It’s difficult to get a real sense of where Lucky Hank is going from this pilot, but Bob Odenkirk capably fronts it as a put-upon English teacher battling personal demons.
This recap of Lucky Hank Season 1 Episode 1, “Pilot”, contains spoilers.
In the new AMC dramedy Lucky Hank, it takes a while for us to figure out why Bob Odenkirk’s titular Hank Devereaux is especially lucky. He’s the chair of an English department at a fictional Pennsylvania college who visibly resents his position and considers most of the students to be talentless wastes of his time.
This seems fair enough. Hank wrote a novel a long time ago, but the follow-up has been gestating for an indeterminate period. His dad, Hank Snr, is a literary scholar with a great deal of respect in the field on the cusp of retirement, and the two haven’t spoken in many years. He clearly loves his wife, Lily, but they have a daughter who hits them up for money all the time, and he feels connected to the small town they live in. Hank sustains a very delicate balance in his life, and he doesn’t like the idea of anything upsetting that balance.
Needless to say, Lucky Hank is about that balance being continually upset.
Lucky Hank Season 1 Episode 1 Recap
Why is Hank ousted as chair of the department?
It starts with Hank using his tenured position as an excuse to lay into the writing of a student, and the student’s aggrieved rebuttals only prompt further insult. Another student records the exchange, and news of it quickly reaches the school paper, the dean, and the rest of the English department, all of whom dislike him. The student, Bartow, wants a written apology, but Hank won’t give him one.
Who becomes the new chair of the English department?
The other professors conspire to oust Hank as chair of the department, which they’re initially successful at. Hank can barely summon any interest in the whole affair, but he sits in on the vote to replace him regardless. Every member of the department, including Hank, votes for themselves. There’s one exception, though, who instead tries to abstain by voting for Hank. That gives Hank two votes to everyone else’s one, and he’s immediately reinstated as chair.
Lucky Hank Season 1 Episode 1 Ending Explained
Having said that, Hank’s good fortune might be relative. He’s still upset about his dad’s retirement, he’s still saddled with a job he doesn’t care for teaching students he can’t stand, and at the end of the episode, he catches his wife while she’s out on a run to tell her the good news – and she just keeps running away from him.
You can catch Lucky Hank Season 1 Episode 1, “Pilot” exclusively on AMC and AMC+.