Rubicon – A Good Day’s Work

Rubicon Episode Photos

Derive happiness in oneself from a good day’s work, from illuminating the fog that surrounds us.
-Henri Matisse

The fog is finally being illuminated and those who created the fog are not happy about it. Spangler (above) reminds me of a fat spider, sitting and spinning in his web and thinking he has control of everything. He pulls a string and a trapped fly will be available for consumption. He expected to have Will trussed and done and Grant ready to take over, but it didn’t exactly go that way. Bloom failed, and despite the glee with which he performed his job last week, I won’t miss him. He was a lot better at intimidating women than he was at following through on a tough assignment. Maybe he’s just sloppy, or maybe he underestimated Will, or maybe Will’s just lucky. Whatever. He’s dead and Will’s alive. RIP Donald Bloom. I guess we won’t be discussing your sexual history any further.

Serious stuff is happening as the story accellerates toward it’s conclusion. Will’s relationship with Andy seems a trivial distraction as he deals with the dual trajectories of the events he’s trying desperately to stay on top of. I’m even less inclined to believe Andy’s a spy, unless she’s a very, very good actress. She’s just too goofy; stereotyping Will as a member of “the AV club” and field agents as “the ball players.” Will is just sucked into her world enough that he feels it necessary to defend his athletic prowess before getting up and leaving abruptly. He actually gets in a fight with her when he gets back, trying to use her apartment as a place to do his research before heading out to meet with Katherine. He needs her place, but he doesn’t need her. It’s a bad situation and he’s starting to realize it.

Meanwhile, Spangler is handed a mountain of intelligence about Kateb from all the intelligence agencies. Kateb is on the move and API is tasked with figuring out what he’s up to. Only, the intelligence seems designed to drown them rather than provide real info. Eight different possible locations for Kateb. It’s a technique often used in litigation. You have to provide information, but if you bury it in a mountain of crap, chances are no one will ever find the needle in the haystack. Will wisely springs Tanya from purgatory and Maggie from limbo and cuts through the garbage: Kateb is one man, not eight. Focus on him, not the intelligence. Profile Kateb using only the info about him that is known to be true and figure out who he is. He leaves the team to do that while he goes back to four-leaf cloverland, and he starts to make real progress. Ingram helps by springing him from the building for “field work.” The conversation they have while dancing around the bug is masterful. Ingram actually pauses to stroke the owl at one point. Very nice.

Katherine is falling apart. She’s not cut out for this and she’s starting to see assassins everywhere. she’s incapable of leaving the apartment. Hope she can learn to trust chinese delivery guys or she’s going to starve soon.

Tanya’s not much better off. She’s obviously happy to be back on the team but she’s threatened by Julia and seems incapable of being civil to anyone, even Grant (who you’ll remember went out of his way to help her last episode). She’s clearly still jonesing for either drugs or booze or both. So far she’s staying clean but it’s a white-knuckle struggle. That and the stress of the work situation the team is in could break her.

Of course, Spangler visits the team to see how things are going (his butt’s on the line too) and the team gives him the usual song and dance but they can’t hide the fact that Will’s gone again. Spangler goes to Will’s office and hits the button for last number dialed. It’s the Fishers Island Library. Busted. Spangler goes all Naomi Campbell on Will’s phone and the next sound you hear is Spangler ordering Will’s last meal. It’s a heroin sandwich. I always wonder if, when people order hits, they really talk in euphemisms. Check out this similar scene from the (unbelievably great) movie Michael Clayton. Tilda Swinton’s character is just not real experienced in this sort of thing:

See, there’s just so much chance of a misunderstanding there. Why don’t people just say, “I want you to kill him and make it look like he OD’d.” Wouldn’t that be simpler? Spangler’s terminology of choice is suitably murky, however: “I have a problem that needs a clean solution.” The conversation also reveals, unequivocally, that Spangler ordered David’s death the same way. Makes you wonder why they didn’t do the same thing with David. Why did they need a whole train to crash to get rid of one guy? Seems wasteful. And unnecessarily messy. Maybe they didn’t think anyone would believe David would commit suicide.

Anyway, Will’s figured out the outlines of the clover conspiracy now and he wants to share the info with Katherine, despite her warning. This seems reckless. He may not care about risking his own life, but why risk hers? What is he going to gain from talking to her further? The questions he asks her just don’t seem that critical. Maybe he just can’t help himself from talking to the one person he knows he can trust. The important part of this scene is the numbers: 7 men from Fisher’s Island. 12 companies that have at least 2 of them on the board. They take intelligence from API and use it to create big profits for these companies, (which means profits for them) while hundreds of people are killed. Sounds like great work if you can get it. Katherine is suitably horrified.

When Will gets back to the team, they have processed all the non-speculative info on Kateb and concluded that he was unknown before 2004. He just dropped from the sky. Since real people don’t normally do that, Kateb must be a manufactured ID. Grant figues this out and soon they have a candidate from photos taken at George’s son’s wedding. It’s a guy from Jersey named Joe Purcell. They need to check his passport and see if he has travelled anywhere recently. Will orders them to go home, but nobody does.

Katherine finds out that an unusual jewelry box was at her townhouse. She has it delivered and finds a note from Tom. The note seems likely to be a coded message of some sort but it also asks for her forgiveness. The date of their anniversary will be important. Is there a safe we need the combo to? Did Tom grow a conscience in the end? What is the meaning of the four-leaf clover? We still don’t know.

Spangler has a final meeting with Will. I don’t get this scene. Is Spangler actually, straight-up, saying goodbye to a guy he just ordered the death of? How cold-blooded is that? He actually seems genuinely nostalgic and nice. He calls David, “brilliant, principled, the conscience of API,” and says Will reminds him of David. “It’s not the same here without him.” Is it a warning? Or is he just getting the final report from Will on the status of the intelligence work before Will goes to that great intelligence agency in the sky? It’s a very odd scene, but regardless of his motives, it’s an insanely chilling view of Spangler. He has freon, not blood, in those spidery veins.

Bloom is waiting in Will’s apartment. Why does Will go back there instead of going to Andy’s? I guess because of their earlier fight, but he should know it’s not safe. He sees the drug spoon used by Bloom to cook the heroin. He has just enough warning to not be caught totally off guard. The fight that ensues should go Bloom’s way (he’s the professional, after all) but maybe he is fat. Will gets ahold of the gun and Bloom gets a bullet in his head. Meanwhile, Spangler waits in his office for the phone call.

Will’s in serious trouble now. He wants to call the cops but he does something strange instead. He calls Ingram. I think he has been closing back in on Ingram’s orbit for a while. He just senses that Ingram (though he still doesn’t trust him) knows how to deal with this stuff. And boy does he. He’s like The Wolf:

Actually, he’s better than The Wolf. He doesn’t appear too sentimantal about Bloom (former lover? BFD). He turns up the music, installs Will in the bathroom, and brings in a guy that cuts up the body and disposes of it faster than Stanley Steamer can clean your carpet. Ingram gets stuff done. He even seems a little affectionate over Will before he leaves. It’s Will’s first kill (snif) and he’s just so proud to be there to see it (he told himself he wouldn’t cry).

Spangler’s having 16 year old single malt scotch with Grant and giving him the leadership speech. “Not many have what it takes to lead” and all that. No not many. Just the ones that aren’t offed by the boss. Of course this plays right into Grant’s issues because he needs more money to keep his wife happy and he’s just pompous enough to want leadership over the other analysts for the perks it might get him. Little does he know what’s actually going on. He tries to sneak out when Spangler appears to have dozed off, but Spangler is prepared to keep yakking till dawn. “Nobody works late anymore, such a shame.”

Miles and Julia are just on their way to first base when the delivery comes. Kateb has crossed into the US from Mexico. Miles rushes to Spangler to deliver the news and is shocked that Grant is there. Less shocking is the fact that Spangler is not at all surprised by the news. He knew. My bet is that Spangler and his gang are either running Kateb or are at least profiting from the intelligence that predicts where he will strike.

Andy shows up at Will’s place in perhaps the worst-timed makeup attempt ever. Predictably, Will’s not in the mood. Maybe he still doesn’t trust her. Maybe he’s trying to protect her. But mostly he’s just had it. He can’t even muster the energy to be polite. I don’t think that’s the last we’ll see of her, but it may be the end of their relationship.

That’s the best episode yet. Will leads a charmed life, but there’s no telling if that will continue or what effect his survival will have. Can Spangler afford to try again? What’s Ingram going to do? He knows Spangler ordered the hit. Time to choose sides for real. The endgame is on.


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