The courtroom, accurately, is the draw. Written by Kelley and Ted Humphrey, the early episodes observe a sample, whereby Haller cleans via smaller, seemingly unwinnable circumstances involving regular, cash-strapped shoppers accused of small offenses intertwined with the main throughline, the Elliott trial. The mixture serves two functions: Within the minor proceedings we witness Haller’s fast, observational expertise and his overwhelming appeal (in a single occasion, he bluffs a flash drive as proof to clear his shopper). With Elliott, the larger headache, Haller’s insecurities rise to the floor, particularly as Elliott appears intent on dealing with his lawyer the worst playing cards attainable. The later episodes then meld McPherson’s dogged pursuit of a rich human trafficking suspect and Haller’s quest to rebuild his household. Every storyline permits the protection lawyer’s smug gruff to fade, whereas grounded components spring ahead.
Practically each element of this authorized drama—together with its lovable characters, fascinating circumstances, gleeful fourth-wall breaks by Haller explaining his technique, whiz-bang pacing, and shiny, clear cinematography—makes for simply digestible episodes, particularly as Gorham and Campbell play bigger roles. The 2 add reliable, workmanlike melodramatic beats to in any other case subdued characters, whereas the sequence cleverly maneuvers for an anti-police (Haller does not belief them in any respect) bent, and brazenly talks about habit and restoration. The present additionally has sufficient backstories—Lorna’s want to return to regulation college, Angus’ debt to his former gang, and a case, from way back, that continues to gnaw at Haller—to not solely create a sturdy standalone season, however depart sufficient breadcrumbs for a attainable second season.
If one element of “The Lincoln Lawyer” leaves you uneasy, it is how a number of the dialogue was clearly written by barely on-line writers. Elliott worries about successful the court docket of public opinion, specifically Twitter, and Haller’s daughter complains concerning the “woke police” (individuals aghast at her father defending a rich, potential assassin). These play like bids for relevance, however arrive at such jarring areas, they’re akin to stray traces left over from a number of revisions slightly than a cohesive take. Even so, between Garcia-Rulfo’s attuned efficiency, the sharp authorized wordplay, and the courtroom gamesmanship (each court docket scene delivers a spike of adrenaline), “The Lincoln Lawyer” is a transparent streaming win that might’ve simply performed simply as properly on community tv.
Ten episodes screened for assessment.