Episode 6 of American Rust begins with Del Harris out on the road. Things are tense, to say the least, as the pair drive up to Pittsburgh. Chuck knows Dell’s deep in something at Buell but the focus here is on our grizzled detective paying back his debt. Apparently Del made a promise and oath to the “brotherhood” in the past.
En-route to their destination, Chuck pulls over at a burger joint to grab a bite to eat…at 1am. Now, it turns out the real reason for being in this run-down joint is related to the waiter there, Samuel Traven.
Traven and Chuck have history. It turns out he’s been on the run for 8 years and was originally a junkie too. After killing several people – including shooting a young girl, Traven looked set to be put away for life. That is, until all of his witnesses ended up dead, one by one. Only now he’s resurfaced in Troy Hill, Pittsburgh.
Del and Chuck show up at the diner, as the latter gives Del the lay of the land – including an opportune time after-hours to kill the guy in cold blood out the back. And the weapon? A 9mm stuffed under Del’s seat. “You are here to settle a debt,” Chuck reminds him, as he heads out.
This task of assassinating Traven falls to Del Harris. Only, he’s not able to do this when the time comes. Instead, Chuck heads in after the window of opportunity passes, shoots Traven in cold blood and then kills himself. With Del a witness at the scene, he realizes this doesn’t look good. So subsequently he wipes down the car and hurries off. I guess that’s the debt settled then!
Back in Buell, Christy heads over to the English household where she ogles over Ale. Anyway, that’s not the real reason for her being there. It turns out she’s actually going to be Henry’s home-health aide. She’s pretty feisty and seems to be exactly what Henry needs right now.
Meanwhile, Bill looks set to face the music as he butts heads with his appointed lawyer. Representing himself is out the question but he remains determined to protect Isaac by taking the blame himself.
His layer implores him to say not guilty. And as the time arrives, Billy shows up in thee courtroom. Although he pleads not guilty and follows her advice, it’s not enough to keep him out of jail and his bail is denied. If that wasn’t bad enough, he’s thrown into a mixed prison that’s notorious for being dangerous. Things don’t look good and Grace struggles to get through to Del during this tumultuous time.
With no Dell or Billy, Grace heads back home alone. While she does, Ale realizes there’s something going on between Lee and Billy, eventually driving away. Lee does her best to stop him but it’s no good. Defeated, she heads back inside the house where she sits with Henry and watches home videos.
As the episode closes out, Del Harris finally makes his way back to Buell and apologizes to Grace for not being there for her. As he heads into Grace’s house, fire begins raging outside, culminating in her car blowing up.
The Episode Review
American Rust returns with another slow paced chapter as we see Del out of Buell to fulfill his debt. Only…he doesn’t. Not really anyway. Instead, Chuck kills himself after stopping Traven. Why didn’t he just do this himself then if he intended to commit suicide? Maybe it’s just me but this whole sequence just feels like a contrived reason to get Del out of Buell so Billy can face the music.
Things don’t look good for Billy either though, as he winds up stuck in prison with a pretty hostile and rowdy group of inmates. I’d imagine we’ll see more of this over the rest of the episodes, with Billy’s livelihood on the line.
There’s been a little more screen-time given to Isaac this time too but honestly his whole subplot feels pointless. What is he bringing to the story? I’d imagine he’ll play a larger part late on but his whole story about being on the run just isn’t all that interesting.
Still, the tone of this show is enough to keep things watchable. It’s far from the best show of the year but it’s not bad either, swimming in those murky waters of mediocrity. Will next week spice things up a bit?