Perry Mason (Season 2), Episode 2: Perry Mason began his legal career as a criminal defense attorney but soon switched to the safer option of civil law. It may have had to do with the trauma surrounding Emily Dodson’s death. He seems devastated since he cannot be a purveyor of truth and justice as he saw himself. Moreover, he needs to partake in crooked matters to continue his practice of law, including fighting for his new greedy client, Sunny Gryce.
In Chapter Ten, Perry comes across a new case through which he can help the needy. It motivates him to pursue it as something meaningful. Let’s dive right into how he works on this new justice-driven fascination. Be aware that there are spoilers ahead.
Perry Mason (Season 2) Episode 2 Recap:
Who is behind Brooks McCutcheon’s death?
Chapter Ten focuses primarily on Brooks McCutcheon’s (Tommy Dewey) murder case. He was found in a car on a beach, lying in a pool of blood. The D.A. Hamilton Burger (Justin Kirk) convicts two Mexican-origin brothers from Hooverville as the prime suspects. Burger makes a rousing announcement to focus on how his department is committed to maintaining peace and justice under their jurisdiction. The catch is – these brothers have been wrongfully convicted. And considering the era ‘Perry Mason’ is set in, white Americans were openly prejudiced against anyone that did not look like them.
Meanwhile, Perry Mason (Matthew Rhys) works on Sunny Gryce’s (Sean Astin) case with Della Street (Juliet Rylance). This grocery store tycoon wants to destroy his competitors and expand his business. He wants these two attorneys to pursue legal remedies to address this. Perry begrudgingly listens to this greedy capitalist’s requests, while Della continues to balance Perry’s idealism with a practical approach to sustain the business aspect of their law firm.
They return to the office to find two women who are relatives of the two convicted brothers – Matio Gallardo (Peter Mendoza) and Raphael (Fabrizio Guido). Mateo’s wife – Sofia (Stephanie Hoston), arrives with his aunt, Luisa (Onahoua Rodriguez), and begs these lawyers to help them seek justice. Perry speaks about his switch to civil law, and Della affirms it to be the direction of their firm. He then asks why they want him in specific to fight for them. The ladies mention how he fought for Emily even when no one believed her. Besides, the public defender they have been provided is utterly unreliable. Perry feels sympathy for their cause, and so does Della. But both of them stay firm in their stance to not take that case, at least for the time being.
Paul Drake (Chris Chalk) shares the surveillance details on the loanshark Perkins (Christopher Carrington). Paul thought that it was just because of a threat to D.A.’s life. Despite his minor infraction, Pete was attempting to entangle Perkins in a larger criminal scheme. Paul’s family friend reads a news piece about it, which makes Paul upset. He asks himself about the justness of his work. Clara (Diarra Kilpatrick), who knew about Paul’s involvement in Perkin’s arrest, justifies his work since he did it to earn for his family. However, Paul isn’t the least bit pleased with what he ended up doing.
Della joins Hamilton for a concert with his female friend Camilla Nygaard (Hope Davis) to perform in honor of Brooks’ memory. She attends it for an ulterior motive – to persuade Hamilton to ease the sentence of the Gallardo brothers instead of taking up their case. Burger wonders why Della is so invested in their well-being. She notices that he isn’t ready to let them get off the hook.
Della also meets with her recent crush, Anita St. Pierre (Jen Tullock), for a boxing match. Anita finds the drama of their match more intriguing than any movie she comes across. It is unpredictable; chances are, even a shorthanded side can win over the considerably stronger one. Della and Mason are fighting the ‘big guys’ and using their might and brain in a not-so-different way.
After this rousing date, Della goes to Mateo’s place to return the doll his daughter left at their office before they left. The ladies think that Della is interested in taking their case. She is not due to her other obligations. However, it is clear that she does not like to see two innocent people being unfairly roped into this crime. She admires the drawings Raphael made and aspires to be an artist. On the other hand, Mateo was working his way to becoming a mechanic.
Meanwhile, Mason is also invested in this fight for justice. His brief talk with his past colleague, Pete, reveals certain loopholes in the prosecutor’s case. So, he sneaks into a garage to see Brooks’ car to check the length of bullet marks and finds the prosecution’s conclusions dubious. Later, he goes to meet Raphael and Matio in prison, who are initially apprehensive of this white attorney’s intentions.
However, after hearing about Sofia and Luisa’s trust in him, they decide to cooperate. He takes basic measurements to check whether these two otherwise perfectly innocent men (and barely adults) could have fired such a perfect shot, that too in the dark. The only thing working against them is a gold coin they stole that Brooks considered his ‘lucky one.’ Mason finds disparity and decides to fight for their innocence.
But since Mason needs to take this case pro bono, he goes back to Gryce with Della and proposes a plan in exchange for a hefty amount of monthly retainer. The two lawyers show the photos of some empty lots to this acquisitive man, which he can fill with groceries and end his competition for good. But in order to get this job done, they will need to be paid better. Gryce feeds on praise for his materialistic growth. Mason clearly understands that. He uses it to manipulate the man while conveying lofty responsibilities.
In the court, Thomas Milligan (Mark O’Brien) arrives as a prosecutor hired by the D.A.’s office. Perry begins his side of the argument only to be shut down within a few moments. His straightforwardness does not sit well with the judge. Besides, there is a good old-natured prejudice against folks from other countries or of differing skin colors, which makes the white judge not care for Gallardys’ side of the argument. After leaving the courtroom, Mason learns from buzzing reporters that Milligan has found proof of fingertips on Brooks’ murder car. Milligan’s trickery upsets him, which he believes would make the case harder to fight.
Perry Mason (Season 2), Episode 2 Ending, Explained:
The case that Paul worked on before put him in a questionable spot. Because of him, Perkins got accused of a far more serious crime for a negligible misdemeanor. So now, Paul decides to get on Mason’s side. However, Perry’s new case gives him an opportunity to seek justice for two innocent men and do some good deeds instead of getting conned. So he agrees to join hands.
During their investigation, they came across many places where Brooks owed money. They also find a report on the ship fire incident Brooks was responsible for (the one that we saw in the previous episode). Apparently, Brooks kept finding a way not to pay back those he owed and is now stuck in huge debt from numerous places. He was, in fact, ‘a broke rich kid’ in that context.
To find out details about a Morocco ship business Brooks was connected with, Perry & Paul immediately head there. Over there, Perry notices Detective Holcomb (Eric Lange) chatting with his colleagues, who notice him back and sends them to catch him. But Perry returns to the crowded bar and shouts out their names and professional details to save himself from getting captured.
While the two get out safe from this danger, a man (Goldstein), who was earlier summoned in relation to Brooks’ case, gets brutally murdered in the middle of the night. A man named Mr. Crippen gets an update about this murder in the middle of Brooks’ grieving session. Right after, he takes out a subpoena for Brooks and burns it to dust.
Seeing all these men in power using their positions to belittle those like Gallardis & Perkins, Mason’s idealistic fight feels increasingly necessary. The dead Brooks is no exception to it either, who used his wealth per his whims without worrying about how it will affect others. The others, including the D.A., the detectives, and other lawyers, make a hard case for Mason’s drive for justice.