Saturday, May 30, 2020

What I’m Watching: Defending Jacob (Series Finale)

Defending Jacob: Season 1, Episode 8 “After” (B-)

This didn’t feel like the emphatic conclusion I was hoping for, doing what series finales often do and skipping ahead to a scene further in the future that necessitated a quick sprint through the events that got us there. Patz confessing and killing himself meant that Jacob got exonerated right away, but of course both Ben’s father was still convinced that he had done it. Father O’Leary stepping in to protect them from him revealed to Andy that he was working for Billy, who, perhaps not surprisingly, had sent his henchman to go take care of Patz, who very well may not have been guilty. Deciding to go to Mexico seemed innocuous enough, and Jacob’s fast friendship with Hope was a positive thing for the teenager who had been exorcized from society. But it all came flashing back when Hope went missing, and, most problematically, Laurie was reminded of what she believed her son to be capable of doing. Their drive to get him a haircut turned into something far more intense, and he, for the first time, seemed even more scared than she was. Turning the wheel so that they would hit the wall was a bold and, by all indications, purposeful act, one that did manage to prevent Jacob from hurting anyone since he couldn’t go anywhere or function on his own. Laurie getting cleared of all charges while Andy now has to live with the uncertainty of not knowing if everyone in his family except for him is capable of killing was definitely haunting, but it didn’t feel like the right way for this to end. All performers involved were strong, but this resolution makes this limited series feel less essential.

Series grade: B
Series MVP: Michelle Dockery as Laurie

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