Jump to content
Forums forums
PRIMETIMER
Door County Cherry

S01.E05: Chapter 5

Recommended Posts

Hilariously, "Boards on boards" might not be a rule here exactly, but discussion of the old rule is certainly off topic to Perry Mason so I'm going to ask you to move on.  

Thank you. 🙂

  • Like 1
  • Laugh 8

Share this post


Link to post

On 7/22/2020 at 2:27 PM, sistermagpie said:

 

 

That raises the question of what else this Perry would cheat on, and that's unclear. I doubt he'd feel badly about not passing the bar without cheating if he proved able to do the work and felt he was doing right by doing it. This Perry is just too cynical about the system, imo, to put that much stock in official government approval or ever feel tormented or even feel like a phony because he didn't pass on his own. Nor do I think he would have even thought of cheating under different circumstances.

So, imo, you have to look at the framework the show is setting up, which is one where the bad guys cover up the truth and Perry compulsively wants the truth. That's the central conflict as the show defines it. From what we've seen, if Perry discovered evidence that made his client look bad, he wouldn't cover it up, he would dig into it to find the meaning of it. To me, while his cheating reflects the lower moral bar of this version of the PM universe, it doesn't at all make him just the same as the other side because of the context. And even sort of echoes the words of the activist about the dangers of putting too much faith in the system rewarding you. (There's probably a lot to think about too, in comparing that to, for instance, a PM that conforms to a lot of the better behaviors this Perry doesn't, but lives in a world that rarely if ever acknowledges the situations of people who aren't white straight cis and probably Christian if not Protestant.)

I agree.  Perry is tormented by thoughts of those men he killed.  But he may be haunted by having to keep the secret of his cheating.  Maybe you're always afraid that someone will turn you in.  If only Della and Burger know, that might not happen.  I always wonder how sociopaths do that, say, a Bernie Madoff.  What do they think about their continuing lie each day?  Or do they just successfully stuff it down and forget it?

Edited by GussieK
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
17 minutes ago, GussieK said:

I agree.  Perry is tormented by thoughts of those men he killed.  But he may be haunted by having to keep the secret of his cheating.  Maybe you're always afraid that someone will turn you in.  If only Della and Burger know, that might not happen.  I always wonder how sociopaths do that, say, a Bernie Madoff.  What do they think about their continuing lie each day?  Or do they just successfully stuff it down and forget it?

I can't say for sure, but I wouldn't be surprised if Perry wasn't bothered by this lie at all. If somebody was blackmailing him with it...that would be hard since the main person to do it would be the guy who cheated with him. But there's no real way to prove that Della forged the signature--even if she herself said she did it it would be her word against a now respected defense attorney who could obviously do the job. And Perry didn't even set up the meeting with Burger, it was the other guy who surprised him in the diner!

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
22 minutes ago, GussieK said:

Perry is tormented by thoughts of those men he killed.…

3 minutes ago, sistermagpie said:

I can't say for sure, but I wouldn't be surprised if Perry wasn't bothered by this lie at all. If somebody was blackmailing him with it...that would be hard…

A lot of screen time was devoted (in previous episodes) to exploring Perry’s PTSD, which seems to have formed his own, unique moral code, which I think we are supposed to see as more righteous than any other religious or legal codes depicted in the show. 
Therefore I think the only problem Perry would have with his somewhat questionable means of obtaining the necessary credentials to practice law would be if that exposure jeopardized the existence of someone else, especially Emily or Della. 

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
16 minutes ago, sistermagpie said:

I can't say for sure, but I wouldn't be surprised if Perry wasn't bothered by this lie at all.

He'll definitely be bothered when, e.g., his ex-wife says to his son, "Your father is an important lawyer now -- aren't you proud of him for working so hard for this accomplishment?" The fact that Mason overrode his conscience for the sake of what he deems the greater good (justice for an innocent woman) doesn't mean that he has no conscience. That's the key to understanding noir-ish characters. They accept pain for results, but the pain still hurts.

As for Bernie Madoff, although he apparently was happily amoral, one of his sons, who'd worked at his firm, committed suicide a couple of years after the scam was exposed.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, Nampara said:

He'll definitely be bothered when, e.g., his ex-wife says to his son, "Your father is an important lawyer now -- aren't you proud of him for working so hard for this accomplishment?" The fact that Mason overrode his conscience for the sake of what he deems the greater good (justice for an innocent woman) doesn't mean that he has no conscience. That's the key to understanding noir-ish characters. They accept pain for results, but the pain still hurts.

But only for something that genuinely bothers their conscience, and I didn't see the moment where Perry agreed to do this as a struggle. I doubt he'll be taking particular pride in simply having a license to practice law rather than taking pride in the fact that he helped Emily. And likewise his wife would have to make him feel like his son was proud of him for passing the bar exam rather than having solved the case and protected the innocent woman.

I guess even within the context of what people do on this show, it's more on the level of the Mary Tyler Moore episode where she confesses she didn't actually graduate from college but said she did on her resume. Only this Mary has less respect for the institution of college, probably.

Edited by sistermagpie
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

On 7/21/2020 at 1:20 PM, Nampara said:

Incidentally, California retains the apprenticeship route as an alternative to law school. That's how Kim Kardashian, who doesn't even have a bachelor's degree, apparently hopes to become eligible for the bar exam.

Kim Kardashian West said... she had successfully completed her first year of law studies while preparing to release a documentary about her advocacy work for criminal justice reform. West, 39, said she works daily on her law studies for a total of 20 hours per week and just completed her first year of a four-year apprenticeship program in California. She is aiming to take the bar exam in 2022.

Just FYI, from Jan. 2020.

  • Useful 2

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, momo said:

Kim Kardashian West said... she had successfully completed her first year of law studies while preparing to release a documentary about her advocacy work for criminal justice reform. West, 39, said she works daily on her law studies for a total of 20 hours per week and just completed her first year of a four-year apprenticeship program in California. She is aiming to take the bar exam in 2022.

Just FYI, from Jan. 2020.

I think she needs to devote more time to taking care of her crazy husband and four kids...

  • Laugh 2

Share this post


Link to post
13 hours ago, momo said:

Kim Kardashian West said... she had successfully completed her first year of law studies while preparing to release a documentary about her advocacy work for criminal justice reform. West, 39, said she works daily on her law studies for a total of 20 hours per week and just completed her first year of a four-year apprenticeship program in California.

I wonder how she determined that her first year was "successfully" completed. Did her mentor administer any kind of test? Or is this merely an "I'm done because I'm done" situation?

In any case, 20 hours per week seems low to me, even for a four-year program. I hope it's at least a year-round apprenticeship, rather than one based on the school year. I'd say that a typical first-year law student in a three-year program puts in at least twice that many hours per week, counting the weekends -- often more. At my absolute busiest in law school, for a stretch of my second year when I was combining classes with multiple law review responsibilities, I was putting in 10-12 hours per day on weekdays, plus time on weekends.

Share this post


Link to post
7 minutes ago, Nampara said:

 Did her mentor administer any kind of test?

Yeah...the Perry Mason test where the questions are pre-answered...

Share this post


Link to post
17 hours ago, sistermagpie said:

But only for something that genuinely bothers their conscience, and I didn't see the moment where Perry agreed to do this as a struggle. I doubt he'll be taking particular pride in simply having a license to practice law rather than taking pride in the fact that he helped Emily.

No decent person can be permanently comfortable feeling that his professional position, his status, his income, etc., are all based on a lie -- that he's a sham, a fake. Many people suffer from "imposter syndrome" -- anxiety about being exposed as a fraud or a failure -- even when they are perfectly qualified for, and very good at, what they do. Imagine this kind of worry when you actually are a fraud. The "I did a good thing!" excuse will fade as Emily's acquittal (assuming that's what happens) recedes into the past. After securing her freedom, is Mason suddenly going to confess his deception, or at least immediately resign from the bar, so no one has to go to the trouble of throwing him out? I doubt it, or there'd be no more show.

This Perry Mason is a cynical, hard-boiled character, but I don't believe he's a sociopath who can live a lie perpetually and convince himself that he fully deserves all the good things that come his way as a result.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
5 hours ago, Nampara said:

This Perry Mason is a cynical, hard-boiled character, but I don't believe he's a sociopath who can live a lie perpetually and convince himself that he fully deserves all the good things that come his way as a result.

Just speaking for myself watching the show, I don't think he'd necessarily consider himself a big fraud but rather more think he's operating without a license. But that depends on whether he educates himself afterwards. If he's always faking his actual knowledge of the law yes, I think he'd always feel like a fraud. He might always feel like a fraud regardless because of his issues. But I don't think I'd automatically consider it unrealistic if he wasn't haunted by inadequacy for retroactively claiming his time working with EB was an actual apprenticeship and getting access to the test beforehand.

In fact, I'd totally buy it if he went up against another lawyer who came from a good family and considered himself a more legitimate lawyer than Perry and yet paid somebody to take his tests for him.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

50 minutes ago, sistermagpie said:

In fact, I'd totally buy it if he went up against another lawyer who came from a good family and considered himself a more legitimate lawyer than Perry and yet paid somebody to take his tests for him.

That could easily happen, because in this Perry Mason universe, virtually everyone is morally compromised. That certainly includes Perry, Della, E.B., Emily, Sister Alice, Drake, Strickland, etc. Is anyone not compromised? Maybe Clara Drake, but we don't know her all that well. And some of these people are frauds as well.

There's a difference between being morally compromised and being a fraud. Perry used to be only the former; now, he's both. A good example of the distinction among the lawyers seems to be HamBurger. He's certainly morally compromised, since he's willing to help someone cheat on the bar exam to serve his own ends (presumably). But as far as we know, his Yale Law and bar credentials are legit, so he's not a fraud.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
10 minutes ago, Nampara said:

There's a difference between being morally compromised and being a fraud.

Rob Lowe on The Grinder - Actor openly faking to be a lawyer. Gets away with it because he looks like Rob Lowe and his brother [actual lawyer] does all the work.

Share this post


Link to post

I think Perry Mason might have actually done a multi-year apprenticeship with E.B, since they say they met when Perry was a child and they are still hanging out together. I really think that Perry spent a lot of time in E.B.'s office probably fascinated by what E.B does and did learn the fundamentals of being a lawyer. Perry probably thought that he could never be a lawyer, but I think he knows plenty about the law and how the system works.

  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post
9 hours ago, AnimeMania said:

I think Perry Mason might have actually done a multi-year apprenticeship with E.B, since they say they met when Perry was a child and they are still hanging out together. I really think that Perry spent a lot of time in E.B.'s office probably fascinated by what E.B does and did learn the fundamentals of being a lawyer. Perry probably thought that he could never be a lawyer, but I think he knows plenty about the law and how the system works.

Yes, that was my understanding too. 
And I thought they made a point of showing Della signing E.B.’s signature effortlessly, as if it was something she normally did for him, just like the rubber stamp signatures used a bit later in many offices.
However, making a point of showing Della preparing the document and signing it also turns it into a possible Chekhovian document. What was the date on it? I could see someone questioning its authenticity based upon that date and the determination of EB’s time of death —or maybe a determination of a date of his mental incompetence, or maybe a determination of EB’s unfitness to practice due to violations. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
16 hours ago, Nampara said:

That could easily happen, because in this Perry Mason universe, virtually everyone is morally compromised. That certainly includes Perry, Della, E.B., Emily, Sister Alice, Drake, Strickland, etc. Is anyone not compromised? Maybe Clara Drake, but we don't know her all that well. And some of these people are frauds as well.

There's a difference between being morally compromised and being a fraud. Perry used to be only the former; now, he's both. A good example of the distinction among the lawyers seems to be HamBurger. He's certainly morally compromised, since he's willing to help someone cheat on the bar exam to serve his own ends (presumably). But as far as we know, his Yale Law and bar credentials are legit, so he's not a fraud.

Maybe I am not getting how you mean "morally compromised," but I don't know ifI see Paul or Sister Alice as that.

Paul is conflicted and has been put in a dilemma as to whether to go along with the racist police of his day and specifically with Ennis in the face of the carrot/stick he has offered. But his fudging the report doesn't rise to being "compromised," IMO.

With Sister Alice, I am still not sure if she believes her schtick or not. If she does, I don't see what she is doing as compromised.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
6 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

Yes, that was my understanding too. 
And I thought they made a point of showing Della signing E.B.’s signature effortlessly, as if it was something she normally did for him, just like the rubber stamp signatures used a bit later in many offices.
However, making a point of showing Della preparing the document and signing it also turns it into a possible Chekhovian document. What was the date on it? I could see someone questioning its authenticity based upon that date and the determination of EB’s time of death —or maybe a determination of a date of his mental incompetence, or maybe a determination of EB’s unfitness to practice due to violations. 

 

Presumably she dated it at least two years earlier, otherwise there would be no point. EB was dead, so she wouldn't have him signing anything after his death and she needed Perry to be eligible to take the test in 2 weeks. Up until his death EB was a lawyer in good standing with no suggestion of mental incompetence or unfitness to practice.

Regarding the test itself, Perry took it and passed it so his credentials would be legitimate there. Somebody would have to accuse him of having a conversation in a diner with someone Perry himself didn't even know until he slid into the booth, so that, too, would be hard to prove.

Plus there's the fact that anybody trying to challenge his law license would presumably be doing so because he was such a good lawyer, which might also count in his favor. EB's money shenanigans would be much easier blackmail, I imagine.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post

4 hours ago, Chicago Redshirt said:

With Sister Alice, I am still not sure if she believes her schtick or not. If she does, I don't see what she is doing as compromised.

It doesn't matter what she may believe privately. She understands that fundamentally, she is an entertainer who is putting on a show to make as much money as possible. She's a purported religious guide who lives in a mansion during the Depression -- that's the ultimate definition of "morally compromised."

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, sistermagpie said:

Regarding the test itself, Perry took it and passed it so his credentials would be legitimate there.

Not subject to attack without reliance on extrinsic evidence (e.g., testimony of a squealer) does not mean "legitimate." It just means his bar credentials are facially valid, which is a very different concept. If Mason's fraud were ever exposed, there is no chance that the legal system would treat him as having been a legitimate attorney up until the time of the deceit's coming to light. Mason knows all this, of course, meaning that he'll be accepting certain risks for himself and on behalf of his future clients by proceeding with his legal career.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Nampara said:

Not subject to attack without reliance on extrinsic evidence (e.g., testimony of a squealer) does not mean "legitimate." It just means his bar credentials are facially valid, which is a very different concept. If Mason's fraud were ever exposed, there is no chance that the legal system would treat him as having been a legitimate attorney up until the time of the deceit's coming to light. Mason knows all this, of course, meaning that he'll be accepting certain risks for himself and on behalf of his future clients by proceeding with his legal career.

On L&O, ADA Mike Cutter got into hot water when he went up against his old law professor in court and she revealed that he did not really have an undergraduate degree, which, although it didn't invalidate his law degree, it did mean he'd lied on his resume to become ADA. He didn't get disbarred, but he was sanctioned. 
Since this show seems to have weightier emotional stakes than L&O, I imagine it could get stickier for Perry in the future --if not this season or next, perhaps in some distant future episode arc.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Nampara said:

If Mason's fraud were ever exposed, there is no chance that the legal system would treat him as having been a legitimate attorney up until the time of the deceit's coming to light.

Defendants have the option to represent themselves in court even if they have not passed a bar exam. Therefore, Mason not passing [or fraudulently passing] the bar exam should not invalidate any of his victories.

  • Like 2
  • Useful 1

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, Nampara said:

Not subject to attack without reliance on extrinsic evidence (e.g., testimony of a squealer) does not mean "legitimate." It just means his bar credentials are facially valid, which is a very different concept. If Mason's fraud were ever exposed, there is no chance that the legal system would treat him as having been a legitimate attorney up until the time of the deceit's coming to light. Mason knows all this, of course, meaning that he'll be accepting certain risks for himself and on behalf of his future clients by proceeding with his legal career.

Sorry, in the context of my post that is what I meant by saying it was legitimate--meaning that it's not like he didn't take the exam. He took it himself and passed so that's all on record. Although of course I understand why getting the questions in advance would be considered illegitimate. The same could I guess be said for anybody taking this same test who also had somebody tell them the questions they'd gotten or somebody who was taking the test for the second time and the questions were the same.

If this came to light--and again, like I said what we're talking about coming to light here is that the DA surprised Perry in a diner and gave him the answers in advance--I don't believe it would mean anything to any client he'd successfully defended. Their not-guilty verdicts wouldn't be overturned because it turned out their lawyer knew the answers to the bar exam. Maybe somebody who didn't get off would use it to try to get a new trial, I guess, but I doubt anybody could really argue they didn't get a great defense.

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, sistermagpie said:

I don't believe it would mean anything to any client he'd successfully defended. Their not-guilty verdicts wouldn't be overturned because it turned out their lawyer knew the answers to the bar exam. Maybe somebody who didn't get off would use it to try to get a new trial, I guess, but I doubt anybody could really argue they didn't get a great defense.

And if OG Perry Mason's record is indicative of this Perry Mason's, there won't be and defendants who didn't get off. 😉

  • Laugh 2

Share this post


Link to post

3 minutes ago, shapeshifter said:

And if OG Perry Mason's record is indicative of this Perry Mason's, there won't be and defendants who didn't get off. 😉

LOL. Yeah, there's the one guy on who's the answer on a trivia card that's trying for a do-over....

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
19 hours ago, paigow said:

Defendants have the option to represent themselves in court even if they have not passed a bar exam. Therefore, Mason not passing [or fraudulently passing] the bar exam should not invalidate any of his victories.

That's not really the point. Acquittals are never subject to collateral attack in the American system. For example, if a jury found Emily not guilty, and the next day Mason confessed his fraud, it wouldn't make any difference to her. She's free, and can't be tried again; the fact that her lawyer was a fake would be irrelevant.

But convictions are subject to collateral attack. If Mason were disbarred or sanctioned for his bar membership fraud, any client who had obtained an adverse result in a criminal proceeding would potentially have a claim for ineffective assistance of counsel, or for having been denied counsel altogether (not that this type of claim would necessarily have succeeded in the 1930s; I'm looking at this from a more general point of view).

And civil matters, if Mason took on any clients who weren't criminals, would potentially fall into a gray area. Having a fake lawyer might not affect some transactions retroactively; but with others, it might. This type of discussion is beyond the scope of this thread, I think.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
6 minutes ago, Nampara said:

That's not really the point. Acquittals are never subject to collateral attack in the American system. For example, if a jury found Emily not guilty, and the next day Mason confessed his fraud, it wouldn't make any difference to her. She's free, and can't be tried again; the fact that her lawyer was a fake would be irrelevant.

But convictions are subject to collateral attack. If Mason were disbarred or sanctioned for his bar membership fraud, any client who had obtained an adverse result in a criminal proceeding would potentially have a claim for ineffective assistance of counsel, or for having been denied counsel altogether (not that this type of claim would necessarily have succeeded in the 1930s; I'm looking at this from a more general point of view)....

I can easily imagine Emily being convicted and Perry exposing his fraud to get her a new trial in a sort of inverse spin on "there's what's legal and there's what's right.” 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
11 minutes ago, shapeshifter said:

I can easily imagine Emily being convicted and Perry exposing his fraud to get her a new trial in a sort of inverse spin on "there's what's legal and there's what's right.” 

Unfortunately, no private lawyer in California wants the case and all the Public Defenders work for the D.A. - so that gambit is pointless. 

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Nampara said:

But convictions are subject to collateral attack. If Mason were disbarred or sanctioned for his bar membership fraud, any client who had obtained an adverse result in a criminal proceeding would potentially have a claim for ineffective assistance of counsel, or for having been denied counsel altogether (not that this type of claim would necessarily have succeeded in the 1930s; I'm looking at this from a more general point of view).

Wouldn't that be good for the client?

Share this post


Link to post
5 hours ago, paigow said:
5 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

I can easily imagine Emily being convicted and Perry exposing his fraud to get her a new trial in a sort of inverse spin on "there's what's legal and there's what's right.” 

Unfortunately, no private lawyer in California wants the case and all the Public Defenders work for the D.A. - so that gambit is pointless. 

Enter Della, having just passed the bar!

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

On 7/19/2020 at 10:31 PM, Vella said:

The stuff with Paul and Clara was really interesting too. The show is set in 1932 and yet the passionate speech given by the minister could easily be echoed today and his words are just as relevant. 

Of course, that's not an accident. The show is being written today, and that scene was engineered to make us think about today. (A little too engineered for my taste; I don't object to the garment, but I don't like to see the seams showing.)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Customize font-size