American Crime 1×04 ‘Episode Four’ : For a cause

It’s not just about one couple anymore, one set of defendants. Carter’s sister is determined to make her brother the face of all oppressed Black men, whether he fits that bill or not. Meanwhile, Hector’s going through hell with no one to care about him, and the Skokie family is just as dysfunctional as usual.

So, Aliyah. Very religious, very into helping the downtrodden Black man, very into using Carter for that purpose. She’s ready and willing to find him tons of supporters, a lawyer, and a whole lot of bail money. What’s wrong with that? She’s doing it for a cause, not for her brother. She’s constantly threatening to withdraw her support, unless Carter ditches Aubrey and follows the rest of her demands. Which, to be fair, he really does need to ditch Aubrey, because those two have a very strange definition of love. But, back to Aliyah. She wants Carter to believe as she believes, do what she wants, and that doesn’t seem likely to happen. But, as much as I disagree with some of the character’s motivations, Regina King kills it. Again. She is just terribly good in that part.

Hector, Hector is just in all kinds of trouble. And he doesn’t have a rich-ish, well-connected sister to help him out. You want to talk about minorities getting screwed over by the cops? Hector got shot. While running away. He wasn’t exactly charging the officers with a loaded machine gun. Whatever’s going on with this murder in Mexico, the guy got a bad deal in the States. If it had been Carter who got shot, Aliyah and her army of supporters would be all over that.

Source: ABC

Source: ABC

Have I mentioned how much I want to slug Matt and Gwen’s parents lately? More specifically, Barb. And Gwen’s father. Though after this episode, I’d take a swing at Gwen’s dad first. Barb is clearly not living in reality. Her other son, who finally makes an appearance here, says as much. She’s got to protect herself from the horror she’s living, so she paints Matt as this perfect golden boy who never existed. And then there’s Gwen’s dad, taking the exact opposite approach. He calls his comatose daughter a slut, for God’s sake. If these parents are going to paint their children in broad strokes, at least Barb is being complimentary about her kid, not knocking him down. I mean, Gwen’s dad reads files about his daughter’s sex life. Is there anyone in the world who thought that would end well? Penelope Ann Miller’s character at least tries to make her husband see the bigger picture, that their kid needs them, and who cares how many people she slept with? But even she gets dragged into the fighting, playing the blame game with Barb over which of their children had more issues. That whole scene, well-written as it was, was misery to watch. Because these people really need to shut up and stop arguing, do something constructive. Russ, bless him, has the intelligence to see that. It’s just that he’s still fighting with Barb over Matt’s body, so that kind of kills his credibility.

Much as they’re being idiots, I really felt for these families by the end of the episode. Mostly because of Aliyah and her supporters, and how they presented themselves. The laughing bit was enough to push anyone over the edge.

Odds and ends. Tony finally gets good news, not like any happiness he has is going to last. Aubrey, she spends the episode pining after Carter again. Because we haven’t seen that already. Hint, I still don’t like Aubrey. I missed Jenny and her dad this time around, hope to catch more of them next week.

And hey, Gwen. That ending. That’s going to add a new wrinkle to the mess. We’ll see how her newfound consciousness impacts things next week.

Nicolette Schneider

is a lit geek, a comic geek, and a certified TV fanatic. She often prefers fictional people over real ones. When she does make friends with regular humans, she likes the ones who give her access to their Netflix accounts. She loves words and hopes to one day make money stringing them together. Until then, read those words for free on

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