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Perry Mason season one finale spoilers follow.
Perry Mason's first season has been full of twists and turns, to the point where it's been difficult to keep up with it all at times. However, now that the finale has aired, we finally have answers to the show's biggest mysteries.
After the chaotic events at the cemetery, Sister Alice (Tatiana Maslany) and Charlie's mother Emily Dodson (Gayle Rankin) are missing. Mother McKeegan (Lili Taylor) instructs the Radiant Assembly of God's security to continue searching for them while she dotes on "Charlie" – a baby found in the road after his apparent resurrection – in the meantime.
Emily, who fled with Perry Mason (Matthew Rhys) and Della Street (Juliet Rylance), is hiding at the boarding house owned by June Pitlick (Jenny O'Hara) while Mason and Street decide their next move. Emily tells Street she knows the jury will convict her of murdering her own son, despite Mason's best attempts to convince them to acquit her.
Fast forward 24 hours and Mason is interrogating crooked cop Joe Ennis (Andrew Howard) in court. Mason uses every shred of evidence he has to connect Ennis to the murders of Emily’s lover, George Gannon (Aaron Stanford), Ennis' fellow kidnappers, and the heroin-addicted prostitute who Charlie nursed from before his death.
Despite Mason’s correct assumptions, he struggles to break Ennis. Cue Hamilton Burger (Justin Kirk), the lawyer who helped Mason to pass the Bar exam, standing up to tell Mason that Ennis won’t confess. As it turns out, Mason has been practising his interrogation on Burger Street, and honest cop Paul Drake (Chris Chalk) in his own home in a misdirect to the viewer.
Burger and Drake tell Mason to rest the case as the jury are already considering other evidence – the $100,000 debts that the Radiant Assembly of God owe – to provoke reasonable doubt in the jury about Emily's involvement.
After they leave, Street tries to convince Mason to put Emily on the witness stand, but Mason throws it in her face and accuses her of using Emily's case to rationalise Street’s secret lesbian relationship with Hazel Prystock (Molly Ephraim). Street says she'll prepare the questions to ask Emily, in case Mason realises his mistake, before she leaves. The next morning, Mason meets friend and private investigator Pete Strickland (Shea Whigham) to discuss one final throw of the dice.
Mason decides to put Emily on the stand the following morning. He asks her to recount the events of the night that Charlie was kidnapped, including how Gannon kept her on the phone for an hour while Ennis' men stole Charlie from his crib. Emily's emotional account appears to win over some jurors until District Attorney Maynard Barnes (Stephen Root) cross-examines her. Using evidence of her affair with Gannon, he seemingly convinces her to confess her part-involvement in Charlie’s death.
That night, Mason – who's threatened by Ennis' police partner Gene Holcomb (Eric Lange) after Mason punches Ennis outside court – angrily dismisses attempts from his lover Lupe Gibbs (Veronica Falcon) to settle out of court for his farmhouse. Gibbs had gone behind Mason’s back to buy the land that his family's home was built on, but tells him that she needs it. Once prohibition ends, her airfield will be one of only five that are still running, so using the land for a new airstrip will be invaluable to her business.
With his stress levels rising, Mason struggles to write his closing argument for the hearing's final day. Eventually, it comes to him, and he gives an emotional speech to win over any undecided jurors. Barnes uses Mason's own rhetoric against him in his closing argument before the jury retires to come to a collective decision.
After five days of deliberation, the jury delivers a verdict. In a shocking turn of events, they declare themselves deadlocked. With a majority needed for a verdict, Judge Fred Wright (Matt Frewer) declares a mistrial to the delight of Emily’s party.
While Mason and Barnes give their reactions to the assembled press, Strickland meets one of the jurors in a secret location. Strickland hands over the second part of a bribe, which reveals what Mason’s final move was from earlier in the episode.
The juror asks Strickland how much the other two jurors received but, after Strickland bewilderingly confirms nobody else received a bung, the man says the jury was split nine to three. Angry that Mason used his play without telling him the whole plan, Strickland later tells Mason that he’s leaving his firm to go and work for Burger as lead investigator.
As the others celebrate, Emily heads to Mother McKeegan's. She shows a note to security – complete with a child's footprint on it – which had secretly been handed to her outside court. Emily asks to see "Charlie", but doesn't initially believe it's him due to the infant's size and eye colour. Emily comes round to the idea, however, that the baby really is Charlie reborn when she settles him down with Charlie's toy turtle.
With Emily a free woman, what happens to those involved? Well, Strickland helps Burger investigate the church's debts and manipulation of its congregation. Emily heads South with Mother McKeegan to start the Holy Church of the Reborn Babe, and Mason hands over his land to Gibbs for the offer she made him. Meanwhile, Holcomb, who realises that Ennis has become a liability, has him killed by employees of a mysterious man called Mr Howard.
As for Mason and Street, the duo take over the office of former mentor EB Jonathan (John Lithgow) to start their own lawyer practice. Street also tells Mason that he'll pay for her night classes to become a lawyer herself, and that the business will become ‘Mason and Street’ after she graduates.
Drake – who they hire after he leaves the force over its racist and criminal undercurrents – hands Mason a note with an address on it. Mason heads to the location and, surprise surprise, finds Sister Alice working as a waitress, now with short, black hair.
The pair have a heart-to-heart over the events surrounding Charlie's case, and agree that they'll both be alone despite their desires not to be. As Alice says goodbye to Mason for the final time, he asks her if she really brought Charlie back from the dead. She counters by asking him if he thinks she did before leaving.
Mason removes the matchbox – containing a thread used to sew Charlie's eyes open – from his jacket pocket and, after looking at it one last time, blows it into the wind to let the case, and Charlie, rest.
Perry Mason airs on Sky Atlantic in the UK and HBO in the US.
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