Review: Perry Mason Season 1 Episode 5

Entering the second half of the season, ‘Perry Mason’ makes quick advances in the plot, most importantly in the personal arcs of all the main characters. The fourth episode had directed its focus on E.B Jonathan’s journey and his unfortunate demise, which threw the rest of the characters, including Mason, into the shadows. They would have their time to shine; E.B needed all the attention he could get in that episode, and rightly so. The fifth episode keeps in touch with the emotional factor, but progresses to the excitement of inducing more life into the story.

Perry Mason Episode 5 Recap

Della finds E.B dead in his house and with Mason’s help, makes it look like a natural death to claim insurance. The case of Emily Dodson is given over to another lawyer, who turns out to be a mole by Maynard to tilt the situation in his favour. But Della has other plans. She embarks on the search for a good lawyer for Emily and when all hope seems lost, she finds just the right man to take the responsibility of saving their destitute client.

Strickland continues with the investigation, digging into Ennis’s work. He finds out that the case of Charlie Dodson was first assigned to a different detective, and Ennis paid his way to get it for himself. Strickland becomes more apprehensive about the shady detective, when he tries to be the good guy and indirectly pins the blame on Holcomb. There is a lot of dirt there and Strickland is ready to dig it out for free.

Perry Mason Episode 5 Review

The emotional punch of the fourth episode, slips into the fifth and it spends a good time going over the grief and the alcohol that follows, leaving its characters clueless about their situation for a while. E.B had been a father figure for Mason, so it only seemed natural that all his vices shall be transferred to the titular character. The most gaping similarity he finds between himself and his late mentor is how bad they both had been at being the parental figures their children needed. Meeting E.B’s son at the morgue, reminds Mason of not making the same mistake with his own.

Being buried alone without anyone caring about you is not an ideal way to go. Having an indifferent son, on top of that, is simply worse. It is also funny how, despite his loathing for his father, E.B’s son seems eerily similar to him. The thought of losing his son because of the distance between them makes Mason run for Teddy, who might have Perry as his biological father but his stepdad is the real father figure in his life. This is also where he gets into a conversation with his ex-wife about the nature of his work. She told Teddy that Mason is a farmer, because she didn’t know what else to tell him. What really is he, the question arises. And by the end of the episode, we get the answer to that.

The ending of Episode 5 was not unexpected, but it was its anticipation and a great execution on the part of the actors that made it so exciting to watch. In the aftermath of Jonathan’s death, Della Street rises to the occasion and uses her sharp wits to save the day on number of occasions. Mason might be the protagonist of this story, but Della is its hero, and it is so much easier to root for her than anyone else. She has already proved herself much worthier than the tag of a mere secretary, and hopefully, her role will not slide back in the shadows once Mason embraces his destiny.

The episode also brings back Paul Drake, who is trying to make sense of what he wants his life to be and what it is forced to be. There is a talk of a revolution at their church, a call to arms, to fight for their right, and Drake would be quick to jump into it, but is held back by his wife, who doesn’t want to indulge in any fight that won’t have the desired outcome. But fight we must, believes Drake. Though his arc is rather disconnected with the overall plot of the show, it resonates strongly with the current circumstances, as the need to fight for what’s right (legal or not) has taken over the world.

Speaking of right, something happens so for Emily Dodson. Sister Alice gets the bail money for her and the promise of getting her son back infuses some life in her. The last time we saw her was with E.B, wondering about her options of fighting a case that is very much lost or to plead guilty and accept the burden of a crime she never committed. As for Sister Alice, the resurrection day of little Charlie is still sometime into the future, about two months, which means we might have to wait a bit more to find out if there is really any truth to the claims she makes about the dead child. She revels in the possibility of the glorious feat and it is all pomp and show with her followers, but she is forced to look at it practically when Emily asks her if they will have to dig up the grave to bring the boy to life. The confrontation with the realistic parameter forces a blank look on her face, which is what makes us all the more intrigued to find out how exactly she plans to fulfil her promise.

Read More: Is Perry Mason Based on a True Story?