Rubicon received a four-leaf clover today. If you know what that means, you are among the proud, few who mourn a gem of a series, that really never stood a chance.
Rubicon started quietly. A conspiracy thriller reminiscent of the 1970’s like All the President’s Men, Three Days of the Condor and The Conversation. Episodes focused on three main plots; Will Travers (James Badge Dale, never better) was a brilliant but damaged analyst (his wife and child died in 9/11) for an intelligence gathering think tank called API (American Policy Institute, a private firm regularly contracted by the CIA). After his superior/father-in-law/ David dies in a train accident Will, begins to uncover a conspiracy with the help of Cale Ingram (Arliss Howard) a former spook now analyst from API . Surveillance bugs, secret societies, mysterious femme fatales all handled with the delicacy now classic to AMC series.
Will, promoted to team leader after David’s death guides his analyst team on the hunt for a terrorist. There’s jittery Miles (Dallas Roberts), conflicted and addicted Tanya (Lauren Hodges) and the self-important Grant (Christopher Evan Welch). Together they sat in a conference room, with stacks of files filled with photos and paper, and from there, they hunt the bad guys. This was not Alias, there was no storming of lairs with guns-a-blazin’, it was four great characters in a room. There were stand alone episodes too; touching on torture, and lockdowns, but as the team’s hunt for the terrorist and Will’s hunt for the truth began to converge, this series found it’s rhythm.
The third plot line followed Katherine Rhumor (Oscar Nominee, Miranda Richardson) who’s husband commits suicide in the pilot’s opening moments. Drenched in grief, she’s unable to understand why her seemingly happy husband would put a bullet in his head. Katherine begins to follow hints left to her by her husband and soon she finds herself on the same path as Will.
Eventually three becomes one as all facets of the story begin to converge into one nerve racking narrative. Being along for the ride felt like being in on a well kept secret. But well kept secrets do not make for lasting TV (just ask Peter).
The finale left me both satisfied and not. I want more. I still have questions, there are still loose ends. And while there was resolution, there were many more doors to open, and I would have been along for the whole ride.
I urge you to find it and watch it. Get past the first few episodes which can be slow and find the gold in taking the ride with Rubicon.
I will miss Rubicon. It really had potential. This quiet little series that made no huge impact on pop culture as a whole the way Mad Men has, rather it’s place is reserved next to other great fallen series whose flame was snuffed to soon.