The Trammel trial begins in The Lincoln Lawyer season 2 episode 7.
The Lincoln Lawyer: Case File for season 2 episode 7 ‘Cui Bono’
Written by Lisa Quintela
Directed by Shana Stein
Let us investigate our case file for The Lincoln Lawyer S2E7 ‘Cui Bono’.
Refresh your memory:
- Mickey’s strategy for Lisa’s defense is to point the finger at someone else. He has his eyes on Alex Grant and plans to put him on the stand.
- Alex Grant owns a construction company that has done business with Mitchell Bondurant. Grant has ties to organized crime. Bondurant attempted to extort money from Grant. Bondurant accused Grant of not completing work on projects and demanded refunds, otherwise he would report the issue to his lender, who by law has to report any “suspicious activity” to the feds.
- Mickey told Izzy to keep the cash Ray took for stealing the Trammel file. Ray gave it to Izzy as her half of the dance studio rent deposit.
- Detective O’Brien is the lead investigator for Bondurant’s murder. He interrogated Lisa on the day of Bondurant’s murder and subsequently arrested her.
- Henry Dahl is the podcaster who bailed Lisa out of jail using money from his podcast investor David Webber who runs one of Alex Grant’s shell companies. Mickey confronted Henry about bribing Ray to steal the Trammel file. Henry confessed and is now beholden to Mickey.
It is the eve of day one of Lisa’s trial.
We see the arm of someone pulling a file from a cabinet and putting it in a sealed envelope. Next, we cut to Mickey arriving home on the eve of day one of Lisa’s trial. Mickey sees the aforementioned sealed envelope propped against his front door. Haller opens the envelope to find an FBI target letter for Alex Grant. Is this for real?
The next morning Mickey consults Legal Siegel about the letter. Legal points out that the letter in conjunction with the threatening email from Bondurant to Grant makes the scenario sound like blackmail. Legal wonders if the mystery delivery is intended to help Mickey’s case or to create a problem for him. No matter what, Mickey needs to know if the letter is legitimate. Legal also fears for Mickey’s safety.
On the docket
Mickey tasks Cisco with authenticating the FBI letter. The agent who signed the letter will not return Cisco’s call. Cisco must think fast as the authentication is very time sensitive with the trial starting.
Mickey takes care of another item on his own. He does not want news of the target letter to put him in danger with Grant. Mickey will use Henry Dahl’s ties to grant through his podcast investor David Webber. The Lincoln Lawyer approaches Henry at his apartment complex and tells him to spread the word that Mickey has no intention of coming after Grant. Henry should share that Mickey is merely trying to divert attention from Lisa by identifying other people who did not like Bondurant. Mickey reminds Henry that his cooperation is required if he wants to be able to pursue his podcast.
Check with my office
Let’s take a look at what the office staff is up to in episode 7.
When Cisco is unable to reach FBI Agent Vasquez, the burly investigator turns to his contact Donna at the FBI office. Cisco asks Donna to find out if the letter is for real. In exchange for her help, Cisco will procure backstage passes to a combined concert featuring Def Leppard, Motley Crue and Poison. Unfortunately, things are not moving as quickly as Mickey would like. Donna wants the passes in hand before helping him.
Lorna assists Mickey as second chair counsel for Lisa’s case. She writes notes to Mickey on her legal pad and keeps tabs on Cisco’s progress with the letter authentication.
Izzy is ready to take the $10,0000 rent deposit to the dance studio to reserve the space. She is floored when the landlord tells her that the rent has suddenly increased to $15,000. That’s a 50% increase! Izzy is devastated as she is unable to afford the higher rent.
There is no sign of Maggie in this episode. She is busy making the transition to the San Diego office. Hayley tries to shield her mom’s call from Mickey at breakfast one morning. Mickey assures Hayley that she need not be concerned about her mom’s naming coming up.
At one of Hayley’s riding lessons, Mickey notices a young man assisting Hayley with the horse. Apparently, this is new territory for Mickey and he is not sure how he feels about it. Mickey asks Hayley about the young man at dinner. Hayley says his name is Taylor.
Mickey tells Hayley he is just looking out for her heart. Hayley swiftly replies that Mickey should probably be more concerned about Taylor getting hurt. She has way too many other distractions in her life to be worried over a boy.
In the courtroom
Judge Medina is ready to get things moving quickly on trial day one. She will allow 3o minutes for each attorney’s opening statements. Knowing that Andy will want more time, Mickey tells the judge he is fine with just 2o minutes. The judge puts the final time limit at 25 minutes for each opening statement.
Andy summarizes the evidence against Lisa and tells the jury to trust the evidence. She warns the jury that the defense will try to paint a different picture and implores them not to be deceived.
Mickey highlights the fact that no murder weapon has been found. He tells the jury that Lisa has been framed.
Detective O’Brien is the first witness to testify. Andy asks O’Brien to walk them through his steps from inquiry to interrogation to the arrest of Lisa. He draws special attention to the fact that Lisa was not forthcoming initially about crossing paths with Bondurant at the coffee shop the day of the murder. Detective O’Brien informs the jury of the hammer missing from Lisa’s toolkit and the victim’s blood being found on her gloves. He mentions the coffee cup and shard of glass found at the scene.
It is Mickey’s turn to cross examine O’Brien. Mickey anxiously awaits word from Cisco about the target letter’s authenticity. Meanwhile, he interviews O’Brien about the evidence collection process employed for Lisa’s blood-stained gardening gloves. O’Brien confirms for Mickey that there were no shards of glass missing from Lisa’s car mirrors.
Meanwhile, we learn that Donna never showed to exchange information for the tickets. Instead, Agent Vasquez meets Cisco at the designated restaurant. He informs Cisco that he cannot discuss any possible FBI investigations. Cisco sends word to Lorna that he still cannot technically confirm the authentication. Mickey decides to move forward assuming that is legitimate.
Mickey asks O’Brien to read from the threatening email Bondurant sent to Alex Grant. O’Brien reads the part where Bondurant threatens to expose suspicious activity. But O’Brien says there was no suspicious activity they were aware of. That’s the perfect opening for Mickey to bring out the letter.
Of course, Andy protests and requests a sidebar. Andy complains that the letter is just being brought forward. Mickey explains the circumstances of just receiving the letter and needing time to authenticate it. He compares this to Andy not revealing the gardening gloves until the lab results were finished. Judge Medina agrees and gives the still doubtful Andrea Freeman the lunch period to authenticate the letter to her own satisifaction.
“If I had”
Court resumes after lunch and Andy reports that the letter is authentic. Detective O’Brien is back on the stand for Mickey to resume his questions. Mickey questions whether O’Brien still thinks he arrested the right person. O’Brien claims that he would have still arrested Lisa. He reminds Mickey that he did not have knowledge of the target letter at the time, but says “if [he] had” and stops in his tracks. O’Brien restarts and says he is still confident with his investigation. Mickey ends the cross-examination with the suggestion of doubt about whether O’Brien arrested the correct person.
Agent Felix Vasquez
That evening Lorna learns that Andy has made a change to the witness list. She has added FBI Agent Feliz Vasquez, author of the target letter.
The next morning, Andy calls Vasquez to walk the jury through the purpose of a target letter. When asked if Grant is currently under investigation, Vasquez confirms “No. Not technically.”. Andy just wants “yes” or “no”. Vasquez says “No.”
Of course, Mickey pulls at the “not technically” thread. Vasquez testifies that he “cannot comment on an ongoing investigation.” Mickey is happy that he has now planted seeds of doubt about Grant possibly being the killer instead.
Mentor “Legal” Siegel always serves as a great sounding board for Mickey. Mickey walks Siegel through what happened with the target letter in court.
We learn that after court recessed, Mickey encountered Vasquez in the men’s room. The two men acknowledge one another. Then Agent Vasquez thanks Mickey for getting Grant to testify. He tells Mickey that the FBI looks forward to finding out what Mickey can uncover about Grant on the witness stand. Then we see the tell-tale wrist watch on Vasquez’ wrist, the same watch we saw on the person pulling the letter to give to Mickey. Vasquez is the one that sent the letter to Mickey in hopes that it would help their own investigation.
Legal is wowed by the reveal but he knows better than to assume that was just a lucky break. He knows that Mickey engineered the FBI’s involvement, but how? Mickey reminds Legal that he brought the press to Grant’s motion to quash the subpoena. Not only was he hoping the press would make Grant think twice about pleading the fifth. He also hoped that the press being there would attract attention from the FBI. If there really was something shady going on with Grant, he wanted the feds to know Mickey was involving him in the case.
One thing is for sure, Mickey has a keen eye for identifying opportunity in any situation.
The road ahead
But wait. Don’t get too comfortable.
At the next day of trial, Lorna tells Mickey that he has been called to the judge’s chambers.
There in chambers Andy announces that new evidence has just been uncovered. They have the murder weapon. An associate reveals the bloodied hammer!
Mickey is stunned, to say the least. He wants Cisco to find Jeff Trammel as he might be their only hope at this point.
Sidebar: I like seeing Lorna at Mickey’s side at the defense table. She is both smart and supportive. And I must say, I don’t mind putting a little distance between Lisa and Mickey.
Closing argument: Mickey almost comes out swinging in this episode. His machinations are impressive, but the “missing” murder weapon was a large part of his opening statement. How can the case recover?
Episodes 1 – 10 of The Lincoln Lawyer are currently available on Netflix.
Stay tuned for ongoing coverage of The Lincoln Lawyer including interviews, recaps, and all new episodes of our podcast Lincoln Law Pod on SoManyShows.com.
Next up: ‘Case File’ recap S2E8
Stay connected with So Many Shows: