A quick review of tonight’s “Rubicon” coming up just as soon as my cereal gets soggy…
“New York is perfect. Makes me feel like I’m not alone.” -Andy
As Kale explains, this episode’s title is a quote from “Romeo and Juliet,” and for one week, our spy drama takes something of a detour to consider some potential love stories. But given the world these characters work in, and the hornet’s nest Will is poking, are these love stories all destined to end as badly as it did for the star-crossed lovers from Verona?
Will goes across the street to use the apartment of neighbor Andy(*) to stake out his own place – and even after she sees the gun, and Donald Bloom breaking into Will’s apartment, Andy seems into our bushy-haired data analyst.
(*) Played by Annie Parisse, who was also in “The Pacific,” but in a different storyline from James Badge Dale’s.
Miles’ crush Julia gets assigned to the team while Tanya’s off at rehab, and he finally blurts out (in very Miles fashion) that he isn’t really married anymore, and they’re busy flirting while we see even more pressure build in Grant’s marriage after his breadwinner wife Lisa loses her TV producing job. They need more money than he makes, and the fact that he can’t even tell her what this job is that consumes so much time and pays so little is certainly not helping.
And we even, perhaps not coincidentally, spend a few minutes watching Kale with his boyfriend Walter, discussing mundane Thanksgiving plans. Now that Kale has placed himself directly in Truxton Spangler’s sights right next to Will, might Walter – or Andy (assuming she’s on the level and not some kind of spy herself) – become collateral damage in the Atlas McDowell mess?
I really liked the relaxed tone of Will’s half-work, half-real courtship of Andy. He’s way down the rabbit hole now, but he does remember how to be around a woman, and Dale and Parisse worked well together as they flirted, swapped pieces of backstory(**) and ultimately got down to work.
(**) The bit about Will being “older’ than the 32-year-old Andy seemed like the writers’ way of trying to deal with the weirdness of a character who is played by a 32-year-old actor but is supposed to have lost a daughter nine years ago. The grey hair lets Dale pass for older than he is, and if we pretend Will is in his mid-late 30s, then the 9/11 backstory matches a bit better, even if technically it could work at Dale’s real age.
With Katherine finally learning about Spangler(***) and API, with Kale now untrusted by both Spangler and Will, and with Will practically inviting something bad from Spangler, it looks like we’re barreling (by “Rubicon” standards) towards the payoff. Mo Ryan did an e-mail interview with Henry Bromell in which he suggested that most of this would resolve by the end of season one, and that if there’s a season two, “it’s clear that the self-contained stories work better dramatically and so there will be more of that next season.” Assuming AMC is willing to overlook the ratings, I’ll be curious to see what that version of “Rubicon” looks like.
(***) After all the emphasis on how the members of the conspiracy have been friends since children, I liked that we saw Spangler scarfing down cereal like a little kid.
What did everybody else think?