Hank tries to deal with his own inability to escape Railton by pushing other people to do it instead, but his projection is beginning to cause problems for everyone.
This recap of Lucky Hank Season 1 Episode 3, “Escape”, contains spoilers.
Small-town ennui is usually a coming-of-age thing. Kids get older and start to realize there’s a big wide world to explore. They feel hemmed in by their surroundings, every familiar face a reminder of how many more there are to meet.
In the third episode of Lucky Hank, “Escape”, Hank is experiencing this feeling in reverse.
Lucky Hank Season 1 Episode 3 Recap
Hank, you see, has cultivated a modest life of fragile equilibrium. He has excised the difficult parts of his life, such as his strained relationship with his father, and learned to settle. He doesn’t like his job, but it’s steady. He doesn’t like that he only ever wrote one novel, but hey, one’s better than none, right?
When a moving pod is delivered right outside Hank’s garage, blocking his car, the revelation that it contains the contents of his father’s old office forces Hank to reckon with the thing that scares him most: Change.
Why does Hank lie to Meg?
Hank is anti-change. He’s settled. He has a routine. Even the idea of change around him is annoying. There’s calamity in the Railton College English department because the university’s president has (hypothetically, apparently) asked each department chair to suggest 20% of their professors for a culling. It’s a crabs in a barrel situation.
Likewise, Meg wants Hank to recommend her as a professor so she no longer has to work part-time at the bar. He’s happy with the status quo and advises her against it. As his son-in-law Russell later explains when Meg interviews him for a job, Hank is incapable of making a decision.
When Meg later reveals she knows about the potential cuts, Hank lies and tells her the college is implementing a hiring freeze and that he won’t have any classes to give her in the Fall. Meg drowns her sorrows to such an extent that, when Hank takes her home, she tries to entice him into bed.
Once again, Hank has avoided having to make any major decisions. The logic, one assumes, is that if he can prevent things from changing around him, he can prevent himself from having to change with them.
What does Hank find in the moving pod?
“Escape”, though, confronts Hank with scenarios he can’t ignore. When he breaks into his father’s moving pod, he uncovers letters that show he has been corresponding with Hank’s mother for years.
When Hank confronts her about this she explains, coldly, that his father abandoned him, but simply moved away from her. She seems mostly unbothered about this. In fact, she has invited Hank’s father back to Railton, and he has accepted. There’s no getting away from that one.
Almost as a subconscious rejection of his own inability to escape Railton, Hank tries to push other people into moving away instead. That’s what he’s doing with Meg. He suggests it to Julie when she comes to him about her feelings of being overwhelmed, but she was only talking about an unfinished DIY project, not her entire life.
Lucky Hank Season 1 Episode 3 Ending Explained
He’s projecting. Hank feels trapped by Railton, and he longs to escape it, but he knows he couldn’t possibly stomach the amount of change and reinvention leaving would require. So, he tries to push his feelings about the place onto others, hoping they’ll be stronger than he is and, if so, that he can live vicariously through their escape.
But Lily, after a urine-related debacle, is planning to take a job interview in New York. The prospect of upping and leaving has, for Hank, suddenly become quite real – and he’ll have to deal with his feelings about it sooner rather than later.
You can stream Lucky Hank Season 1 Episode 3, “Escape” exclusively on AMC+.
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