Houdini & Doyle Season 1 Episode 3 Review: In Manus Dei

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Okay, I admit it. It's definitely getting better.

The first two episodes were pretty rocky, and while Houdini & Doyle Season 1 Episode 3 was far from perfect, I am seeing improvement each week.

Houdini & Doyle Season 1 Episode 3

The characters are starting to be better developed, and as a result of that, I'm starting to actually care about them. 

Plus, the humor was MUCH better!

Houdini heckling Downey in the church in the middle of a funeral was pretty funny. It was so inappropriate, but it was even better that it was meant to be a distraction so that Doyle and Stratton could examine the body. There's a reason this guy went into show business. He can captivate an audience.

One of my complaints after Houdini & Doyle Season 1 Episode 2 was that I wanted to see these two characters reach a middle ground occasionally. I think that was accomplished this week.

As strongly as Doyle believed in Downey's healing powers, he still had his doubts, especially when faced with evidence of murder or natural causes. 

On the flip side, as much as he vehemently denied it,  Houdini totally believed, even if only for a minute. He can tell that story of the lost cufflink all he wants, but when faced with no other options, he was at least willing to give it a shot. 

Here's a headline for you, people who go to faith healers are already sick.


Now, I did have a few issues with Downey and his faith healing. All these years his sister was poisoning non-believers so that everyone else would believe more, but that still doesn't explain how he made a blind man see or a crippled woman walk. No amount of faith is instantly going to make those things happen.

The placebo effect is a powerful thing, but it's not that powerful. 

Also, does Downey think he's immortal? It's one thing to believe you can heal the sick, but he drank that vile of what he thought was cyanide without hesitation. How is this guy still alive? He probably thinks he can hold his breath underwater for ten minutes or jump off the roof of a building too. 

What would he have done if Houdini had asked him to shoot himself in the head?

Has no one questioned him or asked him to prove himself like that before? It would have been interesting to see what his sister would have done if she had been there. Would she have stopped him or would she have known it was a trick?

He's not an illusionist like Houdini, and even Houdini nearly died. 

That had to have been pretty embarrassing for him. I wonder if that hurt his credibility at all. Sure he can blame it on being sick, but people would still question it. 

Stratton: You should be in bed.
Houdini: I'll hop back in if you'll join me.

I'm still not really seeing chemistry between Houdini and Stratton, but the chemistry between Houdini and Doyle is definitely improving. Their banter has gotten better and I enjoyed that they both slapped each other awake. Houdini's quip about seeing his face every time he woke up was also funny.

It was heartbreaking to watch Doyle's wife come out of her coma, seemingly on the mend, only to watch her regress back into unconsciousness. Having her back even for a short time gave him and his family some hope, though, as we saw watching him and Mary put the dresses back in the closet. 

It reminded me of the "surge" Mark experienced on Grey's Anatomy Season 9 Episode 2 right before he died. 

Your turn, is the series improving? Hit the comments with your thoughts and don't forget to watch Houdini & Doyle online!

In Manus Dei Review

Editor Rating: 3.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.6 / 5.0 (7 Votes)

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

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Houdini & Doyle Season 1 Episode 3 Quotes

Here's a headline for you, people who go to faith healers are already sick.


Louisa: I must look a fright.
Doyle: You're the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.
Louisa: Then you need a haircut and spectacles.