Defending Jacob – Apple+ Season 1 Episode 3 Recap & Review

The Murder Gene

Episode 3 of Defending Jacob starts with Laurie and Andrew heading into court. They meet Jacob’s lawyer Joanna who gives them some advice – not to show any emotion as this could be used against them. She tells them that in other people’s eyes it’s not just Jacob who is guilty, but all of them. As they all arrive in the court room, Neal starts his speech and reveals the he wants the bail to be set at 500,000 as he believes the defendant is a flight risk. The judge disagrees though, sets it at 10,000, and gives them a court date.

After ignoring the journalists in front of their house, Andrew tells his son that he is proud of how he stood up in court and tells him to go and rest. We then learn that people are starting to spread rumours about Jacob online, calling him smug and remorseless. At the same time, Sarah receives a call from Derek wanting to speak about a lawyer who came to question him. We then cut back to Andrew who reveals to his wife that he has something important to tell her about his father.

The next day, the family head to Joanna’s office to talk about her plan of action. She tells Jacob that he will be the one making decisions as he will he tried as an adult. She also explains her theory is that Ben was bullying him and Jacob took revenge but also that the case is quite circumstantial.

Laurie then decides to tell them what her husband has revealed to her the day before. Andrew’s father is in prison for stabbing a college girl to death. She is worried that the prosecution will use this as evidence, using the murder gene. Joanna does her best to reassure them as she believes they won’t be able to use this. After Jacob leaves to go to the bathroom, Laurie tells her husband that everyone needs to be more truthful with each other.

That evening, Andrew decides to visit Duffy to ask her to give him Leonard’s case file as he wants to dig deeper. She refuses though even after he tries playing the friend card, with her claiming they weren’t really friends.

As we cut back to the present, Neal asks Andrew what the atmosphere was like in the weeks following the arrest. Andrew describes Jacob as being quite withdrawn, especially after all the attention he was getting on the internet.

As we flashback again, Laurie returns to work which surprises her colleagues. Her boss takes her aside and tells her that her return is premature. The board doesn’t feel she should be there though as it could bring some negative attention to their school.

Back home, Andrew warns his son against playing violent video games online as it could be used against him. He then receives a text from Duffy who has dropped Leonard’s files in his mailbox. As he meets his wife in the driveway, they see that someone has graffitied their garage door with the words: “Murderer, rot in hell”. They don’t tell Jacob though, as they try shielding him as much as they can.

The next morning while out running Laurie remembers an instance when Jacob was little and he nearly hit another kid with a bowling ball. From here we cut back to the present day where Neal mentions them seeking the help of Doctor Vogel, a specialist in genetic inheritance in behaviour. Andrew explains that Joanna recommended it to make sure they were fully prepared for the trial.

As we cut back to the past, Laurie and Andrew speak to Dr Vogel about Jacob’s behaviour as a child. Both parents don’t agree as Laurie describes him as being difficult while Andrew brushes it all off and remains in denial. Laurie also mentions that he was too rough with other children growing up. Andrew denies it being a problem but Laurie insists that something was wrong.

As they arrive back home, they are greeted by Laurie’s best friend, Toby. She is there to bring food but also to tell her that her husband doesn’t want her to see Laurie anymore, which doesn’t go down too well.

While we see Leonard creepily looking at a young boy, Sarah calls Duffy as she wants to give her information about the murder. The episode then ends with Laurie frantically painting over the message on the garage door, which is where the episode ends.

While still a little slow, the third episode of Defending Jacob has added some interesting plot points, in particular Andrew’s past and Jacob’s difficult’s childhood. The cracks are starting to show in the family as we see both parents in disagreement regarding Jacob’s past behaviour towards other children. This was  a nice addition to the story as it adds more mystery and doubt surrounding who the murderer is.

As mentioned before though, the plot could do with some speeding up, with the cliffhanger hook at the end of each episode not quite enough to keep you coming back for more. Sarah is the one who, after three episodes, has decided to come forward and just what the girl will reveal remains to be seen. In the meantime, Defending Jacob continues its run as an enjoyable but average crime drama that right now feels like it perhaps should have been a 5-part mini-series.

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  • Episode Rating
3.5

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