The oil heir, Brooks McCutcheon, had one too many enemies who preferred him dead than alive. It was no surprise that the man was shot dead, but the question that lingered was, “Who killed him?” Considering his stature, it was safe to assume that someone resourceful was behind it all. But the police concluded that two Mexican men, aged 18 and 20, were responsible for the murder. The arrest of the Gallardo brothers was simply based on systemic racial hatred. Rafael and Mateo were easy targets; they were Mexican, unemployed, and had incidentally gotten themselves into the mess. The only hope of the Gallardo family was Perry Mason; they believed that the man who proved Emily Dodson innocent could help Mateo and Rafael, but would Mason accept a criminal case?
Perry Mason And Della Street
The guilt of not doing enough for his first client consumed Mason. He was bothered by the injustices that he witnessed around him, and his overall inability in making them right pained him. After the Dodson trial, he focused on keeping his life afloat. While the civil cases were safe and well-paid, Mason missed the sense of purpose that he once experienced. When the wife and aunt of the Gallardo brothers requested Mason to take their case, he saw the helplessness in their eyes. But it was the grueling nature of criminal cases that compelled Mason not to accept their case. Taking the case was logically an extremely risky option, but Mason could not live with himself if he abandoned the truth for comfort.
Pete Strickland now works for District Attorney Hamilton Burger, but that did not entirely change his relationship with Mason. While Pete was not supposed to reveal his knowledge about the Gallardo case, he dropped a few important hints. The prosecutor’s career depended on proving the brothers guilty. He simply had to prove that the unemployed brothers were looking to make some money that night. They chanced upon the rich man and tried to snatch a gold coin he carried. Brooks tried to defend himself, and that is when one of the boys shot him dead. It was simply unbelievable that a young, inexperienced man managed to shoot Brooks dead from a distance with just a single bullet. Mason realized that he had to step in. He broke into the impound lot and studied Brooks’ car; he later spoke to the brothers in prison to determine if he should take the case.
The Gallardo brothers got on a bus that night to collect bottles. They found the gold coin in a trash can on the pier; looking back, they regretted taking it out of the trash. Mason was convinced that the Gallardo brothers were innocent, and he decided to discuss the case with Della. While Mason was busy getting the details of the case right, Della attended to their clients. But she, too, could not get her mind off the Gallardo brothers. She cleverly discussed the case with Hamilton Burger at a charity event without giving away her reason for interest. She tried to convince Burger to agree to a plea bargain, but he was not interested in it. It had only been a month since Hamilton Burger was announced as the District Attorney, and he could not risk offending the masses and the aristocrats by showing mercy. When Della noticed Maria’s doll lying on the secretary’s desk, she decided to return it. Even though Della knew that they were not working on the case, she wanted to be there for the Gallardo family. Therefore, Della was glad when Perry announced that he was interested in working on the case and that the brothers were innocent.
In the previous episode, Pete Strickland offered Paul Drake the job of spying on Perkins. The money was good, and Drake did not mind keeping an eye out for anyone suspicious around Perkins. After spending days snooping on Perkins, he concluded that the man was not under any threat. Perkins was a loan shark, and Paul guaranteed that he was better than most in the market. Therefore, it was shocking for Drake when he learned from the newspaper that Perkins had been arrested. He was charged with loan sharking, racketeering, bootlegging, and income tax evasion. Paul realized that he was being played by Pete. All this while, he believed that he was looking for someone interested in taking down Perkins without even realizing that he was gathering evidence to take the man down officially. Perkins was an important person in the Black community, which was why Pete framed the story differently for Paul. When Mason called Paul to his office, he wondered if he could trust anyone after Pete’s betrayal. Mason was aware that he was far behind in repairing the broken trust, and Drake appreciated his honesty. He agreed to start working on the Gallardo case as an investigator.
Season 2 Episode 2: Ending Explained – Why Was Charlie Goldstein Murdered?
It was no surprise to Mason that the Gallardo brothers were denied bail. But what he did not expect was the key piece of evidence collected by the prosecutor’s office. He learned from the reporters that the prosecution planned to provide forensic proof of Rafael Gallardo’s fingerprints discovered on Brooks McCutcheon’s vehicle. We later witness a man in black gloves and a hat plant an object in the evidence box. Later, Mason and Drake studied the evidence box. The perfect condition of the shirt, the extra belt with “M” embossed on it, and a Santa Monica number were objects of suspicion. Meanwhile, Della studied the records and learned that the “Morocco” gambling bar owned by Brooks was in terrible financial condition. The ship was a wreck, and whenever a creditor demanded money, he would liquidate the bar and sell it to a shell company. It goes without saying that Brooks had innumerable creditors lined up after him, and they were never paid. Brooks McCutcheon was broke, but he managed to keep that a secret. Mason and Drake’s visit to Morocco turned out to be quite beneficial. The marks on the bartender’s neck resembled the second belt Mason found in the evidence box. While the woman denied knowing the owner personally, Mason knew it was all a lie. Meanwhile, after questioning the cooks, Drake got a better understanding of the establishment’s condition. He also discovered that “Goldstein’s produce” was the only supplier of fresh vegetables, keeping the kitchen afloat. The most significant discovery for Mason and Drake was Detective Holcomb’s involvement in the business. While Holcomb intended to get rid of Mason that night, Mason smartly managed to walk through the door without a scratch.
The court subpoenaed Charlie Goldstein in the morning, and at night, a stranger in all black broke open his head. We get to know that the stranger worked for “Mr. Crippen.” Mr. Crippen seems to be a close associate of the McCutcheon family since he is seen attending Brooks’ funeral service. While the guests comforted Lydell, Crippen walked into the study room and received a call. The stranger confirms the death of Goldstein, and Crippen burns the grand jury subpoena addressed to Brooks McCutcheon. We will surely get to know more about the stranger and Crippen in the upcoming episodes. Considering how Lydell looked at his watch when Crippen received the call, he can be suspected of wanting Goldstein dead. Lydell perhaps feared that Charlie Goldstein would reveal his arrangement with Brooks to prove his innocence. Maybe it was his desperate attempt to maintain the image of the company, and by burning the subpoena, they believed they were leaving the past behind. Was Brooks murdered for the same reason? Lydell’s involvement remains speculative in both murders, though the truth can be shockingly unexpected. Season 2 of “Perry Mason” is thoroughly interesting to watch. The characters and their relationships are very well sketched. The social commentary is subtle yet impactful.