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Rabbit Hole - Gilgamesh - Review

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What cannot be doubted about “Rabbit Hole,” despite the constant sideswipes and the illusions upon illusions upon illusions, is that when the show goes down the titular burrow, Kiefer Sutherland really sells it.

It’s not a surprise by any means – his portrayal of Jack Bauer was, at the calmest of times, intense and whole-hearted – but it does allow the show more wiggle room in its confusion attempts, especially in an episode like “Gilgamesh,” which focuses completely on John and the reality he is losing control of.

For all of my criticisms over recent weeks of the sheer number of plot twists and reveals, this hour eventually works as well as any part of this show has. It’s effective at a few different things: clearing up a lot of the lies and potential lies being upheld by Ben in particular, grounding John’s mental state from its erstwhile spiralling, and establishing exactly how dangerous Crowley is.

In summary: Miles is, in fact, dead. The Magic Squares messages came from Crowley, who has accessed his data at Arda and discovered the way they communicate, and they were used to lure John out into the open. It worked, and via a Kyle kidnapping, Crowley was able to speak with John to claim that Ben’s behind everything. But Miles was ahead of the game, making a video recording explaining that he and Ben still have work to do and sending it to John hidden in a Gilgamesh tablet, which they learned about in school together.

Decode the second message from “Miles” and you’ll find it say “Crowley is Ben. We need to meet.” That meeting demonstrates that the Peter Weller character is not Crowley, rather his body double of sorts; Padmé Amidala-style, except without the acquisition of an annoying, soon-to-destroy-half-the-galaxy child. That rug pull means the message could still be true, but surely – surely – that twist is a step too far, even for this show. Also: a real shame that Weller’s not the big bad, given how much fun it is to watch he and Sutherland yell at each other.

For as little time as we spent with it playing out in the present day, the John-Miles relationship is clearly the most critical in the show. As we reach the church scene it is laid out, as we knew, that Miles was the one to keep John level-headed. This clearly isn’t a show with a “true message” of friendship or bromance or anything like that – but it does reiterate its actual tone: trust. From what we’ve seen, the only people in John’s life who haven’t come into it either through knowing mistruths or a line of work that demands liars are his ex-wife and Miles. And Olivia is hardly a mainstay.

Miles is the only person John can fully trust, not only to hear the truth – any truth – from, but to be the one to tell the truth to. Think back to the planning flashbacks earlier in the season, and John keeping the knowledge of his son from Ben. Homm says in this hour that he didn’t know John had an ex. With everyone, John shares no more information than is required for the next 10 minutes of life; with Miles, he shared everything.

So confirmation of his death, and the way in which Crowley uses John’s hope against him, spurs on our protagonist to accept doing whatever it takes to stop their enemy. The whole thing illustrates how terrifying Ben’s fear actually is, given that John was prepared to kill his father on his enemy’s say-so all because of messages purporting to be from his best friend. Imagine the kind of control you have when using legitimate data against somebody.

The sort of control, perhaps, that allows you to manipulate the FBI. Though Deputy Director Morello’s name is, presumably, not in the dossier given to Agent Madi by Hailey, it would seem he’s involved somehow, given he offers Madi whatever she wants in order to forget the file existed. Could he be Crowley? Whatever his role, Madi’s acceptance of the trade – in a way, it looks like she’s blackmailing him – suggests she knew of his involvement somehow and she’s playing a longer game. Then again, maybe she’s that desperate to find John Weir. After all, her at-home conspiracy board screams ‘obsessed.’

Madi may be onto something in her organisation of the case. Given how complex “Rabbit Hole” has been across its seven episodes, viewers certainly wouldn’t be worse off with a similar board of notes to keep track of it all. But with one episode remaining, the situation is thus: John, Ben, Hailey, and Homm – the most bizarre of all save-the-day teams – are going after Crowley to put an end to his manipulation once and for all.

Whatever comes, it should be a fun ride.

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