Carissa Pavlica

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Who here loves conspiracy theories? {{ raises hand }} Me! I love conspiracy theories!

I especially love them when they’re not conspiracies at all but rather things people don’t want to talk about because they’d rather be in the dark.

Rabbit Hole Season 1 Episode 3 covers them all, from Facebook likes to hardcore world domination.

Old Friends - Rabbit Hole

John and Miles met at school, and Ben’s death brought them together through a love for solving puzzles.

As can be expected, Ben’s stunt harmed his son irrevocably. You could theorize that he thought John would be shielded from it, but since he staged it right in his study, anything could have happened. And it did.

The Beginning - Rabbit Hole Season 1 Episode 3

A great friendship was born in the wake of Ben’s death, and Miles’s influence on John overpowered what he learned from and about his father, even if it might not have been clear at the time.

John thought everything in his father’s safe shaped his life when in reality, it was his friendship with Miles that led the way.

What they accomplished together led to Arda Analytics, and their relationship was changed again when Ben resurrected himself because he needed their help. Ben is a king of unfairness when it comes to his son.

His fake death pushed John and Miles together, and his fake resurrection pulled them apart.

Laying it on the Line - Rabbit Hole Season 1 Episode 3

When Ben returned, John thought he was a crackpot. But John was also already in the business of manipulating people for different purposes. They call it corporate espionage, and John scoffed that his dad considered himself a superspy.

He keeps going on about this guy named Crowley and some new world order that’s set up to hijack governments and take over the world. I mean, real Manchurian Candidate shit. He thinks he’s some kind of super spy. It’s insane.


Miles was quickly pulled to data manipulation. He referenced how much Facebook algorithms can learn from someone with a mere ten likes on various topics.

From there, they can determine what you’re going to purchase next. The more likes, the more the algorithm understands its target.

It’s always in the news how foreign entities and our own government manipulate the masses to sway elections or otherwise go with the flow, as we did during mass worldwide lockdowns during covid.

Miles is the first to consider that Ben’s talk about world domination has some weight, and the Rabbit Hole writers did a great job of using current events to manipulate viewers into considering what Ben had to say, too.

Ben: He’s got so much money. It’s not about that anymore. He wants power. He wants power. He wants a regime of his own, and he wants it right here.
Miles: Oh, come on. How do you know that?
Ben: Because I wrote the book. Chapter one. Undermine people’s faith in the media so we can dig out the bloody nature of the truth. Chapter two. Polarize factions in society. When people stop seeing the other side as human, then human rights cease to be an obstacle. Chapter three. Marginalize the intelligencia. People stop listening to experts, and they become malleable, hm? That sound familiar? Chapter four. Now you’re gonna need chapter four. Elect candidate under the guise of restoring order. Someone smart, someone charismatic, but someone who can be controlled.
John: What’s chapter five?
Ben: Oh, there’s no chapter five. Now, the country’s yours.

Everything Changes - Rabbit Hole Season 1 Episode 3

It’s a lot more fun to buy into a show like this if the material is presented in a way that makes us question our own existence in the same way John and Miles are questioning theirs. Rabbit Hole scored in that department with “The Algorithms of Control.”

If John and Miles were reticent at first to believe Ben, John must be wishing now that his father had stayed dead. Dragging them into the Crowley business got his best friend killed and him framed for murder.

If John once enjoyed data, he learned enough along the way to treat it as the dangerous tool that it is, keeping it at arm’s length.

I laugh every time he pounds another hole in the wall. The amount of work he had to do to seal everything behind walls shows how easily he could be lured back to it. Sure, he’s hiding it from plain sight, but he’s also removing temptation, which we as a society have realized proves too much to resist.

Dear Old Dad - Rabbit Hole Season 1 Episode 3

Miles purposefully took on the hardest role, shielding John and Ben from Crowley, and he’s paid with his life. That worked as a catapult to get John back to the front lines. He’s going to great lengths to find out how Crowley is accomplishing his macabre agenda.

What kind of manipulation can drive a man like Miles to calmly walk to the edge of a highrise to take his own life? If they can reach Miles, then they can reach anyone.

Now the race is on to find Crowley before John and Ben succumb to the same fate. Ben’s got the benefit of a death certificate to hide him from view, but John’s far more vulnerable. He’s also at a technical disadvantage as he must remain untraceable but needs the tools the internet can provide, too.

John hasn’t shared with Ben anything about his family, but John hasn’t hidden his family in any way, either. How long before Crowley uses them as bait to lure John out of the woodwork?

Putting a Plan in Place - Rabbit Hole Season 1 Episode 3

It’s also highly unlikely that even with his death on the books, Crowley doesn’t know Ben is alive and kicking. Plus, they’ve got Hailey on their hands. She’s clearly hiding something, and she’s using technology that can lead anybody to their location.

All of this aside, “The Algorithms of Control” was a very fun ride, too. World domination is on the table, but John and Ben pick at each other, bringing the rest of us to giggles.

Ben: I don’t know how you can be so goddamned stupid.
John: I don’t know why you can’t just let it go. I like the taste of turkey bacon. It’s not some big political thing. I just like it.
Ben: Oh, come on, John. It’s disgusting. Turkey bacon. It tastes like salted asshole.

They couldn’t be more dissimilar, and that conversation still makes me laugh. Not to mention when Ben suggested John should kill Hailey when it looked like they were eating breakfast alone, but she was right there with them.

How funny was it when Ben said, “Oh, of course, you’re vegan.” He knows what he’s up against with these two, but he’s spitting made about the idiocy he sees in their choices.

Hard at Work - Rabbit Hole Season 1 Episode 3

That conversation at the table also brought up another layer of our societal manipulation when Ben addressed the grain lobbyists’ quest to ban fat to sell more grain. That’s a genuine argument experts have been having for years.

Lobbyists push agendas, swaying politicians to fight for their corporate agenda. It’s a gross manipulation of scientific data and free thought, but here we are.

It seems like not too many of you have yet caught on to this gem of a show, and I hope you’re just late to the party. Rabbit Hole keeps you on your toes and richly entertained in the process.

Heck, the next time your thumb hovers over the like on Facebook or Twitter, you might think twice before completing the action. Shows like this make you think, and really, how fun is that?

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She’s a member of the Critic’s Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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Rabbit Hole Season 1 Episode 3 Review: The Algorithms of Control