Regina King as Aliyah in American Crime
ABC screenshot 

Over at the Gutierrez house, Jenny is still giving her dad, Alonzo, the silent treatment for allowing her brother to get thrown into juvenile hall.

As he’s leaving the house one morning, Alonzo is approached by a TV news reporter about his son’s involvement in Matt’s murder. He tells the reporter that they should be worrying about Hector, the other Mexican involved in the crime, because he’s “an illegal” who gives “the rest of us a bad name.” Great way to redeem yourself, Alonzo!

Over in juvie, Tony continues to get bullied after he’s forced to join a pickup basketball game, only to have the ball thrown so hard at his face that it bloodies his nose. Just as the bully kicks Tony, some Latino guy intervenes and scares him off. Later, when he meets with his sister, Tony tells her not to worry because someone in there is “looking out” for him. Favors in jail don’t come free, though, hombre. Still angry at his dad, Tony is adamant about not wanting Alonzo to visit him. Why didn’t he pull this tough-guy act in the yard, though?  

Barb is still on a witch hunt, meeting with the district attorney to have Matt’s death classified as a hate crime. When the DA tells her that there is no evidence to support her claim, Barb huffs and puffs and nearly blows the man’s toupee off, saying that Carter, the man accused of killing her son, has made claims that he “hates white people.” Maybe she missed the part about him having a white girlfriend, Aubry.


While Barb is at the DA’s office going cuckoo for Coco Puffs, Russ is interviewing for a job as a gardener because he’s desperate for money. He lost his job back in Arizona, presumably for not showing up because he’s been in Modesto, Calif., dealing with his son Matt’s death. The interviewer asks how long he plans on staying in town, and Russ says that he’s unsure. Hey, Russ, whenever a future employer asks how long you plan on being at a job, the answer is always “forever.” It’s job search 101, pal.

Hector is in rehab trying to recover from his police-inflicted gunshot wound and learns that he will walk with a limp forever. To add insult to injury, once he heals, in about six weeks, he’ll be deported back to Mexico. Hector’s new bedside buddy is a fellow Mexican gangbanger, who tells him to make the best of his stay by stealing drugs and selling them on the black market. Apparently his moral compass is still intact, though, because Hector doesn’t seem completely sold.


Aubry is still sass-mouthing folks from her fancy hotel room when she gets a visit from her adoptive father (aka the man with the money). Aubry confesses that she gets high to make life seem more beautiful, and all she really wants is for her dad to pay for a lawyer who can help her get visitation rights to see Carter. He agrees to help her, under two conditions: Be nice to the rest of the family and take a shower. No one wants to deal with her funky body and her funky attitude. Seems like a sweet deal to me.

Back in prison, Carter is strip-searched, and I won’t lie, sober is starting to look sexy on him. He gets a visit from his sister, Aliyah, and I screamed, “Yasss!” as Regina King finally appeared on the scene in full Muslim garb. Aliyah basically tells Carter to get his life together.


He left his fiancee—“a woman of color”—and his job to get high with a white woman, who is now free while he’s still incarcerated. Aliyah tells Carter that she will help him get a real lawyer that will work for the cause and not for the coin. Carter, upset that Aliyah is throwing shade at his girlfriend, spazzes out and tells her not to visit him anymore. Listen, between Carter and Aubry, I’ve just about had it with these ungrateful fools. 

Tom and Eve are hell-bent on having Matt’s bodied buried in Oakland, Calif., to be near his wife and their daughter, Gwen, who is still recovering from the attack that left Matt dead. Russ joins them in the fight against Barb, who has her own ideas about where Matt should be laid to rest. Four weeks later, and they’re still dragging this man’s corpse around town? Get it together, folks.


Gwen’s dad, Tom, is on a mission to figure out whether his daughter slept with two different men. Turns out his wife knew about their daughter’s sexcapades all along. Like mother, like daughter, I wonder?

The episode ends with Alonzo finding out that Tony will not be charged for murder but will be kept in juvie under observation to see if his “problems” can be worked out. On a brighter note, Russ actually gets the job at the gardening store, so maybe his honesty paid off after all.


Kerry Coddett is a stand-up comedian, writer and actress from Brooklyn, N.Y. She’s also the creator of The Coddett Project, a sketch-comedy web series. Find her on Facebook and Twitter.