And hey, we're back. I doubt that TVCom will list new episodes of Lucky Man, since it's British. And the current system is more likely to add incorrect old episodes than correct new ones. But it's like hitting yourself in the head with a hammer: you don't want to stop because you've gotten used to it. So on we go.

"Facing Your Demons" pretty much picks up where Season 2 left off. We get two new cast members: Neve McIntosh (among many other UK roles, Vastra on Doctor Who, under Silurian makeup) as Harry's new DSI, Elsa Gray. Who is on Harry's case as much as the now-deceased Alistair was early on. And Rupert Penry-Jones (Quinlan on The Strain, Thomas on Black Sails, and many more) plays Harry's new nemesis, Samuel Blake.

After the Hong Kong police chase Harry to the docks, Suri steps out and arrests him for murder. Cue one of those currently-beloved "Sometime earlier" flashbacks of a sort. Eve calls Harry for help, where a mysterious intruder ins forcing her to break another man's neck. By the time Harry gets there, the intruder is gone. The police figure that Eve is a killer, Harry objects, and new DSI Elsa wonders why Harry is so eager to protest Eve's innocence. Elsa is also not fond of Harry because of the issue with Isabella got Alistair killed at the end of season 2. The emphasis on continuity is interesting: there doesn't seem to have been as much concern over prison warden Julian at the end of season 1.

The dead man comes from Hong Kong, so Harry, a newly-promoted Suri, and Steve head there. There is a cute bit where Steve introduces the team to the leading Hong Kong in charge using flawless Chinese... and then runs out of phrases from his translation handbook. The detectives soon investigate the Torch, the organization that Eve works for. Along the way Harry encounters the intruder--Samuel--who is resistant to pain and knows about the bracelets.

Samuel framed Eve, and frames Harry for Isabella's death, making it look like Harry murdered her. Elsa tells Suri about this and orders her to bring Harry in. Meanwhile, the Torch abducts Harry and Eve. There's a mysterious old Chinese woman, Madame Cheung, who explains the history of the bracelets and shows the duo the tools that were used to make the bracelets back in 733.

Samuel has planted a tracker on Harry and shows up. He injects himself with painkillers (explaining his resistance to pain when fighting Harry earlier), captures Harry, Eve, and Cheung, and uses the tools to add an extra line to Harry's bracelet. This changes Harry's luck from good to bad so that Samuel can shoot him. However, Steve and Suri have tracked Harry to the Torch's casino ship base, and Steve storms in before Samuel can shoot the now-luckless Harry. Harry manages to escape with Eve and Cheung, then we go back to "the present" and Harry jumps into the bay. Suri and the Hong Kong divers don't find his body, but in the final scene we see Eve having a surgeon remove the bullet from Harry. Harry says that he's going to England to clear his name and get his family back.

Oh, Harry's wife and daughter, Anna and Daisy, don't appear. But we learn from Harry's brother Rich that the family separated and now they're living in New York City. Apparently Harry and Anna separated over the bracelet, or the trouble it brought, or something.

I could have lived without another paranoid superior, but that's a pretty standard trope. I liked Penry-Jones as Samuel, an ice-cold assassin and zealot who is sworn to destroy the bracelets. But then, I liked Penry-Jones in The Strain, too, when he was one of the best things in it once he showed up.

James Nesbitt is great as always: I particularly liked his line about his rotting Belfast corpse to Samuel. Most of his performance is pretty standard "man on the run for a crime he didn't commit", but there are other little bits where he shines. Harry's bemusement over the promoted Suri conducting the investigation, and his long-suffering look when Steve does the aforementioned translation thing.

Amara Karan and Darren Boyd were both good. And I liked Steve's more easy-going attitude toward Harry: maybe they chose to mellow him out now that they have Elsa as the resident Harry-hater. Sienna Guillory and Stephen Hagan were... okay.

My main gripe is that after two seasons, we still don't know how the bracelet works. Harry gets out-fought and chloroformed before Samuel alters the bracelet. Shouldn't his luck prevent that? We get at least one scene where the bracelet works without Harry's conscious control, so it's not like he has to concentrate on it to get it to work. So the bracelet comes across as more of a plot contrivance than actual super-luck. There's also the question of if it's still giving Harry luck. He gets several lucky breaks after Samuel alters it. If he no longer has super-good luck, at least he doesn't seem to have super-bad luck. He eludes Suri in a pretty risky maneuver, and survives a gunshot to the chest and a plunge into Hong Kong bay.

Oh, and we get a Stan Lee cameo. Again. So he shows up here but not in Marvel's Inhumans. I guess there are limits to even Stan the Man's seemingly-unlimited cameo power.

Overall, Lucky Man remains an enjoyable bit. It's not a superhero show, or even a superpower show. It's more of a Dan Brown-ish tale of secret societies and mysterious assassins and untold histories. But James Nesbitt continues to make it his own in the starring role, and he has an able support cast. So I'll continue watching.

But that's just my opinion, I could be wrong. What do you think?
Comments (2)
Jul 25, 2018
1) I HATE flashforward openings. They are a pathetic last resort used by writers when they can't think of anything interesting to start the episode with, so they take something from the middle \ end.

Also, they are incredibly boring. They are supposed to give you the "wait, how did this happen" vibe, but in reality, they don't. They give me a "don't bother paying attention, they'll get back to this later and ignore it" vibe.

2) I like the fact that they are going into the origin of the bracelet, but it was way too quick and silly. And correct me if I'm wrong here, but didn't Eve said that being a "torch" is a family trait? Now it's a shadow organization?

I also HATE the whole "we are zealots against that stuff". It's not just an incredibly overused trope in anything, it also doesn't make sense 99% of the time.

3) Speaking of continuity, didn't Eve throw the second bracelet to the ocean? Did I miss something? How did she have it back? And why on earth would she walk around with it instead of hiding it?
I also didn't like the fact that his family is just gone, but I'm guessing actors are unavailable or they wanted to cut them off? The kid was actually decent.

4) The translation joke was indeed funny.

5) The problem is that Luck is undefined to begin with. Let's say my wife gets killed. That's bad luck, right?
Then I find out that she has a secret bank account that's worth twenty billion dollars. That's good luck, right?

But one wouldn't happen without the other. That's the thing about luck, it's so undefined that you can always say that anything is good or bad luck eventually.

Jul 29, 2018
Don't ask too many questions. It's a reasonably entertaining show without existential meaning or protagonists moping for half the episode; these days that's something we can appreciate, as it's getting scarce.
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