In The Irrational 1×05 “Lucky Charms,” Alec Mercer (Jesse L. Martin) and team take on Sin City itself: Las Vegas. Sure, they do it to help former student/friend Camille Lawson (Jocelyn Hudon). But who needs the excuse? If you want to study the illogic of human behavior, there really can’t be a better place. Can there?
Sharks All Around
This week’s episode of The Irrational takes Alec on a personal mission, more than a work trip. Though for students Phoebe (Molly Kunz) and Rizwan (Arash DeMaxi), it’s a bit of both. Honestly, one might consider the students to be a bit superfluous to the episode. Particularly if you’re like me, and your greatest enjoyment is just watching star Martin in action. But they actually add something nice to the episode. Not necessarily in the tension between Phoebe and Camille, which I’m willing to give a pass on only because it’s established Camille was Phoebe’s only friend. (Otherwise, giving Phoebe a “wtf?” scene might be appropriate. Not sulking around all episode like Camille ran over her pet dog.) But in showing that even people who know all the tricks can fall prey to Vegas’s charms.
Which really calls into question Camille’s entire motive for fleeing to Vegas in the first place. Don’t get me wrong. I’m sure that Las Vegas as its allure. But going there to find stability? As a card shark? The Las Vegas? I’m not an expert in the place, by any means, but “Las Vegas” and “stability” aren’t really words that one typically finds together.
Anyway, choosing a life of gambling in search of stability isn’t Camille’s only questionable choice. So we’ll let that go. She’s also fallen in with a pretty bad crowd: loan sharks. Oh, sorry. “Money lenders.” Who aren’t known for being particularly forgiving. They threaten to break Alec’s legs, but supposedly it’s only Camille’s mother’s house on the line. And if you believe that, I’m sure Vegas would love you.
In Over His Head
While Alec’s method to thwart cheaters this episode is interesting, the episode is really a stand-out in the way it allows for two things. First, we get to see Alec vulnerable, helping someone he genuinely cares about. And, okay, also perhaps a little insecure that he drove his former student away to begin with. But it also allows us to see Alec get in over his head. A little. Momentarily. I mean, the whole thing with he kneecaps was a little “touch and go” for a minute.
I’m sure I’ve said it before, but Martin really is a phenomenal actor. He can do anything from drama to humor. He can be hard-nosed and arrogant, and he can be vulnerable and unsure. The Irrational is already doing a fantastic job in letting us see Martin’s range, and I love it. His skills as an actor are on display throughout the episode, from the way he plays the loan sharks to his obvious paternal affection for Camille. To his heartbreak at the end of the episode, when his last good lead to figure out who was actually behind the bombing that scarred him slips through his fingers.
Of course, when ex-wife Marisa (Maahra Hill) identified the suspect, you knew there had to be a catch. It’s entirely too early to get too many answers to the biggest mystery of the show.
Last week, I praised the show’s decision to open the door to give Alec’s sister, Kylie (Travina Springer) more to do. The Irrational 1×05 “Lucky Charms” started to live up to its promise, because Alec took her along for the ride. Or, rather, he took her along so that she could take others along for the ride. Kylie is quite a conwoman and good pick-pocket, as it turns out. Is there any chance we’ll get a little more backstory on just how she developed those skills?
This week’s episode might not have given us long-term answers to how her character will fit in with the team. Outside of her hacking skills, of course. After all, it’s unlikely they’ll need her to pick a pocket every week. But it’s honestly just nice to see her character working in the field and not just behind the computer screen. So I’m looking forward to where the show takes her next.