Tuesday, October 4, 2022

REVIEW: 'Reasonable Doubt' - Jax Struggles to Remain Equally Devoted to Brayden's Case and Her Family in '99 Problems'

Hulu's Reasonable Doubt - Episode 1.03 "99 Problems"

As Brayden's newly appointed defense attorney, Jax and the team dive in, gearing up for the preliminary hearing. Lewis and Jax come together to help Naima. Damon and Jax decide to be friends after she helps him with a problem.

"99 Problems" was written by Michelle Flowers & Jason Wilborn and directed by Sylvain White

Jax has decided to take Brayden on as a client. He's grateful for that decision because she's the best person to represent him against the murder charges. It was an inevitable decision as well. So much of the tension from the second episode was built around Jax trying to convince herself she wasn't interested in the case. That was obviously a lie. And now, she can work as his lawyer officially. She is in the spotlight now as well. Tons of people project their feelings towards him onto her. She made a decision. She doesn't believe he committed this crime. She doesn't particularly like him. And yet, she sees a reason to stand by him and fight the criminal justice system on his behalf. She argues for others to make the same decision. Sarah was completely in the dark about her husband's affair. She feels foolish for being the last to know. He only confessed once the video was released to the public. Jax prevents her from leaving. Sarah has to support her husband because right now everything is in the context of him being an alleged murderer. Every action reflects on his innocence or guilt. Jax must carefully navigate that public perception. This is the work she does. She's the expert. She leads the charge. Everyone must listen to what she says. People still test her patience. People question her qualifications and her ability to defend Brayden. That's all informed by sexism and racism. Brayden's partner, Theo, suggests Rich would be more deserving of managing this case. This isn't his expertise. He understands that argument. Those are the words Jax used. He respects her. People are still trying to belittle him for taking orders from a Black woman. She is deserving of her success. Even she is forced to question why she got into this profession in the first place. She looks through her old journals to find that renewed clarity. Right now, people see her as selling out her culture. She is once again giving into destructive stereotypes. She wants everything to be about the specifics of this situation. She's struggling because everyone expects so much of her. She can't be perfect in every aspect of her life. She has to be willing to share the burden elsewhere. She has a solid partner in Lewis. However, he's pretty much out of his depth when it comes to handling his daughter's chronic health issues. Jax knows exactly how to respond in any given situation. Her family needs help too. She's insanely busy right now. Naima doesn't want to bother her. And yet, family is a priority for Jax. She will drop everything to protect her children. She radiates that love. Naima still cherishes it even though she has just gotten her period for the first time. Everything is changing. That's unsettling. It's not equally balanced either. But there is still plenty of beauty and purpose to be found. That's uplifting even during the uncertain times.

Jax places all of her confidence in Brayden's innocence on Kaleesha signing the NDA before her death. He managed to silence her without killing her. If he committed that crime, then it would have only made his life more complicated. That's all rational. That's how Jax makes sense of all of this. She still has a job to do. She does so boldly. She doesn't care who she upsets along the way. Kaleesha's sister wants the victim to be the center of the story. The attention shouldn't be devoted solely to Brayden. He's the billionaire accused of this heinous crime. The District Attorney is the one leading the charge. The police looked at no other suspects. Daniel is out pursuing those leads. Of course, he doesn't exactly come across as excellent at his job. To date, he has mostly been awkward around the office. He provides useful information. However, he's uncomfortable with the situations he must put himself in to obtain the details Jax wants. He manages to do it. He wants to be appreciated for doing so. Jax is on the other end of the phone when he is assaulted by Kaleesha's shady cousin and her boyfriend. He had a solid instinct to check out local pawn shops. The information on Kaleesha's personal computer could be valuable. It may reveal a new motivation for her murder. It may not be built entirely around the alleged sexual assault. Brayden absolutely abused his power in that way. There is no doubt about that whatsoever. He is still given the freedom to do whatever he wants. He even wants to position his plight on the same scale as every other person of color who is abused by the police. Both Brayden and Damon are accosted by law enforcement eager to flex their powers. It doesn't seem productive. It's all about making a point. These figures can invade their lives whenever they want because they have control. There isn't enough money to change this experience. This is expected across the board. Not everyone has someone like Jax to fight for something better. Damon values that resource. He's still in an environment where the careless actions of others could prove costly for him. He sees that clearly while others don't value his opinion. He wants to rebuild his life. It's more difficult than he could have thought. People don't care about him. He has Jax as a friend. That's reassuring. But again, her life is spiraling in so many ways. She can't focus on everything. She is excellent at every skill she must use. She is confident in every element of her life. It's simply exhausting too. So much happens until she breaks down. Seeing that vulnerability is what makes Lewis finally turn off the cameras. He still invades her privacy. He sees what she wants to keep hidden. Those lies still radiate across the narrative. Plus, the reprieve is never long enough. More action and drama happens quickly to send everything spinning once more.