HBO’s Perry Mason Episode Guide

Everything you need to know about release dates and synopses for Perry Mason’s eight episode run on HBO.

Perry Mason HBO Episode Guide
Photo: WarnerMedia

The first half of HBO’s Perry Mason was a bit of a tease.

Though everyone with even a passing familiarity with American television knows that Perry Mason is a devoted, capable lawyer, HBO’s version of the show introduced him as something else entirely. Through four full episodes of TV, Matthew Rhys’s legal hero was more of a grimy private investigator. 

To be fair, this depiction of Perry Mason worked quite well within the HBO series’ gritty ‘20s aesthetic. But any show featuring Perry Mason was going to have to head to a courtroom eventually. And eventually Perry Mason did. The back half of Perry Mason’s eight episode first season put the titular star in the legal world where he belongs. And that’s presumably where he’ll stay for season 2

Below is an episode guide to better track Perry’s evolution. 

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Perry Mason Episode 1: Chapter One

Perry Mason and Pete Strickland are hired by an attorney to solve a perplexing case: the brutal kidnapping of a one-year-old whose parents were targeted for a $100,000 ransom.

Written by: Rolin Jones & Ron Fitzgerald; directed by Tim Van Patten.

Air date: 6/21/20

Perry Mason Episode 2: Chapter Two

Following one of her trademark barn-burning sermons, Evangelical preacher Sister Alice (Tatiana Maslany) offers the Dodsons the church’s full moral and financial support – much to her mother Birdy’s (Lili Taylor) dismay. During a routine domestic intervention, beat cop Paul Drake (Chris Chalk) is rerouted to a gruesome crime scene, where he follows a confounding trail of evidence. Mason (Matthew Rhys) is left incensed by a jaw-dropping admission from Baggerly (Robert Patrick) and, after pressing Emily (Gayle Rankin) on her husband’s alibi, finds himself confronted by an outraged Della (Juliet Rylance). Detectives Holcomb (Eric Lange) and Ennis (Andrew Howard) use Drake’s (Chris Chalk) findings to their own advantage.

Written by: Rolin Jones & Ron Fitzgerald; directed by Tim Van Patten.

Air date: 6/28/20

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Perry Mason Episode 3: Chapter Three

In order to gain an advantage over E.B. and team, wily district attorney Maynard Barnes (Stephen Root) goes public with a shocking new development. Mason (Matthew Rhys) and Strickland (Shea Whigham) get unauthorized access to physical evidence with help from Virgil (Jefferson Mays), Mason’s connect at the city morgue. Later, Mason attempts to extract information from a withholding Drake (Chris Chalk), who’s weary of Holcomb (Eric Lange) and Ennis’ (Andrew Howard) watchful eyes. Della (Juliet Rylance) notices a change in E.B. (John Lithgow), who seems uncharacteristically out of sorts.

Written by: Rolin Jones & Ron Fitzgerald; directed by Tim Van Patten.

Air date: 7/5/20

Perry Mason Episode 4: Chapter Four

Mason (Matthew Rhys) and Strickland (Shea Whigham) lean on Virgil (Jefferson Mays), again, for extra-legal assistance. Following Sister Alice’s (Tatiana Maslany) recovery from a frightening episode, Birdy (Lili Taylor) urges her daughter to renounce her claims about baby Charlie. E.B. (John Lithgow) faces the reality of his financial situation and takes his frustrations out on Della (Juliet Rylance).

Written by: Steven Hanna & Sarah Kelly Kaplan; directed by Deniz Gamze Ergüven.

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Air date: 7/12/20

Perry Mason Episode 5: Chapter Five

While Mason (Matthew Rhys) and Della (Juliet Rylance) run a solemn errand up north, Strickland (Shea Whigham) tracks down the sergeant originally assigned to the Dodson case. Before returning to L.A., Mason drops in on his ex-wife Linda (Gretchen Mol) and son Teddy (Cooper Friedman), hoping to make amends for his recent shortcomings. Disturbed by Emily’s (Gayle Rankin) blind faith in Sister Alice (Tatiana Maslany) and her new lawyer, Frank Dillon (Matt Malloy), Della sets out to find Mrs. Dodson more capable legal representation.

Written by Eleanor Burgess; directed by Deniz Gamze Ergüven.

Air date: 7/19/20

Perry Mason Episode 6: Chapter Six

As Emily’s (Gayle Rankin) trial begins and a damning witness testimony takes center stage, Mason (Matthew Rhys) attempts to recover from a shaky start. Meanwhile, in their search for clues that might lead to an exoneration, Della (Juliet Rylance) and Strickland (Shea Whigham) investigate a potential connection between Detective Ennis (Andrew Howard) and Charlie’s kidnappers. Later, Mason considers betraying Drake’s (Chris Chalk) trust to give his client an edge in court, and Birdy (Lili Taylor) urges Sister Alice (Tatiana Maslany) to scrap her Easter Sunday plan before it’s too late.

Written by Kevin J. Hynes; directed by Deniz Gamze Ergüven.

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Air date: 7/26/20

Perry Mason Episode 7: Chapter Seven

Hoping to expose the hidden link between the Radiant Assembly’s staggering debt and Charlie’s ransom, Mason (Matthew Rhys) puts Herman Baggerly (Robert Patrick) on the stand. Sister Alice (Tatiana Maslany) faces mounting pressure from the church elders about her promises for a “resurrection.” Strickland loses track of a key witness, while Drake’s (Chris Chalk) detective work opens a new avenue in the case.

Written by Howard Korder; directed by Tim Van Patten.

Air date: 8/2/20

Perry Mason Episode 8: Chapter Eight 

After the team receives some unvarnished critique from Hamilton Burger (Justin Kirk), Della (Juliet Rylance) presents an increasingly stubborn Mason (Matthew Rhys) with her case for putting Emily (Gayle Rankin) on the stand. As the sensational trial winds to a close, Mason, Strickland (Shea Whigham), Della, and Drake (Chris Chalk) attempt to tie up loose ends – and set the stage for their futures.

Written by Rolin Jones & Ron Fitzgerald & Kevin J. Hynes; directed by Tim Van Patten.

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Air date: 8/9/20