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‘The Lincoln Lawyer’ Season 2 Ending Unpacked: is Lisa Guilty? Who’s Buried by the Cilantro?

Court is back in session for “The Lincoln Lawyer.”

So far, Season 2 of the Netflix series − released in two parts − has seen Mickey Haller (Manuel García-Rulfo) cross paths with the alluring chef Lisa Trammell (Lana Parrilla, “Once Upon a Time”). He fell for more than just her cooking: In Part 1, the two spend a night together but things quickly became complicated when Lisa was charged with the death of Mitchell Bondurant (Clint Carmichael), the developer she resented for trying to gentrify her Los Angeles neighborhood.

Part 1 left off with viewers, including Mickey, having second thoughts about Lisa’s innocence. In the just-released Part 2, Mickey struggles to make a solid case for her when all evidence and intent point to Lisa being the one who killed Mitchell. But knowing that it’s LA’s hottest lawyer we’re talking about, Mickey will find a way.

So, is Lisa guilty of murder? What really happened to her ex Jeff? And what’s up with that cliffhanger? Let’s find out.

Mickey’s second ex-wife and legal aide, Lorna Crane (Becki Newton, “Ugly Betty”), never had a good feeling about Lisa − and for good reason. (You’ll see why.)

At the end of Part 1 of Season 2, the lawyer’s world is rocked when a forensics analyst testifies during the preliminary hearing that Mitchell’s blood was found on Lisa’s gardening gloves. The judge then decides the state has met its burden of proof and the chef is charged with murder.

Lisa maintained her innocence to Mickey and told him she was “being set up!” Mickey reminded her that he “defends clients accused of crimes all the time, guilty or innocent. It doesn’t matter,” he adds. “I do everything in my power to win.”

And that he did. The blood on her gardening gloves, her strong temper, an even stronger disdain for Mitchell and his restraining order against her were no match for Mickey’s defense during trial in Part 2.

In an effort to redirect the onus from Lisa, Mickey inadvertently placed the blame for Mitchell’s death on the son of the head of an Armenian mob family, businessman Alex Grant (Michael A. Goorjian). It was an easy target as Alex was already being investigated by the FBI in a federal case about construction fraud. When he’s put on the stand and interrogated by Mickey about his relationship and dealings with Mitchell, he cracks under pressure and pleads the Fifth − seeming pretty sus to jurors on the case.

The chef’s hands are suddenly clean. She’s found not guilty of Mitchell’s murder. But we’ll soon see the innocence of one murder doesn’t necessarily cancel out the guilt of another.

“He hated cilantro,” Lisa told Mickey the first night they met at her restaurant. That fun fact about her abusive ex is what set off Mickey’s final red flag as he pieced together Lisa’s lies.

In the final episode of Part 2 of Season 2, titled “Bury Your Past,” Mickey is spending the day with his daughter at Venice Beach when he’s suddenly struck with a realization. The waves crashing nearby and the sounds of busking at the beach take him back to the ambient noises he heard during a call with Lisa’s ex-husband, in which Jeff claimed he was in Ensenada, Mexico. (Jeff and Mickey had been in contact about Lisa’s case, but Jeff wanted no part in it.)

Mickey had no idea, until now, that Jeff was closer than he thought − right in Lisa’s backyard.

Later that night, after doing some digging on Jeff’s whereabouts with the help of Cisco (Angus Sampson), Mickey stumbles upon a photo proving that the Jeff he met was actually a former employee of the chef’s restaurant. (The ex-employee, pretending to be Jeff, told Mickey he had had a change of heart and wanted to testify as a character witness, but the lawyer turned him away.)

According to the lawyer’s findings, Lisa’s ex Jeff had filed for divorce 11 years prior, then he withdrew it a couple of weeks later, right around the time he allegedly left his wife. Then poof, he disappeared off the face of the Earth.

Walking with Lisa around the garden she keeps behind her restaurant, Mickey confronts her: “I’ve been a lawyer for a long time, Lisa. And I know when something’s off. After a while, I knew you didn’t kill Mitchell Bondurant, but just because you’re not guilty of something doesn’t mean you’re innocent of everything.”

Turns out, Lisa murdered Jeff (so he wouldn’t walk away with half of her restaurant in the divorce) and buried him in that same very garden, next to his least favorite herb. Poetic justice, perhaps?

Mickey’s right-hand woman, Lorna, tips off the police, and Lisa is seemingly arrested as the dynamic duo drives off to Lorna’s wedding.

Driving in his Lincoln convertible after the bittersweet ending of his romance with Lisa, Mickey receives a call from a new client named Julian La Cosse, who is being held in jail on a murder charge. 

Julian tells Mickey his friend Giselle Dallinger − the same friend he’s accused of killing − suggested he reach out to him if he was ever in legal trouble, but the lawyer doesn’t recall knowing anyone by that name. Still, he decides to go meet this client and represent him.

The following day, he heads to the morgue to look further into the case and comes to a tragic realization. Mickey sees an old familiar face on the coroner’s table: Gloria Dayton, a sex worker who used to go by Glory Days. She was first introduced in Season 1 when she testified in the Jesus Menendez case and helped Mickey get Menendez released. In Season 2, the two crossed paths again when Mickey needed her help after realizing that the DA intended to retry Menendez’s case.

Gloria then told Mickey she planned to no longer engage in sex work and go back home to Hawaii to spend time with her family. We never heard from her until she sent Mickey a postcard from Hawaii. But now she’s dead, back in Los Angeles − setting off a million more questions for a possible Season 3.

How did Gloria Days die? Why is Julian La Cosse being accused of her murder? Will this be another emotionally blinding case for Mickey Haller to represent?

Source: USA Today