It's the scene everyone watching American Crime has been waiting for.
While the entire second season thus far has been about the fateful meeting between Eric (Joey Pollari) and Taylor (Connor Jessup) that happened at a basketball team party, the one that's launched a legal investigation and rocked a small town due to the male-on-male rape accusation, we've actually never seen the two characters share a scene together. That's about to change in tonight's episode of the ABC drama.
"There might be a brief interaction, but not in the way you might think," star Joey Pollari told E! News at the Savannah College of Art and Design's aTVfest television festival in Atlanta. "It's a very pivotal one."
Of course, it's easy to see why it's a "pivotal" reunion after everything that has happened since. While the boys, who had both yet to come out, agreed to meet at the party to hook up, Taylor says he was drugged and never got the chance to say no to Eric, one of the captains of the basketball team, who maintains it was consensual. After the police and school officials got involved and the boys' sexual orientations were revealed, Eric attempted to commit suicide, and will be returning to school for the first time in tonight's episode—whether he's ready or not, thanks to headmaster Leslie Graham's (Felicity Huffman) desire to brush the sexual assault case under Leyland Academy's ever-expanding rug of scandal.
"We're going to see how he is forced into a position of being a poster child for the school spear-headed by Leslie," Pollari said, with the school even having a pep rally in his honor. "It's really sad how the branding happens and the label sticks and all that Eric wants is to be an athlete and to do what he loves…and instead the whole conversation is about how could we further the fact that this new piece of information about you will now color you," Pollari explained. "It's just very unfortunate. I think Eric feels every bit about that."
Not welcoming Eric back with open arms? His teammates, especially co-captain Kevin (Trevor Jackson), who threw the party where the alleged assault took place and found himself brought into the case (with the police recently deciding not to pursue charges against anyone...for now).
Their wildly different experiences with the legal process thus far and "how differently they've been treated is going to bring up a lot of animosity for Kevin towards Eric," Pollari said, "and Eric looking for a friend in this pool that he seems to be finding himself drowning in and to look to him and not finding exactly what he needs. And then things get a little bit dicier."
As for Taylor, he's feeling the pressure just as much. "The next couple of episodes in particular are huge," Connor Jessup told us. "He feels like Evy has left, and his relationship is about as bad as it's ever been and he doesn't really have any support. Things are getting worse, he feels increasingly alone and powerless."
But a new character's introduction in tonight's episode could change everything as season one standout Richard Cabral makes his season two debut as Sebastian. And while we don't know much about the character, executive producer Michael J. McDonald revealed, "He helps propel all this forward because he's sort of an Edward Snowden, Anonymous type character who gets involved and pushes all this out into the world. Many things are revealed. He's going to light the match."
American Crime airs tonight at 10 p.m. on ABC.