You win some, you lose some in the season finale of The Lincoln Lawyer season 1.
The Lincoln Lawyer Case File for season 1 episode 10
‘The Brass Verdict’
Written by Ted Humphrey and Michael Connelly
Directed by David Grossman
The episode opens with the dramatic aftermath of Mickey getting hit over the head by McSweeney. Maggie and Mickey look at a road to reconciliation, but they hit a bump in the road when something goes sideways with Maggie’s big case.
Lorna makes a decision about her future and Cisco faces a dilemma with his past.
Let us investigate further our case file for The Lincoln Lawyer season 1 finale ‘The Brass Verdict’.
Refresh your memory:
- McSweeney is the real name of the bribed juror from the Trevor Elliott trial. McSweeney suddenly disappeared after Judge Stanton received an anonymous note that reported the misrepresentation. Cisco’s research revealed that McSweeney has a criminal record.
- Jesus Menendez is Mickey’s client that is serving 15 years in prison after the star witness left town. The witness was going to testify to Jesus’ innocence. The case haunts Mickey.
- Detective Lee Lankford is working the Angelo Soto case with Maggie. He also supervised a case against Mickey’s client Jesus Menendez. Kyle Winters was the primary detective on the Menendez case. Lankford and Maggie consulted Winters and fellow Hollywood detective Linda Perez to get intel on the gang associated with the Namayan Flower Shop.
- Gloria Dayton aka Glory Days is the key witness that disappeared before testifying in the Jesus Menendez trial. Mickey paid Cherry to track down Gloria, which she did, leading him to Raj, a regular solicitor of Glory Days’ services. Cisco paid a Raj a visit and “encouraged” him to contact Glory Days.
- Carol DuBois is the insurance agent that Lorna visited because she was also a client of Jan Rilz. Carol shared that she financially supported Jan’s plans for a yoga retreat in Joshua Tree. Carol attended the trial every day hoping for justice for her friend.
- Judge Mary Holder is supervising Mickey’s management of Jerry Vincent’s cases.
Mickey has been knocked over the head by McSweeney, the fake juror with a criminal record. McSweeney drags Mickey’s limp body toward the edge of the overlook, calling Mickey a “loose end”. Mickey reaches for a large tree branch lying on the ground and swings it at McSweeney.
A fierce brawl ensues. At one point, Mickey tries to jam his finger in McSweeney’s eye. Then McSweeney manages to grab the tree branch and tries to choke Mickey with it. Mickey begins to black out when we suddenly hear sirens and see lights approaching.
Griggs to the rescue
Griggs arrives with the cavalry to save Mickey. It turns out Griggs never pulled the SIS surveillance on Mickey. As Mickey comes to, he launches a kick at McSweeney. McSweeney stumbles backward and falls over the edge of the overlook. He is DOA per a reporting officer.
Mickey quickly calls Izzy to make sure she is okay. She answers the phone from a recovery meeting location and confirms that she is still sober. Clearly, the call about Izzy was part of the ruse.
Mickey tells Griggs that McSweeney had to be the one who killed Jerry. Griggs reminds Mickey that someone is trying to have him killed as well. They discuss the likelihood of McSweeney being the bribe but are not sure if Trevor Elliott may have a hand in the attempt on Mickey’s life. Griggs tells Mickey to “get sure”.
Mickey ices his face at home and places a call to Cisco. He wants Cisco to collect more information on McSweeney in hopes of finding out who may be the mastermind behind all of this. He doubts that McSweeney was doing all this independently.
Cisco reminds Mickey that Glory Days is arriving to town the next day under the impression that she will be providing the “girlfriend experience” to furniture salesman Raj. Of course, Mickey plans to intercept her as she is his key witness that has been on the run.
Mickey needs some time to recover from the attempt on his life, so Lorna volunteers to approach Glory Days and talk to her about cooperating in the habeas hearing for Jesus Menendez.
A close encounter
Mickey sits on his deck with the ice pack to his face. He hears the doorbell ring and goes inside to answer it.
It’s Maggie and she is livid that Mickey had another life-threatening encounter. She reminds him that he has a family, and they need him. Emotions run high and the former couple embraces in a passionate kiss. All signs are pointing to a full-fledged physical reunion when Maggie hears a notification on her phone.
Maggie knows it is Hayley messaging her about her ride and the couple comes back up for air. Before she leaves, Mickey asks Maggie about her use of the word “family”. He tells her he wants to try for a reconciliation. She says they can begin with having Sunday dinner together as a family and go from there.
They kiss goodbye.
Glory Days arrives at her hotel and receives a message to meet her client at the bar outside. She orders a drink and waits. Lorna introduces herself and Gloria realizes she has been duped.
Gloria is angry and ready to return to the airport for a flight back to Vegas. Lorna implores her to stay and give her a few minutes to explain. Gloria says she can talk while she consumes her cocktail.
A crazy idea
Lorna tells Gloria about something crazy she did, enrolling in law school. She tells Gloria that she was the only person in her family to go to college. She enjoyed the classes and was doing well. One professor in particular told her that she had the natural instincts of an attorney. But then he tried to take advantage of Lorna one day in his office.
Lorna agrees that her confidence was shaken. She understands that Gloria is scared but promises that Mickey will take care of keeping her safe. Lorna realizes that the victim in the Menendez case, Martha Renteria, was Gloria’s friend. She asks Gloria if she will consider doing something crazy like speak up for Martha’s memory and let an innocent man go free.
Lorna leaves her card in case Gloria changes her mind about testifying.
Back at the office
Later, back at the office, Cisco tells Mickey what he learned about McSweeney. McSweeney has a large number of arrests. He was formerly in the army. Cisco cannot see an obvious connection anywhere, though, that might indicate who hired him. Could it have been Trevor Elliott? They still do not know.
Lorna has the mail and finds a jury summons for Mickey. They laugh about the zero chance of a defense lawyer getting selected for a jury. Mickey says he needs to head to court. He is stopped in his tracks by the arrival of Gloria Dayton!
Mickey and Lorna sit at the table and listen to Gloria. Mickey assures Gloria that the police will protect her. Gloria tells him that the police are the ones she is fearful of.
She explains that she was ready to cooperate and testify on behalf of Menendez. But the night before her testimony, she was threatened at the hotel by a vice cop named Linda Perez. You may recall that Maggie and Lankford spoke with a detective named Linda Perez.
Gloria tells them that the Perez threatened to make her life miserable and charge her with drug possession even though she was not the one with the drugs at a particular party. She demands that Gloria leave town. So, Gloria left and went on the run.
Quid pro quo
Mickey is on his way to talk to Detective Griggs. He is on the phone telling Lorna that Judge Holder agreed to the habeas hearing for Jesus Menendez. They are both encouraged that the pieces seem to be falling into place.
Mickey wants Grigg to look into Kyle Winters the detective on the Jesus Menendez case. Griggs says he seems like a good detective. Mickey wonders if he may have enlisted Linda Perez to threaten Gloria to help their case. Perez was still in vice at the time. Perhaps Winters promised to help her get promoted to detective.
Griggs is not interested in investigating fellow detectives. Mickey implores him with the quote, “Better a thousand guilty men go free than one innocent man rot in prison.” Griggs responds in frustration, “Do you ever clock out, Counselor?”
Mickey stresses that this is about the “one man” in the quote. Griggs leaves and reminds Mickey that he still doesn’t know if Trevor Elliott is behind the threat on his life.
Was it you?
Mickey approaches Trevor Elliott at the Parallax Games offices just before a press conference Trevor is holding. Mickey tells Trevor that he was almost killed and wants to know if Trevor has anything to do with it. Trevor reminds him that he appreciated Mickey’s work on his behalf. He wonders what makes Mickey think he would want to kill him.
Mickey suggests that Trevor is afraid Mickey will talk to authorities. Trevor says the attorney client privilege prevents that. Mickey warns Trevor that he has documented everything, so if he is killed, people will know.
Trevor suggests that Mickey is paranoid and should consult a psychologist.
An abrupt end
Trevor greets reporters and a group of Parallax Games enthusiasts outside. He talks about the future of the business and talks about honoring his late wife.
Trevor stretches his arms open in a gesture of victory. Two shots are fired at his chest. The shooter is Carol DuBois. She fires again and Trevor falls to the ground. He will not survive. Carol is immediately arrested as she cries out that Trevor murdered Jan.
Mickey sees it all happen from beyond the crowd. He later learns from Griggs that this type of rogue attempt at justice beyond the courtroom is sometimes called a “brass verdict”.
In other news
Maggie learns from Detective Lankford that the recording with Soto’s confession from Tanya’s wire is damaged. It will not be sufficient for trial. Lankford will have to testify to the conversation.
Cisco reviews a client charge sheet at the office. He sees that Road Saints client Harold “Hard Case” Casey is listed as pro bono.
Mickey is packing up his files when he notices the jury summons he received. It reminds him of bribed juror McSweeney. Then Mickey asks Cisco to find out who McSweeney’s attorney was for his various criminal charges. The wheels are churning.
Mickey also asks Detective Griggs about the FBI contacting Jerry. Is it possible that the feds were involved because this juror bribe was one of many?
Mickey is off to Sunday dinner with the family at Maggie’s house. He notices the campaign sign for Robert Cardone in her yard. She no longer appears to be supporting her boss, Janelle Simmons.
Maggie, Mickey and Hayley have fun reminiscing about old family vacations. They laugh and recollect. Hayley offers to take the dishes and clean up. Clearly, she hopes some time along together will reignite the spark between her parents.
In fact, Mickey and Maggie do appear to be enjoying each other’s company. Hayley sees them laughing and smiles.
It’s the day of the habeas hearing for Jesus Menendez. Mickey meets with Cisco on the way to court. Cisco gives him the information about who represented McSweeney on his criminal charges. Mickey has a knowing look and Cisco senses that the information confirmed Mickey’s suspicion about something. Mickey confirms that notion.
Now it’s time to head to trial, but Mickey notices that Cisco is being more quiet than usual. He asks if something is wrong, but Cisco denies any concern. I’m not sure I buy it though, how about you?
Glory Days is on the stand. Her friend Martha Renteria was the victim in the Jesus Menendez case.
Gloria explains that she saw news footage with Menendez and decided to call Mickey. Gloria had also been attacked but escaped. The attacker had boasted that he was the one who killed Martha. So, Gloria knew Menendez was not guilty. Instead, the real killer is still at large.
Mickey asks for some details about Gloria’s attacker. She confirms that he was left-handed, used a folding knife and had a Japanese inscription tattoo on the inside of his left forearm. The knife and handedness match with forensics in Martha’s murder.
Gloria testifies about Linda Perez threatening her and insisting that she leave town. She shares that Linda said Gloria “was being used by a sleazy lawyer to let a killer go free.”
The prosecution tries to attack Gloria’s credibility by pointing out that she is a prostitute and is probably getting paid to testify. Gloria quickly shuts down the suggestion that she is being paid to testify. She is not being paid.
Detective Linda Perez is called to the stand. She testifies that she was never in the hotel that night. Instead, she claims to have been on a family camping trip. Detectives Winters and Lankford enter the courtroom.
Mickey very quickly introduces impeachment evidence, video surveillance of Linda Perez in a service elevator the night in question. Mickey asks Perez if that is her on the video.
A man interrupts Perez before she can answer. He identifies himself as her attorney and insists that he needs to speak with her. If not allowed, he advises her to plead the 5th amendment.
The judge calls the prosecution, Linda’s attorney and Mickey to a sidebar. He insists that they figure out if there is an innocent man sitting in prison.
They will reconvene after Linda’s attorney has time to confer with her.
Lorna and Mickey are hopeful about Jesus getting a new trial. Mickey then receives a message that Griggs wants to meet with him.
Mickey tells Griggs he believes that Linda will incriminate Winters in order to get a deal for herself. Griggs says, “About that . . .” He and Mickey exchange words we cannot hear. Mickey has a concerned look on his face and runs to Maggie’s office.
A strong suggestion
Mickey catches Maggie on her way out of the office. He tells her to accept a plea agreement regarding Angelo Soto. He says it would be terrible if he is acquitted. She jokes that he does not have faith in her skills to get a guilty verdict.
As Maggie walks out the door, Mickey says, from a defense perspective, he really thinks they will offer deal. He implores her to accept an offer.
Mickey returns to the habeas hearing. The musical score becomes increasingly dramatic.
Pointing the finger
Linda Perez is back on the stand, ready to talk.
Perez testifies that she did threaten Gloria Dayton, but she did it at the behest of someone else in exchange for a promotion. She wanted to leave vice and make detective.
Perez identifies Detective Lee Lankford, not Detective Winters, as the one who instructed her to threaten Gloria. Lankford yells out that Perez lying and only pointing the finger to help herself.
On another note, Lankford’s testimony against Angelo Soto will never hold up now.
Maggie’s moniker comes to life when she storms into Mickey’s office. She tells him that Lankford will take the 5th and his credibility in the Soto trial has been destroyed. Maggie reminds Mickey how much time, effort and sacrifice that she has poured into the Soto case over the last year.
Maggie cannot believe that Soto will walk because Mickey did not trust her enough to give her a heads up about Lankford. Mickey explains that he did not know if it was Lankford or Winters, but he could not risk Lankford finding out what was coming. Again, Maggie berates Mickey for not trusting him to keep that information between them. He reminds her that he told her she should accept a plea.
They continue to exchange angry words, pointing out each other’s flaws and how they both carry work with them all the time. Maggie insists there is no chance for reconciliation. Mickey says he will wait for her. She tells him not to.
Maggie leaves and Mickey breaks something against the wall in frustration.
Sunday dinner minus one
Hayley is at Mickey’s house for Sunday dinner but no Maggie. Mickey receives a text from Griggs that says, “on for tomorrow”.
Mickey tries to help Hayley make some sense of what happened between her parents. He quotes St. Thomas Aquinas about there being three things, “what you desire, what you believe, and what you have to do.”
Mickey talks about his accident happening not long after the Menendez verdict. He cannot be sure they were not somehow related. Mickey tries to help her understand how important it was to make things right for Jesus Menendez. They share a hug.
The signage and landscape at the Hollywood Bowl indicate a passage of time.
The foliage goes from the colors of fall to the full blooms of spring.
Move for Maggie
Apparently, Robert Cardone has been elected. He comes to Maggie’s office and tells her to dismiss the Soto case and tells her she is being transferred to the Van Nuys office, which is lower profile and much farther from Maggie’s home. Maggie suggests that despite her endorsement of Cardone and years of work, she is receiving the punitive notion of “freeway therapy” with the much longer commute.
Maggie explicitly and expletively tells Bob to leave. She walks out and makes a call to someone named Sarah.
A visit to the not so social club
Cisco pulls up to the Road Saints to confront Teddy. Cisco wants to know what arrangement Teddy has with Mickey.
Teddy reminds Cisco that that their organization is “not a social club”. There are consequences for leaving and obligations that must be met. He confirms that Mickey is essentially paying Cisco’s debt to the club.
Cisco claims that only he will be responsible for said debt. Teddy responds that he has something in mind.
Soto thinks he off the hook when Maggie formally dismisses the charges against him in court.
But it turns out he is just going to someone else. When Maggie called “Sarah”, it was Sarah Walker from the U.S. Attorney’s office. She walks into the courtroom just as the District Attorney’s charges are dropped and makes charges of her own.
Soto is arrested for conspiracy and human trafficking. He tries to mince words with Maggie as he is hauled away, but she stands her ground.
Dun dun dun
Just when you think there could be no more surprises this season, Mickey makes his last visit to Judge Holder.
The judge cheerily tells him that they no longer need to meet for status updates on Jerry’s cases. She tells Mickey that he has done well.
Then Mickey makes a comment about “six figures a pop to rig a jury” insinuating that Judge Holder is the one behind the bribery, Jerry’s death and the attempt on Mickey’s life. The judge scoffs at such a notion.
Mickey lays out a damning case against Judge Holder
- Holder has access to jury summons correspondence.
- She is very well-versed in jury selection and how to select a neutral juror acceptable to both the defense and prosecution.
- It was she that Judge Stanton consulted about the anonymous note about the fake juror. This allowed her to warn McSweeney to not show up to court.
- She knew how to lure Mickey to the overlook by using a story about Izzy. How? Because she was behind the bug in the Lincoln.
Not so fast
Judge Holder threatens to ruin Mickey’s career. No worries, Mickey hands her a client list showing that her husband was McSweeney’s attorney. This information provided enough probable cause to order a wiretap. And guess who has been listening on the other side of the door?
Griggs enters the chambers to make the arrest.
We revisit Mickey and Izzy driving down the same desert road we have seen them on in so many episodes. We learn that this has been a flashforward the whole time. They have been making the trek to Calipatria all this time with Mickey sharing his best legal strategies along the way.
They pull up to the prison and Mickey asks Izzy if she went to church growing up. He shares something his mother always emphasized about Christianity. He talks about how kids get so excited about all the festivities at Christmas, but his mother told him that Easter was actually more important.
Easter celebrates the resurrection of Christ. Mickey seems to be reminded that Jesus Menendez’s release from prison gives him a new lease on life, a rebirth of sorts. Some might even call it a resurrection.
Jesus Menendez embraces Mickey and celebrates with his family.
In the end
As we close out season one (and look forward to season two!), the song “Trouble” by Cage the Elephant plays.
We see Maggie packing up her office. Lorna sits at the computer with Winston to submit her application to return to law school. Cisco sets out on his motorcycle, destination unknown.
Mickey finally suits up for surfing again. He enters the water with his board. We see someone from behind watching Mickey – someone with a Japanese inscription tattooed on his left forearm. This must be Martha Renteria’s killer.
Sidebar: The judge in the Jesus Menendez case is played by Bruce Davison. The judge was adamant about making sure an innocent man did not remain in prison. The judge’s honorable intentions play in sharp contrast to the character Davison portrayed in another Netflix original series, Ozark. Davison played a corrupt politician, Senator Randall Schafer.
Closing argument: Congratulations to The Lincoln Lawyer on renewal for a second season. Michael Connelly has confirmed that season 2 will draw from his novel, The Fifth Witness.
All 10 episodes of The Lincoln Lawyer are available on Netflix.
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