Rubicon Review: "The Outsider"

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This week's episode of Rubicon scarcely attempted to give us new information regarding the conspiracy around David's death.

Instead, it focused on other key characters and gave us more insight than ever before into the unusual world in which these think tankers reside. For that reason, "The Outsider" may have been my favorite installment to date.

As previously discussed in this space, Rubicon is a mysterious drama that is not heavy on mystery. Its spent most of its opening episodes introducing us to the supremely intelligent, typically quiet and pensive Will Travers. It made sure we were invested in this character before delving too deeply into the events surrounding him.

Now, it's done the same for Will's co-workers. Let's start with Truxton Spangler. He was nothing but a seemingly shady, unfeeling boss prior to this episode.

Will and Truxton

But through his interactions in D.C. with the National Security Council, we learn that he has a wife and two children - though his true love appears to be his job. Specifically, the "solitude of it," Truxton tells Will, even referring to this aspect of the work as a "gift."

It seems conceivable at this point that Truxton doesn't even care about the outcome of his company's missions and/or intelligence gathering. He just likes to win, taking pride in out-thinking critics/opponents, while also loving every minute detail of his important job (loved the suitcase speech and the tie speech).

This is a stark contrast to Miles and Tanya, the two members of Will's team that struggled the most with their mission for the day: determining whether or not America should assassinate an Al-Qaeda target. Grant seems the most able to disconnect from the results of their jobs, flatly telling his co-workers after they decided to off the man, collateral damage be damned:

"Values are for politicians, not analysts."

Still, it's not clear how much Grant believes this, or can live with it. It is clear, however, why Tanya drinks and why Miles' marriage fell apart. These people make daily, deadly decisions that are based on intelligence that Ingram admits is never complete.

Throughout the episode, Will is mostly the outsider. He's literally apart from his team, and mostly in another world as Truxton talks him up during their meetings. This silence is a quality Will's boss admires, however.

Will is only engaged when he learns about the dealings of the seven people on that list he asked an associated to investigate for him; as well as when he waves at the woman in the apartment across the street. It's too early to tell what role she could play in his life.

It's also still too early to tell how Katherine and her late husband's suicide will cross paths with David's death and Will's world. She learned a little bit more this week, but nothing that makes anything clear to her or the viewers.

Following a thoughtful episode that provided us with an in-depth look at the pressure-packed, secretive world of analysts and think tanks, though, I'm satisfied to stick around and learn more as we go, about events both big and small.

The Outsider Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (14 Votes)

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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