This was a strange season of American Crime.
While the show’s debut season was pretty great, season two knocked it out of the park with one of my favorite seasons of television ever produced. This season falls somewhere in the middle; I definitely enjoyed it more than the first year, but it certainly didn’t soar to the heights of the show’s sophomore season.
The main problem with this season is the lack of a truly coherent narrative. It felt like we were picking up and dropping different subplots as we went along. Remember Luis, the father on the search for his missing son on the Hesby farm? Yeah I wouldn’t blame you if you forgot about him, because his journey ended a couple of episodes ago. What about Coy the drug addict? His presence sure fizzled out quickly, and that’s a waste of Connor Jessup’s talent (he practically made season two). I don’t know if it was purposeful, but this year definitely felt disjointed which is somewhat of a shame.
It might sound like I’m hating on the show, but that’s only because I wanted it to top last season’s masterpiece. The stuff that it did focus on this year, it explored ridiculously well. Take Felicity Huffman’s journey as Jeanette. A far cry from her semi-villainous role last season, her Jeanette was a relatable and loving housewife who soon found herself fighting for basic human rights by her lonesome, and ultimately had to scurry back to her husband’s sinister family. It was a heartbreaking arc, and one that Huffman played gloriously (as expected).
Regina King also proved to be this season’s anchor, as we followed her story from the premiere till the end. I would have liked a more explosive ending for her, but it was still fitting to see her give in to the system and resort to blackmail so she could continue her IVF treatments. Another wasted opportunity was certainly Sandra Oh. She got what amounted to ten minutes of screen-time; why would anyone hire this woman and not use her in every single episode?
Although we met Claire and Nicholas Coates around the season’s halfway point, I absolutely loved their storyline. Their maid, poor Gabrielle Durand, suffered through a truly gut-wrenching ordeal, and this entire storyline managed to be both gripping, and thought-provoking. I was truly unsettled the whole way through, and it’s the rare show that can do that. No matter its missteps, there’s truly nothing like American Crime on TV.
Bits from America
– Laurie Anne really rubbed me the wrong way this season. I was so happy to see Carson finally stand up for his wife. Notice Huffman’s subtle reaction. It’s stunning!
– So Jeanette now has to give speeches praising the Hesbys. God help her.
– Regina King’s best work of the season: her face when she realizes Shae had died. So darn powerful. Her “fuck you” was also marvelous.
– I was actually wondering until the very end if it was Nicholas or Claire abusing Gabrielle, so kudos show for delivering the Claire bombshell in an effective way. Although she’s insane, you totally buy her lashing out at Gabrielle after her husband’s demeaning treatment of her.
– Surprisingly, I think Nicholas will do a good job with little Nicky.
– Such a sad scene with Gabrielle sitting with her son Yves who practically hates her for not spending time with him when she was busy trying to provide. Talk about ungrateful!
– How mindblowing is the season’s final sequence with everyone in court including the dead (yup, Isaac, Shae, and Luis’ son whom we never met). I guess “justice” is the season’s ultimate theme. The music was spectacular too.
Raelyn: You got no sympathy do you?
Jeanette: Fresh out.
Kimara: At this point, I really don’t know where to put anybody’s pity.
Not perfect, but still a highly engrossing finale to a powerful season.