Perry Mason Showrunner Breaks Down The Season 2 Finale [Exclusive Interview]
Another thing I really thought this season did well is exploring themes about what justice actually is. I think the closing arguments of Perry and the District Attorney really touch on that. What was the process for breaking down those two speeches and how they contrasted with each other?
Well, I think with Milligan, the D.A., he wanted to look at the practicality of the case. He wanted to say, “It’s right there in front of you.” Again, you can draw all those parallels to the way people speak today. I think Perry hears what Milligan says and piggybacks off of it, but he wants to take a look not just at the case, but the system. I think that’s what was really important. And I remember [Matthew Rhys, who plays Perry Mason] and I, we sat around for a while and really talked about what he would say in that moment, because it’s not the end of the case, per se.
We’re still in the middle of the episode. So it’s not Perry’s final moment. He knows he’s buying time. But I think he’s just trying to make this point of saying, “Let’s be real here. We walk into every situation with a preconceived notion, and you have a preconceived notion of these two from the second you sit down here and you have to look at that, but you also have to look at the whole story of them. It’s not black and white. These kids, Brooks took so much more from them. And that is what the tragedy of this is.” I don’t think Perry is condoning the fact that there’s a person who pulled the trigger or that he hid the gun. I don’t think he’s condoning that. I think he’s just saying that no situation is just as simplistic as Milligan is trying to lay it out to be.
I think it’s interesting, too, when the deal is struck and we get the flashback about what happened. This is my personal interpretation, but I always assumed it was the younger brother who pulled the trigger just given what we’ve seen in the season, not the older brother as the “flashback” shows. Is that something you agree with?
Yeah, we wanted it to feel that in a sense that [the younger brother, Raphael] was a little more of the brains and also that he felt he was more motivated to do the murder — he’s the one with the burn. He’s the one who tried to save their sister and is scarred because of it. And he’s the one right now who has the artistic talent, and all these things that are being held back from him. It’s also his older brother taking care of him: “I’ll go down for it. I won’t let you pull the trigger. I need to pull the trigger.”