RUBICON “You Can Never Win” Review

Rubicon (AMC) - You Can Never Win

RUBICON “You Can Never Win” Season 1 Episode 13 – RUBICON began the series with a take it or leave it kind of attitude, telling its story at its own snail pace and offering tidbits of clues that left viewers in the dark until we were deemed worthy of enlightenment. Still not for the impatient, the latter episodes brought focus to the characterizations and showed it could deliver suspense and tension. The finale “You Can Never Win” ends Rubicon with a sufficiently ambiguous ending that serves well whether there is or isn’t a new season.

Spangler rallies API to find who is responsible for the oil tanker attack. Katherine discovers a message from Tom and David on the Meet Me in St. Louis DVD, confirming Spangler’s manipulation of API data for profit. Andy and her apartment turn out to be some sort of protector/safe haven though she fails miserably for Katherine. Will searches Bloom’s apartment. Will enlists Miles’ help to discover the real truth, not the doctored truth. Grant is promoted to team leader by Spangler. Tanya quits API. Fishers Island group sends Spangler the inauspicious four-leaf clover.

Do we learn anything new in this episode besides the fact that backlash is the goal of the tanker attack? Iran is implicated, in order to be used as an excuse to justify an attack on Iran, thereby creating lucrative opportunities for Atlas MacDowell. It seems the episode just confirms certain details of involvement, such as Spangler killing David and manipulating information, which viewers already knew about. In his arrogance, Spangler is not cowed by the group’s warning to cancel plans, nor is he moved by Will’s confrontation with what he knows. I don’t like that Spangler comes off like a spoiled and petulant brat, which is completely out of character. Perhaps it is to show the start of his downfall? Spangler’s appropriate choice of Grant as team leader does seem a desperate last-minute effort to retain control. He finally figures out that Grant is one analyst that is easily influenced and accepts things at face value, unlike Will.

I’ve been waiting all season for Katherine to really get involved with the conspiracy. Now she dies! I’ve also had an unexplainable and persistent desire for David to return to the show. So I am glad to have seen a glimpse of him again, though I would have preferred hearing the rest of his message, too. In regards to Kale, I thought he would have a much larger role in the finale, at least a bigger part in what happened to Katherine. Wasn’t he running off to protect her in episode 12? Likewise I don’t quite understand Andy’s involvement in everything; but I would have been satisfied if she just remained someone who was jilted after a convenient fling. Finally, that was a great symbolic shot of Will and Kale appearing dwarfed in front of the background of the looming office building. It completely embodies the people versus bigwig focus of the show.

Would the show already know its fate if it had provided more shocker moments or had explained the show’s title in the beginning episodes, in order to provide a point of focus for viewers? Will we get to see more of Rubicon’s complex story next season? What did you think of the season finale of Rubicon?

About The Author

When not in the kitchen trying to make non-dairy, non-gluten foods taste good, Cordelia is at her computer watching Asian TV serials. If the internet is down, she has her TV programs. If cable is on the fritz, she is buried in books that she's been meaning to read. When she starts feeling cross-eyed, she knows she’s overdone it.

  • http://www.gregpennington.com Greg Pennington

    Do you trust Maggie? Not only does Will now trust (?) her but Kale does too. Truxton got the clover, but are you going to bet against him next season. The clover was voted in for Truxton, but he is the “smartest” of the group is he not. Was Truxton walking away from Will at the end to his death, or are we being set up for the penultimate battle between Truxton and Kale, the man Truxton has grown to “depend” so much on.

    I love this show. Initially I did not like the ending, but when I woke up this morning Rubicon was all I could think about. Fine wine.

    • http://www.daemonstv.com/author/cordelia/ Cordelia

      The show always implied some sort of relationship between Kale and Maggie but their history was never explained. I think she is as trustworthy as Kale…but what does that mean? Will doesn’t have too many options as to whom he can trust. Even Spangler isn’t valuable enough to be saved from “the clover” (said with a quiver of fear and laughter). Since he isn’t dead already, we can’t count him out. Spangler would not go out without a fight.

  • lu

    i’m completely frustrated. i’ve been finding will ore and more stupid. he still makes phonecalls, he still doesn’t take kale’s advice into consideration. he didn’t pick up the dvd. and all in all, i just feel left hanging. that seems to be the trend in tv these days. how can this be the finale?? there are no answers! why did andy play that role at the beginning? how did these people hook up and think up their master plan for decades? what is the master plan? where exactly does kale fit into all this? why does he feel compelled to protect this katherine? i am so miffed i have to go for a run now!!

    • http://www.daemonstv.com/author/cordelia/ Cordelia

      Let’s hope the show returns so we can get some explanations!