Here is my Amazon prime Goliath season 1 summary, legal review, and recap of the ending. All I can say is … wow. This season was a powerhouse of acting, story, character, and thrills.
IMHO, Goliath season 1 rates as one of the best legal thriller and courtroom drama television seasons, which was unfortunately dulled by season 2 (otherwise I’d rank this higher than How To Get Away With Murder).
Amazon Prime Goliath Season 1 Summary
- 1 Amazon Prime Goliath Season 1 Summary
- 2 Goliath Season 1 Episode Recap
- 2.1 Season 1, Episode 1: Of Mice And Men
- 2.2 Season 1, Episode 2: Pride and Prejudice
- 2.3 Season 1, Episode 3: Game On
- 2.4 Season 1, Episode 4: It’s Donald
- 2.5 Season 1, Episode 5: Cover Your Ass
- 2.6 Season 1, Episode 6: Line of Fire
- 2.7 Season 1, Episode 7: Beauty and the Beast
- 2.8 Season 1, Episode 8: Citizens United
- 3 The Goliath Season 1 Ending Explained
- 4 Where Is Goliath Season 1 Set?
- 5 Maureen’s Legal Bottom Line
The Goliath season 1 summary is part of my Goliath TV show recaps.
The case follows Billy McBride (Billy Bob Thornton), an alcoholic attorney. Billy used to be the named partner at Cooperman McBride, a prestigious law firm. Billy gets a case from Patty Solis-Papagian (Nina Arianda), a loud-mouth, bullish attorney/real estate agent.
Here is the trailer for season 1:
Goliath Season 1 Episode Recap
Season 1, Episode 1: Of Mice And Men
Amazon Prime summary: A burned-out attorney gets a second chance for redemption when he agrees to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit against the biggest client of his former law firm.
At the very beginning, there was a big bang. For the universe, but also for Goliath. A boat blows up, and some fishermen are caught in the wake of that explosion. Why did the boat explode? Hmmm. That’s the reason for the season.
A while later (I wrote down 2 years in my notebook), we see Billy at the Ocean Lodge. He is drinking in the middle of the day. His daughter, Denise, arrives, and they kind of have a spat about colleges.
We then see him drive his beat up Mustang convertible, which made my husband salivate.
Next, we see him meeting with a client, who basically tells Billy to F off. Patty is in the background.
His ex-wife, Michelle, and Callie Senate, who will be one of the main antagonists of the season, are doing some kind of presentation to welcome the newest branch of Cooperman McBride. We see a shot of Lucy Kittridge, who will also be one of the main antagonists of the season.
Michelle meets up with Billy at the bar. And then a scene where Michelle and Callie are watching Lucy stuttering. Callie confronts Lucy about it as an “attitude” complaint … with Lucy volleying back that Callie would be “F-F-Fucked” if they did something about it under the ADA.
Rachel walks up to Billy and tries to solicit him to take her case. Her brother blew up on some boat, and she wants to sue for wrongful death. She mentions his drinking too much, and he says that he drinks just the right amount. He doesn’t want to take her case. Afterward, they have sex with one another.
So far, this is all background stuff. But we gotta be introduced to the playas.
The next morning, Billy looks up Borns Technologies. He agrees to take this case, and then he heads over to see Gina Larson, the widow of Ryan Larson, who supposedly killed himself. “I’m not going back there,” Gina says, and then she makes a phone call to someone.
That someone was Donald Cooperman, of Cooperman McBride, a recluse who has half of his face burned off.
In the next scene, we see the fishing trawlers … the people whose boat was in the aftershock of the explosion … they had an immediate insurance payout from Borns Tech. Any time this happens, folks, you gotta question it, okay? Immediate payments are fishy. Yes, pun intended.
Michelle sees Donald, who is sitting in the dark. He’s also got this annoying clicker thing. Tbh, I have no idea why he doesn’t have the other half of his face smashed in, he’s so annoying. Obviously, the producers of this show did a huge stretch with this dude. Because he plays creeper peeper most of the show, but he doesn’t do any actual legal work. That’s not how law firms work. But, he commands Michelle to let the mouse do the work.
The mouse = Lucy. She’s going to draft a motion to dismiss against Billy McBride’s Petition for Wrongful Death, with Rachel as the client.
We are next introduced to Brittany Gold, a prostitute that Billy helped out. But she’s also a good paralegal, and Billy need some help with drafting stuff. She wants to give him a blow job instead, but she’s a prostitute with a big heart. So she agrees to help him out.
Billy McBride is watching some news footage when Patty Solis-Papagian storms in and starts yelling about how Billy slept with Rachel. Which yeah, I get, it’s rather gross. (But see below, my Legal Bottom Line.) Patty is both awesome and quite irritating. She’s loud and funny, but she’s also stupid as hell. And she makes up for being stupid by being louder. In other words, she’s the classic bully.
So he’s where the weird stuff starts happening. Billy walks out, and his mustang has a bunch of fish guts all over it.
Billy is out on the back porch of his house with Michelle (the ex-wife). Honestly, these two get along so well, I want to throttle them both. But, I guess Michelle’s got nothing to argue about since Denise lives with her. Michelle is also rich. I make the assumption that so is Billy since he used to be the “McBride” in Cooperman McBride. Although, we never can quite figure out how much he’s worth throughout the entire show.
Anyway, she says don’t let Donald destroy you. Ominous words, there.
Brittany and Patty meet. Billy tells off Patty (finally, stfu you loud mouth). Another person I can’t quite figure out why she hasn’t been punched in the face.
Donald gets the complaint, and Donald wants Callie to argue it. We don’t know his reasons … Callie does not really do this type of law … but I have a feeling that Donnie boy knew about Michelle and Callie’s relationship (there are cameras everywhere). And knew that Callie would try to chop off Billy’s balls.
We have a few blah blah blah filler scenes.
Denise shows up while Billy is watching the tube. She and Michelle got into a fight. Probably about Billy. Some creeper dude take a pictures of them. She needs a ride back to Michelle’s house, when Billy gets pulled over. The episode ends when Billy gets beat up (and arrested) for a DUI, and Denise gets Tasered.
Season 1, Episode 2: Pride and Prejudice
Amazon Prime summary: Billy scrambles to get his wrongful death lawsuit into court by any means necessary.
Billy gets out of jail, and he’s running behind. Oh, whoops, his case is already thrown out. Also, his car is all smashed up. He goes to the beach to think things through when Patty barges in. Yelling and screaming ensue. We later find out that the case was dismissed without prejudice, so Patty’s just being stupid again.
Donald Cooperman wants to file a malicious prosecution suit against Billy. Just because he’s a mean guy with half a face.
Billy goes to see Rachel, who shuts the door in his face.
Creeper dude see the fisherman. This is set up for later on.
Billy goes to see the clerk. Billy tells Patty to get Rachel back.
Donald wants Lucy on the case. He’s watching her on camera again. Ewww.
Billy’s at the bar again, and Rachel walks in. She tells Billy to stop hanging up on her, Billy says he isn’t, and then they kissy and makey uppy.
A useless scene with Lucy and some other peeps from the office.
We then meet Marva. Who is an angel, btw. New legal secretary because Brittany is a prostitute. Not a paralegal.
Rachel goes to see Gina and Jason, Gina and Ryan’s son. Meow, Rachel and Gina hate each other. Gina seems to have a lot of hatred toward everyone for no reason, which kind of makes her suspicious. Everyone in this show is in extreme, btw.
We have a cut scene where Brittany is getting her Brittany on, doing coke and hooking.
The Billy McBride crew are in the hotel room when Michelle comes in. The federal court dismissed the case without a reason. Something Donnie Boy did. But, they get back into State court because it was dismissed without prejudice. Can I say it again how dumb Patty is. She wants to settle, btw.
We are now introduced to Wendell Cory, the CEO. He and Leonard, the general counsel, are talking. Donald was up to no good, but Donald’s the man. Callie and Mouse talk about The Gnome (the judge in the case). Then back to Brittany hooking some more. Donnie Boy sees Billy being Tasered. Blah blah blah more filler scenes.
In the court room, the motion to dismiss is granted on standing. Standing is a concept that you need to be the person who has the right to sue. In a wrongful death case, you generally need to be financially or emotionally dependent on the person who died. A brother and sister do not count … this is a wife or child or even a parent if the person took care of the parent.
Billy is held in contempt for being an ass to the judge. Which means that he can get a bunch of information into the case in some legal maneuvering of the contempt hearing. I’m not quite sure if this is accurate. But I’ll go with it because it was cool.
And the last scene … you just need to watch it. I won’t spoil it for you.
Season 1, Episode 3: Game On
Amazon Prime summary: The judge gives Billy only a day to make a compelling offer of proof before he dismisses the lawsuit.
Rachel is in the morgue. Billy tells her it Goliath story.
We see Creeper dude making a phone call to report car he used run over Rachel.
Next, Billy and Patty get thrown out of the funeral service. Like I said, Gina has a lot of anger issues. Lucy and Callie explain the contempt, and why it is important. The judge then meets Donnie Boy in a not-so-subtle move for Donald to try to buy off The Gnome.
Back in court, the Gnome vacates the contempt. Outside of the courtroom, Billy and Patty meet up with Jason. Billy give his business card to the kid. We then have a great scene where Billy tells Patty to shut the fuck up. And then, Billy walks up to the cop to tell him “I don’t give up.”
Brittany is all messed up after doing too much coke and hooking. This is supposed to be important at the end, but it isn’t really well explained in the season. Brittany gets herself into trouble, and that’s the reason she ends up doing what she does at the end.
Donnie Boy and Callie Girl talk about Jason Larson. Billy goes to meet the priest. The priest is super strict. He wouldn’t have buried Ryan Larson if Ryan committed suicide.
Billy gets drunk. He sees Denise. Denise gives some kind of pep talk to Patty about the next day’s hearing.
The next day, in court, the judge appoints Patty Jason’s GAL. Patty appoints Billy to sue the hell out of Borns Tech.
In chambers, the judge classifies this as a complex case. But Billy needs to have something other than just an allegation. Which is totally defective. Because that is what discovery is supposed to be about. Discovery is the time period in a trial when both sides trade information to put on their case.
Callie and Michelle have a chat. Blah blah blah, don’t hurt Billy. Back at the hotel, marva has set up interviews to find an expert. Patty thinks that she has found their expert. They go see him. That plastic should have been nowhere near the boat. But they have a problem, because the guy is a nut job.
A tender moment between Brittany and Billy.
In the last scene, Billy pulls out a can of whoop ass. He is successfully brought a whole bunch of evidence to justify the trial. Again, this was totally unnecessary and defective.
Season 1, Episode 4: It’s Donald
Amazon Prime summary: The beginning of discovery unearths a startling new piece of evidence that threatens to unravel Billy’s entire theory of the case.
Lucy his hard at work. She dries out her armpits as Donald is watching her.
Donald and Callie take a trip to the Borns Tech. Wendell and Leonard argue about Callie coming to visit. Leonard shows Callie some information. They were illegally building a weapon. If they settle, then the DoD would be notified of the litigation and that the weapon was used. They were using it without approval from the Pentagon.
On the way back we find out that Donald had sex with Callie too.
Patty and Billy argue about the DUI. Patty freaks out because she’s actually terrified of being an attorney.
Back in the courtroom, Billy mentions Rachel. Lucy jumps up to make an objection. That sparks a catfight between Lucy and Callie. we see Lucy being an evolving jerk.
Billy is now interviewing Jason. Dad was fine. But Gina gives them the suicide note.
Callie is complaining to Donald about Lucy. Donald says that this is going to be a David and Goliath situation. He wants to make Lucy first chair.
Ned (the former Borns Tech expert) screams at Patty, and Billy yells right back at Ned for talking to Patty that way. They find out that whatever Ryan was working on, the testing for it was banned.
More blah blah blah .
Brittany goes to see the priest. She fakes being depressed. The priest offers to help her out. All of the files are delivered to the motel. So, Billy needs to get the key to the storage unit.
Brittany gives some background information as to why Billy started drinking. It had to do with one of his clients that he got off. Later that client ended up killing an entire family.
The fishermen were set up on a drug sting.
Billy tries to get the key from Michelle, and he sees Michelle and Kelly having sex.
More filler scenes.
In the last scene of the show, Lucy goes to see Donald Cooperman. Donnie Boy is naked. Oh, how gross. I think we’re supposed to believe that Lucy got an email from Donald to come up to his office.
Season 1, Episode 5: Cover Your Ass
Amazon Prime summary: As both sides begin their depositions, more secrets start to come to the surface, threatening to destroy everyone involved.
Donald and Lucy are in the shower. I will say it again. Gross. Creepy Dude tries to set up Billy for the drug shipment. Billy goes to see the fisherman in prison.
Meanwhile Brittany goes to see her parole officer. We have a funny scene where the parole officer yells at Brittany. Just FYI, I really don’t think that the parole officer can just go into Brittany’s apartment when she’s not there. And she definitely wouldn’t do it for a prostitution charge. I love it how television shows like to portray government workers actually giving a shit. Or, at the very least, not being so overworked.
Leonard wants off the case. Wendell tells him just to go get something rezoned. Marva dives into all of the boxes.
Donald and Callie talk. Lucy will do the questioning in today’s deposition. Lucy goes crazy on some associates. Blah blah blah more filler scenes.
Brittany flirts with the police officer.
Cooperman gets his subpoena. The motion is quashed. He rips the paper up.
At Ned’s deposition, Billy messes around with Lucy. Callie has to jump in. Uh oh, Ned made a sex video with his ex-girlfriend. He made it public for revenge. The caption was taste like chicken.
Our crew is having an argument with each other in the bathroom. Callie gives Billy a restraining order for Michelle. Billy talks to his daughter. Denise does not wanna get involved between her parents. Honestly, this kid is too mature. She doesn’t even look like she is a kid. Probably because she is not.
Brittany reviews the deposition. They look at the two suicide notes. They realize there is something different between the two of them.
They go see Jason and dig up a time capsule. Gina says that the priest came to visit her last night to confess that Ryan did not kill himself.
Patty and Billy try to decide what to do about the model that they dug up from the time capsule.
Lucy goes to see Donald. She is upset that Donald did not tell her about the sex video. Donald tells her that she did fine, and her face is like a piece of porcelain.
Lucy goes to the gym to go swimming. Creepy dude tells her to tell Donald to answer the phone.
Ned looks at what was in the time capsule. This is a war crime to even see it. They will kill you before you get to prove it. We now find out that the priest has been excommunicated.
Season 1, Episode 6: Line of Fire
Amazon Prime summary: Billy has to go to great lengths to secure his physical evidence’s safety and preserve his witnesses’ credibility.
Strange dream sequence with Donald looking at himself without burns. Billy flicks a cigarette, and Donald goes up in flames. Brittany shows Billy the sex tape.
Billy kinda gets hit beat up at the deposition of Gina Larson. Kelly says she will file a contempt for playing games. FYI, this is incorrect. The proper term is sanctions (under Federal Rule Rule 30(d)(2) … California Rules may or may not follow the Federal Rules).
Sanctions and contempt of court are different even if the two often have the same result. A contempt can end in jail time. A sanction, on the other hand, is monetary reimbursement for the other side’s attorneys’ fees.
Creeper dude, who is named Karl Stoltz, is watching Billy and Patty as they talk outside. Billy tries to hit Karl’s car with a baseball bat as he speeds away, but he ends up spraining his arm. We find it that there has been a break in at the storage locker. Someone has routed through all the discovery files.
Michelle and Callie watch Lucy practice in opening statement.
Billy drops off the model to the judge. Billy let the judge know about all the shit that has been happening to their side. Meanwhile Callie and her team all speak. What was in that capsule? We find out that Donald is watching and can talk.
Patty and Billy discuss the revenge porn. Billy gets drunk and calls Rachel. Denise shows up – who is Mom dating? Billy, to his credit, doesn’t say anything. But Michelle and Callie are in bed together when Denise shows up. Callie texted Denise to show up. Michelle is pissed.
Billy and Ned go see the ex-girlfriend to make sure that Borns Tech can’t call on her to be a witness to their side. Then, Billy and Brittany go to a baseball game and see the police officer. They bribe him with the sex tape.
But here’s the deal with this. The show doesn’t really explain why the police officer is so important (he’s not) even though a big, huge deal is made out of bribing him. (But not that the police officer trumped up charges and Tasered an underage girl???) Cop knows about Karl Stoltz, but who cares. The show drops in things like this all the time.
Brittany is pissed off at Billy. She’s pissed that she had sex (of her own accord) with the police officer. And she’s then pissed that Billy didn’t approve of her methods, all the while accusing him of telling her to have sex with him.
Billy goes to the FBI for Karl Stoltz.
The other side has a few blah blah blah scenes.
Patty yells at her family. Patty’s ex-mother-in-law hit someone driving.
Michelle sees Billy at the bar. He says something about the no-contact order, and Michelle admonishes him about it only be at the house. Even though he said the exact same thing a while back. Michelle relays the message that Donnie Boy wants to meet with Billy.
Blah blah blah.
Billy meets the FBI guy who gives him the 411 on Karl.
Donnie Boy and Billy meet. Billy serves him. Then a truck tries to run him over … and coincidentally, someone is in his trunk. Karl. Dying.
Season 1, Episode 7: Beauty and the Beast
Amazon Prime summary: With danger mounting around every corner, Billy has to decide whether to head directly to trial or take his chances with a continuance.
Another totally gross scene where Lucy and Donald are together.
Meanwhile, Billy and Patty are at the police department about Karl Stoltz. Billy is being Billy, and Patty is finally being useful with her big mouth.
Lucy stutters when all the lawyers are together, and she is taken off the case. Blah blah blah some unimportant scenes, Donnie Boy breaks up with Lucy. Meanwhile, Michelle tells Callie to F off too. Then, we have a big pow wow at Cooperman McBride.
Denise comes over to visit Dad.
Brittany gets pulled over, and the police dude beats her up. Police dude needs to die.
In-court status hearing. “Put up or shut up.” And Billy calls ready for trial. Patty of course is pissed about this. But she’s pissed about everything.
Patty gives an opening statement. She stinks. Callie uses Lucy’s story. And then tells Lucy that she could go, “Prop.” Some beautiful back-and-forth examination/cross-examination.
The FBI dude gives some very fake looking pictures to Billy about the cluster bomb (the model of which was in the time capsule), but they get thrown out for being too prejudicial.
Back to the trial, Ned testified okay. He didn’t lose his temper. So his hatred seems to be targeted at Patty, which I understand even though I hate the way Ned yells at her.
Callie and Lucky talk on the porch. Callie says that Lucy will never have it. Lucy is fired.
Next up: the fisherman, who of course is crossed on being a drug trafficker. Btw, they probably couldn’t bring up his charges in court since (a) they are irrelevant; (b) he hasn’t been convicted; and (c) doesn’t have anything to do with his truthfulness.
Wendell and Donald have an explosive argument because Wendell is called to the stand. Wendell throws Donald under the bus, which opens the door for Donald to testify. Because normally, a client is protected under attorney-client privilege unless the client waives that privilege under certain circumstances.
In the last scene, Callie delivers the witness list to Billy at the hotel. One name on it. Brittany Gold.
Season 1, Episode 8: Citizens United
Amazon Prime summary: The trial concludes as former partners and old friends have their final showdown in court.
The last show in Goliath season 1 starts off with an argument between Billy and Brittany. Brittany has flipped her shit. Tbh, I think this entire reason is fairly weak. She says she flipped on her own because Borns Tech can help her get out of some legal trouble. But, um, Billy helped her in the past??? Not only that, but Brittany would be covered under the attorney-client privilege. (This might be waived because her actions would be illegal …)
Here we go with the entire “reliance on counsel” defense (for Donald to be on the stand). Everyone is outside to see the rare sighting of Donald Cooperman, despite that we’ve seen Donnie Boy outside on several occasions throughout the season.
Anyway, Donnie Boy has a stroke on the stand. They discuss a mistrial, but they decide against it. Callie and Leonard want to go full speed ahead.
Billy rests. Callie calls Brittany. Which is a strange, strange examination as explained above. Because it has no reason, even if they had some dirt that Brittany bribed someone.
Closing statements. Callie gives a good one. Billy gave a better one.
Lucy goes see Donald in the hospital.
The jury comes back. Wrongful death. Yes. Pain and suffering $1. Actual damages $100,000. This was for Ryan Larson’s remainder life of earning. YEAH FUCKING RIGHT. That’s what he probably made in six months. But the jury awarded Jason Larson 162 million in Fraud damages.
Callie offers $25 million for a settlement right away. Patty burns Callie. Wendell offers $50 million, which Billy takes as long as he gets a confession.
And Wendell explains why they couldn’t settle. But Billy records it. And he gives it to the FBI. Everyone gets raided and arrested.
Billy goes to see Donnie Boy. But Billy is unwilling to kill Donald.
At the end, Billy hugs the dog.
The Goliath Season 1 Ending Explained
At the beginning of the season, Billy said something about having the jury do anything he wanted. He loved the jury. Well, he proved it in the last scene when the jury gave him everything he wanted. Right at the end, a juror smiles at Billy. Juries love him. Which means, Billy is back. At least less of a drunk.
Borns Tech was developing a weapon. A big weapon. It was a cluster bomb. It uses some kind of fuel. It’s the fuel that was the real weapon … the cluster bomb was just the delivery method. Ryan Larson volunteered to dump the fuel because they had a surprise inspection. In other words, he took one for the team.
I assume that he wrote out the suicide notes. So, I mean, technically, he did commit suicide. But why would he write some notes about it? Because he wanted to protect his family? Or some corporation?
Where Is Goliath Season 1 Set?
Santa Monica. The Ocean Lodge and Chez Jay (“The Classic Dive Bar from Goliath”) are both real places in Santa Monica. The “inside” filming, however, was on set. The show was known for its sweeping views of California, which I credit to good camera work.
Maureen’s Legal Bottom Line
A smashing, hit-’em-out-of-the-park season, and what I would consider a “true” legal thriller and courtroom drama … which means that the turn of events within the story were predicated upon what happened between the lawyers battling each other. This is as opposed to a mystery/thriller that features courtroom scenes in it, but the legalities of those scenes aren’t important except for dramatic pause.
FYI, Goliath was in general legally accurate, although there were some legal misrepresentations for the purposes of drama (especially surrounding Patty, who is in my opinion an idiot … even if she is a funny idiot).
For example, Billy McBride sleeps with Rachel at the beginning, and Patty is furious. She threatens that she is going to file a complaint on his bar license. Although California may have a rule about sleeping with a potential client, Billy was not Rachel’s attorney at the time they slept together, nor did he give her legal advice (except maybe, “go away”).
Oh, and there is also an exception for sleeping with a client … whom you had a previous sexual relationship with.
Second, Rachel could not really be even a potential client because she was not financially dependent upon her brother. Any attorney like Billy McBride, even if down and out, would immediately know this.
Also, Billy and Michelle are lawyers. They would sued the shit outta Santa Monica Police Department for Tasering Denise. And yet … both of them do nothing. Seriously?
Despite these flaws, this was a great season. One of the best legal thriller and courtroom drama television seasons.