Defending Jacob – Apple+ Season 1 Episode 4 Recap & Review

Like Father Like Son?

Finding Jacob returns this week as we dig deeper into the mystery of who killed Ben, with the show adding more pawns to the story. The drama carries on with its slow pace though, revealing too little during each episode which hurts the pacing of the narrative.

Episode 4 of Defending Jacob starts with the family returning to Joanna’s office. Joanna first mentions the knife and explains that the prosecution will use this as revenge for being bullied, mentioning what Derek said. Jacob doesn’t know why his friend blamed him and reveals that a lot of kids didn’t like Ben. Joanna then finds out from Andrew that he threw Jacob’s knife away as he thought it was a dangerous weapon.

Joanna then starts questioning Jacob about the day of the murder. He explains what happened when he found the body and that he didn’t call 911 because he was worried he would get in trouble. After questioning him further, she tells him that it will be worse on the stand as his story has holes, which makes them decide not to put him on it. Their plan is to attack their case until there is nothing to attack. After Jacob leaves with his mum, Joanna tells Andrew that they need to give the jury another story and reveals that the knife found wasn’t a match.

In the evening, we see that things are a little tense in the Barber family as they try to live as normally as they can. While her husband and son watch TV, Laurie opens a letter containing newspaper clippings of Andrew’s father murdering and raping the 19 year old girl. We then cut to the present as Neal interrogates Andrew about the event and his father. Before returning to the past, we see a flashback of Andrew visiting his father in prison.

The next day, Andrew visits Mrs McGrath, Matthew’s mother who was Leonard’s victim. She invites him in and when her son comes out, he refuses to say anything. Andrew then tells him he doesn’t believe the statement he gave the police and presses further, suggesting that he could be his dealer or lover but this seems to upset him and he asks his mum to make him leave.

Meanwhile, Jacob undergoes psychological tests with doctor Vogel while Andrew follows Leonard around town. He heads home next and is surprised to find Sarah playing video games with Jacob.

After driving by her work party, Laurie decides to stop by a diner. There, she meets a woman called Janine who she quickly becomes friendly with and ends up confiding in. Unfortunately, she eventually finds out that she is a reporter while Jacob spends his evening watching TV with his dad. He talks about Derek liking Sarah and reveals she thinks that Derek may have done it after the police interrogated him.

In his room, Jacob makes a new profile on social media and messages Sarah as he wants to listen to her songs. As Andrew relays to his wife that he is planning to do his own investigation, we cut back to the present in court. Neal reads an article about his father’s judgement. He asks Andrew if he was scared that some part of him or his son might be like him while growing up. He tells him that he has always been sure that his son is not a murderer.

Back in the past, Jacob has a CT scan. The doctor tells them that if he has the murder gene and is found guilty, they could file for mitigation and ask for a shorter sentence. She then takes a swab from Andrew and mentions that she tried to get one from his dad but he refused and wants his son to ask for it. This makes Andrew angry and he refuses at first. However, Laurie tells him to go for Jacob and the episode then ends with glimpses of Andrew’s father in prison.

The mystery deepens as we wonder just what Sarah told the police about Derek and why. Is it because she has a crush on him or perhaps something darker? This is something we will hopefully find out soon while at the same time Andrew’s investigation takes him to Matthew, who is definitely hiding something regarding Leonard.

Defending Jacob is not a bad crime thriller but its slow pace is certainly one of the biggest flaws with this one. The murder gene angle remains intriguing too and the different suspects are a good addition but whether this will be enough to keep you hooked on Apple TV+’s latest formulaic crime drama remains to be seen.

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  • Episode Rating
3.5

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