The average viewer probably doesn't know what this show is about, or that it even exists. I must admit I was on the verge of complete boredom through the first three episodes of Rubicon but then something happened: Three people sat in a room looking at papers for an hour. No joke, that's what got me hooked on this show. Sure when its put that way it sounds horrible, but it quickly became a fascinating, intense thriller.
I agree with critics that say some parts of this show didn't work right. The B-Story with Katherine Rhumor, the widower whose husband commits suicide in the opening sequence of the series premiere, never seemed to figure itself out. It was too confusing and tedious throughout the 13 episodes that the pay off in the end from it was nowhere near worth it. Towards the end of the season (series) at one episode I even forgot who she was because of a combination of too much going on and just not caring about her.
What always worked for the show was when the team of analysts were racking their brains for days on end stuck in a worn down generic office conference room. The three characters dynamic with one another and how they each looked at the problem at hand differently was always riveting. This all combined with a short time line, knowing they need to make the toughest decisions made this an overnight thriller.
And I know I should mention James Badge Dale, the star of the show, but frankly there I don't know what to say. I think he was great and I am definitely going to be looking for him in whatever his next project ends up being. The reality is that most of his time on the show was spent secretly running around from building to building (and parks), reading different clues, and sitting paranoid in his apartment. This once again sounds boring but I'm telling you that once this show found its real voice it was a non-stop intense mystery.
Rubicon was canceled after its first season by AMC. The network said it loved the show, but with the ratings as low as they were even a cable network couldn't bring it back. I'm not bothered by the ending because it did leave the possibility for a second season while still satisfying this season's storyline. Really that's all you could ask for in a show like this. If you have some time, like when TV is on Summer vacation, I highly recommend checking out this show. I can best describe it as the thinking man's James Bond or Jason Bourne. Its the untold stories of the people behind the scenes of spies and military operations that get things done.
Ru·bi·con [roo-bi-kon] — Idiom
cross / pass the Rubicon, to take a decisive, irrevocable step: Our entry into the war made us cross the Rubicon and abandon isolationism forever.