“Reasonable Doubt” is a series that cleverly establishes its motive in the first two episodes without being too preachy-that of representing the disadvantage faced by the Black community in the legal system and the clashes caused by the intersection of feminism with issues of race. Jax is a high-earning lawyer in a top-notch law firm, and she constantly struggles with the moral balance between her profession and her personal faith and principles that come from her being a black woman. The first two episodes set the premise for lots of ethical compromises and the reasoning behind them, which is going to open the floodgates of discussion. A noteworthy thing here is that “Reasonable Doubt” doesn’t try to make us like or hate the protagonist. In fact, our feelings for her are rather mixed, and we know it is only going to get more tangled. Let us see how that happens.
Jax’s Affair With Will And Her Interest In Brayden Miller’s Case
Jax is a high-powered attorney at one of the best law firms in the city and, by all means, is a woman completely in control of her narrative. She and her husband, Lewis, are separated and co-parenting their children together. Lewis believes that Jax places her job and herself above her family. He had given her an ultimatum that she must choose between him and her job. Evidently, he lost the ultimatum, and the couple has been living separately for 3 months now. There is also an ongoing issue about Lewis’s need for control, which, according to Jax, is the root cause of their problems. He installs security cameras in the house and keeps an eye on his family through them. He also hires a private security guard for Jax without consulting her, which leads to a huge fight, because of which we come to know the issues between them. Later in “Reasonable Doubt” Episode 1, there is a moment between Jax and Will, and she makes sure that her husband can see it through the camera.
As for her job, she is indispensable to her firm, courtesy of her outside-the-box perspective and proactive thinking. We get a glimpse of her modus operandi in the case of Madison Stiles and Devin MacDonald. Madison has alleged that Devin had sexually assaulted her when she followed him back to his hotel room by exposing himself to her. He did not try to stop her when she had wanted to leave. Jax tells the prosecution that she does not believe there is a case. There is a subtle play here on the “gold-digger” trope that is offensive because of its deliberation. Jax eventually finds evidence that Madison was lying all the time, and she comments that she hates women like this who make it difficult for the those who are actually telling the truth. We cannot deny that we understand her sentiments. But what we are trying to address here is the deliberate bait laid down by the show with this story arc. They want us to think that, despite being problematic, Jax hits the nail on the head. In the current social climate, anything but complete and absolute support for the marginalized feels like a betrayal of their cause. The makers wanted to show Jax as a person who can think beyond that, but they faltered somewhat in their execution. Either way, as she progresses in her career, the most interesting aspect of it all may just be her personal life. She seems to maintain a distance from her stepfather, Paul, and every time his name is brought up, she visibly stops in her tracks. Going by the timing of her reactions, we are guessing that she had either been assaulted by him or had been a witness to that. We know that her mother supported him, which seems to be an unvoiced cause of contention between the mother and daughter.
An interesting person in her life is Damon Cooke. He has been in prison for 16 years, and we know that he and Jax were in love. When Jax lost his case, she was devastated enough to completely quit the public defender’s office and look for something more lucrative because, in her words, “it hurts less when it is rich people.” But Damon has decided to confess to his crime, which he did not commit so that he can finally be free on parole. Jax is completely against it and warns him that she will never speak to him again if he does so, but he chooses not to listen to her. Elsewhere, their firm is approached by Brayden Miller’s company to oversee some issues. Brayden is well on his way to becoming one of the few black billionaires in the country, but one of his former employees is threatening to expose some of their “unfair” practices. Not only that, she is accusing Brayden of having assaulted her, which he claims he did not do. Initially, he chooses another attorney to represent him, but when Taleesha is found murdered in her apartment, and the suspicion falls on him, he asks Jax to take over. But she refuses.
When it comes to her personal life, she is a total workaholic, and her relationship with her husband is rather rocky. Both of them still seem to care for each other but are unable to get over their issues. Also, her son, Spenser, has clearly chosen his dad and is a total brat towards his mother. Jax’s own mother frequently tells her that Lewis is a good man, and she must patch things up with him. She doesn’t stop to consider her daughter’s point of view as she comes from an older school of thought that being “good” supersedes being “compatible.” Her personal life is in shambles, but her career is going great, with there not being a door that wouldn’t open for her.
‘Reasonable Doubt’ Episode 2: Ending Explained – Does Jax Agree To Represent Brayden?
Despite her threat to never talk to Damon, she can’t help but reignite her friendship with him, and they end up spending some time on the beach. Damon tells her that for him, the choices were next to nothing if he did take the route he did. He literally had no other way to get his freedom in a “system that is designed for them to lose.” After talking to him, Jax makes a call. She rings up Brayden and asks him point blank whether he assaulted Taleesha. Brayden assures her that he didn’t but mentions that Taleesha thought otherwise. We are not sure whether Jax believes him, but she definitely agrees to take his case. Previously, she had noted that since Taleesha had already signed the NDA that Brayden wanted, what motive could he have to murder her? This means that Jax believes in the possibility of his innocence. Damon’s words about the system being stacked against them affected her enough to take a leap of faith.
There is an intersection of race and gender here for which she carries two separate sets of morals and she had to choose one for this case. She had helped Fallon, Taleesha’s cousin, find a lawyer, but at the same time, she had changed her mind and decided to defend Brayden. Jax plays fast and loose with her courses of action, and while it is not immediately perceived by the bystander, a prolonged look would establish that there is a solid foundation of thought underneath, which we will get to in future episodes.
Final Thoughts: What Can We Expect From ‘Reasonable Doubt’ Episode 3?
We will definitely get to see more of the mystery behind Taleesha’s death unraveled. There is something to be unpacked about Jax’s relationship with her parents, but we don’t believe it will be in the immediate episodes. Also, exactly how messed up is her married life? There is probably a love story in the works with Damon, which remains to be seen. “Reasonable Doubt” is a little soapy, the actors are decent, and Jax’s wardrobe is powerful and fantastic. However, there has been nothing noteworthy or spectacular about the show so far. Hopefully, they will take care of that in the episodes to come. And we will stay glued to our screens for that.