Now that’s more like it.
I wasn’t quite impressed with the show’s second episode, but third time’s a charm I guess because this was a vast improvement over the past two weeks. The show’s zippy tone is starting to grow on me, and the lack of shocking twists despite being a Shonda Rhimes show is okay if the characters continue to be fleshed out more like they were this week.
The most compelling thing about this show is undeniably the Alice/Christopher cat-and-mouse chase. Instead of feeling like it’s being dragged on for several weeks, the show keeps throwing little breadcrumbs at us every chance they get. Alice spotting Christopher at the restaurant with his newest victim (the princess) was such a powerful moment, even if it’s packed with a soapy plotline where she’s drugged and unable to move, and their first phone call is absolutely thrilling in every sense of the word.
Then, the real kicker: their breathless, almost speechless second phone call at the end. Mireille Enos and Peter Krause are delivering top-notch performances; their scene during that phone call, each of them on one end of a bed while Alice sheds a tear and Christopher begs of her not to follow him for her own safety, is the episode’s highlight and the show’s best moment so far.
I even adored the flashbacks this week, all of which culminated with just how far Christopher went to win Alice’s trust and heart. I do wish Alice didn’t ask him during the phone call about getting Susan that job because it made the flashbacks (which coincidentally involved getting Susan the job) feel more of a tactic from a writing standpoint and less earned. Nevertheless, this is just a minor quibble in what was already a fun and light hour.
Even the weekly case was quite entertaining and contained a great deal of intriguing bits. Bringing Val’s soon-to-be ex-husband and his sister for a case didn’t really develop Val or her backstory quite as much as the show intended, but it was still important if only to see her friendship with Alice continue to grow. Every scene of these two women sitting and discussing their failed relationships and lack of trust in men is compelling. I’m looking forward to that one episode that delves deeper into how Alice and Val met and started working together.
Finally, I love that the show is giving us insight into how the bad guys work and think. The dynamic between Christopher, Reggie and Margot is absolutely riveting and energetic, adding just the perfect dose of lightheartedness into any scene. Any problems I had earlier about Christopher being too sympathetic seemed to fade away as I was immersed with his willingness to keep Alice safe and away from Margot, who in turn had a lot more to do this week including walking into the men’s bathroom and shooting Qasim in the calmest way possible. I absolutely love this team of misfits and can’t wait to see where they’ll take their villainous acts next.
Bits & Scams
– As a fluent Arabic speaker, I can tell you Qasim is hilariously bad whenever he attempts to speak Arabic. I’m baffled at how rarely American shows get the language right.
– Genuinely laughed when that woman Reggie was conning undressed his pants and gasped “I thought our towers are impressive”. Hilarious.
– Interesting that they gave Agent Dao a more personal motive to go after Christopher, claiming that he killed Nathalie Duchamp, a woman Dao knew apparently, but he’s still a bit annoying and creepy sometimes. Let’s not forget he bugged Alice’s place.
– Loved how Christopher, Reggie and Margot tricked Qasim by having the princess fire him.
– Maybe it’s because I’ve been watching TV shows for a long time, but I kind of saw the twist involving the juice coming.
– Seriously, this was a very fast-paced and amusing episode, I almost didn’t believe 40 minutes had passed.
Danny: You’re hacking his laptop?
Sophie: He was asking for it. His password is his wife’s name and birthday.
Valerie: He took everything from us. From you. Allie, do not give him one more second of your life.
(after Margot shoots Qasim)
Christopher: What the hell?
Margot: He was gonna kill you and expose us, and he was not a very nice man.
Reggie: I leave you two alone for two minutes, now we have an international incident.
Christopher: I know you’re angry, and you have every right to be. Just promise me you won’t come looking for me.
Alice: For my own safety.
Christopher: So you don’t end up dead in the trunk of a car.
A highly enjoyable and zippy hour. I’m hooked.