Stan Lee’s Lucky Man S01E10 “Leap Of Faith” REVIEW

Stan Lee’s Lucky Man S01E10 “Leap Of Faith” REVIEW

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stars 3.5

Airing in the UK on Sky 1, Fridays, 9pm
Writer: Neil Biswas
Director: David Caffrey

 

Essential Plot Points:

  • Paul Lermentov has Eve chained up in a basement. He tells her they are half-siblings; Vincent Lermentov was dad to them both.
  • Eve tells Paul that Vincent never wanted him to have to the magic bracelet because he’s too unstable. (She later tells Nikhail something similar – how come she was Vincent’s closest confidant?).
  • Nikhail/Golding tells Harry that he must kill himself so that Nikhail can get his mitts on the magic luck bracelet. If Harry doesn’t then Rich, Anna and Daisy will be killed.
  • Anna and Daisy pop over to Nikhail’s Hampstead mansion as invited. Despite Nikhail having employed a house keeper straight out of a gothic novel (she’s credited as Kirtsy but we bet she gets called Mrs Danvers behind her back) Anna and Daisy don’t immediately run off screaming.
  • Harry learns that Rich has been released from prison.

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  • Using his luck power (which at one point means surviving a rapid descent from a prison roof) Harry escapes prison.
  • Harry contacts Anna’s mum to ask where she is. Anna’s mum is being held at gunpoint by Nikhail’s boot boy Charles Collins. He forces her to give Harry a false address – an apartment in a hotel at King’s Cross St Pancras.
  • It’s a trap! Collins waits for Harry there but Harry spots him. There’s a chase and a fight and Collins ends up dead on a grand piano. A maid witnesses all this and immediately calls the police. And possibly a piano tuner.
  • Winter has assigned Orwell to pursue Harry (why?) but makes sure Suri is his second (that’s more sensible). They arrive at the hotel. Suri spots Harry in a crowd but doesn’t tell Orwell.
  • Harry visits his brother who’s not best happy to see him. He wants Harry out of his life but when Harry tells him about Daisy and Anna being in danger he lets him borrow his motorbike.
  • Harry next gets heavy on Paul Lermentov’s butler who blabs (really quickly) about Nikhail’s Hampstead mansion. Harry heads there.
  • Winter learns that Anna’s mum has contacted the police to complain that somebody has been holding her at gunpoint and that her daughter and granddaughter have been abducted (hang on… Colllins didn’t tie her up when he left her?). She also says about being forced to give the address of King’s Cross St Pancras.
  • Winter pulls Suri off the Harry investigation but tells Suri to say nothing to Orwell; to just leave. Winter clearly has suspicions about Orwell.
  • Unfortunately Orwell spots Suri leaving. In what may prove to be an unwise move come season two, Suri drops a heavy hint to Orwell that she thinks he’s provided the “anonymous” tip-off about Becker’s body in the previous episode.
  • Suri joins Winter who tells her that Anna’s phone can be tracked to Hampstead but then it cut out. They work out that Ashton House is owned by the Lermentov Corporation. Bingo!

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  • By now Anna has worked out Nikhail is Golding (he’s left his invoice for her services defending Grey in an unlocked drawer) but it’s a bit late. He has her and Daisy tied to chairs next to the pool.
  • Meanwhile Paul has delivered Eve to Ashton House. She’ll be needed to transfer the bracelet to Nikhail.
  • Harry arrives at Ashton House about the same time as Winter and Suri. Winter tells Harry he trusts him but is then shot by Mrs Danvers.
  • When Mrs Danvers tries to shoot Harry, she’s knocked unconscious when the clip of her gun unexpectedly flies out. This is hilarious. In a good way.
  • Harry then rushes to the pool. Nikhail wants him to kill himself otherwise he’ll kill Daisy and Anna…
  • When Harry refuses Nikhail kicks Daisy’s chair – which is weighed down by padlocked chains – into the pool. He says he’ll unlock Daisy once Harry has killed himself. He gives Harry a gun.
  • Instead Harry uses the gun to blast the padlock open and save Daisy.
  • Winter’s back-up arrives, there’s a lot of shooting but somehow Nikhail escapes (does he actually need a magic luck bracelet?)

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Review:

Thank God we knew we were getting a second season of Lucky Man before watching that finale. Because while it was a pacy, action-packed crowdpleaser, with shocks, tension and Harry using his powers galore, there wasn’t much of a sense of resolution on a personal level. Harry saved Anna and Daisy – hurrah! – but the main villains all got away, Orwell is still in employment, Rich is in tatters, Winter is half dead and Eve has still got a lot of explaining to do. Usually us critics frown on exposition but just for once a handy summary of exactly what’s been going on from Eve would have been welcome, just so we can check our flow chart against hers…

Even if Lucky Man had flopped and this was the last we ever saw of Harry And His Magic Bracelet, “Leap Of Faith” would have been a decent swan song. It certainly had fun with its central concept with an extended escape scene that kept piling on more and more lucky break. To be honest it became difficult at times to decide which were instances of Harry’s power at work and which were just standard scriptwriting handy coincidences. After all, how prescient would the bracelet have to be to make a bunch of inmates create a secret tunnel?

But luck – and viewing figures – were on the show’s side so Harry will return. This is a good thing, because although this is a show that’s embarrassingly easy to get nick-picky about, it would be a shame if it never had a chance to explore its concepts further. After all, we were told way back in episode one about the whole Yin and Yang thing. Harry has an unfeasible amount of Yin this episode. Are we going to get the Yang fallout next year?

Because if the season two could benefit from one major addition, it’s some rationalisation for the bracelet’s power. The writers of the show may instinctively shy away from this appraoch fearing that rules and regulations might bog the show down, but in practice, setting rules so you can bend and break and test them is one of the fundamental sources of fascination and conflict in fantasy.

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Not knowing the extent and limitations of Harry’s powers does affect the show. It’s difficult to become too concerned about a central character’s fate when you’re thinking, “Well, his luck will get him out of that somehow.” But if the character – and by extension the viewers – know the rules of what the bracelet can and can’t do, plus any pitfalls or side effects that make using it more complicated, then this can eliminates that feeling of “deus ex machina for all occasions”.

Then add in a villain who knows how the rules work too. Nikhail hints that he does in a broad sense in this episode when he refuses to shoot Harry in case the bullet ricochets back off something and hits him. If there were proper “rules” though, Nikhail could seek to exploit them – making him a more dangerous, interesting villain  – and Harry would have to use his wits to use his luck in more inventive ways.

That’s what we’d like to see in season two. Not that there’s any reason why the writing team should take any notice of us. They’ve got a hit on their hands, so if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Though we’d argue it’s not fixing it; it’s supercharging it.

Oh, and can Suri have more to do, please?

But if season two makes no changes to the tone or format, it’ll still be worth a look. Season one has been shaky, uneven affair at times, but a lot of fun along the way with a few memorable set-pieces. Oh, great theme tune too. Have we ever mentioned that?

 

The Good:

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  • There should more instances like the one with the gun clip where Harry’s magic luck is shown to be a bit absurd.

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  • Stephen Hagan only gets one scene this week  but it’s an immensely affecting one; as that tear rolls down his cheek your heart goes out for Rich. But Harry won’t let him stop being involved…

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  • Aside from the one brief lapse (see below) Harry’s escape from prison was the kind of sequence we’ve been wanting all season; Harry using intelligence as well as his luck to get out and then make the money he needs to accomplish his plans. If was fun, pacy and exhilarating. Although we hope after he won big on the fruit machine he tossed a pound coin back into the homeless guy’s cup.

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  • Mrs Danvers. She was creepy.
  • Winter getting shot. Not that is was good for him, but dramatically it was a punch in the gut.
  • The way that Nikhail was reluctant to shoot a bullet anywhere near Harry’s direction.

 

The Bad:

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  • The mercifully brief green screen shot of Harry’s leap of faith near ruined a fine stunt.

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  • The big showdown is a bit of a let down. Partly because of the episode title we were expecting Harry to make a huge metaphorical leap of faith (as opposed to the literal leap of faith he did earlier); to do something utterly, mindbogglingly, stupidly reckless but trusting to his luck to sort things out, probably after telling Nikhail “Do your worst!” Instead we got him shooting a padlock. How drearily like-all-other-crime-shows is that?
  • Eve spends the whole episode bound, gasping and being utterly useless. Given her place within the series she needed something more positive to add to the finale. In fact it wasn’t a good episode for the women all round. Daisy, Anna and Anna’s mum were in victim mode too, while Suri had a secret telephone call practically standing in front of Orwell.
  • There are just a few too many loose ends. Admittedly we now know there’s a second season so things can be tidied up but even granting that, there we issues here that should have raised if not resolved. Such as:
    • Is there going to be an investigation into how Rich received his injuries?
    • Winter knew at the start of the episode that Nikhail was Golding so why doesn’t he do anything about it?
    • Why does Winter assign Orwell to track down Harry when he has his (well-founded) suspicions about him too?
    • Eve twice indicates Vincent Lermentov confided things to her; what was their relationship like, exactly?
    • Was there any fall-out from Lily-Anne not shooting Kalim?
  • If Nikhail is so clued up about the bracelet’s ability for self preservation why has been sending clueless henchman to try to tackle Harry all season?
  • Why the hell did Collins leave Anna’s mum in a state where should ring the police? Or maybe he did bind her not knowing she used to be an escapologist

 

And The Random:

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  • Nikhail’s speech about belief – especially the line, “the primacy of one man’s belief over another man’s” – sounded exactly like a Mohinder monologue from Heroes.
  • Although he co-created the show, Neil Biswas may not be providing any scripts for season two. He has told The Hollywood Reporter that he was off to make a psychological horror movie set in India. Can we suggest Steven Gallagher as a replacement head writer? Mainly because he wrote our favourite episode of the season.

 

Review by Dave Golder


Read our other Lucky Man reviews

 

 

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