Spoilers For Defending Jacob Finale
If you haven’t already seen, Apple TV+’s Defending Jacob just released its eighth and final episode. Finally, everything that the series has been leading up to is here. Did it live up to the hype? Were any questions answered? The one thing I do know is Chris Evans, Michelle Dockery, Jaeden Martell, and even Pablo Schreiber need to at least be nominated during award season.
While the entire show has centered around “did Jacob kill Ben?” there also seemed to be another trial going on. We have seen flash forwards throughout the season of Schreiber’s Neal questioning Evans’ Andy about past events. In the finale, we finally find out what this grand jury trial is even about. Considering what happened in the final episode, we can see why Andy looks so incredibly stressed. Jacob’s trial and his alleged involvement in Ben’s death have put a huge strain on the Barber family. While Andy is seemingly doing whatever he can to get Jacob off for this murder, Dockery’s Laurie spirals into confusion. She doesn’t know if she trusts Jacob. This becomes evident over the events of episode eight.
If I haven’t mentioned it before, spoiler warning! Do not continue reading if you haven’t seen episode eight.
In a sense, Defending Jacob is about fathers. Andy is Jacob’s father and he has done everything in his power to prove his son’s innocence. While his wife may be distancing herself, Andy’s involvement and conviction remain strong. He would do anything for Jacob. This is somewhat similar to J.K. Simmons’ character, Billy Barber. I remain convinced that J.K. Simmons is a treasure in this series and while not featured as heavily as I thought he would have been, he still is pivotal in this story. Andy may resent his father and Billy acknowledges this, but he loves his grandson – the one he’s never met. Regardless if Jacob is guilty or not, Billy doesn’t want his grandson to spend eternity in prison. That’s why he does what Andy couldn’t – cheat and break the rules. Instead of proving Jacob’s innocence, have someone else take the fall. That’s what he does; he takes the attention off Jacob. For Billy, it doesn’t matter if Jacob is a killer, he just doesn’t want his grandson imprisoned.
This, of course; does not sit well with Andy. But, he tries to push this out of his mind. According to the courts, Jacob is innocent. There’s a moment in this episode where it seems like the Barber family has a second chance. For those who have read the book, the events seem familiar, but they certainly diverted somewhat from the story of the novel. I wonder why – were the creators afraid to really make the story bloody? Did the book reveal too much and the show creators wanted things to remain more mysterious? I’m not sure.
Is Jacob a Killer? Is Laurie a Good Mother?
Andy loves his son and Laurie does too, but Laurie’s love may not seem as unconditional as Andy’s. Laurie is having a hard time dealing with everything that has surrounded her son. In her mind, she has distanced herself from her child. Andy knows the truth, in his heart; of what Laurie did, but we see how loyal Andy is. How desperate he is to keep his family together. Who is in the right here? Andy, who simply wants to believe his son can do no wrong? Or Laurie, who has faced the reality that her child could be a killer?
The Book vs. The Show
I think that fact could have been more present if the show had gone the way of the book. It seemed, to me; like the movie Doubt. You’re not really supposed to know what happened. That’s the point. You’re just left with the consequences of not knowing. Episode eight really didn’t answer any questions. It left so many behind. We don’t know what happens to the Barber family after this. I don’t want to know, but I want to know at the same time. And I feel like Laurie is lying.
What I Wanted More Of
I really loved Defending Jacob. It was an intense ride which I tuned in every week to view. It was stressful, so I wanted the end. Now that I have it, I want more. I want more Neal – the man who clearly is unsettled with how things went, but has Andy’s respect. More interactions with Billy and Andy. I want Laurie and Andy to stop speaking to each other like strangers and not be afraid of the truth. Defending Jacob is a miniseries, so that’s that. But…I wouldn’t say no to a season two.
Defending Jacob’s cast truly was spectacular. The writing was superb and I want to say this is Apple TV+’s best show. While I may have wanted a little more from the finale, the show, as a whole; really is some of the best TV I’ve seen in a long time. What did you think of Defending Jacob’s finale?
A girl with too many fandoms to count.