'Defending Jacob' Episode 7 Review: Shocking online posts make Andy ask his son if he committed the murder
'Defending Jacob' as expected sees Jacob (Jaeden Martell) and his family go through the trial proceedings. It begins with Joanna Klein hold the court wonderfully in the beginning as she uses the absence of any hard piece of evidence against her client, the defendant, to continuously tear through the prosection's claims regarding Jacob being guilty. Starting from the fingerprint of Jacob that was found on Ben's sweatshirt, the knife that was never found or tested or even Jacob's grandfather Billy (J. K. Simmons) being a murderer.
Joanna is doing a great job defending Andy (Chris Evans) and Laurie's (Michelle Dockery) son, but that is until the day when Jacob's friend Derek takes the witness stand. Jacob, Joanna, and Andy assume that Derek is going to reveal about the knife and the bullying that was prevalent in school. What they do not expect is a shocking piece of evidence that the prosecution drops. It is related to the cutter porn that Jacob watches and the website that he uses to access violent porn. It seems that Jacob Owen Barber uploads some nasty written stories on this website too with pen name JOB. One such story posted three days after Ben's death details 'A Walk in the Park' and the incident is about Ben's death.
After both Laurie and Andy hear of this in the courtroom, they are extremely shocked by their son's actions and it puts Jacob at a huge disadvantage. His behavior since Ben's death, his attitude towards friends who were sad about a bully's death and even the meme that he had shared of himself with an ax in his hands from a different account online -- all of this pushes Jacob's parents to finally consider the possibility that their son could possibly be a killer.
Even if Jacob didn't commit the crime, the desire to imagine something as violent as the death of Ben to write a story as the one that Jacob had shared points to Jacob's violent nature. For the first time since investigation began into his son, Andy directly asks his son "Did you kill him?" Laurie was the one who was always suspicious of her son because of a few instances in the past. Andy, however, had held on to the belief that his son is incapable of something as horrific as murder.
For him to lose it completely means that Jacob might actually be in huge trouble at the trial. When the Barber family returns home, Laurie finally tells Andy that she doesn't believe her son anymore. Not after hearing the story that he had posted on the porn site. She also wonders what Andy feels at the moment, and tries to discern what he would do if his son was actually a murderer. Surprisingly, Andy says that he will always love his son. However, his father, who is also a murderer is hated by Andy without any second thoughts.
Yes, it is hypocritical of Andy, but that is not something that bothers Andy too much. At the moment, what he wants more than anything is to get his son out of trouble. The fact that his marriage is hanging by the thread, built on a lie, is not something that Andy wants to pay attention to at the moment. What is stranger is Leonard Patz's reaction to a subpoena to appear in court for questioning.
He is a registered sex offender and he did stalk Ben. This was confirmed during the investigation, however, there was nothing that indicated that he could be the murderer so the prosecution had left him off the hook. Until now. Now that Leonard is subpoenaed, he is in tears and anxious too. He seems scared witless, so when he picks a pen and writes a letter to Ben's parents, there is only a surprise. When the episode ends right after zooming in on 'I killed Ben', we cannot help but think that maybe Jacob is not a murderer, but that doesn't negate his problematic thinking.
New episodes of 'Defending Jacob' will drop on Friday on Apple TV+.