Defending Jacob – Apple+ Season 1 Episode 7 Recap & Review

The Trial

As we are slowly edging towards the finale, Defending Jacob returns this week with the trial which brings some truth to the table. Just as things were looking bleak for Jacob, the drama adds another twist which leaves things wide open for the last chapter next week.

Episode 7 of Defending Jacob starts in the past with Andy giving advice to Neal on his first murder trial. As we cut forward to Jacob’s trial, Joanna announces that Andy will her second chair during the proceeding. She then files a motion for the prosecution not to mention Jacob’s grandfather during the trial.

As both lawyers give their opening statements to the jury, Neal explains that Ben used to bully Jacob which they believe caused him to take revenge and stab him three times. Joanna then gives a calm and resonate speech about Jacob’s innocence. She explains how the fingerprint got there and that Jacob panicked when he found Ben.

After reconvening to talk about the jury, the family leave but as they step out, Andy sees the same man from the blue Lincoln. With Duffy’s help, he finds out that the man is called O’Leary and used to be a big gangster.

Back home, Andy gets a call from his father who’s in prison and wants to know how the trial is going. Andy refuses to say anything so William mentions Leonard Patz and asks him if he thinks he did it. Andy replies that he does.

The next day, Ms Carlston from the state lab is on the stand. She describes the blood spatter on Ben and as Neal questions her, he shows the jury a knife which he claims is similar to one that Jacob used to own. Joanna objects to this new evidence before coming forward to cross examine the witness. She asks her if she was shown this knife by the DA office as a match. She admits having only been shown this one but no others.

Duffy is up next with Neal questioning her first about Andy’s involvement in the case and how it developed until Jacob became a suspect. She then gets asked about Jacob’s laptop where they found evidence of deleted pornography, torture and abuse websites. Joanna cross examines her and makes her admit that in all the laptops she has ever searched in her career, she has always found pornography.

Things then get heated when Neal redirects and asks Duffy if she has ever witnessed Andy being violent. She is forced to mention the day Andy pushed Neal against the wall and accidentally mentioned it was because he was provoked about his father in prison. Joanna calls for a mistrial as it was agreed before trial not to mention the matter. The judge calls both lawyers forward and warns Neal that if he mentions the grandfather again, Joanna will get her mistrial.

The next day, before putting Derek on the stand, Joanna tells Andy that they have been having trouble locating Matt. This could be an issue as he is supposed to testify the next day. Neal then starts his interrogation of Derek who describes the bullying Jacob used to endure from Ben. He reveals that it used to make him very angry. As the conversation moves to Jacob’s knife, Derek explains that he didn’t bring it to show off but because he liked having it.

He then finally reveals that he started suspected Jacob after he posted a story about Ben’s murder on an extreme website called the Cut Up Room. After Joanna speaks to the judge and then Andy, she advises that they have no choice but to listen to the story. Derek starts reading it which describe how a certain “Jason” followed and killed “Brent”. As everyone listens to these details, a tear runs down Jacob’s face and his parents remain in complete shock.

After the trial, the Barbers returns to the car looking solemn. Jacob tells them it was just a story and didn’t think it was that big of a deal. Unable to stop himself, Andy then asks his son outright if he did it. Jacob tearfully replies that he didn’t before returning home to discuss their next plan of action with Joanna. Andy wants to make sure they concentrate on Patz and Derek and also suggests bringing in Sarah to show Derek’s obsession.

Back in his room, Derek tries calling Sarah but she ignores him after seeing the story he wrote shared online while Andy and Laurie discuss the day’s events. Laurie reveals that she doesn’t believe her son anymore after today. Andy tries to convince her that it is just a story and that he probably fantasized doing it because he was bullied. She insists though and tells him that they need to stop pretending.

The episode ends with Patz crying and sweating while looking at his witness subpoena. He then turns the paper around and writes: “Dear Mr and Mrs Rifkin, I saw you on the news. Please forgive me, I have killed Ben.”

While the penultimate episode of Defending Jacob was still a little slow, it has finally moved the plot forward more with some serious revelations regarding Jacob. The scene where Derek read his story was quite tense and dark which added some needed substance to the drama. However, the episode ended with Patz admitting his guilt. It does seem a little easy and makes me wonder if we will get another twist at the end of the finale next week.

Even if Jacob is not guilty, there is no denying that he has some deep psychological issues which will need to be addressed by his parents, who aren’t doing too great as a couple. Defending Jacob has not been the best crime drama of the year, and at times it’s felt really slow and padded out. Like many other AppleTV+ shows, it feels very generic and lacks originality.

Whether the last episode ends on a cliffhanger or gives a satisfying finish is still up for debate but while there’s enough here to enjoy, there’s not quite enough for it to stand out next to other crime dramas.


Published: 23 May 2020 at 9:31 pm on 

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