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Rubicon: That's a lot of dots to connect

Getprev-11 The pace picked up on "Rubicon" Sunday night, with all kind of plot thickeners, not-so-chance encounters, shredded documents and one regrettable flame-out. Will met Katherine, Ingram met Donald Bloom (ex-CIA assassin) and Tanya met the challenge of standing up to the other analyst team members, as well as to Truxton Spangler, with her theory that George of George and Uri is a Al Qaeda financier in the making and far more dangerous than Uri. This didn’t stop her from returning to her office, opening her desk drawer and emptying a little airline bottle into her water glass, but it was a victory nonetheless.

I have to admit I cheered when Will and Katherine bumped into each other at the bar of Spangler’s wife’s charity event. The fact that two people working from different angles on what the heck is going on in this show met seemed to signal progress. Katherine needs Will, and it felt like Katherine was joining the rest of the show.

Will learned last week that a Donald Bloom was potentially a key figure in what might have happened to his former father-in-law and API mentor, David Hadas. He was able to piece together that Bloom had recently flown into New York. Ed Bancroft, Hadas' dear friend and the only person in which Will has confided, found Bloom was staying at the Waldorf Astoria. Will spotted him the next morning and tailed him through the Manhattan streets, in and out of what looked to me like Bloomingdale's, and then to a restaurant where Bloom was meeting … Ingram! Will played it a little clumsily, allowing Ingram to see him through the glass door.

Next scene: Ingram in Spangler’s office, asking him if all the loose ends on Hadas had been taken care of. Spangler says yes, as he feeds a White Paper marked “Houston” (which Will had noticed missing from the archives) into his office shredder. Michael Cristofer is great as Spangler, is an outwardly obtuse but crafty Cold Warrior spook and global conspiracy megalomaniac.

Ingram later warns Will against looking into something that doesn't concern him, saying he wouldn't want to see him get involved with any "mayhem" -- not the kind of thing you want to hear from your boss.

There were all kind of feints and tidbits of info Sunday night – Will spots Spangler making the pronouncement to three other men -- among them, James Wheeler, who has been working hard to steer Katherine in the wrong direction -- in a dark parlor off the charity ball: If they don't take care of "it," someone else will.

What “gig” did Ingram offer Bloom – rerouting the commuter trains so Hadas would be killed in the ensuing crash? Was Will really telling Bancroft at the episode's end that he was dropping the investigation? Bancroft had shown up outside the office to question Will about their progress, and after finding Bloom by cold-calling Manhattan hotels, had put together a rundown “connecting the dots” that papered his dining room wall. Was Will merely throwing him off by saying he had decided they should "stand down" because he feared for his sanity, or did he know that Bancroft’s apartment was bugged? 

One of the pleasures of a show such as this is the confusion you’re left with after a heaping portion of plot revelation -- without many connections. And the paranoia in "Rubicon" is deliciously chilling. I loved Katherine telling her financial adviser, after he recommends selling a company that he said was a bad performer, that she’d keep it – just because he wanted her to sell it. She suspects everyone. And we shivered for Will when he returned from spotting Ingram with Bloom, and took Maggie aside to confide in her – Maggie of the secret meetings with Ingram to report on Will and the analyst team. At the last minute, caution kicked in and he didn’t tell her what had so rattled him. Paranoia ruled.

If you've stuck with Rubicon, what did you think of Sunday’s episode – do you think it's going somewhere, or was it TMI?

-- Kelly Scott

Above: James Badge Dale as Will on "Rubicon." Credit: AMC

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Comments () | Archives (14)

Will feared for Bancrofts sanity. It was evident the way Bancroft was going all over the place trying to connect the dots and the way he broke down. He wants to know what happened with his best friend. Bloom's gig is the operation he mentioned which Ingram waved off. And what is with Ingram. At the end where Bloom was with Spangler and Will's shadow, Ingram was outside waiting to see who came out. Maybe Ingram is not as involved in the plot as we think and even he is starting to wonder what is going on.

When you have to work that hard at "connecting the dots" you realize it ain't worth the trouble. Its a sleeper and I prefer to get my rest in a supine position.

Glad I'm not the only one who thought the show kicked it up a notch last night.

Miranda Richardson is still being criminally underused, though.

I'm over it.

It seems a lot like "Damages," which started off with a bang, but it had so many twists and turns that it got too convoluted to watch without a cheat sheet. IMHO, loose ends need to be tied up in at least every other episode. Otherwise there are too many red herrings and the whole story just gets too complicated ...

I think AMC is making a mistake putting it right before "Mad Men." It might fare better on a lighter night ... having the two back to back is a little much for me.

Finally a reason to keep watching! Like most viewers I was ready to give up on Rubicon where codes and riddles can only go so far w/o Dan Brown, and esp. after putting us through filler last week with the D.C. field trip, but after last night I've become completely invested in this story. I agree having Katherine and Will finally meet was great. Will getting caught on his first tailing experience and just the underlying paranoia with most of the main characters is intriguing. If only Damages came on AMC.

You get caught up thinking Will is the main character and everything he learns we learn, but even with this ending you begin to question how much will has become aware of and how much is suspicion. Thankfully, nothing is spelled out so it's finally hooked me into keeping an eye on it.

I really like the show, but then I enjoyed the weird and dark remake of "The Prisoner," which made little or no sense. I assume there really are API types in Arlington, VA or New York who have jobs just like Will and his dysfunctional gang. Kale and Spangler--pretty far out, but I've bosses like them. . .

I started watching the show "LOST", but stopped because it only gave us more mystery and no answers.
Rubicon, better start giving some answers, or it may loose audience like Lost did. Some people stay with the programs, but most do not for very good reasons.
I like Rubicon now, but it better start going someplace quickly. Need a little more action, not so much camera work on brooding faces.

The reference to "squalls" being "shipped" was obviously meant to be ambiguous.

One possibility: its a reference to the Russian VA-111 Shkval ("squall" in english), a super-cavitating torpedo. Frightful weapon - travels 200+ mph underwater, and can be equipped with a conventional or nuclear warhead.

I'm glad I found this blog. I have been following and have really started to enjoy this show. I love the cloak and dagger aspect of it. It reminds me of espionage movies and shows that I really haven't seen since the end of the cold war. I'm not totally sold on all of the characters yet, but they've got time, and the number of characters gives the writers a lot of options to work with in the future.

I've read a few critiques that the show is "slow." But I don't think that's what they really mean. If you watch most reality TV shows, absolutely nothing happens (I'm looking at you Kardashians, and Kendra, etc.). But with flashy editing and interspersed testimonials, they spoon feed your brain with sensory mush so that you walk away entertained. I think this is inevitable in our world of instant gratification, hyper short attention spans, and twitter updtates.

I think what they really meant is that this show requires thought. It shows you bits and pieces and you have to think about the significance of a new character or what something might mean. I think the dialogue in Mad Men is similar. The characters don't always say what they are actually feeling or thinking. The viewer has to engage and actively watch the program to really understand the story being told.

Bravo AMC.

Thank you for the synopsis! I just watched this episode On Demand since my cable company finally got its act together and added a lot of content. I like having the opportunity to watch it again because I was sure I was missing things.

I agree that the show finally is showing signs of picking up. In fact one reason I didn't watch it on Sunday is because I was losing hope and my kids were in the middle of the Harry Potter marathon on the Family channel. I'm so glad things are starting to fall into place because I love the idea, the plot, and the characters of this show.

Will still appears to be pretty naive about what's going on around him so I feel that he was fearing for Bancroft's sanity. I loved how he picked up the leads, though, in the last scene. You would think he would close his blinds, though, when working on something like that, wouldn't you?

Hey, I really like the show and I thought this episode was a step in the right direction. I love the cast, a great group of actors. The pacing doesn't bother me a bit, I don't need explosions and gunshots to find a show interesting. It reminds me of the best work of LeCarre, full of twists and turns with the enemy just out of sight. I have begun to look forward to Rubicon every week.

Also thought Spangler's comment "Remember the Maine" was interesting....USS Maine was sunk in 1898 leading to the Spanish American war....there is still controversy over who sunk it - the Spanish or was it skuttled to give the US an excuse to start the war.... is this cabal starting a war somewhere and these actions are the "excuses"?

I for one love that this is a show that does take it's time. The reason I like spy movies & shows isn't because of crap blowing up everywhere or "sexy" spies, it's the suspense of it all. Rubicon constantly has me on the edge of my seat and yes, I did stand up and cheer a bit as well when Will met Katherine. The acting on this show is also pretty amazing, especially the actress who plays Tanya. Super believable character.

For those interested there is a Rubicon fansite at http://rubicon-tv.info and I've submitted a link to this article there...


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