Rubicon Review: "Keep the Ends Out"

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All three episodes of Rubicon have concluded with shots of mystery men discussing the conspiracy at the heart of the show.

There's been no actual progress on the identity of these men or the actions in which they're involved, but I still find myself engrossed by each episode. A lot of that has to do with the work of James Badge Dale.

As Will, he smiled more than ever in "Keep the Ends Out," but this is a sullen individual who almost spends more time thinking than talking. Still, there's something fascinating about the actor and the character he's created. Because the series strips away all technology and practically all semblances of modernity, we're left to simply wonder what is going on in Will's head a lot of the time.

It's a quiet, subtle suspense, unlike anything else on TV. And while I'd like to get a bit more information on what the heck is going on and why David was killed, I'm content to let Rubicon unfold slowly and continue to make its characters the driving force, as opposed to crazy plot developments that are clearly constructed to confuse the viewer.

Will at Home

For example, I loved the focus on Miles this week. Played by Dallas Roberts, he's a jittery, overly stressed fellow. Is that what led to the dissolution of his marriage? Or was there one major event behind the separation? Will is clearly in the dark about this relationship, thinking Miles has a family to go home to every night.

I also enjoyed the banter between Grant, Miles and Tanya. Could anyone out there quickly recite a list of the worst five (or eight) Presidents of all-time? I didn't think so.

Again, not much was learned this week, which I can accept for the reasons listed above - with the exception of Katherine and her confusion over her husband's suicide. It's unclear what this has to do with the main storyline at the moment, but, more importantly and annoyingly, I didn't buy her conversation with Tom's best friend.

Katherine asks him what Tom was up to, and he gives some confusing, mysterious response about true friends "forgiving" one another, and she accepts this and it's all we see of their chat?!? That's an example of a show going out of its way to confound the viewer. There's nothing natural about the exchange, as no one in Katherine's position would ever be satisfied with such a response.

By the fifth or sixth episode, Rubicon will have to give us more on the conspiracy. But for now, I'm okay letting Will stew and meet with Ed, as the pair try to get inside David's mind. I'm also intrigued by the relationship between Maggie and Ingram and hope to get more on that going forward.

What did everyone else think of "Keep the Ends Out?"

Review

Editor Rating: 4.2 / 5.0
  • 4.2 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (8 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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Another mindscrew? Like. I don' know. In the initial episode, some agency utilizes a trail derailment to bump off/ cover up the murder of another agency Joe and just thirty-six people are killed in this morning commute? Uh-n-nn. And that grey haired what's his name team leader is just too whack whack smarmy. Eck!

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I am loving Rubicon. I don't mind the slow pace (I'm still recovering from the debacle that became LOST) and rather enjoy it - it gives me a sense of purpose and design. Frankly, I'd rather be blinded with brilliance than baffled with bullshit. The acting is really brilliant and I like the piles of books and files and dusty couches ... I'd rather puzzle over human problems than be impressed by technological hoo-rah. What I am particularly liking is the strength of the ensemble - there are several characters to which I already feel connected via the story. Let's hope it gets a fair chance.

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I agree with you. I think the storyline, as far as the conspiracy goes, will have to develop soon otherwise we will lose viewers. However it is a refreshing show, I like the change of pace and less of a reliance on action and explosions, and more emphasis on reading the acting. James Badge Dale is a great actor and this show is really letting his skill shine out.