Featured TV on DVD Review: Perry Mason: Season Eight, Volume Two
We are almost at the end of Perry Mason releases. The screener for Season Eight, Volume 2 arrived a little late, and during the worst time of the year for a late release. (Oscars are a lot to deal with.) I finally got to the show this week, but was it worth the wait?
The DVD begins with The Case of the Thermal Thief, which is an episode without Perry Mason. In it, a recently released thief, Maxine Nichols, gets out of prison after four years, but apparently goes back to her life of crime, only to wind up the victim of murder. The Case of the Golden Venom, a woman asks Perry Mason to look into the death of her son, who was supposedly killed in a hunting accident. Her will states that if she looks into her son's death, she will lose everything. That's so suspicious that the cops should have been involved years ago. The Case of the Telltale Tap has too many threads for its own good. In The Case of the Feather Cloak, Perry Mason and Paul Drake travel to Hawaii, to help with a land deal, but there could be a complication and the client is quite paranoid. He's not the only one, as a beachcomber / surfer is killed and his fiancee is charged.
The Case of the Lover's Gamble is a good episode, but there's a problem. It is about a woman suspecting a man is trying to kill his sick wife. There's more details than that, for instance, we see the accident happen, and there are some good twists. However, we've seen this set up before, and this does hurt the episode a little. The Case of the Fatal Fetish has a better set-up, but a weaker execution. In the episode, an assistant distract attorney, Larry Germaine, is dating a woman Hamilton Burger suspects is a corrupting influence. She encourages him to live beyond his means and Mr. Germaine then makes a questionable decision not to prosecute a case. Was he paid off to fund his expensive lifestyle? That's the least of his concerns when his girlfriend is killed and he is charged. The Case of the Sad Sicilian starts with an Italian conman, Paolo Porro, traveling to California. He tries to scam Enrico Bacio, but wanders into a highly dysfunctional family and an angry partnership. When Enrico hears Paolo's name, he think Paolo has come to kill him. And when Enrico winds up dead, Paolo is charged. The Case of the Murderous Mermaid begins with Paul Drake rescuing a parachuter stuck in a tree only to learn the he is a she, Reggie Lansfield, and this is a stunt gone wrong. She's then hired to impersonate a famous swimmer, Victoria Dawn, to get publicity for the swimming school Victoria Dawn runs. However, during the stunt, Reggie is nearly killed, and when Victoria is found dead, Reggie is charged with the murder.
The Case of the Careless Kitten involves another dysfunctional family. The Shore family has quite a bit of money, but it is tied up, because the husband, Franklin, disappeared ten years ago and is presumed dead. However, his wife / widow, Matilda, is refusing to accept that and doesn't let the will be executed. One day, Helen, Franklin and Matilda's niece, gets a call from a man claiming to be Franklin. This is when Perry Mason gets involved, and soon there's a dead body to deal with. The Case of the Deadly Debt begins with Ed Talbert arriving in Los Angles and calling his son to pick him up. Before he can finish the call, someone gives him a shock and he dies. Later we learn the man was in debt to a mobster. When the mobster ends up dead, Perry Mason defends Danny Talbert, Ed's son and a LAPD detective. There's trouble at a casino in The Case of the Gambling Lady. A woman is chased out by the security, but she gets away. She then calls her soon-to-be ex-husband asking for help. When she winds up dead, he's charged with the murder. In The Case of the Duplicate Case, Millie Cornwall is a busy woman. She works in an apartment building in the offices, and they are about to be audited, and naturally she's hitting on just about every man in the office. Also, her husband, Herbie, is a bit of a dead end. Herbie learns that his wife has been embezzling money from her company, but when she's found dead, her husband is blamed.
The final disc starts with The Case of the Grinning Gorilla. Della Street buys an item at an estate auction of a woman, Helen Cadmus, who died a year before in a potential suicide. Della is convinced it was not suicide or an accident. She wants Perry to investigate. At first he's not interested, until her former boss asks into the matter and offers to buy the item for an unreasonably large sum of money. Now he is really interested in the case. The Case of the Wrongful Writ, Ward Toyama is a lawyer who is approached by an intelligence agent, Frank Jones, asking to use Ward's father's shipping company in a scheme to spread democracy. It turns out this agent was fired three years ago. When Frank Jones is murdered, Ward Toyama is charged. The Season ends with The Case of the Mischievous Doll. Dorrie Ambler barges into Perry Mason's office and demands he sees her. ... Just see her. Look at her so he can identify her later, if that is necessary. She was hired by a private eye, just to walk around a certain neighborhood. Perry Mason later learns she's supposed to be impersonating Minerva Minden, a $10 million heir. First the private eye is murdered, then Dorrie. Minerva Minden is then charged. Perry Mason agrees to help her, only to find out what really happened to Dorrie.
The only extra is a 35-second promo for Law Day with Raymond Burr.
Perry Mason: Season Eight, Volume 2 is still very strong, even if there are a few episodes that seem overly familiar or have weaker than average execution. The price for the latest releases has been creeping up, so it is not a great deal anymore.
- Submitted by: C.S.Strowbridge
Date posted: 2013-02-15