Recap: The Defense Begin Their Case in ‘Defending Jacob’ Episode 4 “Damage Control”


In the third episode of Apple TV+’s Defending Jacob, Jacob is out on bail and the Barbers met with their attorney, Joanna Klein. Laurie brings up the history of violence in Andy’s family — his father is a murderer — and raised concerns about the “murder gene” in relation to Jacob’s defense. Andy and Laurie met with Dr. Elizabeth Vogel, an expert in genetic inheritance and behavior and discussed Jacob’s childhood. We ended with a few questions being raised: why did Jacob’s classmate Sarah call Duffy, and what is Leonard Patz up to?

It’s the early hours of the morning, before 6 a.m., and Laurie is waiting on the grocery store to open, not wanting to be there amongst the crowds, while Andy is swimming, also likely to avoid seeing any of the townsfolk in the locker rooms.

We cut back to the Barbers in Joanna’s office, where Joanna is attempting to get some information out of Jacob. She asks why he bought the knife in the first place, and he replies that it looked cool and he wanted it, to which she tells him the situation will be spun to him wanting to use it on his bully, Ben Rifkin. She asks why Derek assumes he’s the killer, and Jacob responds that maybe Derek is the killer, and this was the perfect alibi. He immediately rescinds it when Joanna takes him seriously, and then admits to telling Derek that at one point he’d said something about hurting Ben, but not in a way that meant anything, and that a lot of kids didn’t like Ben. Joanna asks where the knife is, and Andy confesses to throwing it away.

Joanna continues to gather information from Jacob, asking if the path Ben was found on was his normal path to school (it was) and more details about what Jacob saw and heard that morning. She presses Jacob on how he immediately knew it was Ben, despite the body being face down and only his sneakers being visible, Jacob replies he could see more than that, but no other details. When asked why he didn’t call 911 after finding the body, he replies it may have been an accident, he doesn’t know, and Joanna then brings up whether it was an accident or not, he still needed help. Andy butts in, asking why Jacob just didn’t call him, but Joanna stops him and Jacob says again that he thought he’d get in trouble if he was the one who sounded the alarm.

Jacob retells his actions after finding the body, and gets fuzzy on the details. Joanna confirms again that Jacob didn’t feel the need to call anyone, and then asks why Derek had said Jacob was in such a great mood that day when he saw Jacob at school, despite telling her he was freaking out. Jacob responds he didn’t want Derek to know. And then he accuses Joanna of not believing his innocence and of trying to trick him into admitting guilt. She tells him his story has holes, and that Loguidice isn’t going to take it easy on him, she’s just getting him ready. The decision is made to not put Jacob on the stand.

Andy and Joanna speak outside after their meeting, Laurie and Jacob heading to the car. Andy tells her Jacob has to tell his story, but she tells him right now all signs point one way, and that the knife found in the park was not a match for the weapon that killed Ben. Andy deflects to Leonard Patz again, that he’s the story and he won’t stop until he finds something linking him to this case. Joanna warns of a magazine reporter in town covering the case, and to not engage.

Derek is called to the principal’s office at school, Duffy and his mother are there as well.

Laurie is sifting through the mail, tossing all the death threats and hate mail meant for Jacob, and goes wide-eyed at a large envelope addressed to Ms. Agnes Martin, hiding it as she returns to prepping dinner.

As Jacob and Andy watch television later that night, Laurie sneaks upstairs with the envelope; it’s filled with copies of articles about Andy’s father and the murder he committed. We return to present time, and Loguidice presents the very same envelope to the courtroom, and Andy is made to admit that his father, Bloody Billy Barber, is a murderer and a rapist before the courtroom.

Finally, the flashes of Andy’s dreams make sense — they are from visiting his father in prison as a young boy.

Andy wakes from another nightmare centered around his father and then we’re back to the time period of Jacob’s trial. Laurie asks Andy if any tiny part of him thinks that Jacob might have done it, and he replies “of course not.”

The next day, Andy heads out trying to gain a lead on Leonard Patz. He arrives at the McGraths, looking for Matthew, a boy who has a history with Patz… Matt clams up, refusing to give any information on Patz, and Andy leaves.

Jacob has his initial visit with Dr. Vogel, while Andy goes searching for Patz at the hardware store he works for. He watches from his car until the end of his shift, and follows him back to his home before heading back home himself.

Sarah is playing video games with Jacob as Andy searches the house for Laurie, who has driven out to the gala being held by the school she taught at. She lies when Andy calls and asks where she is, stating a friend asked her to dinner, but she heads to a diner alone. She converses with a stranger, and seems relieved that the woman doesn’t know who she is, and she joins her at her booth.

Andy and Jacob are having pizza at home, and Jacob tells Andy that Sarah thinks Derek killed Ben.

Laurie breaks down in conversation with the stranger at the diner, admitting to her that it’s her son that was committed of the murder in Newton. The woman knows, she’s the reporter that Joanna had warned Andy about. Laurie doesn’t tell Andy about the run-in when she arrives home.

Jacob makes a new social media account under a fake name, he follows Sarah, saying he just wanted to listen to her songs. Laurie and Andy head to bed and discuss Jacob, as they always do now.

My only job now is to protect our son. Whatever it takes. -Andy Barber

Loguidice is questioning Andy about his father in present day, asking if he was afraid of having a small piece of his father in him, or in Jacob. Andy says he knew Jacob wasn’t a murderer, the same he knew he wasn’t. Loguidice confirms that maybe he did, but Laurie didn’t.

Jacob is getting an MRI, and while he’s in the scanner Andy and Laurie head over to Dr. Vogel’s office to discuss a DNA test. She’s gotten a sample from Jacob and needs one from Andy as well. They discuss how genetic evidence could reduce Jacob’s sentence if he’s found guilty, by bringing him from a first-degree murder charge down to second-degree. Dr. Vogel then tells them that she went to get a sample from Andy’s father, and he refused to give one. He’d only agree if Andy asked him personally.

Andy questions his ability to see his father face-to-face, but Laurie pushes him to go, for Jacob. Whatever it takes.

Will Andy go see his father? What are the results of the DNA test? Does Leonard Patz connect with the murder of Ben Rifkin?

The next episode of Defending Jacob will be out May 8 exclusively on Apple TV+.

Kaity started with Harry Potter in second grade and it’s been a losing battle ever since, or maybe a winning one ... She lives in New England with a small herd of cats, two dogs, three chinchillas, and one daughter. You can definitely find her either watching anime, reading manga, or playing the same five video games over and over again. Contact:

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