'American Rust' Episode 5 Review: Sluggish chapter sees Billy Poe pay the price
'American Rust', the Showtime drama, takes a good 52 minutes to showcase these plotlines and demands attention even if it is painfully slow
This review contains spoilers for 'American Rust' Episode 5 'Jojo Ameri-Go'
At this stage, 'American Rust' barely manages to hold the attention. Barring the segment that's heavily invested in the show, the rest can use it as something to tide over while waiting for 'Dexter: New Blood' or any show out there that makes it worth the wait. 'Jojo Ameri-Go' finally sees Billy Poe (Alex Neustaedter) making his way to the sheriff's office as he stays true to his word to protect Isaac (David Alvarez), who in turn has a confession of his own — he's out of the closet and he loves Billy.
With that out of the way, the story focuses on Del Harris (Jeff Daniels) failing to grab Bobby Jesus (William Apps), while Grace (Maura Tierney) sees her attempt to unionize the workers face an uphill task even if she gets 51% of the votes. Lee English (Julia Mayorga) has troubles. She can either go back to her unsuspecting husband who drops in for a surprise visit or use her law skills to save Billy or Isaac. The Showtime drama takes a good 52 minutes to showcase these plotlines and demands attention even if it is painfully slow.
If there was any reveal at all, it was the confirmation that Isaac was gay. The series hinted that much when he tried to kiss Billy, or when did a bit of cuffing the carrot, so to speak, when he watched two men go at it in the carriage train he boarded while heading due West. Anyhoo, the episode doesn't offer much. It's not surprising that 'American Rust' has a rather selective loyal audience who prefer the show partly due to the 'Mare of Easttown' tonality and the suspense.
Even so, the crime drama, firmly buoyed by the cast falters. Whether it is a conscious decision to keep the pacing slow, or it's just a one-season affair that's taking its time is unclear, but there is no doubt it will end on a cliffhanger. 'Jojo Ameri-Go' does little to impress and continues in the same vein as the previous episode where the strong storyline starts to taper off. Daniels shoulders the episode seamlessly toggling between a police chief and a father figure to Billy and even dropping the odd joke with a straight face, but it seems too much a weight to bear.
Much of episode 6 might deal with Harris and Chuck's past and maybe on Lee's affair with Billy. It's a bit predictable, but hopefully, the series picks up pace before it starts wearing out the scanty faithful.
'American Rust' airs Sundays at 10 pm ET on Showtime.