Houdini & Doyle Season 1 Episode 4 Review: Spring-Heel'd Jack

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This was definitely the most obvious case we've had so far. 

I pretty much guessed it was the reporter the moment I saw him on Houdini & Doyle Season 1 Episode 4

The guy was such an obnoxious jerk who was clearly out for a great story.

A Demon Eyed Phantom - Houdini & Doyle

Just as obvious was finding out that Stratton was married. I don't know if they intended for that to be surprising, but what else were we supposed to think when Houdini found that man's ring?

The real mystery surrounds who the guy is, where he is, and why they aren't currently together. There also must be a reason why she's keeping it a secret. As Houdini said, if she's divorced or separated, why not just tell them?

Of course, being "concerned" about her well being does not give the guys the right to snoop and pry. Breaking into her home, following her, questioning a stranger about their conversation...these are serious stalker tendencies. 

I know they have her best interests at heart, but still, mind your own business boys!

Doyle: Oh, very understated.
Houdini: I know. It needs to be flashier. Come on, "His most incredible escape yet?"
Doyle: How about "death defying?"
Houdini: Ooh. Well done. You ought to consider writing.

So, can I just say, that poster of Houdini was incredibly creepy. It doesn't matter what slogan is on it, his face still looked creepy. 

I kind of love that Houdini carries around tickets to his sold out shows though. He made that doorman's day by whipping those out. 

It was also super cute watching him perform magic tricks for Doyle's kids, and it was funny that he actually took whatever that thingy was home with him.

He's still obsessed with betting, and I'm still not really seeing the point of these wagers in every episode. I don't really feel like they add anything to the humor or their relationship, especially since Doyle is pretty indifferent to them, too.

Every time I lock myself in that tank my heart is pounding. And every beat reminds me that I am never more alive than when I'm scared half to death. But, it's only when you admit that you're afraid that fear loses it's power over you.


So the supernatural element of the week was a phantom called a "Spring-Heeled Jack" that feeds on fear. A demon who feeds on fear is not exactly a new concept, but it was an interesting take on it. I may have Googled it after the episode and read a little bit about the folklore behind it.

I was definitely worried that little Kingsley would end up being attacked by it, but was glad that it was just his imagination (probably). The kids are cute, and I like these little moments we've been getting of Doyle growing as a parent. 

Again, we are left with a logical explanation and a human killer, but also with questions supporting the supernatural. The reporter admitted to hiring the gymnast, but claims he had nothing to do with the death of the first man, Underhill. 

I'm still not sure I really like this concept of a series that attempts to take place in both the real world and the supernatural, basically letting us choose which one we want to believe at the end of each episode. 

It's odd, but I can see why some might find it more intriguing than I do. 

I'm mostly in it for the relationship between Houdini and Doyle, which has been improving each week. They're getting closer and learning to read each other. Stratton may be able to keep secrets from them, but they won't be able to keep them from each other nearly as easily. 

I liked that Doyle called him out on his opium use, not just spotting the biological signs such as his sweating, but also questioning the reasoning behind it. 

I also liked that Houdini asked Doyle about his wife, and told him he didn't need to keep his lip stiff all the time. They're letting each other know they are not alone. 

All in all, I'm still finding this series to be "just okay." It's probably not going to turn into anything mind-blowing, but it's certainly not painful to watch, either. The actors do their part to make it enjoyable. 

So where do you guys stand four episodes in? 

Next up on Houdini & Doyle Season 1 Episode 5, Houdini is baffled when he can't debunk a psychic's tricks. Doyle, of course, believes she's the real deal. 

If you need to catch up, you can always watch Houdini & Doyle online!

Spring-Heel'd Jack Review

Editor Rating: 2.7 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.1 / 5.0 (20 Votes)

Stacy Glanzman was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in March, 2019.

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Houdini & Doyle Season 1 Episode 4 Quotes

Houdini: You know it's okay to not be fine, right? You don't always have to keep that upper lip stiff.
Doyle: Infinitely preferable to wallowing in self pity.

Doyle: Oh, very understated.
Houdini: I know. It needs to be flashier. Come on, "His most incredible escape yet?"
Doyle: How about "death defying?"
Houdini: Ooh. Well done. You ought to consider writing.