In conclusion, my lord, the case is inconclusive.
No we didn’t make that up, It’s what Mason says while he tries in vain to put down a decent concluding statement. Maybe it was also said in the writer’s room.
We are all for revisionism, if it has a place in the story, if the ‘revisionism’ dawns on me when we later understand the workings of the story. But revisionism in place of definite endings is problematic.
Ever since the first episode we have been doggedly pursuing every clue that this show throws at us, every week we place it with what we already know, to see who killed baby Charlie Dodson? Will they be brought to book?
Okie yeah, we do know who killed the baby, whose horrific death on the tram car made this the most arresting case to follow on television.
But is there a sense of satisfaction in the end?
It’s not as neatly tied up as we would expect or as Perry would have wanted his first case to be. He’s really grown from being an investigator, but let’s call this the learning curve shall we?
We could also argue the that the writers did not give us a concrete finish to keep things open for the next season or we could also say that this is a Perry Mason for a different time, a time where there are no definites, it’s all very mixed and hence being inconclusive is not a choice but a characteristic.
Clue trails go cold, but the series spends much time of the finale in making a statement with the character of Della Street, she not only (and rightfully) bargains her next employment with Perry (not Mason & Associates, but Mason & Street, nice touch) but she also contributes to the case taking a more emotional turn. It’s the most questionable turn the case takes, but one that provides a verdict which doesn’t seem to be a victory for any party involved.
Our hero is really not arguing the case that he has built which we could say contributes to his inability to come up with solid concluding remarks, because it was Della’s idea to put Emily on the stand. To appeal to the sentiments and not facts.
Perry had the case, he had Innes- the main perpetrator in our eyes, he could have squeezed the slimy detective in court, hell we even get a glimpse of it in a mock trial, but hell no, apparently no one confesses on the stand. Or so they say. It’s a brilliantly conceived scene nevertheless brought back memories of the 1973 Sivaji Ganesan film Gauravam which too had a similar mock trial, albeit a fruitful one.
Not so neatly tied up parts linger, while the tied up parts including what happens to Emily Dodson and the trio of Drake, Street and Mason seem to stick out but promise some excitement for the future.
You can only seek justice when you find the truth, Perry says. But what we got was just parts of the truth, and so justice is not pronounced but hanging in the air, like a thread whose holder we know not.
We enjoyed watching & writing this TV series recap, and we trust you liked our coverage. Tune in back again, hopefully.
Perry Mason is streaming on Disney+Hotstar and has been renewed for a second season.