Welcome to the American Crime Season Premiere recap for Season 2 "Episode One" (original airdate January 6, 2015). Season 2 of American Crime is a new season and a new story, this time set in the U.S. Midwest -- representative of the canvas that is America -- at two high schools, one public and one private. Issues of sexual orientation and socioeconomic disparity come to a boil when lurid photos of a high school boy, Taylor Blaine (Connor Jessup), are posted on social media following a school party.
Taylor is a student at The Leyland School, a prestigious private high school. He finds out there are photos picturing him passed out and partially undressed at a party when he sees them on social media -- most of them featuring additional comments disparaging him. The school gets wind of of the photos and suspends Taylor, as they feel that his conduct is unbecoming of a Leyland student.
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Taylor's mother, Anne Blaine (Lili Taylor), is furious. Taylor storms off without saying much to her. Anne approaches Evy (Angelique Rivera), Taylor's girlfriend, to get more details on the situation. As they meet at the restaurant where Anne works, Anne makes Evy show her the photos going around that picture Taylor passed out at the Captain's Party, a basketball team tradition. Through Evy, Anne learns the harsh truth about what kids are saying about her son:
When Taylor returns home, Anne, still angry, confronts Taylor about the party and the photos. She works long hours and as a single mom, clearly stretches herself thin to send Taylor to Leyland, so she's upset and feels like he's wasting the opportunity she's trying to provide for him. But then Taylor breaks down and tells her that he thinks he was assaulted:
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Leyland High's headmaster Leslie Graham (Felicity Huffman) meets with Anne. Anne painfully explains Taylor's story to Leslie -- who may or may not be in a position to help:
Leslie tells the head basketball coach, Dan Sullivan (Timothy Hutton), about the allegations. Dan can't believe it, but Leslie wants to make sure he addresses his team, including co-captains Kevin LaCroix (Trevor Jackson) and Eric Tanner (Joey Pollari), to see if they know anything about it. Kevin's parents, Terri LaCroix (Emmy winner Regina King) and Michael LaCroix (Andre Benjamin - AKA Andre 3000 from Outkast), push Kevin hard, and certainly wouldn't like to hear of him having any involvement.
Anne returns to Leyland to speak with Leslie about the incident. Leslie is protective of her school and its students, and explains to Anne that the facts are rather unclear at this point -- and that they feel they are handling the incident as it should be handled. Anne is clearly upset and acts as if she feels her concerns are falling on deaf ears. After the meeting, a visbly shaken Anne calls 911 to report the incident to the police:
The heartbreaking and essential American Crime returns next week with "Episode Two."
Watch American Crime WEDNESDAYS 10|9c on ABC.