The best advantage an accused person has when dealing with legal proceedings is the base assumption that everyone is innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt.
That was a courtesy neither Perry nor his clients — Rafael and Mateo — were extended, and from the first hearing, to determine how long counsel should be given to seek evidence to mount their defense, it was clear minds were already made up.
Perry, Della, and Paul tried to find alternative information about the night Brooks was murdered on Perry Mason Season 2 Episode 3.
We weren’t deluded about how hard this case would be because of the various biases in the times the show is set in.
It didn’t make it any less disturbing to watch Rafael and Mateo suffer over something they might not have done, and even if they did, they deserved a fair trial like anyone else.
Defending two poor men of Mexican descent on charges of murder against a rich white man in a 1930s court was an uphill task already. The case became even more complex when the judge would not give them enough time to prepare their defense appropriately.
I can’t say many of your ilk come out on top, but I’ve often admired their fight.
The prosecutor and the judge were convinced that the men had committed murder. The prosecutor has to believe the defendants are guilty to some degree, but he was overzealous.
Thomas: The roles would never be reversed because Brooks McCutcheon was nothing like your clients.
Perry: What? Mexican?
The justice department is purely merit-based, and the measure of merit is how many convictions one can get. It might be that Thomas was looking for a promotion through Rafael and Mateo and didn’t care what happened to them. If one thing is clear, it was that he had a boss to impress.
Life was becoming harder for the brothers in prison because even their fellow inmates believed they had committed the crime. Glass in the food was just a message.
What gave them the strength to persevere was the fact that they had each other. One could see their love and care for each other in their interactions.
Rafael is a man of few words who might get easily overwhelmed if too much talking is involved, and Mateo was more than happy to speak for both of them.
Mateo is physically weaker than Rafael; hence Rafael steps in to help him every time.
There was a silver lining in having them both in jail because they wouldn’t survive each on their own.
The trio consisting of Perry, Della, and Paul, got down to seeking evidence and alternative theories as to who could have killed Brooks and why the Gallardo brothers could not have done it.
Their first stop was Camilla, who sang like a bird about Brooks.
Maybe Lydell was right in telling Brooks to focus on other things because he didn’t have the brains for business.
Camila: I used to give him (Brooks) piano lessons.
Perry: Was he any good?
Camila: As good as he was at anything else. Poor man, he was like a French painting. Nice to look at; nothing below the surface.
Even dead and without knowing much about him, I sympathized with him because we all know about wanting to be something so much, but we are horrible at it.
They learned that Brooks had soured a few deals, and the other partners had reason to kill him.
More investigations revealed that someone must have set the brothers up by dumping the wallet with the gold coin where he knew they would find it. Next, it was pretty convenient that the brothers kept the murder weapon in their home even when they knew they had committed a crime with it.
I’m not a criminal, but I know that it’s criminality 101 to dump the murder weapon as far as you can.
This led Paul on a hunt to find where the gun might have come from, and as luck would have it, two absolutely adorable hustling children led him where he needed to go.
They might have been onto something in looking into the McCutcheon business dealings because it triggered a reaction from Lydell. He confirmed something for Perry without knowing it.
Personal struggles continued to haunt Perry. With the Dodson case still in his mind, he had forgotten that he was still a dad.
Perry has completely gone out of tune with his son.
His poor attempt at impressing his kid was textbook bad dad. He indulged the kid, and that’s not what kids need.
First, he tried to win him over with a fort, then a train set, and finally, an adult movie.
Either the kid will think that was the most epic visit of his life, or he will detest spending time with his father.
It was clear Perry had been holding back. He seemed absent in most proceedings, with Della having to listen to the other side and think of a rebuttal or an argument. Perry has been a glorified mouthpiece so far.
This is called a reformer. Helps tighten the core. How’s your core, Mr. Mason?
His best decision was coming clean to Della about what transpired with Mrs. Dodson in the weeks after the trial.
It seemed odd how annoyed Della was because that was some pretty heavy stuff Perry was dealing with. She could use a little bit of compassion for his plight.
- It was so good to see Hope Davis play a normal person for a change. Her upbeat socialite Camila was a welcome alternative to Gina on Your Honor.
- Speaking of Your Honor, will we have a reunion with Mark O’Brien playing Thomas?
- I still think we are unaware of everything about the Gallardo brothers because how is it that Mateo was drawing Brooks’ car? Or was it just a car?
Is Perry in over his head?
Now that he has come clean about what he’s been feeling to Della, are we about to witness the Perry we love in the courtroom?
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Denis Kimathi is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. He has watched more dramas and comedies than he cares to remember. Catch him on social media obsessing over [excellent] past, current, and upcoming shows or going off about the politics of representation on TV. Follow him on Twitter.