Corrupt judge-centered psychological drama starring Ron Perlman bids farewell
Overview and storyline
Hand of God is an American drama series that follows a corrupt judge as he suffers a breakdown and begins to believe that God is compelling him to seek vigilante justice. Produced by Universal Television exclusively for Amazon Video, the drama series first premiered on September 4, 2015. A 10-episode second installment was released on March 10, 2017.
Hand of God follows Pernell Harris (played by Ron Perlman), a crooked judge on a mission for vigilante justice. Following an assault on his daughter-in-law which intimately leads to his son’s attempted suicide, only to be kept alive through life support, Pernell undergoes a fundamental religious awakening and begins having disturbing visions. He believes that God is commanding him to a path of investigating mysterious villains that are responsible for the attack.
With an all-star cast that includes leading man Ron Perlman, famous for his role in Sons of Anarchy, Dana Delaney, Andre Royo and Emayatzy Corinealdi who plays a high-class prostitute, Hand of God opened to mixed reviews. Written by Ben Watkins, creator of Burn Notice and directed by World War Z developer Marc Foster, the show is the first drama pilot to offer viewers an opportunity to vote for the show to be ordered as an entire series. Following a screening of the pilot episode in August 2014, Amazon Studios ordered a full series of 10 episodes, all of which were available for streaming to Amazon Prime members.
Mixed reviews and an axe from Amazon
Season 2 of Hand of God was made available to Amazon Prime members in its entirety – all 10 episodes – on Friday, March 10, 2017. Both installments have delivered very mixed reviews from critics and audiences. For example, on Rotten Tomatoes, while the average approval score from viewers currently stands at solid 81%, the critics only rated the series at meager 30%. On IMDb, the situation is slightly better with a 7.5 out of 10 average rating. Most critics agree that while the drama has a very intriguing premise and a stellar cast, it lacks in execution and is too heavy on impactful thrills. Either way, Amazon has already made the decision not to renew Hand of God for Season 3. We can only hope that a second season finale gave viewers the closure they were looking for.
Pernell teams with KD to mete out their own brand of justice to San Vicente's dirty cops, confronts Bobo about his betrayal, and faces the man he now believes is responsible for tearing his family apart. Jocelyn joins Crystal on a journey to protect PJ's legacy, as Paul considers a new alliance with Pernell. Tessie tries to convince KD that Pernell cannot be trusted.
With Pernell's trial looming, he and KD must leverage new evidence in a bargain with Chief Toby. Crystal convinces Jocelyn that PJ's last note might contain a hidden message. Bobo aligns loyalty with Nathan Brooks. Tessie discovers the truth about her assets.
Belief restored, Pernell seeks to mend relationships with Tessie and Paul and makes shocking discoveries about his trial. KD keeps watch on Chief Toby, and makes enemies with Raymond Kelly in the process. Crystal begins to trust Pernell again. Under pressure from the police, Bobo seeks out a new backer and takes decisive action against Pernell.
Isolated and disillusioned, Pernell takes drastic measures to relieve his suffering. KD betrays Tessie to deliver a message to Pernell. Jocelyn sheds light on one of Pernell's visions. Crystal finds refuge with her sister in Stockton and discovers what happened to Wilson. Toby puts the squeeze on Paul and Bobo, whose friendship with Pernell is on the brink.
San Vicente authorities turn up the heat with a round of subpoenas, but an unexpected visitor offers Pernell a clue that could turn the tables. Pernell helps Crystal and Wilson in a dangerous quest to find PJ's software. But when he runs into trouble with Crystal, Pernell lashes out in public--going toe-to-toe with Paul. Tessie and KD become closer.
After KD's startling confession, Chief Toby and the police make a move. Crystal and Bobo encourage Pernell to go to the media to clear his name. Against Dr. Olonari's wishes Pernell seeks out a dangerous medication to stop his hallucinations. Crystal teams up with a hacker to find Bathwater as Jocelyn confronts her past in therapy.
Still hiding his medical treatment from Olonari, Pernell attempts to reconnect with his wife. But Crystal is busy using her new position as Anne Wu's replacement to further investigate Bathwater. Paul and Alicia face the fallout of Alicia's accident, reawakening Paul's faith. Tessie enlists KD's help to secure her dream house. KD takes matters with the Caldwell trial into his own hands.
When Pernell's bail is revoked, he finds himself tormented by a mysterious new presence in jail. Crystal returns to San Vicente on a mission that lands her in Brooks HQ for an unorthodox job interview. KD tries to dissuade the key witness in Pernell's trial. Facing public unrest, Bobo asks the Harris' for a sacrifice. Jocelyn suffers a setback in her healing process.
With his visions returning and Chief Toby watching him like a hawk, a desperate Pernell breaks the terms of his bail to consult a renowned neurologist. Crystal confronts family secrets and PJ's legacy. Bobo chases political glory, but must face an old flame to get there. KD and Tessie find common ground, and Paul, without Alicia around, goes into a tailspin when his reputation falls apart.
On trial for murder, Pernell sends KD on an important mission to uncover the identity of a mystery witness against him. Crystal reconnects with family in Stockton. Jocelyn ventures out, Paul and Alicia make a decision about the baby, and Tessie contemplates retirement. As he works to woo Crystal, Pernell discovers he may not be the picture of mental health he'd hoped to present to her.
With newfound evidence and renewed conviction, Pernell believes he's finally uncovered the truth of PJ's suicide and who was behind Jocelyn's rape. Crystal intervenes, fearing her husband is suffering a relapse that may have serious consequences. Bobo must confront what he's sacrificed for the Brooks deal. Paul and Alicia receive news that could destroy everything they've been working for.
Pernell struggles to suppress his intensifying hallucinations, as the legal battle with Jocelyn over PJ's life comes to a dramatic conclusion. Alicia is faced with a difficult decision that could affect both Paul and the future of Hand of God. KD unravels as he questions whether he placed his faith in a false prophet.
When a deadly mistake leads Pernell to question his anointed status, he seeks help from a no-nonsense therapist, and begins to recall his unraveling after PJ's suicide. Crystal and Bobo face backlash for enabling Pernell. Alicia and Paul come to grips with a difficult decision, while KD deals with his own guilt. Jocelyn becomes suspicious of Pernell.
With Pernell close to fulfilling his mission, he dispatches KD to serve justice. Paul and Alicia train with the televangelists to become picture-perfect TV Christians - still contending with Alicia's secret. Crystal finds damning evidence of Pernell's extramarital affairs, and debates what to do about it. Jocelyn goes public with her own personal burden in an attempt to finally heal.
When KD returns with new clues, Pernell's call girl Tessie agrees to go undercover to follow the trail. Pernell enlists the church to stage a prayer vigil for PJ, interrupting Jocelyn's plans. April bonds with Alicia and gets wind of a potentially explosive secret. Pernell realizes Crystal may have crossed the line while trying to help him. And Bobo risks losing his dignity - and his son's respect.
KD goes to jail to find out who ordered Jocelyn's rape. Pernell joins Bobo at a men's-only retreat to convince the DWP chair to help with the Brooks plan. Pernell struggles to reconcile his new faith with his love for a call girl, just as he must compete for Tessie's affection. Paul and Alicia audition for a powerful televangelist, while friends from Paul's past threaten his success.
Pernell is torn when a vision convinces him to betray someone close to him to get answers about who hurt Jocelyn. Crystal is frustrated when Pernell refuses to take a prescription, and recruits her weed dealer, April, to spy inside Hand of God. Tessie's estranged brother reaches out and convinces her to get answers from Bobo about the family's eviction - and whether it's tied to the Brooks deal.
With KD under police surveillance and the Brooks deal hanging by a thread, Pernell must pass a psych evaluation, apologize on the record, and get his hands dirtier than he ever has before. Jocelyn's grief has taken on a dangerous ritual, just as Crystal pressures the lawyer to drop her daughter-in-law's case. At Hand of God chapel, Alicia and Paul prepare a high-profile meal for the homeless.
Pernell continues to follow his visions in his quest to find out who raped Jocelyn, convinced it will wake his son from his coma. After a questionable verdict involving KD, Mayor Bobo is left to confront the Brooks Innovations team, who are having doubts about the city deal. PJ's best friend, Josh, and his wife Jocelyn, recruit a hotshot lawyer, Nick Tramble, to defend taking PJ off life support.
After the attempted suicide of his only son, PJ, Judge Pernell Harris believes he can hear the voice of God, and the voice is telling him to find out who raped PJ's wife Jocelyn -- the reason PJ tried to end his life - and bring him to justice. Spurred on by a questionable pastor named Reverend Paul, he teams up with KD, a zealot and violent ex-con, and sets out on a vigilante mission.