Lucky Hank – Season 1 Episode 4 “The Goose Boxer” Recap & Review

The Goose Boxer

Lily finally has got her interview at Arlyle as episode 4 of Lucky Hank begins. She is going to New York for a couple of days but before she leaves, she blatantly says that she is worried Hank might end up in jail or hospital soon.

We see Chandler, perhaps a new character, and a student, talking about a wedge of flight-bound goose. When the student wonders how they choose their leader, Chandler explains. He says that when the geese fly, they do so against intense wind pressure. The one that flaps their wings the hardest is always in the front. He provides lift to the others, making it easier for them to fly. That is why, even if he leads them into a jet engine, they will follow the leader.

Hank heads into President Pope’s office. He finds his book on the shelf and keeps it in his pocket. Dickie Pope (Kyle MacLachlan) welcomes him and gets straight to the point. He calls Hank a brilliant professor and pulls him for not submitting the downsizing list. Hank stands his ground. Pope says that even Hank knows the people who do not deserve to be there and Hank quietly agrees. The professor will be given the option to choose his own people in the future for the betterment of his department.

The legislature is cutting the budget by 23% and Pope needs to trim faculty. Hank says that will not be the case as they do it every year and do not go through with it. There is a feeling that Pope is diverting funds into the Jeffrey Q. Epstein Technical Careers Center (not named after the infamous paedophile) but Pope resists that accusation. Pope says unlike his predecessors, he will not be asking them for more money, shocking Hank.

Hank tells Paul about his meeting and he is furious. Despite Hank sticking up for his department, they think otherwise. Paul says they could have strategized first before he went in. Hank blares him out by playing a song in his head as he did with Pope and drowning himself in his own thoughts. Lily meets Tom, an old acquaintance at Arlyle.

The entire school has gone digital and the kids look very happy. He is expecting her to do well and she is excited. When she mentions she might leverage the offer at Railton, Tom is disappointed.

She tries to backtrack and apologizes but Tom asks her to go anyway. Hank works out at the gym with Tony and thinks about what Lily said to him. Does Hank secretly care about the professors he calls incompetent? He actually thinks Lily is bored with him, which he blurts out while throwing punches.

While talking to Tony, Hank cannot list one professor in his department, including himself, who shouldn’t be “chopping block,” i.e., make it to the list. Leslie prepares the department for protesting at the Epstein Center.

They want their message to reach the Harrisburg Legislature. Gracie thinks she should recite her poem “Groundbreaking” at the protest. But the others disagree. Hank and Tony meet Epstein outside the Center. He explains the story behind the “Q.” in his name. He also reveals that he only donated $40 million to build the building. Pope found the other $10 million from somewhere else. Hank immediately calls Lily to “talk him down” about what he feels about Pope.

Tom encourages Lily to stay and she agrees when she hears Ashley, her former best friend, will be there too. Hank thinks to himself that signs have never changed things. It is worthless what the department is doing. A goose walks up to Hank and starts pecking him. He gets out his glove and tries to intimidate it. Tony says to a reporter that Hank is the department head and the cameras instantly pan toward him. Gradually, all the eyes start panning toward him. He uses the opportunity to make a case for the department. He actually stands up for the department and they join in with the signs.

From their to and fro and the fact that the Arlyle job was never available, it seems Tom and Lily have a history-  he is still is not over her. Tony goes on an elaborate philosophical rant as Hank focuses on the English department, which arrives at the bar. Rourke confronts Hank about the actions and asks him to join them. He actually proved that he is a Union man. Lily feels a little smothered by how Ashley and Tom talk about their careers, and feels left behind by her colleagues.

Hank revels in the celebration, as it seems like the cuts won’t happen. Gracie reads her poem to the department but it ends unspectacularly. Both Lily and Hank enjoy their evenings with their respective groups at different places, exhanging a number of voicemails with a confusing tone.

She finally calls him, drunk, and says she will take a later train back home. While Hank is still on the phone, Tom kisses Lily. She is shocked and announces to Ashley that Tom kissed her. Lily confronts him and says the kiss was not alright as she is married. She is too embarrassed and leaves.

While leaving, she has a strange smile on her face. Billie reveals to Meg that Hank lied to her about the adjunct job. Chandler, the gardener, aggressively approaches Hank and punches him for “disrespecting the geese.” When he punches back, Chandler calls it an assault. It turns out he is friends with an officer and Hank does go to jail.

Lily calls Hank and says she will be staying in New York for the night. It makes her feel like she is alive again in the city. Hank stares at the ceiling lying deep in thought, as the episode comes to a close.

The Episode Review

I loved the allegory about the leader in a wedge of geese and Hank, and how it stands in contrast to what Hank did with the animated goose. The contradiction and irony in this episode were spitting. “The goose was being a jerk” is probably the funniest line in the season yet.

Episode 4 of Lucky Hank is arguably the most spontaneous and lively till now. Hank unwittingly became the hero everyone wanted him to be and the fact that he hates it makes it a special event for the viewers.

It tells us everything there is to know about him as a character. Bob Odenkirk is gradually getting into his element. He is making Hank his own personal project, as he did with Saul. But this episode was also significant in establishing Lily as an independent inkling in the narrative. She always seemed like an interesting, complex character and we now have enough subtext to appreciate her arc as well.

This episode might change the fortunes of Lucky Hank in the eyes of the masses. This might be the moment the show is elevated to some of AMC’s previous glory projects.

Previous Episode

Next Episode

You can read our full season review for Lucky Hank here!

  • Episode Rating

1 thought on “Lucky Hank – Season 1 Episode 4 “The Goose Boxer” Recap & Review”

  1. Sad that they pulled their punches and had Hank threaten to punch a goose instead of kill one like in the book.

Leave a comment