Episode 10 of “Accused” addresses the racism that propels protests and movements and shows how a teenage girl, motivated by it, ends up committing a crime and going to jail. Esme Barnes is about to be presented at the US District Court in Brooklyn. She has been convicted of the murder of two men. Why did Esme kill them? What was her motive? Was Esme forced to do what she did? Or was it deliberate?
Esme and her partner Aaliyah are at a market when they come across a protest by a bunch of white supremacists. Some people try to interrupt them and get into a brawl. Esme tells Aaliyah that she doesn’t want to be there, and they decide to leave before things get bloody. That’s when a black car appears out of nowhere and rams into a black guy before fleeing the scene. The impact was so strong that it cracked the windshield of the car. The guy dies on the spot.
A week has passed since the incident. One day, Esme finds Aaliyah on social media, trying to track the guy who drove the car by pretending to be a white supremacist herself. She is angry that no action was taken against those who were protesting. However, Esme doesn’t seem to be interested in it and wants to stay as far away from the issue as she can. Aaliyah apologized and acknowledged Esme’s decision. Another day, Esme finds out that Aaliyah is still in that group, talking to people. She decides to go out when Aaliyah tells her that a guy from that group has come to see her. He hasn’t seen her before and doesn’t know anything about her. The only way he could have found out about their address was by tracking it. Aaliyah, being black, cannot meet the guy. So she requests that Esme go and find out if he knows anything. Esme doesn’t want to but reluctantly agrees. She meets the guy, and they end up going to a bar nearby. Esme cannot compromise her identity now.
Esme is in a room at the court. Her lawyer walks in and tells her that the DA has offered to lower Esme’s charges from first-degree murder to second-degree murder (premeditated) if she makes a statement pleading for the latter. Esme refuses the offer, saying that she doesn’t regret what she did. Her trial is going to begin in an hour.
At the bar, the guy [Ancel] tells her that he and his group are planning something big. Esme realizes that she might be able to get more information out of him, so she goes with the flow. The conversation reveals that the guy knows a lot about her. She returns home and confronts Aaliyah for sharing her information with the guy without even asking. Aaliyah continues with her apologies, which are futile because Esme knows that she won’t stop. Esme calls the police, and one of them arrives at their place, but he doesn’t take the matter seriously and tells the girls to stop playing detective. He then leaves. Esme is lost in her thoughts because she knows that if no action is taken, more people will die soon.
Esme is brought inside the courtroom and taken to her seat by her lawyer. Behind her is Aaliyah, looking at her with sadness in her eyes. The judge enters. The court is in session.
Aaliyah finds Esme talking to the same guy who had come to meet her the other day. He has invited Esme to the compound where he and his folks plan their extremist actions. Esme then reveals an incident from her childhood when she stood by as a black kid was beaten by her younger brother’s friends in front of her and did nothing. Now, she will not stay put and keep watching as the same thing is done to others. Aaliyah tries to talk her out of it, but it’s too late. The guy has come to pick her up. Esme heads downstairs and opens the door of the car only to find that it isn’t the guy but someone else [Shaggy] sent by Ancel. She doesn’t trust him but eventually gets inside. Aaliyah looks down from the window as the car leaves. Shaggy finds Esme familiar but doesn’t remember having seen her before. They arrive at the compound. Ancel introduces Esme to the other people in the group “White Pride.”
The court is in session when a group of white supremacists enter the courtroom and take seats around Aaliyah. From their behavior, it seems that they have found out about Aaliyah and that she was pretending to be a white girl.
Esme is having a conversation with the people of “White Pride” at the compound. They have guns too. From what they are saying, it is clear that they won’t listen to reason and are staunch believers in their racial supremacy. Meanwhile, Shaggy has been watching Esme from inside the farmhouse, trying to remember where he has seen her and doubting her intentions. Then it finally dawns on him. A few minutes later, Shaggy takes Ancel away to talk to him. Esme asks for the bathroom and uses it as an excuse to look around the farmhouse for proof. She ends up finding the black car with the cracked windscreen that killed the guy at the protest. She also finds a Nazi symbol on a large piece of cloth hanging right over the car. She dials Aaliyah to tell her about it, but before she can speak to her, Shaggy discovers her. He remembers her face from the protest and asks for her phone. Forcing her to unlock the phone, he slaps her hard. Esme hits the hood hard before collapsing to the ground. Ancel arrives and finds Esme on the ground, tied to a chair, with Shaggy sitting in front of her with a phone. Shaggy is enraged, to say the least, and decides to kill Esme. Ancel tells him that if they kill a white girl, the cops will be after them. But his words fall on deaf ears. Shaggy picks up a metal rod, but before he can take action, Ancel leaps at him. As they two fight, Esme manages to free herself, get inside the car, find the keys that were inside, start the car, break out of the farmhouse, and escape. She then calls Aaliyah and tells her about all that has transpired and to inform the cops.
Aaliyah is called to the witness box. All the people in the white supremacist group start booing at her. The judge orders the bailiff to remove them; this sparks a fight inside the courtroom. Aaliyah keeps staring at Esme, saddened at all that has happened and is happening and for which she holds herself responsible. If she hadn’t sent Esme to meet Ancel, none of this would have happened.
The sun has set by the time Esme comes home in the black car. It is crucial evidence. The cops have already arrived at their address. Inside the car, they find jackets from the group “White Pride.” The cop, who had earlier arrived at their house but brushed off their doubts, opens the trunk to check for more evidence. To his utter disbelief, he finds a ticking bomb that goes off at the very next moment, the explosion engulfing all those in its vicinity. At least six people died, and more were heavily injured in the blast. The next day, the cops are at the farmhouse. Aaliyah and Esme are also there. Unfortunately, all the members of “White Pride” have escaped. There is nothing Esme can do that will help trace them. Then she finds the name of a weapons store printed on one of the target sheets. This must be the store from which they bought their weapons. Esme decides to go to the store.
‘Accused’ Episode 10: Ending Explained – Does Esme Find Shaggy?
Esme lies to Aaliyah about going to meet a friend and arrives at the weapons store in Philadelphia. She spends two whole days in her car before she finally notices Shaggy and Ancel heading inside the store one night. She calls Aaliyah and tells her that she has found them. Aaliyah tells her to wait in the car while she informs the police, but it is of no use. Esme has made up her mind, more so because she knows that the cops won’t do anything. As Shaggy and Ancel come out of the store, Esme rams her car into them, killing them both on the spot.
At the end of Episode 10 of “Accused,” Aaliyah tries to defend Esme’s actions by saying that she killed two people who were responsible for the deaths of multiple innocent people using a bomb. She is right, but it doesn’t justify Esme’s actions, not in a court of law, at least. Esme is thus found guilty of murder and sent to prison.
As harsh and painful as it is, Esme need not have killed the two guys. If she hadn’t killed them, she would have had the chance to hold the responsible person in the very court where she stood and perhaps have them sent to jail by being a witness. Now, she doesn’t even have Aaliyah beside her to listen to what she has to say.