We have reasonable doubts about whether the wasted potential of this show was deliberate or just plain laziness. “Reasonable Doubt” Episode 8 was proof of how well-developed the storyline could have been if it did not insist on being so unattractively soapy. The pacing of this one episode is good, but it is inconsistent with that of the series as a whole. It seriously lacks the binge-able quality that one must incorporate when one wants to make it so “restaurantry.” We appreciate today’s episode for taking the story forward somewhat, but we still refuse to forgive the makers for this delayed payoff. Let us see what happens in “Reasonable Doubt” episode 8.
Jax’s Personal Life Gets Messier
There is something unnecessarily annoying about not being in touch with your own feelings. Jax had made it pretty clear to Damon that she wanted to keep things casual, and he had agreed. It turned out that those were just words. When Jax gets a call from Lewis, Damon clearly doesn’t like it. He wants to go with her, but Jax refuses, which prompts him to ask her whether they should end this. Jax is not having it, and she lets him know that she won’t be playing games and will not tolerate ultimatums. Lewis adds to Jax’s troubles by telling her that he wants a divorce. He is done with the ambiguity of the whole situation and wants a clear answer. Lewis has been understanding enough and wants to know if their separation has a purpose or not. Jax is not sure about divorce and wants more time, but Lewis doesn’t agree.
Adding to Jax’s troubles, her stepfather Paul is in the hospital, in a life-or-death situation. She is there because it means a lot to her mother, but she herself hasn’t forgiven him for what he did all those years ago. Jax has not told anyone about that other than Shanelle, and she talks to her again at this trying time in her life. Shanelle listens to her and is shocked that she and Lewis are considering a divorce. She mentions to Jax how just at the party the other day, she had told Lewis that Jax looked happy with him. Jax is angry because of this, but Shanelle lets her know that she is just scared of being vulnerable because she doesn’t want anybody to see her for what she is.
The situation with Damon worsens when Will comes to visit her to ask for a recommendation letter, and Damon catches them there. Furious, he beats up Will, causing Jax to ask him to leave. When she talks to him later, he tells her that he loves her and that he has held on to their time spent together for 16 years. Jax softens and reassures him that she is there for him.
As this scene unfolds on screen, we see Jax’s past play out. After her stepfather, Paul had touched her inappropriately a few times, as if by accident, Jax had become very wary of him. One night, when he got into bed with her and started touching her deliberately, Jax immediately asked him to leave, and he did. The next day, he apologized to her and blamed it on his drinking. But Jax tells her mother about the incident, and she asks Paul to leave them. However, her mother breaks down because she is still in love with him, and that makes her believe that he is just a good man who did a bad thing. That was the first time Jax had to take on the role of caregiver. She says as much to Shanelle that the reason she doesn’t want to tell Lewis any of this is that he would forbid her and her children from seeing their grandparents, and she would have to agree. The outdated concept of a familial structure, perhaps the guilt for her mother’s heartbreak and the subsequent anger towards her for forgiving her abuser, must have made Jax the guarded person she is today. When Paul was leaving, he slipped a cheque to Jax, one that had the money for her to buy a car. How long must it have taken for Jax to realize that he was grooming her? She looks like she went to therapy for it, though it isn’t mentioned in the series.
The Brayden Miller’s Case
Until this point, Jax’s strategy in the case has been to cast reasonable doubts about the possibility of another killer. She continues the same thing but comes across as a little stronger this time. She catches Sarah off-guard when she shows in court that she could be the possible killer due to her not having an alibi the night of Kaleesha’s murder. On the other hand, as Brayden Miller is facing trial, his company sends Theo to talk up the company on a news channel, where he very covertly announces that he is the interim CEO, and their company is not fully convinced of Brayden’s innocence. Jax brings him to court and questions him about the last time he had seen Kaleesha, and he replies that it was the night she was killed. Jax points out that after Kaleesha’s death and Brayden’s being on trial, a lot more doors have opened up for him. Theo denies his motives, but the doubts are strong now. Jax also puts Rich on the secret job of getting Theo’s fingerprints, which he does.
The case looks like it might just take a turn in Brayden’s favor, but he is far from happy. He realizes that there really is no one he can call his own. As he confides this to Jax, he also tells her that he had not initially wanted to hire her because she could see through him. He goes in for a hug but takes it a step too far when he makes a move on her. Jax pushes him away and Brayden leaves. He apologizes later, but Jax tells him that they should just continue with the case as professionals.
‘Reasonable Doubt’ Episode 8: Ending Explained – Does Jax Kill Paul? Who Killed Kaleesha?
Following the events with Brayden and Damon, Jax goes to visit Paul in the hospital. She asks him whether he remembers what he had done. Paul replies that he wants to let bygones be bygones. Quite a vapid statement if you ask us—one that is free from the trauma faced by the victim. Jax further questions him about whether he remembers the times he had touched her, seemingly innocently but, in retrospect, with other intentions. Paul attempts to gaslight her and say that his truth is different. It reminds us of something similar that Brayden had said about a misunderstanding between him and Kaleesha. Jax tells him that she knows he was grooming her and warns him that she wouldn’t spare him if he ever laid eyes on Naima. She pulls out one of the vials in his hand as she leaves the hospital in anger. Though help comes for Paul immediately, we have a feeling even that was late. Or he could be alive after all. We will only know in the coming episode, though one thing is clear: Jax is far from caring whether he lives or dies.
As soon as she steps out, she calls and tells Rich that she knows who killed Kaleesha. We will only know that in the coming episode of “Reasonable Doubt,” but we believe that it was her moment of rage that gave her that clarity. We suspect that it is Brayden after all, due to the similarity in behavior he exhibited with Paul when he claimed a “misunderstanding” with Kaleesha and similarly tried to come onto Jax. Or maybe, seeing Damon’s rage, she suspects Ryan, Kaleesha’s husband, of being the culprit. We will only know this a week later.
Final Thoughts: What Works For ‘Reasonable Doubt’ Episode 8?
While “Reasonable Doubt” Episode 8 was good, it was not light at the end of a dark tunnel. We just don’t have that kind of trust in the show anymore. We don’t care enough to know more about Jax’s personal drama. If we were not getting paid to watch the show, we would simply skip the last two episodes and check out the name of Kaleesha’s killer on Wikipedia later. Also, can we just say that Lewis has some guts to give out ultimatums after his erratic behavior? First, he spied on his wife; second, he was okay with her being with Will; and finally, he stalked her everywhere. This man is more confused about life than Jax herself. Yet he manages to be boring, and that is why we don’t care. Now that we have given up on practically every aspect of the show, all we can say is that we will be ready a week later with another article about why the show tries too hard but not enough.
See More: ‘Reasonable Doubt’ Season 1 Finale, Episode 9: Recap & Ending, Explained: Is Brayden Miller Found Guilty?