A new episode of NBC’s The Irrational premiered yesterday. This time, we are in Las Vegas where a whole lot of irrationalities could happen. It seems we are reaching the halfway point of this series, and it has been getting better yet getting formulaic. It seems as though the show has hit almost every irrational scenario humans can make in a case so far. So, here we are with Alec Mercer’s (Jessie L. Martin) new irrationality case. Vegas gambling and dangerous loan sharks with a penchant for danger.
Episode Five Lucky Charms opens with a quick montage of Las Vegas gambling and cuts to a tournament called the Royal Flush Rumble. Poker player Camille Lawson (Jocelyn Hudson) loses to a lucky guy named Ethan Steele (Curtis Slim). Her loss has put her in hot water with some bad folks who want their money. She turns out to be Alec Mercer’s former student assistant when she calls him about her suspicions about her competitor cheating. As usual, Mercer accepts the case and is off to Vegas.
Meanwhile, FBI agent Marrisa (Maahra Hill) is still following up on the church bombing case. Her new boyfriend/partner Jace (Brian King) is bothered as to why there are more important cases happening now than a case that’s been “put on the backburner”. However, at a later point in the episode, he apologizes for his irritation and decides to pitch in on the investigation, for Marissa’s sake, and Alec’s resolution.
Back to the main case, Mercer, his sister Kylie (Travina Springer), and his college assistants Phoebe (Molly Kunz), and Rizwan (Arash DeMaxi) arrive in Vegas and meet up with Lawson. She reveals that she left college and moved to Nevada 18 months ago before Phoebe became the new student assistant. Mercer talks to lucky guy Steele to learn about the secret to his success comes in the form of a mermaid key ring. Kylie secretly pickpockets Steele’s keyring off of him to see if he can be lucky without it. However, lucky guy Steele is still being lucky which makes Lawson’s situation a tad bit worse.
Of course, the “tad worse” part comes in the form of the head loan shark (Peter Bryant) and his goons appearing in Lawson’s hotel room asking for 2 million dollars. Alec was able to calmly talk the loan shark out of gaining collateral but added five percent to Lawson’s bill and presented a new deadline. She reveals to Alec that after moving to Vegas and living the high life, she ended up playing against Steele and started to lose. The more games she loses, the more desperate she gets hence her turning to the loan sharks, and on the verge of being in debt and her mom losing the house. Despite Alec being troubled about Lawson’s gambling problems, he decides to help her no matter what.
The gang soon hears that Steele himself dropped out of the tournament, moving Lawson to the next and final round. Lawson loses again to a stereotypical cowboy poker player named Hank Riddle (Stew McLean) on a “lucky streak”, meaning somebody is rigging the tournament. Alec and co. plan their new investigation into who is doing the scheming. He later finds Steele sitting on the edge of a billboard after coaxing Lawson’s aggravated loan shark from using him as collateral. Steele tells Mercer that he got a text from an unknown benefactor for him and other competitors to split the winnings. The device he and the cowboy player have buzzers sowed into their shoes for them to receive specific instructions to cheat the game.
After a bit of tampering with the plan and a little psychological science in the form of passing out iced coffee to see who’s the most panicky of the crowd, they succeeded. The head tournament host appears guilty as charged, Lawson gets the winnings to pay off her loan sharks, and her mom keeps her house.
Mercer receives a call from his ex-wife Marissa that they found an important suspect in the church bombing. After interrogating an accomplice who confirms the fake logo of the dry cleaner van, they seem to catch a break. Unfortunately, their only lead committed suicide. Leaving Alec feeling hopeless that the chance of learning about the case is gone.
It is a cool episode involving how human irrationality factors into high-stakes gambling. We do learn more about Phoebe’s character. She has not been able to make any friends because she holds herself to a high standard which is relatable for people who do have that mentality in the real world. Rizwan’s development still feels the same in every episode. At this point, he feels like the audience’s avatar to understand the experiment or situations. Kylie is featured again in the investigation fold as with the previous episode to add more brevity to case which I appreciated.
The overarching plot of finding the organization behind the church bombing still lingers in the background which has become something of a chore at this point. It would be nice if all of these cases left breadcrumbs of clues regarding the church bombings instead of the case of the weekly serials with the important plot put to the side. All criticisms aside, it was a pretty decent episode.
The Irrational Episode Five Lucky Charms is a good but formulaic-driven episode that still manages to have sleuthing fans asking for more.