Michael Connelly’s ‘The Lincoln Lawyer’ Returns for an Engaging Second Season on Netflix

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Image courtesy: Netflix, Lincoln Lawyer (S2)

Following in the footsteps of fellow Michael Connelly character Harry Bosch on Amazon, Mickey Haller is headlining a streaming hit in The Lincoln Lawyer, which has returned for its second season on Netflix. Not only is the show a success, but Mickey himself has become a success, too, after beginning the first season at rock bottom, recovering from an opioid addiction and rebuilding his law practice. All the publicity from the first season’s primary case has made Mickey a star, with his services in high demand.

Michael Connelly’s Lincoln Lawyer Books in Order

Based on 2011’s The Fifth Witness, Connelly’s fourth Mickey Haller novel, The Lincoln Lawyer’s second season once again finds Mickey (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo) defending a high-profile murder suspect while working a series of smaller cases. This time, his main client is chef and restaurateur Lisa Trammell (Lana Parrilla), who’s accused of murdering a real-estate developer whose luxury projects were encroaching on her restaurant.

Mickey first meets Lisa not because she hires him to represent her, but because they have a steamy romantic encounter after Mickey has dinner at Lisa’s restaurant, along with his ex-wife Maggie McPherson (Neve Campbell). Mickey’s complex web of personal relationships is one of the main draws of The Lincoln Lawyer, and the second season digs in to subplots for all of those supporting characters.

Maggie, who works for the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office, is struggling to regain her position after being transferred to a remote office at the end of the first season, while co-parenting teenage daughter Hayley (Krista Warner) with Mickey. Mickey’s other ex-wife, Lorna Crane (Becki Newton), has returned to law school while still working as Mickey’s paralegal. Lorna’s fiancé Cisco (Angus Sampson), who also works for Mickey, is drawn back into some shady activity by the motorcycle gang he used to run with, in the season’s least compelling subplot.

Although the show’s title refers to the cars that Mickey previously used as his mobile headquarters, his newfound success means that he’s firmly established in a fancy office, so his driver Izzy Letts (Jazz Raycole) spends more time as a member of the legal team, striking up a workplace friendship with Lorna. That makes The Lincoln Lawyer even more of an old-school network-style ensemble legal drama, an appealing throwback that’s easy to watch, if not exactly artistically ambitious.

Even with its ongoing case, The Lincoln Lawyer’s second season still devotes plenty of time to more self-contained storylines, including a resolution to the Jésus Menendez case that tormented Mickey in the first season. Lisa’s initial introduction portrays her as more of a potential love interest than a client, and it’s only after Mickey extricates himself from a different dangerous situation that he’s enlisted to defend Lisa.

It’s probably a coincidence that Lisa has essentially the same last name as Sharon Stone’s character from Basic Instinct, but Parrilla plays her with a playful femme fatale allure. She continually flirts with Mickey even after he insists that their romantic relationship has to be put on hold for the duration of her murder trial. She’s more entertaining to watch than the douchebag tech mogul who was Mickey’s main client in the first season.

Elliott Gould is another welcome guest star as an old associate of Mickey’s father. The season also continues its exploration of a vibrant Los Angeles, including the gentrifying neighborhood where Lisa’s restaurant is located. The show’s unique, enticing atmosphere combines with its traditional legal-procedural style for a dependable series that could continue for as many seasons as the long-running Bosch chronicles.


Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch Books in Order

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Josh Bell is a freelance writer and movie/TV critic based in Las Vegas. He’s the former film editor of Las Vegas Weekly and the former TV comedies guide for About.com. He has written about movies, TV, and pop culture for Vulture, Polygon, CBR, Inverse, Crooked Marquee, and more. With comedian Jason Harris, he co-hosts the podcast Awesome Movie Year.