Defending Jacob, the new Apple+ series, is a fun ride! Definitely worth the time. I'm rooting for Apple+ simply because I have no intention of entering a movie theater until 2022. Defending Jacob is the best show they've put on so far. And I loved The Morning Show. This is better.
They made an interesting choice to change the original ending from the book. The novel was written by William Landay, and in it, Holly is dead. Her body is found weeks later. There is no ambiguity to the book. Jacob is guilty, not only of murdering Ben, but after he is freed, of murdering Holly, a teenage girl.
I do like that the series decided to go with the ambiguous ending. In the series, Andy's father has someone force Leonard Patz, neighborhood child molester, to sign a confession, and then murder him. So we never know if Patz did murder Ben. I mean, he's a child molester. It's certainly very possible. But he did not confess and he did not commit suicide.
Jacob is set free once the bogus confession is found. Andy figures it out though, and knows this was his father's dirty work. He tells no one and the family decides to go to Mexico for a vacation. Where creepy Jacob immediately meets a fan.
The fact that Holly, a teenager, is "star struck" by a male who became famous as the defendant in a high profile murder trial, didn't really bother me. The fact that, in real life, had Jacob been sent to jail after murdering Holly, whole ass grown women would have written him love letters, kinda bothers me. And I'm talking about middle aged women. Like the lunatics who write fan fiction about Kristen and Robert, believing they're Bella and Edward, and have secret vampire babies together. They're out there, and there are a lot of them. Think about that the next time you get to thinking how fabulous being a film star would be.
Anyway, in the series, Holly is found two days later, alive. She actually met another boy after arguing with the creepy ass Jacob. This 2nd boy, drugged her and brought her to his place. This girl has some tragic taste in men. Holly is 16 and I don't like her chances of seeing 17. Holly girl, we gotta talk.
Anyway, before Holly the dummy is found alive (tho probably not for long), Andy gets drunk and confesses everything to Laurie. I mean, he spills all the tea. He's like, yeah man, my convicted murderer dad had one of his boys murder Patz the patsy, and our son don't just look, talk, and act creepy, he probably is a murderer like my dad.
Laurie flips the fuck out. She just cannot handle this. Over the following days it becomes clear that Laurie cannot handle the uncertainty. Laurie has been able to live with having the creepiest son anyone has ever seen all these years, but uncertainty is not Laurie's strong suit. A lot of people are like that. Living in the uncertainty can be a whole job on its own and not everyone is up to it.
They gotta know, did you fuck her? How many times? Where? Just tell me and then I'll move on, but I have to know. We all know how that ends. Well, this ended pretty much the same way; car wreck.
The only false note that I feel like hit, was that in the book, Laurie knows Jacob is a murderer, and she's got to figure he's just getting started. He's not 16 yet and he's floated two bodies already. So she purposefully crashes her car and kills him.
In the series, Laurie doesn't know if Jacob murdered Ben. And there is no dead Holly, so it's only Ben's murder that's on the table. And when she freaks out in the car, demanding Jacob tell her the truth, the last thing she says is "but I'll never know, will I?". And then BOOM, she swerves into a wall.
Now, it's never clear that she is trying to kill Jacob. I could buy that Laurie can't live with the uncertainty and decides to off herself. But she puts her son's life in danger? When for all she knows, he's innocent? That part is a little hard for me to buy.
Anyway, in the series, Jacob doesn't die in the accident, but he's in a coma. It's left up in the air whether he survives or not. Though, there's a hopeful note that the "nurses are very optimistic and have seen some good signs." So if you want to believe he lives, he lives.
Laurie wakes up claiming she doesn't remember anything. Laurie doesn't even remember that day. She knows she was in an accident but doesn't know what led up to it.
Poor Andy is left holding the bag. Though of course, if Andy had kept his mouth shut in Mexico, Laurie would have been none the wiser about Patz, and none of this shit would have happened. But I still feel really sorry for Andy, mostly because he looks exactly like Chris Evans.
Evans and Dockery are truly wonderful in this series. No false steps at all. Great performances. And Jaeden Martell gives a creepy, frustrating performance as Jacob. I mean, I wanted to smack him quite a few times during this series.
Definitely an interesting and entertaining way to pass 8 hours of your quarantine time. We don't know how much new content we will be getting, or when. I don't think we'll be getting much in the way of new fall shows. It remains to be seen, but California is in the United States, and we're not doing well with this whole coronavirus thing. In fact, one might call us a shithole.
You gotta get your new content where you can, and Defending Jacob is better than just "good enough for lockdown". I would have watched and enjoyed it even when Obama was President and we lived in a different dimension. But I do especially appreciate it right now.