Reasonable Doubt: Season 1/ Episode 3 “99 Problems” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

While Jax is trying to dedicate all her efforts to Brayden’s case, being someone’s mom, wife, confidant/friend, and legal advisor (pro bono) has her overwhelmed.


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Jax planting seeds in Fallon's head

While Jax is trying to dedicate all her efforts to Brayden’s case, being someone’s mom, wife, confidant/friend, and legal advisor (pro bono) has her overwhelmed.

Aired (Hulu) 10/4/2022
Director(s) Neema Barnette
Writer(s) Ryan Richmond and Loy A. Webb
Introduced This Episode
Sarah Miller Brooke Lyons
Morgan Stephens Erin Croom
Theo James Paul Fox
Mike Ortiz Victor Rasuk

This content contains pertinent spoilers.

Recap

I Don’t Have Time I Make Time – Naima, Shanelle, Damon, Jax, Lewis

Jax’s issues with time management go beyond her relationship with Lewis. It extends to Shanelle and mending fences after an offhand joke, it deal with trying to find time for Damon, who is dealing with a PO who seems hellbent on putting him back inside, but the one who seems sacrificed the most is Naima.

Jax makes time for Damon and even makes it clear she is willing and able to spend more time with him in the future, but Naima? Have you seen the two do the tik-toks she promised? Do they talk at all, or does Spenser get most of the attention? Naima understands, to a point, since her mom is busy. But we discover that Naima has been avoiding troubling her mom for so long that she may have had her period longer than recently discovered but didn’t say anything because her mom has higher priorities.

This, as you can imagine, causes massive mom guilt, but what can Jax do? She can’t be everywhere and everything to everyone.

And So It Begins – Sarah, Theo, Mike, Jax, Brayden, Rich, Fallon

Mike Ortiz (Victor Rasuk) after talking to Fallon
“Mike Ortiz (Victor Rasuk) after talking to Fallon,” Reasonable Doubt, “99 Problems,” directed by Neema Barnette, 2022, (Hulu)

Mike announces Brayden as a suspect, but even with that, because the process isn’t moving quick enough, Fallon decides to work on her own and build notoriety. This complicates things for Jax, but she has bigger fish to fry considering Sarah, who is just learning about the affair, is ready to leave Brayden and since Jax wants to win in criminal court and try to hold back the court of public opinion, she convinces Sarah to stay.

Meanwhile, Rich is questioning Brayden’s right hand, Theo, who seems to have the same negative, and potential sexism, Brayden had when first meeting Jax. But, he is quickly shut down and focuses on Kaleesha potentially mismanaging funds, which could become something to focus on, that lets potential jurors know Kaleesha wasn’t just fired when her affair with Brayden came to an end.

Murder Was The Case That They Gave Me – Daniel, Morgan, Brayden, Jax

From what it seems though, Kaleesha’s issues don’t stop with her work life, but Daniel is able to dig information about her personal life from what appears to be Kaleesha’s landlord. Someone happy to chat with his fellow Korean and speak down about Black Americans. But, while Daniel feels bad about having to pretend to be racist, he does get information on Morgan, a family member of Kaleesha who may not be a murderer but is involved with people who could have accidentally killed Kaleesha.

Morgan Stephens (Erin Croom) and her boyfriend
“Morgan Stephens (Erin Croom) and her boyfriend,” Reasonable Doubt, “99 Problems,” directed by Neema Barnette, 2022, (Hulu)

But, until Jax figures a way to get attention off Brayden, he’ll be the one investigated, and with a second-degree murder trial on the books, Jax will have to work even harder to keep her client out of jail.

Things To Note

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Did Theo or Sarah do it? Assuming Brayden is innocent.
  2. So, no one found out about Spenser getting a failing grade in class?

What Could Happen Next

  1. We learn more about Kaleesha’s family life, which her landlord didn’t make sound too pleasant
  2. We get to understand Jax’s dynamic with her friends more, since things seem cool now, but something feels off
  3. Gaining a further understanding of how Jax’s kids see her, and maybe the neglect leading to why Spenser is the way he is, beyond puberty

Review


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Highlights

Meeting The Wife

Sarah Miller (Brooke Lyons) dealing with her husband's affair
“Sarah Miller (Brooke Lyons) dealing with her husband’s affair,” Reasonable Doubt, “99 Problems,” directed by Neema Barnette, 2022, (Hulu)

Sarah establishing herself as someone who had money, a whole career before Brayden was important. It furthers the idea that their relationship, their marriage, wasn’t about jungle fever or anything like that. There was love at one time, for one reason or another, and it blossomed, bloomed, dropped some seeds, and sadly faded.

Why? Who knows at this point. Theo makes it seem like Kaleesha giving Brayden access to an urban market, and Black people might have attracted him, but Brayden isn’t at the point of communicating what created the desire. But, if Jax allows him on the stand, maybe he will tell that story.

Mom Guilt

Jax, like many, would love to be everything, for everyone, at any time, but that’s impossible. But one thing, one person rather, she wants to be that for is her children. Yes, Spenser is a bit of a butthead now, but that’s still Jax’s baby. Then with Naima, to have your own daughter hide she got her first period from you? A major moment between a mother and daughter? That hurts.

Plus, when you consider Jax’s relationship with her own mom and how strained that is, her daughter not being able to come to her about something personal is why she ended the episode crying. For if she’d hold back about her period, imagine what else she wouldn’t tell her mom out of fear of disturbing her.

Daniel’s Racism Code-Switch and Rich’s Shutting That Down

How you talk about people when they aren’t around says a lot about you. Despite the names Jax and her friends used to call him, Rich held it down when Theo was talking out the side of his neck. However, Daniel, granted to get information for Jax, bit his tongue, rolled with the punches, and let negative things be said.

Now, does this make either person an ally? Yes and no. Rich sticking up for a colleague doesn’t mean he thinks all Black lives matter, and if another lawyer in his field was Black and doing better than him, he’d support them with all his heart. And at the same time, with Daniel, he was getting information Jax could never get by using his privilege. And sometimes, you need people willing to infiltrate on your behalf, even if it makes them feel icky.

Plus, considering how Morgan and her man whooped Daniel’s ass for stalking them, karma apparently thought he needed to get an ass whooping.

Slowly Giving You Options As To Who Could Have Killed Kaleesha

Theo James (Paul Fox) talking bad about Jax
“Theo James (Paul Fox) talking bad about Jax,” Reasonable Doubt, “99 Problems,” directed by Neema Barnette, 2022, (Hulu)

I don’t know about you, but something about Fallon goes beyond trying to get justice for her cousin. I feel like there might be guilt involved there. Be it her sleeping with Kaleesha’s husband, when Kaleesha was separated, or something else, it seems like she is trying to compensate for something. Then, add in Morgan, who may not be a murderer but could have accidentally caused Kaleesha’s death? Never mind Theo, who seems like the type who thinks people of color getting to higher positions than him is because of affirmative action? We’re getting a whole lot of people who could have done it.

Heck, even Sarah, since she might be playing innocent now, but who is to say Theo, or someone else, didn’t give her the heads up, and she did something rash?

[ninja_tables id=”70201″]

Jax planting seeds in Fallon's head
Reasonable Doubt: Season 1/ Episode 3 “99 Problems” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)
Overall
Jax’s vulnerability, skills, and showing that she can’t do it all drive a strong third episode.
Highlights
Slowly Giving You Options As To Who Could Have Killed Kaleesha
Daniel’s Racism Code-Switch and Rich’s Shutting That Down
Mom Guilt
Meeting The Wife
Disputable
79

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