American Crime Season 3 Episode 7 Review: 3.07

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American Crime keeps getting more intense as the season progresses.

On American Crime Season 3 Episode 6, Shae was brutally murdered. 

And on American Crime Season 3 Episode 7, Gabriella was treated inhumanely after being arrested while Jeanette seemed to have run out of options in her quest to live independently after Raelyn was also arrested.

A Marriage Crumbles - American Crime

I'm not sure which storyline is the most disturbing. I'll go with Shae's murder, which was brilliantly understated in "3.07."

There was very little mention of the murder itself. Life went on as usual at the Webcam house, except Dustin felt some guilt that put him in as much danger as Shae.

I kept expecting some reaction from Kimara to the murder, but obviously she hasn't found out about it yet.

If the lack of ethics and hypocrisy in the grant sponsorship process has her wanting to quit, I can't imagine what the death of this young woman and her baby will do to Shae.

And now that she's been convinced to take Dustin's case, it's inevitable she'll find out.

The Nick/Clair/Gabriella story was equally disturbing. 

Gabriella has been treated like a slave since she came into Clair's household, and empathy towards her has been in short supply. Clair takes her frustrations out on her most of the time and Nick hates her because he doesn't speak the same language she does.

No wonder Gabriella was constantly harming herself.

It must have been scary for her, too, to hear her employers arguing and not be able to understand what was going on. Their anger must have felt even more unpredictable to her because she didn't know the language.

She finally had enough and bolted. I think she took Nicky because she actually did care about him and didn't want to abandon him. She may also have felt that was the only chance the kid has of living a normal life.

Nick: We both get what we want. We get what we deserve. I get the business and you get the kid.
Clair: So cold.
Nick: What do you want me to say?
Clair: Say his name. Say your son's name.

As soon as they went into the diner, I knew Gabriella wouldn't have enough money to pay and dreaded what would come next.

The waitress must have been aware to some degree that Gabriella didn't speak English. It was odd that she made no effort to get Nicky's attention or tell him to tell his nanny that they needed to pay more.

The cops also assumed Gabriella was running away, which was partially true, but it didn't seem to occur to them that she didn't speak the language.

And after her arrest, it seemed very clear that her use of French was being criminalized. She was told to settle down when she tried to explain in French about her passport being at the house and sedated when she tried to talk to a nurse in French. That last scene was particularly upsetting. 

The cops have already painted a picture of Gabriella as some crazed kidnapper to Nick and Clair, and she likely will be institutionalized either in a hospital or in jail without the benefit of a translator to explain to her what the proceedings are, never mind an attorney to protect her rights.

Even sadder and more concerning is that nobody seemed at all worried about how this experience affected Nicky or asked him for his version of events.

Clair was angry that Nick didn't see his son as anything but a burden his wife brought home, but I didn't see her checking on Nicky either.  Gabriella was his nanny and friend who he adored and he may have been frightened by the whole ordeal, and that didn't seem to matter to anybody.

Jeanette: I made some sandwiches.
Raelyn: I appreciate it.
Jeanette: There's a message for you.
Raelyn: Oh yeah. It's the county calling.
Jeanette: What do they want?
Raelyn: You heard the message. You know. I have to go down to the court and take a piss test.
Jeanette: Is that... is that okay for them to do?
Raelyn: Is it okay? I'm on parole. They can do whatever they want.

Jeanette's situation also fell apart after Raelyn was arrested.

Raelyn seemed to have seen this coming. I wasn't sure whether or not she had actually done drugs, since she kept implying she was going to be arrested because of a mixup. But ultimately, it didn't matter. 

I appreciate the points Raelyn's storyline makes about the unfairness of the criminal justice system.

Raelyn has been struggling to make ends meet when almost no one will hire her because of her record, and her parole officer has the right to demand a drug test at any time, probable cause or no probable cause, just because she is on parole.

While it wouldn't be in her best interest to use drugs under these circumstances, I wouldn't blame her if she did. She's more or less branded as a criminal and treated like she's expected to screw up, making it that much harder to keep her head above water.

JD: Everything you've done the last few months has been about being on display. You'd better think on your own situation.
Jeanette: I have thought! My sister's in jail! She has two little girls! And you're giving me some morality play?
JD: It's not a morality play. This is real time with real consequences. I know that. The sad thing is, you have a good life, Jeanette. You just don't want to pay the little it costs to live it.

I just hope that Jeanette isn't forced to return to Carson because of these circumstances and her own inability to find suitable employment.  Jeanette has been groomed all her life to be a dutiful housewife and has no marketable skills and no plan to get them, and now things are urgent.

JD's claim that she just didn't want to pay the small price of living with Carson made me so angry. The price Carson demands of Jeanette is not at all small. It's her entire soul, and I don't want to see her pay it. Yet I'm not sure what choice she has at this point.

Administrator: Either we cut staff or we cut services.
Kimara: It comes out the same.
Administrator: We're not going to cut services.
Kimara: It's the same thing.
Administrator: It's not the same.
Kimara: It is the same. If we don't have the staff -
Administrator: Money comes and money goes. You know that.
Kimara: Money comes when bad things happen. When people feel guilty and it's too late to help.

I thought Kimara would burn out at some point because she just cares too much. But I didn't think it would be dishonesty or hypocrisy in the system that got to her. I thought it would be her total inability to save Shae.

Kimara was in a difficult position because she could see clearly that staff cuts were going to make her job impossible, yet there was no money to hire a reasonable amount of staff to help her. For her, forging her records to get money was a huge deal and likely a dealbreaker. So for the grant sponsor to not even look at her records had to be the ultimate slap in the face.

I didn't blame Kimara for not wanting to get sucked into helping yet another person she really couldn't help. But I was glad that she did.

Helping Dustin will force her to confront Shae's death and hopefully come away with a new understanding of what she can and can't accomplish. Maybe she'll even be able to do something for him.

With only one episode to go, I can't imagine how any of these storylines are going to wrap up. I know better than to expect any happy endings, but I really hope Jeanette can at least stay independent of Carson and Kimara can find some peace.

What did you think of "3.07?" What are you hoping for in the season finale? Which storyline is pulling at your heartstrings the most?

Weigh in below, and don't forget you can always watch American Crime online if you missed something.

3.07 Review

Editor Rating: 4.9 / 5.0
  • 4.9 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (9 Votes)

Jack Ori is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. His debut young adult novel, Reinventing Hannah, is available on Amazon. Follow him on Twitter.

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American Crime Season 0 Episode 7 Quotes

Jeanette: It's not like I've been sitting around.
Raelyn: I didn't say you were.
Jeanette: I've been filling out applications, going for assessments... I've been looking for work all day.
Raelyn: Yeah, well I HAVE been working. All night.

Administrator: Either we cut staff or we cut services.
Kimara: It comes out the same.
Administrator: We're not going to cut services.
Kimara: It's the same thing.
Administrator: It's not the same.
Kimara: It is the same. If we don't have the staff -
Administrator: Money comes and money goes. You know that.
Kimara: Money comes when bad things happen. When people feel guilty and it's too late to help.