Can you ever really trust a con man (or woman)? What if they’re your friend? Your lover? Or even your brother? There were almost as many trust issues in this episode of ABC’s The Catch as there were umbrellas and while it had some characters on edge, it put others right in their element.
Alice was front and center when it came to issues of trust — sleeping with Ben (who as she rightly pointed out, spent the first year of their relationship deceiving her), working with Margot (who admitted to trying to kill her), and hiring her brother (who while revealing that he’s semi-smart also revealed that he can be super-shady).
But it wasn’t just Alice, Margot in turn had to trust Alice with HER life, ironically…which she begrudgingly did so while chowing down on a burger. And Agent Diaz had to trust the bug men, sorry, I mean con men, to help her take down a sushi-fied smuggling ring.
So what does this mean for these new good guy/bad guy pairings? Is their trust well-placed or will it come back to bite them in the you-know-what? Only time will tell but for now, Tina and I will tackle all the ups, downs, baits and switches in “The Hammer.”
Cortney: Tina, just when I think I can’t love this show anymore, it proves me wrong! Is it bad that I kind of secretly (and now that I’m admitting it here, not so secretly) want to be Alice Vaughan? Sure, her life is a bit of a mess, but she’s just so cool and badass and deals with everything with such confidence. It’s like nothing phases her. Not to mention that umbrella ploy — downright genius! It reminded me of the subterfuge Ben executed in the first season and I love that it came back around with her in control this time.
Tina: Before I get into how we all want to be Alice, I want to address your intro. I take notes while I’m watching The Catch and all I kept writing during the episode were two words: Trust. Issues. That definitely seemed to be the theme of “The Hammer.” It’s something they are probably going to explore all season long.
Now back to Alice. For me, it was awesome to see her in full badass mode as in she got to kick the ass of the mysterious assassin (a.k.a. The Hammer) that was hired to off Margot. I just realized you can’t spell assassin without a double dose of ass. Okay, I need to stop using the word “ass,” don’t I?
Anyway, Alice showed us she has serious skills of the mental and physical variety. I agree, she does exude a massive amount of confidence. She’s unflappable, really. But I do love it when she shows that she is indeed human, hence all those trust issues she’s having with the men and Margot in her life. See how I brought things back around to the trust thing?
Cortney: I completely agree that trust issues are going to be an ongoing theme this season. But in addition to the trust issues, we also have the issue of forgiveness. Trusting Ben is one thing, but forgiving him for what he’s done is another. I’ve been rolling it around in my head which is more important and whether one is necessary for the other. Does Alice have to forgive him in order to trust him? Or does she have to trust him in order to forgive him? As of now, she’s claimed that she’s forgiven him, which I think is a good start and I think she more or less trusts him, even if she has a little tinge of doubt, which seems completely justified given the situation.
Margot has admittedly not faired so well on either of these fronts when it comes to Ben.
Margot: He lied to me for months, maybe years. I’ll never know. He humiliated me, he broke my heart in exactly the same way he broke yours. But unlike you, I couldn’t forgive him so I tried to take away the one thing he loved most, more than he ever loved me. and that was you.
I can’t begin to tell you how much I’m enjoying the dynamic between these two — they’re so different, as illustrated in the quote above, but also so similar in many ways. As such, I love that Margot came right out and admitted her animosity towards Alice, even though it wasn’t REALLY because of Alice. That being said, while I am eager to see the relationship between these two develop, the fact that Margot hasn’t forgiven Ben makes me think there still may be some element of revenge underlying it all…at least once she’s no longer being hunted. What are your thoughts as far as forgiveness and trust? And how are you feeling about the Margot/Alice dynamic so far?
Tina: I think it’s easier to forgive than to trust. I believe it when Alice says she forgives Ben. If she said she trusted him right now, I wouldn’t have believed that for a second. So I really appreciated the fight the two had. I thought it was about time they had the trust fight. I can’t believe Ben honestly thought her trust should be a done deal. He lied to her for a year and even though he’s making good on trying to become good, it’s going to take a lot longer for that trust to come.
And, yes, Margot’s hurt Ben lied to her and I guess he did. He didn’t mean to fall in love with Alice — she was the mark. But he did. I guess because what they were doing was so completely shady, I don’t feel like Margot has as much of a leg to stand on as Alice does.
Plus, I sense Ben and Margot had a completely different type of relationship, one that wasn’t dependent on honesty or fidelity, only loyalty. And they were both thieves and, I’m sorry, but there’s no way they should have been trusting each other. It’s normal to hang your hat on trust but when you do what they do, trust is tentative or short-term. It’ll ultimately go out the door. That’s my opinion anyway.
But it also goes both ways. While Alice tried to tell Ben the truth a couple of times she didn’t. She didn’t let Ben know that Margot was her client. Hmmm…I wonder what he’s going to think when he finds out? As right as she is about Ben’s potential reaction to finding this little nugget out, she needed to tell him. Needed.
In the end, I thought these conversations were illuminating for us viewers. They let us know what these characters were truly feeling. We also were able to see Alice a bit out of her element. Because of her trust issues with both Ben and Tommy, she didn’t want them hanging out and getting to know each other. She didn’t want Tommy around shady elements and she didn’t want Tommy sharing any embarrassing secrets with her fiancee. Both of these things happened. Any thoughts on head cheerleader Alice? Getting suspended? Tommy’s new alliance? Or Alice not telling Ben about Margot?
Cortney: You took the words right out of my mouth! Alice can’t trust Ben, but she’s also not being completely honest with him. He is not going to be happy about the Margot thing…especially after he made Alice promise to stay away from her. This is not going to go over well when Ben does find out.
But that being said, he also doesn’t really have a leg to stand on considering all that he’s hidden from her. I know he wants Alice to avoid Margot to protect her, but this situation is different in that Margot is now the one who needs protecting. Or did. Now that she’s hiring her would-be assassin, it’s anyone’s guess what she has up her sleeve.
As much as I loved Ben & Tommy’s breakfast together and the little Young-Alice insight we got, I loved the SUPER awkward family + Rhys dinner even more. Every time Alice tried to avoid one land mine, she just landed on another. And it seems that her concern was well-placed since Tommy clearly ignored Ben’s “crime doesn’t pay” directive and not only hacked Alice’s company computers, but is eagerly cozying up to Rhys to steal the three million dollars that is (but really isn’t) his.
Granted, we don’t yet know if he was already in the crime biz or not, but even if he was, between that dinner setting him up with potential other criminals and overhearing Alice’s claim that he “wouldn’t last a second in [Ben’s] world” may have had something to do with pushing him even further in that direction.
He definitely seems like the type who would want to prove her wrong. What do you think about Tommy’s shady goings-on? And any thoughts as to who might’ve killed the Kincaids? Think there’s any way Tommy had a hand in it and is playing his own long con? And what about his kiss with Sophie? I know you gave him a “hands off!” warning last week…..
Tina: No thoughts about who might’ve killed the Kincaids and funneled three million dollars into an offshore account in Tommy’s name other than I wonder whether Alice’s ex Ethan has anything to do with this mess. I’m going to reserve judgment on Tommy’s shadiness with enlisting Rhys on stealing that loot. Who knows how far it’s going to go. Who knows if his conscience (if he has one) will get the best of him. Who knows if Alice will find out and use her extreme badassness to put the kibosh on her brother’s shadiness. (That’s the option I’m going to vote for)
As for the Tommy-Sophie kiss, I get where Sophie was coming from. She was shot at. The gunshot came very close to hitting her. She was shaky. She was scared. She needed Danny. Danny wasn’t around. She turned to Tommy because he was there and he went in for the kiss. A kiss where, I’m sorry, I didn’t see any sparks.
Maybe I’m biased because I’m such a Danny/Sophie fan. I’m cool with their road to coupledom not going smoothly. But there’s that trust word again. If she had trusted Danny enough to find out what was up with him first, then she wouldn’t have had to admit to him that she was with Tommy when he was finding out a big clue about the Kincaids/Patrick Murphy and how they sold drugs for the Southland drug cartel.
Your thoughts on the kiss? And how about the new con, the one which had Ben going in as a seasoned food critic? It was in this story we got to see some fun banter between Justine, Ben and Rhys. Although, I’m biased once again. It’s nowhere near as good as Jessica Pearson / Harvey Specter banter on Suits. I think it’ll get close though. (Yes, I brought up Suits again. I can’t help it. haha)
Cortney: I’m on the same page as far as the Tommy/Sophie kiss. No sparks and fueled by her shakiness. Not to mention the fact that Danny kind of chose work over her earlier when she asked him out on a date and admitted to running a background check on her — I think it’s fair to call that a big bump in the road. I don’t see Tommy and Sophie going anywhere, but then again, now that Tommy is getting a little more confident (and nearly verging into cocky territory), I think Danny needs to step up and play his hand soon.
And yessss, so glad you brought up the sushi-diamond-smuggling-ring. First and foremost, I have to say that I was literally drooling when they showed the whole food-prep montage! I can see why Rhys went off book to get a bite for himself! But let’s backtrack for a second — the whole Bug People Plan and all the quips that came out of that were priceless.
It also reminded me (not that I needed a reminder) of how well Ben & Rhys work and play together. Seeing them come up with their own schemes was like a professional game of table tennis — they play off each other so well and just know what works. And despite her attempts to run the op while pulling out the “T” word (TRUST! AGAIN!) and threatening a return to prison, even Justine was able to recognize that you just have to let them do what they do best.
Ben slid in and played Kenji like a finely tuned fiddle — he had no idea what hit him….
Tina: Don’t you mean, Benji slid in and played Kenji like a finely tuned fiddle?
Cortney: Haha, yes! How did I not think of that?! I have to say, I actually feel bad for the guy. He didn’t seem nefarious at all and in the end, Ben inspired him to take charge of his own life and return to his roots…even if it did ruin the whole plan and will require a plan B. But, ultimately, I found this whole set-up tons of fun, especially the dinner between “darlings” Justine & Rhys. What did you think?
Tina: I want to see more of Justine and Rhys. I think they could offer up some fun chemistry. But I’m, once again, going to take the safe road and reserve judgment.
Before we shut this Two Takes down I have a few random notes:
-In addition to finding out Alice was head cheerleader back in high school before she was suspended, we also found out that Valerie was part of the LAPD for seven years before she left. Now I want to know why Alice was suspended from school and why Valerie left the force. I like how the show is slowly working in backstory to these characters, they are fleshing them out nicely.
-I know that Agent Dao’s promotion took him to D.C., but I missed him.
-Whenever Margot calls her Kensington people, “Leftenant,” I love it. It reminds me of Ichabod Crane calling Abbie Mills “leftenant” on FOX’s Sleepy Hollow.
-“Not as bug people.” = one of my favorite lines of dialogue ever
-Ben and Alice continue to be one of the most adorable couples on TV. They are when they’re fighting. They are when they’re engaging in cheerleader talk. They are when they’re trying to protect each other (which often means lying to each other), they are. And I’ll probably say the same thing in every Two Takes so get used to it now.
The Catch airs Thursday nights at 10/9c on ABC.