Defending an aging former radical who’s turned himself in for a 1975 bombing proves to be a blast from the past for LA attorney Parker Stern (Reckless Disregard, 2014, etc.) in more ways than one.
Parker can’t well refuse to take Ian Holzner’s case. Not because Parker’s horrible mother, Harriet, who’s called herself Quiana Gottschalk ever since she became an elder of the Church of the Sanctified Assembly, pops up out of nowhere to insist that he take it, but because he can’t deny her clinching argument: Holzner is the father he’s never known. Given his double responsibility as lawyer and son, Parker gives Holzner’s defense everything he’s got. He mends fences with his former girlfriend Lovely Diamond because she works at the law firm of dislikable Louis Frantz, whose status as a death-penalty defender Parker has to trade on in order to take the case. He labors in vain to unearth the trial transcript that sent Holzner’s co-conspirator, Rachel O’Brien, who blamed the bombing on him, to prison for six years. He holds his nose long enough to question two other Holzner-O’Brien gang members: psychopathic Belinda Hayes, who testified against Holzner at O’Brien’s trial, and lily-livered Charles Sedgwick, who’s still doing hard time even though everyone knows he’s incapable of making the bomb that was planted in the Playa Delta VA Hospital back in the day. He does his best to find some common ground with spluttering, self-righteous Holzner, who could pose convincingly as the client from hell. The result is a series of firecrackers and depth charges that go right on detonating after the defense rests.
Guaranteed to appeal to nostalgia buffs who can’t forget their activist days and fans of courtroom drama who demand surprise after surprise and don’t mind seeing multiple cast members unmasked as radicals or undercover cops or killed off to provide them.