RECAP: Wes Baxter’s been shot to death by Taylor Blaine as we near the end of the second season of American Crime. There’s one more episode to go after this one. The tragedy has become like a chemical fire that can’t be put out no matter how much water is poured over it. No matter how you cut it, people are going to get burned. Last week saw a role expansion of the character named Sebastian Cruz, an obsessive techno-geek single dad raising two little girls. Sebastian picks up on Ann and Taylor Blaine’s victimization by the system and says he wants to help. He loads the kids into his car and heads for Indianapolis.
Review and recap American Crime Episode 9
American Crime Episode 9 New Episode: Sebastian Cruz hacks into the Leyland private school’s computer system and blows the lid off Leslie Graham’s web of deception.
“We’ve just been hit with some kind of cyber-attack,” Leslie tells Jake Marston, with a feeling of dread.
It’s all over the media, creating a conflict between forlorn headmaster Leslie Graham and the school board. The school board is led by Rhys Bashir who, in light of the scandal, urges Leslie to resign her post. The post-tragedy Leslie character is no more the proud fundraiser and booster of the elite private high school. Her face shows the tensions and torment of facing the deadly results of her actions. She’s gray and ashen throughout most of the episode, trying to play the altruist while her main concerns are to regain power.
Bashir points out that Leslie always manages to make herself look good no matter what is going on. It looks like the end for Leslie. Even her lawyer advises her to take an exit package and move on with her life. This, Leslie refuses to do, arguing that her resignation will solve nothing and that, without her, the school would cease to exist. Instead, she has another plan that will look better to outside observers. Leslie has many talents but creating a perfect world of appearances is one of her special gifts.
“Dr. Graham did all the right things in welcoming Eric back to the Leyland school,” her lawyer argues.
This argument is buttressed by the hacked data which is spreading throughout computer world, information that indicts the actions of the school board. The hacked emails of Bashir are embarrassing and irrefutable. Therefore, the board acquiesces to Leslies demands, voting to dissolve itself, to accept one of Leslie’s allies as a trustee and fiduciary. The Leslie caravan keeps rolling and she maintains her customary power.
Meanwhile the basketball team no longer functions as a team. Eric Tanner is the odd man out, leading to fights and frictions that force him to quit. Ann Blaine finds out that the Sullivan’s daughter sold drugs to Taylor on the day of the shooting, further enraging Taylor’s mom.
This show being the penultimate one, the second to last in the series, it has the difficult job of tying up loose ends. In doing so, it is in some moments dulled with repetitions of points made in previous episodes. Taylor still wants everything to be over. He feels guilty, sees himself as a burden to his mother. In a heart-to-heart with Evy, he tells her he lied about many things but the one thing he didn’t lie about was that he was raped.
Meanwhile, Kevin, Terri and Michael Lacroix are doing everything possible to see things return to normal. Kevin finally opens up to his mother, telling her how it happened that Taylor sustained a beating from Shaun, Wes, and others on the basketball team.
Neither are things going well on the far side of town where the public school kids go. Principal Chris Dixon is in a tough spot because of his decision to expel Matteo for his participation in a fight with an African-American student. From the information he had at the time, the expulsion of Matteo seemed the right action to take. However, new information from Evy undermines Dixon’s action. The black kid was harassing Evy, and worse, had groped her in an attempted sexual assault. This is what led to Matteo coming to Evy’s aid. Evy didn’t tell principal Dixon of this at the time of the incident, but told the assistant principal in an interview conducted in Spanish.
“She didn’t tell me that when I talked to her,” Dixon argues.
“Yeah well she told me (a Hispanic speaker) so what does that tell you?”
Answer: There are ethnic divisions among the Hispanic and black students just as there are with white students. Because of the bad publicity the ethnic friction has caused, the Marshall school board has called Principal Dixon onto the carpet. They’re looking for a fall guy and Dixon, played with customary understated intensity by Elvis Nolasco, is the perfect scapegoat. The mostly white public school board must have a scalp to show the public.
Ann Blaine continues her crusade to punish someone for what happened to Taylor. When the first batch of hacked Leyland emails don’t do the trick, she calls Sebastian angrily demanding more. You know that she’s had a previous mental breakdown and you wonder as you watch her raging on if she’s going to fall apart again.
Sebastian has promised that his first “white hat” attacks on the Leyland computer system were child’s play compared to what’s coming. There are further hints of a final episode explosion when the camera cuts into close shots of Sebastian’s shaking fingers, and the nervousness with which he conducts himself in an interview with a reporter. The reporter asks about Sebastian’s motives in driving from Milwaukee to Indianapolis help the Blaine duo.
“You’re going to know me,” Sebastian says, with that certain suspect glint in his dark eyes.
Other episodes of American Crime reviewed on TV Eskimo:
Characters and cast of American Crime Episode 9 Season 2 include:
Leslie Graham – Felicity Huffman (Desperate Housewives, Transamerica, Sports Night, Phoebe in Wonderland, Cake)
Coach Dan Sullivan – Timothy Hutton (Leverage, The Ghost Writer, Secret Window, Kinsey, Last Holiday, French Kiss)
Anne Blaine – Lili Taylor (The Conjuring, Say Anything…, Ransom, High Fidelity, Almost Human, Public Enemies, The Addiction)
Chris Dixon – Elvis Nolasco (Oldboy, Clockers, I Like It Like That, Che: Part One)
Kevin Lecroix – Trevor Jackson (Let It Shine, Eureka, A Beautiful Soul, Sons 2 the Grave)
Taylor Blaine – Connor Jessup (Falling Skies, Blackbird, Closet Monster, What Doesn’t Kill You)
Eric Lupton – Joey Pollari (Avalon High, Skyrunners, Profile of a Killer, The Inbetweeners)
Evy – Angelique Rivera
Terri Lecroix – Regina King (Ray, Enemy of the State, Jerry Maguire, The Boondocks, The Leftovers, The Big Bang Theory, Southland, Boyz n the Hood, A Cinderella Story)
Steph Sullivan – Hope Davis (About Schmidt, Real Steel, Disconnect, Arlington Road, Wayward Pines, In Treatment, Infamous)
Rhys Bashir – Faran Tahir (Iron Man, Star Trek, Escape Plan, Elysium, Warehouse 13, Charlie Wilson’s War)
Michael Lacroix – Andre’ Benjamin (The Great Gatsby, 8 Mile, 2 Fast 2 Furious,, Idlewild, Semi-Pro, Revolver)
Sebastian De La Torre – Richard Cabral (End of Watch, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, The Counselor, Snitch, Southland)