There’s trouble in the city of angels, and when the truth is the only thing that can lead to justice battling lawyer Perry Mason (Matthew Rhys) is the man you want in your corner. The hit HBO show returns for its much anticipated second season so prepare for plenty of white-knuckle tension and sordid storytelling as a battle between good and evil is waged in the courtroom in Season Two of Perry Mason.
Even though he triumphed with the Emily Dodson case, private investigator turned attorney Perry Mason (Matthew Rhys) is left reeling with tragedy strikes. With a nation still suffering through the midsts of the Great Depression, Mason and his associates Della Street (Juliet Rylance); E.B. Jonathan’s former secretary and lawyer in-training, and Paul Drake (Chris Chalk); L.A. beat cop turned private investigator, are drawn into a compelling and dangerous new case which has the city on edge. And dark shadows are ready to come out from every corner as Perry has to reconcile that truth and justice are sometimes never the same thing.
HBO’s Perry Mason was a series that took audiences by storm. Thanks to the vision of showrunners Rolin Jones and Ron Fitzgerald, the narrative, characters, performance, world building and ambience absolutely sucked audiences in during the height of the pandemic era and guaranteed the series a second season. Now Jones and Fitzgerald, along with their talented team of performers and craftspeople, return to the early 1930s and the world of Perry Mason for a brand new story. And this new narrative will hook audiences in.
Focusing more on the courtroom drama of the piece, we come to see Perry and his associates drawn into the defence of the Mexican-American Gallardo brothers who are charged with the brazen murder of Los Angeles golden boy Brooks McCutcheon (Tommy Dewey). But as the story moves forward and the truth comes to light, it’s clear that this is a far darker narrative than we could have anticipated.
Matthew Rhys returns as the down-on-his-luck but fanatically ethical attorney Perry Mason. Reeling from the horrible aftermath of the Emily Dodson case, which gripped us in Season One, Perry has given up, and with his struggling practice boring him into oblivion, is ready to throw in the towel. But when the McCutcheon case is thrown in his way, Perry takes an interest, but the facts soon don’t add up for him. And like a bloodhound, he’ll do anything to get to the truth. With space and time to develop the character, Rhys leans more into Perry’s standing as an attorney, although he certainly hasn’t lost any of his crafty PI skills, and there’s plenty of opportunity for him to get his hands dirty in the most creative way possible. Rhys spends much of his time in the courtroom this season, and it’s interesting to see him working like a fighter in the Halls of Justice this time around.
Juliet Rylance’s Della Street has now made the transition from secretary to a full-fledged partner in Perry’s film, and on more than one occasion it’s clear that she’s possessed a far more capable legal mind than her male counterpart. For Rylance’s Della things get very personal this season as she begins a new relationship with a daring new woman, and for the first time in her life might have a direct shot at happiness. She also falls under the spell of the erudite and wealthy Camilla Nygaard (Hope Davis), which raises the stakes of the second season. Rylance has several demanding parts in the play in the series, and her performance in a key courtroom scene will leave audiences on edge due to the graphic subject matter that Della has to deal with.
The former beat cop turned private eye Paul Drake (Chris Chalk) also has plenty to deal with this season. And he and Perry have a bit of a rocky start to deal with at the beginning of the series. While trying to balance shadowing the Gallardo case, along with making his way in the developing Watts neighbourhood, Drake finds himself with plenty to keep him busy, and on his toes. Like Della, Chalk’s Drake is a conscience figure for Perry, and he offers up a reflection from which audiences can judge the series’ central character. Again Chalk’s confidence in the character shines through, and he’s faced with several tasks that test his mettle throughout the series.
Like its preceding first season, Season Two of Perry Mason will totally envelop audiences, and the scale and scope of Season Two have been extended in a huge way. With more locations, more set dressing, more extras, and a shadowy and twisting conspiracy, which is inspired by true events, at its core, Season Two of Perry Mason makes for an incredibly compelling watch. Part of the enthusiasm that will bring audiences further into the narrative is based on its intensive courtroom action. Where Perry mostly served as a private eye sleuth in the first season, in Season Two he finds his footing in the courtroom and has to deal with new dangers and opponents, which will leave audiences guessing right up until the last moment. There are plenty of sordid momenta for fans to witness in Season Two, and it’s a whole new kind of viewing experience for this series.
Season Two is a pure knock-out experience, and it runs the gambit of everything audiences could want from a series. Packing together violence, sex, truth, lies and one man’s undying pursuit for justice, Perry Mason is a solid watch that will leave audiences pleased with what they get to witness. So pour yourself a whisky, unbutton your suit jacket and sit back and enjoy because this series delivers, and you’ll be hooked all the way in.
Perry Mason streams on SKY Go and NEON every Tuesday.