Rubicon, “Connect the Dots”
Much like my inability to keep up with Warehouse 13, I haven’t been regularly recapping Rubicon here for a number of reasons (though none of them are good ones). But after last week’s fantastic and almost entirely procedural episode, “Connect the Dots” returned to the conspiracy stuff with the same attention to detail and character that we saw with Will’s journey to D.C. I think we’re all still totally in the dark where this is all going, but as long as Rubicon continues at this level, there won’t be any problems watching the slow journey.
“Connect the Dots” nicely balanced the mysterious plots that lurk in the shadows while still progressing the case Will’s team is working on and layering in some interesting character stuff to chew on. Spangler was the real star of last week’s episode, which did some real legwork in hinting that he could be an ally to Will. But this week (and at least just for this week, perhaps), it seems that is not the case, as it was Spangler who has had Will followed, he stole the Houston paper penned by David from the library and is now turning his attention to Katherine. Though those reveals aren’t monumental, solidifying Spangler’s involvement with many of the dangling threads from the first four episodes makes sense because it centralizes the threat without keeping it too convenient. In previous episodes, I was at least a little concerned with Katherine’s importance to the narrative or what Mr. Roy was doing following Will, so putting Spangler behind all that (especially after last week) makes the boss-man seem even creepier. After last week, we know how cunning Spangler can be in the boardroom, and now we’re seeing those same skills play out in the gray areas of the job.
Speaking of the gray areas, I’m not sure what to make of Kale’s involvement in all of this. He seems to be willing to feed information to Spangler when he deems it necessary and is involved with the mysterious Donald Blood, but also spied on Spangler and his cohorts for unknown reasons. In series like this, it’s easy to sketch characters that have multiple motives and endless turns in them, but at this point, Arliss Howard’s performance as Kale is keeping that from really happening here. I’m guessing that Kale’s actions are all part of the bureaucratic chess game these kind of people play at this level, where he’s not really declaring allegiances to anyone but himself.
I actually found myself really enjoying Tanya’s minor journey this week. Her issues, whatever they are, have been toyed with in recent episodes, but with Will distracted by other things, they haven’t been fully explored out front and center, so it was satisfying to see that happen here. Her issues also create story opportunities for Will on that end of the story, because though he’s often off scheming in the shadows, he still does have a responsibility to these three people and needs to work on his skills as a leader. He was obviously smart enough to see that Tanya has some problems, despite her good ideas, so I’m looking forward to their confrontations in future episodes.
I’m also assuming that the Yuri and George plot will eventually tie with the main thread, which now seems to include oil. Though it’s a realistic route to choose, it’s also an obvious one. I’m not saying that Rubicon will become the story of the war for oil, I’m just preemptively hoping it is more than that. I do, however, like that the Yuri and George stuff keeps coming up each week, because though it first seemed like an excuse to come back to the team, it now looks like an attempt at slight serialization. So if we keep paying attention to that story, we’re bound to find something in the other one.
Your thoughts on Rubicon, folks?