As Jackie "Jacks" Hays, undercover Oakland cop Grace Travis has managed to infiltrate the inner circle of notorious crime boss and shipping magnate Jimmy Laszlo (Marton Csokas), but doing so has cost her greatly. When her young son Sam is gunned down in a drive-by, she is pulled out by her handler, Buddy Wilson (Ian Hart) during a drug deal turned "bust." Unable to deal with the answer that her son's death was a simple tragedy, she sets out to get answers on her own, diving back into Laszlo's ring even though her badge has been suspended.
As she digs deeper, some pieces begin to connect, especially when members of Laszlo's crew start turning up dead and an attempt is made on Jimmy's life as well, with "Jacks" taking the bullet for him. There is clearly a mole within the police department, as well as a traitor in Jimmy's midst, and both he and Grace find themselves not having anyone to trust but one another. With someone out there making a move against Jimmy, could it be the Chinese "Clay Street Gang," someone in Jimmy's crew, or even one of his sons, either hot-headed Alec (Joshua Sasse) or calm-on-the-surface and intelligent Max (Matthew Beard), only recently released from prison.
As Grace pulls away from her husband Tom (Kavan Smith) and her teenaged daughter Evie (Sarah Jeffrey), she finds herself falling into the arms of the very dangerous Jimmy Laszlo, although the only person she can truly trust is her mentor, Lucas "Mitch" Mitchell (Ian Tracey), who coincidentally was given her son's murder to work as one of his cold cases. With Mitch providing her intel on Jimmy and his crew, Grace is able to further peel back the layers of deception, but she won't be happy with what she finds and neither will Jimmy.
First off, I hated the intro song and fast-forwarded it every time. I know it's not a big thing, but it was really grating. While the acting was decent most of the time, I was most impressed with Marton Csokas as he always made Jimmy seem like an animal ready to explode. It was a bit overdone, but he was a great villain. I also loved Matthew Beard as Max Laszlo, with his 50's hair and calm demeanor, when he was really just an animal in a nice suit. I've seen Thandie Newton in several things and I think she's a pretty good actress, but I thought the sex scenes were beneath an actress of her stature and it felt like another aging actress trying to prove she is still sexy. Newsflash Thandie - you are still sexy and you don't have to get naked and have animal sex to prove it! I am not a prude, but sex scenes thrown in just because they can be thrown in don't add to a show, just like gratuitous language and violence don't necessarily add anything. I personally didn't feel like the sex scenes were needed to make the point that this is a gritty group of people, or rather, they could have gone a more tasteful route with the scenes.
Overall, I thought Rogue was just ok. Even though every episode ended on a cliffhanger, I really wasn't terribly driven to see what would happen next. The entire season wraps up pretty nicely with all questions being answered as I suppose they weren't sure if they'd be renewed. I don't know if I'll watch the second season or not, as a lot of the main characters from this season were either killed off or left the storyline altogether. Martin Donovan playing Captain Campbell, one of the police superiors, is an interesting character and he is a really good actor who seems to be staying on for the next season, so who knows. I wouldn't go out of my way to see Rogue: The Complete First Season, but I don't feel like it was a complete waste of my time either. Special features were sparse and included the trailer, a behind the scenes featurette, and a series of webisodes chronicling Mitch's hunt for Sam's killer. These gave some backstory and even introduced characters not previously seen, like Mitch's ex-wife, but the aren't necessary to see. If you like gritty cop dramas, watch a few episodes and you will know whether you want to see it through.