Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Rubicon on AMC

Checking in with a few words about Rubicon on AMC, a leisurely, intelligent, rubric's cube of a spy show.

Will Travers - played by James Badge Dale (Chase on 24) - plays a code-cracking operative who works for API, a (fictional) Federal spy agency that's a bit above the CIA and the all the lettered agencies we know about.   His wife and daughter were killed in one of the towers on 9/11 - and his immediate boss at API is his father-in-law.  The big shocker in the opener - read no more if you have not seen it - is the father-in-law gets killed in a commuter train crash, definitely presumably not an accident.  Travers is offered a promotion to his father-in-law's job, and he takes it.

Part of the fun of this show, if that's the right word, are the word puzzles that appear in various written media.   Part of the fun is seeing how Travers' team operates - in the episode this week, we see them truly struggling with whether to authorize a surgical strike on a terrorist that may kill innocent people.  And part of the fun is seeing how the API maintains its shakily superior position over other spy agencies.

With all the spy stories in books, the movies, and on television, I've somehow never seen a show quite like Rubicon.   It has a little less action than you'd expect, but that's to the good, because the time freed up is devoted to more cerebral issues of the spy business - sort of like The Spy Who Came In From The Cold.

I'll be back here from time to time as the spirit moves me for review of an episode - I'll definitely be watching every one.

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The Plot to Save Socrates

"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"a Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

"Sierra Waters is sexy as hell" - curled up with a good book
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