The Lincoln Lawyer you probably saw with Matthew McConaughey back in the day featured the same main character as this TV series version. Both are based on novels by Michael Connelly, who worked on the series as well. This time Mickey Haller is played by Manuel Garcia-Rulfo.
I checked out The Lincoln Lawyer because the hero Mickey Haller is surrounded by women in this series. I’ll get to all those awesome women in a minute, but first the setup for the story.
Mickey has been out of it for 18 months because he got hooked on opioids and spent 6 months in rehab. He’s getting his act back together when a fellow defense attorney is murdered. Mickey is informed by Judge Holder (LisaGay Hamilton) that Mickey inherited that attorney’s entire practice and all his cases. It turns out later that the guy who murdered the original attorney might want to murder Mickey, too.
The biggest and most newsworthy case involves the murder of the wife and her lover of tech mogul Trevor Elliott (Christopher Gorham). If Mickey can successfully defend Trevor against the murder charges, his career will be back. There are many other clients and cases (AKA subplots) in Mickey’s inheritance.
One of the subplots involves a case with Izzy (Jazz Raycole). Mickey gets her off and then hires her to be his driver. He owns a whole slew of Lincolns with cutesy license plates. He works in them while driving all over L.A. Izzy is a recovering addict like Mickey and has her own story. Many scenes between them are expository lectures from Mickey while Izzy drives. These lectures explain Mickey’s strategies and plans to win his cases.
Okay, so Izzy is one of the rather awesome women surrounding Mickey. The other two are his ex wives.
The Ex Wives
First wife is Maggie McPherson (Neve Campbell). This was a love match that lasted quite a while. They have a teen daughter, Hayley (Krista Warner). They have a lingering attraction for each other, but there are issues that divide them.
Maggie is a prosecutor. She has her own story arc involving a human trafficker she wants to put in prison. She works with a creepy cop, Det. Lankford (Jamie McShane). That guy gave Maggie (and me) the willies whenever they were together.
Second wife is Lorna (Becki Newton). They were married sort of impulsively and quickly divorced. She’s now in charge of his office. They are good friends and work well together. Yes, the ugly dog is cute.
Lorna is now engaged to Cisco (Angus Sampson). He was a former member of a motorcycle gang, but works as investigator. Mickey hires him to be the investigator for the cases he inherited. He’s very good at his job, but there wasn’t much chemistry between Lorna and Cisco to make their relationship believable.
The Lincoln Lawyer is more mystery and less courtroom drama
Mickey is a whiz in court and comes up with creative ways to defend his clients. But the series is basically a complicated mystery. Mickey figures out many of his cases like a detective, even while being harassed by Det. Griggs (Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine) about the case with Trevor.
Mickey has clients in prison and in mental institutions. He connects a lot of dots for Det. Griggs in the murder case, and learns which of the cases are actually related to the big Trevor case. The secrets are unveiled carefully and slowly, making for a fascinating series arc. The more he learns, the more danger he’s in. The final scene suggests where that danger might head if there’s another season.
There’s a whole series of Michael Connelly books [affiliate link] to pull from, so I would welcome a second season. Especially if Jazz Raycole, Neve Campbell and Becki Newton continue as regulars. Only three of the ten episodes were directed by women: Erin Feeley and Liz Friedlander. There weren’t many women writers listed. These are two areas that need improvement if there’s another season.
The series was created by David E. Kelley and Ted Humphrey.