Previously on American Crime, ‘Episode 7’
I’m still worried this season is tackling so many issues we won’t have a satisfying end. Because it’s done so well, I would normally brush that fear aside. Events in real life are rarely tied up in a neat bow with a definitive end, and even fewer do that and give you all the answers you either need or want. But I can’t just brush that desire aside here because I feel like these episodes have left me emotionally spent and it’s been heartbreaking. There’s a large part of me that just wants some kind of happy ending, something to feel good about.
At least some people are finally being held accountable for their actions in this episode. Leslie learns the board is planning to call for her resignation. She turns to Dan for support, but he puts the blame entirely on Leslie. He thinks she abandoned his boys, while she sees it as doing what she was she hired to do: protect the school, make it look good, and bring in money. Dan counters that she was the only one not negatively affected and throws it in her face that Taylor came to the school with a gun, looking for her. This particularly stings because she’d just found out that Taylor waited outside of her office for over an hour.
Taylor’s attorney wants him to try for a plea deal, but Anne refuses. She’s already feeling like she failed him, and it’s clear her first instinct is to fight for Taylor always. The attorney suggests Anne find some way to change the narrative.
Eric’s mother, Lilah, continues to be the absolute worst. She tells Pete that Eric is gay because their father touched him. Then she cleans out all of the money she has and takes off with him. To his credit, Eric’s father, Curt, finally steps up and confronts Eric about his risky behavior of meeting strange men online for sex. He knows Eric is trying to kill myself and answers the cry for help by telling his son he’ll be there for him whenever he’s ready.
FINALLY, I don’t want to slap an adult on this show.
[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”#4a7097″ class=”” size=””]”If we don’t love each other… I mean, really love each other… this is what happens.” – Coach Dan[/pullquote]
Their son being on a kill list has affected the LaCroixs very differently. Michael feels vindicated by Wes’ death. He can point to Anne and her son as being mentally unstable, and looks at it as clearing Kevin’s name. Surprisingly, Terri reacts by meeting with the African-American woman she fired earlier in the season. Terri apologizes and admits that she failed the woman.
Let’s hope she also take responsibility for failing her son and instilling in him homophobic and misogynistic views.
Eric confronts Kevin about how he turned his back on him, never seems to be held accountable for anything, and how he sent Wes and the others to beat up Taylor. Kevin seems genuinely surprised to hear about the attack and denies any involvement. Kevin doesn’t seem anywhere near being ready to own up to his part in anything. This is made clear when he blasts Eric for not telling him he is gay. Kevin fails to see how his behavior might have made it impossible for Eric to feel he could.
Despite Dan Sullivan’s talk about personal responsibility, he immediately tries to cover up his daughter’s involvement when Becca confesses to selling drugs to Taylor the day of the shooting. Later, he implies Steph is partially to blame since they were her drugs and insists they keep quiet since he was very vocal about condemning Taylor and calling him a liar.
A ray of hope appears in the form of Sebastian the computer genius/hacker. Frustrated by the news of Taylor’s arrest, Sebastian keeps his daughters home from school and embarks on a road trip to Indianapolis. After checking into a hotel, he meets with Anne at her restaurant and offers to dig up dirt on Leyland. With no faith in the school or legal system, Anne agrees to the chance at some social media justice.
American Crime S2E8
The real-life interviews of survivors of gun violence in school and bullying interspersed throughout the episode were emotional and effective. It helped to remind viewers that this show is about fictional characters, but not fictional events.
Everyone turns in great performances each week, but Timothy Hutton’s opening scene as Coach Dan speaks to the students about Wes’ death was amazing. It made his actions later that much more frustrating.