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  • Writer's pictureCarlos Luis

‘Lucky Hank’ Episode 2: Recap And Ending, Explained: What Keeps Hank From Writing His Next Book?

We know of famous authors who either quit writing for the lack of inspiration or developed serious writer’s block but produced classics when they finally got to writing. Isn’t it a little odd when a writer announces retirement from writing? Because, unlike other professionals, who, after retirement, would walk away from the fame they have gathered from a particular profession to do something insignificant. For instance, a retired sports star could become a coach or a mentor to a team; a retired professor could be on the advisory committee of an institution, etc. But if a writer quits, what is one going to do? One can engage in different activities, but the passion for which one wrote or the pain with which one constructed a flowery sentence will come haunting.

In the second episode of “Lucky Hank,” we have Hank being haunted by a thought because of which he isn’t able to proceed to write his next novel. Every time he gathers the courage to sit before his laptop, he remains stuck or recollects past significant memories of himself and George Saunders. “Lucky Hank” Episode 2 addresses the reason why Hank hasn’t written for so long and helps him heal himself. It gives the audience a look into the intricacies of writing and the dilemmas of authors.

Why Did Jacob Rose Arrange A Conversation Between Hank And George?

Hank and George were friends on an equal footing, but George achieved extensive literary success in comparison to Hank, and for thirty years, they have not been in touch with each other. Jacob Rose wants the students to benefit literarily through this one-hour conversation between these great stalwarts in literature. Hank isn’t keen on interviewing George as he is jealous of his stupendous success. Thus, when Jacob categorically and sequentially states the achievements of George, Hank dismisses them as mere farce. George has been a Booker Prize winner, but Hank considers it one of the pretentious British awards. George has been a finalist for the National Book Award, has received the MacArthur Fellowship, and is named by Time Magazine as of the 100 most influential people, but Hank shrugs it off as a mere show-off and not of importance as it used to be in the past. Hank is more concerned that he shouldn’t be the cause of controversy in a modern college, with his authentic and genuine remarks consistent with his personality. He is stressed out and embarrassed as they started at the same level but live very different lives now, and he is bugged by the thought of conducting the interview with George.

Jacob knows for sure that Hank is the only one who can match the level of George and that he will do justice to the live onstage conversation by posing his apt and suitable questions, giving students an opportunity to learn from their expertise. George, in his interactions with the students, wins their hearts so much that Bartow discusses with his friends how he has learned more in an hour than he has all year. Is Hank failing in his duty as a professor? Bartow and his companions are fond of George, a great and engaging teacher who tries to put in the effort and listens to them. Furthermore, Bartow, after having been in conflict with Hank, is even convinced to start an excellence committee to celebrate talent and skill. Jacob’s intention, thus, is not to make a distinction between the two experts by placing them on one stage but to make the students and faculty understand that they need to appreciate the quality and standards that exist at Railton College. Jacob intends to wipe the slate clean and no longer be dubbed the “mediocrity capital.”

Alongside the drama between Hank and George, Grace DuBois and Paul Rourke are engaged in conflict and abuse of their own. Paul is a misogynist who hates Grace to the core and therefore irritates her whenever he can. For instance, he would sit in his car in the parking lot and rev the engine, disturbing the class that Grace would engage. In the first episode, we had him demeaning Grace and all her achievements. And Grace, too, isn’t a saint; she fights back equally, getting him charged with a violation for not filling out the proper forms and for ignoring the traffic tickets for three years. Paul, by way of fighting back, discusses the poems of Grace, denigrating them in comparison to Whitman’s poems, and the ire and conflict between these two faculties continue. Thus, Jacob’s idea of getting these undeterred and staunch personalities of great caliber on one platform would be an example worth emulating.

‘Lucky Hank’ Episode 2: Ending Explained – What Keeps Hank From Writing His Next Book?

Hank is indisputably a fantastic writer, and one can notice it when he unapologetically suggests how his students must learn to rise above the mediocre and work hard to achieve excellence in writing. Hank is clear about what he needs to do when it comes to writing; he is a wonderful editor and knows exactly what one needs to write and what will work for the audience. He may be blunt, but that is needed while appreciating literature. But Hank, deep down within, is affected by a thought that doesn’t allow him to write. Perhaps, the relationship with his father and his abandonment, and the fact that his father was a resourceful person who, according to George, illuminated his life and stimulated him to write.

George flaunts his expertise and advises the students to reject the habit so that they can distinguish themselves from the rest and carve their own path. As George expresses himself and guides the students, Hank, too, is simultaneously led and motivated. The students quote great authors and artists like Flannery O’Connor, Van Gogh, and Jack Kerouac to interpret the process of George. And he rightly points out to them that they need to trust that their taste is good and that they need to write every single day. Consistency is the key that guarantees a writer’s ability to write without getting stuck. George honestly states that he doesn’t like the first draft that he writes, but it is the first draft that leads to the second and the third.

Hank, after the success of his first novel, perhaps felt stuck. He feared future rejection and the thought that his first book itself was a mess. Hank is of the opinion that all should be writers and that everyone should write their whole lives, but George broadens his perspective by stating otherwise. Hank expresses to George before they enter the limelight on the stage that George doesn’t respect him, and George thinks that Hank is good for nothing and has gotten published because of his influential father. Hank also points out that George never read his book. All these thoughts were on Hank’s mind, and he only assumed them, not wanting to prove any of them true. But George expresses to Hank that he and Paula, and his daughters have read the book and enjoyed the scene by the bus. This confirmation from one author to another gives Hank the confidence that he was waiting for to start his next book. We will see in the next episode whether he starts writing his book or not, but he goes onto the stage confident and wanting to conquer the literary world.

First Published on Film Fugitives: Click Here


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