As Brayden’s trial winds down, so does the need to question what Paul did to Jax as all is revealed.
|Episode Title||Song Cry|
|Writer(s)||Resheida Brady, Raamla Mohamed, Michelle Flowers, Natalia Temesgen|
|Introduced This Episode|
|1996 Paul||Peter Lindstedt|
|1996 Lu||Candice Renee|
|1996 Jackie||Nyaling Marenah|
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That Is Your Truth – Paul, Lu, Jax, Shanelle
So what exactly happened between Paul and Jax? Well, back in 1996, he was a drunk, and multiple times he tested the waters with Jax. He grazed her breast, busted into the bathroom for a Q-Tip while she was in there, and, while drunk, got into Jax’s bed and felt her up, thinking she was Lu. Because of this, Jax told Shanelle and eventually her mom, who painted the issue less about what Paul did to Jax and more about what his drinking forced her to do.
Hence why Jax and Lu have a strained relationship. Paul may not have raped Jax, but he touched her inappropriately and made her uncomfortable. All of which Lu now downplays, and even Paul at this point, while Jax decides to keep the peace by staying quiet. After all, she doesn’t want to blow up the family over something that now, as an adult, she can avoid.
However, when it comes to Naima, she makes it clear she will kill Paul if he lays a hand on her. However, after the accusations, threats, and keeping him from getting medical treatment for the stress she puts him under, that won’t be necessary for he dies.
What Am I To You? – Jax, Lewis, Will, Damon, Spenser, Naima
All the drama between Lewis and Jax leads to them forgetting about their kids at school, and Spenser goes off on his parents a bit about it, and Jax feels guilty. It even leads her to think that things with Damon should likely end because he wants something too serious, and she just isn’t invested like that. However, with Lewis seeing Damon and Jax on a date, he is very much in divorce mode. He even reveals to Jax he has been speaking with a divorce lawyer.
Though to make life harder, Will shows up, wanting communication over their relationship, him getting fired, and all he gets is an ass whooping by Damon, who beats him up in a jealous rage. Leaving Jax to realize she really did overstay her welcome in terms of taking a break and vacationing with Damon. Because what he is offering is way too intense.
I Rest My Case – Jax, Brayden, Sarah, Dorothy, Theo
Jax makes it clear that Brayden is her client. So with that in mind, she reminds him why she is the most qualified person to defend him and provide counsel. He wants to go on the witness stand, and she eviscerates him just to provide an idea of why that is a bad idea. In fact, to plant seeds of doubt, when Sarah testifies, she goes after her to present the idea Sarah could have killed Kaleesha. But, to show that she isn’t a total monster, she has Brayden’s mom speak to how anti-violence Brayden is while, again, planting reasonable doubt in the jury’s minds. Mainly in the form of her appearing violent and possibly going after Kaleesha for the sake of her son.
Then, to add icing on the cake, Theo is thrown to the stand. Now, his appearance is one of the most notable, for he has recently become the interim CEO of Clout. So when put on the stand, it is clear he has benefited from Kaleesha’s inability to expose him overvaluing the company. He got the CEO potentially removed and put in as the interim, but then comes the real kicker: Theo was there the night of the murder and not questioned.
This combination makes it seem Brayden could potentially be deemed innocent. However, for a moment, when Theo took over, things were looking bad for Brayden, and with being drunk and having a moment of weakness, he triggers Jax when he hugs her. Thus leading her to question what he may or may not have done regarding raping Kaleesha.
Things To Note
Question(s) Left Unanswered
- Are we going to meet Jax’s dad in the flesh?
- Has Paul ever touched Naima?
- Why did Jax only tell Shanelle about Paul and not the rest of her friends? Especially Sally?
What Could Happen Next
- Jax seemingly was triggered by someone grooming her to realize who is Kaleesha’s killer, so will Dorothy be considered since she is a parental figure willing to kill for her son?
You push away the people that know you best because you don’t like to be seen.
I’m sorry that you’ve had so much trauma in your life that you have to create it even when it’s not there.
I don’t like being seen and you saw me, all the parts. I got enough mirrors in my house. I didn’t need another one staring back at me.
Finally, Learning What Paul Did
What Paul did to Jax has been questioned and dodged for most of the season, and with the reveal of what happened, it doesn’t explain much, but it does enough. For one, it explains why Shanelle saw herself as Jax’s best friend if she was the only one who knew about what Paul did, and we can also understand why Mama Lu downplayed what Paul did. His drunken actions, or the grazing, you can imagine her writing off as misunderstandings in her later years, separated from the moment. But for Jax, considering the language Mama Lu has used, you can see a shift of blame or downplay of Jax’s feelings implying that she is making something bigger than it is.
Now, how has this affected Jax’s relationships? It’s not easy to say. We know Jax keeping what Paul did a secret was to keep the family together, but as for whether that affected her ability to be intimate and things of that nature? It’s hard to say. However, with Paul dead and Jax maybe willing to bury her secret with him, we may never know.
Brayden’ Case Entering Its Final Moments
Brayden’s case is about to end, and this episode has a cliffhanger where Jax realizes who killed Kaleesha. I’ll admit, while some of the cross-examining leads to peaks in the case, it hasn’t really had notable moments. But, with Jax going for blood with Sarah, Fallon, and Theo, and even giving Brayden a taste, since he thinks he should go on the witness stand, this is pumping major interest into this trial. But remember Damon’s trial and how that went? Jax could have the rug pulled from under her.
Spenser Calling Out His Parents & Shanelle Calling Out Jax
While Spenser is a butthead, he has a point regarding his parents’ drama making the kids come second. We’ve seen it with Naima and her having to go through who knows how many periods without her mother’s assistance, and Spenser? Though he has likely long had an attitude, you cannot deny that, like many kids, the lack of stability isn’t contributing to that. His dad and mom trading him off, Jax focusing on work more than anything, then Lewis being physically there but lowkey portraying the fun parent and making Jax into the ass? You can see the games being played.
Then with Shanelle, you have to appreciate it being shown that it isn’t just from the mouth of babes but adults that find Jax slipping. But with Shanelle, it’s different since you can see that as Shanelle says, Jax doesn’t like being seen for who she is. Perhaps the main side effect of the Paul molestation is Jax wanting to control her narrative, even if it isn’t the truth. Hence, Autumn might be one of Jax’s favorites since she is willing to enable Jax to a point, while Sally would analyze her, and with Shanelle being the pot, who will call the kettle black? It’s a challenge for her. One no different from how Brayden felt about Jax when they met, with him wanting to reject and push her away because she saw and understood him too well.
On The Fence
The Whole Kidnap Plot
With Will beaten up, and Damon seeming to not be the kidnapper either, it is hard not to feel like this kidnapping plot is just for the sake of drama. To allow Jax to win Brayden’s case but have a comeuppance that creates a dramatic cliffhanger for the season finale.