Mickey makes a play and Maggie suffers a loss in The Lincoln Lawyer season 1 episode 4 ‘Chaos Theory’.
The Lincoln Lawyer: Case File for season 1 Episode 4
Written by Chris Downey
Directed by Bill D’Eliah
The Lincoln Lawyer S1E4 arrives on the heels of Mickey being chased in the parking garage by the man in the photo Griggs shared as a possible suspect in Jerry’s murder.
Later, Mickey works hard to make progress in the Eli Wyms case, desperate to find the key connection to the Trevor Elliott case. Speaking of whom, Elliott is distracted by the release of his new video game but still insistent upon moving forward with the trial in mere days.
Lorna and Cisco do some clever investigative work and young Hayley Haller longs for a reconciliation between her parents. Maggie faces a tragic setback in her case against Angelo Soto.
Let us investigate further our case file for The Lincoln Lawyer S1E4 ‘Chaos Theory’.
Refresh your memory:
- Jerry Vincent was the lawyer for Trevor Elliott and Eli Wyms prior to his murder in the office parking garage where his briefcase and laptop were stolen.
- Detective Raymond Griggs is investigating Jerry’s murder.
- Bruce Carlin was Jerry Vincent’s investigator before being let go shortly before Jerry’s murder. Carlin is currently on the run.
- Eli Wyms is the decorated sniper from Iraq that began shooting at sheriff’s deputies just hours and mere miles from Trevor Elliott’s arrest for murder. Mickey believes the Wyms case holds the “magic bullet” Jerry planned for Trevor’s defense.
- Attorney Joanne Giorgetti is prosecuting the Eli Wyms case. She is also Hayley’s soccer coach.
- Angelo Soto is the wealthy owner of multiple nursing facilities. He has just been arrested for utilizing human trafficking of Filipino immigrants in the operation of these facilities.
- David Loresca is Maggie’s key witness in the Angelo Soto case.
- Detective Lee Lankford is working with Maggie on the Angelo Soto case. Lankford also has a strained history with Mickey over Mickey securing a plea agreement for Jesus Menendez.
Griggs arrives to the office
Griggs arrives quickly to Mickey’s office after the man in the photo chased Mickey back to his office from the parking garage. Mickey lets Griggs in the door. Griggs immediately tells Mickey to put away the gun.
Mickey asks who the guy is, and Griggs suggests he is a hired gun brought in from elsewhere. Griggs still feels like there is something more that Mickey knows about Jerry’s murder. Mickey insists that is not true and plans to leave for a late dinner. He asks if Griggs wants to join him. He has connections that will ensure the restaurant stays open for them. Griggs agrees.
Mickey waits for Griggs to arrive to Taylor’s Steakhouse. He stares at the photo in thought, the wheels turning in his mind.
Griggs arrives after finding a parking spot since city-issued vehicles are not eligible for valet. He can tell Mickey has something on his mind and asks him what it is.
Mickey lays out what he believes happened. Mickey claims Griggs set the whole thing up with the man in the picture, who is not an actual hitman or suspect. Surely, the lights going out in Mickey’s office that night cued Griggs that Mickey was coming out. That allowed Griggs to get the photo guy in place. It was also the reason Griggs could respond so quickly as he was already there watching.
Mickey claims that the photo was always intended only for him. That is why Griggs never bothered to send the promised copy to the office. Mickey accuses Griggs of setting up the whole ruse to “smoke out a leak” because Cisco’s contact at the LAPD knew nothing about a photo. Presumably, the contact asked Griggs about “this photo”, so Griggs knew this law enforcement officer was talking to an outsider.
Yes, and no
Griggs confesses that he did set up the scenario. He did not, however, do it to identify a suspected leak. That was simply a helpful byproduct.
Griggs’ true motivation was to find out information about Jerry and his murder that Mickey was not sharing. Mickey insists there is no other information and threatens to report Griggs for his theatrics.
Griggs reveals that Jerry had received calls from the FBI shortly before his murder. Griggs wants to rattle the cage of whoever is behind Jerry’s murder by making it look like Mickey knows something they do not realize he knows.
The next day outside the courthouse, Mickey accepts a quick news interview. He reveals that he is confident about justice being served in the Elliott trial because whatever anyone may have stolen at Jerry’s murder has been backed up elsewhere. He suggests he still has everything he needs.
Mickey checks in with Griggs and Griggs says he has SIS (Special Investigation Section) tracking Mickey for safety.
Lorna taking care of business
Lorna is in the hallway giving their building landlord an earful. The landlord wants Mickey to pay for damage from him firing bullets into the door. Lorna claims it is their responsibility for not having better security and threatens to sue them.
Eventually, Lorna gets a return phone call, and the building management has agreed to pay for the damage. Mickey praises Lorna for her good work and suggests that she would be a good lawyer. Lorna has a twinkle in her eye. Could she be considering another step in her legal career?
Meet Sam Scales
Mickey is representing Sam Scales who is accused of internet fraud. We learn that Sam has “mad computer skills”, but unfortunately, he uses them to create fake charities to accept fake donations. In fact, while in court about one fake charity, Mickey spies him using his phone to work on another one. What gall!
Outside the courtroom, Mickey reminds Sam that he is delinquent on attorney payments, If Sam does not come up with the money, Mickey threatens to file a continuance which leaves Sam even more vulnerable to FBI catching him and charging him with wire fraud. This charge would leave no room for early release from prison.
Sam tries to barter computer skills of all things for payment. Mickey reminds him that the payment must be something tangible and asks about some of Sam’s recent purchases. No luck, Sam sold those things for bail money.
Sam is quite a character. He is a thief, for sure, but is not mean-spirited.
Bail hearing for Soto
Maggie is busy making her case to keep Soto from getting bail. Soto’s attorney insists that Soto is a businessman of good standing with well-reviewed elder facilities. Maggie reminds him that his business is making money from “slave labor”. We notice Soto’s presumed girlfriend looking over at Maggie. Could this woman possibly also be under duress?
The judge intervenes and sets bail at $2 million, also requiring an ankle bracelet for Soto. Maggie receives a text from her key witness David Loresca asking her to meet with him.
In the hallway, Maggie gives Detective Lankford the latest news. Law enforcement raided Soto’s facilities last night, but none of the paid workers will talk. Maggie is frustrated that the police would go in so boldly. A raid could certainly scare employees. She wonders if David Loresca is having second thoughts.
Sure enough, David is considering backing out as a witness. He reports that other employees are looking at him as if they know he talked. David fears for his family. Maggie reminds him of the relocation offer, but David’s entire family is here. If Soto sees that he is gone, he will know Loresca ratted him out and may retaliate against Loresca’s family.
There is not much more Maggie can say other than remind Loresca that if he backs out, all charges against Soto will go away.
Izzy expresses concern for Mickey being “bait” for Griggs. They have a long ride ahead to get to the mental health hospital in Sylmar to visit Eli Wyms. But Mickey says he enjoys the time to work, uninterrupted, and says it is something he shared with this father.
Mickey leaves a message for Trevor who declines Mickey’s call while he is outside flying a drone. Mickey reminds Trevor about jury selection on Wednesday, those 12 people who will hold Trevor’s fate in their hands.
Izzy comments on Trevor being a difficult client and says people that rich see the world differently.
Wyms not talking
Wyms does not want to talk to Mickey. He says Jerry promised to help him but just ended up sending him to Sylmar. Mickey reminds him that he tried to kill multiple sheriff’s deputies.
Eli bangs the table and shouts, “No!” A guard comes to intervene, but Mickey tells him he is alright. Eli reminds Mickey of his sniper skills. If he intended to shoot them, he would have succeeded in doing so.
Eli has no intention of speaking further with Mickey unless he gets him released from the hospital.
Carlin stops for a snack
Bruce Carlin stops into a convenience store for an odd combination of liquor and snack cakes. Two officers are talking about basketball inside the store. One officer accidentally bumps into Carlin and apologizes.
Outside the store Carlin receives a message with the news of Mickey’s interview saying files were backed up.
Call from Carlin
Mickey gets back in the Lincoln and notices that Mickey does not look like the meeting with Eli went well. Mickey receives a call on his cell. He picks up and it is Bruce Carlin.
Bruce calls out Mickey on the phony interview because he knows Jerry was not proficient at computers. He would not have backed anything up in the cloud. Mickey claims he just wanted to give the impression that he had a defense strategy for the Elliott case.
Carlin still does not buy it. He suspects Griggs is involved. Carlin insists he did not kill Jerry. Mickey asks why he has gone AWOL then, and why is he calling?
First, Carlin wants to ensure that anything he says remains between them only. Mickey asks Carlin what he knows about Eli Wyms and Carlin does not know who that is.
Carlin tells Mickey, “You’re up to your eyeballs in this”, suggesting that Jerry’s murder and Elliott’s case are connected. He wants to meet privately at Royce Canyon at 7:00 pm. He demands that Mickey lose the SIS tail for the meeting.
Nervous for Mickey
Izzy is nervous about Mickey meeting with Carlin, but he says he needs any information he can get for the trial. He believes the trial is key to winning back the things he has “lost”.
Is there any chance Trevor is actually innocent, Izzy wonders? Mickey says that is called a “unicorn” for a defense attorney. She wants to know if he has had one before. Mickey tells her that Jesus Menendez was, and that Lankford had brought his name up to Mickey at the bar when he ordered alcohol.
In the Menendez case, an important witness “disappeared” without being able to give testimony. All Mickey could do at that point was make a plea bargain for 15 years instead of life in prison. It clearly haunts him. He said his surfing accident followed not long after.
Izzy tells Mickey that addiction recovery meetings are helpful for those kinds of triggers. She will save him a seat at the next one.
Izzy pulls into the office parking garage. Griggs checks in with Mickey to see if he is done working that day. Mickey says no and Griggs reminds that SIS is watching.
Izzy leaves in her car and SIS watches her drive away. Then she pulls into an alley and opens the back door for Mickey to exit. He has been lying down beneath a blanket in the backseat.
Mickey heads over to Lorna’s tiny car with Cisco in the driver’s seat. Cisco drives Mickey to Royce Canyon to meet Bruce Carlin believing they have lost the SIS tail.
Carlin does not show up for the meeting. What happened?
Mickey calls Cisco to pick him up. Cisco insists he was a couple of miles away. He could not have scared anyone off. Cisco believes Carlin would have shown up early and someone must have been there. But how?
Mickey and Cisco drive back to the Lincoln and Cisco sweeps it for bugs. Sure enough, he finds one, but Mickey motions for him to leave it in place. Mickey has more leverage if they do not know he knows about the bug.
Cisco also checks the office for bugs but does not find any there. They need to find Carlin to figure out who is listening via the bug in the Lincoln. Cisco wonders if Carlin could be using a stolen identity since he is so hard to find.
Mickey and Maggie visit on the sidelines as Hayley blocks a goal in the soccer game. Mickey finds an opportunity to talk to Coach Jo (prosecutor in the Wyms case) about Eli Wyms. Haller reminds her that Wyms is a vet who saved lives of other soldiers. He says he will put all of them on the witness stand if he needs to in order to help Wyms. He says Wyms was clearly triggered by the oncoming lights of the sheriff’s vehicles.
Mickey has Izzy and Sam Scales on the sidelines to help his case with Jo. Sam is wearing an Army jacket and hands the ball to a player with a salute. We later learn that Sam was indeed in the Army. That is where he gained his computer skills, and, uh, was dishonorably discharged.
Mickey comes out with a plea deal from Jo.
Back to see Eli Wyms
Mickey goes to share the reduced charge and sentence with Wyms telling him he would probably be released after serving only a year of the 4-year sentence. Wyms is not satisfied. Mickey asks him how he could fire all that ammunition and not expect to be charged at all. Mickey goes to leave.
Wyms calls him back, accepting the deal. Mickey asks Wyms for the full truth and shows him the Elliott file. Wyms does not know who the Elliotts are. Mickey points out the proximity in time and location of Eli’s arrest with Trevor’s, saying there must be a connection.
Eli realizes this is the real reason Jerry took over his case. It is an uncomfortable and sad realization. Even still, Eli agrees to talk, but there is not much to stay. His wife kicked him out and he decided to shoot some cans as a release of frustration. After the lights of the approaching deputies, he does not recall anything else.
Call from Trevor
Mickey receives a return call from Trevor as he leaves the hospital. Trevor says he has been busy with the new game rollout. When Mickey asks about his message, Trevor confirms that he knows jury selection is Wednesday.
Mickey points out that it is actually the start of the trial because there is no changing their minds about a continuance at that point. Trevor adamantly confirms no continuance. Mickey asks why he is not more anxious about the trial. Trevor says it is because he is innocent, and he trusts Mickey.
Mickey tells him to free up his schedule because they have much work to do.
Soccer talk interrupted
In the car, Maggie congratulates Hayley on her performance in the soccer game. Hayley says she noticed her parents laughing on the sidelines. Maggie brushes it off as nothing unusual. Hayley expresses concern for her dad and the big case he is facing. Maggie tries to assure her that her dad is a very talented attorney.
Then Maggie gets a call from Lankford to come to the scene where her witness David Loresca has been shot. Maggie goes straight there and tells Hayley to wait in the car.
Lankford tells her the police say it was a carjacking, but he does not sound convinced. Maggie asks David who shot him but gets know response before he begins convulsing. The police make Maggie leave. Hayley has walked up and seen Loresca on the gurney.
A case of stolen identity
Lorna figures out that Bruce Carlin has stolen the identify of a dead delinquent client at Jerry’s firm. The client died of drug overdose and was reported as a John Doe with no information. But Carlin had the information from the checks written to Jerry. The client’s name was Wayne Banks. Carlin was able to keep the bank account but change the address.
Lorna and Cisco call the bank as Wayne Banks and report concern about stolen debit card information. They want the bank to say the last purchase on record. It is at Adobe Market in Riverside. This is the convenience store where Bruce has been getting his liquor.
Catching up to Carlin
Cisco quickly catches up to Carlin at the convenience store. He watches from his motorcycle. Carlin comes out as a woman passes completely oblivious to him as she is staring at her phone.
Cisco continues to follow Carlin as the police pull him over for running a stop sign. It is the same cops that were in the convenience store the other day when one of them bumped into Carlin.
One officer requests license and registration. Carlin provides the Wayne Banks license and reaches for the registration. There is a gun visible in the glove compartment.
The officer pulls his gun and demands that Carlin get out of the car. Cisco calls Mickey to tell him what’s going on and Mickey calls Griggs.
Griggs talks to the officer through dispatch telling him that the driver (Carlin) is a person of interest in a homicide. He tells him his real name is Carlin, not Banks and to use the Carlin name.
When called Carlin, Bruce gets out of the car. He steps further into the road and tries to explain his situation. Just then the distracted lady from the convenience store drives by striking and killing Carlin. We see her phone in the car and it appears she was texting.
From office to Maggie’s
Later, Griggs enters Mickey’s office and talks about their “agreement” saying Carlin was the only one who took the bait from the interview. But the viewers know that someone else contacted Carlin about the interview.
Mickey says he knows nothing about why Jerry was talking to the FBI, but he does know that there was a suspicious $100,000 missing from Jerry’s account.
Just then Mickey gets a call from Hayley asking him to check on Maggie at the house.
Maggie feels terribly guilty about David Loresca’s death. Mickey comforts her and they almost share a kiss before he leaves. Hayley watches from the hall.
Saving a seat
Mickey shows up at the anonymous recovery meeting and sits down next to Izzy. He introduces himself to the group as an addict.
Would you say that Mickey and Detective Griggs are working together now? Or merely using one another when it benefits their own case? Can Mickey trust Griggs after the ploy with the photograph?
Mickey is adept at juggling so many cases at one time. He shifts gears with finesse, or at least it looks that way. Mickey is a showman. That is not to say he is a fraud, however. He cleverly utilizes whatever resources are currently at his disposal. For instance, Sam Scales is happy to help set up an image for Mickey at the soccer game because he needs Mickey to keep his own case moving.
All 10 episodes of The Lincoln Lawyer are available on Netflix.
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