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Hell Is Other People On American Crime

As things fall apart in the season's penultimate episode, everyone scrambles for cover and stages counter-attacks.

With the poo hitting the no-blade-airflow-Dyson fan and sending it flying in all directions, the rush for dominance and control has never been more intense, so let's examine who's currently positioned to come out of this entire spectacle de merde with some semblance of self-respect and humanity. Spoiler: no one is, but let's rank them anyway, going from "least fucked" to "rode hard and put away wet."

  1. Leslie
    If you ever want to see a textbook example of taking a shitty situation and turning it around to use it to your benefit, observe what Leslie does here, because it is ferocious. I haven't seen anything quite like it since Queen Elizabeth went all "fuck this" after Earl Spencer's rant in Westminster Abbey.

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    ABC

    Last week, Leslie was on the back foot and appeared to be defeated, but now? No fool Leslie, she seizes on the school leak and make it work to her advantage. Her first victim is school trustee Bashir, whom she effortlessly takes out in one swipe, in the process knocking out her other foe, Wheeler -- oh, and also dissolves the entire fucking board, as you do. Because, as she says: "I simply wasn't stupid."

    You just know that Coach Sullivan is up next, and when that showdown happens it will be delicious, because now? Revenge is a dish best served Leslie.

  2. Chris Dixon
    Yes, he loses his job, and it's terrible to watch it go down the way it does. But I think he is fundamentally a decent person who made one bad mistake out of a hundred decisions. And I'm so glad I finally get to talk about the wonderful Elvis Nolasco and the stellar work he's been doing, because he is phenomenal when he testifies to having a bias and admitting that he didn't fully assess the situation with Mateo, Evy, and Tre. But none of that matters, since "nobody cares what Blacks and Hispanics do in public school." Someone needs to take the fall for what Taylor did at Leyland, and it's going to be Principal Dixon.

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    ABC

    My hope for Dixon is that he can move on with his life and do good work in the locality. He's certainly better off than most of the other characters caught up in this mess.

  3. Taylor
    I had a suspicion that we would find out what really went down the night of the captain's party as soon as Taylor's case went to trial, and now I think we're headed in that direction.

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    ABC

    I believe Taylor when he tells Evy he didn't lie about what Eric did to him, and I'm ranking him higher because I feel the truth will come out. Coupled with the inevitable revelation that Becca sold him Oxys, and that he had the shit kicked out of him by the basketball team, I think he'll get a reduced sentence and be out in five years, like his lawyer says.

  4. The LaCroix Family
    Terri's smart to want to get one step ahead of things, and she's taking power back from Michael and ownership of the situation in order to save her family. Once more, I want to sing the praises of the casting director who paired Andre Benjamin with Regina King because this marriage feels so lived in; it's brilliant work from both performers.

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    ABC

    Kudos also to Trevor Jackson for playing Kevin on so many levels, but especially here, when he realizes that he needs to start telling the truth. There will be shit, but they'll manage it and get through it -- unless, of course, Michael goes off script and screws things up, in which case all bets are off.

  5. Anne
    Anne's happiness is inextricably tied to whatever happens to Taylor, but she is the epitome of Midwestern resilience and hard work and she'll tough this out.

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    ABC

    You just know Anne's going to use to her advantage Steph Sullivan's ill-advised visit and revelation that Becca sold Taylor drugs. Anne's been a fighter all her life, and she's going to make the best of all this and do right by Taylor.

  6. Sebastian
    ...which I don't think can be said about Sebastian.

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    ABC

    Dude, really? Going on a date and admitting you're a hacker? Then upping the ante by giving an interview to the reporter in which you throw down the gauntlet and say you're unleashing more crap on Leyland? How is this not going to come back and get you in some serious shit? The only good thing I see is that Anne has distanced herself from it somewhat, but I don't think this will end well.

  7. The Tanners
    Oh, man, another week, another scene where Emily Bergl destroys me.

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    ABC

    I hope this family can heal, but I really think it's damaged beyond repair. Eric can't process what is happening to him, and his mom doesn't have the emotional vocabulary for it. There's a chance now that if and when the truth does come out, Eric may be charged with sexual assault and face a prison sentence. Peter's a disaster. Both parents are broke. They would be the worst off in this mess if not for...

  8. The Sullivans
    First of all, we've got borderline-brain-dead Becca.

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    ABC

    I know people are questioning the choices Sky Azure Van Vliet is making, but I think she's perfectly detached in this role, playing Becca in a completely removed way that I think works very well. It makes perfect sense that she completely misread Taylor's plea for company -- and again, if she'd had the emotional intelligence to understand that he just wanted a companion, he might never have gone down that path. Anyway: you can see where she gets it from, because Steph Sullivan just walked away with the prize for Dumbest Move by visiting Anne and admitting that Becca sold Taylor drugs but not realizing that those drugs weren't just marijuana but also Oxycontin. Once that news gets out, Becca is some deep, deep, shit, because any lawyer worth his or her salt will tie the drug to a temporary psychotic break in Taylor, and she could face jail time for being the cause, which leads back to the school. Which, of course, Leslie will use in her attack on the self-absorbed Coach Sullivan, so he's going to be out of a job, with Terri probably playing a supporting role in that ass-canning. In conclusion, as we head into the finale: that's all the Sullivans fucked.

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