Lucky Hank (Season 1) Episode 4: AMC+’s ‘Lucky Hank,’ till now, has addressed Hank’s midlife crisis via the lens of his tumultuous relationship with his father. His hatred for Hank Sr. moved to the top of his list of grievances. He sulked about his mediocre life as a professor and as a writer. On the other hand, Lily kept her desires in the backseat while validating Hank through his misery.

The fourth episode delves into Hank’s anxieties related to his marriage and its correlation to how he feels about the town he lives in. While the previous episodes occasionally had ironic dialogues, the new episode goes all in and shows characters speaking every other sentence with an implicit irony.

*Spoilers ahead*

Lucky Hank (Season 1), Episode 4 Recap:

Episode 4: The Goose Boxer

The episode begins with Hank (Bob Odenkirk) walking Lily (Mireille Enos) up to her cab. She is going for an interview at the Arlyle School in New York. The huge storage pod is still in front of their garage. But Hank has a bigger conflict to deal with than getting his car out. He needs to speak with Dickie Pope (Kyle MacLachlan) about the budget cuts and ‘the list.’ For the moment, he drops Lily to her car and graciously supports her. Before leaving, she speaks out her gut feeling. She thinks that, in her absence, Hank will end up either in jail or a hospital. 

It puts Hank in a weird spot. What does Lily even mean by it? Does she think he needs her to keep him grounded? What if her premonition turns out to be true? Alas, he starts his day anyhow by going to Dickie’s office. On his bookshelf, Hank notices his own book standing awkwardly among others – as if someone wanted it to be noticed. Hank picks it up and hides it in his coat pocket right before Dickie arrives in the office. 

Dickie asks for the list of professors Hank was supposed to make as a chairman. Hank says he did not make one. And instead of lying, he says he has no excuse for it. He even questions the budget cuts, and Dickie explains their new plan for a technology careers complex funded by Jeffrey Epstein. But not the sexual predator. This is another businessman who had the misfortune to share his name with that monster. Still, Dickie decides to add a Q to Jeffrey’s name to clear the doubt. Besides, he firmly believes that it will be helpful for their university. 

Back in the office, Hank tells Paul Rourke (Cedric Yarbrough) that he talked with Dickie. Paul is enraged that Hank left without speaking with his staff. Furthermore, he refuses to believe Hank is on their side or that Hank did not share a list.

The English department staff meets with their union rep to speak about their revolt. She guides them on how they should proceed. However, Gracie (Suzanne Cryer) looks at it as an opportunity to read her poem out in public, which she believes is meant for events like these. Instead of revolt, she stresses the idea of everyone coming together for a greater good. She wants her spotlight while the others continue to find her idea worthless. 

Meanwhile, after making an unsuccessful attempt at convincing him, Hank meets his friend Tony Conigula (Diedrich Bader) to speak about his marital issues. He is still hung up on what Lily said to him before she left. So, while holding a punching bag for Tony, he takes out all his resentment about his life. That’s when he realizes Lily might be bored of being with him. In fact, he appears convinced she is bored by his misery.

Hank and Tony stroll out into campus while considering Lily’s ennui. They are so preoccupied with their thoughts that they are unaware that they have just trampled over another man’s work. The gardener only looks at them with disdain while the two professors are lost in the musings of the blues of middle age. They see Jeffrey Epstein arriving to inaugurate the technical center. The two strike up a conversation with him and realize that he used this construction as a loophole to evade taxes. 

Besides that, Hank learns Jeffrey reduced his funding to $1 million since Dickie wanted to add a non-existing Q in between. It means that Dickie either acquired that money from somewhere else or made up a reason to cut his staff. By that time, a news presenter distracts Tony. He unapologetically accepts that he jerked off to her countless times. Through him, we witness yet another man going through a midlife crisis after a string of failed relationships. Anyhow, he approaches this woman while Hank is left watching the event for the new building. 

On one side, Tony flirts with the news presenter, and on the other, Dickie & Jacob (Oscar Nuñez) join Jeffrey on the stage. Meanwhile, Hank notices the professors in his department in the audience holding some signs. He realizes they are planning a protest and starts panicking. Around that time, a goose comes next to him and approaches to attack him. He notices and creates a scene as if he is trying to save his life. Tony brings the TV presenter’s attention toward Hank, who is now in a full-blown, albeit silly, fight with a goose. 

Since everyone around gets distracted by him, Hank suddenly decides to speak out his anger against the system. He calls out Dickie and others for how the funds are being directed toward this building while cutting the jobs. The professors join in his call for revolt and leave ‘the system people’ to save their faces. Even Gracie (Suzanne Cryer) runs out, who believed her poem was the only thing that can bring everyone together. 

On the other hand, Lily enters New York and feels the same air of possibilities she felt in her youth. She meets Tom (Chris Diamantopoulos) at the Arlyle School, who claims to have pulled some strings to get her this interview. They play around with the idea of ‘will she or won’t she move to the city.’ Since Hank is always on the fence about leaving their town, she feels compelled not to get too excited about this opportunity. 

Soon after, she joins Tom and Ashley (Jennifer Spence) for drinks. While her two batchmates talk about getting their schools to compete for the best school lists, Lily is stuck with cleaning piss off of their school floor since their janitor thinks doing it is beneath him. Her ‘What has my life come to’ monologue is, in a way, her cry for help to get out of that misery even though she masks it with irony. 

Unfortunately, Tom reveals only then that Lily does not stand a chance at Arlyle since they are planning to hire someone from a diverse background. It shatters the dreams she seems to have pictured living. Back in Pennsylvania, Hank joins Tony for a drink. While Tony sulks in his misery of failed marriages, Hank’s staff enters the bar. So, Hank tries to hide his face. They notice him anyhow and, to his surprise, invite him to their table. Now that he fought for them, he is their hero. This is new for him, being welcomed by his staff, accepted, and made to feel wanted by them. It gives him another incentive not to leave town.

Lucky Hank (Season 1), Episode 4 Ending Explained:

Hank feels victorious when his staff looks at him with genuine affection and regard. They also cheer at the television broadcast of his madman-like screaming toward the authorities. On the other hand, Lily suddenly senses that there’s very little hope for her to leave their town. She calls Hank to tell him that she will return from a later train, hoping to spend at least some more time in New York. 

In the middle of their call, Tony approaches her with a kiss, and she accepts it – may be because, at that moment, she felt like this might be the way she moves to the Big Apple. But right after, she hears Hank’s voice and feels a pang of guilt. She goes back to the table and confronts Tony about kissing her. She learns only then that he got divorced. Somehow, he found a way out, but she could not. So, she storms out of the bar. 

Still, right outside, she looks at the bustling city with a smile on her face. She decides to stay there for the night and then return home. On the other hand, Hank decides to leave the bar in a cheerful mood, only to be met with the gardener, who takes out his anger on him and Tony. That gardener’s single punch results in a full-blown bar fight. Because of this, Hank & Tony end up in a prison cell. 

While Tony stoically explains a Nietzsche quote to other jail mates, Hank is caught up in the thoughts of his failing marriage. Hank contemplates Lily’s misery for being stuck in his uninteresting life, which he refuses to rise from. Besides, Lily also sees her life as a wasted potential, especially when her two batchmates speak passionately about their fulfilled dreams. 

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Lucky Hank (Season 1), Episode 4: Bob Odenkirk, Mireille Enos, Diedrich Bader, Suzanne Cryer, Oscar Nuñez
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