Netflix’s ‘The Lincoln Lawyer’ Ending, Explained – Who killed Jerry Vincent? What Happened To Trevor Elliott?


Netflix’s crime thriller series, “The Lincoln Lawyer,” is based on the novels written by Michael Connelly and follows the life of an enigmatic defense attorney named Mickey Haller, who works his way around with his eccentric charm, wit, and knack for finding details that nobody else can. He likes working from his car, as he is able to think better when he is on the road, and that is what earned him the nickname, Lincoln Lawyer. So let’s look into this 10-episode series and see whether Mickey Haller can unravel the mystery behind the double murder, serve his client justice, or whether the system gets the better of him.

‘The Lincoln Lawyer Season 1: Plot Summary – Mickey Haller Bags Trevor Elliott’s Case

Mickey Haller was one of a kind. He was fondly referred to as “The Lincoln Lawyer” for a reason. Mickey didn’t like working from the office. He had made his car, Lincoln, a luxury SUV, his makeshift office. He could think better when he was on the go. He liked listening to jazz and being on the road, moving forward, speeding ahead, putting the missing pieces of the puzzle together. But the man, who was once considered to be a prodigy of sorts, was off the grid for quite sometime now. A surfing accident had made him addicted to painkillers. He had to go to rehabilitation, and in the process, he lost everything he had. He lost his family, his wife, Maggie McPherson, and his daughter, Hayley. Before the accident, Mickey had a flourishing legal practice. People knew that at the rate at which he was going to create his own empire, but the speeding Lincoln came to a halt, as Mickey was not deemed fit to drive his own car. But destiny had something else in store for him.

Mickey Haller, came to know the Presiding Judge Mary Holder, and wanted to see him. His assistant, Lorna, who was also his ex-wife, called him to inform about the same. Mickey goes to the court, after a hiatus, and that’s where Judge Holder makes a revelation that sweeps him off his feet.

Jerry Vincent, a prosecutor turned defense attorney, had been killed. He was shot in the parking lot in his own car. But ten days prior to him getting shot, he had moved a motion in court and transferred his entire practice to Mickey Haller. It was as shocking for “The Lincoln Lawyer” as it was for anybody else, as Jerry had never discussed this fact with him. He was barely acquainted with the man. It also meant that the high-profile case of Trevor Elliott, which was being handled by Jerry, was also transferred to Mickey Haller.

Mickey reached Jerry Vincent’s office to find out that Detective Raymond Griggs  was already reviewing Jerry’s files to find any clue or piece of evidence that would lead them to understand the “mens rea” behind the killing. But Mickey takes over in between, not allowing them to go through the files, as they were now his clients, and according to the attorney client privilege he could keep their information confidential. Mickey was still trying to fathom what had happened throughout the day. He was perplexed, and there were a lot of questions that he needed answers to. Apart from the one big celebrity case, Jerry had a lot of minor cases on the side too, and it was a challenge for Mickey to catch up with the status quo quickly. In one such case, he met Izzy Letts, whom he got acquitted, and offered her to be his driver. Izzy accepted the offer and became a part of the internal group, which consisted of Lorna and Cisco, his investigator. First and foremost, Mickey had to ascertain whether Trevor Elliott would allow him to be his lawyer or would want to hire some other counsel, and whether Jerry’s murder and the crime for which Trevor was being charged, were in any way connected.

Trevor Elliott was being charged with the murder of his wife, Lara Elliott, and her lover, Jan Rilz, who was a yoga instructor. It was a straightforward case with a clear intention. A husband finds out that his wife is having an affair, and in the heat of the moment, he goes and shoots both of them point-blank. But Mickey reasons to himself that if it was so black and white, then why would Jerry have taken it in the first place, putting his reputation in jeopardy? Mickey knew that Jerry Vincent had reason to believe that Trevor Elliott didn’t commit the crime and that his wife and her lover were already dead when he arrived at the crime scene. The only problem was that when Jerry was shot in the parking lot, his laptop was stolen, which probably had all the findings and data about all his matters, and he didn’t have a backup for any of them.

On the other hand, Trevor not only wanted an acquittal but his lost respect too. He wanted people to know that he could never commit such a crime. He was being subjected to a lot of backlash from the media and the public. Trevor wanted to clean up the blot on his reputation and come out of the court of law with his dignity. Trevor had told Mickey that he wanted to take the case to the floor straight away as he had a multi-billion dollar deal to close, which wouldn’t happen if he was not free from the charge of murder. Till the end of the 2nd Episode of “The Lincoln Lawyer,” Mickey was of two minds. He knew that Jerry was going to ask for a continuance, so basically, he didn’t have any substantial evidence corroborating his case, but on the other hand, his assistant Wren Williams told him that Jerry had a magic bullet.

Bruce Carlin, who was the investigator for Jerry Vincent, had gone missing, and nobody knew the reason behind it. Cisco tried to dig some dirt on the man, but couldn’t find anything. Lara Elliott was not the only client with whom Jan Rilz was having an affair. One of his clients, Carol Dubois, had written him a check for twenty-five thousand dollars. Lorna went to her office to see if she had anything to do with the murder. She doesn’t get any significant breakthrough, which would get her a third-party culpability defense. But Carol Dubois was pretty interested in following the case, and she made it a point that she was present every single day of the hearing.

“The Lincoln Lawyer” was known for finding the minute details in a case that nobody else could see, but this time he had two theories in place, and neither was making complete sense. The first theory was that from the time Elliott entered the place, to the time the police handcuffed him, he had around 7 minutes. It was not humanly possible that Trevor Elliott would commit a crime, call the police, and dispose of the blood-stained clothes and the murder weapon in less than 7 minutes. The second theory was that a man named Eli Wyms, who was also a client of Jerry, had something to do with the case. Eli Wyms had fired 90 rounds of ammunition on the police officers that night, for no particular rhyme or reason. The incident took place at 2 a.m. in the morning in Topanga State Park. Later that day, Trevor was arrested for killing his wife and her lover. Mickey Haller believed that Eli Wyms had a role to play in the murder, and that there was a high probability that he himself was the convict. But the problem was that these theories were still at a speculative stage, and there was no concrete link that Mickey and his team could establish.

See More: Character Of Mickey Haller In ‘The Lincoln Lawyer’ Season 1, Explained

Did Trevor Elliott Kill His Wife, Lara, & her lover, Jan Rilz? Who Shot Trevor?

In Episode 6 of “The Lincoln Lawyer,” a few shocking revelations are made, and Mickey finds himself standing at a crossroads, not knowing which narrative to believe in. He meets Sonia Patel, who worked at Chaos Games, in Culver City. She had been quoted in a newspaper, where she had made a statement about the murder of Lara Elliott, who had called her a couple of days before the incident. Mickey wanted to know if she knew something that could help in solving the mystery that was becoming entangled with every passing day. Though she didn’t have any information, her clear bias against Trevor Elliott made Mickey realize that the prosecutor, Jeff Golantz, would use her to strengthen his case.

Mickey had prepared a case in which he was putting the culpability on a third party. He came to know that Jan Rilz had a client named Neema Shavar, who shared an intimate relationship with him. Her husband, Anton Shavar, had a private security firm and had links to the Israeli spy agency Mossad. Rilz had filed a restraining order against Anton. Rilz had told the authorities that Anton Shavar had threatened him, and all this was happening just two days before he was murdered. But the catch was that Jan Rilz never showed up on the day of the hearing, and so the restraining order was never granted.

Mickey came to know that there was a misappropriation of funds from Jerry Vincent’s account. He believed that a sum of 100,000 dollars had been used to bribe Judge James P. Stanton and asked Cisco and Lorna to do a background check on the judge himself. Mickey had reason to believe that the jury was being tampered with. He speculated that because Trevor was persistent about going to trial and was not ready to ask for a continuance, even when he knew that in a week’s time, even an ingenious mind like that of “The Lincoln Lawyer,” could not pull off such a complex case with so many loose ends. Trevor was sure that because he had a jury member on his side, he would be acquitted even if his case was weak.

Mickey goes to Trevor Elliott and confronts him about the same, who tells him an altogether different story that opens a totally separate line of investigation. Elliott tells him that back in college, he had a roommate named Pavel Kosevich, who was the son of a Russian billionaire, Sergei Kosevich. Elliott tells Mickey that the Russian oligarch was behind the murder of both Lara Elliott and Jerry Vincent. Lara wanted a divorce from Elliott and in the absence of a prenup, she was supposed to get 50 percent of the money, whereas Jerry Vincent was against bribing the jury. If Trevor Elliott got convicted, then Sergei wouldn’t have been able to go through with the acquisition of his company. It all made sense to Mickey Haller at that time. Juror no. 7, named Rodney Bankland, was the one who had been bought by Trevor and his investors. But, through an anonymous letter, Judge Stanton comes to know that he was an imposter and not Rodney Bankland. Juror number 7 didn’t turn up for the trial, after the letter was received and went missing.

In Episode 8 of “The Lincoln Lawyer,” Mickey finally gets a breakthrough. He solved the puzzle of the magic bullet and realized how Eli Wyms was connected to the case. When Eli Whyms fired 90 rounds of shots, it left a large amount of gunshot residue on the police vehicle. That same vehicle was used by the officials when they went to arrest Trevor Elliott. Mickey was able to prove that the gunshot residue found on his client was from the same vehicle and not because he fired the ammunition. Also, in his patent style, “The Lincoln Lawyer” was able to put reasonable doubt in the minds of the jurors about the impossibility of a person getting rid of the murder weapon and doing all the things that Trevor was being accused of in just less than 7 minutes. It was enough for the jurors to acquit Trevor Elliott of all charges.

Mickey was still restless, though. He had reason to believe that Trevor was not speaking the complete truth and that there was something that he was still hiding. The Russian billionaire had no involvement in the case and he was not the sole investor, as proposed by Trevor. Going through all the research data and the evidence once again, Mickey made a shocking discovery. Sonia Patel had told him that Lara was an excellent coder, but she still left Chaos Games and started working for Trevor. The case was never about Lara Elliott having an affair with Jan Rilz. Though Trevor had always taken credit for writing the lines of code and creating the character Nocturna, which created waves in the gaming industry, they were never written by him in reality. Lara had written it, but as she was working with Chaos Gaming, and her codes she wrote were their proprietary rights, she gave it all to Trevor, who formed his company and took all the credit. For years she saw him taking credit for all her hard work, and days before her murder, she was going to tell everything to Sonia Patel and go back to Chaos Gaming and claim what was rightfully hers. Trevor murdered her intentionally to prevent her from doing so.

The 7-minute theory, formalized by Mickey himself, was also contradicted as Trevor had used a drone to dispose of the murder weapon, and Eli Wyms was planted on purpose so as to provide a rebuttal to the gunshot residue argument that Jerry was sure would be raised by the prosecutors. Eli Wyms was just collateral damage to this whole fiasco. But now, Mickey also couldn’t do anything, and the fact that he was tricked by his client into buying his fraudulent narrative was still haunting him. Though the court of law had acquitted Trevor, fate had something else planned for him. While in a press conference, Trevor Elliott was shot dead by Carol Dubois, who was one of the clients of Jan Rilz and had an intimate relationship with him.

What Did Soto Do? Did Maggie McPherson Get Him Arrested For His Crimes?

Angelo Soto was being accused of human trafficking by Maggie McPherson, but the problem was that the man had a dangerous reputation and didn’t hesitate from going to any extent to silence his opposition. Mr. Loresca, one of the employees of Mr. Soto, had dared to speak against him. He told the court that a bus was used to bring around 25 people to their facility. These people were made to work in extremely terrible conditions. They were not paid, and they survived by eating the scraps that were left on the used food plates.

But just like everyone who stood against the man, Mr. Loresca also met a similar end. Maggie was burdened with guilt as she had forced him to be a witness and, in turn, had put his life in grave danger. Maggie’s boyfriend, Detective Lee Lankford, was assisting her in her case, and he didn’t share a very good relationship with Mickey Haller. The prosecutors got Tanya Cruz, who was Mr. Soto’s girlfriend, on their side. She agreed to help them bring out the truth, as she herself was an immigrant, and she had chosen to be with Mr. Soto because she was scared that if she left him, he would get her killed. Tanya agrees to wear a microphone and make Mr. Soto confess that he killed the witnesses in the case while recording the same. She was able to do that, but some parts of the confession could not be recorded due to signal issues. Maggie had decided that Lankford’s testimony of the confession would be enough to put Soto behind bars. Soto gets to know that Tanya was wired and that the police were listening to everything that he was saying. He attacks Tanya, but the police forces intervene at the right moment and take him into custody. Maggie McPherson thought that she had got her man. She had been preparing this case for over six months, and it was going to be an important milestone in her career. But an untoward situation leads to destroying the credibility of Detective Lankford, who was being charged in another case for tampering with witnesses and falsely incriminating a guy named Jesus Menendez, even though he didn’t have any reason to believe that he was the culprit.

But Maggie was not ready to give up so easily. Though she was forced to let him go in this particular matter, she had already called her friend, Sarah Walker, who was the assistant United States attorney, who booked Mr. Soto for conspiracy and trafficking.

‘The Lincoln Lawyer’ Season 1: Ending Explained – Who killed Jerry Vincent? Was his death related to Trevor Elliott’s case? 

Juror no. 7’s real name was McSweeney, and he was the one who had killed Jerry Vincent. Trevor Elliott had bribed him, but still, the question was how did he make it into the juror list, as it was an independent selection process, and only a person who knew the system too well and was a part of it could have tampered with it. McSweeney tried to kill Mickey Haller too, but Det. Raymond Griggs came just in time and saved him. Mickey had his doubts about Judge James P. Stanton, but he was innocent. Judge Stanton responded to his superior, and “The Lincoln Lawyer” found a motive that he had been looking for quite some time. It was not the police that had bugged his car, and neither was it the Russian businessman, Sergio, as said by Trevor. It was Judge Mary Holder, who was the mastermind and the insider who was executing every scheme. She, together with her husband, Mitch Lester, who was also a defense attorney, had taken the bribe and had put juror no. 7 on the list of people who would serve as a probable jury. Because she had an insight into how the prosecutors and defendants selected the jury, she fabricated a background for him that wouldn’t be objected to by either of the parties. She also made McSweeney disappear as she came to know about the anonymous letter through Judge Stanton.

When she realized that Jerry Vincent would prevent her from doing so, she got him killed. She wanted to do the same with Mickey Haller, but Detective Raymond Griggs was keeping a close eye on him, and that saved him from meeting a similar end as Jerry. Mickey had found out that McSweeney was Mitch Lester’s client, and that gave him the authority to wiretap Judge Mary Holder. She was finally taken into custody by Detective Raymond Griggs.

Who was the guy with the tattoo in The Closing Shot Of ‘The Lincoln Lawyer’ Season 1?

Since the inception of the series, “The Lincoln Lawyer” Season 1, we were made to believe that Mickey Haller became an addict after the surfing accident. But it was not true. Mickey fought the Jesus Menendez case. The guy had been convicted by the court of law even though he had not committed any crime. That guilt for letting down a client, who was convicted and sent to prison even after being innocent, was the reason  behind his guilt, which eventually made him addicted to drugs. 

Martha Renteria was killed, and the prime suspect was Jesus Menendez. His case was being argued by Mickey Haller. Gloria Dayton, who had to testify in favor of Jesus, was stopped from doing so by the police itself. Linda Perez, a vice cop, was told by her superiors to threaten Gloria to leave the town and not give any testimony. Kyle Winters was the detective on the case, and he was being supervised by none other than Detective Lee Lankford, who had made up his mind that he wouldn’t let Mickey Haller have his way. The real killer, though, was still on the loose. He was a man with a tattoo on his left arm, and nobody knew who he was. Though Jesus Menendez was acquitted of all his charges and released from prison, peril loomed as the real killer was still on the hunt.

Season 1 leaves us on a cliffhanger when we see Mickey Haller once again going back to surfing while being overlooked by the same man, who has a tattoo on his hand. “The Lincoln Lawyer” Season 2 will tell if the tattooed killer has something to do with Mickey, or not. Until then, life seemed to be pretty much back on track for “The Lincoln Lawyer.”

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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