Perry Mason (Season 2), Episode 1: After over a two-year-long break from its previous season, the new episodes of ‘Perry Mason’ are back on HBO. However, unlike his usual, edgy persona, he seems particularly in anguish around this time. From being a private investigator to being a civil lawyer, his career trajectory has taken a swift turn in more than one way. He is not impulsive as before and needs to bear a facade of sophistication in his general demeanor. 

Through the second season premiere, we see him trying to make peace with his present situation while pursuing a civil case. After E.B.’s death, Della is right by his side, helping him figure out the path in this new direction. Let’s dive right into what happens in this episode. Please be aware that there are spoilers ahead. 

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Perry Mason (Season 2) Episode 1 Recap:

Perry Mason’s ‘Chapter 9’ begins with a tracking shot that shows a waiter throwing a Molotov cocktail bottle onto a ship in international waters. Right after starting this fire, he flees through a small boat, startling a group of wealthy folks. After this violent start, the show goes back to Perry Mason’s (Matthew Rhys) life, where we see him in a miserable state. It’s not just about his dilapidated house, which he does not care to clean. It has more to do with a change in his demeanor, with which he later enters his office (E.B.’s old office).

Della Street (Juliet Rylance) hires a new secretary, Marion Kang (Jee Young Han), to do the work she used to do for E.B. Perry is concerned that it is not feasible. She counters with a much clearer understanding of their finances. While she reads up all the mundane civil cases, he nods with disinterest. She questions why he switched to civil from criminal law in the first place. He diverts the question to another topic and glances upon a letter from his old pal – Pete Strickland (Shea Wingham).

Meanwhile, we get a look into the life of Brooks McCutcheon (Tommy Dewey), a not-so-successful businessman of a business tycoon Lydell (Paul Raci). After secretively having sex with a prostitute, he returns from his room to his family sitting outside in a lavish garden. Lydell gives an intimidating look from a distance and then questions him about the fire he started on the ship (the first few shots from the episode).

Brooks tries to clarify it since he did it to sabotage a deal. However, Lydell does not want him to stay invested in his fascination for his New York-based baseball team. Unlike Brooks, he does not find it ‘meaningful’ in any way. So, he orders Brooks to concentrate on charitable work, which will work for his legacy than ruining it. Of course, it does not sit well with the ambitious son.

Back at his home, Perry wakes up in the middle of the night due to the nightmares he still has of Emily Dodson (Gayle Rankin), the mother he fought for as his first case. She makes him sense the futility of their verdict since her baby son, Charlie, is still dead. She drowned herself to death in the same state of shame and guilt. These grim thoughts about her make Perry ride his motorbike at night and get himself injured.

The next morning, Della arrives at the court for their next case while Perry is nowhere to be seen. Alas, he appears just in time but with a limp. He uncomfortably sits in his chair to fight for Sunny Gryce (Sean Austin), a local grocery shop owner (The Sunny Market). The case is against his past employee, Ed Purtell (Matt Bush), who sued him on the charge of stealing his creative sales technique while never giving him the due appreciation for it. He started his own shop and used these initiatives there, which he believes, he has the right to use.

During the trial, Purtell’s attorney swoons over his client to the point where Perry pokes fun at their relationship. Probably not the first strike for him in the court since he doesn’t seem acquainted with professionalism yet. When he stands up to question the man, he points out the obvious imitations in arrangement patterns. Even the slogan is ripped off from ‘All under one roof’ to ‘Everything under our roof.’ Ed pleads for himself while the contract makes his case weaker by that time.

High On Films in collaboration with Avanté

Meanwhile, Della arrives at a restaurant with a client. After sharing some glances with a woman from another table, she gets hit on by her. This woman, Anita St. Pierre (Jen Tullock), tries to woo her while she stays loyal to her partner, Hazel (Molly Ephraim). While there is a hint of shared interest, the manifestation still seems like a distant goal.

On the other hand, besides being an ex-police officer, Paul Drake (Chris Chalk) becomes an ex-P.I. for Perry Mason. Two reasons for this decision – he now has financial responsibility for the baby and cannot fulfill it with Mason’s sparse, non-constant payments. Regardless, Paul’s wife, Clara (Diarra Kilpatrick), invites Perry to a party without Paul’s knowledge. She wants him to rebuild this professional relationship, whereas he wants to keep it strictly as his past.

Instead, he decides to accept Pete’s gig, who appoints him for a surveillance job shared by the D.A. Hamilton Burger (Justin Kirk). Like Paul, Pete has also parted ways with the civil lawyer Mason. Considering the era it is set in, the narrative shows how the racial factor still predominately determines why a person gets a job. The person Paul is supposed to keep an eye on is a black man named Perkins.

While they figure out their future, Sunny Gryce is hellbent on destroying his past employee, who asked him for what he’s worth. Perry and Della manage to reach an agreement with Ed’s side so that he will pay back a sum as reparations. But Sunny isn’t the one to agree to the petty returns. As a servant of justice, Perry tries to make this businessman see the unjust nature of ripping off his past employee. But Sunny’s desire to be ruthless keeps him away from any sort of empathy.

Later on, Perry fights for his ruthless client, who reminds him of the nature of their relationship just as bluntly. He argues to forgo the debt on Ed in exchange for him signing over his new store to Sunny. He is not content with taking this unjust side, which he later discusses with Hamilton. The D.A., a seasoned man in this business, claims they work not for ‘justice’ but for the ‘illusion of justice.’ Mason is unwilling to abandon his values, which will undoubtedly cause conflict in his professional life.

Perry Mason (Season 2), Episode 1 Ending Explained:

The romance is on the air, be it through the extra bit of cash that Paul gets through his new gig or the sense of thrill Della gets by calling her new crush (Anita). Hamilton also pushes her to pursue this very thrill that she was trying to avoid due to her monogamous loyalty. Unfortunately, Perry is under the clouds of misery even when he sees his past lover – who purchased his house and made it into a commercial establishment. She pokes him to join her on an adventure. He, meanwhile, seems engulfed in his misery, probably due to seeing his idealism dying a slow death in the world with a lack of morals.

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While preserving his image as a “family man,” Brooks remains enthusiastic about his plans for the New York-based baseball team. He tries to persuade anyone he meets of the importance of this idea but is surprised that they do not see the potential he does. However, the end is not too kind to him. We see a little girl wearing an eerie-looking mask walking up to a car on a beach to find Brooks in a pool of blood.

Read More: Everything Coming To HBO Max in March 2023

Perry Mason (Season 2), Episode 1 Links: IMDb, Wikipedia
Perry Mason (Season 2), Episode 1 Cast: Matthew Rhys, Juliet Rylance, Chris Chalk, Shea Whingham, Justin Kirk
Where to watch Perry Mason

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