Does Cynthia Die in American Rust Broken Justice? [Spoiler]

While Buell alone brought more than its own fair share of hitches in the first season of ‘American Rust,’ Pittsburg’s inclusion into the narrative in the second season, ‘American Rust: Broken Justice’ doubles the complications for new and old characters. Del Harris arrives in his old city, reclaiming his old Detective position with the intention to take down the Brotherhood from the inside out. However, the more Harris learns about his co-workers with the help of his by-the-book partner, Angela Burgos, he realizes that their terror doesn’t stay limited to their professional lives where they bypass protocols to deliver their own brand of justice.

As such, Cynthia Frazier, a fellow cop on the force, enters the narrative. A majority of Cynthia’s narrative emerges from her difficult home life wherein she’s in a domestically abusive relationship with Detective Vic Walker, a Brotherhood member with a short fuse. Therefore, as Cynthia continues to remain in her dangerous situation— even outside of the job— viewers can’t help but worry about the female cop’s safety. SPOILERS AHEAD!

Cynthia’s Vulnerable Circumstances

Introduced into the narrative as one of Angela’s close friends on the force, Cynthia remains one of the few female cops in the Pittsburg Police Department. The precinct is ground zero for the reckless and lawless group, The Brotherhood, made up of cops who feel restrained by the system’s rules and regulations. The group’s initial intentions stemmed from a compassionate place where some of the cops were unwilling to watch criminals walk free on technicalities or worse— within the courtroom.

For instance, one of The Brotherhood’s targets was a pedophilic man who was able to drop his criminal charge after his traumatized victim failed to deliver testimony against him. Nevertheless, as most things where the ends are used to justify the means, The Brotherhood quickly fell from any grace it could hold on to. The Brotherhood always operated outside the law, using their positions as police officers to cover up their tracks. Eventually, desperate action taken in times of necessity turned into regular missions assigned through little deliberation.

Since The Brotherhood, as the name suggests, is a bit of a boy’s club, female officers aren’t allowed entry into the organization. In fact, most of the officers within the club raise several red flags as controlling, hot-headed, or duplicitous individuals. Vic Walker, Cynthia’s boyfriend, is all three of these things. The man has a track record of failed relationships that he often blames on his partner’s inability to understand his tough cop life.

Therefore, Cynthia poses as the perfect partner who would understand his complicated lifestyle since she’s in the same line of work. Nonetheless, the relationship still remains strained. Although Cynthia tries to argue that they are both simply fierce personalities with anger problems, she is the only one who ever bore bruises from their fights. Yet, the woman refuses to accept the reality of her situation as a domestic violence victim.

A part of the same likely stems from Cynthia’s reluctance to perceive herself as a victim in any situation since she knows others are waiting for her to fail. As one of the few female cops in the department, Cynthia feels an added pressure to be perfect and resilient— an image she feels her home life’s complications would clash with. For the same reason, she continues deluding herself into believing Vic truly loved and cared for her, consistently making excuses for his threatening and controlling behavior.

Still, it remains evident that in Vic’s worst moments, Cynthia did fear for her life. Even so, the woman refuses to report her boyfriend to their superiors. Consequently, Angela, who underwent a similar situation in her childhood with her abusive father, takes it upon herself to bring Vic’s wrongdoings to Internal Affairs’ Ramon Fisher. However, the action only results in complications within The Brotherhood since Fisher is the ringleader of the organization.

If it weren’t enough that Vic’s abusive tendencies would have put a spotlight on the department that the Brotherhood wanted to ignore, the cop also breached the rule of trust by recklessly taking photos of their mission. Thus, Fisher labels Vic as a liability and murders him. Although the same saves an unwitting Cynthia from a life-threatening situation, it puts her in another.

After noticing the change in the department’s air during Vic’s “disappearance,” Cynthia begins to spot the irregularities within the department. Simultaneously, Angela and Del’s FBI-backed sting against The Brotherhood comes to a head, leading to a confrontation at a tire park. Following her gut, Cynthia ends up at the same park in the nick of time and prevents the department Chief Bolt, another covert Brotherhood member, from killing Angela.

Nonetheless, in doing so, Cynthia loses her own life, becoming a casualty of Fisher’s sniping skills. As such, Cynthia dies in the end as an unfortunate victim caught up in the interdepartmental conspiracies of the Brotherhood.

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