Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Rubicon - "The Truth Will Out"

Miles (Dallas Roberts) feels the pressure as he begins his polygraph test.
Photo Credit: AMC
Review by Paul Steven Brown

Season 1 - Episode 7
"The Truth Will Out"

I'm not sure if Will Travers if very brave or completely stupid at times. One thing's for sure, he's turning into a risk taker. Maybe to crack the mystery of the "unsanctioned op" as David Hadas' voice on a CD puts it, Will is going to have to take a lot of chances that could potentially get him caught or even killed.

Still, I could not agree more with Kale Ingram when he caught Will in Spangler's office. "You're going to go back to the cafeteria, and pretend that you're not the stupidest son of a bitch in this place," Kale tells Will. For a man whose resting heart rate is 44 beats a minute, he was completely livid, at least for Kale. Will made a bold play, but someone found him. Luckily, it was someone who claims to be he on his side.

The intensity of "The Truth Will Out" comes on two fronts. The first is Will's continual paranoia of being surveilled and his moves to find answers. The mind games really heat up when he finds a bug in the owl statue on his desk, finds it missing while the FBI are sweeping the API offices, and discovers that it has returned shortly after the bureau has left.

The second source of tension comes from the outside as the aforementioned FBI rushes into API, puts the entire facility on lockdown, and begins polygraphing the staff in an attempt at finding a leak. This is where the rest of the cast gets to shine and we are privy to some great character moments and revelations.

Kale and Spangler do not suffer fools lightly and they act practically insulted by the notion of having to be strapped to a lie detector. They also strike me as a two men that could very well beat the infernal machine, literally without breaking a sweat. Will doesn't seem to sweat it either, but he gets a tidbit from the polygrapher about David's "reinvestigation polygraph". This just seemed a bit of an odd info dump out of nowhere.

The best parts of the episode, again, revolve around Will's team. Grant doesn't have a pleasant marriage either, but he isn't separated like Miles is with his own spouse. When the polygrapher asks him if he had ever cheated on his wife, Grant denies ever doing so, but flips out when the readings say that he is lying. The polygrapher points out that even if he hadn't, the potential of doing so is. Tanya reveals that she has used illegal drugs, which isn't surprising. Whether or not she has while working for API is another story.

Then there's Miles. Miles actually screwed up and left a file at home. Unfortunately, this is a file that should have never left the building. After a lit cigarette and a few questions into the test, he blurts out his sin. Luck for Miles, he is not the leak. His infraction is too recent. Stupid, but recent. As the leader of the FBI task force tells him, "not taking it home is the best part of the job". We also learn that Miles and his wife have actually separated, so maybe he'll find a little understanding and romance with Julia. There were sparks forming between the two, even under lockdown.

Another good moment was when Tanya insisted that she, Grant, and Miles continue to brainstorm, even when the FBI took away their files and paperwork. Once Miles finally relaxes after learning that he is not the leak, they get to work. Despite their personality clashes, these three are extremely smart and make up a very talented team of analysts.

As per usual, the Katerine subplot trickles along slowly. However, there was a brief moment of danger when she heard people in her house. Luckily, she lives in a huge house with closets inside of closets for her to hide in. Though, what was the goal of the burglars? If they were after Katherine, it was obvious by the materials on the floor and the half drunk glass of wine that she was probably in the house somewhere. If they really wanted her, they could have found her. It wasn't like she had a panic room to seal up in.

What's really interesting about Katherine's arc in this episode is that she literally throws away the keys to her old life. She packs up and moves out of the huge house she shared with her now dead husband. I presume that she will be moving into the townhouse that he left her.

Once again, a very strong episode of 'Rubicon'. In the same night AMC delivered this episode and one of the strongest hours of 'Mad Men' ever. This network is doing something right.

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