Recap: American Crime Season 3 Premiere

Familiar faces in different roles and some new faces are what we saw in the first episode of American Crime’s third season which debuted on ABC on Sunday, March 12, 2017.

American Crime victims, Coy, Luis and Shae

The episode began with a 911 call reporting a dead body floating in the river. The caller spoke in Spanish. In the very next scene, we see Mexican men coming into the USA illegally. They are individually informed that they can go to California, Texas or Florida. One man, Luis Salazar, insists on going to North Carolina, even though he has to pay more up front. The next time we see him, he is on a bus that passes by where the police fished the dead body out of the river. Luis is a new face, played by Benito Martinez.

Regina King, returned as Kimara Walters, a social worker who tries to help kids trapped in prostitution. Regina has already won 2 Emmys for her roles in the first two season and you can already see another nomination in the bag. She was called to the police station to help a young man named Ishmael, who was very uncooperative. The only question he would answer was whether he had a place to stay and that was a “no.” She tried to get him a spot in a shelter, but the lady who runs it, Abby (Sandra Oh), didn’t have any beds. Ishmael walked out on Kimara at a diner, after deciding that she had nothing better to offer him. You get some personal info on Kimara. She let her cable bill lapse for 30 days so now they want to charge her double what she was paying before. She underwent an in vitro fertilization process that didn’t work.

Felicity Huffman is also back. She plays Jeanette Hesby, the wife of Carson, one of the owners of Hesby Farms. The farm is in a bit of a pickle because they need to lower their labor costs in order to survive but, at this point, Jeanette has no involvement in that. She has just learned that her drug addict sister, Raelyn, is in a pickle of her own. Her husband’s been gone for 3 days, leaving her to care for their 2 kids alone and with nothing but a low-paying part-time job to support them. Jeanette wanted Carson to give Raelyn a job at the farm, but it seems that they tried that one already and Raelyn wasn’t getting paid enough so she stole money. Carson insists that his sister, Laurie Ann, will not agree and suggests that Jeanette send a check. Jeanette says that is not helping.

Richard Cabral and Connor Jessup were also in the premiere. Cabral plays Isaac Castillo, a farm worker who has risen to the rank of recruiter. Out on his mission, he spots Coy Henson (Jessup) who looks like a needy soul. Isaac learns Coy is walking to Patterson and offers him a lift that Coy turns down. Then he offers him a drink and while they are drinking, he realizes that Coy is an addict. He offers Coy a job picking tomatoes where he can possibly earn $200 a day, with a rent-free place to stay, beer and more if he needs it. Coy laughs at the idea of picking tomatoes and Isaac gets indignant, giving him a little lecture on how he started out that way but made something of himself. He gives Coy the rest of the beer and some cards to hand out to anyone who wants to work. Later, Coy calls Isaac who comes out to pick him up.

Luis Salazar, in the meantime, has arrived at the farm where he learns that most of the money that he makes at first will have to go to pay off his debts, and here we thought that Luis paid up front to get where he is. It seems that he also has to pay for staying in a crappy trailer so now we know that Isaac was lying to Coy, too. From the preview of Episode 2, it looks like Luis was lying about not speaking English, unless he learned it in between episodes.

Ana Mulvoy-Ten plays Shae Reese, a teenager whose “boyfriend” got her made up for free at the department store, then drove her to meet a client while he waited outside. This guy laughs when she says she’s 18 and has her wash all the makeup off because it makes her look like she’s 30. At a convenience store, her pimp instructs her to try to get a girl who is sitting outside to go with them. She doesn’t give him much backtalk but also doesn’t try too hard to persuade the girl. Shae gets sent out on another date where the client is quite rough with her. It seems like something bad is going to happen to Shae but the police break down the door and arrest the man. Shae is taken to the police officer and Kimara is called in to deliver the same speech she gave to Ishmael in the beginning.

Next Episode: It Didn’t Happen on our Property

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