Perry Mason

Season 1 Episode 16

The Case of the Demure Defendant

Aired Saturday 7:30 PM Jan 04, 1958 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

Write A Review
out of 10
18 votes
  • A mediocre episode highlighted by great character interactions but too many unbelievable actions and an anti-climactic finish.

    A young woman anxious to marry despite her uncle's objections is suspected in killing him.

    The high points in this one are the funny and smart interactions with the police inspector by both Perry and Della, hip facial expressions and even a mini-legal lecture in its own right. I think what ends up not working successfully are just too many improbabilities. The idea that Nadine would steal cyanide to possible kill herself is far-fetched. The family doctor's bungling of the cause of death simply chews up time and doesn't go to plot. And, who needs a psychiatrist that pumps you with sodium pentathol and grills you about a possible murder (that had not been suspected previously) while you're recovering in a hospital? As per usual, there are about ten other twisting and somewhat related relevant things going on, but some don't quite meet a plausible motive for murder. The best legal lessons here concern ethically recovered evidence, the court room theatrics are a let-down, to the point that Mason himself reverses his own plan to have a taped confession withheld.

    All-in-all, while this is yet another example of a "Perry Mason" episode that makes you pay attention at every turn, and generally makes the most of its complexity, the final resolution disappoints in every way except confirming the early theme that "you don't owe anything, everything is even."
  • Nadine wants to marry John Locke. Her uncle is dead set against it. Nadine steals cyanide from John Locke's lab and her uncle dies that very night. Nadine confesses to the crime while under truth serum.

    This is a pretty good episode of Perry Mason. We get to see Perry driving his Cadillac toward the California/Nevada border. I thought it strange that a big lawyer like Perry did not have air conditioning in his Cadillac. There is a goof at the end when Perry is showing the Judge the ceramic pen holder. Perry takes the pen holder off the Judge's desk to examine it. The next shot cuts to the Judge's desk and the pen holder has re-appeared. The next shot is of Perry and he is still holding the pen holder. Also there was no definitive proof of the identity of killer. The killer is usually revealed before the final scene, but not this time. Perry reveals the identity of the killer at the very end of the show.