Chapter 2 Summary

The second chapter of Monster finds Harmon reflecting on how difficult it is to think about anything while in prison. He shares that one of the inmates has a knife that is not a knife—it is actually a blade glued onto a toothbrush handle. He struggles to express how deeply he hates prison but finds that words cannot do justice to the extent of his feelings. Harmon’s only method to cope with his surroundings is to focus on his movie.

In the film (or rather, in court), Petrocelli is interviewing Wendell Bolden. Bolden has been arrested for breaking and entering as well as for possession of drugs with the intent to distribute them. Bolden explains that while he was serving time for assault he had a conversation with a Mr. Zinzi in which he shared that he had bought some cigarettes that had been stolen during a robbery that had led to the murder of Alguinaldo Nesbitt. Bolden and Zinzi both sell this information as testimony for reduced sentences. The person who gave Bolden the information about the robbery was Richard “Bobo” Evans.

The scene is cut to a flashback in which John King is complaining that he needs to get paid, Johnny is smoking pot, and Steve is sitting on the steps with the others. A heavy woman, Peaches, explains her rising difficulties, especially with cuts being made to social security. King speculates that he could make some money through robbery if he had a crew. Johnny adds that “bank money is too serious,” but many smaller stores are not well protected and are even run by people who do not have green cards and are, therefore, reluctant to report crimes to the police. When Steve is asked for ideas, he does not contribute. Although this suggests that Steve may have been involved in the robbery, the scene cuts back to the courtroom before definitive proof of his involvement is offered.

Back in court, John King’s attorney is cross-examining Bolden. He is attempting to show that Briggs is an unreliable witness by emphasizing that his desire to reduce his sentence would outweigh his need to tell the truth in court. As Briggs’s questions become more intense, Petrocelli objects and the court adjourns for the day. The scene closes with a second flashback in which Steve and his younger brother are talking about which superhero they would choose to be. Jerry says he thinks that Steve would make a good Batman because then he could be Robin.