AMC, if you’re listening, it would be in your best interest to keep the low-rated conspiracy thriller Rubicon on your schedule for the foreseeable future.
Why? Because, after what was, admittedly, a glacially slow start, the show has whipped itself into can’t-look-away shape and I’m engrossed in both the overarching conspiracies at the American Policy Institute think tank, as well as the minutia experienced by API’s employees, including star James Badge Dale’s Will Travers and his team of government policy savants and their bosses, with its scenes involving both massive secrets and true-life depictions of working in an office.
The most interesting thing about the series is the way it treats the inner workings of the think tank, where there are very human reactions to things like the prospect of bombing a public street in order to kill a high-ranked terrorist.
With the show’s renewed interest in its characters after the relatively boring first two episodes, there’s a reason to care about what happens in this world, and enjoy the nervous energy of the proceedings at every turn. No, it’s not as good as Breaking Bad or Mad Men — and who’s to say it won’t get that good in time? — but it’s got a ’70s vibe to it that bring to mind classics like Marathon Man and there’s nothing wrong with that.
With the way the show’s been going in recent weeks, it appears to be building to climactic scenes like that, and it’ll be well worth the network showing some faith in the show’s abilities to gain a larger audience and granting a second season.