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Perry Mason - Chapter Four - Review: “No Longer His World”



1.04 - "Chapter Four”
Written by Steven Hanna & Sarah Kelly Kaplan
Directed by Deniz Gamze Ergüven
Reviewed by KathM

Warning: Includes mentions of suicide.

Perry and Pete are cooking in this episode, getting to the point in the mystery where all they need is one more person, the Mastermind, to put the Dodson case to bed. And without Emily Dodson going to prison, I might add. By following in the criminals’ steps and looking around the space where the Dodson’s were waiting for instructions from the kidnappers, they deduce that there must be a fourth kidnapper, one who wasn’t caught! They explore the building where the Dodsons were waiting and find out about a walkway between that building and the one next door? Where better to escape? The rooms at the end of the walkway belong to the Elks Club, where “prospective members” Perry and Pete are invited to take a look around. As they do they find children performing as part of a fundraiser so the kids can go away to camp that summer. As Perry watches the beginning of the charity auction he notices someone he recognizes and goes over to say hello. It’s Ennis, whose daughter is up on stage with the other children. Must know your way around here if you’re a member, don’t you think?

When I said that Virgil should appear in every episode, I didn’t mean that Perry and Pete should drive him out to the Mason farm in another county, ply him with alcohol, then take down him into the basement and ask him to do a “proper” autopsy of George Gannon then and there. Virgil freaks out and refuses, so Perry and Pete simply dump George back in Virgil’s jurisdiction so that he’ll have to autopsy him. Really, boys? Where’s Perry going to get his nice ties from now?

And now we come to the part of the episode that ends up being the only part I really care about. When Virgil’s autopsy proves conclusively that he didn’t commit suicide, and that Perry thinks there must be a fourth kidnapper (the Mastermind), E.B. figures that he’ll go over and see whether he can convince Barnes to agree to support reducing Emily’s bail or maybe releasing her altogether. And this is the beginning of the end E.B. Jonathan.


In last week’s episode, E.B. tells Perry that sometimes he didn’t think this was his world anymore. He’s right. This isn’t his world anymore, the world of hotshot attorney E.B. Jonathan, whose name opened doors and who often sealed deals with men at this club with a handshake. It’s long gone. He’s taken on an unpopular client and as he’s got too many debts. Some doors close in his face or are guarded by subordinates who tell him that his contacts are “unavailable”, and some old colleagues tell E.B. straight to his face never to contact them again. Now, as he waves files in E.B.,’s face proving that the attorney misappropriated funds from former clients, Barnes lays it out: E.B. can either get Emily to take a plea, get slaughtered in court, or be disbarred. Just let Barnes know by Friday which one he’d prefer.

Stunned, E.B. tears his office apart looking for the files Barnes had on him. When Della tells him that she’d put old files in his house, he begins shouting at her, and for the first time, Della shouts back. You know E.B. Jonathan and Associates? Well, since there isn’t any other staff she’s the only associate E.B. has! Della tosses his car keys at E.B., tells him to drive himself home, then slams the door on her way out. As she cuddles up with her girlfriend later that night, Della tells her that she’s taking tomorrow off just to see how E.B. does without her. Della looks like she feels guilty about it, but is resolved.

It turns out that E.B. didn’t go home that night; when Perry arrives at the office he finds his mentor curled up the couch, random bits of files strewn around the room. E.B. has no idea where Della is, and as Perry helps him take his shoes off, he reminisces about the first time he met Perry, and how proud E.B. is of him. Later E.B. weakly tries to convince Emily to take a deal, and that he’s heard the women’s prison in Chico is nice. But Emily reminds him that she only committed adultery and that 20 years is too long a sentence for that. E.B. then rouses himself, telling Emily that she isn’t going to give up and that he knows what he needs to do.

In the morning attorney E.B. Jonathan gets up, brushes his hair carefully, and makes a nice, sugary nectar for the hummingbirds who fly around outside his windows. Then he sits down to watch them for a while in a comfortable chair as the gas pouring out from his oven lulls him to eternal sleep.


P.S. - Sister Alice was around this week, but only to move her plotline forward. I love Tatiana and Lily, but their schenes pulled me away from the investigation Perry’s doing into Charlie’s murder and, of course, E.B. In it we find that Alice has been sequestered in her lovely home, resting and drinking icky-looking broth. A set of parents with their adorable daughter arrive to visit, telling Birdy that they have a present for Sister Alice. Not really a present, though, unless you like snakes. Yup, when Alice opens the box a couple of snakes creep out, and the “followers” who brought them call her a blasphemer as they are led off the property. Ever since Alice’s seizure (that’s what the doctor calls it so that works for me), her flock has been sharply divided between team, “She’s a blasphemer!” and team, “She’ll resurrect Charlie!”. The Church Elders call Birdy in and tell her that she needs to get her daughter back in the church and on her radio with her usual schedule as soon as possible. When even the doctor disagrees they tell him that they’re losing money hand over fist every week. Alice needs to apologize for what she said (they’ll even write something for her to read) and say plainly that she thinks Emily Dodson is guilty. “We can no longer afford to teeter on the whims of hysterical women,” says Herman Baggerly. Don’t you just want to smack him? Elder Brown informs Birdy that if Alice doesn’t do what she’s told, the “spigot” that keeps them in such luxury will be “turned off”.

It seems like Alice will do as she is told as Birdy leads her onto their front porch, her apology clutched in her hand, surrounded by her mother and the Elders and some women I can only think to call Acolytes. She begins speaking but without her microphone, the press and sundry member of the congregation standing on her lawn can’t hear her. So she steps a little closer. You can tell she hates reading her prepared speech, but soldiers on until suddenly a man breaks through the crowd and lands at her feet. He tries to hand her some white cloth but due to the whole snake thing, she isn’t interested. But the man tells her that it’s for Charlie once he’s resurrected because he’ll be cold. And all bets are off as Alice takes back her voice, shouting that Emily Dodson is innocent and that Charlie Dodson is in Purgatory. No worries, though. She’ll resurrect him on Easter Sunday. As she’s rushed inside among the shots from the opposing sides of her congregation you can hear one more “blasphemer!” loud and clear. It’s Elder Brown.


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