This week’s episode of Perry Mason starts with the news that shocked Mason, his associates, and the audience to their core: the Gallardo brothers may be guilty of murdering Brooks McCutcheon. Thanks to Paul Drake’s thorough investigation, he confronts Street and Mason with evidence that their clients, who they believed were unjustly convicted, are not telling the whole story. Mason, upset, try to find a way out by bargaining a plea deal with the district attorney. However, no luck.
Della Street’s personal and professional life is a huge part of this week’s episode. Overwhelmed with the case and the tension growing between her and Mason about Emily Dodson’s suicide, she heads off to Palm Springs with her love interest of the season, Anita St. Pierre (Jen Tullock). Street’s relationship with Anita is unclear and undefined, as Street had a girlfriend in Season 1 who hasn’t been seen since, so it’s unclear whether their relationship is over for good. Still, it’s been refreshing and interesting to watch Street and St. Pierre’s relationship evolve and blossom over the last few episodes.
Later in the episode, Street is forced to confront a potential problem head-on when discussing the case with Camilla Nygaard (Hope Davis). Nygaard questions Street about why she continues to work with Mason despite his impulsive nature and how it’s clear that Street’s frustrations with him are starting to show. Street grapples with her response, as she is a loyal friend and associate to Mason, although she can disagree with him and how he has been dealing with the case. Much of her frustration also stems from the fact that it is difficult for her as a queer woman trying to make a career for herself as a lawyer in 1930s Los Angeles, while Mason just seems to take his career and opportunities for granted.
Speaking of Mason and his impulsiveness, he and Pete Strickland (Shea Whigham) break into Lydell McCutcheon’s stables while drunk and take one of his fastest horses out for a ride. This scene is a flashback to the Mason we saw last season: irresponsible, drunk, and flat-out pathetic. He wouldn’t be Perry Mason if he didn’t succumb to old habits when times got tough. It’ll be interesting to see how he picks himself up by his bootstraps for the remainder of the season.
The last few minutes of the episode pivot back to the revelations from the beginning of the episode. Drake investigates further and discovers that the Gallardo brothers rented the same pistol daily to practice shooting bottles. This particular pistol is the same pistol that was used to kill Brooks McCutcheon. Then, Luisa Gallardo, the boys’ aunt, finds the bag of money that Rafael Gallardo left for her, which begs the question: did they take the fall for her?
Feature image courtesy of Merrick Morton/HBO
Perry Mason 2x04 - 9/10