When last we left Perry Mason, he had just saved the life of accused child killer Emily Dodson. Sort of. He didn’t score his client an acquittal, but he secured the next best thing — a hung jury. The trial has left its mark on Mason, who no longer wants to practice criminal law, just civil. Unfortunately, this is proving to be a dead-end, money-wise. Perry and his defacto partner, Della Street (Juliet Rylance) can barely make ends meet, which means Perry has no work to throw to his investigator, former cop Paul Drake (Chris Chalk).

But an entire season of Perry Mason’s money woes probably wouldn’t be that thrilling, so it’s not long before a criminal trial presents itself. Two Mexican kids stand accused of murdering the heir to an oil empire, and the evidence is pretty damning. But after doing some soul searching, Perry starts to believe these kids might be innocent. The stage is set for a story about the system railroading two poor, non-white kids looked down upon by the upper crust. But “Perry Mason” season 2 has more than a few tricks up its sleeve, which means that not everything is as it seems.

This allows the show to settle into an almost comfortable procedural approach. Yes, the series is still plenty gritty and violent, but it feels slightly toned down from the first season, which was frequently so relentlessly bleak (the first episode involved the murder of an infant) that it threatened to buckle under its own weight. Not so this time around, as Perry and his team dig deeper into high society and threaten to turn over a lot of metaphorical rocks. 

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