WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Defending Jacob Episode 5, “Visitors,” now streaming on Apple TV+.
Defending Jacobs surprised fans with the revelation Andy (Chris Evans) had a father in prison who was serving life for rape and murder. William “Bloody Billy” Barber (J.K. Simmons) was the person Andy tried to forget his entire life and the reason Andy pursued law.
Unfortunately, it rocked his wife, Laurie (Michelle Dockery), as Andy kept the past secret from everyone. Little did they know they’d be contacting William to try to use the “murder gene” theory in case Jacob (Jaeden Martell) got convicted of murder. And while at first, William rebuffs Andy’s attempts at DNA testing to help his son out, the villain actually saves the day with a surprising ally getting him to come around.
Andy heads to Connecticut to visit his dad in prison but the life-timer makes it a very difficult conversation. He keeps poking and prodding at Andy, who’s still harboring ill-feelings towards William for treating his mother badly. Andy was only five when William went in so he doesn’t really hold warm memories — he just knows he’s repulsed by his tattoos, rotting teeth and angry disposition from that one time he visited before his mom died of cancer.
On his second attempt, it’s tough to keep the hatred inside. William keeps aggravating Andy as he loves riling people up and making them feel like victims. He’s quite profane when he says Andy abandoned him and wrote him off for dead. Basically, the meeting’s a disaster as William jokes about Jacob being all over the news and starting out killing younger than he did. It pisses Andy off and William, sensing he’s gotten under the skin, tells him to beg for the DNA test so the defense can reduce Jacob’s sentence and claim his possible penchant for violence was genetically handed down. Andy refuses and William leaves in a huff.
Even when Andy asks him to stay a bit, hinting he would beg, William knows he holds the power and walks off slyly. As Andy would tell Jacob’s lawyer, Joanna (Cherry Jones), later on, William never intended to agree to anything. He just wanted to bring Andy in to squirm and lord over him. It’s what the narcissist loved doing back in the day and now they’re left to resort to the burden of proof plan where they won’t put Jacob on the stand. They’ll instead run the risk of shooting down the prosecution’s case so there’s reasonable doubt.
However, after Andy does some digging of his own with Jacob’s classmates and gets clues others might be involved in Ben’s death at a park, Joanna reveals a few days later William has agreed to the test. This time Laurie went down and visited him. It’s been implied she may have been the victim of assault years ago so if that’s the case, she really showed immense bravery. It’ll be interesting to hear what William and Laurie spoke of, especially regarding the skeletons in Andy’s closet, and what convinced William to make the effort for his grandson. Laurie doing behind everyone to pull this off certainly looks to have saved the day but as Andy knows, his dad doesn’t do anything without a price.
Written by Mark Bomback and directed by Morten Tyldum, Defending Jacob stars Chris Evans, Michelle Dockery, Pablo Schreiber, Cherry Jones, Jaeden Martell, Sakina Jaffrey, Betty Gabriel and J.K. Simmons. The miniseries is now streaming on Apple TV+ with new episodes out every Friday.
Defending Jacob's sinister villain may have saved the day for the accused, and it's all due to a surprising ally who goes behind everyone.