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Perry Mason Episode Four – Brilliantly Tragic

In the last scene of fourth episode of Perry Mason, we finally see the show taking a leap. In terms of shock value, the death of EB is a seismic event. However, it again brings into question the choice of characters.

Episode four of Perry Mason does a lot to rectify the sluggishness of the series. We finally see the story moving forward, still covering ground slowly. We end up seeing the defenders of Emily Dodson, namely Perry Mason, EB, Della, and Sister Alice, more closely in episode four. Furthermore, there are some shocks towards the end.

What Happened in Perry Mason Episode Four?

Sister Alice

Episode four of Perry Mason begins with shock and awe. Some followers from Sister Alice’s congregation arrive at her home to check up on her health. They also bring a wrapped box of sweets to cheer our poor Sister up.

Things take a quick turn when the box opens and a two snakes wither out. The child handing the box of snakes to Sister Alice screams and curses her.

There is apparently in opposition to Sister Alice’s claim that she will resurrect the dead infant. Many in her congregation feel she is playing with fire. During the course of the episode, we see this angst build up. After a tussle between the moneyed elders of the church and Sister Alice, the showdown reaches fever pitch when she defiantly claims, yet again, that she will resurrect the young boy.

Della

Della’s arc in the episode more or less revolves around EB. Her frustration with EB’s irritability and general confusion reaches a head. She cannot grasp the fear driving EB’s frustration and leaves him alone in his chambers.

We also get a little info about Della’s family. Her absence in the office is probably what drives EB to the extreme at the end of the episode.

Perry Mason

In episode four of Perry Mason, we finally see the protagonist figuring out the crime. He brings evidence to EB on the presence of a fourth man at the scene of the crime. Furthermore, he also secures a second autopsy of George Gannon’s body (the first one was fraudulent).

In a bid to gather more evidence, he reexamines the building where the Dodsons were waiting for their son in the first episode. This leads him to eventually discover the fourth man in the crime scene, our dear Detective Ennis.

There is an interesting exchange between him and EB during the fourth episode of Perry Mason. Ruminations about the past always bring out the best in Perry as a character. This scene also highlighted the long relationship between EB and Perry.

EB

This episode belonged to EB.

Firstly, we have been seeing signs of the old man’s downfall. He was switching off in the last episode too. Through the course of Perry Mason episode four, we see EB’s intellectual and emotional decline.

After Perry hands him something substantial to use in the case, he immediately runs off to the DA to trade it for Emily Dodson’s release. This error in judgement leads to the DA threatening EB himself with disbarment on some previous financial charges.

We also see his desperate position. He even applies for a loan to pay for Emily Dodson’s bail. His application is rejected outright.

Della leaves after getting into a bitter fight over a trivial matter. His heart-to-heart with Perry Mason is a little strange, considering he’s always fighting him whenever they meet. In the last scene of the episode, we finally see EB turning on his stove, getting dressed, and waiting for his death. He is apparently dead, the only formality left now is a dead body.

Perry Mason Episode Four – Still a Lack of Mystery

Episode four of Perry Mason manages to shrug off some lethargy of the second and third episodes. However, chasms are still there for all to see. The apparent death of EB only underlines the point we made in previous episode reviews – this series lacks direction.

For now, I will refrain from speaking about direction partly because there are still four episodes left. However, there is another aspect of the series which really needs improvement – mystery.

Think about this – we know about Detective Ennis and the fourth man at the crime scene from the first episode. We’ve been waiting for the good guys to catch up for three episodes now. Since we already know the culprit, there is no mystery.

This is again a good lesson for writers. Imagine if we didn’t know about Detective Ennis. Imagine if we were as surprised as Perry when he discovers Ennis was the fourth man on the crime scene. That would really bring some level of mystery and make the experience of watching the series more wholesome.

EB’s death sure provides shock values, but it somehow feels unearned. However, the discovery of Ennis could have been a major reveal had it not been revealed in the first episode.

Thus, an important lesson for writers here – always give info carefully.

Predictions

I assume that the good guys will unite for the cause after EB’s death. With the old lawyer gone, the person replacing him to represent Emily remains in doubt. I am not sure whether Della has a law degree. If she does, it wouldn’t surprise me if she’s the one in court.

Ennis and Perry will have some kind of showdown, or atleast I hope they do. We still don’t know who was depraved enough to kill Charlie (I have an interesting theory about that).

The situation of Sister Alice and the church is more interesting. If Alice is adamant about resurrecting the child, I have a hunch he is still alive (another wild theory of mine).

We could have another death. Emily appears on the brink and EB’s death might push her down.

Final Words

In conclusion, Perry Mason is at an interesting turn. A large part of the series has been frustrating. However, it is difficult to let go now.

I, for one, am happy this is a one-season thing. It would end the story here. With all the acting talent here, it’s really a shame Perry Mason couldn’t be something more inspiring and bold.

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