American Crime Season 3 Episode 3 Review: 3.03

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Things are not looking good for Teo or his father.

Luis has been looking for his son ever since he got to North Carolina, and on  American Crime Season 3 Episode 3 he got some tragic news.

What happened to Teo and Itzel is horrific, and it's likely Teo is the dead immigrant we saw in the fields on American Crime Season 3 Episode 1.

Now that Luis knows the truth, what is he going to do next?

Shae Reconsiders - American Crime

I love how human and relatable Luis and his story are. Luis could have easily, in the hands of lesser writers, become a two-dimensional character meant only to prop the writers' message about the way undocumented immigrants are treated.

Instead, Luis is simply a father worried about his son and hoping to find him, and that makes him rootable for viewers regardless of their beliefs about immigration laws.

Showing Luis' struggle and making him a unique character with relatable feelings and dreams is so much more powerful than anything else the writers could have devised and might even change some viewers' opinions of the political issues.

Luis: [in Spanish]: You recognize him?
Man: [in Spanish]: I don't want trouble.
Luis: [in Spanish]: He's not trouble. He's my family.
Man: [in Spanish]: I don't know if your family's trouble.
Luis: [in Spanish]: He's not trouble. He's a kid, he's seventeen.
Man: [in Spanish]: If he's stupid, he's in jail.

My heart just broke for both Itzel and Luis when she was telling her story. As soon as she began to explain how happy she was with Teo, I knew something horrible had happened. The full story was incredibly horrific and the understated way Itzel told it, making it clear that this was all just a fact of life in the fields, made it even worse.

I was struck by Luis' sensitivity and sympathy for both Teo and his girlfriend. His reaction was interesting. He wanted to know the name of the man who had raped Itzel and dragged Teo away.

I'm wondering if Luis' pain will turn to anger and if he'll try to seek some sort of revenge against the man who ruined Teo and Itzel's lives.

When they were running crack, they didn't have no Narcan. They let the Mexicans die. They let the blacks die. And then heroin comes into the suburbs and all of a sudden they got this magic powder.

Isaac

I was far less impressed with the Coy/Isaac story. Obviously, abusing anyone in the fields is wrong and Coy was getting abused, but I just don't find his character compelling. 

I did like the way Isaac pointed out that plenty of people of color have died of drug use without the benefit of Narcan.

One of the things American Crime excels at is subtly pointing out some of the ways racism works that viewers may not be aware of. Characters often make off-the-cuff statements in the midst of a conversation that can really make viewers stop and think.

I have to wonder where the Coy story is going, though. He got sick of being mistreated by Diego and accused Isaac of being a coward who couldn't stand up for him. Then he got severely beaten by someone who looked like Isaac, though it was hard to tell because the men were in the distant background while Luis picked produce.

Is Coy also going to be angry enough to revolt against the abuses in the field? Is he going to seek revenge against Isaac and Diego? 

These are the most likely directions for this to go in, but I'm just not sure what's happening here yet.

It's not just the accident. Your father... I worry about his health. You're all doing more and more and I... I sit around. That's what I do all day, I sit around. So if I can help... that's something I can do.

Jeanette

I love Jeanette's attempts to throw off the subservient wife role she's played all of her married life. Jeanette refused to put up with the casual acceptance of horrific fires and unnecessary deaths that the men exhibited.  Her explanation to Carson said it all. 

This is a woman who is being woken up to the injustices in the world and incidentally realizing that she's been groomed to sit and do nothing while other people make bad decisions that are harmful to the world in general.

Jeanette just realized how awful conditions are for the migrant workers on the farms and she's already running into significant conflict with her husband. In the weeks to come, this conflict can only get worse as Jeanette becomes more determined to improve conditions that Carson may not really want improved.

It may be heartbreaking for her to lose her husband, but I'm hoping that this will end with her triumphing over the pain and choosing to live life alone, and more authentically. I can't wait to see how this plays out.

I'm Shae. Same deal. Not the same. But same kind. Before this I was living with my guy. He took care of me. He promised I'd never have to go home, never have to see my dad, or my dad's girlfriend who made me have an abortion because she thought I only got pregnant cause I wanted the attention. Billy took care of me. I know he's done some messed up stuff, but he was the only one who ever gave me anything. I miss that. I miss him.

Shae

I wasn't sure what to make out of Shae. I was annoyed that the shelter director was so quick to label her as uninterested in getting help and try to push her out of the shelter. 

Shae participated in group therapy for the first time and admitted her dad's girlfriend had forced her to have an abortion. That's major progress for her, and it would really be a shame for her to lose her place right afterwards.

I had to wonder if Shae stole the phone because the honesty she displayed in group made her feel too vulnerable and she needed to try to sabotage her ability to stay in the program. Even Kimara initially took a hard line with Shae, though of course she was on her side. 

Shae just wanted to take photos of something beautiful. She probably hasn't ever seen anything as pretty as whatever those images on the phone were, because life has been that awful for her.

Kimara's bond with Shae is a joy to watch, but Kimara needs to get her own life in order. I think Reggie was completely right that she wouldn't have time to raise a child, especially not by herself.

Kimara needs to learn about boundaries and self-care fast! She's burning out and she cares too much. In addition to investing most of her time in Shae, she found a girl at the supermarket to save. While that girl probably needed help, Kimara can't save the whole world and have a baby at the same time.

What do you think Luis' next move is? Do you think Kimara is going to learn the hard way that she needs to take care of herself, not just her clients? What do you think is going on with Coy?

Weigh in below, and don't forget that you can watch American Crime online if you missed anything.

3.03 Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 (3 Votes)

Jack Ori is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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American Crime Season 3 Episode 3 Quotes

Diego: Who said you could pay him?
Isaac: He's working extra...
Diego: Who said you could pay him?
Isaac: He's just looking to make extra money.
Diego: You want him to stay high, you pay him so he can take his white-trash pills and stay lit up.
Isaac: You tell me you want him to work, then you say he's not working enough. What do you want me to do?
Diego: I want you to think. You let a druggie on the farm, you don't know what he's gonna do.

Jeannette: You have to look at -
Carson: I've done nothing but look. You've been putting them in front of my face day and night.
Jeannette: But those people who died -
Carson: They're not our responsibility. They weren't even on our property.
Jeannette: But you know how they lived.