The season 2 premiere of Perry Mason left us with several unanswered questions and also revealed this season’s main victim: Brooks McCutcheon.
In episode 2, Perry Mason has already decided to take on the case of the two main suspects accused of murdering Brooks. The writers didn’t waste any time with this decision, as opposed to the previous season where it took Perry almost five episodes to get involved in the Dodson murder trial.
We also saw the return of Paul Drake to the firm, who is now working along with Perry and Della Street to solve the case.
The episode ends on yet another cliffhanger. But before we get to that, let’s unpack everything else we found out.
1. Perry Mason Takes On the Case of the Accused
This week’s episode starts by introducing us to the two suspects who have been accused of murdering Brooks McCutcheon: Mexican American brothers Rafael and Mateo Gallardo. They are 18 and 20 years old respectively.
The lead prosecutor assigned to the case, Thomas Milligan, claims that one of them shot Brooks after an attempt to steal a gold coin from him went wrong.
When the brothers’ aunt Luisa and Mateo’s wife Sofia come to ask for Perry’s help, he initially declines. But after finding out the facts of the case and realising the holes in the prosecutor’s defense, he starts doing his own investigation and finds out that they are innocent.
He tells Della that he is ready to take the case. Turns out she’s on the same page as she also goes to visit the wife and aunt to offer some legal advice prior to his announcement.
Perry is unable to get his new clients out on parole and a leak about a report claiming that Rafael’s fingerprint was found on Brooks’ car doesn’t seem to be looking good for their case.
Perry and Della convince Sunny Gryce, the store owner from the previous episode, to hire them so that they can help him expand his business all over LA. He agrees to pay them $1000 every month, which they then use to fund their investigation.
2. Paul Drake Is Back at the Firm
At the District Attorney’s Office, Paul Drake’s latest assignment is to make a file on a man named Perkins, a loan shark who just wants to help out the people in his neighbourhood, like Paul says.
He gives this information to Pete Strickland. However, Pete uses this file to arrest Perkins despite Paul telling him that he was no real threat. Paul quickly realises how he was misused to put away a black man in a case of racial profiling.
Perry asks Paul to meet him for the new case, which Paul does. He tells Perry that he has lost his trust in him because of what happened with Pete. He asks Perry how he will gain his trust back and Perry’s honest “I don’t know” is enough to convince him.
Later in the episode, Perry and Paul go to visit one of the McCutcheon’s casino boats, The Moroccan, while Della does some digging of her own. After Detective Eugene Holcomb spots them on the boat, the two of them almost get into a fight with him. But they manage to leave before the situation escalates.
Della finds out that the casino was haemorrhaging cash and that Brooks owed to money to people all over town. The creditors were retained only because the ship was falling apart.
3. Love Interests for Della Street (And Maybe Perry?)
Della’s date with the woman from the restaurant, Anita, is actually a ticket to a boxing match. The two of them bond while Anita explains to Della how the match works. Della learns the phrase “Work the body and the head will fall” which she later uses in reference to a strategy for the McCutcheon case.
Perry and his ex-wife, Linda, go to their son’s school to meet his teacher. She tells them that their son is very gifted in the sciences. The interaction between the teacher and Perry makes it seem like she could potentially be his new love interest. We might be seeing more of her now that the actress who plays her has joined the cast.
4. Who is Charlie Goldstein?
Charlie Goldstein is the only vendor still supplying produce to the Moroccan. Even this produce is barely keeping the casino afloat. He also happens to be the supplier to Sunny Gryce’s store.
In a scene towards the beginning of the episode, Goldstein is served with a Grand Jury subpoena, for reasons we are unaware of for now.
Later at night, the mystery man from the first episode, who wears gloves and a hat, arrives at Goldstein’s warehouse and brutally murders him there.
5. Ending Scene Explained
The same mystery man, who was also shown tampering with the evidence box containing Brooks McCutcheon’s belongings, makes a call to Crippen, an associate of Brooks’ father, to tell him that Goldstein is dead.
After hearing this, Crippen takes out an envelope from a drawer in his desk and throws it into the fireplace. The final shot of the episode reveals that the envelope was actually a Grand Jury Subpoena with Brooks McCutcheon’s name on it.
This last scene is enough reason for us to believe that Crippen was involved in Brooks’ murder somehow. Brooks’ subpoena could have been for one of his own crimes which maybe Crippen was also involved in and hence he had Brooks killed to cover up his tracks.
Goldstein could have been a witness to one of Brooks’ crimes or even his murder, which could explain why Crippen wanted him dead too.
Lydell McCutcheon’s (Brooks’ father) involvement in the murders is also unclear even though we don’t see any direct interaction with Crippen. After all, Crippen and Lydell are still in the same social circle.
There are endless possible explanations for the meaning behind the final scene. However, until we find out what the subpoenas were for, we won’t be able to form a concrete conclusion.
We know for sure that Perry Mason and his team are not going to let a few minor setbacks prevent them from cracking the big case.
There are still 6 more episodes this season to explore this murder trial as well as the personal lives of our main characters. The next episode of Perry Mason will be out on March 20, 2023, on HBO.
7. About Perry Mason (2020)
Perry Mason is an American period drama television series based on the character of the same name created by Erle Stanley Gardner. It focuses on the origin story of famed defense lawyer Perry Mason. The series was developed and written by Rolin Jones and Ron Fitzgerald and stars Matthew Rhys in the title role.
Long before Perry Mason became the legendary lawyer that he was, he was a PTSD-ridden war vet struggling to find his place in the world. His first test as a lawyer was the gruesome killing of a child who was kidnapped and returned with his eyes sewn open. His next case is to reveal the true killer of Brooks McCutcheon.