American Crime s3e2 – In the premiere episode of this third season, a horde of undocumented immigrants are led by a people smuggler to a hole in the border fence along California. Among them is Luis Salazar, who has come across the border looking for his son who ran away to the U.S. A few are criminals hoping to expand their influence across the border. Others are simply looking for work and better opportunities. But American Crime is not only about the problems of the immigrant population. The series also focuses on American street kids like teenage prostitutes Shae Reese and Ismael, and also on drug addicted Coy picked up by a grower field captain outside a convenience store.
Review and recap American Crime s3e2
American Crime s3e2 images from spoilertv.com
In Episode 2, Luis Salazar has found a temporary home among a group of migrant workers in North Carolina. He’s not so much interested in the work as he is in looking for information about his son Teo. The last messages he had from Teo came from North Carolina.
Further information about Teo comes at a cost. Another farm worker migrant who has seen Teo charges twenty dollars for information about him. After taking the money, the informant tells Luis that his son is probably working on a neighboring farm. No longer having a reason to remain as a tomato picker, Luis hits the road on the trail of his son, frustrating one of the captains’ efforts to keep him down on the farm.
The show so far is slow-paced with lots of creative effort put into establishing the situation among that population in America. The Hesbys are typical of generational land owners who operate large produce farms.
With competition expanded to world markets through trade treaties, the American agribusinesses are having trouble competing with the cheaper labor costs in foreign countries. The answer is cheap labor coming undocumented across the border with Mexico.
Social worker Kimara Walters is an African American woman representative of America’s working poor. She has a job, an apartment, and can put food on the table. What she doesn’t have is a husband, a child, and a cure for the frustrations she feels in a job that has overwhelmed her by sheer numbers of the needy.
Desperately wanting a child, Kimara tries in vitro fertilization but is still not pregnant. She has used up most of her savings. She’s worried about the gene pool of the unknown sperm donors at the IVF clinics and goes to an old lover, now married, to ask if he would consent to being a donor. It’s all on the up and up. They have a deep understanding of each other. Kimara wants Denise, the man’s wife, to be part of the conversation.
Regina King plays the character Kimara Walters, a role she plays with characteristic insight and warmth. As a social worker with Project Open Road, she has contact with other agencies. ADA Amanda Mckay wants Kimara’s help in prosecuting Shae’s pimp, something Shae is uninclined to do: “Why should I help put Billy in jail? I was banging men long before I met him.”
Meanwhile Captain Isaac, who recruited Coy to the migrant workers operation, is being criticized by his boss for being soft on the boy: “You gotta’ be tough on that white trash. They ain’t your girlfriend or your dog. You gotta’ make him work, carry his own weight, the way we worked our own asses off. No sense playing around with that white bitch! That ain’t how the work gets done.”
Coy is suffering withdrawal from his Oxycontin addiction. Thinking he’s performing an act of mercy, Isaac slips him some drugs to ease his symptoms.
The work is grueling. Workers wear handkerchiefs around their faces to protect them from pesticides. The bosses are hustling them. At night they go home to rest in overcrowded mobile homes that they must pay rent for.
As action goes, it’s not an action driven series. It’s presented somewhat in the style of a reality show. Closeups and action shots reveal the emotions of the characters. Dangling, broken conversations. The plight of the underground population. There are the seeds of an expanded and conventionally dramatic plot development when Jeanette Hesby learns that a fire at the mobile home park has killed fifteen migrant workers.
Jeanette married into the multi-generational Hesbys, led by matriarch Laurie Ann Hesby. Puzzled at first, she begins to slowly realize her family’s role in exploiting the immigrant workers. Her husband Carson is unwilling to communicate. Lauri Ann doesn’t want to dwell on unpleasant matters. “These people have our prayers. You know how strong these people are, Jeanette. They will recover.”
Determined to find out exactly what happened, Jeanette talks to one of the farm’s Mexican bosses. The fire started in the middle of the night when a fan shorted out. A spark hit upon a curtain fabric and the trailer went up in flames.
“But why didn’t they get out? Couldn’t they get out the windows?” Jeanette asks.
The foreman tells her their habit was to nail chicken wire to the windows as a guard against thieves. The episode closes with the camera tracking through the horrible devastation. There will be more fires burning in future episodes, you can be sure, judging by the previous two seasons of “American Crime.”
American Crime s3e2
Other episodes of American Crime reviewed on TV Eskimo:
American Crime Season 3 – Episode 1
Characters and cast of American Crime S3E2 include:
Jeanette Hesby – Felicity Huffman (Desperate Housewives, Transamerica, Sports Night, Phoebe in Wonderland, Cake)
Coy Henson – Connor Jessup (Falling Skies, Blackbird, Closet Monster, What Doesn’t Kill You)
Kimara Walters – 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)
Isaac Castillo – Richard Cabral (End of Watch, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, The Counselor, Snitch, Southland)
Luis Salazar – Benito Martinez (Million Dollar Baby, The Shield, Saw, How to Get Away with Murder, House of Cards, Sons of Anarchy, Saving Grace)
JD Hesby – Tim DeKay (White Collar, Swordfish, Everwood, Second Chance)
Laurie Ann Hesby – Cherry Jones (Signs, The Village, The Perfect Storm, Mercy Street, Knight of Cups, 24, Awake)
Raelyn – Janel Moloney (The West Wing, Bang Bang You’re Dead, The Leftovers, Alpha House, Brotherhood, Desperate Measures)
Carson Hesby – Dallas Roberts (The Grey, 3:10 to Yuma, Walk the Line, Dallas Buyers Club, Rubicon, The Good Wife)
Shae Reese – Ana Mulvoy Ten (The Girl in the Book, Vanity, House of Anubis)
Flemming – Josh Drennen (CSI: Cyber, The Last Ship, NCIS)
Wilkens – Colby French (Game Change, Changeling, American Horror Story, The Fosters, Ray Donovan, Eagle Eye, Gross Pointe Blank)
Abby Tanaka – Sandra Oh (Grey’s Anatomy, Sideways, Tammy, The Night Listener, Hard Candy)
Ryan – Guilford Adams (Parenthood, Glee, Modern Family)
Marks – John M. Adrian (Eastbound & Down, Being Mary Jane, Secret and Lies, Rush Hour)
Marvin – Kirk Bovill (Bosch, 20th Century Women, Contraband, Get On Up, Hawaii Five-O)