Episode six of Perry Mason in both entertaining and a little sad. After a very sluggish first four episodes, the series was looking like it was heading into a dull and predictable finale. However, both episode five and six manage to conjure up some rhythm and momentum for the slow noir thriller as it edges towards its end.
Episode six is the kind of episode where the good guys dig up important evidence to nail the bad guys. It’s the prelude to the final dash between the real perpetrators and the alleged ones. In this regard, episode six of Perry Mason does a very good job at setting up our protagonist to take on the real bad guys.
Moreover, we will finally be seeing the real villain behind the entire scheme. Without sounding too cocky, I predicted something similar was going to happen in the episode two review.
The episode moves forward our four primary defenders – Perry, Della, Sister Alice, and Drake. Each of them are now working towards the same objective of saving Emily Dodson from the gallows. Meanwhile, there are also jitters in the police as the truth about Ennis seems to be clearing up.
Before delving into the good and bad parts of episode six of Perry Mason, let’s look at what happened.
What Happened in Perry Mason Episode Six?
Unlike previous episodes, we see the story progressing at an optimal pace in episode six. EB’s death has ensured that the good guys are not led by a self-obsessed old man confused about his life and work. With Perry leading the defense and the overall effort to defend Emily, there is much more purpose and resolve amongst the good guys.
Here is what went down in episode six of Perry Mason.
The trial turns out exactly how many viewers, and Perry himself, predicted. The DA wants to portray Emily as an indifferent and even malevolent mother who only cares for her lustful desire for George Gannon. We again see the fabled letters we’ve been hearing about for many episodes now.
Furthermore, the DA plays dirty and calls a witness Perry is not prepared for. The cooperation of the judge is a very good indicator of the establishment-friendly nature of the judicial system during the 1930s.
Perry struggles initially, naturally finding it difficult to fit into his new role. His opening statement is a disaster. However, he does find his rhythm later and becomes an effective defense attorney.
The one character who finally appears to come to the defense of Emily Dodson is Officer Drake. We saw indications of his disillusionment in serving the corrupt establishment in the last episode. After seeing Perry keep his word and not reveal the best of Drake, the police officer finally comes to the aid of the good guys.
He gives Perry permission to use the broken denture he provided in the third episode. This rattles the defense and the lawyer. While it doesn’t help Perry score any legal points in court, it does help seeing the DA and the judge a little shaken.
Sister Alice and Emily
The Sister has completely taken Emily into her wings. She also gives Perry a little pep talk as he struggles to defend Emily in court.
However, it’s safe to say the Sister’s main agenda is bringing back the departed infant. The pressure of accomplishing this task appears to be getting to her entourage. Her mother informs her about the exit plan she has in place if things go bad.
Emily, on the other hand, appears very animated in court. She yells at the jail matron who lies in court to make her look bad. Unlike her usual restrained self, she is much more motivated now to defend her innocence.
After the DA uses a surprise witness to paint her as an irresponsible and indifferent mother, Emily slowly transitions from deep sorrow to relief. The relief comes from her faith in Sister Alice’s ability to resurrect Charlie.
Perry and Della
EB’s death has brought together Perry and Della and they are a very good team. Della digs up crucial evidence throughout the episode and finds a man connected to George Gannon – John Hicks. Hicks is also connected to Baggerly. The old wealthy man looked like a villain from the beginning, but his lack of screen time makes viewers forget the same.
Perry struggles in court and rants when he is close to the edge. However, he is proving to be as intractable as many thought he would be. His brief scene with the new character, John Hicks, at the end of the episode provides some decent intrigue.
Perry Mason – The Good and the Bad
The good part of Perry Mason episode six was its fast pacing. It is almost as if the writers now are being forced to finish this thing off in the final three episodes. After slow plot movement and endless time given to useless characters (I am looking at you EB), episode five and six have pushed the story forward much more effectively.
The bad part is delayed character development and reveals. Ideally, we should have seen this kind of episode and investigation is earlier episodes. Characters like Officer Drake should have had a more layered character arc. Instead, focusing on trivial matters regarding EB and Della slows the plot down while not adding any real depth to the characters.
Ennis’ optimized unraveling is also a little unconvincing. I expected more from the corrupt detective.
I would also be remiss not to mention Herman Baggerly. It is clear at this point that he knows more than he’s letting on. Some scenes with him in this episode would have helped add more depth to the story. However, it seems like the writers are more interested in providing cheap surprise thrills in the final two episodes.