Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Round Two: Perry Mason

Perry Mason: Season 1, Episode 2 “Chapter Two” (B)

This was definitely an involving follow-up, and the mystery appears to be a bit too muddled to solve, which doesn’t make the characters caught up in it any less interesting. I recognized a few new faces in this hour, one of whom I knew was going to appear. Tatiana Maslany was incredible on “Orphan Black,” and while this role doesn’t appear quite as challenging, she’s absolutely the right person to take it on, and I look forward to seeing more of her, hopefully as she expresses her unapproved thoughts to eager listeners like Perry. Stephen Root, a recent Emmy nominee for “Barry,” was the district attorney, and Chris Chalk from “Homeland” and “The Newsroom” was Paul, a good cop who isn’t going to stand by and agree with what he knows to be untrue. I was sure I knew Birdy’s voice but couldn’t place the actress, and now I see that she was played by Lili Taylor, best known for “Six Feet Under” and “American Crime.” Actors weren’t the only identities revealed in this episode, as Herman was outed as Matthew’s father, which explained the high ransom demand. There’s a whole lot of showmanship here, not just in Alice’s passionate sermon against the devil but in the police’s very public flair, first parading Matthew out in front of the cameras and then arresting Emily while she was walking with the funeral procession. There are many elements at play here, and Perry’s military past also appears to have influenced him considerably, something that Herman tried to expose when he was called out for a lack of honesty. There was also another very gruesome visual that I’d like to soon forget, and hopefully the rest of this run can do without too many more of those.

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