I have a lot of mixed feelings about this episode, and where this show is heading in general.
Instead of dragging out the “Alice catches Ben/Christopher” storyline for the entire season (which is basically the show’s premise after all), this episode manages to flip its core dynamics. Alice does indeed catch Ben in the final scene of the hour, but…there’s a catch: she lets him go.
It’s an interesting twist indeed, but instead of leaving me shocked by this development, I can’t help but feel a bit worried about the future of this show—and not just because ratings have been quite bad for ABC. When Alice unbuttons her shirt and reveals the wire to Ben/Christopher, thus allowing him to escape without a confession for Agent Dao to use on him, the show finds itself in a bit of a pickle. Where exactly does this leave us? What’s the point of this show now that Alice is clearly uninterested in capturing her ex con-man?
And yet, everything about the Alice/Ben storyline was quite amusing and thrilling this week. The princess wanting to introduce Ben to the leader of a charity, and that person ended up being none else than a smirky, smitten Alice, was executed so brilliantly, I literally gasped in excitement at the scene. This show is so much more seductive to watch when all of its key players are keeping secrets or being shady and elusive, and Alice tricking a very gullible princess just to get closer to Ben was fantastic to watch.
Sadly, the rest of the hour was boring to watch. The newest love triangle being forced upon us is that of Sophie/Danny/Shawn, and all I could think of while watching these three people be ridiculous and flirtatious was the equally cringe-inducing love triangle on Supergirl. Much like the Winn/James/Kara romance, The Catch just really wants us to care about Sophie, Danny and Shawn and whatever angst we’re about to witness following this episode. Danny is clearly the underdog who can’t tell Sophie he likes her, but Sophie is the real problem on this show. After telling Danny she wouldn’t date someone like Shawn (aka big and muscular), she literally does the exact opposite. It’s a disappointing and wildly unnecessary subplot.
I do think the show is desperately trying to walk a fine line between “sexy” and “serious”. The Margot/Felicity sex scene (in a highly entertaining guest appearance by Shivani Ghai) is not a thrilling or shocking development; the reveal sort of just “happens” and we feel indifferent to it. I’d rather see Margot being a hilarious con who consistently delivers outrageous one-liners, but that’s not sexy enough for a Shonda show, and the “serious” aspect comes in the form of the weekly case. It was undoubtedly is a bit more interesting this time around, constantly revealing twists at every turn, but I’m already a bit tired of the clients’ backstories being paralleled with Alice’s lying ex-boyfriend and her unwillingness to trust anyone in her life anymore.
Bits & Scams
– Regina King directed this episode. I was absolutely fascinated by her on American Crime, and hope to see her in front of the camera on this show someday!
– I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love every scene with Christopher, Margot and now Felicity. But bring back Reggie!
– The Pegasys company name gave me huge Grey’s Anatomy vibes (although that plane was called Pegasus over there).
– Still love the Alice/Val friendship on this show, but I also can’t wait to see how it all blows up once Val realizes what her friend was been up to.
– Nifty twist: Alice and Val’s clients ended up being the bad guys, and Marie (who I actually sympathized with at first) was in cahoots on the whole thing.
– Alice and Ben’s final scene in the park was so good and intense.
– The title of this episode feels like it’s straight out of a children’s book.
Christopher: Why haven’t you shot us yet?
Margot: Darling, she’s having her tea.
Margot: Why do you insist on giving away all our money?
Christopher: Did you not see the gun she left out in full view for maximum impact?
Agent Dao: Are you sure you’re all right?
Alice: If I was a man, would you be asking me that?
Alice: I want to know why.
Christopher: I need you to know I never meant to hurt you.
Alice: You just meant to bankrupt my company and steal my life savings?
Christopher: It’s an assignment. It’s a job.
Alice: Yeah, I gathered that.
Christopher: It started as a job.
Alice: It ended that way too.
Christopher: I had to make a choice. Either stay with the people I work for, or leave with you, and I chose you. It was real. What we had was real. And I love you. Nothing else matters. As far as your firm is concerned… (Alice shows him the wire) This fantasy you have that I’m a con man who’s after your money is pathetic and desperate…beneath you, and you need to let it go. You need to let me go.
The Alice/Ben chase is still exquisite and intriguing, but the sudden change in the show’s status quo has me a little worried.