It has really been a while since we tuned into a thriller series, and with good reason. We have complained for a long time that there is hardly any new fare coming up that actually pushes the boundaries. While that is true of most content, with the thriller genre, we need that element of surprise or an unexpected execution to catch our interest because that is the precise hook, or the selling point of it. The other genres get away with repetitiveness as long as they maintain a strong emotional core, but the mystery and thriller genres cannot make use of the same loophole. Which brings us to “Rabbit Hole.”
With just two episodes out, it is too early to say whether it is something truly different, but “Rabbit Hole” cannot be written off as “old wine in a new bottle.” For example, our protagonist has a past that is far from a simple affair and keeps us guessing throughout the episodes. This is a case of the execution leveling up a story. However, as happy as we are to see Charles Dance, who plays Ben Wilson, John’s father, we are surprised that the makers did not opt for the same actor to play the younger and older versions of the character. Either way, Tywin Lannister on screen is a delight.
But coming back to the series, the brief plot is that John Weir, while trying to prove his innocence, ends up on a mission to save democracy. Well, the dictionary definition of a “rabbit hole” is a strange situation that one keeps sinking further into. So far, that is what has been happening with John Weir, and yet, it looks like proving his innocence or guilt is not going to be the biggest challenge that the characters will have to face. We understand this at the end of “Rabbit Hole” Episode 2, where the investigating officers realize that there is more to the case than meets the eye.
If there was one defining quality about John Weir, it would be his paranoia. He constantly feels that he is being followed and that everybody he meets during the day has been planted there by his rivals and enemies to spy on him for blackmail. We think he doesn’t just avoid these people but likes to explicitly show them that he is one step ahead of them. His interaction with Hailey was truly funny in that regard. However, when a woman discovers a camera in her hotel room, she starts thinking of what it could mean for her right then and there, rather than in a later episode, to explain her innocence to the guy. But this is a minor aberration, one that we pointed out for the sake of it and that has no real bearing on our opinion of the series.
As off-putting as John’s paranoia is, we must believe that it is a product of his job. His entire career revolves around pulling off the best deception. That means that he is always thinking about all the little events that he must orchestrate to get what he wants. That probably doesn’t leave him with any faith in the small coincidences of life. As Hailey says later, John definitely doesn’t date much, or maybe not at all. Maybe he hasn’t dated since his marriage ended. We don’t know the reason for it yet, but we detect a subplot of generational behavioral patterns and trauma.
When it comes to a real-life rabbit hole, the reason you can’t stop going deeper once you start falling is that there is no room for you to turn around. If you apply the principle in real life, it just means that a person has created an ecosystem where they don’t have anyone to turn to, who might be inclined to help them in their time of need. It could also mean that the person is fighting against forces greater than themselves, and resisting what they want is near impossible.
John Weir seems to be up against something of this nature. His fear and paranoia have ensured that he doesn’t trust people, which means that he has never bothered to form any meaningful relationships with anyone. The few people who cared to be in his circle disappeared by the end of “Rabbit Hole Episode 1. Also, it seems like somebody has turned the tables on John Weir by doing what he has been doing so far, except on a much larger scale. John Weir’s job involves predicting each and every move of the people he is tailing, and currently, that is what somebody is doing to him. It is this aspect of the series “Rabbit Hole” that makes us want to watch it till the end, along with its very crisp editing, which makes watching the episodes a total breeze. This is the perfect series to bring some variety to our content palate, which has lately been dominated by “slice of life” films or rom-coms where the leads have no chemistry. But even if you have primarily been watching thrillers of late, you will still like “Rabbit Hole” for what it brings to the table.