Episode three opens with two very different takes of Emily Dodson and her role in her baby boy’s kidnapping. Maynard Barns is framing Emily as “something worse than” an adulterer, while E.B. Jonathan holds that the poor, shell shocked housewife is completely innocent and should be comforted rather than condemned.
Perry watches one of Sister Alice’s sermons as he waits to speak with the Radiant Assembly of God elders. There is much concern among the profiting priests that their golden girl will go “off script” again, but dutifully she sticks to her regular material.
After the service, the elders reluctantly explain to Perry that George Gannon was an accountant and had helped them with a few tasks including bookkeeping and charity drives. Sister Alice abruptly tells Perry that he should come to a service, and, in response to his atheistic scepticism, that if he did he wouldn’t feel so alone.
E.B., Street, and Matthew visit a bedraggled Emily in her cell to go over what must happen at the trial. E.B. is feeling confident since he knows the judge and jovially explains to Matthew and Emily that with some well-timed affection and a bit of luck, everything will go smoothly. His little plan takes a 180 when the couple start arguing hotly about the uncovered affair and Matthew goes so far as to blame his wife for “killing our Charlie boy.”
The cops claimed that George shot himself, but Perry finds this assertion suspicious because after examining the body he notices some strange bruising around the front of the dead man’s neck. Holcomb and Ennis also took George’s personals leaving Perry with only a hunch.
At the station, Perry asks for an inventory list of George’s personal belongings and receives only the crime scene report that Drake had been forced to alter by Holcomb.
Cut to a tense courtroom where E.B. has put painstaking effort into making sure that everything will run according to plan. However, the rug is pulled out from under him when Emily immediately and inexplicably pleads guilty. The room erupts into chaos and E.B. panics, instructing Emily furiously to plead “not guilty” which she does when asked again by the judge. But it’s too late, because of the seriousness of the allegations, the judge sets the bail to $25,000, an impossibly hefty sum in 1920.
After the trial Street furiously confronts Perry about withholding the letters that could have saved Emily, accusing him of rescuing Matthew, a trust-fund gambler, but dooming Emily because of one little affair.
Perry finds Officer Drake and tries to squeeze some information from him on why the report was so barren, but Drake is openly hostile and gives him the brush off. Ennis watches the exchange from a parked car. Pete’s having more luck. He’s found a lead on George, it seems the man was holed-up as an accountant at the Lucky Lagoon Casino, a little gig which he quietly left off his resume when applying to work at the Radiant Assembly of God.
Ennis ambushes Drake and his pregnant wife Claire while they are out shopping. The thuggish detective warns Drake to say nothing to Perry Mason, leaving a silent threat in the air with his pointed attention to the couple’s unborn child.
Sister Alice visits Emily in her cell. Because of all of the accusations and hatred being directed at her, Emily has begun to believe that she inadvertently killed her child. Alice slices through this prison of falseness, kneeling down in front of the miserable mother and asking her point blank if she stole Charlie from his crib, smothered him with a pillow, or stitched his eyes open. Emily stares at her in shock and Alice tells her that “bad men” killed Charlie, not she.
Perry goes to investigate the Lucky Lagoon Casino, with the dashing Lupe to fly him there. He’s making up to her for the terrible New Years Eve. While Lupe scores big at the gambling table, Perry asks around about George. He talks with Al Howard, George’s higher-up, who affirms the man had worked there for a while but quit because he thought the job was going against God. Later that night, Lupe steps into a marble fountain under the desert stars, becoming Perry in the water for a dreamy kiss.
The next morning finds E.B. in a state of dull despondency, the tables have been completely turned on him. Perry is not faring much better. Approaching Officer Drake again about the reports, he gets punched in the gut and Drake tells him to take his nosiness somewhere else.
Ennis visits a seedy brothel which he seems all too familiar with and asks for some “paperwork” from the overseer Jin. But Jin warns “Mr. Woo is not happy” and she’s caught a roomer that a private investigator was sniffing around Lucky Lagoon. For the first time ever, Ennis looks worried.
E.B. is panicking because he can’t find a way to get Emily out. It seems that there’s nothing they can use to accomplish this feat and he’s not listening when Perry tells him about Drake’s suspiciously hostile behavior. While they are arguing, a stony-faced Street enters with a message from Baggerly. He’s fired the whole lot of them.
When he gets home, Drake is still feeling guilty for punching and withholding info from Perry. He wonders how he can be a cop, how he can still be protecting people if he is asked to partake in these loathsome wrongdoings. Claire warns him that he must not do anything to jeopardize his position because he will not find such an opportunity again.
Birdie is angry with Alice about her visits to Emily, stating that the church cannot be associated with such a woman. It is clear that she thinks a lot more about marketing than the welfare of her attendees.
E.B. visits an old legal acquaintance in one last attempt to save Emily, begging the man for a loan to put towards her bail. But just as before, he’s misjudged the extent of this relationship and
the man puts his foot down reminding E.B. that if he tries to dig further, Baggerly will uncover a hidden secret that apparently had both of them nearly disbarred.
Baggerly is just fine with Emily’s imprisonment, pushing a guilty Matthew to just move on. He has great plans for the future and unrolls a set of blueprints for the town of Girard which he plans to transform into “A city of faith, far from the corruption of L.A.”
Street meanwhile seems to be the only one with any sense. While putting an order through for a new retainer at the police station she smells a rat. Barbra, the brutish matron assigned to watch Emily, is having a smoke outside. Where is Emily? Street busts through the jail doors to find Holcomb and Ennis torturing a false confession out of the screaming housewife. Pulling Emily against her, Street surveys the men with burning eyes and snarls “You’re all in big f***ing trouble!”
Pete and Perry are out drinking their new unemployment. As Perry goes to leave he finds a shadowy figure leaning against his milk truck. It’s Drake disguised in plain clothes and he tells Perry the truth about the blood trail leading up the roof and how he’d had to alter that detail in his report at Holcomb and Ennis’s urging. He hands Perry the missing piece of George’s dental device, warns that he was never here, and strides off into the night.
Perry grabs Pete and guns it to the morgue to have one more look at George’s body. Perry is having a breakthrough and yells “what kind of accountant burns money!” When they shine the light on George’s battered face, Perry discovers that the dental device Drake gave him is a match to the one protruding from the dead man’s mouth.
During a production at the Radiant Assembly of God’s Church, Sister Alice, on stage and leading a cheering, singing crowd, starts to hear voices and buzzing in her head before toppling over into what seems to be an epileptic fit. As her mother and doctor rush to help her, it is clear that this has happened before. When Alice comes to, she tells her mother and the worried faces above her that God told her she will “resurrect” Charlie Dodson.