WASHINGTON, March 20, 2017 — When we last saw Judge Parnell Harris (Ron Perlman), he had agreed to disconnect his brain-dead son P.J. (Johnny Ferro) from life support and do his best to ignore the vengeful voices and visions that last season compelled him to kill.
The messages from beyond, he once believed, were from his son and God.
In the second season of “Hand of God,” an original series now streaming on Amazon Prime, Judge Harris is about to stand trial for the murder of a corrupt San Vicente police officer, who disembodied voices told him was responsible for raping his daughter-in-law and shooting his son.
But it’s clear Harris no longer considers the visualizations bedeviling him as heaven sent.
“I’m not Salomon. I’m not anointed. I’m Parnell fucken Harris and I’m charged with murder,” he tells his partner in crime, KD (Garret Dillahunt).
But KD will not brook Harris’s doubts, “God talks right to you.”
“I haven’t had a hallucination or heard a voice since we spread P.J.’s ashes… If there was a God, my son would still be alive,” Harris tells KD.
But Harris soon faces the same old problems when he tries using his late son’s Montblanc pen to sign a document. “Tidal waves,” “Breaking” and “Look! Look!” are the only words he writes.
Worse still, he begins having visions of his dead son again.
With the renewed hallucinations, accompanied by incidences of ghostwriting, Harris seeks psychological help from Dr. Olonari (Brian Baumgartner).
During one session, Olonari uses slight-of-hand to swap P.J.’s Montblanc pen for one of his own. Able to write his name once more, Harris is amazed.
Olonari then shows Harris the real pen, “What this experiment shows me is that you’re not faking it,” Olonari tells Harris. “There is something going on inside your head.”
When the doctor orders a battery of medical tests for his patient, he is baffled,
“I can’t explain it. I never saw this coming. While you had the visions and heard the voices, your brain activity never wavered. No abnormal activity.”
“Are you going to tell me it’s God?” asks a bewildered Harris.
“What I’m saying,” says Olonari earnestly, “is that there is no scientific explanation for what is going on in your brain.”
Harris is frustrated, “There’s got to be an explanation. And it’s not God!”
“Maybe,” says Olonari, “maybe not.”
A series of unexplained coincidences – like his car’s GPS system inexplicably leading him to the rescue of his estranged wife Crystal (Dana Delany) – eventually convinces Harris that he’s indeed the instrument of God’s justice, bringing judgement to those responsible for the murder of his son and the corruption of his city.
The grieving parents come to learn that prior to his death, their son designed a computer program (Bathwater) that prevents the unwanted collection of an individual’s online digital trail.
“If they can’t track us,” says P.J. in a video manifesto posted online, “they can’t control us. If they can’t control us, we might be able to resurrect our future.”
Harris’s visions lead him to the man who would very much like to control that future. A man Judge Parnell Harris calls “Lucifer.”
“I know who you are… You came to my city in the guise of an innovator, bringing light, the path to the future. But you’re a venomous snake. You despise the truth… You took your best shot, now I’m going to take mine.”
You might say it’s a brave man who looks Lucifer in the face and calls him by his name.
“Hand of God,” season 2, is currently streaming on Amazon Prime.