“Accused” Episode 8 shows a grieving mother who is struggling to cope with her son’s death while at the same time facing a world that believes that she is lying about how her son died. Will she be able to see things through, or will society not allow her to even mourn? This is the story of Laura Broder.
Real Or Fake
Professional lobbyist Laura Broder is on trial at the US District Court in Lake Forest, Illinois. She is asked to come to the witness box and take an oath to speak the truth. Her husband Eric and elder son Jonah are among the many present.
Laura Broder’s younger son Liam, 12 years old, was among the nine children gunned down by a fellow student at Park Ridge High School two months ago. This distanced her from Jonah, who is also struggling to cope with his brother’s death. During an interview with a news channel, it is revealed that she has called on the State Senate to pass gun safety legislation. However, she is also facing backlash from people who believe that she is faking the death of her son. They deny that the massacre even occurred. One of the most vocal deniers of the incident is Joanna Pierce, a reporter at The Daily Inquest. She believes that it is a way to violate the Second Amendment rights in the US Constitution that allow people to keep and bear firearms. People, including Joanna, are tarnishing not only Laura’s image but also that of her entire family, including Liam. Jonah watches the interview at home as the news plays Joanna’s viral video claiming that the massacre was staged. That night, at dinner, Jonah asks her mom to ignore whatever is going on rather than get involved in it. This is what happens on the Internet. It is not possible to control what’s happening, only our reaction to it. Laura tries to make him understand that it is important because it is about his brother, Liam. They cannot let random people say whatever they want about them. However, Jonah has had enough of everything he is being subjected to, directly or indirectly, and has started to believe that Liam, wherever he is, doesn’t care.
Having trouble breathing, Jonah rushes out of the courtroom. A few seconds later, Eric follows. Jonah tells his father that it is all his fault. Eric tells his son that they all made mistakes, but, at the moment, he has to be there for his mom. She needs them both.
The parents of the kids who died at the mass shooting have been organizing sessions to share their grief. With all the harassment they are facing, Laura reveals that she and her husband, Eric, are considering publishing Liam’s death certificate online. They, along with the other parents, decide to make a statement in person rather than online. But when the time comes, only Laura and Eric and another couple turns up. Many “truthers” have gathered to listen to what they have to say. Laura and Eric answered all their questions as well as brought Liam’s death certificate in case they wanted to see it. Everything seems to be going logically until Joanna starts asking her about her Swedish race, her son being adopted, and even the coroner’s report. These questions and allegations are more than the parents can take, and they decide to leave. Laura ends up snapping back at her. This whole thing was recorded by one of her followers. While Laura is at her college, she gets a call from Eric informing her that their address, phone number, and email have been published online. Cases are filed against them, and they even start receiving threats over the phone. They call the cops, who take all the evidence and suggest they move to a different house for the time being. Meanwhile, Joanna continues posting her rants online. Eric, Laura, and Jonah shift to a different house, and Eric suggests to Laura that they should move to a different place permanently. But Laura doesn’t want that because it is their community. It is where Jonah has his friends and where Liam is buried.
One day, Jonah is attacked on the road. It is a minor cut on the face, but it carries a scary message. The message is that the “truthers” aren’t afraid to harm them. Eric, Laura, and Jonah go to the police station and file a report. Laura is sure that it is Joanna who is behind it. However, the police cannot act without proof, so ask them to keep a firearm handy. Laura won’t be doing that and decides to leave the police station right away. Outside, Eric tells her that it is high time they leave their neighborhood. They return home, and unbeknownst to Laura, Eric buys a pistol for safety and hides it in his cupboard. Later that day, while returning from a pancake store with Jonah, Laura finds a group of people with placards staging a protest right in front of their house. Cops are also present to ensure safety. Laura rushes to her and blames her for attacking Jonah. She almost puts her hands on Joanna when she is taken away by the cops. Eric bails her out. Joanna has also filed a restraining order (a temporary order of protection) against Laura. In other words, she has to stay at least 500 feet away from Joanna and her house.
The prosecutor asks Laura why she landed up at Joanna Pierce’s house three weeks after receiving the restraining order, and that too with a gun. Laura answers that she never intended to harm Joanna.
Laura finds out that Eric has bought a gun. Eric tells her that he only did it because they had been threatened. She didn’t leave town when there was time, and now Jonah has been assaulted, and on top of that, she has attacked Joanna. All this has compromised them big time, and it only makes sense to leave as soon as possible. She accepts Eric’s statements but asks him for the gun. Eric goes to get his gun but finds it missing. Jonah is not in his room either. Laura finds Joanna’s address on Jonah’s table. This can’t be what it feels like. They rush to Joanna’s house, and as they are about to enter, a gunshot is heard. Upon entering the house, they find Joanna dead on the ground with a bullet wound on her chest and Jonah holding the pistol, stupefied. Laura picks up the gun, cleans it (removing Jonah’s fingerprints), and holds it in her hand. She then calls 911 and tells them that she has shot someone.
‘Accused’ Episode 8: Ending Explained – Is Laura Sent To Prison?
The assistant district attorney filed a motion to summon Jonah as a witness. Laura tells her lawyer that Jonah cannot testify. If he says something contradictory to what Laura has already mentioned in court, all eyes will turn toward Jonah. She thus asks her lawyer if third-degree murder is still viable. [A third-degree murder is when you end up killing a person unintentionally.] It is. As much as Eric is against it and breaks down, Laura cannot let their son go to jail. Jonah may have pulled the trigger, but it was his mom for whom Jonah decided to take the step. Thus, when the court resumes, Laura pleads guilty to third-degree murder and is taken into custody pending a sentencing hearing.
It is one thing to be skeptical, but it is a whole different thing to blame someone without even trying to know the truth in a civilized manner. Laura, by pleading guilty, makes the ultimate sacrifice for her son, who, she understands, isn’t responsible for Joanna’s death. Who are we to question her judgment?