I’m excited for episode two of American Crime but I am warning you now I am TWE, typing while exhausted. I’ve been on a cleans for about a week and a half and taking all my vitamins and trying to pull myself out of the hole, and it’s starting to work. Which means I am starting to work, and clean out this house and get ready to get the hell out of here. I feel like I need occupational therapy for real. All of my muscles atrophied while I was laying around depressed and anxious for so many years. Now I am trying to get back to real life and real work and it’s physically exhausting! But I really want to watch this tonight and I really hope y’all will chat with me about it. This won’t be my most popular post of the week, but it will be one of my favorites.
Kimara and the Sex Trafficking
We start with Kimara being urged to get Shae Reese to testify against her pimp, Billy. She is stubbornly refusing to do it. When she finds out that the trial is at least nine months away, probably much longer she asks Kimara what she is supposed to do in town for that long. How will she survive without working the streets? Kimara says they will get her into a work program and a shelter. Shae rolls her eyes at living in a shelter that long. I forsee Kimara bringing her to live with her. It’s just a matter of time.
Shae gets a placement in a rigorous program. No drugs, chapel every morning, mandatory GED program, in a room with seven other girls. She is not amused. She is sent for a physical. She self reports using weed, alcohol and oxy when she can get it. Then she admits she is about four weeks pregnant. The doctor asks if she has been pregnant before. She says yes. The doctor asked how that pregnancy ended. Shae simply says, “It ended.”
Sandra Oh plays Abby Tanaka who is some sort of sex trafficking expert lecturer. She’s friend with Kimara. Kimara is discouraged. She doesn’t feel like she’s making a difference. Later she goes to talk to a childhood ex who is now married with a family that she is close to about her IVF treatment. She asks him to be the sperm donor so things are not so clinical. He says he will talk it over with his wife. If it were my husband asking me that, the answer would be HELL NO. That said, he is a fine specimen of a man.
Hesby Farms (and Luis’ camp)
Meanwhile back at the migrant worker camp. Luis overhears a conversation among the overloads suggesting that many of the workers have been hurt. It’s unclear what happened.
Jeanette and JD are shopping for furniture, as one does in North Carolina, when JD gets an urgent call from the farm. It appears that there was a fire at one of the migrant worker lots. There was a fire, and some workers were killed and many were hurt. Actually, I’m not sure who this guy is with Jeanette. He said that JD is talking to Laurie Ann about the situation so I’m confused. I don’t have all the characters straight yet and on this show there are dozens of them. Jeanette was hanging on this guy like it was her husband. Maybe I was wrong in the first episode recap when I said Jeanette was married to JD? Yes, I was, Jeanette is married to Carson Hesby, not JD. I found a chart which I shall refer to often.
Out on the farm, Coy Henson is working in the fields for the first time. He’s suffering mightily from drug withdrawal and or heat stroke. The guy who recruited him comes over and forces him back to work.
There is a flashback of Luis who is apparently at the dinner table with his wife and teenaged son. He says something to his son that his wife tries to stop him from saying and the kid stomps off with his plate to eat elsewhere. There is no translation for the gringos. Then off to the fields to pick for the first time. Another guy gives him a bandana and explains he has to cover his mouth and nose because the farmers spray pesticides while they are picking. Fun fact, we eat those pesticides. Buy organic.
Later that night we find out that Luis has come to North Carolina to search for his son, Teo. He shows his picture to his new friend at the camp. Teo came to North Carolina to work. He was sending money back every week. Then he stopped. They never heard from him again. The friend tells him to be very careful asking questions. Teo may have fallen in with bad people and he needs to watch who he talks to.
Later the friend claims to know someone who knows his son. He will speak to him for twenty dollars. Luis asks for some sort of proof that he knew Teo before he pays him. He says that he was a kid about 17 or 18 who talked about making enough money to move to New York. He wanted to open a restaurant. His head was full of big dreams. He gives the guy a twenty and his new friend demands a ten dollar finders fee. The guy says that Teo wasn’t a good worker, he liked to joke around and tell stories. Everyone liked him except the Bosses. He says he got lucky since he was so young, the bosses just threw him out without his pay. He can’t have gone far. Probably another nearby farm. Probably Hesby Farm. I don’t think Luis is there yet. He seems to be picking zucchini and the people at Hesby are picking tomatoes.
Luis packs up his shit and hits the road on foot. The boss tries to force him back into the camp. Suddenly, Luis is fluent in English. He tells the boss he’s not stupid and knows he can’t call he police on him. He’s housing undocumented workers under inhumane conditions and not paying them. Then he walks away.
Isaac Castillo is the farm crew chief that recruited Coy. His friend and fellow crew chief has a chat with him over a few beers about his coddling of the druggie. Isaac goes to wake up Coy and warn him that bad things can happen if he doesn’t pull himself together. Coy promise to do better. He says he doesn’t want to be an addict. He ants to work. Isaac slips him a packet of some kind of drug. He takes it.
The owners of Hesby Farms are having a great big outdoor cookout. Jeanette, goes to check on JD who is drunk and was seen arguing with his sister and HBIC of the farm, Laurie Ann at the party. JD is really upset that fifteen people died in a fire. (It was totally not my fault by the way,) He calls an Uber to take him home. Shortly after, Jeanette and Carson are ready to leave. Jeanette goes over to thank her hostess, Laurie Ann and asks if she should be doing something for the family of those who died. Laurie Ann cautions her that sometimes doing some nice can be confused with doing something wrong. They have their prayers and they are strong. Then Laurie Ann abruptly bids Jeanette good night.
The next day Jeanette starts searching the Internet to find out what happened with the fire since no one in the family is talking. She can’t find anything about it at all. It didn’t even make the news. When she asks Carson why that is, he gets angry and tells her maybe she needs to just go spend some time with her sister. Now she wants to know what everyone is covering up. So she goes out to the migrant camp that has the fire. One of the bosses of the camp says it was an electrical fire in the middle of the night from a bad fan. Jeanette finds out that there were 21 people in the one trailer. There was chicken wire over the windows so only six manage to get out. They were trapped inside where they burned to death. Jeanette was horrified when she saw the remains of the trailer.
Next week: Carson doesn’t want to be faced with the photos of the trailer. Isaac gets in trouble for paying Coy who is still too sick to work at full strength and gets in trouble. Shae continues to struggle.