"There’s not a ton of action, not a ton of special effects, not a ton of anything that would set it apart from other spy stories — except for those (Extreme Variant Abilities), which only pop up when something weird is needed," says Ben Travers of the Starz series. "That’s not often enough, and The Rook feels bogged down by what it lacks and what it offers. It’s a little clunky in its structure and not great at explaining itself, despite lots of attempts. There are enough little nagging questions to irritate fans of more efficient spy thrillers (like when a top agent hides or forgets about key video files in her desktop trash bin), and the world-building isn’t broad enough to feel unique from (read: cooler than) our own. With solid performances and an ambitious premise, if not execution, The Rook could develop into something that’s at least interesting, but for now, it’s most peculiar aspects are also what’s holding it back.