"Very little of what happens in the final hour is dramatically satisfying," says Alan Sepinwall of Sunday's season finale of HBO's Perry Mason reboot. He adds: "Despite the fine performances and sumptuous period photography, Season One is much clearer on what it doesn’t want to be than on what it does. There’s a recent trend in TV — one that started with Netflix, but has spread to the other streamers and eventually to cable outfits like HBO — to treat your entire first season as a premise pilot, explaining in detail how these characters come together to do whatever it is they do. This ignores that the great majority of premise pilots are clunky and more trouble than they’re worth, and that what works best is to just get as quickly as possible to telling stories with that premise. Elongating the process — and using a court case that probably could have been resolved within a couple of episodes, if that — only makes things more frustrating."
Matthew Rhys on the trial: "They were toying with a number of things right up until the end": "In a television series, you write one thing and then you see it transpose into something else," he says. "Especially in the first season, there's always an element of trying to catch up, or realizing what the beast you've created is rumbling into. So there were a number of ideas thrown around at the end, but I was happy that they decided it should be a stalemate. I wonder if it would have been a step too far for Mason to win, obviously: 'Oh God, of course he's going to win.' Or whether for her to be found guilty would have been too depressing, having invested in eight hours up until that point. So I thought it was a good way to end it where you've checked a number of boxes."