Perry Mason

Season 1 Episode 5

The Case of the Sulky Girl

Aired Saturday 7:30 PM Oct 19, 1957 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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out of 10
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  • A definite winner and a good example of the series overall, slightly over-scripted but with the main characters all having something meaningful to do.

    It seems like the secret husband of a rich heiress has decided to murder the controlling uncle denying her rightful inheritence.

    Most of the ingredients are here, a good half hour of set up and dialog, scenes shifting all over the place. One note, the paintings of the accused artist are absolutely awful - call to the prop department. It is interesting how Mason is drawn into the case, not at all having to do with murder or opposing the DAs' office steamrolling to justice - but rather, as a potential probate lawyer.

    Of course, then the episode shifts to the courtroom. As usual, some clues seem fairly obvious from what the viewer has seen, but then Mason always has an even grander scheme up his sleeve - and all demand the attention of the audience. Unlike some lame meandering exposition of an emotional teen from "One Tree Hill", this series really asks the audience to pay some attention.

    And so Mason nails his man, who had seemed to be a little too alert in his observations. Perry puts all the pieces together, finds the real murderer with ease and forces his usual confession (actually confessions, here). Another classic case given the rules of the genre. As usual, I generally will always excuse "Perry Mason" from ridiculous legal flaws on the "grounds of compelling drama".
  • Courtroom pyrotechnics

    It doesn't look good for Perry's client when three witnesses see him apparently kill his wife's domineering uncle, and even worse when it appears he was the only one in the house at the time. But Perry Mason sees through the picture perfect story and roots out the real culprit in a scene that elicits a confession from the gallery.

    The wrap-up of "TCOT Sulky Girl" is quintessential "Perry Mason" - Mason's thundering cross-examination and knack for the theatrical nails a murderer, and in this case, his accomplice as well. The method Mason uses to trap the guilty in this episode is particularly clever, and it also helps to explain the flaw in the seemingly perfect eyewitness account of the murder.

    It's also a change of pace, as Burger appears to be winning the case for the better part of the trial. Mason appears to be sleepwalking through this one until he brings out the big guns for the conclusion. Another change of pace is Tragg being depicted as slightly better than a bumbler - he catches on to Paul Drake's surveillance and casually threatens to revoke his PI's license. I love Tragg's line as Paul leaves, "Maybe I can recommend a good lawyer for you?" It's always nice to see that Mason's perpetual adversaries weren't boobs...they just got outplayed.