Rubicon: Season 1 Review
But for all the problems with ratings, Rubicon has only increased in quality as the show moved forward. Yes, Season 1 started very slow. Watching could feel painful at times, as simple character motivations were left unclear, and we as viewers were left to grapple with unresolved plot points. In addition, scenes without dialogue seemed to move along extra slow.
But like the best conspiracies, as the mystery unraveled, it gained momentum. The first few episodes of Rubicon were about introducing us to the cast of characters and establishing their particular patterns. Yet the numerous characters made for a rocky start. Many of them happened to be older men and it was easy to confuse them at times, especially during those crucial first episodes.
Rubicon tested my patience during those early episodes, and perhaps that set the show up for failure. Perhaps the conspiracy was too complex for the show’s future. But is it fair to criticize a drama for treating its audience as intelligent beings? I think we were missing Spangler - a complex, villainous character who cemented the conspiracy and kept viewers on edge. Once we started to see Spangler as the villain of Rubicon, the show come together in an original and fascinating manner. Had we seen Spangler’s manipulative tactics in episode one, the show might have been a bit more viewer-friendly.
Though I criticize Rubicon’s slow-paced nature, I appreciate it in retrospect. There aren’t many shows out there that would dare to put the emphasis on storytelling and character development so heavily while leaving out action. Rubicon felt incredibly realistic and the characters were believable and true to themselves.
Looking back, I really cared about the characters on this show and it’s sad to see them gone. Had The Walking Dead not dominated in the ratings department, perhaps Rubicon would have been given another shot. As is, Rubicon was a daring show and I’m not sure if it could have succeeded on any other network. Fortunately, the Season 1 finale ultimately works as a series finale - you just have to fill in some details on your own.
Like any great show, it isn’t easy to say goodbye to Rubicon. Even though the creative minds behind Rubicon will inevitably move on to new, exciting projects, the characters of this show end where episode 13 ended. So here goes: Goodbye Will, Goodbye Kale, Goodbye Miles, Grant, Tanya, and Maggie. But most of all, Goodbye Truxton Spangler. You were awesome (in an evil sort of way).