Accused: Season 1/ Episode 8 “Laura’s Story” – Recap/ Review

Molly Parker as Laura testifying

Tapping into the InfoWars/ Fake News movement, a family faces a woman who denies the school shooting that killed their son happened.

Tapping into the InfoWars/ Fake News movement, a family faces a woman who denies the school shooting that killed their son happened.

Aired (FOX) March 14, 2023
Director(s) Lee Rose
Writer(s) Daniel Pearle
Newly Noted Characters
Jonah Liam MacDonald
Laura Molly Parker
Eric Shawn Doyle
Joanne Margo Martindale


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Grieving Separately, Even When Together – Jonah, Laura, Eric

Liam MacDonald as Jonah talking to his dad
“Liam MacDonald as Jonah talking to his dad,” Accused, “Laura’s Story,” directed by Lee Rose, 2023, (FOX)

Laura is a grieving mother who, while she shares going to a grief group with her husband Eric, it seems there is a disconnect when it comes to her son, Jonah. Part of the reason could be that his little brother and him were adopted, and while Laura intentionally adopted Liam, Jonah was adopted once she knew he existed. So, in a way, he is a bonus son. One she loves dearly, but the perception that he wouldn’t have been adopted if it wasn’t for Liam is there.

That aside, what also creates a bit of a divide between Jonah and Laura is that Jonah seems to want to mourn in peace while Laura has taken on becoming an advocate, doing news spots, which creates friction between her, the family, and those who believe the school shooting which took Liam’s life was a hoax.

Where Is The Evidence? – Laura, Jonah, Eric, Joanne

Margo Martindale as Joanne antagonizing Laura
“Margo Martindale as Joanne antagonizing Laura,” Accused, “Laura’s Story,” directed by Lee Rose, 2023, (FOX)

One of the leaders of that movement is Joanne. She is a provocateur, representing the increasingly dwindling wall between commentator and reporter. Foolishly, Laura engages with her hoping that, given their truth, maybe that may dispel their conspiracy theories. Of which, for some, are rooted in just disbelief that there can be such a constant stream of school shootings.

However, once Joanne is on the scene, it goes from a discussion to Laura and another set of parents being provoked and Joanne, who is made out to be part of the anti-gun lobby, being personally criticized. This includes Joanne questioning why she adopted children and making this devolve into a vendetta.

One that escalates day to day as Laura and Eric’s lives get doxed, from their home address, phone numbers, and social security numbers. Also, Jonah gets attacked while riding his bike. This leaves everyone fearing for their lives and Eric considering them moving out of state. Which for Laura, who is on a tenure track at the higher education institute she works for, this only makes the situation more aggravating.

Taking One For The Team – Laura, Jonah, Eric, Joanne

Shawn Doyle as Eric trying to talk to Jonah
“Shawn Doyle as Eric trying to talk to Jonah,” Accused, “Laura’s Story,” directed by Lee Rose, 2023, (FOX)

As life at home gets worse, Eric purchases a gun. Laura is against this, even with the cops outright saying they don’t have the manpower to protect them. But, what strengthens her point is that Jonah decides to take that gun and threaten Joanne.

Originally, her finding Jonah in her home leads her to think he ran away, due to being scared of his mother. However, once he shoots and kills her, it becomes clear that isn’t the case.

Which leads to the case on trial, which is not Jonah being accused of murder, but Laura. To protect her son, as soon as she figured out the gun was gone and where Jonah likely went, she shows up in Joanne’s home, with Eric, and makes sure her DNA is on the weapon. As the prosecution wants to push for information on the phone call Laura made to Jonah before he killed Joanne, she even takes a guilty plea to protect him and end any reason for the prosecution to continue investigating the truth.


On The Fence

While You Get What Was Trying To Be Done, It Didn’t Feel Like It Went Far Enough

While it is understood that Joanne is supposed to be representative of the Alex Jones types out there, it does feel like things don’t go far enough. What we get is a taste of how people end up followers to men like him, the frustration and harassment that people on the other side, who are already grieving, go through, but there was a certain lack of oomph.

Almost as if, recognizing the dangerous waters they were entering; while everyone behind the episode wanted to depict a story like this, they wanted to walk a tightrope to not antagonize either side. Thus delivering what can feel like an understandably safe episode.

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