American Crime Recap: Was Taylor Sexually Assaulted?
Welcome to the American Crime recap for Season 2 Episode 4 (original airdate January 27, 2015). Following the revelation that evidence was found on Taylor’s clothing, the parents of the basketball players and faculty of The Leyland School prepare for invasive DNA testing on the team. The impending test forces Eric to make a painful revelation, while at the same time, Taylor attempts to return to normalcy as he matriculates back into a local public high school. Marshall's principal, Chris Dixon (Elvis Nolasco), is dealing with his own school issues, as racial tensions among students have erupted in fights.
Previously, the police informed Leslie that the rape kit exam performed on Taylor Blaine (Connor Jessup) reveealed DNA that didn't belong to him, so DNA testing of Leyland students could be on its way. Leslie Graham (Felicity Huffman) pushes Dan Sullivan (Timothy Hutton) to get his team to reveal more about the Captains' Party -- which ends in infighting. Meanwhile, Anne Blaine (Lili Taylor) succeeds in getting Taylor back into Marshall High, the local public school, in hopes of his life returning to some form of normal.
Terri Talks Race and Justice
Terri LaCroix (Regina King) and her husband Michael (Andre Benjamin, AKA Andre 3000) have rallied support and legal help for their son, Kevin LaCroix (Trevor Jackson). Kevin wants to help Eric Tanner (Joey Pollari) if he can, but Terri's priority is Kevin and Kevin only. She tells Kevin that by virtue of his race, Eric will get some benefit of the doubt that Kevin never will. It's every man for himself, she argues, and he needs to protect himself and tell the truth:
Eric's Downward Spiral
Soon, Eric learns that DNA testing will be on the way, and fears being implicated in this case. His family can't afford a lawyer like the LaCroixs: Eric's dad Kurt makes a plea to the LaCroixs for help in hiring a lawyer and is rebuffed by Terri and Michael. Fearing the worst, Eric downs a bottle of pills and washes them down with a couple of beers in an apparent suicide attempt.
Coach Dan visits Eric in the hospital afterward, hoping to have a heart-to-heart with Eric, but Eric seems to have already lost trust in Dan after Dan suspended him (and not his co-captain, Kevin) for the Captains' Party. When Dan pushes Eric on the details of the party, Eric tells him that Taylor wanted to have sex that night, and that he didn't rape Taylor:
Eric explains that he didn't come forward because then everyone would know he was gay. If that happens, his basketball career is over, and basketball is his ticket to college. To Eric, his sexuality has a very direct impact on his future.
Taylor's Emails and Texts to Eric
Anne is called to speak to a police detective, and finds out that Taylor and Eric had been trading emails and texts of a sexual nature, implying that Taylor attended the party with the intent of having sex with Eric. Even more problematic: The communication hints at rough sexual acts. Taylor admits this is all true -- but he maintains that he didn't go there to be attacked:
Evy (Angelique Rivera) is present for this exchange and leaves in a panic, before Anne presses Taylor on the topic. Why didn't she tell him? His answer: "You left me," a reference to her past psychological issues. Taylor understands why she needed to leave and get help, but he didn't want to make things hard for her again, and kept his sexual identity hidden to prevent her from worrying about it.
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Leslie and Leyland Move Toward Damage Control
Leslie and the rest of the Leyland school board meets with their lawyer to discuss options in light of new evidence in the assault case. Now that there is written evidence (emails, texts) that show a willingness on Taylor's part to engage in rough sexual activity with Eric, the school wants to try to use that to turn the focus away from the school's culpability and onto Taylor seemingly changing his story and refusing to admit his involvement:
Leslie finishes her argument with, "That's the truth. That's the truth people need to believe."
Is she right? Or is it all just posturing? With some rather disdainful comments made in that board room, it's hard to tell if they're looking our for their students or themselves. The only thing we can be sure of is that despite Taylor's pleas for this whole thing to go away, it looks like a lot of personal information about himself and Eric is coming to the forefront.
American Crime returns next week with "Episode Five."
Watch American Crime WEDNESDAYS 10|9c on ABC.