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Series / Hand of God

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Pernell Harris, a corrupt judge, has a breakdown after his son's attempted suicide puts him in a coma, believing that now God is working through him. However, this takes the form of doling out vigilante justice against those who wronged his family... An Amazon original series, where Ron Perlman stars as Pernell. Dana Delany, Garret Dillahunt, Andre Royo, Alona Tal, Julian Morris, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Johnny Ferro and Elizabeth McLoughlin also have supporting roles. The series ran for two seasons.


  • Ate His Gun: This is how PJ shot himself, but survived and was left comatose. Though in fact he'd been coerced to.
  • The Atoner: KD was once a criminal, but got religion in prison and repented from his past. However, he also comes to believe Pernell is God's chosen servant, and starts killing at his behest (though since he thinks God orders it, that's a good thing in his mind).
  • Casting Gag: Pernell, a born again Christian, tells a Jewish man he'll go to hell if he doesn't accept Jesus as his savior. Ron Perlman, playing Pernell, is Jewish himself.
  • Cliffhanger: The series ends on this, given its cancellation. Several plot threads are left dangling.
  • Convenient Miscarriage: After deciding not to have an abortion and planning on giving her baby up for adoption instead, Alicia suffers a miscarriage after accidentally being shot.
  • Corrupt Politician: Pernell and Bobo, the mayor. Once Pernell gets religion, he starts to change somewhat, annoying Bobo to no end.
  • Crisis of Faith: Pernell gets one after what he believes is God's promise to him that PJ would come out of his coma doesn't happen.
  • Dirty Cop: There's a group of them who perform criminal acts (ranging from burglary to murder and rape) for money.
  • Engineered Public Confession: It turns out that Pernell's confession to getting Shane Caldwell killed is recorded, facilitating a blackmail exchange.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: Pernell dips into this when angrily declaring that God doesn't exist after losing faith, despite having far better evidence of the contrary than most (repeated visions of things which later came true).
  • God Is Evil: Pernell rants that God is malicious and sadistic after PJ doesn't come out of his coma.
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Alicia backs out of having an abortion at the very last minute, though she was mostly getting pressured into one by Paul to begin with so his reputation would be spared.
  • Hanging Judge: Pernell has this reputation as a judge, always giving the maximum sentence.
  • Heel–Faith Turn: Zigzagged. KD gave up his criminal ways after being born again. Pernell also then gives up a lot of his corrupt practices, while believing God is using him as an instrument of vengeance against people, with KD carrying out his will. However since they believe it's God's will neither thinks this is bad (at first anyway).
  • High-Class Call Girl: Tessie, who is a very sophisticated and educated woman with high-end clientele, such as Pernell.
  • I See Dead People: Pernell begins to see his dead son PJ, though it's somewhat teased as just being hallucinations.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Whether Pernell is really being given divine visions, hallucinating (or both) is played with throughout the series.
  • Mission from God: Pernell believes he's on one to execute God's vengeance on sinners, with KD helping him.
  • Ms. Fanservice: As one might expect, the gorgeous High-Class Call Girl Tessie serves this role, with her appearing topless twice, in the most sex scenes and otherwise wearing revealing clothing (plus bikinis).
  • Never Suicide: It turns out that PJ didn't shoot himself voluntarily. He was forced to, making it murder by proxy.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: Pernell and Crystal's only child, PJ, eventually dies after his life support is removed. He was in a coma due to a self-inflicted gunshot wound. His injury had caused Pernell to have a mental breakdown and sent Crystal into a depression. Avoiding this is why they fought so hard with Jocelyn to keep him on life support initially.
  • Prophecy Twist: Pernell believes this has happened with him. God promised his son back, which he thought was PJ. However, PJ died and he lost his faith. Then it turned out Tessie is pregnant with another son of his...
  • Psycho Ex-Girlfriend: Anne is revealed to have had an affair with PJ. Afterwards, she's shown to be a very ruthless, sadistic woman, not only arranging for his wife's rape, but his murder.
  • Rape as Backstory: Jocelyn was raped by an intruder prior to the events of the series. It turns out this was cover to steal PJ's software, and punishment by his mistress for breaking off their affair.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Jocelyn's rape is treated as especially heinous because it went on for an hour, in front of her husband. Later it turns out Anne ordered it as cover to steal PJ's software and punish him for breaking off their affair. Jocelyn is appalled at the idea that any woman would get another raped.
  • The Scourge of God: Pernell believes himself to be charged with carrying out divine punishment against criminals, starting with his daughter-in-law's rapist, which his cohort KD carries out.
  • Stern Old Judge: Main character Pernell Harris is a state criminal court judge. He fits the gruff older white man model.
  • Surprise Pregnancy: Tessie gets unexpectedly pregnant by Pernell, a client of hers. She decides to keep the baby. He wasn't aware of this by the end of the series.
  • Vigilante Man: Pernell and KD become this, believing they are God's servants-the titular "Hand of God".
  • Woman Scorned: There's a particularly vicious example in Anne, who hired some men to rape her lover's wife when he broke up with her.