Photo: Merrick Morton/HBO
WWWWW Guys, we finally got some big revelations in our little chapter of life Perry Mason Here is the secret. That moment when you find out who the big baddie is and what they’ve been plotting all this time and you’re like, “Oh shit, now what?” You will stay. Feeling. I love it for us. Holcomb wasn’t kidding when he said that Brooks McCutchen was involved in something “more than anyone in this town could ever imagine,” and I don’t know about you all, but I saw that coming as clearly as anyone in the show, and that’s what it means. Never say never. Then again, I never saw the whole picture until the last piece of the puzzle fell into place, and what does it do?
But first, remember our secret enemy who broke into Mason’s office last episode and got the gun? He turned out to be the most suspicious of them all. After all, concealing his father’s Napoleon cognac or some other venerable belt, as Milligan suggests, is a Pete Strickland bag, or French for “For Victory” on the inside of the lid. A little slice of “Napoleonica” that would make Connor Roy jealous. Man, what are these people blowing the smoke of power like memories of the imperial invasion? Still, in his own way, he trembles, clearly remorseful for betraying his friend’s trust, a wasted gesture for someone like Old Streak.
“Listen, I don’t like to leave bad things between us,” Pete told Perry on the overpass. “Sometimes I get myself into things, and I don’t feel good about it, but I do it anyway.” And Perry immediately knew it was his friend who walked into the vault – shock, hurt, anger, and acceptance all on his face in an instant. Rhys is a pro, man. Guys of a certain age group have their friends who hurt their feelings the good old fashioned way with a bare wrist brawl. With that out of the way, Pete is ready to make amends by his friend’s side of the fight, and Perry is ready to accept.
I mean what choice does he have? Judge Durkin gave prosecutors two days on the table to outline their plan to move forward with the trial and their case against Mason. When those two days are over, so is his career as a lawyer. But he’s got one long shot up his sleeve. “If I could put together a shocking amount of evidence, I could probably pick up some of the biggest names in this town,” Pete said.
Hell yes, let’s go. Mason angrily takes Pete back to his office to an unwilling Della and Paul. And that’s before Perry claims Pete is the burglar of their office. Finally, neither Paul nor Della can deny Pete’s lawsuit.
So it’s off the mat and everyone in the group finds their own interest in this quick-change investigation. Mason and Strick meet up with Holcomb at a port where the Federation is sweeping McCheone’s ship, which is said to be bound for Japan. “My guy in the federal office always says they leave at night,” Holcomb says. Obviously they don’t want people to see what they throw away. So Holcomb left, and Mason and Strick crept along the ship’s line and spied the whole operation. It appears that this ship is hooking up with another McCutchen voyager off the coast, trading all of its produce for “black gold” and shipping the oil to Japan instead. Mason took some photos of the entire scene before they jumped ship. There is one big-ass piece of the safe puzzle.
Meanwhile, Della visits Hamilton Berger at his office to find out what made him scream. He’ll be angry, or at least angry when you bring up the night they met in the proverbial closet, but you can tell her that their friendship makes her feel like she’s not alone, and that she needs to lose that lifeline. It was brutal for both of them. “Hmm, I’m looking for the truth,” she says. Berger finally, though still reluctantly, agreed. He pulls a collection of his photos from a closed desk drawer in what people in their 30s might call a “couple pose” with someone else.
Della is shaken (this has some serious implications for her well-being) but her expression is guided by compassion for her friend. Berger still doesn’t know who’s beating him in these photos, and Justin Kirk plays his silent agony with frozen precision. As soon as it opened for Della, he closed it again. “Admit defeat. Let the feds handle the rest. But why does the “federal” handle anything?
The next stop is the Department of Agriculture, where Della Brooks talks to McCheone and Mr. Denning, who investigated Charlie Goldstein’s small produce price gouging scandal. In fact, it turned out that he had subpoenaed them. Big news for Mason and company, as it reveals more visibility into the timeline than you might expect on the shadowy activities of the McCutcheon empire. But when Della asks about McCutcheon and Goldstein’s file, Denning storms out of the office. Several cigarettes later, Della is greeted not by Dinning but by some mysterious robbers at the News Cap – the same man who had been holding her and Mason hostage. “Mr. Denning has had an emergency. He won’t be coming back to the office today. That’ll be it, Miss Street.”
So it’s back to the office for another round of “Here’s what we got so far.” I think it could be the last or the second of these, because they have never been closer to the whole truth and nothing but the truth, but it is not. so true over there. So here’s what Mason, Strickland and writer Marion thought:
Della Brooks thinks Liddell was taking the produce he was throwing away and selling it on the black market. “Another bankruptcy scheme by the panicked Prince of the City,” Strickland said. So the feds got wind of it and subpoenaed Brooks and Goldstein to testify about the scam. The only problem is, it’s probably not the only thing you witness.
So why the big charade? Why did you send production to Japan, then sneak all that oil? This is where Marion comes in with the big missing piece: Are they selling oil to the Japanese army? “Who are you fighting?” Pete asks. Lol, it’s great to think how isolated we were as a country, not knowing anything about what was going on elsewhere in the world, even though it wasn’t a thing in the past around here. Anyway, Japan is now in the midst of a coup attempt, and the UN is imposing sanctions. McCutcheon didn’t want anyone to know that he was selling oil to the Japanese under the table, and Brooks’ little side hustle was about to shine a bright light on his father’s big one.
So Lydell had his own son killed, they thought. Close, and I think what most of us were waiting for, but no Full A cigarette.
Lydell is shooting for success with his grandson when Mason arrives for the big show. “Just put back what you put away,” says the hand-bagged oil product. “I want a better deal for my customers,” Mason says. Make it with a burger and bring the team something better this time. “Because if you don’t, when this offer ends, suddenly if it’s not me, all my research is the FBI and the press.” And with that research, he could tell Lydell that they were planning to illegally sell oil with the Japanese. And He had so much faith in his son that he would not tell people, so he paid money to have him killed.
“I tried to save him!” “But he wouldn’t let me!” said the Lydells. he shouted. Just as he did in the premiere episode when he warned Brooks to back off before things got ugly, Paul Racey plays the scene with the fear of loss and despair. “I will not take the blame for this.”
It’s clear that Brooks is responsible for Lydell, but he didn’t want his son’s death, and Mason can tell he’s not lying about it. So who did it?
Our first big tipoff comes from Paul and Clara Drake, who, like a PI power couple, agree in time to get a hold of a fancy blue car that Paul has been eyeing. They follow the car to the house in an affluent white neighborhood, and after a moment of reluctance from Paul, Clara approaches the door pretending to be a Jehovah’s Witness. “Are you Josephine Baker?” she asked a woman lying on a couch in the front room, a needle still in her arm. She quickly starts odering, and her husband gets home before Clara can destroy Hell. She ducks behind a closet door, and we hear a familiar voice asking about dinner plans. Phipps, Camila Nygaard’s pet lawyer, is resentful.
Now here’s the big facepalm “Ohhhhhh, of course!” A moment that comes with every murder mystery, at least for this recap. Camila Nygaard, duh! of Real The femme fatale was the daughter of an oil baron. Earlier in the episode, at a meeting with their Japanese business partners, Camila is the top dog who speaks Japanese to make moves out of Liddell’s view. And when Lydell reacts venomously to Brooks’ suggestions that they make a memorial to commemorate Brooks’ future portrait, you realize there’s more to it than feeling insulted by a friend.
And although several clues lead us to our main plot, the editing near the end of the episode drives the point home. As Camila’s puppet-master fingers slide across the ivories of her piano, we cut to the imprisoned Gallardo brothers, the chairs in her grand scheme. Rafael is freed from loneliness (or worse), and he’s in a bad way. Matteo hears from their aunt that Rafa has been accepted to art school, and it’s up to Matteo to tell him. Rafa lies in bed, shivering, his eyes open, and Mateo dances with the acceptance letter in his hand.
Meanwhile, Judge Durkin read the brief from the DA’s office, with Berger standing before him and Milligan smiling. All the pieces of the puzzle fall into place. We cut back to Camila at the piano as the bald thug with the news cap hands her some photos in the parking lot of the Della Department of Agriculture. Living in a hell-on-earth nexus under the rule of Moloch-worshipping oil barons, she’s the same woman in a very modern home to save you, who “supports wisdom” or not. In truth, she may be more diabolical than the lot.
• Another great Justin Kirk moment: In Judge Durkin’s office, Milligan says, “We can try this case again, no worries. The giant eye roll gave him a burger, *chef’s kiss*
• There is a lot of smoking in this show, beyond periods and genre-appropriate. Still, something about this episode in particular, made me stop and think. Man, I love how committed this show is to making smoking look cool. I think it was a transition from Liddell after a few healthy punches to Denning blowing nice big clouds by the blind light in his Agriculture Department office. I don’t know, I’m firmly in the camp that smoking in movies and TV seems too cool to be written off. We all know cigarettes are bad these days, right? Directors and cinematographers cook with that light and swirling smoke.
• I’m so glad Paul and Clara resolved their tiff. I’m not sure I can handle being on the way out. Made for some magical expressions of introspection (“Clare, the choices I made already had some consequences. They didn’t have long to arrive. What can I say? I’m a happily married guy who likes to see real couples get back together, you know? Anyway, I’m still shooting.” A thin man-Style Drake Secret spinoff.
• Camila Nygaard’s portrayal doesn’t let Anita St. Pierre or Ginny Ames out of the woods completely (at least one can still be bad in some way or another, I guess), but in both cases it makes me a bit easier than them for the time being. At the end of the day, hopefully, their cozy entrances into their respective new booth lives are cozy and nothing more.