing up the police HQ.
- Isabella has never looked more like a supervillain than she did in the shot above; she could have been in Arkham Asylum.
- Although battling against some typically grey London weather, director Andy Hay produced some gorgeously-framed and lit shots to make that final showdown feel epic.
- Although a very minor thing, we did love that there was no way Isabella was going to take the stairs when she went back to face Harry, and she casually uses the luck bracelet to get the lift working.
- “You have to suffer, Harry Clayton. Lose everything. Have it stripped away so can see the world as she does.”
“What do you mean?”
“Once you’re free, you’ll understand.” Interesting use of the word “free”.
- “I have too many weaknesses. She has none.”
- “Isabella is me in 10 years time… If I kill her, I prove her right.”
- Isabella’s shift from supervillain mode to selfless sacrifice is too sudden.
- In conjunction with that, Harry’s rooftop speech about wishing he’d met Isabella before she had the bracelet seems weirdly unmotivated (why suddenly say that then) and isn’t exactly the most stirring speech ever made.
- There’s never been any indication that the luck bracelets have a limited range over which their effects work, so is sending Daisy and Anna to New York really going to protect them? We’d be worried about the plane taking them there crashing into the sea.
- Surely there were easier ways to use luck to plant a bomb in Harry’s offices? And why use a bomb? Couldn’t Isabella have used her luck to engineer a gas explosion, or something?
And The Random:
- We have no idea what that art exhibition in Tate Modern was all about, but it looked like a load of twisted women, which was kinda apt (and presumably totally co-incidental).
- “Look, I know you cops aren’t the brightest bunch otherwise you’d get decent jobs…” And here we have the winner of the most odious bit-parter of the week award.
Review by Dave Golder