'American Rust' Episode 9 Finale Review: Murder drama end isn't sunshine and rainbows

'American Rust' Episode 9 Finale Review: Murder drama end isn't sunshine and rainbows
Jeff Daniels as Del Harris (Showtime)

Contains spoilers for 'American Rust' Episode 9 'Denmark'

Showtime's whodunnit murder mystery 'American Rust' was all about Del Harris (Jeff Daniels) and the lengths he would go to make sure the woman he harbors feelings for wouldn't shed a tear for the wrong reasons, even if it meant he would have to get his hands dirty. In that attempt, he's dug himself into a deep and dark hole that makes for an interesting sequel, although we doubt there will be one. Each of the key characters has their arcs explained and aren't necessarily rounded up.

The finale titled 'Denmark' starts off with Billy Poe (Alexander Neustaedter) about to be released back to the prison's general population — a nightmare, considering that the inmates are gunning for blood and Billy is just the perfect one for them to give their fill. It doesn't end well as he gets brutally beaten up, bloodied, and is in a medically-induced coma. When Grace Poe (Maura Tierney) visits him in the hospital, her heartfelt  "you'll be fine" feels flimsy at best. There's also that possibility that he might not pull through as his final message to Lee English (Julia Mayorga) was that he kept his promise.


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A still from 'American Rust' (Showtime)


Lee has her own problems to deal with and is now with her father Henry to help take care of him, and that starts a heartfelt conversation between the father and the daughter. That though isn't all sunshine and rainbows as Henry pops all of his pills and heads out into the garden, presumably to his death so as to let Lee lead her life. The last shot of him in the finale is when he's shown slumped from behind as Lee races down the stairs after realizing what he's done.

Del continues down the rabbit hole of lies and deception and even engages in getting his gun off killing Jackson and Bobby Jesus. In his defense, the duo were the ones being cancer, and how the police chief had to be the one to tear the whole thing out. One storyline that's tied up with the deaths is that Jackson and Bobby were in it together from the start.

The news of the triple homicide sends shockwaves across town. And Del also has an interesting conversation with Virgil Poe in his office where the latter comes good for all the messes he's made in life before mentioning Grace's burning of the house. She intentionally leaves a gym bag containing pictures of a young Billy that was originally seen in her trailer. Virgil puts two and two together and realizes that this was a planned move, but he looks the other ways prepping for the "rough times ahead".

Del also interacts with the detectives from Pittsburgh who show up in Buell to question him about his old pal Chuck Castellanos. Del just lies saying he saw him last only when he left Pittsburgh. The conversation is interrupted by Isaac (David Alvarez) who is back in town and heads straight to the station to confess. The scene closes with Del asking him to put the wrench back in his pocket and leave. In what has been a slow, dreary, sometimes dull as a dishwater series, 'American Rust' hopes that the finale will be a redemption episode of sorts.

There's action in generous doses and so is the blood splattering across the screen. The music is haunting, the tone is grim and the daylight, essentially considered to be the start of something new, just shows that Buell and the people are beyond repair. There are multiple questions that haven't been answered and a sequel ideally should tie up the loose ends, but that seems to be unlikely considering the open-ended finish can help the audience have their own versions.

'American Rust' ending signals the strong start for 'Dexter: New Blood'. And perhaps, the gripping thriller might just be what's needed after the end of a painstakingly slow series.

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