‘Reasonable Doubt’ Season 1 Finale, Episode 9: Recap & Ending, Explained: Is Brayden Miller Found Guilty?


Have we spoken about this show’s lost potential before? Here we have a series by the name of “Reasonable Doubt,” and at the center of it is a murder case that our protagonist must fight. It is completely reasonable to deduce that her weapon to prove his innocence would be “reasonable doubt.” What a thrill it would have been to explore the intricacies of that! But sadly, we are left with a show that is more about Jax’s indecisive personal life, and haven’t we seen enough shows like that? Our main contention with this show has been that it feels very dated. It was a very “Gossip Girl” and “Desperate Housewives” crossover treatment, and while there is nothing wrong with that itself, hasn’t it already been done before? After nine weeks, we get an ending that is just as lackluster as the show was. Let us go through the final episode of the first season and try to understand why that is so.

Spoilers Ahead

Jax’s Kidnapping And The Court Case

Where “Reasonable Doubt” Episode 8 ended with Jax telling Rich that she knew who killed Kaleesha Moore, this week starts with her putting the pieces together. On the night of Kaleesha’s murder, Brayden had come to visit her, and they had spent some time together before she seemingly signed the NDA. After he left, Theo came to visit her, and Kaleesha told him that she had proof that he was stealing money from the company. Theo leaves when she tells him that she signed an NDA. Meanwhile, in his car, Brayden observes that Kaleesha has not actually signed the NDA but instead, written an expletive. He angrily makes his way back to her house and confronts her. Kaleesha lets him know that he has no power over her, and in anger, he stabs her with the broken stem of a wine glass. Lo and behold, the killer was Brayden after all.

In this flashback, regarding the scene where Kaleesha and Brayden are together, it can be explained by the theory of a sexually assaulted victim’s attempt at gaining back agency over her body. But this should have been explored with more sensitivity.

Coming back to the present-day storyline, Jax is wondering about her next course of action and decides to just go to Paul’s funeral in the meantime, where Shanelle tells her to come clean to Lewis about her stepfather since he’s dead anyway, freeing Jax. She agrees to think about it. That day, she goes back home with her mother and tells her that Paul is much more guilty than she believes. Her mother is still reluctant to believe her. All we can understand from this conversation is another reason why women chose to stay silent: the emotional labor of convincing people that their saints are sinners.

On the first day, in the courtroom, Jax gives her final speech to the jury, in which she speaks about the merits of reasonable doubt and how that must be considered in Brayden’s case. Once the hearing is done, Brayden asks her how she knew, and she tells him that as the veil of gaslighting lifted off of her, she saw him for what he was. Brayden is nonchalant and admits that he even shot a man who had threatened him in his younger days. Jax declares him the biggest mistake of her life and leaves the place. Her next task is Damon. She lets him know that she does not want to continue the relationship with him. Damon accepts it and goes back to his garage to tell his cousin that he wants to quit the illegal side business since he had only been doing it for Jax, and without her, there wasn’t a point to it. His brother is angry and tells him that he is fired from both. Damon is dejected, and this could be what led to his breakdown. We have seen in previous episodes that Jax was being held captive by someone. Turns out, it was Damon who had kidnapped her when she was on her way back after breaking up with him. He tells a horrified Jax that she was what kept him going all those years in prison, and with her rejection, he had nothing left. Jax tries to pacify him, but he is too far gone.

Meanwhile, Lewis has caught wind of the fact that Jax may be missing. He contacts Daniel and asks him to start his own investigation. He also gets Damon’s whereabouts from Shanelle and goes to meet him. But Damon acts a little too nonchalant, which alerts Lewis. He later calls Daniel and tells him that he has been waiting for Damon to leave after he said he would, but he hasn’t for hours. He suspects that Jax could be with him. Daniel moves fast and gets the police to the address. But as fate would have it, before the police can reach Damon, he shoots himself because he is unable to hurt Jax and has absolutely no reason to go on otherwise. Following the shock of the incident, Jax is taken back home, and Lewis stays with her. She tells him about everything Paul did, and the pair agrees to go to counseling together. Jax also starts showing a modicum of trust in her mother as a babysitter now that Paul is not in the picture anymore.

‘Reasonable Doubt’ Season 1: Ending Explained: Is Brayden Miller Found Guilty?

The next day of Jax’s kidnapping, she is informed that the jury has come up with a verdict. She makes her way to court, and much to her disappointment, they find Brayden not guilty. It is a heartbreaking moment for her as, this time, she was responsible for the miscarriage of justice willingly. This is in stark contrast to when she was unable to protect Damon, who consequently lost his entire life to the system and to his own hopelessness. Not to mention how Brayden going scot-free meant that Kaleesha lost her life in vain. But that is far from how things are now. She gathers the evidence of the financial fraud of Clout Industries and sends it to Kaleesha’s cousin, who aptly uses it to bring the company under the proper investigation. A modicum of relief for Kaleesha’s spirit. Another good thing that happens is that Daniel’s crush might just fructify, with both of them connecting on their rather bad sense of humor. “Reasonable Doubt” Season 1 ends with Jax going on a run when she gets a call from Shanelle, who has a dead Jamarion in the living room.

What To Expect From ‘Reasonable Doubt’ Season 2?

The next season of “Reasonable Doubt” is undoubtedly going to be about Shanelle’s case. However, this time, instead of saying that she is innocent, there might be an argument to be made about the nature of the provocation that could justify killing another person. It is a matter of reasonable doubt whether that must be classified as murder or self-defense in cases of abuse. The only problem is we just don’t trust the show to do it properly. Even in “Reasonable Doubt” season 1, it attempted to explain the intersection of race and feminism and left it halfway; it attempted to explain gaslighting and victim blaming in abusive households and left it halfway. Everything that was meaningful, it attempted, but it did not finish. So, while these themes might continue into the next season, we are unable to place our faith in the makers to do it well. Therefore, what can we say other than that we will continue to watch this show further as an example of what should not be done when attempting to deal with mature themes? On that note, we sign off on Season 1. It has not been a good ride, and we truly hope you do better next time.

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Divya Malladi
Divya Malladi
Divya spends way more time on Netflix and regrets most of what she watches. Hence she has too many opinions that she tries to put to productive spin through her writings. Her New Year resolution is to know that her opinions are validated.

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