Previously on American Crime, ‘Episode 9’
At times American Crime felt like a documentary where people forgot the cameras were on, and so they said and did the things many people would never want coming to light. And that’s exactly what happened in this finale.
Sebastian’s attempts to discredit Leyland have caught the eye of another hacker who goes a step further, releasing personal emails and text messages from other students and staff. In doing so, Becca’s drug deals and Taylor’s attack after Eric set him up are now public knowledge.
The boys who beat up Taylor are brought in for questioning and the LaCroixs are advised by their detective friend to keep quiet about everything and says he’ll take the fall for not submitting Kevin’s statement. This is the first Terri is hearing about this, and she is furious. Michael’s contempt for Anne and his desire to protect Kevin has only made things harder for their son. She wonders if he had anything to do with leaking Anne’s medical records. He insists he didn’t, but then who did?
Well, remember when Dan lied his way into Leslie’s office? He tries to get Leslie’s support for his daughter now that she’s facing jail time, but Leslie is petty. She reminds Dan of what he said about understanding why Taylor wanted to kill her. Dan meets with Sebastian and provides him with the shredded documents he took from Leslie’s office. He painstakingly pieced them back together (as only someone with the patience and steady hand to put ships in small bottles could) and they prove that Leslie leaked Anne’s medical records. Leslie has to resign.
Principal Dixon is also forced to resign due to his handling of the Evy/fight/protest/Taylor situations. He meets with Evy to apologize for not being someone she felt she could talk to about it. Evy has been fantastic all season, and that’s 100% because Angelique Rivera killed it. This scene is no exception. She talks about believing Taylor lied about his rape because he waited to tell. What would others think of her when she was “only” touched? Evy views the money Leyland gave her family as a way of looking out for themselves since throughout everything that has happened, she never felt like anyone cared about how she was affected.
Preach, girl. And while I agree with her there, I’m still not comfortable with Dixon taking the blame for no one talking to him about what really happened to her. He saw several students beating up on one boy, and then one used a racial slur. The end. Still, he does get a $75,000 severance package so that’s something. I guess.
Another career affected by the fallout is Terri LaCroix’s. Emails leaked show her making disparaging remarks about white people. Her company offers her two choices: relocate with the same pay but less important title or leave with a severance package. Michael is ready to fight the world, but Terri, surprisingly, views this as consequences catching up to them. Hopefully, this kind of acceptance of responsibility trickles down to Kevin, who remains problematic.
Oddly enough, Taylor and Eric each view the other the same way. Earlier in the season, Taylor felt like Eric faced no repercussions for raping him, and he felt like a victim each time he saw Eric interacting with their mutual friends on social media. Eric also sees everything that has happened to Taylor as an assault on him: Just because Taylor said it was rape, people will view him as a rapist.
One of the more frustrating parts of this season was never getting a clear picture of what happened at the captains’ party, and I’m sure that was purposeful. When Taylor decides he wants to plead guilty (and receive 10 years in prison as a result), he does so because he wants to take responsibility for killing Wes. It was an accident, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t feel good about it after it happened. Taylor makes this decision on what he believes is best for him. He also doesn’t want his freedom in the hands of Eric, who is willing to testify about setting him up to get beaten.
The season ends leaving Taylor’s attack up for debate – though I believe Eric did rape him based on Taylor never wavering from his story and Eric’s warped ideas on intimacy, sex, and consent. As Taylor is asked by the judge if he is truly prepared to plead guilty and be sentenced, Eric is stand on a road, watching the open car door of an anonymous man he met online. Does Taylor say yes? Does Eric get in the car? We don’t know. But I think the answer to both is yes.
American Crime S2E10
It’s hard to say anything about this show because it truly was the best drama currently on TV. That said, how you feel about the finale will depend on how much you love or hate incomplete endings. I have to be in the mood for them, and after sitting with this episode for two days (I watched the screener provided by ABC), I’ve decided I’m okay with it.
I feel like the series did an excellent job showing who these people are so I’m confident in my theories that Taylor did plead guilty and that self-destructive Eric did get in that stranger’s car. I’m also sure Eric raped Taylor, though I would have liked the series to show us what happened that night.
There’s been no word yet on whether or not American Crime returns for a third season, but I certainly hope so.