"Paul Levinson's It's Real Life is a page-turning exploration into that multiverse known as rock and roll. But it is much more than a marvelous adventure narrated by a master storyteller...it is also an exquisite meditation on the very nature of alternate history." -- Jack Dann, The Fiction Writer's Guide to Alternate History

Sunday, October 24, 2021

American Rust 1.7: The Dead Can't Buy Drugs

A disturbing American Rust 1.7 -- which means, good, as far as narrative goes -- with two somewhat bright spots.

Let's start with the disturbing.  Grace tells Del, emotionally wounded and under soul-crushing pressure, that the two of them are a team, and they'll look out for each other.  She tells him this twice, in two different scenes.  The first time I thought, yes, this is a redeeming scene. It's good to see Grace and Del together.  The second time, I don't know, something about the way Grace said it made me think maybe she's just using Del, for whatever help he can give to Billy.  I hope I'm wrong, but if this is true, Del's in for more heartbreak before this story ends,

Billy certainly needs help.  I'm assuming he won't be brought up on charges of assault for being thrust into that fight by the inmates, betting on Billy as the victor.  But now he's failed again to keep out of a fight, to control his punches.   And this time it wasn't the slightest his fault.

So what are the bright spots?  It was good to see that security guard show some decency to Isaac.  Of all the beleaguered people in this story of America, Isaac is the most pathetic.  But his sister, Lee, finally moves up to doing something helpful.  It was good to see her pressure Rachel to let Lee help Rachel in Billy's defense.  The beating scene is just more dire evidence that he needs help.  Lee is right that Billy will do almost anything Lee wants.  Would that include making Isaac a target of the law?  Probably not.  But maybe, before then, Del will be able to get his hands on Jesus the drug dealer.  (Again, I don't get why they're selling drugs that kill their best customers?  To get them addicted, I get.  But dead people can't buy drugs.)

Only two more episodes of this powerful series.  I'll be watching both of them, and I'll back here with a review next week, and another the week after.

See also American Rust 1.1-2: Pennsylvania Noir ... American Rust 1.3: Highs and Lows of Life at the Same Time ... American Rust 1.4-5: Tightening Noose and Fraying Relationships ... American 1.6: The Debts

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