'Defending Jacob' Episode 5 Review: Andy struggles as a father and son, ends up ignoring another red flag
Andy Barber is warned by his son's classmate Derek that Jacob is into some violent hobbies, which are reflected in his taste for porn
'Defending Jacob' Episode 5 takes a dark and twisted turn, especially for Jacob, Sarah and Derek. The episode itself begins with Andy Barber visiting his father in jail to procure a sample of his DNA. He is reminded of the time when his father had physically abused him as a child but he clamps down on the memories because right now Andy is here for his son. His son needs the DNA as one of the pieces of evidence to prove his innocence and Andy cannot allow his traumas to fester now.
Even as Andy is taking a dive into his traumatic past for his son, Jacob continues to live under the protection of his parents. He is privileged enough for his father to hire a top defense attorney to defend him during the trial so not much seems to worry him, at least on the surface. Recently, he has also been spending time with his classmate Sarah, and things seem to be going along just fine for him. That is until his father begins to tug on one of the leads that Jacob himself had handed over to him. It is about how Derek's actions are suspicious and that he was investigated by Detective Duffy.
This leads to Andy taking it upon himself to figure out why Duffy had questioned him in the first place. He finds a way to speak to Derek without the presence of his mother and tries to goad and manipulate him into answering questions about Ben and even Jacob. Derek says that the only thing he had told the cops was about Jacob's knife, which was not a lie. In fact, when pushed about how the situation right now currently seems as if Derek is trying to push the blame on Jacob because he is the one who did it, Derek reveals more. Derek confesses how Jacob was into violent and sick things. He tells Andy that Jacob watches "cutter porn", which mainly involves tying people up. He says Jacob watches cutter porn and Andy's only response is that all boys their age watch porn. Andy is clearly burying the lead -- the part about "cutter" -- possibly because accepting this part of Jacob would mean accepting a dark side to his son.
So instead, Andy digs in his heels into finding a way to pin the blame on Derek. Not enough to get him imprisoned, but enough to show cause that his son is not the one who committed the crime. He even figures out that Sarah was the one who called the cops about Derek. So he approaches her and finds out that Ben Rifkins was a bully who had tried to force Sarah into giving him a blowjob. Sarah explains how Ben and she had gotten close and when he had asked her for a picture (a nude one), she had sent him one. She had trusted the wrong boy, because the next thing she knew, she was being blackmailed.
Derek, who likes Sarah, hears about this when the boys speak about it in their locker room. He ends up stealing Ben's phone, the same phone that was missing when the cops found Ben's body. So this is enough to cast suspicion on Derek and get Jacob off the hook. What is, however, very important to note at this point is that Andy is not seeing all sides of his son.
New episodes of 'Defending Jacob' will drop on Friday on Apple TV+.