Netflix’s ‘The Lincoln Lawyer’ follows Mickey Haller, the hottest defense attorney in Los Angeles. In the second season, he represents Lisa, who is charged with the murder of a man named Mitchell Bondurant. The prosecution is led by Andrea Freemann, who has defeated Haller ten times in a row. In addition, all the evidence seems to be against Lisa, and even Haller wonders whether she is the real culprit. Whatever the answer may be, it doesn’t matter because he has to defend her anyway.
Haller knows the best way to prove his client’s innocence is to find the real culprit or, at least, another possible suspect who looks just as good for the crime as his client. He finds this straw man in Alex Grant and twists the narrative so that the jury is forced to consider whether Grant had something to do with the murder and if he escaped attention because the cops didn’t look into it more thoroughly. The trick works, and Lisa is declared not guilty. But that still begs the question. If she didn’t do it, who did? Who killed Mitchell Bondurant? Let’s find out. SPOILERS AHEAD
Who Killed Mitchell Bondurant?
Lisa was arrested for the murder of Mitchell Bondurant because she seemed to tick all the boxes of motive and opportunity. She had a grudge against Bondurant, and things were so bad that he filed a restraining order against her. She was around him on the morning of his murder, buying coffee from the same coffee shop, and later, was seen around the building where he was killed. While the evidence was circumstantial, it was enough for the prosecution to build a case against her.
Haller thought he could flip all this, but things got worse when the murder weapon was discovered. Previously, cops had found her gloves stained with Bondurant’s blood in her tool shed. Later, they found the hammer missing from her tool kit, which turned out to be the murder weapon. However, Haller planted significant doubt in the jury’s mind, leading to them giving a not-guilty verdict.
During the trial, Lisa’s co-worker Rene is called to testify in court, where he sees Walter Kim. The night before Haller’s closing statement, Rene comes to his office to deliver food and notices Kim’s picture. He asks Haller what he had to do with the case because Kim worked in the Health Department, as far as Rene knew. Interestingly, Kim had been unsupervised inside the tool shed under the guise of inspecting the gas pipeline. This makes Haller and Co wonder if Walter Kim killed Mitchell Bondurant. But why would he do that?
It was clear that Alex Grant might have wanted Bondurant dead because he threatened to talk to the feds about Grant’s “suspicious activities,” which included bribing inspection officers to make the process work smoothly for his projects. It turns out the inspection officer was none other than Walter Kim. If Bondurant blew a whistle on Grant, he would also be pointing the finger at Kim. While Grant had the money to buy competent defense and bribe others to save himself, Kim had no such protection. If the Feds investigated him for the bribes, he would lose everything. This was motive enough to kill Bondurant.
Bondurant was killed in the parking lot where he always parked his car in the same place. It was public knowledge because Bondurant once got his picture taken in the parking spot, which was published in a magazine. Kim might have found out about it similarly, so he caught Bondurant off guard. He used the mirror from his inspection lens to distract him. He then hit him in the head with the hammer he’d stolen from Lisa’s place. In the process, the lens broke, and a part of it was left behind at the crime scene. Later, the broken mirror is found in Kim’s car, placing him at the crime scene.
Kim knew about the dispute between Bondurant and Lisa and saw her as the perfect fall guy for his crime. He took Lisa’s photograph assaulting Bondurant to feed into the narrative that she was violent and capable of murder but never mentioned that she was acting in self-defense. He stole the hammer and the gloves from her tool shed. He planted the gloves back but, perhaps, forgot to plant the hammer too. Later, when he saw that Lisa’s defense was strong, he tried to make things worse for her by leaving the hammer where it would easily be found.
Kim got rid of Bondurant because he thought the latter would tell on him to the Feds. However, he didn’t know that the Feds were already on Grant, who wanted to save himself and eliminate anyone who could point the finger at him. Following his testimony at the trial, where he was forced to plead the Fifth, Grant decided to make Kim disappear because once the Feds started looking into him, they would have found Kim’s signature on the papers, and Grant couldn’t risk Kim talking about the bribes.
Cisco reveals that Kim went missing soon after he testified in court. The next day, his car is found abandoned, which means he didn’t simply run away; he was killed, and his body was disposed of. Later, the investigation reveals more evidence that confirms that Kim killed Bondurant and framed Lisa to get away with the murder.