Rubicon Season Finale Review: A Major Letdown

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Unfortunately, Rubicon saved its worst for last.

In my review of "Wayward Sons," I wondered if this show would have been better off with a finale that essentially let Truxton Spangler and company get away with their crimes. Last night's episode, "You Can Never Win," made that answer clear: most definitely.

Season Finale Shot

Most of the hour was spent watching Will put a sloppy bow on the season-long conspiracy. Following weeks of intrigue built up solely based on intelligence gathered and analyzed within one room of API, Will and Miles discovered the key piece of evidence against Atlas McDowell... by standing around and letting a hacker type a bunch of commands into a computer?!?

Aside from making for boring television, this scene ran counter to everything I've loved about Rubicon. It's been a slow-simmering drama based on character interaction and the lack of high-tech gadgets. Remember on the premiere when we were introduced to Will as a genius who could toss out answers to any question on the spot?

It's been awhile since we really saw this side to him, hasn't it? He's been trying to piece together Truxton's role for a few weeks now, but we haven't really been witness to any impressive displays of intelligence analysis - and discovering McDowell's connection to Donald Bloom via the use of a computer hack felt like a major letdown for a show built on such an intriguing world of overly-stressed individuals and their limited use of such technology.

Even more bothersome, however, was the death of Katherine Rhumor. Just think about how much time has been spent on this character, only for her to be killed before even handing Will the DVD of her husband and David.

It's important to remember that Rubicon actually changed hands after just one episode, as the original showrunner exited and Henry Bromwell was brought in. He made an effort to expand the series beyond a mere conspiracy thriller, using the lives of API employees as a character study. It was the right choice and I've been a big fan throughout season one.

But Bromwell had plenty of time to cut a number of Katherine scenes. Instead, she was featured throughout numerous episodes, only for me to now wonder why. Her death on the finale felt more like a waste than a tragic occurrence.

Then, we come to Andy. I was extraordinarily disappointed to learn that she actually did play a role in the conspiracy (although it's still unclear how). Wouldn't it have been better for this woman to just have entered Will's world and been forced to react to the circumstances within in... as opposed to the leap in logic the show is asking viewers to take in understanding just how David had arranged for her to keep an eye on things?

Because AMC has not green-lighted a second season yet, this twist and Truxton's unknown fate were likely the only choices Bromwell had in order to tie up season one and keep doors open for season two. I get that. But taken on its own, the finale was a letdown on multiple levels, as one of the smarter shows on television limped to the finish line in a sloppy, rushed manner.

You Can Never Win Review

Editor Rating: 1.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.7 / 5.0 (131 Votes)

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

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