Goliath returns to Amazon Prime Video on June 15th.
By Matthew Stanford
Friends often ask me for TV recommendations. Since October of 2016 my answer has always been the same, Goliath. The first season of this legal thriller starred Billy Bob Thornton as a disgraced small-time lawyer that takes on a large law firm lead by William Hurt. Thornton won a best actor Golden Globe Award for this performance. It reminded me of the old 90’s movie The Pelican Brief. (FYI, if this were a movie, it would definitely be rated R. Do not watch with kiddos around.)
Note: The rest of this review will contain spoilers for Season 1, definitely watch first if you haven’t seen it!
Season 2 picks up a bit after season 1. After winning the case, Billy is millions of dollars richer, but hasn’t changed one bit. He drinks constantly, still lives at the Ocean Lodge Hotel and is a pretty nice guy. It is clear that Billy McBride is uncomfortable being wealthy. He bought a beautiful house but didn’t get around to moving in yet. He bought a fancy car but doesn’t drive and walks everywhere (thankfully with all that drinking). He is the sort of guy that can call females “honey” and it seems endearing instead of creepy or demeaning. Despite all of his flaws he does seem to genuinely care about other people and helping them when he can.
This season begins with Billy McBride passed out drunk in his favorite local bar The Chez Jay. Oscar Suarez, a friendly bar tender played by Lou Diamond Phillips helps awaken him and walk him home. Once settled back home, Oscar mentions to Billy that his son Julio has been arrested and accused of double-murder. Billy responds that he doesn’t work murder cases but he is happy to go talk to Julio and make sure he is getting proper assistance from his public defender.
Brittany then reappears in Billy’s life. If you recall, at the end of Season 1, Billy’s only true friend (and employee) Brittany backstabs their legal team and defense causing the case to almost be lost because of it. During the passage of time between season 1 and 2 they have not spoken but she apologizes and all is forgiven. Later Billy mentions that he can basically forgive anyone for anything except for murder.
After a series of horrible events, Billy ends up taking Julio’s case. He gets the season one band back together to work the case (Brittany, Marva, Patty). This is a group that plays great off of each other and I love each actress in their respective roles. The case as you would expect has many twists and turns and there is a lot more than meets the eye. This time Billy & team are up against a drug cartel, corrupt police, government and many more!
New to the cast this season is Morris Chestnut as Hakeem Rashad, who is the leader of the legal team opposite Billy McBride. Ana de la Reguera plays Marisol Silva who is a mayoral candidate and possible love interest for Billy. My favorite new addition is Mark Duplas who plays Tom Wyatt who is a very confident and extremely out there villain. He does some very heinous things with precision and a smile while wearing a tracksuit. He isn’t just a fixer but reminds me of a less refined version of “The Wolf” in Pulp Fiction.
Season 2 is a little less focused than season 1 and I do miss William Hurt’s extremely creepy Donald Cooperman, but it is still excellent and a worthwhile watch. Being that it is Goliath, expect that there will be shocking unexpected events along the way that may lead you to shout noooooooo! My one wish would be to see Billy McBride in a smaller scale case like the case in The Night Of. I know given that the show is called Goliath this can never happen as that would be like having Jack Bauer take down a guy that robbed a 7-11, but I can still dream. The strength of Goliath is its cast, it is well rounded and Billy Bob Thornton is so great in this role. There are also wonderful transition shots between scenes that are not the cookie-cutter camera work that is typically in similar shows. If you like legal thrillers or Billy Bob Thorton it is definitely worth your time.
I give Goliath Season 2 a B+.