Monday, August 16, 2010

Review - Rubicon Season 1 Episode 4 The Outsider

With the current inertia of the central mystery in Rubicon, I'm questioning whether the show needs the crosswords, clovers, and cloak-and-dagger spy game. It moves at an exceedingly slow pace, doling out a few vague clues every episode. Frankly, it's not interesting.

Then there's the think tank side of the show, a fascinating world revolving around Will, Miles, Grant, and Tanya. It's still slow, but enough happens to leave me wanting more. As they engage the world from inside an isolated office, we see the intelligence community in a light rarely portrayed on television. There are no guns, shooting, or aerial bombardments to satiate the action fans. It's a pretty boring existence. The workers come in, take stacks of files and read them for hours on end--but the content is of massive importance with far-reaching ramification across the world.

Is Rubicon a mystery-thriller or about a workers at a think tank? The writers still haven't figured out how to balance the two, but I'm fine waiting until they get it all figured out. "The Outsider," the strongest episode so far, lies on the side of workers at a think tank, so much so that I won't bother to mention the new clues or Katherine (who seems to be living in a parallel universe).

Miles, Grant, and Tanya--without Will, the one who guides them--are tasked on whether to assassinate a certain terrorist in Indonesia. Their decision will affect people they have no idea about and civilian casualties are likely. Though they may not be pulling the final trigger, the thought weighs heavily on them and we see them stressed on what to do. In the end, they decide to move ahead and the guys at the top agree, leading to the bombing.

At Capitol Hill, Spangler takes Will to make a point. Will is the outsider, the cold-hearted, detached guy who can make objective decisions. He dehumanizes Will, makes him a faceless observer impartial to death and steadfast in getting the job done right. The point comes across and he succeeds in obtaining the funding he wants.

The ratings for Rubicon have plunged since the series premiere (and not expected due to the pace), so we might not see a second season. It's a decent show so far, but if the writers want to improve the quality and ratings, they need to get the mystery moving.

Score: 9.0/10
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