The Best Episodes of American Crime

Last Updated: Dec 3, 2018

John Ridley's groundbreaking anthology drama series explores issues of race, class and gender in America. The show has met with critical acclaim, receiving ten Emmy Award nominations in 2015 for its inaugural season and four for its sophomore season.

Episode 7

#1 - Episode 7

Season 2 - Episode 7

Feeling nothing but pain and conflict, Taylor continues to become emotionally undone as he tries to find a way to stop feeling like a victim; and Anne's private medical records are anonymously posted online in an effort to shame her. The act catches the attention of Sebastian, who makes another attempt to engage Anne. Meanwhile, Leslie offers a generous settlement to Evy's father in order to protect the school from litigation, and Eric tries to find some misguided solace with a stranger.

star 8.07
445 votes
Directors: John Ridley
Writers: John Ridley
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Episode 8

#2 - Episode 8

Season 3 - Episode 8

Kimara advises Dustin to inform the police about the crime that took place in the webcam house, which leads to an unforeseen outcome. Meanwhile, detectives open up a troubling investigation into Clair and Nicholas, who maintain their innocence and contend that Gabrielle is the guilty party. Jeanette must confront and consider the costs and sacrifices of social change.

star 7.93
416 votes
Directors: Jessica Yu
Writers: Julie Hébert
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Episode Eleven

#3 - Episode Eleven

Season 1 - Episode 11

The criminal case comes to a shocking close for all those involved as we see each life forever altered by this incident. Charged with emotions and unexpected twists, certain journeys will end while others begin.

star 7.89
411 votes
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Episode 8

#4 - Episode 8

Season 2 - Episode 8

In an episode that features interviews with real-life Columbine teachers, along with parents and victims of LGBT bullying, Leyland High School mourns the loss of one of their own, while Leslie finds her job on the line in the aftermath of the tragedy; Curt tries to file a missing person’s report with the police when he suspects his estranged wife, Lilah, has run off with their son, Peter, after she blames him for son Eric’s sexuality; Becca makes a startling confession to Dan; and Sebastian reaches out to Anne in an attempt to help her bring retribution to those who caused her son Taylor’s downfall.

star 7.81
427 votes
Writers: Keith Huff
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Episode 6

#5 - Episode 6

Season 3 - Episode 6

Nicholas is distraught with the reality of his failing business and takes his frustration out on Clair. Upset about her deteriorating marriage, Clair becomes increasingly controlling over Gabriella. Jeanette attempts to find a job while continuing to live with her sister Raelyn, and Kimara is faced with a difficult decision that will test her morals. Meanwhile, Shae begins to feel as though she’s being shortchanged for her work in the webcam house, which leads to a tragic confrontation.

star 7.79
452 votes
Directors: Ramsey Nickell
Writers: Steve Harper
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Episode 3

#6 - Episode 3

Season 2 - Episode 3

A news article goes online describing what happened at the captain's party and naming Kevin as a participant in the alleged assault on Taylor. Meanwhile, Anne is forced to defend herself after the item is published; and new evidence is revealed that paints a murkier picture of what really happened on the night in question.

star 7.78
435 votes
Directors: Gregg Araki
Writers: Sonay Hoffman
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Episode 9

#7 - Episode 9

Season 2 - Episode 9

Following the on-campus murder of a fellow Leyland student, the entire community is forced to re-examine all of the choices they have made in the wake of the sexual encounter between Eric and Taylor; leaked personal information implicates both Kevin and Becca to the shooting; Sebastian targets the Leyland school by releasing its most sensitive information online, which causes Leslie to take drastic measures; and at Marshall High, Chris finds himself at a career crossroads when he faces a school review board.

star 7.77
407 votes
Directors: James Kent
Writers: Julie Hébert
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Episode 6

#8 - Episode 6

Season 2 - Episode 6

Against the school lawyer's advice, Leslie decides to take it upon herself to welcome Eric back to Leyland with a school-wide showing of empathy. But Eric soon discovers that his return does not sit well with some of his fellow basketball team members; Anne decides that she'd rather take the school to court over what happened to her son, Taylor, than accept a settlement, and Chris finds himself being vilified when students begin picketing Marshall high school after three Hispanic students are suspended for fighting with a black student, who received no punishment whatsoever.

star 7.77
466 votes
Directors: Jessica Yu
Writers: Stacy A. Littlejohn
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Episode 4

#9 - Episode 4

Season 2 - Episode 4

Following the revelation that evidence was found on Taylor’s clothing, the parents of the basketball players and faculty of The Leyland School prepare for invasive DNA testing on the team. The impending test forces Eric to make a painful revelation, while at the same time, Taylor attempts to return to normalcy as he matriculates back into a local public high school.

star 7.74
440 votes
Directors: Julie Hébert
Writers: Kirk A. Moore
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Episode 5

#10 - Episode 5

Season 3 - Episode 5

Consequences of forced labor continue to roil, as Shae contemplates having another abortion while Dustin introduces her to the world of online sex work. Jeanette makes a decision that results in a disheartening situation, as she struggles to accept the value of her self-worth. Meanwhile, Kimara tries to help another troubled girl while Nicholas and Clair’s troubles worsen, and Gabriella experiences an unsettling incident that makes her realize her new life isn’t exactly what she hoped it would be.

star 7.73
462 votes
Directors: Tanya Hamilton
Writers: Keith Huff
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Episode 4

#11 - Episode 4

Season 3 - Episode 4

Luis learns about the fate of his son, as Coy devises a plan to get himself off the farm. Jeanette tries to plead her case about the working conditions in the fields to Laurie Ann while Shae comes to a decision that will affect the rest of her life. Meanwhile, business owner Nicholas Coates struggles with making a profit in a market that continuously demands lower prices while his wife, Clair, decides to hire and provide a working visa for a Haitian woman, Gabrielle, to be their son’s nanny.

star 7.73
461 votes
Directors: Steph Green
Writers: Sonay Hoffman
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Episode 10

#12 - Episode 10

Season 2 - Episode 10

Sebastian gets a taste of his own medicine and is stunned to discover that someone is usurping his cause and releasing emails, texts and other pieces off personal information about numerous Leyland families, initiating a chain reaction that could cause the downfall all of those involved with the events of the alleged sexual assault on Taylor, and everything that has transpired since; Dan and Steph must deal with the fallout of their daughter Becca being arrested for supplying drugs to Taylor the day of the murder; Michael goes to extreme measures to ensure that son Kevin won't be implicated as being complicit in the beating of Taylor, which doesn't sit well with Terri; and Chris makes a decision about his future with Marshall High School.

star 7.72
432 votes
Directors: Nicole Kassell
Writers: Diana Son
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Episode 3

#13 - Episode 3

Season 3 - Episode 3

Luis arrives at the Hesby Farm and receives important information about his missing son while Coy witnesses a horrific incident that changes his entire perception about life in the field and confirms his dark new reality. Meanwhile, Shae begins to reconsider her decision to stay in a shelter, and Kimara receives difficult personal news. After a deep and revealing conversation, Jeanette and JD attend the workers’ rally.

star 7.72
493 votes
Writers: Janine Salinas Schoenberg, Moisés Zamora
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Episode 7

#14 - Episode 7

Season 3 - Episode 7

In the days following a fatal altercation in the webcam house, Dustin reaches out to Kimara for help, realizing he is no longer safe. Kimara struggles with the burden of a difficult moral choice and decides to take time off of work at her shelter. Meanwhile, Nicholas and Clair’s volatile marriage continues to unravel, which in turn makes Gabrielle commit an ill-conceived act based on fear for her life. Jeanette becomes alarmed when Raelyn overreacts to a random drug test request.

star 7.68
422 votes
Directors: John Krokidas
Writers: Kirk A. Moore
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Episode Ten

#15 - Episode Ten

Season 1 - Episode 10

Revelations from Aubry's recent statements have far-reaching implications as new and damaging allegations against Matt Skokie's role in the incident come to light. This setback is finally one that from which Barb will be unable to recover, leaving Russ to pick up the fight. Carter is handed a new lease on life while Hector's prospects turn for the worst after Aubry's account renders his testimony regarding Carter and the murder weapon inconsequential. Hector's immediately deported and turned over to the Mexican authorities. Elsewhere, though Alonzo struggles to find character witnesses for Tony's upcoming hearing, his family unifies.

star 7.67
421 votes
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Episode 5

#16 - Episode 5

Season 2 - Episode 5

In the hours after Eric is forced to openly discuss his sexuality, Taylor must defend his actions on the night of his alleged assault to the police; Anne struggles with the discovery that her son is gay; a critical decision by the detectives makes some involved feel as though the worst may be over; and at Marshall high school, Chris deals with the aftermath of a seemingly innocuous incident that begins to take on racial overtones.

star 7.65
448 votes
Writers: Davy Perez
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Episode Eight

#17 - Episode Eight

Season 1 - Episode 8

As news of Aliyah's organized march for Carter's cause spreads, tensions and emotions within the community rise. The city tries to stifle the demonstration and the DA attempts to offer Carter a plea deal. Demonized and the target of violent threats, Barb refuses to back down and desperately rallies her own group of supporters to attend the march. Once again placed in juvenile detention, Tony could be charged as an adult. Alonzo urges him to testify against Carter to gain some leniency. Hector reconnects with his girlfriend and promises to turn his life around for her and their daughter. Unemployed and out of options, Russ turns to Mark for help in allowing him to move into Matt and Gwen's house.

star 7.64
437 votes
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Episode Nine

#18 - Episode Nine

Season 1 - Episode 9

Following the march in support of Carter that erupted in violence, Aliyah and her lawyer use the turn in public opinion to leave the court no choice but to move up Carter's preliminary examination date. Emotions felt by the families on both sides of the case come to a head when Aubry's mother, Ruth, sets up a meeting with Aliyah. Meanwhile, Russ continues to work on Matt and Gwen's house as a means to fill a void created by his regretful decision to abandon his family years previously. Desperate to do everything he can for a now fearful Tony in juvenile detention, Alonzo turns to an unlikely source for help. After Aubry receives news from Carter, she is left feeling emotionally distraught. She makes the decision to completely change the course of the case by going on record with an incendiary statement.

star 7.62
433 votes
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Episode Five

#19 - Episode Five

Season 1 - Episode 5

Carter and Aubry are reunited after his release, but she convinces him to make a run for Canada to keep him from facing trial and a possibility of the death penalty. Meanwhile, Mark tells Barb about his fiancée after Matt's funeral in Oakland; and Alonzo tries to repair his relationship with Tony.

star 7.55
487 votes
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Episode 2

#20 - Episode 2

Season 2 - Episode 2

Annie calls 911 to get help for Taylor, but it's not easy getting the authorities to pay attention to the alleged crime. Meanwhile, Leslie makes sure the Leyland School is ready for the impending investigation. Terri has an intervention with Kevin and Eric's truth comes out.

star 7.54
461 votes
Directors: Clement Virgo
Writers: John Ridley
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Episode Seven

#21 - Episode Seven

Season 1 - Episode 7

Tony's arrested again and sent back to juvenile detention after an incriminating video surfaces. Meanwhile, Aubry is asked to testify against Carter, who's in solitary confinement, in order to stay out of jail; Mark's fiancée, Richelle, has an awkward first meeting with Barb; and Aliyah plans a peaceful demonstration to support her brother when the prosecution isn't interested in new evidence that could help him.

star 7.54
458 votes
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Episode 1

#22 - Episode 1

Season 2 - Episode 1

Season two is set in the United States Midwest at two high schools, one public and one private. Issues of sexual orientation and socioeconomic disparity come to a boil when lurid photos of a high school boy are posted on social media following a school party. Circumstances become more complicated when the boy accuses two players on an elite private high school championship basketball team of drugging, assaulting and then posting the pictures of him online.

star 7.53
508 votes
Directors: John Ridley
Writers: John Ridley
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Episode 2

#23 - Episode 2

Season 3 - Episode 2

While Luis finds himself sinking further into servitude on the farm, Isaac tries to protect Coy from abusive conditions in the fields. Meanwhile, Jeanette begins to wonder if her family is down-playing a trailer fire, which killed a number of their undocumented workers. Kimara tries to transition Shae from being an underage victimized prostitute to sustaining herself as she tries to convince Shae to testify against her former pimp.

star 7.52
551 votes
Directors: Julie Hébert
Writers: John Ridley
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Episode Four

#24 - Episode Four

Season 1 - Episode 4

Russ and Barb's youngest son, Mark, comes to Modesto to support his estranged parents as emotions run high when new information allows Carter's defense team to be granted a bail hearing. Meanwhile, Aliyah wants her brother to stay away from Aubry; and Tony gets out of juvenile hall on a probationary release into Alonzo's care.

star 7.49
519 votes
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Episode Six

#25 - Episode Six

Season 1 - Episode 6

Barb turns to the media to draw attention to her son's case after Carter and Aubry are apprehended following their failed attempt to leave the country. Meanwhile, Tony goes to extremes to find out who attacked his sister; Aliyah worries about her brother's predicament now that he's back in jail; and Hector is pressured to testify by Palmer and Soderbergh.

star 7.47
462 votes
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