Thursday, October 26, 2023

The Irrational - Lucky Charms

While on a trip to Las Vegas to help out an old student, "Lucky Charms" offers the show's most fun episode of the season but also one where it's trademark use of psychology is less overt than normal leading to a more generic feeling episode. When Camille Lawson (Jocelyn Hudon), Alec Mercer (Jesse L. Martin) former teaching assistant turned professional poker player, reaches out in need of help when she believes another player in the tournament is cheating, Alec, Phoebe (Molly Kunz), and Owen (Arash DeMaxi) all head to Vegas to offer their services and help prevent her from getting her legs broken by the easily manipulated members of the mob.

The episode is notable for the Camille and Phoebe dynamic, offering a different real world use for the skills Alec teaches in his classes, Alec outthinking mobsters, and the mystery of the tournament which they uncover it's not one player who is cheating but instead the tournament is rigged (although they really never get around to a motive). Like Numb3rs, in previous episodes the show has used psychological terms and experiments in elaborate cut-aways that explain them. Here we don't get any of that making it feel a bit more normal, and less special, with a group simply using the tools at hand to find a cheater. It's fun, but the show is at its strongest when it steers into its concept and by underplaying it instead the effect is lessened as well.

  • Title: The Irrational - Lucky Charms
  • IMDb: link

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