Lucky Hank – Season 1 Episode 3 “Escape” Recap & Review


Hank and Lily discover the huge porta box kept right outside their garage as episode 3 of Lucky Hank begins. The delivery man has given it to the right address but who has actually sent it? Hank calls Marnie, Henry’s secretary, and asks her about it. She says she tried calling Hank to give him a heads up but he didn’t get back to her.

The box contains Henry’s office things, which he has asked to deliver to Hank’s place. Henry wants to keep his things but wants them to be in a safe place. Hank and Lily do not understand why would he do it, but suddenly, Henry takes over from Marnie. Hank panics and cuts the call.

Hank is appalled by Henry’s audacity. He rants in front of Lily about how Henry just up and left their lives. Laurel, Hanks’s mother, and he were left to tend on their own. In his mind, Hank feels once a father or mother abandons their family, they have no right to come back. It should be an unspoken rule that they should understand on their own. He tells Laurel about it but she seems concerned for some other reason, and not that Henry’s office has been delivered to Hank’s house and is blocking his garage. Hank cannot even get his car out!

At school, an indifferent boy urinates on the lockers in the hallway. Lily asks the janitor to clean it but he refuses. She goes to the principal. He is clueless and less than forthcoming to take care of the situation. Hank wanders outside campus looking into nothingness, trying to process the day’s events. Jacob Rose walks up and asks him to prepare a list of faculty to “let go” of. He has got instructions from President Dickie Pope to cut the size of the faculty. He is shoring things up financially, while Rose asks Hank not to tell anyone. However, the moment he sees the teachers in his department concerned, Hank tells them the truth.

Meg Quigley, who is Billie’s daughter, asks Hank to write her a recommendation. He has been postponing it as he wants Meg to step out of that town and achieve higher things in life. She sincerely makes her case and he budges.

Finny and Emma discuss the failing job market and how this cut would destroy someone’s life. Gracie tries to suggest to Jacob that the department needs just one poetry faculty and she should get the nod ahead of Paul. Hank is interrupted by Paul, who has completely different ideas. He wants Hank to not prepare a list and meet with Leslie Schonberg, Hank’2 2nd grade school teacher and the union rep for the professors.

Teddy and June go to Rose to explain their case. Smartly, he veers them in another direction to increase their significance in the school curriculum. He asks them to become Faculty Advisors to the Excellence Committee. It is a funny sequence where they try to look involved just enough to warrant more weight when the decision is made.

Hank is disturbed by a crying Emma who fears she will be fired. He calls Lily to get some perspective and feels they are abandoning the teachers like Henry abandoned Laurel and him.

He opens the lockers and sees hundreds of letters exchanged between Laurel and Hank. He is incredulous as she always gave the impression that she too was not talking to Henry all this while. He gets in his car angrily and tries to get out but can’t. His kidney stone pain kicks in and Hank falls unconscious in his car. He has a dream where, in his childhood, he can recall an instance where Henry asked Laurel to get rid of “the child.” Is Henry Hank’s real father?

Paul shows up with Leslie to discuss the matter. Hank asks him to drop him at Laurel’s house. As expected, Hank does not take the proposition seriously, something that Paul ridicules him for. Lily buys supplies and cleans up the urine herself. She is proud of what she did but Jack, the principal, won’t reimburse her for the supplies as she didn’t ask first. She angrily announces she will interview at Arlyle for a position but Jack doesn’t believe her. Russel goes to Meg for a job. He believes Hank’s abandonment issues come from his mother rather than his father.

He calls Hank petulant, childish, and indecisive but Meg defends him. She is called to retire Billie from the college, who has got her hands on Han’s whiskey and rants about the upcoming downsizing. Hank confronts Laurel but she is defiantly stout. She defends her actions, even though she does not feel the need to do so.

It seems like Henry coming back to stay with Laurel will drive a wedge between them, but Laurel says it is going to happen anyway. Hank does not get a say in it. In his protest, he leaves a message for his father asking him not to come back.

The next morning, Hank has a little skirmish with Julie, who construes his father’s advice to move on from the town as diminishing her non-ambitious goals in life. Hank lies to Meg about the university not hiring adjuncts anymore and she is completely broken. They have a night of drinking and revelry together, before he takes her home. When he comes back to the room with a glass of water, Meg is sitting naked on the bed and eagerly looking at him.

Hank bids her goodnight and walks out. He goes back home and tells Lily the truth about everything. She believes him and the matter ends there. But Lily is more concerned about his reaction when she tells him that she will be interviewing for the Arlyle job. Hank is also concerned about it.

The Episode Review

There are serious Walter White vibes that Hank is now giving out. Although Lucky Hank won’t change course and spill into a story about a drug kingpin, the show has captured the emotion of the story with ease. Episode 3 had an explosive revelation in the form of Laurel’s letters to Henry. That is set to change the dynamics of their relationship and further distance Hank from the possibility of finding peace and happiness.

His weird stance over the connection with the place is quite complex. On the one hand, he wants people to leave the town and be ambitious. But when his own, Lily, tries to do the same, he hesitates to leave the place. Is he happy in his mediocrity? Are his rants and outer persona a façade to what he really wants – to settle in a nice, peaceful town with routine familiarity repeating every day?

Abandonment has emerged as a strong theme. Hank’s anger is real but more often than not, such emotions are confusion and the want for answers at their core. There is still a lot left to be unpacked in the story. Lucky Hank is gradually gaining a tight grip over its narrative. It is increasingly becoming surer of what it wants to be and that is good news for the viewers.

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