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Review of 'American Rust' Season 2

Zooming in on the Ending

By Paul LevinsonPublished 19 days ago Updated 4 days ago 3 min read

My wife and I really enjoyed the first season of American Rust on Showtime nearly three years ago, and we enjoyed the second season on Amazon that we binged in the past few days even more.

Everything ranging from the dialogue to the plot to especially even the ending was in high gear in this second season.

[And here now is an advisory about Spoilers in what follows.]

Plotwise, it took a really long time before you could tell who the killer was, always a good thing in criminal fiction. And once we found out and he was disposed of -- right after he killed a very prime character and badly wounded another -- our heroes were challenged by another killer, which led to the high-octane, ambiguous ending.

By high octane, I mean Grace and Del and Billy and family are sitting around a dinner table for several harrowing minutes as Fisher gets them in his sniper sights, strategically perched outside. When Billy, now with the benefit of some Army training a good marksman, spots a red dot on the wall, he goes outside to take care of the sniper. And there second season ends, as we hear a shot ring out. That's what I call ending with a bang.

And as I looked over that final scene several times, and it sure seemed to me that though Fisher is aware that Billy or someone has exited the house, he hasn't had time to refocus his aim on Billy. So if there is a third season -- and I surely hope there is one -- I predict we'll find out that Billy shot and killed Fisher before he got off a shot. (My wife takes a more ambiguous view.) On the other hand, it's certainly also possible that Fisher got off that shot, not at Billy, but at someone inside the house at that dinner table.

I will say that one problem I had with that great ending is why didn't Fisher shoot at Del or Grace right after he had them in his sights? Of course, I'm no sniper, so maybe that's what snipers do, play around with getting their targets just right.

Meanwhile, another acutely cliff-hanging note near the ending comes when Steve's assistant cop Hannah comes to -- wakes up -- in the hospital. She was pretty much awake when Del gave Steve his confession (another superb scene). And though Steve was killed by Grace -- yet another very memorable scene -- and the recording of Del's confession destroyed, Hannah could trigger an investigation of Del and the three murders he confessed to, if she remembers what Del said at that moment and anyone in authority believes her. But, optimist that I am, I think even remembering what Del said is fairly unlikely given the bad shape that Hannah was in -- having been shot by Russell and barely hanging on that moment. Also, I assume that even if she remembers what Del said, anyone defending him at a trial could impugn Hannah's testimony, but letting the judge and jury know what condition she was in when she heard or thought she heard Del talking.

Now, I said that the dialogue was in high gear. My favorite line: when Vic walks into the bar with his broken finger in a bandage, and the bartender asks him that perfect, sarcastic question. Not only a great line, but she delivered it with just the right tone of voice.

I read somewhere that Amazon cares less about what reviewers are saying than how many people are viewing a series. Here's hoping that they're legion, and we see a Season 3 before too long.

another kind of detective story

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About the Creator

Paul Levinson

Novels The Silk Code & The Plot To Save Socrates; LPs Twice Upon A Rhyme & Welcome Up; nonfiction The Soft Edge & Digital McLuhan, translated into 15 languages. Best-known short story: The Chronology Protection Case; Prof, Fordham Univ.

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Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

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  • Ameer Bibi19 days ago

    You're on a roll! Your motivation is igniting a path to greatness

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