A gaslighter gets gaslighted in Paramount+ conspiracy thriller 'Rabbit Hole'

Get ready to go down a "Rabbit Hole," for nothing is what it seems and no one is who they appear to be in the upcoming Paramount+ thriller.

At the center of the complicated storyline of the series that premieres Sunday, March 26, is John Weir (Kiefer Sutherland), a corporate spy and master at manipulating reality to influence the actions of companies for clients' gain. But when the tables are turned on him and he's framed for murder, the already paranoid and troubled operative finds himself unable to distinguish reality from artifice.

What follows is a convoluted chain of events that is impossible to summarize here except to say that at its root are powerful interests that manipulate corporations and governments to influence markets and elections. Among the players are John's father (Charles Dance); a barroom hookup (Meta Golding), who turns out to be an invaluable ally in this intrigue; an FBI agent (Enid Graham); and a corporate intern (Walt Klink) with some surprising survival skills.

Turns out the corporate intern (Walt Klink) has some surprising survival skills in Paramount+'s "Rabbit Hole." Courtesy of Paramount+

In today's conspiracy theory-laden climate, "Rabbit Hole" is a story very much of its time, and showrunners Glenn Ficarra and John Requa ("This Is Us," "WeCrashed") created it with Sutherland - a veteran of playing heroic figures such as counterterrorism agent Jack Bauer in the 2001-10 Fox espionage thriller "24" - in mind.

"John Weir, Kiefer's character - I wouldn't say he's an unreliable narrator," Ficarra explains, "but he's definitely on a need-to-know basis. You know, he tricks the audience as if they need to be on a need-to-know basis. So things are unveiled for the audience sort of as they're unveiled for their characters.

"But what seems like a simple job turned into a frame-up on him, an unexpected wrinkle, then we find out that he knows a little bit more than what it seems. So there are times in the show where Kiefer is ahead of us as an audience and there are times when he is behind what's going on."

Indeed, as things shift around and true identities are revealed from episode to episode, it becomes obvious that one needs a scorecard to keep up. So turn off the cellphone and watch, for this is a story that requires and rewards the viewer's undivided attention.

"There's lots of Easter eggs," Ficarra notes, "lots of evidence right in front of your face that maybe you won't notice."

"This is a fun playground," Requa adds. "It makes the audience sit forward and pay attention and feel like they're being engaged and not insulted. You know, they're being engaged by the story."

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