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.
$10k (1959) = $84k (2017)
$25k (1959) = $210k (2017)
OLEF641 5/19/2017

Menbers of the Dameron clan should have realized that Mr. Colin was only "overweight ... on his driver's license" as Mr. Thatcher checked his pulse after the accident and Tad buried the body. jfh 20Jul2017.

May have missed it, but I don’t believe we find out who owned the gun or where it came from. DOD 08/27/20
+It was Paul’s gun and of course his fingerprints were on it. Submitted by Wick 2/2/2022.

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
+ This episode also shows that greed and dishonesty are not reserved for the rich and powerful: sniveling Donna Kress not only had continued a nine-year relationship with a married man, but she also refused to give Perry any information after papa Dameron bought the record label to which she was submitting her demo. jfh 01Aug2018.
++ Not only that, but her character could hardly have been unconscious of 'Joe Marsden's' feeling's for her, but she still carried on with 'Frank Thatcher'. Feelings are funny things...she tortured herself with love for a man who not only married another woman for money, and was keeping her as a side piece, and Joe tortured himself loving her, a woman who obviously would never love him back. His statement in court is from a heart broken... MikeReese 1/4/2021.

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.
+ Cheating on one's wife was not only tolerated in those days, it was almost expected, at least among the rich and powerful, and certainly in the sort of arranged marriage Thatcher was in. He married her at her papa's request in exchange for being given the reins of the business in preference to Dameron's weak biological sons. I wouldn't be surprised to find that Dameron had had his own "bit of stuff" on the side when he was younger, nor to find that at the time of the episode he still had one. OLEF641 2/25/22

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.

Final scene: I may be wrong, but it seems to me that this is the first episode in which the short wrap-up scene does not include either a "Gee, Perry, how did you figure that out?" moment or a shared laugh among the regular characters (with or without Perry's client-of-the-week). It does, however, contain mention of the fact that Perry will be going to dinner shortly, which is a frequent feature in the wrap-up scenes. Submitted by catyron, 11/16/2017.

Well REcuse me Given his personal relationship with Paul, it seems likely Hamilton would have had someone else in the office prosecute this case. Indeed, had the producers looked into their crystal ball ( and seen William Talman on hiatus ) they might have just waited a few months...this would have been an ideal case for a fill-in Assistant DA. Notcom, 122719.

“Skid marks 200 feet long.” So Frank saw Alexander Colin from over 200 feet away and still hit him? Yikes! That’s some mighty skillful driving. Kilo 4/26/2021.

Fussy Factotum: Once again our teleplay writers have provided us with an apartment or hotel desk clerk I will describe as "fussy." (Was there a spot for them on the original ESG plot wheels?) Now, I have stayed in plenty of hotels, and indeed have encountered a few desk staff like these. But I wonder if at the time of original airing, these portrayals raised any objection from a hospitality trade association, or international brotherhood of apartment and hotel desk clerks. Ha. JohnK, 10 September 2021

One-Way Soundproofing - If the murder apartment was soundproofed, as Thatcher told Donna Kress and as testified to by the policeman saying he didn't hear the record playing (rather loudly) until the door opened, how could the desk clerk's voice be heard from outside the apartment just before he opened the door and found, with the two policemen, the murder scene. And, why were those policemen with him in the first place? Just because of an unanswered phone?? OLEF641 2/25/22

Vocals ? how does such a nasally speaking voice get a record contract ? Sorry, not eating that cool-aid. HW 1-10-23