Lucky Hank (Season 1), Episode 5: The previous episode of ‘Lucky Hank’ showed Hank standing up against the firing of any professor from his department. After always experiencing heat from his staff, he finally received some love from them. On the other hand, Lily went to New York to interview for the post at the Arlyle School. Over there, she met her ex-boyfriend Tom after years. He tried to kiss her, and it created a conflict in her marriage.
Now the latest episode shows Hank fighting his abandonment issues dating back to his childhood. He invites his department staff for a meal at his place while Lily tries to make a decision about her job offer.
Lucky Hank (Season 1), Episode 5 Recap:
Episode 5: The Clock
Hank (Bob Odenkirk) goes through the storage pod to find the tall clock from his childhood home. He distinctly remembers its ticking sound since it was his only companion at the times his father used to shut the door on him. Young Hank used to sit by himself, silently, careful not to disturb his father. Now, he wants to bring it to his current house. But he cannot do it by himself owing to its enormous weight. Anyhow, he invites his department staff for a meal at his place and we see the following day unfold in different chapters.
‘I’m Gonna Be the Queen of That Place’
Since Hank’s staff is coming home, Lily (Mireille Enos) starts working on the meal. Suddenly she gets a call from Tom (Chris Diamantopoulos) saying that she has been offered the job at the Arlyle’s. Earlier, he suggested that she won’t get the job. So now, the offer puts her in a tough spot. Should she move to New York to accept this job? Then what about Hank? Will he be ready to move to a new city? She gets worried. However, she does not tell him about the offer right away and listens to his connection with the heavy clock. So, she tries to keep the mood light and fuzzy.
June (Alvina August) and Teddy (Arthur Keng) arrive for the party, a little early. That’s why, Hank asks Teddy for help to take the clock inside. But he gets tired within a few steps and backs out from helping with it. Meanwhile, Lily speaks with Ashley (Jennifer Spence) on the phone who almost begs her to accept her job. While she enjoys this interaction, she cuts the call when Hank walks in. She tells him about the job. He congratulates her and asks for any particulars. He also jokes about how she won’t need to pay for cleaning supplies as she did in her current job (Remember that cleaning the piss on the floor incident?)
‘I Really Don’t Know What’s Going to Be Different’
Paul (Cedric Yarborough) arrives with his wife, Joanie (Alison Araya). Hank asks Paul if he could help him with bringing the heavy clock inside. He makes fun of its racial implications (a white man asking a black man to do a menial chore) and rather walks in. So, seeing everyone bailing on him, Hank texts his buddy, Tony (Diedrich Bader) to join. Until he arrives, Hank contemplates the nature of having parties at their age. In youth, they at least had a reason. Now, it feels rather pointless since everyone’s essentially a loser.
Paul walks out to Hank’s house’s balcony and looks at the serene scene of the lake outside. Joanie knows how desperate he has been to acquire this place. While she tries to resist his urge to override this property, he starts dreaming about what he would change about the place and how once he acquires it.
Back in the house, Lily breaks the news to June about the Arlyle job. June congratulates her and thinks it should be easy Yes from Lily’s side. June considers bailing out on it as a stupid decision. I mean, when that kind of opportunity comes knocking on the door, who wouldn’t want to take it? What do they have left in their miserable town anyway, right? Anyhow, it makes Lily think a little on her own.
By then, every department member joins the party. While they engage in interactions on their own, Hank talks about how the university should pay for such morale-building activities. Lily brings up the subject of Arlyle and how interested she is to take it. He gets the wind of it but does not take the dialogue much further.
Tony arrives for the party and goes straight to hit on June and gauges her interest in being intimate with her. She reciprocates it as a part of playing around with him. Meanwhile, Emma (Shannon DeVido) overhears their tomfoolery and enjoys the smell of this new scandal. Once June leaves the room, Emma approaches Tony and tells him that June has an open marriage, just to mess around with them.
Soon after, Tony helps Hank bring the clock inside the house. Hank talks about Lily’s long-held dream to move to New York but dismisses it as just a fantasy. Alas, they finally take it inside, while Hank continues to go through flashes of memories about it. As Hank helps Lily with the final touches to the meal, Paul walks in with Joanie, still eyeing to snatch their beautiful place. He also advises Lily not to pass off her attractive Arlyle deal.
Tony continues to hit on June and then meets Teddy to realize the roadblock in his journey. Teddy asks whether he is asking them both out. Tony fumbles while answering that. Their dialogue also veers into Lily’s new opportunity and whether she will take it. It seems like, everyone learns about it somehow and Lily’s indecision becomes a topic of gossip. Hank makes an attempt to divert their attention to their routine, pointless arguments to ease himself from thinking about that job offer.
Then suddenly, Gracie starts shrieking over her poem, selected to be published in The Atlantic. She goes over the moon about it. Hank walks back to the kitchen and stumbles upon Tom’s text to Lily. It asks Lily not to let her job offer, which seems like him wanting to get in bed with her. Tom thinks that is why Lily is rejecting it. Alas, Hank gets the wind of Lily & Tom probably hooking up. He becomes like a boiling pot about to explode. Since Lily knows Hank saw Tom’s message, she explains that Tom kissed her and calls it less than nothing to not let it become a big issue.
‘She’s Leaving Us’
But as said before, Hank already becomes like a volcano about to erupt soon. He goes back to the table to serve everyone and soon, starts getting dizzy thinking about Lily leaving him. He then abruptly leaves the room and starts thinking by himself – ‘Lily still loves us. It is just a job.’ It is clear that he does not want to get abandoned, yet again, by someone. However, to stop Lily from taking this step, Hank takes a selfish step. He calls their daughter, Julie (Olivia Scott Welch) and tells her that her mother’s moving to New York.
‘Right Down Into the Negatives’
During the dinner, Hank decides to talk about the elephant in the room. He raises a toast for Lily for getting the job at Arlyle to show how supportive and proud he is of her accomplishments. In their usual style, the staff members start making fun of how Hank is useless in New York. Gracie starts dreaming of Lily’s dreams for her of living in the Big Apple. There’s another part to this discussion – ‘Who would be the department chairman if Hank leaves?’ Hank evades answering.
Then suddenly, Julie arrives at the house and asks Lily to come outside to have a conversation. Lily returns clearly angry at Hank for telling her about it just then. Still, Hank’s plan to sabotage the New York move fails since Lily convinces Julie to move to New York with her. Remember the time Hank told Julie to not keep her dreams limited? And go out of their town if she gets an exciting offer? Lily uses that to her advantage.
Lily starts planning out her life in New York and where she/they (she and Hank) would live. Paul sees it as an opportunity to chip in and make a case for himself to snatch the place. He talks about the high rental prices in New York and how selling their current place can help Hank and Lily. Joanie gets angry at him for this childish behavior and leaves the room. Then Hank reveals that no one’s moving.
Unfortunately, that patriarchal decision-making does not work for Lily, and she says that she would move on her own if needed. Hank sees it as her willingness to live with him on his own. The dinner afterwards becomes a train-wreck for everyone. Lily brings up the game of ‘How happy I am’ and starts asking around the same in the room. When the needle points at Hank, Lilly says it herself that he is just 20% happy and asks how willing he is to make a change.
‘The Best Long Distance Relationship Ever’
Joanie joins the table and Paul brings her some wine. Tony keeps hitting on June in one way or the other. Hank comes up to Lily and apologizes for his childishness to tell Julie about it out of desperation. He says that he will stay back and do his shitty job, and she (Lily) can move to New York – it will be a long-distance relationship. He sees no other way to make it work.
Lucky Hank (Season 1), Episode 5 Ending Explained:
Why does Hank suddenly break down in the end?
Paul narrates a story with his first wife, Barbara where a chance encounter with a stranger led him to the love of his life – Joanie. His moving narration entrances everyone around the table. (Chops to Cedric Yarbrough for a wonderful, wonderful narration!) Then the needle moves toward Lily and Hank’s relationship. Are they going to stay together or break up? Everyone still treats it as a joke while the couple takes it a tad more seriously than everyone else.
Emma suggests a friend’s place, who is looking for a roommate. Hank asks why she does not go live with Tom instead. While Paul tries to tell him how he can also move to New York with Lily, Hank gets angry at him. He does not want any discussions of someone else having his chair either. Lily mentions how her job has nothing to do with Hank and his ego. But that brings him back to his fear of abandonment. He tries to keep everything under his control including Julie and Lily’s lives. But neither agrees to let their lives be guided by his whims.
So all of a sudden, Hank breaks down. He starts sobbing uncontrollably, after recalling an incident from his childhood. His father was moving out along with all his stuff. Hank could not bear that thought and thus tried to strangle himself by hanging to a chandelier. The thread broke right after letting his father know that he was trying to commit suicide. Back in the present, everyone feels miserable about what Hank is going through. They leave right after, while Lily is left mending the broken pieces by herself.
In the last chapter/course – ‘Let’s Go to Bed’, Hank thinks about his mortifying suicide attempt. He recalls his father calling his mother to look at their pathetic son. The father could not make a single gesture of warmth to the boy he was supposed to care for. Why give birth to a person anyway, right? If you can’t look after them? Anyhow, Hank kept it a secret for years, only shared it with his mother. He contemplates what it would be alright to tell Lily about it. But he stops himself from making any such mention. The story ends with them telling each other ‘Let’s go to bed’. We see the habit due to such traumas that pushes one to suppress their thoughts and emotions, instead of expressing them openly and freely to anyone. ‘
We get a fantastic display of midlife crisis through its three male characters – Hank, Paul & Tony. Tony suddenly becomes a bachelor due to his divorce and despite his age, acts as horny as a teenager would. Paul tries to snatch Hank’s place as a way to gain satisfaction at least in his later life. They project themselves in certain ways because they did not/could not act on it earlier the way they wanted. Hank, on the other hand, takes out his misery in a way that isn’t healthy for him or the others. The shocking revelation from his past gives a peek into the source of his misery.