Study Guide

Crash Daniel Ruiz (Michael Peña)

Daniel Ruiz (Michael Peña)

The Keymaster

Rich white lady Jean Cabot says, within earshot of the locksmith, that she thinks he's a thug because he has prison tattoos. But when he goes home, we see that this guy is a family man working hard to raise his daughter.

(And anyway, would it have been okay for Jean to say what she said if it were true, and Ruiz had been in prison? If he weren't a family man, would he not be deserving of our sympathy?)

Ruiz and his family have recently moved from a bad neighborhood to a good neighborhood, but his daughter is still scared. Ruiz, competing for Dad of the Year, tells her a fairy tale about an invisible cloak that will keep her safe to help her sleep at night.

The sweet story backfires.

When enraged shopkeeper Farhad comes to shoot Ruiz for not fixing his door, Ruiz's daughter jumps between them just as Farhad pulls the trigger. She isn't killed, and they all think a miracle occurred.

Not exactly. The real reason nothing happened is that Farhad's gun had blanks in it—unbeknownst to Farhad himself. His daughter put those blanks there secretly.

Farhad goes to shoot Daniel because of a miscommunication. It's not just that Farhad has been a stupid jerk, though—he assumes Ruiz has cheated him based on the way Ruiz looks. He doesn't bother to ask. He doesn't even bother explain why he's shown up to kill the guy. He just shoots. And, luckily, nothing happens.

And by nothing, we mean nothing. There's no communication after this event, either.

In the end, if Ruiz and his family are left with any profound feelings after this unusual encounter, they're probably feelings of confusion.

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