Previously on American Crime, ‘Episode Five’
Everything is awful. Everyone is terrible. I hate everyone.
From the failure to protect Taylor, to everyone’s sickening reaction to Eric and Taylor being gay, this show makes me incredibly sad and angry all at once. This episode especially showed almost every character at their absolute worse so that by the end, I was waiting for someone, anyone to get what was coming to them. But this show is about the truth and the truth is, these situations tend to get worse before they get better and in real life, people can be this cruel to each other.
Leslie fails to spin Eric’s return to Leyland as a good thing to a bigoted father. He demands she “end this.” Leslie doubles down and organizes a special assembly for Eric to give a speech to his fellow classmates, thanking them and the school for allowing him to be his true self. She also arranges for a gay reporter to interview Eric, but it goes sideways almost immediately when Eric makes homophobic remarks. Leslie is sly and convinces the writer to omit just that part. Still, Leslie isn’t able to smooth talk away Anne’s lawsuit, and she rightly predicts that Anne is unwilling to settle the case for money.
Anne has her share of frustrations as her decision not to settle is against the advice of her attorney. Also, Evy’s father is hesitant to give her his support. Her son lied to his daughter and Leyland isn’t his daughter’s school. Why should he get involved?
Taylor is now dating Luke, but the relationship feels far from healthy. Luke doesn’t believe Taylor was assaulted and cites Taylor “liking it rough” as proof. He also tries to pressure Taylor to skip his therapy session to hang out with him. When Taylor does visit his therapist, he admits that he still sees Eric online, socializing with mutual acquaintances. He feels violated all over again. Taylor needs closure or an apology.
Taylor does have a powerful moment when he visits his uncle, with whom he always had a close relationship, and reminds him of a time in which his uncle yelled homophobic slurs in front of him. As this comes after his uncle suggests that Taylor should have come out years ago, it’s clear Taylor’s answer is, “How the hell could I with you acting like that?”.
The LaCroixs feel stuck. Anne’s lawsuit alleges that the school knew about the captain parties, and also knew they were just an excuse for the teenagers to drink and have sex. As Kevin is specifically named, a legal adult, and one of the party’s host, he has a lot to lose. Also, it’s not as if young black men don’t have enough race-related obstacles to navigate. Terri confronts Anne in her restaurant, yelling about Anne is doing to her child. The police are called and they urge her to go home. Feeling as though his family is under attack, Michael LaCroix implores a police officer friend to send a message to Anne.
Eric’s younger brother is still angry with him and refuses to have anything to do with him. Under the stress, their parents fight over whose fault it is that Eric’s gay. This was one of the most painful scenes in the entire series. You wish you could say this is just fiction, but you know this is a realistic reaction from many parents when they learn their child is gay. The most horrific part of this is Eric’s mother asking her ex-husband if he ever molested Eric.
Eric’s teammates aren’t happy to have him back at school and on the team. They’re icing him out and it shows on the basketball. After a terribly homophobic, ignorant, misogynistic rant by Kevin, the other teammates pressure Eric into calling Taylor to lure him into a trap. Because Taylor has that need for closure, he agrees.
American Crime S2E6
Throughout this entire episode, every time I thought I couldn’t dislike a character more, the next scene would feature a new character doing something more deplorable. I was disappointed when the episode ended without anyone getting a bit of comeuppance, but as I mention in the recap, I wouldn’t surprise if there isn’t a happy ending here.
I remain absolutely disgusted by Kevin’s behavior and views on women. Oddly enough, his mother’s guidance seems to have inspired them.
Still not invested in the Dixon storyline, though it is interesting to witness a black man people racist towards another group of POCs.
Who’s the computer tech dad cyberbullying someone?