Perry Mason may have used questionable tactics on the cab driver (unless you believe the explanation given in court--testing his memory) but not the ballistics test. The murder was done first with a long range fatal shot followed up by a close range shot with a blank (thus framing the defendant by making it look like a single shot from close range). But since a real blank would have left wadding in the wound how did the murderer do this? Presumably by doing exactly what Perry Mason did.
I guess I had always figured Perry Mason was incorruptible, a complete straight arrow...so I've been pleasantly surprised to see that his character is not that simple on the series. In this episode, Perry engineers a ruse to discredit a key prosecution witness and doctors a ballistics test. No wonder Burger gets so frustrated in the courtroom!
This one is classic film noir, with a femme fatale (named Roxie no less!), a woman in trouble and some shady land deals. "Chinatown" lite it isn't, but it is enjoyable, particularly with the reveal of how the murder was committed.
My only real problem with the episode is Perry's client of the week, Sybil Granger. Her husband is cheating on her, and her solution is to buy her husband off? And by the end of the episode, they're back together. Not only that, but her regular routine of spying on her husband and his girlfriend is just creepy. Paul sums it up when he says he just doesn't understand women.
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