Summary; Saturday: Quinn
Quinn wakes up Saturday morning after the party. At the party, he, Guzzo, and Dwyer had kept to themselves until they left when the cops arrived to break the party up. Quinn completes his morning exercises and plans to spend the day practicing basketball. As Quinn gets ready, his mother confronts him with a flask that Quinn had stolen from her and filled with bourbon that he, Guzzo, and Dwyer drank at the party. Quinn tries to place the blame on Guzzo, but his mother makes him apologize and tells him he needs to begin taking more responsibility. She tells Quinn to go watch Willy’s soccer game and to spend some time with him.
During the game, Quinn gets a text from Guzzo saying that Guzzo’s family is having a cookout the next day. Quinn finds it strange that Guzzo’s family has planned a cookout, as they often have people over but never plan anything official in advance. After the game, Quinn takes Willy to Mother’s Pizza. While in line, they are joined by Guzzo’s cousin, Jill, the girl who threw the party the night before and on whom Quinn has a crush. They eat together, and then Quinn and Willy walk Jill home. Jill mentions the cookout at Guzzo’s and remarks that she thinks it’s strange as well.
Summary: Sunday: Rashad
On Sunday, Rashad wakes up late as the nurse, Clarissa, comes in to deliver his lunch. She encourages him to walk around when he can. After she leaves, Rashad’s parents arrive with their pastor, Pastor Johnson. As Pastor Johnson tries to comfort Rashad, Rashad struggles with the concept of how god could have let something like this happen to him. The pastor leaves after saying a prayer.
Spoony comes into the hospital room after Pastor Johnson has left. Spoony turns on the news to show that footage of the police officer beating Rashad is being shown on television stations. Rashad’s father feels angry that Spoony has brought this attention on Rashad, but Spoony argues that people need to know what happened. Rashad and Spoony watch the news all day as the reporters continue uncovering details about the case. Rashad asks Spoony to turn the TV off, and Rashad’s mother remembers that she has brought his art supplies and phone from home. Rashad checks his phone and reads all of the texts that have come in from his friends since Friday night. Rashad and his parents watch a football game on TV, and then his parents leave when the news comes back on. Rashad sees that the name of the police officer has been released and that it is Paul Galluzzo.
Summary: Sunday: Quinn
Quinn, his mom, and Willy go to the Galluzzos’ cookout. Quinn sees Paul and Guzzo flipping burgers at the grill. Quinn waves but avoids going over to talk to them. Quinn sees Jill on the porch and goes to talk to her. Jill mentions that when the police broke up her party on Friday, no one got in trouble. The police just made everyone leave and told Jill to not get her family in trouble. She thought the police would call Paul since he’s her cousin, but they didn’t. Quinn and Jill discuss what they have seen on the news, and Quinn tells her that he saw the arrest happen. Jill tells Quinn that the kid who was arrested was Rashad, who goes to their school.
Paul calls Quinn over to help him with the burgers. Quinn hesitates but goes when both Paul and Guzzo pressure him to come over. Paul offers to help Quinn work on his footwork for basketball, but Quinn gives him a vague answer. Quinn goes inside to watch the football game with everyone else but keeps thinking about what Paul did to Rashad. During a break in the game, a commercial for the news announces that updates on Rashad and Paul will come later that evening before someone presses the mute button. Paul insists that Quinn come play basketball with him, Guzzo, and Dwyer. The game becomes tense, and Quinn leaves.
Summary: Monday: Quinn
At school on Monday, everyone has seen the video of Paul beating Rashad and is talking about it. Quinn can’t bring himself to watch the video, having seen it happen in person. Nam, one of Quinn’s basketball teammates, asks Quinn about what happened and why Paul would do something like that. Quinn defends Paul by saying he was just doing his job. At lunchtime, Quinn and Jill go to Burger King together and talk about the situation with Paul and Rashad. They discuss a time when Paul beat up a guy who had been messing with Quinn on the basketball court.
When Quinn and Jill get back to school, Quinn goes to his economics class. The teacher, Ms. Webber, tells the class to quietly work on practice exams, and Molly, who is white, asks EJ, who is Black, if he went to Jill’s party. Before EJ can answer, Ms. Webber accuses EJ of always disrupting the class. EJ says he is always guilty until proven innocent, just like Rashad. Ms. Webber gets flustered, and then Molly and EJ begin chanting Rashad’s name until she sends them out of the classroom. After school, Quinn goes to basketball practice, where Coach Carney tells the team to leave all other issues behind and focus on winning the game.
Analysis: Saturday: Quinn–Monday: Quinn
Quinn and his friends, all of whom are white, do not face any consequences when the cops break up Friday night’s party, and neither do any of the other teenagers in attendance. Quinn still must answer to his mother, however, for the stolen flask and the bourbon they drank. The fact that he tries to shift blame when his mother confronts him suggests that Quinn is more concerned about parental punishment than law enforcement. This lack of concern is yet another example of the privilege that Quinn and his white friends enjoy, and while his mother is indeed angry, the punishment that she ultimately metes out pales in comparison to the pain that Rashad suffers during his undeserved beating at the hands of Paul Galluzzo.
The label “American” means different things to different characters. Quinn’s mother and Coach Carson adhere to a traditional all-American ideal, where boys have strong male role models and do their best to emulate them. Rashad’s father, who has similar ideals, continues to misplace his anger about the beating when he gets upset with Spoony for bringing the public’s attention to it. Spoony and Berry are members of a less rigid version of America, where social media is more important than local media and also serves as a peaceful and productive tool for change. The friction between Rashad’s father, Spoony, and Berry regarding the media spotlight on Rashad is due to generational, not racial, differences. It remains unclear whether Rashad’s father is more concerned about how media attention will affect Rashad, or how other people will perceive Rashad once they see the video. The Galluzzos are also upset with the news coverage of their son, but unlike Rashad’s parents, they gather people around them in order to actively attempt to manipulate other people’s perceptions of Paul.
Like Rashad’s father, Paul and Guzzo have internalized the ideal of the all-American male, and they value loyalty above all else. When they insist that Quinn interact with them, they are demanding loyalty from him. Quinn is not a blood relative, but they consider him to be a part of their family. Quinn and Jill are suspicious of the timing of this seemingly innocent family cookout, given that previous weekend gatherings have been somewhat impromptu. The rituals of a family feast are as much in place as they might be for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, and Paul flips burgers on the grill with the same authority that any stereotypical family patriarch might employ to carve the turkey. Paul exerts his authority as the proverbial head of the table when he pressures Quinn to join him at the grill, but Quinn’s hesitancy foreshadows a reluctance that will reverberate in the days to come.