The jury shares their verdict regarding Trevor Elliott in The Lincoln Lawyer season 1 episode 9.
The Lincoln Lawyer Case File for season 1 episode 9
‘The Uncanny Valley’
Written by Chris Downey and Ryan Hoang Williams
Directed by Alonso Alvarez-Barreda
Trevor Elliott insists on taking the stand to defend himself despite Mickey’s objections. Maggie and Detective Lankford struggle with their case and end up taking drastic measures against Angelo Soto.
Mickey pays another visit to Eli Wyms. Meanwhile, Izzy is recovering from her close call with drugs, or is she?
Let us investigate further our case file for The Lincoln Lawyer S1E9 ‘The Uncanny Valley’.
Refresh your memory:
- Sonia Patel was a friend that used to work with Lara Elliott at Chaos Games.
- Angelo Soto has been indicted on human trafficking charges. He is accused of using Filipino immigrants as slave labor in his nursing care facilities. Maggie believes Soto is behind the murder of her key witness against Soto.
- Tanya Cruz is Angelo Soto’s girlfriend. She is pregnant with Soto’s daughter. Tanya is cooperating with the DA’s office to take down Soto. She told Maggie about the Namayan Flower Shop where Soto appears to arrange crimes.
- Alvin Aquino works at the Namayan Flower Shop and is believed to be the one who killed David Laresca for Soto.
- Jan Rilz was the other victim alongside Lara Elliott at her Malibu beach house. He was having an affair with Lara and other married women including Neema Shavar who is now divorced from Anton Shavar. Jan filed a restraining order against Anton over a threatening interaction. Cisco also secretly recorded a video of Anton Shavar threatening him.
- Eli Wyms was arrested the night before Trevor Elliott was arrested. Wyms fired an outrageous amount of ammo just a few miles from Elliott’s beach home. We learned that the same sheriff’s vehicle was used for both Wyms and Elliott without a cleaning leaving gunshot residue inside the vehicle.
A new day
Izzy wakes up at Mickey’s house feeling better than the night before. She assures Mickey that her close brush with drug use was not a “fall” just a “stumble”.
Izzy asks him about the trial and Mickey shares his discomfort with Trevor taking the stand. She does not understand why Trevor would do this (aren’t we all!) and Mickey uses a boxing metaphor saying Trevor is not satisfied winning with points but wants to come out swinging.
Does practice make perfect?
Mickey tries tirelessly to prep Trevor Elliott for taking the stand since his client will not budge. The Lincoln Lawyer badgers Elliott in a mock cross-examination in hopes to prepare him for Golantz.
Again, Trevor explains that he needs to know the public believes in his innocence even with a not guilty verdict. He does not want people continuing to wonder if he killed Lara or not. Lorna flat out says that she will always wonder that no matter what verdict is returned. Mickey implores Trevor to focus completely on his love for Lara when he is on the stand.
Meanwhile, Cisco expresses his concerns to Mickey. Cisco cannot wrap his head around Trevor wanting to go on the stand. He wonders why Trevor will risk angering Sergei Kosevich if things go awry. Cisco fears for Mickey’s safety and as well as Maggie’s and Hayley’s. Mickey tells him that he has ensured their safety, although he does not mention enlisting help from the Road Saints.
A lackluster summation and pitch
Lorna reviews Mickey’s summation notes for his closing argument. It does not sound like his usual work. He is relying mostly on the technical aspects of the gunshot residue. Mickey claims it is his best defense, but we can tell he is not really “feeling” it either.
At the courthouse, Golantz stops Mickey in the hall to propose a plea agreement. The prosecutor offers a charge of voluntary manslaughter for which Elliott would probably be sentenced to 11 years. Mickey points out that Golantz is not really making a great pitch and Golantz admits he is not used to fighting a losing battle.
On the stand
Judge Stanton calls the court to order and asks Mickey if the defense has anything further. Mickey calls Trevor to the stand. He interviews Trevor about his love for Lara. Trevor talks about modeling his popular game character after his wife. He shares a sweet story about how they met when Lara came to his defense in a graduate course at Stanford.
Mickey addresses head-on the issue of Trevor lying to the police saying he did not know of the affair. Trevor admits he was wrong to lie but that he did not want to look like a vengeful husband. Mickey asks Trevor about his marriage. Trevor takes blame for Laura’s affair saying he, too, had been unfaithful and too involved with his work.
Trevor claims he went to the beach house “to fight for [his] wife”. Mickey’s final question is whether Trevor killed his wife. Trevor responds with a resounding denial, tearing up as he exclaims his love for her.
Now it is Golantz’ turn to ask the questions.
Golantz focuses on several suspicious scenarios:
- Trevor admits that he and his wife fought the night before the murders about Lara’s affair.
- Elliott knew the security cameras were turned off at the beach house. Still, he claims he did not know Jan Rilz would be there with Lara when he came to the house to surprise her.
- Trevor confirms that he and Lara did not have a pre-nuptial agreement. Golantz suggests that Trevor was worried that Lara was going to tell friend Sonia that she was divorcing Trevor. This would take half of Trevor’s assets. Trevor denies the suggestion.
- Trevor did not make any reservations for the trip he claims he was planning to take with Lara the day of the murders. Likewise, Trevor had not cleared his calendar for that day. Trevor’s defense is that the trip was meant to be spontaneous, therefore no plans had been made.
- Trevor claims he has never used a gun. Golantz uses the opportunity to ask about the gun in the video game. Golantz says the make and model of the gun in the game is the same as the one that forensics suggests was used to murder Lara and Jan. Trevor denies the suggestion that his company purchased that type of gun as a model for the game.
During the cross-examination, Trevor begins rubbing his leg, the very habit poker player Gwen pointed out during jury selection. Gwen told Mickey that she noticed that is something Trevor does when he is nervous. This certainly appears to be a good sign that Trevor is lying, and Mickey takes notice.
Time to close
Lorna calls Cisco right before closing arguments begin. She wonders why he is not there. He tells her he is working on something important as we see the name Pavel Kosevich on his computer screen.
Lorna encounters Jan’s yoga student Carol DuBois in the hallway. She recalls Carol saying that she would be there for the entire trial. Carol agrees saying she wants to be there in support of Jan and honor his memory. Lorna apologizes for not telling Carol originally at the Malibu Shores Insurance office how sorry she is that Jan was murdered.
Golantz faces the jury to give his closing argument. He shows the jury the photos of the crime scene.
Golantz reiterates the points he made during cross-examination. Golantz reminds the jury that Trevor lied to the police about knowing of the affair. He scoffs at the idea of the same type of gun used in the video game and the murders being a coincidence.
The prosecutor asks the jury to use common sense. Finally, he suggests that Trevor wanted to control his wife much like the character in the video game. He claims Trevor murdered Lara and Jan because Lara wanted to divorce Trevor.
Mickey builds a defense using mathematics. He gives a different perspective on the gun that Golantz so much wanted to emphasize.
Mickey walks the jury through the timeline associated with the murders. Yes, there was enough time for Trevor to travel from his office to the beach house and commit the murders. However, the timespan between Trevor’s 911 call and the freelance videographer arriving to film Trevor is only 7 minutes.
Mickey reminds the jury that the gun was never recovered. With that in mind, he argues that it would be impossible for Trevor Elliott to clean himself, change clothes and dispose of the gun and the old clothes all in 7 minutes. Mickey claims that it just does not add up.
Now it is time for the jury to deliberate.
Meanwhile, Detective Lankford interrogates Alvin Aquino while Maggie watches from outside the room.
Lankford points out that there is a record of Alvin’s cell phone being in the proximity of the murder scene of witness David Loresca just 10 minutes prior to the murder. Lankford believes they have Alvin nabbed. The detective proposes that Alvin testify to making the hit for Soto in exchange for leniency.
Alvin covers his face and it almost sounds like he is starting to cry. But, no, Alvin is laughing at Lankford. Alvin says he noticed something odd with his cell after the cops stopped him to search his van. He knows Lankford took data from his phone. Furthermore, he can prove that he was there delivering flowers to St. Lorenzo’s church. The priest signed for the flowers.
Lankford confirms the delivery details. He still thinks Alvin is guilty but does not have the leverage he thought he did. They can keep Alvin at the station for about 10 hours. Once he is let go, Maggie knows he will tip off Soto. There only hope is that Alvin and Soto believe the gang ratted him out. They cannot risk Soto figuring out it was Tanya.
Maggie leaves to try one last thing.
Maggie approaches Mickey about asking Tanya to wear a wire and try to get a confession from Soto. Mickey thinks it’s a terrible idea. Maggie suggests that Mickey has used some undesirable methods in his own cases. She also suggests that Mickey should trust her, especially if she is supposed to be trusting him about playing a bigger role in Hayley’s life again.
Finally, Mickey will go along with it if Tanya agrees to participate and that she will not have to testify against Soto. He wants assurance that Tanya will be relocated as soon as Soto is arrested.
Maggie meets with Tanya to ask her about wearing the wire. She promises she will not ask her to do something she does not want to do. But she also reminds Tanya that if they cannot get a confession, the case will be dropped, and Tanya can raise her baby with Soto.
Tanya has already embraced the idea of getting her baby away from Soto. She agrees to participate.
A close encounter
Tanya arrives home to Soto wearing the wire. Lankford listens from his car with Maggie there as well.
Angelo is relieved to see Tanya arrive home. Tanya says she was shopping for the baby. He explains that he was worried the police had been talking to her. He tells her that his employee was questioned by the police. Tanya suggests maybe that employee was the one lying to Soto. Soto gets angry and Tanya tries to comfort him.
Soto tells her not to believe bad stories about him claiming that he only tries to make people’s lives better. Suddenly, Tanya makes a change in the conversation planned by Lankford. Tanya asks Soto how her life is better. She asks if he killed “that man”. She claims she can handle it if she just knows the truth.
Soto bursts out that he did kill [Loresca], but he did it for their family. She goes to hug him saying she understands he did it to protect their family. Suddenly, it dawns on Soto, that Tanya could be the mole, but she denies it claiming she does not have any information. He points out that she now knows about Loresca. He yanks at her shirt revealing the wire.
Soto pushes her to the ground choking her when the police arrive, and Lankford arrests him. Maggie embraces Tanya to console her.
Mickey talks to Cisco outside the courthouse. The investigator has been researching corporation records. He confirms that Sergei was not the investor for Trevor’s company. The whole story was manufactured by Trevor. Mickey disagrees saying Kosevich would not show up because he was a silent partner.
Cisco claims there is more. He tried to speak with Pavel Kosevich, Trevor’s college roommate, but Pavel would not talk to him when he asked about Trevor. Then Cisco talked to an officer in Pavel’s company named Ben Hoffman. Hoffman was the third college roommate along with Trevor and Pavel. Hoffman confirmed that Pavel never liked Trevor and that his father would never agree to help Trevor financially.
Mickey says there is no way to know for sure. Cisco reminds Mickey that it is really strange that Trevor would take the stand when things were already looking good for the defense. Doing so would be very dangerous if organized crime was breathing down his neck. Furthermore, if Kosevich is not involved, who really has been following Mickey? Cisco is worried for Mickey.
Suddenly, Mickey gets the call that the verdict has been made and he heads back to court.
The jury finds in favor of Trevor Elliott. All charges are dropped, and he is a free man. Lara’s parents and Carol DuBois are visibly upset about the verdict.
Later, Lorna calls Mickey about coming to the office to celebrate. Mickey says he has something to take care of first.
Meanwhile, Izzy sits outside a bar reading a text from her ex. Rae asks Izzy to get a drink with her. Izzy deletes the text.
A concession for Eli
Mickey brings an affidavit for Eli Wyms to sign. The document states that Jerry Vincent purposely kept Wyms at Sylmar to keep the gunshot residue evidence under wraps until trial.
Mickey recognizes that it does not make up for the time Eli lost being stashed there. It will, however, allow Eli to make a financial claim against Jerry’s estate. Hopefully, that will help Eli to move forward.
Eli points up to the television screen where Trevor Elliott is on the news pointing the finger at the police for not yet finding the murderer.
Eli recognizes Mickey’s good intentions but points out that Mickey still “got all the glory” after Jerry “did all the dirty work”.
Mickey looks alarmed and calls Cisco to gather some more intel.
Mickey enters the Parallax offices where the staff is celebrating Trevor Elliott’s acquittal. Trevor greets Mickey and wonders why he skipped out on much of the press after the trial. Mickey reminds Trevor that he is not a celebrity lawyer.
Brace yourself for one of the most compelling exchanges in the series. Mickey has put all the pieces together and is ready to confront Trevor about the events of September 6th. Of course, attorney client privilege still applies and double jeopardy prevents Trevor from being tried a second time for the murders. Regardless, Mickey wants Trevor to know what he knows.
Mickey informs Trevor that he knows Lara did not get what she wanted. He reveals that he knows what the fight was really about the night before the murders.
Lara was going to talk to Sonia Patel about who really created the code that turned Trevor’s game into a hit. It was Lara, not Trevor, who wrote the code that “crossed the uncanny valley” while she worked at Chaos games. Trevor had been taking credit for Lara’s work all this time and she wanted the truth to come to light. Trevor had a lot to lose and Mickey believes Trevor cannot bear the idea of people not thinking of him as a tech genius.
Just like Eli Wyms said of Mickey benefitting from Jerry’s shady dealings, Mickey tells Trevor that “[Lara] did all the dirty work and you got all the glory.” Trevor scoffs at the entire idea and suggests that Mickey is on drugs. Mickey informs Trevor that he knew Trevor was being deceitful when he saw him rubbing his leg during cross-examination when Golantz grilled him about Sonia. Mickey recalls Gwen the poker player saying, “He rubs his legs. It can be a sign of deception.”
Mickey calls Trevor an addict that is so obsessed with his image that he would risk going on the stand when the trial was essentially already won.
And I know how
Trevor still thinks he has the upper hand. He reminds Mickey that he just gave a compelling argument as to how Trevor could not have possibly had time to destroy evidence of the murders within a mere seven minutes. But Mickey has that covered, too. He finally realized that Trevor’s drones were not just for play. Mickey says that what appeared to be Trevor scrolling through email at the murder scene was actually Trevor operating a drone that carried his bloody clothes and the gun out to sea.
Now Mickey wants the truth about who has been surveilling him because he knows the story about Sergei Kosevich is completely fabricated. Mickey realizes that Jerry assumed he would “go along with the bribed jury”. When Mickey wanted to back out of the case, Trevor was ready with the story about Kosevich and the Russian mafia.
Trevor says that he does not know who has been following Mickey, nor does he care. Mickey leaves disgusted with Trevor.
Called to the scene
Back in the Lincoln, Mickey gets a call from Cisco saying, Raj from the furniture store called Glory Days. She will be in town the next day.
Mickey receives another call and thinks it is Cisco again. Instead, the caller introduces himself as an LAPD officer who pulled Izzy over for suspicion of DUI. He says Izzy game him Mickey’s card and then passed out in her car at the Griffith Park Overlook. If Mickey is unable to come to the scene quickly, the officer will have to impound Izzy’s car and take her to the station for booking. Mickey says he is coming.
Mickey arrives to the overlook and calls out for Izzy but does not see anyone there. As he turns back around, he is knocked over the head and falls to the ground. Lo and behold, it’s fake juror number 7, real name McSweeney, and he comments that Mickey and Jerry should both have complied with the bribery scheme.
Sidebar: Note the bar that Izzy sits outside of when she reads the text from Rae about getting a drink together. It is Boardner’s, a familiar gathering place in another Michael Connelly adaptation, Bosch.
Closing argument: The confrontation between Mickey and Trevor after the acquittal is a jaw dropping exchange. The intensity with which Mickey despises Trevor is palpable. Mickey lays brick after brick of truth about Trevor’s crimes. Yet Trevor remains as smug and dismissive as ever. How can someone be so egocentric?
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