Chris Evans as a Worried Father on the TV Show Defending Jacob? A Quarantine Miracle
**Spoilers for Apple TV’s Defending Jacob lie within**
Defending Jacob is the dark and twisted tale of one family in Massachusetts struggling after their son, Jacob (Jaeden Martell), is accused of murdering his classmate. When Andrew Barber (Chris Evans) is faced with his son potentially being a killer, he has to tell his wife Laurie (Michelle Dockery) of his family’s past and thus the twists and turns of a family who are keeping secrets from each other starts to unravel.
Seems extremely serious right? Well, it is. It’s a sad look at how one event can change a life (even if we don’t know Jacob’s exact involvement with the murder itself yet). But Evans, in his first starring TV role, really shines. The first three episodes were released on Apple TV today and I was thrown into an “oh no this is too domestic for right now. I’m single in quarantine. I don’t need hot dad Chris Evans” tailspin and then I couldn’t stop watching so … here we are.
At the risk of not spoiling anyone—you really should watch Defending Jacob because what else are we all doing right now—I’m going to focus on the domestic vibe that Evans gives off as Andrew Barber because it’s a lot to handle. It’s a real “what it’d feel like if your husband looked like Chris Evans” kind of aesthetic and it demands to be unpacked.
I will start by saying, there is a point in the third episode where Sarah (a child that Jacob goes to school with) is listening to the song “Night Shift” by Lucy Dacus and my response, out loud, was to exclaim “Wow this child GETS IT” (mainly because I have that song on multiple playlists) so that’s where I am in my quarantine viewing. Just to set the scene for my current mental state.
Let us adventure further into the show. First, we need to get in the right mood.
pov where chris evans is your husband pic.twitter.com/E3E84KJyvK
— liz (@lzhrkns) April 24, 2020
Now we’ll go on a journey through Andrew Barber’s time trying to find out the truth about his son (through the first three episodes that is—can’t wait to continue this bearded tale for five more episodes). Since Andrew, who is a district attorney, cannot represent his own son, he goes to his fellow lawyer friend, Joanna Klein (Cherry Jones).
He’s taking a more casual approach to his look in that scene since most of the time, he’s in some kind of dress shirt and variation of a suit, Andrew is wearing a nice button-up casual shirt with a blazer. The look of a concerned dad.
Andrew Barber wanted a perfect family, something he never had as a kid, and throughout the series we can see that he tried to look for the best in the family he did eventually have with Laurie and Jacob. (I’m listening to “Ocean Eyes” by Billie Eilish while staring at these gifs of Chris Evans, as we are all about full quarantine emotions today.)
We know from her time on Downton Abbey as Lady Mary Crawley that Michelle Dockery is fantastic, but this is the first time we’ve seen Evans engaged in a much longer dramatic piece on a smaller screen. A good part of why the show is so compelling emerges from Chris Evans and his concerned dad energy, and parenthood, on the whole, is a focus here. We want to know the truth about the murder case and whether or not the Barber family is being put through all of this for a necessary evil or unfairly. Even when Laurie starts to doubt everything she thought she knew about her son, it all comes from a place of both Laurie and Andrew questioning their own abilities as parents.
Andrew Barber wants to protect his son, especially when they do arrest him and accuse him of first-degree murder. Chris Evans and his beard aren’t going to stand for that.
Constantly brooding, looking for answers while hiding secrets himself …
He tries his best to be a good dad. Or at least by episode 3, he’s still a good dad. I feel like I may live to regret these words. I hope I do not because I would love to continue with the trend of Domestic!Chris Evans if I can.
I’ll be the first to admit that a good dad look representation feels important in these trying times. Mother’s Day is my favorite time of year because you can see many good dads out and about, taking care of their kids. So right now, when everything else in the world is literally a disaster, I may be enjoying the idea of Evans as a dad worrying about his kid more than I would have in any other situation.
He spends his nights looking at what the other kids are saying about his son, constantly worried about how this is hitting his family, as he goes about attempting to figure out what really happened.
It’s also hard because, as far as we can tell, Andrew Barner was an excellent DA before all this happened. He was working with the detectives to build a case and figure out who was responsible for this and when Jacob became involved, everyone wanted him out. It’s doubly sad because THIS was his “I’m working” look.
He has moments of joy with his son where the two go out and share jokes at a diner to connect with one another and his easy laugh at his kid’s humor? Don’t talk to me about it.
Is it troubling that the bare minimum of competent parenting is appealing in the year of our lord 2020, considering the type of father we have in the Oval Office? Yes, and I blame the current climate and how many seem to be on their worst behavior—so a dedicated, caring Chris Evans trying his best is … a lot to handle.
I have to reiterate that I don’t know what happens in the rest of the series—I only watched the first three episodes like everyone else, but seeing these little moments where Chris Evans is so content to hold his fictional son in the midst of this mess they’re in? I fear that the show is either going to continue to be these kinds of fatherly shots that finally do me in, or else he’ll end up taking a turn for the worst. Either way, bad for me and my heart.
(This is just for the blue eyes, ngl)
On Defending Jacob, Andrew Barber appears to be a dad who will fight for his son and do what he thinks any parent would do (I don’t know what that means in the context of the show yet and I’m frightened). Right now, in the midst of quarantine and its related chaos, I found it extremely comforting, and while your mileage may vary … maybe it won’t:
Look there is STRAIGHT UP a scene where Andrew Barber (I refuse to call him Andy) is looking through his son’s room for the “knife” he supposedly owns and is posing next to a poster for Step Brothers and it is the definition of poetic cinema.
— rachel leishman (@RachelLeishman) April 24, 2020
The rest of Defending Jacob will air weekly throughout the month of May. Sorry to everyone who wanted to binge the beard all in one sitting; you’ll have to wait to watch all eight episodes until May 29th. I will wait for you, beard, I will be strong.
(image: Apple TV)
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