American Crime Recap and Review 3/5/15 – Series Premiere
American Crime is a new drama on ABC that is like nothing else on broadcast television. While the story may seem like your typical drama, someone gets murdered, the cops and family are searching for the killer and the viewers follow along to see who committed the crime – American Crime is anything but your typical drama. Written by Oscar winner John Ridley (“12 Years a Slave”), American Crime is told from the points of view of all those involved. You know those preconceptions people have about faith, family, gender, race, and class that people tend to keep to themselves or share with only those people who are very close to them – those preconceptions are going to air on national television and will sure to stir a lot of controversy among viewers.
Felicity Huffman plays the mother, Barb Stokie, of the murder victim Matt Skokie and in the premiere episode, when she is told that the person who killed her son was most likely Spanish, her reaction and what she says will leave you speechless.
American Crime opens with the murder of Matt Stokie, whose home was invaded. Stokie is a war vet who is married. His wife Gwen survived the attack but was sexually assaulted. The suspects are four people who are all brought into custody: Tony Gutiérrez, an impressionable teen who got in way over his head even under the watchful eye of his dedicated and hard-working father, Alonzo Gutiérrez. Hector Tontz, a young man who has lived life on the fringes of society and has made bad decisions just to survive. Carter Nix and Aubry Taylor, two incredibly lost souls whose addiction to drugs and to one another has become destructive and paralyzing.
Though the suspects fit a profile, they and their situations are far more complicated than anyone would have initially believed… As is true for the victims themselves. As Russ and Barb Skokie – divorced and estranged – arrive to both bury their son Matt, and seek a measure of justice for his killing, they discover their son may have been far from an innocent bystander in his own murder and their reactions are priceless. Like all parents, Russ is quick to defend his son. He spoke with him once a week and he was happy. When the police officer asks Russ Skokie if his son sold drugs, Russ was sure he didn’t. The officer asked him if that is information his son would have shared with him – to which Russ looks dumbfounded. This interaction leads you to wonder if you really know those who are closest to you and you love the most?
During the season premiere of American Crime we are introduced to the storyline and characters of the crime. Who committed the crime is anyone’s guess – and will be found out by the 11th and final episode of the season. So what happens once we know who killed Matthew Skokie and why he was killed? There will be a second season with a whole new crime. No word if the cast will remain the same but during a Q&A with Timothy Hutton and writer, John Ridley, Ridley seemed confident and hopeful that the original cast would return but they will be in a different state and a different crime will occur.