Rabbit Hole Season 1 Review – a highly enjoyable thriller with twists at every turn

By Marc Miller
Published: March 25, 2023 (Last updated: February 28, 2024)
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Rabbit Hole
Rabbit Hole (Image Credit to Paramount+)
3.5

Summary

Rabbit Hole is a series where you cannot possibly trust any of the characters and offers twists at every turn. This Paramount+ series has become appointment viewing.

There’s just something about a show that keeps you guessing where things are headed. In particular, when each episode ends with a twist and revelation you didn’t see coming. That’s what you have in the series Rabbit Hole. Led by the always interesting and dependable television star Kiefer Sutherland, this Paramount+ streaming series is a suspenseful, highly entertaining thriller with a well-timed sense of comic relief.

Rabbit Hole Season 1 Review and Plot Summary

The setup is an amusing one. Sutherland plays John Weir, a private espionage operative for hire. John isn’t like most data collection/intelligence workers. The man lives by a code.

He won’t help big companies manipulate citizens into cancer-causing products. Nor will he help governments topple opposing countries or squash uprisings, even if that’s where the real money is. John will rob the rich by pitting conglomerates against each other.

For instance, he cons a wealthy yuppy hedge fund manager by having them sell off an erectile dysfunction medication stock to tank the price in Tokyo so someone else can scoop it up at a fraction of the cost. One rich a*****e loses money. Another one scoops it up.

To John Weir, this is the circle of life, and he is happy to pick up scraps for profit. That is until he wants to hit a big payday from his estranged best friend, Valence (Jason Butler Harner), who he has known since grade school.

Valence wants John and his team to take a couple of photos, nothing tawdry, of a Treasury Agent (Rob Yang) and the CEO of Baromar Group. Why? Because a rival corporation wants to feed the narrative that they are in bed with the Treasury Department.

The only problem is after the job is done, John is framed for the murder of that very government employee. He is now on the run, using what his father told him about going off the grid and figuring out why he was framed.

Rabbit Hole is the creation of John Requa and Glenn Ficarra; you can see their fingerprints all over the series. The frequent collaborators have a wide and varied filmography, from comedies, and animation, to crime films that always aim to pull the wool over the viewer’s eyes.

That’s at the crux of Rabbit Hole’s enjoyment. As Sutherland’s Weir has you on the edge of your seat with an off-the-cuff confidence game, the star then has you laughing with a perfectly placed moment of comic relief. (The fistfight with a much younger opponent is the perfect example of adding welcomed fun in the most stressful situations).

The scripts also utilize flashback storytelling tools that set up the viewer for some remarkable reveals. The twists are quick and frequent.

This is a hard show to describe and go over performances because it gives away much of the fun in the first four episodes. I will say Charles Dance, who plays a John Ketchum type, a former Army psychiatrist, is terrific.

He’s cold, sinister, and often hilarious in the role. He has a great rapport with Sutherland. In fact, so do much of the cast. That includes Meta Golding, who plays Weir’s somewhat love interest.

They have a fun, bickering chemistry that is hard to ignore. Even the mutual respect Sutherland’s character has with Enid Graham‘s trolling FBI agent is enjoyable.

I also want to mention there’s an actor who I cannot name, who is so funny with his obsession with making excuses for his unfaithful wife. I cannot reveal the actor or character because it would take away from the enjoyment of a well-written and plotted script.

While I have showered the show with praise, I will say some of the con games come together too cleanly.

You will also question how Sutherland can get into the most secure places without much resistance. Especially when only armed with an authoritative attitude.

Is the TV Show Rabbit Hole good?

Rabbit Hole is a series where you cannot possibly trust any of the characters and offers twists at every turn. The show is led by the steller Kiefer Sutherland, in his best role since 24, and brings a welcomed comic relief to the role.

This Paramount+ series has become appointment television.

Where was the TV Show Rabbit Hole filmed – a breakdown of locations

Location 1 – Ontario, Canada

Ontario, Canada (Image Credit to Fodors Travel Guide)

Rabbit Hole pretty much takes place in New York, and plenty of establishing shots set the scene, but would you believe, through the magic of filmmaking, one of the significant locations for filming was in Canada?

Ontario has long been used as a cheaper filming location, and the architecture and streets are very easily converted to look like the mean streets of New York. Filming in Canada took place between May and September 2022.

Location 2 – Toronto, Ontario

Toronto and its screen production industry are so adept at hosting film and television companies it makes the whole experience incredibly smooth and accessible. Toronto has been used as a location for New York.

Still, it also doubles well for Boston, Washington, Chicago, other US locales, and international cities such as Paris, London, Morocco, Saigon, and Tehran.

For the production of Rabbit Hole, the set for the New York police station was the Toronto Metropolitan University at 350 Victoria Street. Social media also provided some pictures from natives of the city who spotted cameras and crews filming at Adelaide and York Street.

This location included a fake entrance to a New York subway.

Location 3 – Hamilton, Ontario 

This location has seen quite a bit of filmmaking action over the years. Hamilton has been featured in productions such as Gone In 6o Seconds, Four Brothers, and The Mayor of Kingstown.

The team behind Rabbit Hole used a home on Amelia Street that was used as the house for one of the characters’ mothers. An area around Gore Park at 1 Hughson Street South was also scouted for some filming, and the Royal Connaught Hotel at 118 King Street East in Hamilton is changed into a New York City hotel called Decatur West NYC.

The set was dressed to make it more like New York. Some of the tricks used in production include lining the streets with yellow New York cabs, draping the outside of buildings with American flags, and of course, in case the viewer is particularly eagle-eyed, changing the license plates on cars on the set to US ones.

Instagram is a good way to see the on-set locations, and if you head to assistant director Rick Morris‘ page, there are a few photos to check out.

What did you think of Rabbit Hole Season 1? Comment below.

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