tablet mg

Home > Entertainment, Film / TV, Quick Hits, Review / Recap > Quick Hits: Rubicon E1.09 — “No Honesty in Men”

Quick Hits: Rubicon E1.09 — “No Honesty in Men”

September 22nd, 2010

Although I’m apprehensive about its somewhat slow pace, I still think Rubicon has what it takes to grow into a real winner and a hit. As such, I’m putting some faith in it and am anointing it with instant recap status.  To read prior Quick Hits for the show, click here on my posts tagged #Rubicon.  Here are my Quick Hits for Episode 1.09, “No Honesty in Men.”

The AMC website was light on still images from this episode, so I lead with the credits screenshot, again.

It’s been nine episodes now and for the first time since the pilot, we’ve seen a flicker of a personal life for Will Travers.  That glimpse coincides with what was by far the best episode of the show to date.  In the pilot, we had David imploring Will to escape his job and the life of an analyst.  Yet it had been revealed that he had become an introvert after losing his wife and daughter in the September 11th attacks. Since that time, there’s been zero implication of a social life or really any life outside of work for him.

This lack of a life was despite the fact that Travers struggled most with being unable to “take his job home with him”. He couldn’t talk about what he does with anyone. The reality is that he didn’t have anyone to tell about it, even if he wanted to. While Truxton Spangler spoke of the separation of church and state, analogizing that separation to the need to keep professional and personal lives separate, for Will such a wall was entirely aspirational. Or perhaps he needed the wall in order to allow a personal life to regrow. He had retreated from life into his job, and it had taken and possessed him.

Click through for some quick hits.

For the first time, we see a sneak peek of a personal life emerging. Ironically, it is a peek that appears largely because of the complications of Travers’ job. In attempting to see who is bugging his apartment, he concocts a reason to visit his cross-courtyard neighbor Andy (for those not in New York City, the courtyard is at the center of their apartment building… meaning they live on the same floor and share a hallway). Their chat initially is on false pretenses, yet as the truth emerges regarding his life — and Andy slowly begins to understand he’s not kidding — a real passion and sense of feeling appears to emerge for both of them, culminating in what was a very well done love scene for basic cable.  Due in large part to how well it was done, it felt organic and not a contrived story point.

Will and Andy's bonding was quick and honest, despite being pushed by a lie and, when revealed, disbelief in the truth.

The discussion of a separation of an intelligence profession from an agent’s life was paralleled to 3 Days of the Condor. The episode actually plays out the 3 Days of the Condor scenario overtly, with Andy asking him if he is a historian in the same way that Robert Redford was a historian. When Will came clean as to his being an analyst, Andy looked at him with incredulity and asked him if he was going to tie her to the radiator, as Redford did Faye Dunaway. Her constant teasing of him was endearing and worked as a plot point, as she asked him if it was the Russians watching him and challenged him subtlety to give up the ruse.

They actually pulled together a very good start to a social life for Will in the episode. The dialogue and interaction between Andy and Will was excellent and there was legitimate chemistry between the two actors – contrasted with the lack of it between Maggie Young’s character and really anyone. A big part of that is casting right and Andy was cast perfectly. Annie Parisse is probably best known for her role as John Basilone’s wife in HBO’s The Pacific and as ADA Borgia in Law&Order, before it started to crumble into a shell of it’s former self.  She’s a statuesque beauty and a talented actress who can command the screen.  In other words, she’s exactly what the show needed to establish a legitimate love interest.

Travers struggled a bit with his use of Andy. But at the same time, his duplicity was an open attempt to reveal himself and make himself a bit vulnerable. Choosing not to hide the gun was one such example.

It wasn’t just Will’s social life that was explored.  We also had Miles’ personal sphere advanced with the reintroduction of Julia and we were able to glance a bit further into both Kale’s life with his partner and Grant’s interaction with his wife.  While Kale’s moment with Walter was limited in breadth, Grant’s moment with his wife was both developed (she had lost her job and was somewhat panicked about money and why her husband was a lowly research analyst instead of a banker) and reverberated throughout the episode.

This episode was a stark contrast not only in that they focused on personal lives.  They also blanked out the score for extended stretches. The only show that I can recall succeeding without long periods of silence was The Wire. Silence is something that only works well with an excellent script, and this was one episode where Rubicon really delivered. Particularly in the scenes with Andy and Will, no music was needed.

  • Overall, “No Honesty in Men” was the best episode of Rubicon to date, in my opinion. The script was fantastic.
  • The line delivered by Andy that “New York is perfect; it makes me feel like I’m not alone” was brilliant.  New York is a town of 8 million stories where everyone is a neighbor and yet people can be so very alone.  As a lifelong New Yorker, I can see that and have seen it.  For a person as introverted as Will, it can be so easy to become isolated.  It’s the whole idea of the strap-hanger society.  You’re so close to everyone else, and yet your interaction is muted… without eye contact… and even alien.  Throughout it all, there’s the illusion of being surrounded by the electricity and crowded nature of it all.  The writers of this show are really starting to get it and are turning the poetry from the page to the screen.

Again, AMC didn't give much to work with in the way of production stills for this episode. More of the "stakeout."

  • We had a return for Miranda Richardson as Katherine Rhumor after a couple weeks of being somewhat absent. Her jaunt through the park with Rhumor’s first wife was informative above all else, as was the visit with the professor’s wife. Again it was the producer’s effective way of dropping useful information and, for the first time, it felt like there were more pieces going into the puzzle than being dropped on the table. Her actually taking on the role of sleuth in deftly walking by the API door was simply the realization of what we’ve seen for some time. She is the real driving force spy in this show, the one who will help the viewers to piece things together.
  • The 28 day reassignment for Tanya was well overdue. How rehab was something that was a surprise to her coworkers was beyond me. That said, the scene where Miles informs Grant was maybe the best mini-scene of the series so far. Grant is distracted by his wife troubles and Miles pops in to inform him that a) Will wants them in the conference room, b) Tanya is in rehab, c) they have a ton of work to get through and not enough manpower, d) that there are no donuts, and e) oh yeah, “Good morning”.
  • Grant’s character really had some extra depth in the episode. Seeing him be OK with Miles getting the lead role on the team in Will’s distracted absence was interesting. As was Truxton turning to Grant and asking him to be the company man. Really, for the first time, we saw Grant as more than a pompous caricature of himself, which reality was borne out of the conflict with his wife.  But unlike his paranoia over missing his daughter’s play and how that would impact his family life, this time it both felt real and added depth to the character.
  • Julia’s arrival was both foreseeable and welcome. Her expertise in computers, string theory, anarchist psychology and Urdu was both believable and quirky. Most importantly, Julia and Miles work well together. She brings out the best in Miles as a character and Roberts as an actor portraying him. The two work so awkwardly well together.
  • The information that has Miles and Grant tossing around is that Tanaz, the subject of their investigations, was killed — presumably by the CIA — and that information was slow in coming to API.  This was actually a surprising turn, as was learning that Grant had been keeping an eye on Boeck and Yuri.  It perhaps indicates that this really might be a secondary storyline that just serves to promote character development, without advancing the conspiracy.

I don't believe this screen grab is from the episode, but the Fishers Island photograph (including Rumor, the professor, Wheeler and Spangler) was at the heart of the reveals in this episode.

  • The interactions between Kale and Travers were interesting, as well.  Kale is now in a position where he’s now worried about being pushed out from both sides.  Truxton no longer trusts him and Will never did.  Kale is feeling the eyes of those that are watching and is beginning to realize he can’t just play both sides without consequences.  That he resorts to turning over significant information — namely, the Rhumor connection to the crossword — is reflective of his quiet desperation.  Something is bound to be played out on this, particularly if Kale can’t sufficiently convince either side that he’s trustworthy.  Only when he regains that trust can he really choose one side or the other.
  • The prop and location work was really pretty good in this episode. The scene in which Spangler interrupts Kale’s jog was the one exception. It sure as heck looked like it was shot on the Upper West Side when Kale’s apartment sure as heck looks like it is in Tribeca, the West Village or, at its northernmost, Chelsea. Maybe I’m being nit-picky again. That said, there was good use of detail in Andy’s apartment and in Will’s bag. The set work was just good and an improvement over the slip ups from a few episodes ago.
  • For the record, the book that Andy pulled out of Will’s bag was Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, Ludwig Wittgenstein’s seminal philosophy text.  The mapped presentation of it at this website really resonated with the idea behind placing it in the show.  It’s structured, interconnected and full of bits of information.  Who knows if that was intentional… maybe I’m being too much of a Joyce/LOST fan, but check it out.

As mentioned above, I really do think this was the pinnacle episode so far and it really might be the turning point that earns Rubicon a second season.  It sometimes takes shows a while to hit their groove.  Here’s to hoping this is Rubicon‘s.

AMC’s “Most Talked About Scene” (The Rhumor Connection)

AMC’s Episode Summary

  1. tagesgeldvergleich
    October 22nd, 2010 at 16:39 | #1

    In searching for sites related to web hosting and specifically comparison hosting linux plan web,
    your site came up.
    You are a very smart person!

Comments are closed.