On the third episode of American Crime, a newspaper article implicates Kevin in Taylor’s assault while Anne, unaware of the repercussions the story is having, feels she’s run out of options. Meanwhile, Taylor refuses to confide in Evy and Kevin’s parents learn the gender of the victim.
Cammy Ross does as she promised Anne, and looks into the allegations Anne has made against Leyland Academy. Ross meets with Headmistress Graham who continues to downplay the situation while still protecting the reputation of the school.
Graham Meets With the Press
Graham assures Ross that she has taken the accusations very seriously and had contacted the police. This conflicts with Anne’s account that she was the one to involve the authorities, but Graham says that Anne met three times with administrators before taking that step.
Graham paints Anne as emotional and vague, which she was, and produces the original statement Anne signed. Ross brings up the possibility that Taylor was drugged, and Graham says that there’s no proof and if there was the slightest chance that were true, the school had a responsibility to call the police. Graham has covered her bases and remains unflappable, even when Ross points out that Taylor, a kid on financial aid, was singled out and suspended.
American Crime Recap: Tensions Rise as Anne Prepares to Go Public >>>
Graham defends the suspension, citing the fact that pictures showed Taylor drunk, but she also retaliates the claim that Taylor was the only one who was punished. Graham presents Ross with a notice of suspension for one of the captains of the basketball team, but whatever this document is, it has nothing to do with Eric Tanner being benched for one game. No reporter would find the repercussions Eric suffered comparable to what happened to Taylor.
Having felt she made her case, Graham continues her subtle assault on Anne’s character. This is a woman who, in Graham’s opinion, is dissatisfied not only with the school’s response to the incident but the police’s as well. She suggests that maybe Anne should spend more time focusing on why her son was out binge drinking in the first place and hopes that Ross will include that little gem in her article.
Taylor Confronts His Anger
Taylor meets with Anne’s therapist, Dr. Esposito (Ray Herrera) and expresses regret for ever telling his mother what happened. He feels that everyone who becomes involved are mocking him and downplaying the seriousness of what happened just because he’s a guy. Taylor is convinced that if her were a girl, the reaction would be quite different.
Taylor just wants to put it all behind him, and he resents his mother’s crusading on his behalf. Although he doesn’t offer up specifics, it seems as if Anne hasn’t exactly been a hands-on parent in the past. Perhaps due to her own mental problems or simply because she’s a beaten down, single working mom. Anne’s guilt motivates her actions as much, or even more, than her need to see justice served.
Terri Continues to Reveal Her Personal Bigotries
Terri is at work and is in the midst of firing a young, black woman. The woman comes up with numerous excuses as to why she shouldn’t be terminated, but Terri shoots them down in quick succession. In a last ditch effort to save her job, the woman tries to appeal to Terri as a fellow black woman but to no avail.
That evening, Terri recounts the interaction to her husband while dining out with Rhys Bashir, Rhy’s daughter Nikki and Kevin. Nikki is the type of girl Terri believes Kevin should be dating; a girl from a wealthy, influential family.
Terri is annoyed that the young woman tried to play the “sister card.” Terri goes on a tirade against the black employees at her company, stating they do sub-standard work but expect to be cut a break.
Rhys chimes in that white people are no better because they all have an innate sense of entitlement. Even if they lack money or education, they possess a sense of superiority when dealing with minorities.
A Disconnect Between Sex and Sexuality
Bored with the conversation, Kevin and Nikki head off on their own. They begin to dance, but Kevin immediately starts to grope Nikki. She makes it clear that she’s not comfortable with his behavior, and Kevin accuses her of putting on an act. He saw some pictures she sent to Eric, and whatever Nikki was doing, she seemed to give the impression she was anything but a prude.
Nikki argues that those are just pictures, and they don’t mean anything. She accuses Kevin, all guys, of just trying to sleep with girls and then calling them sluts if they’re successful. But even after this exchange, she puts her number into his phone and tells him he can text her. Like Becca, Nikki teases, perhaps because they view their sexuality as a source of power or because they like the attention. They are devaluing themselves but aren’t mature enough to realize it.
Michael Offers Kevin Advice
Later Kevin expresses his confusion and frustration about the mixed messages he’s getting from Nikki. Michael tells his son that when it comes to dealing with women, Kevin can’t win, he can only figure out how much he’s willing to lose. When Kevin questions how much his dad has lost with Terri, Michael says he gave up a few things, by choice. Those things helped shape Michael into the kind of husband and father he wanted to be.
Kevin thinks his father and mother do or don’t do things because they think people are watching, but Michael makes it clear that isn’t the case. They live their lives as they choose, but he does warn Kevin to never forget that “they’re not keeping score.”
Anne’s Frustration Continues
Anne reads Ross’ article and calls the reporter to complain. She’s upset that Ross didn’t mention the rape at all, and that the story doesn’t hold the school accountable. Ross argues she reported the facts, and when there are new ones, she’ll report them.
Details About the Captains’ Party Emerge
Anne may not be pleased with the final result, but the story almost immediately begins making waves elsewhere. Terri arrives at work and is told by a co-worker that Kevin’s name appears in an article about a sexual assault.
Terri immediately goes into damage control mode. She calls Michael and tells him to pick Michael up from school, and then calls her lawyer, Rob Silverman (Chamblee Ferguson). Rob instructs Terri to not speak to anyone about the situation until they meet.
The story states that Kevin hosted the party where the alleged sexual assault took place. So how the hell did Ross get Kevin’s name? Just damn good reporting I guess.
At home, Kevin is questioned by Terri and Michael’s attorney. Kevin admits that he rented the space for the party and that there was alcohol. He doesn’t deny drinking, stating everyone was drunk. Kevin also reveals he had sex with Val in the bathroom, but he insists it was consensual.
More details emerge, and Kevin says the Captains’ Party is a hazing ritual. The whole purpose is for seniors to go and hook up. It’s called “Making the Team.”
Kevin swears that he had nothing to do with the pictures of Taylor, and that he was only with Val. Michael questions what they could charge Kevin with, and Silverman says if charges are filed, sexual battery is serious. That, coupled with a substance used to incapacitate a victim, is a felony. At this point, Kevin, nor his parents, realize who the victim is.
Silverman assures them that the article is not the problem, but Terri questions why they specifically called Kevin out. Since Kevin is 18, he’s an adult, and the paper can print his name. Terri sees her son’s bright future slipping away as the words “black,” “rape” and “drugs” are being thrown around online in connection with Kevin. Terri and Michael’s first instinct is to speak out in Kevin’s defense, but their attorney advises them against it, stating it could make matters worse. The police haven’t come banging on the door, so they obviously don’t have anything to link Kevin directly to the assault.
At school, Eric and some other members of the team are freaking out. One boy states the party was messed up, and he knew they were going to get in trouble. Eric says nothing happened except a bunch of people acting stupid. There best course of action is to stick together and keep quiet.
Evy Implicates Eric
The police question Evy about what happened at the party. Evy admits that she and Taylor weren’t together the entire time at the party, and when she did see him again, Taylor was really messed up; he couldn’t stand up and his clothes were half on. They got a ride home from Eric, and Evy said he “was off about something.” Eric dropped them at the curb and didn’t even bother to help get Taylor into the house.
Eric’s parents meet at a local restaurant to discuss the article. His mother is livid that they’ve gone into debt to send their son to Leyland so he can get drunk at parties. But she’s even more disturbed by the change in Eric’s attitude. She hears him on the phone referring to girls as bitches and whores. Eric’s dad doesn’t see an issue and attributes Eric’s behavior to the fact that he’s a teenage boy.
Eric and his little brother are sitting at a nearby table. Eric’s brother calls their mother a bitch, and Eric warns him not to refer to her that way. It’s obvious his little brother looks up to him because he wants to go to Leyland too, but he lacks the athletic prowess or the grades to get in. The two talk about girls, Eric tells his brother he should be glad to be at public school because that’s where all the best bitches are: Latinas, blacks, Asians. He adds that Asian girls have the best-looking babies. All the girls who attend Leyland are white and pasty.
Dixon Struggles to Remain Neutral
Dixon continues to find himself dragged into school politics. He meets with Grace, an administrator who disagrees with the Superintendent’s policies, stating Dr. Lewis’ perspectives don’t reflect the realities. Grace’s biggest concern is a breakfast program that is utilized primarily by Hispanic kids. Grace feels Dixon and Superintendent Lewis would be supportive if this issue was affecting black children.
Dixon gets defensive at the thought that he, a black man, could be considered racist. Grace says people have “blind spots,” and she’s just trying to get him to acknowledge his. If the district can’t stop infighting, they’ll become charters. Grace, like the Superintendent, wants to help Dixon be a proponent of change, and just like he’s already told Dr. Lewis. There’s no way he can ride the fence for much longer.
The Fallout Hits Home for Coach Sullivan
Things are starting to snowball at Leyland. A mother asks Steph Sullivan to remove her daughter’s picture from the school website because she thinks the public views all the girls who attend Leyland as sluts.
Steph complains to Dan, but he’s distracted. He’s tried to reach Kevin but can’t, and a fellow coach warned him that this whole mess could very well blow back on them if they don’t distance themselves.There are also some problems at home. Steph likes to smoke pot every day, and Dan isn’t interested in sex anymore.
Evy Demands Answers
Evy confronts Taylor. She’s got a sick mother at home, and her dad can’t take time off of work, so she can’t talk to the cops. Taylor hasn’t told Evy the details, and she wants to know what happened. Evy’s lying to Anne and the police all because Taylor wanted to hang with some rich kids. She urges him to come back to public school, but Taylor knows his mom wants him to stay at Leyland. Evy tells Taylor that he’s not responsible if his mother falls apart. She tells Taylor that he’s not the one who screwed up. Anne made her choice. Not clear if we’re talking about him attending Leyland and winding up in this predicament or something else.
Taylor convinces his mother to let him attend his old high school, Marshall. Her only stipulation is that he continue going to therapy. If he refuses to talk to her, she wants him to talk to someone.
What starts out as encouraging news for Terri and Michael turns into something they could have never expected. Their friend, Detective Williams, let’s them know that no GHB was found in Taylor’s system. But when they learn the victim is male, Terri can’t even begin to wrap her head around the possibility. Boys don’t do that to other boys, and even if they tried, he would fight them off. More evidence that Terri’s viewpoints are very black and white.
Michael erupts. He’s kept his cool until this point, but he storms into Kevin’s room and grabs his son. He demands to know if Kevin drugged or touched some boy, but Kevin maintains his innocence. The thought of his son raping a girl is far less disturbing to Michael than the idea of him being gay. Michael has been the more tolerant parent compared to Terri, but now we see where his prejudices lie. We’ve all got them, and this season of American Crime is making us face them.
A detective meets with Graham. He wants a list of names of all the males who attended the party, so they can do DNA testing. Graham refuses, stating she won’t compromise the privacy of her students or help the police harass the school’s families. But cooperation is no longer a courtesy. Semen and blood was found on Taylor’s clothes. The police are officially investigating a rape.
American Crime airs Wednesdays at 10pm on ABC.
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