American Crime Recap: Season 3 Finale

The Season 3 finale of American Crime (4-30-2017) packed quite a few emotional punches and some very interesting parallels in the separate stories. Kimara Walters learned Shae Reese’s fate. Jeanette had to pay a price to get back in the Hesbys’ good graces so her nieces’ would have some security in their future. We got the answer to Who Hurt Gabriel Durand but that went down in a different way than we anticipated altogether. It’s not hard to predict Emmy nods to Regina King and Felicity Huffman in this season, but we think that MickaĆ«lle X. Bizet richly deserves one for her heart-rending performance as Gabrielle Durand.

Gabrielle was still being sedated in the hospital, but the attending nurse spoke French so that signaled a change. She was not being ignored. Indeed, her son Yves came from Haiti and went to see her in the hospital after turning over letters he received from Gabrielle to the police. Yves wanted to take his mom back to Haiti and got angry when she wanted to stay but, especially, when she worried about little Nicky. He accused her of caring more about other people’s kids than him. Gabrielle explained that she had to work as a nanny to support him when he was little because she was just a teenager. Despite growing up feeling neglected, it was obvious that Yves still loved his mother.

Clair was asked to come in to answer some further questions. She was a bit surprised when they didn’t want Nicky to be in the room but she did not get the sense that they were on to her until the detective showed her pictures of injuries to Gabrielle’s back. He told her it was difficult for someone to self-inflict harm in that particular place. Clair’s rising anxiety level was shown by the way she kept twisting her fingers around. The detective told her Yves was in the country after Clair gave her little spiel about how Gabrielle and her son were estranged and how Gabrielle wrote letters to Yves that she didn’t mail. Clair tried to make it look like Gabrielle was nuts for saying she was writing the letters to God. Thank goodness Gabrielle realized if she told Clair she was mailing the letters, that they would never reach Yves! The detective produced a letter Gabrielle wrote Yves and Clair knew the jig was up.

The police detained Clair and went over to the Coates’ house with a search warrant. Nicholas was on the phone with his lawyer complaining about how the police believe “them” nowadays over “us.” Gabrielle’s passport was retrieved from the safe and photos of her cramped living quarters were taken. Nicholas went to see Clair and told her they could make this all go away by paying Gabrielle off, but Clair had already decided the best thing to do was confess. “This is not church,” Nicholas told her, “This is the law.” But Clair was adamant and told him how she could not stop herself from pouring hot water on Gabrielle’s skin “more than once” while she heard “a white noise” in her head. Good lord! Wouldn’t you be looking at this woman like “what kind of monster are you” at this point?

Before Nicholas could respond, Clair told him that he was part of why it happened. He scoffed at her attempt to blame him for attacking the nanny but, she claimed, he was enraged at her ever since she got pregnant and took it out on her and the boy ever since. It was abuse, she said, and he should not think just because he never touched her that he didn’t hurt her. Well-ll-ll, divorce court was the legal remedy for Clair’s distress but her choices showed that she actually wants Nicholas more than Nicky. When hiring Gabrielle to take care of Nicky didn’t bring her and Nicholas closer, she took it out on the nanny, not her husband.

Anyone who thinks oh, good, Clair took responsibility and is willing to pay for her misdeeds definitely saw that a different way than we did. Clair is an extremely disturbed woman and when things don’t pan out according to her plans, she goes to extremes. Nicholas was walking out on her in the beginning of the show. She turned down his offer to bail her out as a means to hold on to him and to force him to bond with young Nicky. Jail ain’t gonna help Clair with her mental problems, in our opinion. In all likelihood, after he’s had a while to contemplate the horror of her crime, Nicholas will realize how horrendous Claire’s crime was, maybe after he burns his own hand on the stove now that he has to do the cooking. Some sympathetic woman will come along. He’ll remarry and Claire won’t even be able to get unsupervised visitation. We see a looney bin in Clair’s future and wouldn’t that be poetic justice? In the meantime, we hope the Durands file a civil suit against the Coates and get a huge judgment.

Jeanette Hesby crawled back to Carson and Laurie Ann

With Raelyn in jail and J.D. headed the same way, Jeanette had no alternative left but to go to her husband, Carson. He didn’t make it easy for her but Carson was hurting too and felt he did not deserve the way Jeanette bailed when the heat was on. He also did not seem too thrilled about taking on the guardianship of Raelyn’s daughters but by the time the two of them had to talk to Laurie Ann, he got on board. Jeanette had her price to pay for the life she wanted, groveling to Laurie Ann, who, as Carson said, wanted “her pound of flesh.” But Carson made it clear that he wanted his wife back. Jeanette was blown away to see her heretofore milquetoast man stand up to his formidable sister. Laurie Ann, for her part, said the rest of them have had the comfort of distance from the hard responsibilities of the farm but everyone was going to shoulder their weight from now on. Jeanette had to prove herself by giving a speech to the farm workers on how great the Hesbys are and how much they care about the workers. She almost choked on her script near the end.

Jeanette visited Raelyn in jail to inform her that she and Carson were going to apply for legal guardianship of the girls and was disgusted when Raelyn did not object. Raelyn said it was clear that she could not take care of her daughters and agreed to stay away from them unless she was clean when she got out of jail. Jeanette wanted to know why Raelyn stole $25,000 from the Hesbys when she had been taken in and given a job. She needed to know that it was not just because of greed but Raelyn would not tell her anything except that she didn’t spend it on drugs. Jeanette told Raelyn she was fresh out of sympathy for her.

Accessory After the Fact

Dustin wanted out of the shelter he was placed in. Kimara said she couldn’t help him unless he talked to her but he accused her of not caring. She explained that it was her last week and he would be assigned a new caseworker. She knew something was troubling him but unless he talked, how did he expect her to help him. Evidently, she went to bat for him to get him a voucher for a bus ticket. We think Dustin was suffering from intense fear that he was still in danger of being permanently silenced by Everett. At the bus station, he decided against taking off and called Kimara for help. She took him to the police where he gave them Everett’s name and told them how Shae was murdered at the webcam house. At first, he referred to Shae as Cassi, but when he told them her real first name, Kimara was aghast. Dustin confirmed that the girl was pregnant. Kimara could barely suppress her tears and grief as she identified Shae’s badly decomposed body. However, the final blow to Kimara’s idealism was dealt when Dustin was suddenly arrested for not telling anyone about the murder for days. Kimara went to see ADA Amanda McKay who said Dustin can plead out and get a year. Amanda asked Kimara what she was going to do for Dustin, put him in a shelter? “[Bleep] you,” Kimara told her, “Seriously, go [bleep] yourself.” Kimara met with Abby Tanaka, who was all about consoling her over what happened at first. Then Kimara told Abby that she changed her mind about leaving her profession and wanted that job offer Abby had dangled in return for helping her get the big funding grant with fake records. Kimara wanted an admission that Abby and the charity guy were in cahoots and used her. Abby was caught way off guard but even more so when Kimara demanded a $15K bump on her Project Open Road salary. Abby weakly tried to appeal to Kimara’s ideals by pointing out that she’d be taking money away from helping the kids to accommodate that, but it fell on deaf ears. Kimara was now determined to get what she wanted out of this world and that money would mean she could afford the IVF treatments to have the child she so badly wanted.

Justice for All

In the final scene, everyone went to court. Among the Hesbys, JD looked like what he was– the sacrificial lamb. Dustin would not look at Kimara. Clair would not look at Gabrielle. Raelyn looked behind her at her girls and they offered a glimmer of a smile. In the back of the courtroom, the ghosts of Isaac, Shae and Teo also waited to watch the proceedings. That was probably meant to be dramatic, but we thought it was just strange. Sorry, but “the broken system” didn’t make Isaac murder Teo and we can’t see how Shae would find any justice in Dustin doing a year. Gabrielle was not really there to get to see Clair throw herself on the mercy of the court, so as we mentioned above, her real hope for justice was to sue the pants off Nicholas. The only hope we got out of this was that someday little Nicky, Raelyn’s girls and Kimara’s future baby won’t end up in a courtroom as either the exploited or the exploiter, or worse– one of the ghostly onlookers.

Previous episode: Two Arrests, One Escape…

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2 Responses

  1. noella says:

    Great recap, VJ. Especially like your conclusion. I really felt like they could have made a whole season for each one of these stories

    • VJ says:

      Thanks, Noella, I agree, they could have got 3 seasons out of this one. I wished there were more than 8 episodes.