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In stark contrast to today’s gimme, gimme, greedy, everybody with a hand out world, several people in this episode refuse money. First the hit and run victim's wife refuses $25,000.00 from Paul Drake, then Paul Drake refuses $10,000.00 from Frank Thatcher, and finally Perry tears up a check from Henry Dameron for an undisclosed amount. Submitted by PaulDrake 33, 8/30/2008.
BTW
$10k (1959) = $84k (2017)
$25k (1959) = $210k (2017)
OLEF641 5/19/2017

I was looking at DVD vidcaps of the closing credits that Big Dave sent me. Such a contrast from the closing credits on the syndication print! Instead of the Halo shampoo, Colgate tooothpaste, and Wildroot Cream-Oil hair tonic, in the corner is a small version of the lawbooks that were in the credits of the earlier season. Submitted by gracenote, 2/5/2011.

An oft-displayed syndrome in PM shows is the strong patriarch / matriarch (often a widow / widower) who raises weak, snivelling, or scheming - but always prone to dishonesty - progeny. The moral appears to be not only that a parent must be aware of how he/she is raising a child, but also that it takes courage to be honest in challenging situations. cgraul 5.14.12

What is that on the floor of the apartment building? A shadow from the plant, a design or dirt? Looks like dirt to me. Submitted by Wiseguy70005, 6/02/13.

It's always interesting to me how the characters in a Perry Mason story are delineated. As PaulDrake 33 and cgraul observed, what a difference from today (with some exceptions) and the powerful, but morally corrupt patriarch character .. I noted that Papa Dameron knew that his son-in-law was also, in addition to killing a man, cheating on his own daughter - but kept him in the family business (shades of Michael Corleone) because he knew how to make money. Slimy. Submitted by MikeReese, 9/20/2013.

Where's the Dilemma? It's a nifty title, but I can't see that it's particularly motivated by the story line. There are a couple of crisis points but, given the known ethical and moral standards of Paul & Perry, the "choices" they make are no-surprise/no-brainers:

  • As soon as Mrs Colin makes the tiniest hint that something crooked might be going on, Paul instantly recoils and leaves to investigate Thatcher's motive before proceeding with any transaction with Mrs Colin. The portrayal indicates that there's no "choice" for Paul; it's automatic for him to follow the ethical & lawful path.
  • Later, the Damerons, wanting to keep a lid on things, try to bribe and threaten Perry to have Paul plead guilty to manslaughter rather than risk a Murder Rap. Maybe this is the eponymous "Dilemma" but Perry knows that Paul is innocent and that there's only one "choice": defend him.

Therefore, I think that the title is a bit of a stretch. Might it have been inspired by something previous? Apparently, YES: the 1947 pulp-detective movie Dick Tracy's Dilemma! You might already have noticed that Paul Drake is buddies with fellow detective Dick Tracy: a framed, signed portrait of Tracy is seen on Paul's office desk in Episodes 5, 20, 33 & 62. Also note that one of the products displayed in the lower-left corner of this episode's closing credits is Wildroot Cream Oil, the front-man for which is Fearless Fosdick, who is purported to be an alternate-universe doppelgänger of Dick Tracy.
      Ironically, even more so than in this PM episode, I can't find any semblance of a "Dilemma" in the Tracy movie (youtube 59:40), nor any other rationale for "Tracy's Dilemma" within the movie itself. The movie's working title (ie, the title typed on the script & used throughout filming) was "Dick Tracy vs. The Claw". I have searched for possible motivations in contemporary culture for the movie's final "Dilemma" title and have found only a 16 June 1947 LIFE magazine article American Woman's Dilemma. The article's appearance preceded the TRACY movie's NYC première (12 Jul 47) by less than a month so maybe the article created a stir that the movie's promoters wanted to cash in on. Added by Gary Woloski, 8/10/16.
+ 1.1 A difficult situation or problem: so the "dilemma" is simply that Paul is charged with murder. Webster also defines the term as an "awkward" or "embarrassing" situation...though it shouldn't be the latter, since in this perryllel universe being charged with murder means you didn't do it !! Rebutted by Notcom, 081116.