Elliott Gould’s guest role as David “Legal” Siegel in The Lincoln Lawyer season 2 replaces Mickey’s father from the books, but it also replaces a couple of other key elements from the source material. Adapted from Michael Connelly’s novels about criminal defense attorney Mickey Haller, The Lincoln Lawyer revolves around Haller’s law practice headquartered in the backseat of his Lincoln Navigator. He sits in the back of his car, taking on legal cases around Los Angeles. The first season is based on Connelly’s 2008 novel The Brass Verdict, while the second season – streaming on Netflix in two parts – is taken from his 2011 novel The Fifth Witness.
Throughout the first and second seasons of The Lincoln Lawyer, Mickey has relied on David “Legal” Siegel, a fellow lawyer and friend of his father’s, for advice and guidance. Legal Siegel is played by screen icon Elliott Gould. Gould got his breakthrough with his Oscar-nominated role as Ted Henderson in Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice and his BAFTA-nominated role as Captain Trapper John in M*A*S*H. Now, Gould is best known for playing Jack Geller in Friends and Reuben Tishkoff in the Ocean’s Eleven franchise. Gould’s legendary presence highlights the importance of this character in Mickey’s life – and his crucial role in the book-to-TV adaptation.
Elliott Gould’s Legal Siegel Cameos Replace Mickey’s Narration & Father Insights In The Books
As one of his father’s closest colleagues, Gould’s character of Legal Siegel acts as a surrogate father figure to Mickey. Legal knows everything about Mickey’s father’s approach to the law, so his supporting role in The Lincoln Lawyer TV adaptation replaces the books’ recurring narration about how Mickey’s father would have handled a given case. This role actually helps resolve a major issue with the Lincoln Lawyer adaptation.
The trickiest part of adapting some books for the screen is how to turn internal monologs into visual material. This is particularly true for the original Lincoln Lawyer novels. However, not only does Legal stand in for the books’ narration about Mickey’s father, but his conversations with Mickey about how to handle a case also take the place of Mickey’s personal narration from the books. This resolves a potentially thorny issue.
The Lincoln Lawyer Still Needs Mickey’s Father In Flashbacks
Legal Siegel’s insights have become a significant part of the series, and it’s great for Mickey to have him as a father figure as an adult. But Legal can’t be a full-time replacement for Mickey’s father. The Lincoln Lawyer TV adaptation should still feature Mickey’s father, because it’s important to see how Mickey’s dad influenced him as a kid. Mickey’s backstory is largely left unexplored in the show, but it’s crucial for audiences to see Mickey’s origins so they can understand the character better. Flashbacks with his father would help to fill in the gaps of how he became who he is in the series, with Legal’s advice still fulfilling the same function.