Goliath season 2, episode 1 review: ‘La Mano’


It’s been almost two years since we last saw Billy Bob Thornton’s washed-up, but talented lawyer, Billy McBride win his case against Borns Tech and his Goliath former firm.

As the second season of this Amazon Prime original series begins he’s nowhere to be found. Instead, as the episode opens, a DEA task force raids a house and we learn from a news report that there is a drug cartel, called “La Mano” operating in southern California. A city councilwoman and mayoral candidate named Marisol Silva is spearheading the removal of drugs from Los Angeles in Goliath.

When we finally lay eyes on Billy, he appears to have spent most of the time between his big win and now at the bottom of a bottle. He’s passed out at the same bar he frequented in season 1. He still lives in the same seedy motel. And he’s not making much of a go of it professionally.

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But one thing is new: he owns a Prius — an embarrassment he swears he’ll never drive.

After Oscar from the bar escorts an inebriated Billy home, he nervously admits that his two eldest sons have died in a gang-related shooting.

The next day, Oscar explains to Billy that there was more to the deaths of his sons than he initially let on. His younger son, Julio, has been arrested for double homicide. The police are claiming that 16-year-old Julio committed the murders in retaliation for the deaths of his older brothers.

Oscar is convinced Julio’s innocent. His older sons were part of gangs but his younger son isn’t. Unfortunately, Oscar doesn’t have the money for a lawyer. Billy agrees to talk to Julio’s public defender to make sure everything’s going well with the case.

Later, Marisol Silva finds Billy on the pier. She wants to know if he’s taking on Julio’s case. When she learns he isn’t, she asks him to go see Julio again and gives him her personal phone number.

Despite his protests, Billy gets more deeply involved in the case. He gets a detective to show him the crime scene and finds out they have an eye-witness to the murders.

However, the detective who showed Billy the crime scene isn’t the upstanding guy Billy believes he is. At a basketball game, the detective speaks to an accomplice about framing Julio for the murders. The detective is nervous, especially now that Billy’s involved in the case. But his accomplice is feeling confident and untouchable.

The next day, the accomplice, Danny, notices a billboard for Marisol Silva’s mayoral candidacy. The photo on the billboard shows her with Julio. Danny panics and calls another man, Tom. Danny is worried about the connection between Marisol and Julio is a problem. Tom promises to talk to Marisol about it.

At lunch with Marisol, Tom brings up Julio, who she knows through her community center project. Tom tells Marisol she has to distance herself from Julio in order to avoid damaging her chances of election. Marisol isn’t happy about the idea.

Next: Goliath season 2, episode 2 recap: ‘Politics’

Billy prepares Oscar for a preliminary hearing where he plans to provide an alibi for Julio. As Oscar walks out of Billy’s hotel to get to the hearing, a car pulls up and a man shoots Oscar twice in the chest. He dies in Billy’s arms.

Whoa! Season two’s off to an exciting, if tragic, start.  It looks like the Goliath this time may be even more insidious than last season. Keep it here for more Goliath recaps!