Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Take Three: Perry Mason

Perry Mason: Season 1, Episode 3 “Chapter Three” (B+)

This episode opened with some very showy presentations in front of the press, with Maynard displaying all of the damning evidence and E.B. laughing it off during a shave. It certainly seems that the district attorney has the advantage at the moment, getting the judge, played by Tatiana Maslany’s “Orphan Black” costar Matt Frewer, to approve his request for $25,000 bail and getting to lord Emily’s distraught proclamation of her guilt (for her feelings, not her actions, obviously) over his opposing counsel in the next stage of the trial. E.B. is having trouble, both physically and mentally, and even his more lucid moments – like yelling at Della for having ignored him eleven times if she only left three voicemails – aren’t working in his favor. What I’m finding most interesting here is the subtle ways in which characters interact, like Alice being the only one to laugh at Perry’s quip about “plugging holes” and her knowing what to say to get his attention while still clearly proselytizing. Her post-fainting revelation about being able to resurrect Charlie is a surprise, and I’m sure that Birdy, who wasn’t happy that she was trying to help Emily, won’t be at all happy with that new promise. Della is fighting to be heard, both with Perry and E.B. and with the corrupt police officers she caught torturing and coercing Emily into a confession. Pete doesn’t mind throwing around whatever crass language he wants to, and he’s considerably less attached to each case than Perry is, focusing instead of whatever expensive meals he can charge. Paul is a fascinating character, so furious at Perry for continuing to come after him while arguing with his wife about whether they should in fact appreciate the food Ennis bought them to ensure Paul’s cooperation.

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