I found the second season of American Crime streaming on Netflix last weekend, and I just finished it. I was interested because the sweet and beautiful Connor Jessup played a gay boy. I first saw Connor in Falling Skies, and for a while, I didn’t think he could act. He seemed wooden, and he had a pronounced Canadian accent. Nothing wrong with having a Canadian accent, of course, but it wasn’t right for the part, and doing accents goes along with acting. Well, he apparently worked on his accent and acting skills because by the end of the series, I thought he was pretty good…not to mention adorable. However, he really showed he can act in American Crime.
I was right there with Taylor, played by Connor, when he admitted to his mother he had gone to a party and had a beer, but he swore he had not indulge enough to explain the pictures of him that appeared online. The photos showed him passed out by a pool of vomit with his pants down. He tells his mother that he believes he was drugged and that someone did something to him.
What follows is a terrifying, complicated examination of the worst of human instincts. This series is like a film noir because no one comes out smelling like a rose. A lot of people get their comeuppance. As Terri, a fiercely protective mother who is forced to look at herself in the mirror, says, no one is coming after us; things are catching up. However, at the end of the story, Taylor is the one sent to prison, and Eric, his rapist, is riding off into the sunset with some guy in a muscle car.
My first reaction to those last scenes was anger. Taylor had made some horrible decisions, but the whole mess had been set into motion by the angry, self-hating Eric. However, once I began to think about it, I saw that Taylor was setting himself free by taking responsibility for what he did. And he didn’t allow his rapist to play the hero and save him from prison. Eric, on the other hand, is still running from the truth. And that man in the muscle car offering him a ticket out of town, he’s probably an abusive asshole who wants to use Eric for sex.