ORBzine - Lucky Man TV Review

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Lucky Man

Season 1

Lucky Man Lucky Man [Season 1, Episode 1] More Yang Than Yin
Shown 22 Jan 16

Detective Inspector Harry Clayton (James Nesbitt - The Hobbit ) is a compulsive and unlucky gambler. The casino-owner, Freddy Lau, gives him three days to pay his debts. However, our hero gets lucky several times in one night. He meets a femme fatale named Eve ( Sienna Guillory ), wins enough money to pay off his debts and wakes up with a strange bracelet on his wrist.

The pathologist (Burn Gorman - Dark Knight Rises ) has three bodies in his freezer. Two are murder victims, the third is a suicide with a bracelet mark on his wrist. Harry and his token ethnic sidekick, DS Suri Chohan ( Amara Karan ) must solve the two murders.

The new boss of the Homicide detectives (Steven Mackintosh - Underworld: Rise of the Lycans ) is an Internal Affairs type, who wants to crack down on perceived corruption. In particular he targets Harry, which is a pity because Harry's intimate knowledge of the local underworld means he has contacts like the local strip-club owner (Omid Djalili - The Mummy ).

The climax is an exciting high-speed chase scene, ending in a cliffhanger.

Lucky Man Lucky Man [Season 1, Episode 2] Win Some, Lose Some
Shown 29 Jan 16

The intended owner of the bracelet, Becker (Joseph Gatt - Z Nation ), is a massive bald-headed Russian with a machete. He closes in on Harry (James Nesbitt - The Hobbit ). He even knows where Harry's wife and daughter live. Luckily they think the Russian is only a bailiff there to collect Harry's debts.

The suspect in the two murders is still on the loose. Harry closes in on his next lead - an East European fixer who runs a crooked card game, and also forges passports for fugitives.

We get a bit of Harry's personal backstory. We even get a flashback of his mother - she had a Northern Ireland accent, so at least the show is not ignoring the star's Ulster roots.

Lucky Man Lucky Man [Season 1, Episode 3] Three AKA Evil Eye
Shown 05 Feb 16

A gang of three motorbikers has staged a series of robberies at high-end jewelry shops. Harry (James Nesbitt - The Hobbit ) investigates. Since his Detective Sergeant sidekick is off on grief leave, he is stuck with Detective Inspector Orwell instead. And since Orwell is the new boss's yes-man, he is made Harry's superior (despite Harry being older and thus presumably having seniority).

While on grief leave, Suri the sidekick puts her time to good use. She spends some time and money at the casino. Purely for investigatory purposes, of course.

Harry's wife tries to get her client to tell her who the real killer is. However, prison is not as safe as it is meant to be.

Harry's brother finds someone who has a clue about the mysterious bracelet. Apparently it is Chinese, as befits the yan-and-yang theme.

Lucky Man Lucky Man [Season 1, Episode 4] A Higher Power
Shown 12 Feb 16

Harry (James Nesbitt - The Hobbit ) gets a new case - the disappearance of a female researcher. She was investigating the previous owner of the magic bracelet. It turns out that he was once involved in the Russian Mafia.

The intended recipient of the bracelet is Becker (Joseph Gatt - Z Nation ), a younger member of the Russian Mafia. He goes after the delivery girl first, to get revenge. But most of all, he is after Harry so he can get the bracelet!

Orwell secretly investigates Harry. He starts at the Chinese Casino, where the owner has his IOUs. Not the kind of person you want to get on the wrong side of.

Lucky Man Lucky Man [Season 1, Episode 5] The Last Chance
Shown 19 Feb 16

Harry (James Nesbitt - The Hobbit ) gets out of his situation with the Russian mobster, Becker (Joseph Gatt - Z Nation ). In all fairness, he does not really do anything - it is all down to Eve ( Sienna Guillory ) and lady luck! It turns out the bracelet must be actively used, and cannot be relied upon to activate itself.

An assassination takes place, and an unlucky gambler named Tim Larson (Andrew Lee Potts - Red Mist ) is the main suspect. Harry discovers a secret high-stakes game run by Kevin Eldon ( Hyperdrive ), and manages to bluff his way in. Unfortunately, he also gives away his secret to half a dozen ruthless hardcore gamblers!

The cops have enough to bust the Chinese Casino for money-laundering. However, the owner still has Harry's marker. Worse, she has CCTV footage of him on the night her father was killed. She can make Harry help her, then burn him to the cops anyway out of spite.

Harry's wife meets with Prison Governor Mohinder Suresh ( Heroes ). He seems progressive and in favour of rehabilitation. However, since her client suicided himself in Mohinder's prison it is a matter of concern.

Lucky Man Lucky Man [Season 1, Episode 6] A Twist of Fate
Shown 26th Feb 2016 [Friday]

A body is discovered, and Harry (James Nesbitt - The Hobbit ) gets the case. The victim was a member of a rare blood group, and has a kidney missing.

The paper-trail leads back to the London Government's Crime Czar. This character has never been shown or even mentioned before. However, he was previously involved in both Harry's career. Specifically, he was behind the cover-up in Harry's first case. That case was the murder of the mother of Eve ( Sienna Guillory ).

Harry has no proof. He decides to send his Asian babe sidekick in as an undercover, and she does a great job of it. The only problem is that her only backup is Harry himself. And he has another problem - his daughter is an only child and she is spoilt for attention. So when her parents actually take their careers seriously, she makes a dramatic cry for further attention. With the classic fake tension of a cliched TV show, this happens at exactly the same time Harry needs to save his partner's life.

Lucky Man Lucky Man [Season 1, Episode 7] The Charm Offensive
Shown 4th March 2016 [Friday]

Harry (James Nesbitt - The Hobbit ) investigates a torture-killing. The trail leads back to the daughter of an East European Oligarch. Her personal security advisor is an Englishman. Is he Golding, the man that the magic bracelet was originally intended for?

Lucky Man Lucky Man [Season 1, Episode 8] My Brother's Keeper
Shown 11th March 2016 [Friday]

Harry (James Nesbitt - The Hobbit ) is shut out of the investigation this week, because the prime suspect is his own brother. It is obviously a frame-up, but Harry's sidekick is keen to investigate him because she feels left out of his sneaky stuff he is doing behind her back.

Harry starts his own investigation, and calls the local strip-club owner (Omid Djalili - The Mummy ). A meeting is arranged with the creepy security thug from last week. This is more than a little reminiscent of the second Harry Lime scene in The Third Man. The difference is, instead of the London Eye they use the Docklands cablecar.

Lucky Man Lucky Man [Season 1, Episode 9] The House Always Wins
Shown 18th March 2016 [Friday]

Harry (James Nesbitt - The Hobbit ) finds out what happened to the body of Becker, the murderous thug who tried to kill him. Someone else knows where the body went, and keeps making anonymous calls to the cops reporting bits of it. Unfortunately the head was stuffed in Harry's freezer, so he ends up getting arrested on suspicion.

The bad news is, Harry is imprisoned. The good news is, his brother is in the same prison. It is run like a strange cult, and the vicious crooks are strangely well-disciplined. Golding is running the racket, and we finally find out who he is.

The other cops assume Harry is guilty, but they actually bother to check into some of the leads he offers them.

Lucky Man Lucky Man [Season 1, Episode 10] Leap of Faith
Shown 25th March 2016 [Friday]

Harry (James Nesbitt - The Hobbit ) knows who Golding is. Unfortunately, at this stage it is unlikely anyone will believe him in town. He uses the bracelet to break out of prison.

The bracelet will not allow anyone else to kill the wearer. Therefore the only way to get it off is to coerce Harry into suicide. Golding has Harry's wife and daughter as leverage.





Lucky Man

Lucky Man: Season 3 Lucky Man [Season 3, Episode 1 ]
Shown th July 2018 [Friday]

Reviewed in our special supplement Lucky Man

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  • Lucky Man: Season 2

    Season 2

    Lucky Man Lucky Man [Season 2, Episode 1] Luck Be a Lady
    Shown 24 Feb 17

    Harry (James Nesbitt - The Hobbit ) is now Acting Detective Chief Superintendent since the events of the previous episode. His team is investigating a killer who injects his victims like ricin - like the Bulgarian communist who assassinated Georgi Markov in the 1970s. The victims are all linked to Brick Lane in London.

    Harry also meets a mysterious woman named Isabella ( Thekla Reuten ), who also has a luck bracelet. However, unlike him she knows exactly how to use it. She tells him that the karma story is a myth. Is she genuinely trying to help him, or is she just manipulating him and turning him against Eve ( Sienna Guillory )?

    The killer is identified. He is a young man of Asian heritage. However, he is not politically or religiously motivated. He is a lone nut with a grudge against a lot of people because he did not get to study for a college degree in Chemistry. This is ironic, because ricin is not the only poison he can manufacture. He also has scopolomine and sarin!

    Lucky Man Lucky Man [Season 2, Episode 2] Playing with Fire
    Shown 03 Mar 17

    Harry (James Nesbitt - The Hobbit ) investigates a murder. It is apparently a gay-bashing, and the trail leads back to a creepy preacher (Conleth Hill, AKA Varys from Game of Thrones ).

    Lucky Man Lucky Man [Season 2, Episode 3] Double Bluff
    Shown 10 Mar 17

    Mohinder Suresh ( Heroes ) is back. Well, he never made it out of the country. However, now he goes on the offensive and kidnaps Eve ( Sienna Guillory ). After all, she is the only one who can get him what he wants.

    Harry (James Nesbitt - The Hobbit ) is banned from investigating Eve's kidnapping because it is a conflict of interest. As he points out, it is illogical for his boss (Steven Mackintosh - Underworld: Rise of the Lycans ) to work the case either. Well, whoever gets the case does not even bother to trace the licence plates of the getaway van! In all fairness, Suri comes up with another way to track the killer. She uses Big Data gathered from ATMs and cell-phones, a machine-against-man system that is reminiscent of the tracking scenes in Terminator .

    Isabella ( Thekla Reuten ) gets dragged into the situation. Is she as corrupt as Golding?

    Harry is given another case - human flesh baked into a pie. This subplot is actually quite well-executed, although the police procedural aspects of the story are not well done. There are a number of obvious links that they could have made in order to solve the case a lot more quickly.

    Lucky Man Lucky Man [Season 2, Episode 4] The Trojan Horse
    Shown 17 Mar 17

    Harry (James Nesbitt - The Hobbit ) investigates a driverless car that mysteriously crashed. Despite the episode's theme being futuristic, the casting has a couple of call-outs to a certain 17th century show. The victim's cheating husband is Ryan Gage (King Louis in The Musketeers ), and his minions include Tamla Kari .

    Harry begins to have his doubts about Isabella ( Thekla Reuten ). Once he gets info on her from Eve ( Sienna Guillory ), he begins to suspect she might be up to no good.

    While Harry waits for a train on the London underground, a familiar face is waiting in the background. Yes, this is the one with the Stan Lee cameo appearance.

    Lucky Man Lucky Man [Season 2, Episode 5] What Lies Beneath
    Shown 24 Mar 17

    Harry (James Nesbitt - The Hobbit ) investigates a serial killer who is wiping out organ donation recipients. This is like something from a Law and Order episode, which marks this show out as the best Police Procedural/Speculative Fiction crossover show.

    Eve ( Sienna Guillory ) wants to dig up the dirt on Isabella ( Thekla Reuten ). She kidnaps the woman's chauffeur, the only fictional Chinese man who does not know kung-fu, and tortures him for information. She makes a video of it for Harry, although sharing a video of a felony with a police detective is not a good idea.

    Lucky Man Lucky Man [Season 2, Episode 6] Point Of No Return
    Shown 31 Mar 17

    Harry (James Nesbitt - The Hobbit ) investigates a hit-man who loves to Terminate With Extreme Prejudice. This involves maximising the collateral damage. It turns out the victims are involved in smuggling stolen artworks.

    Isabella ( Thekla Reuten ) is out for revenge. First on her list is Eve ( Sienna Guillory ). Next is the hit-man who murdered her children. By incredible coincidence, he is the same man that harry is hunting.

    Lucky Man Lucky Man [Season 2, Episode 7] Second Chance
    Shown 07 Apr 17

    Harry (James Nesbitt - The Hobbit ) investigates a murder linked to a Casino. The owner, Lilly-Anne, is the daughter of Harry's friend from Season One. She somehow managed to avoid getting caught when Golding and his conspirators were rounded up. Now she is still ahead of Harry. It looks like someone in the Police department is on her payroll, and the main suspect is Orwell.

    Isabella ( Thekla Reuten ) is still out for revenge on Eve ( Sienna Guillory ).

    Lucky Man Lucky Man [Season 2, Episode 8] The Fallen Angel
    Shown 14 Apr 17

    So far, Isabella ( Thekla Reuten ) has been kept in the subplots. However, now she becomes the major antagonist. Harry (James Nesbitt - The Hobbit ) and the team investigate a series of strange deaths. The victims are all suspects in ongoing cases. Isabella is using her status as girlfriend of the boss (Steven Mackintosh - Underworld: Rise of the Lycans ) to access information on her targets.

    Harry decides to solve his Isabella problem. He does not frame her as such - he just exaggerates the evidence to implicate her more fully in a murder she was completely responsible for. To do this, he gets Eve ( Sienna Guillory ) to help.

    While Harry is doing this, he sends his brother to distract Suri. This ends up the way it would in most TV shows.

    Lucky Man Lucky Man [Season 2, Episode 9] Lamb To The Slaughter
    Shown 21 Apr 17

    Harry (James Nesbitt - The Hobbit ) was electrocuted and his heart stopped, which makes him technically dead. Eve ( Sienna Guillory ) removes the bracelet from his wrist. Unfortunately she then gets mugged, and in despair she gets rid of the bracelet by putting it on the mugger.

    Isabella ( Thekla Reuten ) thinks that Harry is dead, and lets her grief distract her. However, the boss (Steven Mackintosh - Underworld: Rise of the Lycans ) is now suspicious of her.

    The mugger is a cage-fighter. Luckily Eve knows her way around the London underworld. If she and Harry can find the mugger, they might be able to prevent anyone else getting hurt. Well, that is the plan anyway.

    Lucky Man Lucky Man [Season 2, Episode 10] A Hero Of our Time
    Shown 28 Apr 17

    Harry (James Nesbitt - The Hobbit ) puts the entire department on the trail of Isabella ( Thekla Reuten ). However, without the bracelet he is at a distinct disadvantage. He has to make the choice - do what it takes to catch the killer, or step away from the danger that the bracelet brings to its owner.

    Harry makes a difficult moral decision. Of course, if he did not do so then there would be no show. However, this means that everyone close to him is now a target.

    Harry is in temporary command of the police unit. However, he does not bother to keep in regular touch with his minions. As a result, he lets them get out-manoeuvred by her.

    The real star of this episode is the London architecture. Harry's police HQ is between St Paul's cathedral and the river Thames, which means it overlooks the pedestrian bridge that crosses over to the Tate Modern. Some of the views are spectacular, and it is a pity that the show did not make better use of the setting until now.

    There is an after-credits sequence. However, it does not set up the next Season. In fact, if anything it just ties up loose ends in order to prevent possible future storylines from happening.

    Lucky Man: Season 3

    Season 3

    Lucky Man: Season 3 Lucky Man [Season 3, Episode 1] Facing Your Demons
    Shown 20th July 2018 [Friday]

    The story starts with Harry (James Nesbitt - The Hobbit ) in Hong Kong, on the run from the police. His former minion, Suri, is after him for an alleged murder.

    Four days earlier, the story starts. Eve Alexander ( Sienna Guillory ) is framed for murder, and flees to Hong Kong. Why there? Well, it was the source of the magic bracelets.

    The new chief detective, DSI Grey ( Neve Mackintosh ), is not a fan of Harry. First she promotes Suri to Detective Inspector rank. Then she sends Harry, Suri and Sergeant Steve to Hong Kong with a warrant to arrest and extradite Eve.

    Eve is being hunted by the Snake-Hand Triad. Their top assassin is Samuel Blake (Rupert Penry-Jones - The Strain ), someone so powerful he can defeat Harry with ease - even when the braceley is involved. As the character's name may suggest, he is a white man with an English accent. Yes, in order to avoid accusations of racist stereotyping the makers have resorted to white-washing! Well, that is the choice for marginalised representation - negative stereotypes or virtual erasure.

    Hong Kong is a great place. The locals speak Cantonese, but the subtitles are imaginatively created. Harry bumps into Stan Lee at the hotel bar. It seems to be edited in from an older piece of footage, because when this episode was filmed Stan Lee was in a wheelchair.

    DSI Grey suspects Harry of killing Isabelle. She mysteriously locates some CCTV footage that seems to prove her case, and sends Harry's partners after him.

    The villains only want to destroy the bracelets. Well, after all the suffering that Harry has endured because of them it cannot be a bad idea just to get rid of them. However, Harry turns unexpectedly stubborn and challenges Blake to take it off my rotting Belfast carcass. Since Blake cannot just kill Harry and take the bracelet, he modifies it so the good luck is turned bad.

    Lucky Man: Season 3 Lucky Man [Season 3, Episode 2] Run Rabbit Run
    Shown 27th July 2018 [Friday]

    Harry (James Nesbitt - The Hobbit ) and Eve ( Sienna Guillory ) get back to London, after spending three weeks in a shipping container. Despite being damaged, the bracelet still seems to work as well as it ever did.

    Suri used to date Harry's brother, but broke it off as a conflict of professional interest. Nobody says anything about how unprofessional it is for a disgraced cop to be investigated by his own team, rather than by the local Internal Affairs unit. Anyway, now Suri and her ex decide to spend some time together, each intent on double-crossing the other. She plants a tracker on his phone, while he steals a copy of the fake CCTV footage that framed Harry.

    Harry teams up with his best informant, the local strip-club owner (Omid Djalili - The Mummy ). They get a lead on the Triad's heroin smuggling operation. They also get a tech nerd who can uncover how the CCTV footage was faked.

    The Triad send a hitman after Harry. It is all part of a wider plan, and Harry does not see it coming.

    Lucky Man: Season 3 Lucky Man [Season 3, Episode 3] The Zero Option
    Shown 03 Aug 18

    The new chief detective, DSI Grey ( Neve Mackintosh ), uses her new MI6 contact to track down Eve ( Sienna Guillory ). This is all highly illegal, but nobody cares. They manage to get the pistol that killed Isabella, and it still has Harry's finger-prints on it.

    Suri gets suspicious, because everyone is lying to her. She tracks down Samuel Blake (Rupert Penry-Jones - The Strain ), who runs an Import/Export company as a cover. Not exactly Universal Exports, but the same idea.

    Blake gets his hands on Eve. She tries to convince him that the bracelets are the only chance of a better world. However, given the number of super-villains in the first two Seasons who wanted to use the bracelets for their own evil purposes, an unbiased viewer should take Blake's side.

    Harry plans to break into the evidence warehouse so he can wipe the prints off the gun. Unfortunately he will need help, and a backup plan From the outset, everything looks like a bad idea. Can an ex-cop trust a burglar he once arrested? What about a crew-member who is an informant for the police?

    Blake resorts to the old-fashioned super-villain tactic of giving the hero a choice between two people he can save. It cancels out the indestructible hero's advantage by turning the battle into a moral conflict.

    Lucky Man: Season 3 Lucky Man [Season 3, Episode 4] Missing Persons
    Shown 10 Aug 18

    Harry (James Nesbitt - The Hobbit ) goes after Samuel Blake (Rupert Penry-Jones - The Strain ) for revenge. However, the bracelet works against him.

    The new chief detective, DSI Grey ( Neve Mackintosh ) has the team looking for Blake's henchman. They took Suri's word for it that he was up to no good. His name is Danny Morrison, a good name for a villain.

    Suri teams up with Harry again. Well, they always worked well together. Or rather, she coasted on him and he coasted on his lucky magical bracelet.

    Harry's brother visits an old friend, a fellow antique dealer who specialises in rare books. The old man has a scroll related to the legend of the bracelets. A pity nobody thought of this in Season One.

    The old Chinese lady from Hong Kong offers Harry a deal. If he retrieves the other bracelet from Blake, she will take his one off his wrist as well. Otherwise the bad luck will eventually kill him.

    Eve is in Blake's custody. Harry asked her to go undercover and pretend to defect, but Blake uses strong arguments to persuade her to genuinely defect. Power corrupts, and the bracelets confer great power on their user. Isabelle was a prime example of that.

    Lucky Man: Season 3 Lucky Man [Season 3, Episode 5] The Sins Of The Father
    Shown 17 Aug 18

    Samuel Blake (Rupert Penry-Jones - The Strain ) conducts a deal for the Triads involving a suitcase of heroin and an Albanian crime gang. It all goes wrong, but he has Eve as backup.

    Harry (James Nesbitt - The Hobbit ) now has the new chief detective, DSI Grey ( Neve Mackintosh ), in his control. This should make his job easier, but somehow it does not.

    The boss of the Snake Hand triad comes to London. He is Blake's foster-father, which explains their loyalty. Unfortunately the old man cares more about money than Blake does, and rather than destroy the bracelets he wants one of them for himself.

    Harry needs money to set a trap for the Triad. He goes gambling to win some. But being a gambling addict with a bad luck curse is not a good combination.

    Lucky Man: Season 3 Lucky Man [Season 3, Episode 6] The Art of War
    Shown 24 Aug 18

    Suri and Rich get evicted from the apartment that Harry gambled away. Suri then invites Rich to move in with her. She even shares an ancient Asian fable with him, the one made famous in Charlie wilson's war.

    DSI Grey ( Neve Mackintosh ) goes to meet Blake's boss at MI6. Rather than meet inside a boring office, they go to the roof so the audience can enjoy the fantastic London cityscape. This has the hallmarks of an American director rather than an English one.

    The DSI has her own chauffeur for some reason. It cannot be security, because he does not bother to check the car for bombs. Harry takes her to a safe house, although it is not safe in any way. The windows and doors are not properly secured, she does not have a proper weapon, and the location is somehow leaked to the villain.

    There are several mentions of the fact that the DSI is single. She then crashes at Harry's house-boat, where they spend some time getting drunk together. This all smacks of humanising the character so we will care more if something bad happens to them.

    The DSI is booked to make a press conference at Greenwich. Blake wears his long hooded cloak from The Strain . However, everyone forgets that he now has Eve on his side, and she is as good an assassin as he is.

    Lucky Man: Season 3 Lucky Man [Season 3, Episode 7] Blinded by the Light
    Shown 31 Aug 18

    Samuel Blake (Rupert Penry-Jones - The Strain ) is in prison, although it is not stated what they charged him with. All they can prove is that he was cosplaying in public, which is not usually the kind of thing that a white man gets arrested for. One of the guards has a snake-hand tattoo, which is probably against the rules. Instead of just letting Blake walk out the back door the guards beat him up so he can be sent to hospital. This seems unnecessarily convoluted, though there is actually a good reason for this.

    Harry's bracelet is entirely black. The Triad woman blames everyone except herself. She calls Eve a murderer, although Eve was Triad muscle long before she met Blake.

    Harry hears that Blake is being transferred to hospital. He is so keen to stop a potential escape that he forces the ambulance off the road. Yes, he not only endangers the patient but also the nurse, the driver and the prison guard. Not to mention any other road-users who might be caught up in the dangerous driving. Some hero!

    With Harry's normal sidekick out of the way, he needs a new damsel in distress. Luckily his teenage daughter arrives in time to fill the role.

    Lucky Man: Season 3 Lucky Man [Season 3, Episode 8] End of Days
    Shown 07 Sep 18

    Samuel Blake (Rupert Penry-Jones - The Strain ) goes after DSI Grey ( Neve Mackintosh ) for revenge.

    Eve ( Sienna Guillory ) is still loyal to Blake. But when he tells her to put the working bracelet on him, she starts to get cold feet. This is in spite of the fact that he has lost all his allies, and they are being chased by the Metropolitan Police. Yes, they need every advantage they can get.

    Blake has built a secret nuclear reactor in the heart of London. He plans to melt the bracelets inside its core. Of course, this will probably explode and destroy half the city. Harry has to stop him single-handed. Will his luck hold out?