What do you do when your own young child is convicted for the murder of their classmate? Defending Jacob finds Chris Evans as Andy and Michelle Dockery as Laurie in a position where they are in the process of answering the same question when Jaeden Martell as their son Jacob is arrested for the heinous crime.
What is Defending Jacob about?
The plot of this miniseries revolves around the Barber family whose perfect world is shaken up when their son Jacob (Jaeden Martell), who is an eighth-grade student, is convicted of murdering his classmate Ben Rifkin. Assistant district attorney Andy Barber (Chris Evans) takes up the case only to later discover that his own son, Jacob, is convicted and arrested for committing the crime.
He and his wife Laurie (Michelle Dockery), who is a teacher, do everything in their control to protect their son from the media’s limelight and the neighborhood’s gossip and carry out all the necessary investigation entirely in a private premise. Jacob repeatedly denies the allegations of murdering Ben and begs his parents to believe him. Jacob’s innocence is proven when a pedophile name Patz commits suicide and a suicide note is retrieved from the vicinity of where his dead body is. The suicide note actually turns out to be a crucial piece of evidence where Patz confesses to murdering Ben Rifkin.
Well, the things seem to line up. And the murderer seems pretty obvious, right? No, it is not easy. What they learn next, shakes the audience up and the next part isn’t easy to understand either. Read on as we explain everything.
Who actually murdered Ben?
We saw this whole Patz thing in the last episode only. All things seem to go back to normal until Andy gets to know Lynn Canavan. It comes to his knowledge that a blue Lincoln was seen parked outside Leonard’s house when he died. The Lincoln is similar to Andy’s father’s car and his father is himself an ex-criminal. When Andy confronts his father Billy about this, it is revealed that Billy convinced Father O’Leary to ask Patz to take charge for the murder and he later strangles Patz to death.
Andy keeps this information to himself in the apprehension of breaking apart his family again. The three then go on a holiday where Jacob meets Hope Connors. The two go on a romantic date sometime after. Laurie and Andy find it strange when Jacob comes back earlier and sees that he has changed out of the white shirt he had been wearing. The next day, Hope goes missing and Jacob is the prime suspect again.
A drunken Andy loses control and tells Laurie everything he learned about Patz earlier. Laurie is now in a vulnerable position where she does not know who to believe. She takes Jacob with her on the pretext of getting him a haircut and confronts him about Hope in the car. She keeps on speeding up the car in anger and she eventually ends up crashing the car, injuring them both severely.
In essence, it is not revealed directly if Jacob murdered Ben and an air of ambiguity is maintained. But after Hope’s disappearance, everything seems to point in one direction. The direction which holds Jacob guilty of committing the crimes.