Stan Lee’s Lucky Man S01E06 “A Twist Of Fate” REVIEW
Airing in the UK on Sky 1, Fridays, 9pm
Writers: James Allen, Alan Westaway, Neil Biswas
Director: Brian Kelly
Essential Plot Points:
- Eve proves to Harry how powerful the magic bracelet can be taking him to fixed cage fight and getting Harry to bet on the guy who’s supposed to take the fall.
- Instead the guy who’s supposed to win slips in some blood and knocks himself unconscious.
- Eve explains she also brought Harry here to send a message to the man who runs the cage fighting; a man called Golding whom Eve believes also killed Lau and her mother. She actually reveals this over a couple of scenes in different parts of the episode in an attempt to not make it feel like one massive infodump.
- While at White Cross fulfilling her mentoring duties, Anna finally gets Billy to open up a little about how Grey died. He says someone called Golding did it. Ooooooooh! It’s all connecting.
- Anna and White Cross boss Nikhail Julian are swiftly becoming an item, which is such an unlikely development one can only assume Anna is just pretending so she can get her hands on his files. Either that or it’s an elaborate plot mechanism to make sure that Harry and Anna’s daughter rings Harry at the WORST POSSIBLE TIME later in the episode.
- A body of an African boy is found in a building that’s due to be demolished to be replaced by a project that’s the baby of London’s deputy mayor.
- The boy actually died 14 months before and the body was recently moved here. His kidney has been removed.
- To cut a long story short, the deputy mayor, Karl Frierson, did it. Or was responsible for it, to be accurate.
- Frierson, by the way, is a former DCI who worked with Harry on the case involving the murder of Eve’s mother, which was never closed. Harry now thinks Frierson made sure the murderer was never caught.
- Harry also thinks that Frierson had the African boy killed because they shared a rare blood type, and Frierson was dying of kidney failure.
- Suri, who’s faith in Harry is wavering, goes undercover to lure the doctor who performed the operation out of hiding. She succeeds but is almost killed in the process, because Harry and Anna’s daughter rings at the WORST POSSIBLE TIME so Harry misses the SOS from Suri. D’oh!
- Harry forces a confession out of the doctor by pretending he’s got a part in a Fast & Furious films: he drives through red lights fast and furiously until the guy is begging for mercy.
- Harry is on the verge of arresting Frierson when Wimter stops him. The doctor has retracted his confession.
- Oh yeah, and somebody – either with the police or in Frierson’s office – is leaking facts from the investigation to the press. Harry interrogates the journalist and tells her that her writing’s rubbish and full of inaccuracies. Bad move, Harry – the laptop is mightier than the sword. Soon she’s slagging him off in her rag.
- Lily-Anne Lau is let out of custody on lack of evidence and immediately threatens Harry’s family.
There was a moment of hope right at the start of the episode when it looked like Lucky Man was turning a corner. Eve, it seemed, was getting as pissed off as the rest of us with the fact that – after six episodes – Harry is still taking baby steps with his magic luck bracelet when most people would be running riot in every casino and bookies across the city by now. Or, if they were a cop with a conscience, then at least having more luck making sure their suspects don’t keep getting let off through lack of evidence. Let’s face it Harry’s, not getting much luck at the moment.
So Eve takes Harry to a cage fight to show that luck can influence even a fixed cage fight to make the wrong man win. Hurrah! Surely now the show is really going to have fun with the concept?
Well… no. It’s back to Lidl’s own-brand Luther for much of the rest of the show; dour, gritty and just a teensy bit dull, until Harry finally remembers his superpowers at the end of the episode in a half-decent scene in which he interrogates a guy by driving at high speed through a series red lights. After last week’s similar scene involving green lights it seems the writers on the show have some serious issues with traffic flow in the capital that they’re working through. Good for them. Shame they don’t have more exciting issues.
It’s becoming dull wishing this series was something it clearly doesn’t want to be. But it beggars belief that a show about a man with superpowers seems happy to plod along like yet another generic crime drama. Lucky Man has an in-built USP but spends most of its time looking slightly embarrassed to put it into action. It does seem a bit of a waste.
But if you accept that the show is never going to be The Flash, or even Daredevil, but just wants to be CSI: Slightly Supernatural London, then, yeah, there are a lot worse ways to waste an hour. The backstory hots up this week with the name “Golding” connecting Grey’s death at White Cross with all the other deaths Harry’s been investigating since the series began (maybe the bracelet is orchestrating things for him, making sure he’s assigned all the relevant cases). Eve opens up a bit (blimey, she takes her time) and reveals she is a “torch” like her mother before her; torches being the only people who can take the magic bracelet off one (dead) person and give it to another. Meanwhile, the powers that be are making sure that Harry takes two steps back to every breakthrough he makes. Perhaps most worrying for Harry is that Lily-Anne is now free and quite open about wanting revenge. His luck really needs to change
After a couple of weeks of Bald Russian Guy and freaky Lermentov Jr bring some comic book villainy to the show, they’re missed this week (well, one of them’s very dead), because former bent cop and current bent politician Frierson proves a rather bland antagonist. Also conspicuous by their absence are bother Rich and his girl Friday Josie, two more characters who bring some much-needed lightness of touch to the show. It’s a shame because this is one episode that really needed a respite from wall-to-wall glum. The nearest we get to humour is Harry’s constant sarcasm to his bosses, which is fun to a certain degree (and prefectly in character) but does all add to the general mean-spirited tone.
The revelation that Anna and White Cross boss Nikhail Julian are an item comes out of the left field; when they walk into the swanky party with his hand round her back you’re left wondering if you fell asleep through the bit when they got together. We’re holding out hope she’s just leading him on because she need something out of him.
We’re still holding out for the episode where Harry really starts putting his powers to the test, though. And there’s one moment in the Next Week On… trailer that makes it look like episode seven may be the one.
- For the second week in a row traffic lights provide the highlight of the episode with Harry’s high-speed interrogation of Dr Marghai.
- The scene at the cage fight is another good use of Harry’s luck powers. More, much more of this, please.
- Suri going undercover, especially the moment when she realises she’s trapped and her first thought is, “I’m in a room with lots of handy, pointy medical equipment.”
- Eve actually gives some answers. Real answer. Not vague, cryptic, teasing answers but ones that made sense. Which is great but… why now, suddenly? Why not weeks back?
- Harry being in a generally pissed off mood and not caring which superiors he insults.
- Two of Harry’s arrests are let off the hook on “lack of evidence” in one episode. Presumably this is no coincidence (there’s a conspiracy going on), but Harry never connects them so it ends up looking like the same plot twice in rapid succession. Besides, as far as conspiracy plotlines go, this one’s got precious little new to offer. It’s serviceable enough but very familiar territory.
- The plot line involving Harry’s daughter was an extremely unconvincing way of generating a bit of tension using a lazy application of the old “phone call at exactly the wrong moment” trope. You end up wanting to throttle the selfish moppet (or hoping Lily-Anne might run her over at the bus stop) rather than care what’s happening to her.
- And when exactly did Anna and the guy who did all those pretentious monologues on Heroes become an item? Were they flirting last week? Could have fooled us!
- Is Winter’s spirituality ever going to have any bearing on anything? Or is it a particularly arbitrary piece of character “motivation” to stop him being entirely lacking in depth.
- The show’s still far too dour. Where’s the fun?
And The Random:
- Bombay Blood is a real phenomenon, and crime and medical drama scriptwriters love it to bits. It’s been used to add tension to shows as diverse as Holby City, General Hospital, NCIS: New Orleans and Psi Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal.
- What’s happened to Burn Gorman? That female pathologist we were palmed off with this week was disappointingly generic.
- Probably a coincidence, but when Suri looks around the medical theatre for things that she could use to defend herself, there’s a shot of a tabletop with (unlucky) 13 different medical implements on it.
- The horse that Harry backs in the bookies has the suspiciously portentous name “Forget Her Past”.
Review by Dave Golder