The Lincoln Lawyer is Cleverly Updated, Old-School TV | TV/Streaming

“The Lincoln Lawyer” works well in that space. The off-camera murder of someone we don’t care about allows our hero to remain fundamentally good, with the plot revolving more around who goes to jail than who died. Heightening the stakes is that the person on trial for Bondurant’s death, Lisa Trammell (Lana Parilla), is a love interest of Mickey’s—the two sleep together in the season opener.

The show thrives in that messiness. “The Lincoln Lawyer” is at its best when Garcia-Rulfo can swing between a smitten-boyish smile and some ethically questionable legal tactics. The second season gives him plenty of opportunities to do that, thanks to Lisa and her legal trouble, his close proximity to two of his ex-wives—Maggie McPherson (Neve Campbell) and Lorna Crane (Becki Newton), and some loose-ins from season one.

It’s this constellation—Mickey and his women, including Jazz Raycole as his driver Izzy Letts—that makes the show special. Here are many grown-ups with varying histories, all striving to do what’s right, find love and happiness, and support and accept each other. They make tough decisions and heart-wrenching mistakes, and it’s both heartwarming and adult, not a coming-of-age story but rather an of-age one.

Garcia-Rulfo’s Mickey charms wherever he goes, but his vulnerability really wins him points. He’s sexy and honest, with enough mischief to keep him interesting. Newton’s Lorna also mixes playfulness and toughness, oozing her charm. Campbell’s McPherson is the adult in the room who has to make the tough decisions and pays the consequences for them. But she’s not a nag—she’s just clear on who Mickey is, who she is, and the boundaries they need to make their co-parenting friendship work.

Unfortunately, “The Lincoln Lawyer” doesn’t keep its focus there. In the first half of the second season, it spends a lot of time with Dennis ‘Cisco’ Wojciechowski (Angus Sampson). He’s Mickey’s investigator, Lorna’s finance, and horribly miscast. An ex-biker-gang member, Cisco still rides his hog and tries to do good, but just comes off as ridiculous with an over-the-top gravelly voice—there’s no danger or sex appeal about him—and cliche shots where he takes off (and on) his aviator sunglasses.