The Killer Has Been Found In Perry Mason Season 2 – Or Have They?

This post contains spoilers for the latest episode of "Perry Mason."

It took seven bleak, thrilling, and rather tense episodes, but "Perry Mason" may have finally just unveiled the true murderer of Los Angeles' popular civil servant, Brooks McCutcheon (Tommy Dewey). Ever since poor Perry (Matthew Rhys) decided to hook his wagon to the seemingly hopeless case of Rafael (Fabrizio Guido) and Mateo Gallardo (Peter Mendoza), the two young Mexican brothers accused of committing the crime, he, the tireless Della Street (Juliet Rylance), and dogged investigator Paul Drake (Chris Chalk) have worked overtime to prove their innocence. Or, failing that, at least they tried to get to the corrupt heart of who actually ordered the hit on McCutcheon. The answer to that longstanding question certainly feels like it was answered definitively in the latest episode.

The penultimate hour of the season featured a bevy of long-awaited reveals. Spurred on by the discovery of washed-up produce dumped in the Pacific Ocean by the McCutcheon family shipping business, Mason (with the help of Eric Lange's sour-faced Eugene Holcomb and Shea Whigham's Pete Strickland) rushed to connect the dots and uncover the smoking gun that would indicate who would most want Brooks dead. What he found, however, pointed towards an even more damning plot involving illegal oil sales to imperialist Japan. At every turn, it seemed abundantly clear that Brooks wasn't the victim of a random attack from two poverty-stricken brothers, as the prosecutors (led by Justin Kurk's DA Hamilton Burger and Mark O'Brien's attorney Thomas Milligan) alleged.

Instead, this appears to be a conspiracy going to the very top of Los Angeles' elite society.

Red Herrings

"Perry Mason" season 2 may have started out as a cut-and-dried whodunnit, but the many twists and turns of the story has turned it into something else entirely. Upon Paul Drake's prior discovery of the murder weapon and the Gallardo brothers' undeniable ties to it, our heroes were dealt a massive setback. Misguidedly choosing to stash the weapon in their office safe (which, thanks to Pete Strickland's interference, soon became known to the prosecutors and the judge), the fallout of this mistake could've kneecapped their defense just as it had gotten started. However, further investigating turned up proof that the Gallardos were paid to bump off McCutcheon and, consequently, serve as patsies. So who was really responsible?

Thanks to some not-so-veiled threats and an instance of overt intimidation following a break-in at Mason's apartment, suspicion soon fell upon Paul Raci's Lydell McCutcheon. Yet even this came with its own series of complications, as he publicly maintained a convincing aura of grief and pain in the aftermath of his son's death -- despite their obviously strained relationship, as laid out in the season premiere. But suspicion isn't proof, so Perry and Pete hopped on board one of Lydell's ships bound for Japan to find out exactly what the shady family business was up to.

Following that, the sequence of events finally rounded into shape. Brooks' series of bumbling errors -- the baseball stadium mishap, the casino boat fire, and even Brooks' own sexual assaults on various women -- turned out to be red herrings. His true mistake was not being trustworthy enough to keep the secret of Lydell's side hustle. As unthinkable as it is, Mason had no choice but to confront Lydell for paying to have his own son killed off ... only to discover the shocking truth.

Killer(s) Unmasked?

Will the real killer please step forward? Mason, Street, and Drake have run themselves ragged attempting to untangle the web of mystery surrounding the death of Brooks McCutcheon, stonewalled at multiple junctures and dogged by their own various personal demons. Then again, nobody ever said that fighting for justice in 1930s Los Angeles would be easy. That's proven to be the case in season 2 of "Perry Mason" to this point, and doubly so with the climactic reveal of exactly who ought to be at the top of Mason's suspect list.

Confronted by the elder McCutcheon's shockingly earnest protestations against having his son killed, Mason verbalizes the pressing question on everybody's mind: If he didn't want it, then who did? Cut to the elegant piano-playing of a certain Camilla Nygaard (Hope Davis), the fabulously wealthy "spinster" and main rival to the McCutcheon business interests. Thanks to the efforts of both Paul Drake and his wife Clara, the connection between her attorney Melville "Phippsy" Phipps and lower-level drug dealer Ozzie Jackson (the late, original owner of those sneakers that haunted Paul in the previous episode) is made clear. Phipps' tragically heroin-addicted wife turns out to be the driver of the blue vehicle that Ozzie singled out to Drake during his savage interrogation, implicating Phipps' culpability in following Nygaard's instructions and ordering the hit that was ultimately carried out (via middleman) by the Gallardos.

But why? The dinner scene with the Japanese businessmen showed that there's no love lost between "friends" Lydell and Camilla, the former of whom possesses a ruthlessness beneath her friendly exterior. With Brooks potentially threatening their business interests in Japan, Camilla had no choice. With one last episode to go, it's up to Mason to prove all this in the court of law.

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The post The Killer Has Been Found in Perry Mason Season 2 – Or Have They? appeared first on /Film.

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