Perry Mason’s Chris Chalk Opens Up About Exploring The Complications Of Paul Drake’s Season 2 Journey
Paul Drake has new problems to deal with in Perry Mason Season 2.
Warning: SPOILERS for Perry Mason “Chapter Ten” are ahead!
Going into the Perry Mason Season 2 premiere, one of the important things fans needed to remember from Season 1 was that Chris Chalk’s Paul Drake had resigned from the Los Angeles Police Department, and following the end of the Emily Dodson case, he agreed to become the private investigator for the title character’s law firm. However, as a result of Matthew Rhys’ Perry and Juliet Rylance’s Della Street deciding to take more civil cases, Paul’s services haven’t been needed at the firm, requiring him to look for work elsewhere. One of these other gigs has now produced some unforeseen consequences, which is among the complications that live viewers and HBO Max subscribers will see Paul dealing with during his Season 2 journey.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Chris Chalk ahead of tonight’s Perry Mason episode, in which Paul Drake learned that Melvin Perkins, the man that Shea Whigham’s Pete Strickland hired him to look into over concern from the LA District Attorney’s office that someone was looking to take him out, was arrested on charges of loan-sharking, racketeering, bootlegging and income tax evasion. With Perkins pouring the money from his illegal activities back into Los Angeles’ African American community, Drake feels guilty having unwittingly provided information that the authorities used to arrest Perkins, and he’s coping with that as he’s brought into the Gallardo Brothers case. I asked Chalk how important it was to have Paul dealing with such a personal struggle in Season 2 on top of being involved with the main investigation, and he said:
It’s abundantly clear that Paul Drake feels betrayed after he learns that Melvin Perkins has been taken in by the District Attorney’s office given that it happened after he supplied the pictures and intel. With the threat against Perkins’ obviously being bogus, Drake has trust issues going into working with Perry and Della Street again, since Pete Strickland, one of Perry’s closest friends, “hoodwinked” him, despite the fact that Perry had no idea of Pete’s true intentions when he recommended Paul for work. Fortunately, Paul and Perry were able to get back into a pretty good groove with each other when they snuck onto a casino boat to look into the background of the late Brooks McCutcheon, who was killed at the end of “Chapter Nine,” and Rafael and Mateo Gallardo are accused committing the murder. So there’s all that, plus Paul having to deal with the pressure from his family, particularly his brother-in-law Mo.
As already mentioned, Perry Mason Season 2 will also see Paul Drake looking into matters without the benefit of being able to flash an LAPD badge. I was curious how it felt for Chris Chalk (who also played Lucius Fox on Gotham) to explore the character still working to do good, but now outside of a structured system. The actor responded:
Perry Mason’s long-awaited return arrives a little over two and a half years after Season 1 concluded, with Jack Amiel and Michael Begler taking over as the showrunners for Season 2. Chris Chalk, Matthew Rhys and Juliet Rylance are joined in the main cast this season by Justin Kirk reprising Hamilton Burger, Diarra Kilpatrick reprising Clara Drake, Eric Lange reprising Gene Holcomb and Katherine Waterston as Ginny Aimes, Teddy Mason’s schoolteacher who was introduced in “Chapter Ten” of the Robert Downey-produced series. As with Season 1, eight episodes will comprise Season 2, so we’re one-fourth of the way through this mystery taking place in 1933.
New episodes of Perry Mason premiere Mondays at 9 pm ET on HBO. Keep visiting CinemaBlend for Perry Mason-related coverage, and use our 2023 TV schedule to keep track of what other shows are currently on the air or will be premiering soon.
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