Perry Mason's Producers Are Already Thinking About A Season 3

This post contains spoilers for the season two finale of "Perry Mason."

Over the course of two seasons, HBO's "Perry Mason" has taken the classic legal series to places the books, radio series, and golden age TV show that came before it never could. With a noir sheen and a bleeding heart, the show has captured 1930s Los Angeles as a place of deep injustice and corruption — but also a place worth saving. In the second season finale, the show took Mason (Matthew Rhys) himself to someplace new, too: behind bars for evidence tampering.

The show's decision to end season 2 with its titular haunted hero serving time is a surprising one, but it also fits the ethos of a series about doing the right thing no matter how much it sucks. Mason can't stop the oil scheme going on under the DA's nose or end the racism that made the Gallardo brothers' own incarceration so painful, but he can get them a plea deal in exchange for owning up to the gun he'd been holding onto earlier in the season. It's a subdued, bittersweet ending, and it's also one that leaves audiences eager for a third season.

'You don't think about that when you think of LA'

The show hasn't been renewed for a third season yet, but its executive producers are open about the fact that if a third season does happen, they've got plenty of ideas to work with. /Film's Vanessa Armstrong spoke with co-showrunner and executive producer Michael Begler about the series, and Begler revealed that he has some fresh angles about historic Los Angeles that the show has yet to tap into. "Anything I have, I'm not allowed to talk about, because we don't have a third season yet. But I'll say this — I'm very lucky," Begler shared. He revealed that he actually lives just "around the corner" from Bill Deverell, one of the three historians working on the show, and that being neighbors has led to some great brainstorming sessions between the pair.

"He's such a wealth of knowledge and because he lives around the corner, we run into each other, we take walks, we've had a beer, we've had coffee, and he's told me so much that is unexpected," Begler tells /Film. The showrunner also says that any future "Perry Mason" stories would be built two subvert viewer expectations about the history of Hollywood and Los Angeles, just as the first two did. "This is what I loved about this season — this whole idea of oil and the wealth around it, you don't think about that when you think of LA," he explained. "You don't think about LA having a forest of oil derricks, right?"

'Let's see where we take them'

Begler says viewers come to the show with the expectation that 1930s LA has "this sort of glamour" associated with Hollywood, and "Perry Mason" doesn't exactly feed into that. "What I loved about this season and what I would want to do going forward is to keep playing with that expectation," he shares. While season two started as a story about police brutality and racism and ended as a story about deep-seated corruption related to imports and exports, the first season tackled an even bleaker story that stirred up public sentiments about sex work, drug use, and gender roles. "Perry Mason" doesn't avoid tough, dark topics, but instead bakes them into its DNA.

"There are so many different sides to this city that aren't explored that had such a contribution to making L.A. what it is, and I think that that's the great thing about this series," Begler tells /Film. While he doesn't get into finale spoiler territory, he seems to think that Mason and his team may just be getting started. "And yes, character arc-wise, there's so much there," he says, "Because again, we've just sort of launched them and now let's see where we take them." Begler isn't the only executive producer who thinks "Perry Mason" has plenty more ground to cover. EP Susan Downey told ScreenRant something similar, saying that the crew would "jump at the opportunity to continue" with a third season.

There's plenty more history to explore

"If we're fortunate enough to have a third season, we definitely know there's a ton more story to tell both from a character standpoint," Downey shared, "but also really rich and juicy mysteries and expanding even more areas and arenas of Los Angeles as we move forward through the 30s." Fans may have to wait for (hopefully) a season 3 renewal before any more details about future stories emerge, but it's worth noting that both Downey and Belger mention the various piece of LA that make it the city that it is, so it seems likely that future stories could be set in a different area or subculture than those we've seen so far.

"Perry Mason" season 2 ended on more than just the jailhouse cliffhanger; it also set up Hope Davis' Camilla Nygaard as a force to be reckoned with. The eccentric, wealthy woman was threatening Mason's second-in-command Della (Juliet Rylance) up until the second the FBI showed up to question her, and the season's true villains — including Paul Raci's Lydell McCutcheon — escaped justice completely. In some ways, it's an ending fit for a hard-boiled noir, but "Perry Mason" is more than that. It's a complicated, stylish tapestry of LA history, one that clearly isn't finished yet.

The first two seasons of "Perry Mason" are available on HBO and HBO Max. A third-season renewal has not yet been announced.