Defending Jacob season 1, episode 3 recap – what happened in “Poker Faces”?

By Daniel Hart
Published: April 24, 2020 (Last updated: February 7, 2024)
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Apple TV+ series Defending Jacob season 1, episode 3 - Poker Faces


Defending Jacob season 1, episode 3, “Poker Faces” presents how the case against Jacob is mentally impacting the family, as the media and community start to zone in.

This recap of Apple TV+ series Defending Jacob season 1, episode 3, “Poker Faces” contains significant spoilers.

How does Defending Jacob season 1, episode 3, “Poker Faces” open?

It’s now real for the Barber family which is really what Episode 3 is about. Andy and Laurie meet the defense attorney Joanna Klein. She lays down the rules straight away; both parents must not show any emotion at all — she warns that everyone will be looking for a confirmation that Jacob did it. They need to show their poker faces.

Andy and Laurie head to the courthouse and Jacob pleads not guilty. Prosecutor Neal tries to argue for a higher bail amount due to the risk of flight but the judge overrules and sets the bail at $10k — Jacob goes home and rests.

You could sense the tension between Andy and Neal.

Laurie freaks out saying the news is being unfair on Jacob. Andy then raises a secret within his family and that stories will come out about his father.

Wait, what is this about Andy’s father?

The family meets Joanna again about the case; the lawyer explains to Jacob that he’s the decision-maker unless he wants his parents to make it for him. She states the theory is that Ben bullied Jacob and that’s why he murdered him but the case is purely circumstantial.

And that’s when Laurie states that she wants transparency about Andy’s father — there’s a history of violence in the family. Andy’s father is in prison, and Andy was ashamed of him; he killed a girl, a student at a community college. Upset at this family secret, Jacob walks out.

Laurie clearly wants no secrets in the family but this is evidently the start of the family feeling the pressure.

It’s clear Laurie is not coping well, but how is Andy doing in Defending Jacob season 1, episode 3, “Poker Faces”?

Andy is not doing well either; he breaches the rules and speaks to Paula, pleading for her help. He mentions Leonard Patz as a red flag but Paula says Leonard is not the priority anymore.

Andy wants to see Leonard’s case fule but Paula says they are not friends, they are colleagues and tells him to back off.

And Jacob?

Well, considering the circumstances, Jacob is doing okay, despite retreating within himself. Andy catches him online gaming and warns him that he needs to be careful and not speak much as it could be used against him.

Dylan has told Jacob that he’s famous and has a fan page by a girl in Ohio.

Priorities and all that.

But the turning point in Defending Jacob season 1, episode 3, “Poker Faces” is when Laurie returns home and someone has graffitied on their garage door, “Murderer, rot in hell”. Laurie goes upstairs and cries alone. Andy spends the evening scrubbing it.

Laurie then remembers a time that Jacob tried throwing a bowling ball at another kid, which is probably served to make the audience doubt Jacob’s innocence.

What’s the psychological assessment on Jacob all about?

A flashback reveals that the grand jury asked Andy about his father and how it was relevant — Neal quickly turns to the mental assessment of Jacob.

In the core story, Andy and Laurie speak to a professional for an assessment on Jacob ordered by the defense team. The assessor asks how Jacob was growing up and how he was with other children. Laurie and Andy constantly clash over Jacob’s behavior. Laurie reveals that Jacob did not do well in daycare and was rough with other kids, but also insists she knows Jacob is innocent — “A mother knows her child”.

How does Defending Jacob season 1, episode 3, “Poker Faces” end?

The thrilling chapter ends with Andy shouting for Laurie as it is dinner time but she doesn’t come. He finds herself outside painting over the graffiti.

You can tell when looking at Andy’s face that he knows nothing will be the same again.

Other points

  • Andy tells Jacob that they will get him a new laptop and phone as the police have his.
  • The Barber house start getting random calls, so Andy says he will get a new number for their home.
  • Derek speaks to Sarah about the lawyer he has to keep speaking to about the Jacob case. She’s not interested and puts the phone down.
  • Andy tells Jacob is the murder gene is bulls***.
  • While out eating in a restaurant, everyone is looking at the family.
  • When Laurie goes into work, her colleagues are concerned. The board members think her return to work is premature. She says that the workplace is meant to be a safe haven for kids and the board doesn’t want negative association and they are skating on thin ice as it is.
  • Andy gets Leonard’s case file.
  • Toby tells Laurie that she can’t see her anymore because her husband is friends with Dan Rifkin.
  • In the grand jury scenes, Andy says Jacob retreated in his mind for a while and was aware of the public attention. They hired him a tutor.
  • Sarah rings Paula to give her information on Ben’s murder.

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