Sunday, October 17, 2010

Review - Rubicon Season 1 Episode 13 You Never Can Win

By showing all the cards last week, Rubicon was boxed in a corner. For sure there was a terrorist attack in Galveston Bay and for sure it was the doings of Atlas McDowell in conjunction with Truxton Spangler. The resolution, then, would have to be incomplete for the show to go on if it were to have a second season.

"You Never Can Win" comes to a belated ending, staggering forward towards the finish line. The conspiracy angle of Rubicon started slow and didn't pick up until about halfway through the season. As the details of the conspiracy crystallized and real actions were taken by Will and the conspirators, the conspiracy came up to par with the intelligence portion of the show.

However, as the season finale proves, conspiracy theories have definite lifespans. Rubicon's ended last week. "You Never Can Win" is unable to build up the momentum gained at the end of last week's episode, instead giving us a half-hearted explanation that Atlas McDowell wants war with Iran, a fairly boring conclusion. Unlike 24 which could spin a story every which way, Rubicon is almost too real. Additional twists would throw the show off a certain equilibrium.

After being an inconsequential character for a very large majority of the season and taking up a fair amount of screen time before entering the fold a few weeks ago, Katherine Rhumor is killed by a quick injection. And with that, she's gone forever. The only useful thing she does in the episode--and arguably the entire season--is that she links Andy to the conspiracy by uncovering the recording. Unfortunately, we don't get any elaboration whatsoever on Andy, and we don't even know what side she's on.

On the other hand, Spangler, once the powerful figure who presided over API and the conspiracy, is shown to be as vulnerable as the ones whom he easily dispatched. In one fell swoop, the conspirators clamp down on him and send him a clover,

What "You Never Can Win" and Rubicon in general is successful at is showing the human cost of the intelligence world. Tanya, fed up with everything, quits for good. Miles, informed by Will of the conspiracy, is unable to properly function with the realization that everything he's done is a sham. Grant receives the promotion he's been looking for, but a glimmer of good news under the weight of all that's going on.

Score: 8.6/10
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