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American Crime: Here's What's to Come After That Shocking Shooting

Did you see that coming?

Malcolm Venable

Warning: spoilers about the most recent episode of American Crime -- and subsequent episodes -- ahead!

Packing what felt like years worth of heartbreak into one wrenching hour, American Crime revealed in Sunday's episode that Teo -- the missing child Luis Salazar (Benito Martinez)'s trekked from Mexico to the U.S. to find -- had been beaten, killed and dumped in a river by Hesby farm's overseer Isaac (Richard Cabral). Teo's fate seemed obvious to everybody except Luis, frankly, especially after we witnessed Luis witnessing Isaac giving Coy (Connor Jessup) a savage beating last week. And yet. Watching Luis' naïve hope die could hardly prepare us for the shock of what followed: Luis enacting revenge by using Coy to lure Isaac into a secluded place, then shooting him in cold blood. But although Isaac is dead, we haven't seen the last of him. In this second portion of a previously conducted interview with TVGuide.com, Cabral shares how we'll be seeing Isaac's ghost, why Isaac fessed up to his crime and whether Luis will be brought to justice for murder. Spoilers ahead!

When Luis confronts Isaac, Isaac says "I didn't do nothing...He did it to himself." Did he really believe that? Why didn't he just lie?
Yeah. Isaac has been holding on to this. It was hard. Even though he had done it, he tried to block it out. I think a lot of times when people do things they block it out. That's why he said that. He's really trying to forget. Maybe trying to turn that relationship with Coy around, try to redeem himself. If you see at the beginning of the season, he's not an ass to Coy. He's really trying to...He brings him those drugs to help him better himself. He's been carrying that weight and finally he's just too tired to carry it.

Is Isaac's death going to be avenged?
No. Not in the traditional type of way. If you ask (series creator) John Ridley, he would give you a whole scientific answer. But in the traditional way, no.

American Crime's Richard Cabral on how Isaac became a monster, and the heartbreak of Mexican laborer stories

What happens to Luis? He gets on this bus, to head back to Mexico. Does he get caught and brought to justice?
No. I think Diego (Clayton Cardenas) says to the cops -- he gets interrogated -- and he says, "This type of stuff happens all the time." Like, nobody cares. This type of stuff happens all the time and nobody cares. That's the story. That's one of the stories.

Will we see Isaac in flashbacks? Do we see more about how he became the person he is?
Yeah, you'll see him in flashbacks. It's at the end. Everybody that dies on this season comes back. And you see them. I do come back and other people who have passed away come back...I think there's a glimpse of how he becomes what he becomes.

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Good grief, we're going to see more people die?!
This is American Crime! People die. I feel like they brought it back to the essence of that 'Punch you in your face right from the start.' (Laughs.) There are only eight episodes! We have to get down and dirty real quick. We don't have the luxury of 13!

What do you hope people will take away from this season after having seen these episodes -- especially as a Mexican-American yourself?
Speaking for my character, I would say an appreciation for the struggle that these people did, that they have done, that they continue to do. And I think there's so many levels. Most Americans eat vegetables and fruits but they don't know where the vegetables and fruits come from. That's a big thing. What I think American Crime has always done is [offer] a deep understanding of humanity and what they strive for. And one way is to provide an understanding of thy neighbor. You know, in this country you're supposed to protect thy neighbor but the majority of people don't even know thy neighbor. We're all struggling; we're all trying to figure it out. People we see every day crossing the street...we're quick to judge. So I would hope [this season] helps people understand and not be so quick to judge. Damn, John Ridley is so deep though! How do you even put into words?!

Richard Cabral, American Crime

Richard Cabral, American Crime

Nicole Wilder, ABC

American Crime airs Sundays at 10/9c on ABC.