Rubicon (2010) Review

“You were a genius at cracking codes, until the codes cracked you like an egg.”

Rubicon landed on the airwaves in 2010, I was unable to finish the series during its original run due to losing access to the AMC channel. Fast forward to 2021, and AMC has launched its own premium platform, AMC+. I was offered a free seven-day trial to explore. It’s important to note that for a low cost of $8.99, you are also granted access to horror channel Shudder, premium cinematic offerings from Sundance Now and IFC Films Unlimited. In other words, the subscription offers four channels, which adds up to $2.25 each. Understandably, given all the subscription-based offerings these days you might not be as quick to sign up.

Where was I?

Rubicon! Right!

My excitement grew when I came across it, like finding some cash inside a jean pocket you didn’t expect to find. I had forgotten all about this show, but I knew it was a compelling show I never got to finish.

The series opening titles are captivating featuring music by Peter Nashel reeling you in like a fish on a hook.

The show is an espionage drama, very much inspired by conspiracy thrillers of the 70s, while updating it to a post 9/11 world. Created by Jason Horwitch, the series follows an intelligence analyst Will Travers (James Badge Dale) who has to navigate a maze of questions as the series unfolds. To dive into the answers you’ll just have to watch the show, and I suggest you do so.

The show consists of 13 episodes, and while it has a captivating beginning, the show loses steam after the initial mystery never amounts to the heights it alludes to. Perhaps the show seems unfocused because series creator Jason Horwitch left the show due to creative differences after shooting the pilot.

Enter TV veteran Henry Bromell and the show’s narrative plot lines naturally shifted from its initial concept. Nevertheless, they must have known the series would not receive a second season order, as it does its best to resolve all plot lines before the credits roll. But despite their best intentions, the finale comes off rushed and muddled, tarnishing what the show built and ultimately, what it could have been in the process.

I suppose wrapping all the loose ends is better than no ending at all. Nonetheless, a lack of confidence is shown by AMC who, despite being proud of the show, chose to not renew it for a second season. Despite all of this, I invite you to take a deep dive into this political thriller.



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