American Rust – Season 1 Episode 4 Recap & Review

My Name Is Billy

Episode 4 of American Rust starts with Isaac on the run. Police show up and find a whole group of squatters, forcing him to snatch up his gear and charge to safety. Thankfully a young woman called Jojo is there to show him the ropes. Isaac decides to adopt Billy’s name for the time being, clearly distrusting of her. Jojo clearly knows the streets well, pointing out that he’s a runaway given his shoes.

Most of their portion of this episode is taken up with Jojo showing Isaac around, highlighting how to make a quick buck and hitching rides. Toward the end of the chapter though, Isaac lets down his defences and tells her his real name.

Meanwhile, police show up to see Grace Poe, looking to find William. With a signed warrant, police begin search through Billy’s belongings, bagging evidence. In the midst of this, Grace calls Del and informs him what’s going on, sending him over to question the police over this operation.

Taking Frank aside, Del confronts him about the warrant. Now, given Herlitz wants Del out, and he’s personally connected with Grace, Frank refuses to give up much beyond the tip-off the police received. As he mentions the “Eyewitness”, Del immediately realizes this is in regards to Bobby.

This brings Del over to see Billy. He takes Billy out back and finds our he’s not hiding a weapon in his room. His urine test will also come back clean – but there’s a problem. He’s clearly lying about not knowing who Bobby is, given the flashes of him with Novick at the Mill. Harris takes his word for it but it remains to be seen if Del really believes what the boy is saying.

When Billy returns home, Grace sits him down and questions her son about what he’s going through, She knows there’s more to this story than meets the eye and offers her help. Only, Billy refuses to open up.

There seems to be a lot of that going around too, as Henry refuses Lee’s offer to get him some help. He points out his “safety net”, which happens to be the money he’s had saved up for her in case her marriage fails. Lee is understandably upset, given the money could have been used to help Isaac or Henry’s situation, and eventually leaves.

That evening, William visits Del out on his porch. After some chit-chat, Del reveals that the police are building a case against his son. He eventually tells Del to “try harder” to convince the police that he’s innocent, but that’s obviously easier said than done.

Back at the station, Herlitz is warned about the pressures surrounding this case. “I can take the heat,” She says confidently, as she prepares for this to go all the way to court.

While Billy talks to Lee, we flash back to find out what happened that day at the Mill. Now, Pete and Bobby ended up dealing together, with Billy showing up to question what they’re doing while handing over the gear.

Billy removed his jacket, throwing it across the way, before beating down Novick. However, Bobby grabbed him, eventually leading to Isaac seemingly hitting Novick, a puddle of blood oozing across the floor. Did he actually stab Novick though? There seems to be more here than we’re seeing but nonetheless, Billy promises to keep what Isaac did a secret.

Lee is torn up when she hears all this that evening, forcing Billy out of her car, calling him bad luck and demanding he never see her again. That night though, a message from Lee reads “do you have a lawyer”, which Billy doesn’t reply to, instead sleeping outside his house in a tent.

The next day, Frank rings Del and tells him he’s got 12 hours to bring Billy Poe in. They’re going to charge him.


The Episode Review

After last week’s engrossing chapter, American Rust returns and adopts that same laborious pace we saw in episode 2 during the wedding. This time, a good chunk of time is dedicated to seeing Jojo and Isaac together on the run. But does it really add anything to the story?

Sure, it helps to show how rough things are for him but beyond that, it really doesn’t do much for the case at large. The scenes back in Buell however, are far more energized and now that Herlitz has Billy Poe in his sights, partly thanks to Bobby’s tip-off, Del’s got his work cut out for him to make sure the boy gets out of this cleanly.

That’s easier said than done of course but despite this series growing into becoming an enticing slow burn thriller, this fourth chapter loses the thrills but sticks to the slow burn, ending up feeling much slower and drawn out than it perhaps should. Let’s just hope next week’s follow-up is better because this feels like a step back.

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  • Episode Rating
3

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