Continuing its rhythm as a series that just gets better, more intriguing, and witty each week, Rubicon uncorked another fine episode on Sunday.
Our man Will, made antsy by the electronic bugs he’s found in his apartment, decides he needs to move — and, what the hell, put the moves on that attractive woman with whom he’s been exchanging glances from across their nearby windows. She’s an artist, a painter, who seems (all too?) willing to let Will in for shelter and a some sheet-wrinkling. At this point in Rubicon, I’m as jumpy as Will; I suspect that everyone has ulterior motives…which is why I wonder why he doesn’t. Maybe he’s just relieved to be out of his apartment, with a woman who finds him immediately attractive (or as she puts it, “You’re weird in an interesting way”), and who has a place in her bathroom where he can stash his API files on the Hadas death and God knows what else. They also had a Rear Window moment, gazing across at Will’s apartment; later, Will sees someone’s rummaging around in his abode: It’s Donald Bloom.
Lots of tension this week between Truxton Spangler and Kale Ingram. First Kale interrupts Truxton while he’s having his sacred alone-time in his office eating cereal (“Go away!” Knock, knock. “Persistence is often met with vengeance!”) Later, Truxton interrupted Kale’s morning run to bring the Man With The Roman Haircut his favorite morning beverage, ginseng tea (loved the way Michael Christofer makes Truxton stumble over the word “ginseng,” as if that is simply not in the WASP lexicon) and clearly implies to Kale that he’s a tad concerned about Will’s persistence in connecting the dots in Spangler’s old-boy spy conspiracy. It’s in this scene that Truxton utters the Romeo and Juliet quote that gives the episode its title: “There’s no trust, no faith, no honesty in men; all perjured, all forsworn, all naught, all dissemblers.”
Speaking of dissemblers, among Will’s crew, pain and discontent prevailed. There’s Emily, a new assistant replacing Maggie; she’s so exaggeratedly timorous, I suspect her of ulterior motives, too. Tanya is off in rehab, and her temporary replacement is Julia, the nice woman Miles flirted with during the lock-down episode. These two were at once startled, pleased, and nervous about seeing each other again. Grant — hoo boy, his wife has been fired and his marriage is on the rocks. His wife, Grant tells Miles, wonders why he “makes analyst money versus banker money.” This is both poignant and true, since Grant invariably dresses like a banker on his way to J.P. Morgan) How bad is it? Wife Lisa tells her buttoned-down hubby as a parting toodeloo, “I’m gonna go home and kill myself.”
As far as the group’s work goes, it’s now thought that Tanaz is a double agent working with Iranian intelligence, and Kateb is planning a terrorist attack. (Should I add “again” to that sentence?) As Rubicon‘s first season is coming to a conclusion, it’s clear that there are going to be convergences between the overseas terrorist threats being analyzed and the people here at home doing the analysis, and by no means all of them for noble reasons. I can sense, among readers and people I talk to, an increasing interest in Rubicon, which makes me hopeful for a second season. If that happens, producer Henry Bromell is going to be faced with a challenge. It’s clear that many fans prefer the more stand-alone, workplace-environment episodes, while the show’s writers are equally interested in worldwide conspiracies and global politics. The trick will be to narrow that latter, vast focus, while also preventing Rubicon from becoming, as I said here admiringly a few weeks ago, The Office without the laughs.
Pop-up observations and questions:
• I must admit to a bit of Katherine fatigue. I think Miranda Richardson is terrific, but her dogged pursuit of who’s in the childhood picture left to her by her dead husband seemed repetitive, a non-starter, this week.
• Will’s new female friend has a New York City apartment so big, Will has to ask here her bathroom is? I know they live downtown in big warehouse-lofts, but…
• Andi says she’s 32; he says, “I’m older than you.” How old did you think Will was/is?
• Not only does Julia speak Urdu, which we knew before, but she’s also knowledgeable about “computer string theory” and “the psychology of anarchists.” In the world of Rubicon, this is like finding a cross between Emma Goldman and Christina Hendricks — go for it, Miles!