Recaps

Two Takes: The Catch Series Finale “The Mockingbird”

Photo Credit: Eric McCandless/ABC

Worst. Ending. Ever. Okay, well, maybe the storyline wasn’t the worst…I actually kind of loved that….but the fact that The Catch has officially come to an end has us at TV Goodness DEVASTATED. With an airplane wave, the show’s series finale left us hanging in more ways than one and we can hardly believe that this Casablanca-esque send-off is how we have to say our final goodbye.

We’ve loved every twist, turn, reunion and betrayal that this show has served up over the past two seasons and the finale was no exception. Starting off with the illusion that Tommy Vaughn was the elusive Mockingbird and Tessa had been taken hostage by the undead Felicity, things took a quick turn and proved once again that nothing on The Catch is as it appears.

As we came to learn, Tommy was only moonlighting as Mockingbird to cover for the real Mockingbird, who turned out to be none other than seemingly-reformed Rhys (shocker!). And that dear-daughter Tessa was actually far more cunning than we even realized, because she was the mastermind behind her own kidnapping, having been in cahoots with Felicity the whole time in an effort to take down Margot and Rhys. So. Much. Goodness.

And yet, when it came down to the final seconds, it wasn’t about cons or schemes or plots, it was about love. Ben and Alice started this whole crazy ride for us and so appropriately, they ended it for us as well with a wave on a runway as Ben took off for a life on the run and Alice stayed back with the promise of joining him someday.

Cortney: Tina, I don’t even know what to say, I’m still reeling from the cancellation announcement, which took place just as The Catch was ending on the east coast. I’m gonna miss this show SO MUCH! You and I have those shows that even years after they’re cancelled, we still talk about and lament and I have no doubt that this will be one of them.

Photo Credit: Eric McCandless/ABC

So, since this is our last Catch Two Takes ever, let’s get to it. What did you think of the ending? As soon as it ended, I’ll admit, I was upset. How could they leave us with Alice and Ben separated?! These two deserve their happily ever after! But the further I got from the ending, the more I realized how appropriate it was.

Ben made a major sacrifice for Alice at the end of season one by turning himself in and going to jail so they could be together eventually and now Alice is making a sacrifice for him by letting him go so the FBI can’t catch him and they can be together eventually. Their love is real. And even though Ben was running off with Margot and Alice was staying back with Ethan, I have no doubt they will end up together in TV Fairytale Land someday.

Tina: For a season finale, “The Mockingbird” was fantastic. It set up a third season nicely. There was so much potential and so much material to play if The Catch had been allowed to continue (No I’m not bitter. Yes, I am bitter. Very, very bitter).

For a series finale, it was still an excellent episode but it was also an extremely infuriating ending considering I want so badly for there to be more. I’m going to be in denial mode for a while so bare with me.

This time of the year is always heartbreaking. There are always shows you worship that come to an end too soon. And I will forever come to think of The Catch as one of those “brilliant but cancelled” series. I practically made a plea every week in this column and/or on Twitter for people to wake up and discover it and for ABC to give it another shot. But we did get two seasons of goodness, so that’s something. That’s more than FOX’s Pitch can say. #SavePitch

Photo Credit: Eric McCandless/ABC

Okay, let me actually talk about the finale. There were so many shocks I did and didn’t see coming. The first being Rhys is The Mockingbird. The thought crossed my mind for a second but I quickly dismissed it. Stupid me. There was no way Tommy could have been Mockingbird — that little bit I was grateful for — but I gravitated towards Ethan being the bad guy puppet master who wanted his drugs back. But I now see why Rhys makes much more sense.

What episode was it he told us that he’s the bad guy? HE TOLD US, CORTNEY. He frickin’ warned Ben and the audience. Did we listen to him? Nope. Stupid us.

Photo Credit: Eric McCandless/ABC

Cortney: He told us last week that “a tiger can’t change his stripes” and while he might’ve been alluding to Ben at the time, it’s clear he was referring to himself as well. Heart. Broken. I now look back at everything he did this season — every supposed kind action, every kind word, every scheme and plot — with a totally different perspective. I still like to believe that somewhere deep down, he cares about other people, but now, with the manipulative cloud hovering over it all, it’s hard to see that. Tina, I know both you and I were a big Justine/Rhys fan — that dynamic and friendship delivered on all fronts — so to know that is dead in the water hurts. Would it have been fun to watch these two really face off next season? Probably yes. But it still wouldn’t have been the same.

Tina: Yes, like you, I am feeling the loss of the Rhys/Justine connection, which is huge in my book. I adored their budding whatever it is-ship. I feel like it could have turned into something, but knowing he played her wouldn’t ever sit well with Justine. That connection seemed irreparably severed whether the show was cancelled or not.

Photo Credit: Eric McCandless/ABC

Cortney: I agree. And yet, what hurts even more, is his betrayal of Ben. Yes, he’s Rhys and he always comes first, but you and I both felt his love for Ben was real (or possibly even real-er than we imagined). Ultimately, in his twisted Rhys-mind, he thought he was doing good for the both of them. Obviously, this comes from the fact that he refuses to see (or accept) that Ben has changed and as such, the way the season ended for these two was brutal.

Rhys: Where are you?
Ben: I’m with Margot and my daughter on a plane out of the country right now, where we’ll be safe. But I’m coming for you.
Rhys: Benji, let me explain
Ben: You lied to me. You used me.
Rhys: I did it for us….
Ben: You compromised my deal and my entire future with Alice.
Rhys:…so we’d have something after our deal, our own empire, bigger than Kensington.
Ben: It’s all yours Rhys because we are done. You hear me? I’m coming for you.

Ouch! The look on Rhys’ face after Ben says this makes it clear he knows that for once he is up against a formidable foe. Normally, Rhys can outsmart anyone, but Rhys against Ben, that’s a battle of wits that I would’ve loved to have seen. Ben has forgiven Rhys’ many many MANY transgressions to this point, but messing with his future with Alice, that crosses the line.

Tina: Rhys had all these justifications running around in his mind. But how he deluded himself into thinking he could pull this Mockingbird stunt off and still keep Ben as a friend is beyond me. The man’s neurons don’t quite connect in the same way everyone else’s does. Unfortunately his excuses mean nothing.

Photo Credit: Eric McCandless/ABC

There’s a great interview with The Catch creator in Deadline where Allan Heinberg says that much of season three would be getting these two back together. I really don’t know how that would even happen. It would take a lot. Because Ben will always choose Alice, no matter what. She’s his everything. And while Rhys is super important to him too, he knows what kind of man his friend/brother is. Ben cherishes Alice’s light. He doesn’t want to spend so much time cloaked in the darkness anymore.

It’s so apparent like when they were at Ethan’s airport and Ben and Alice saw each other again:

Alice: Hey!
Ben: What took you so long?
Alice: You know. It’s LA. Traffic.

They glow when they’re around each other. It’s adorable. Okay, I could talk about Rhys/Ben/Alice forever. But there are other topics to discuss. Like Tessa.

I admit it. Her being her own kidnapper essentially and being in cahoots with Felicity was also something I didn’t see coming. Part of the reason why I adore this show so much is because it can surprise me. It was very easy to believe this is a plan she’d go with. But I had gotten quickly invested in the Margot/Tessa/Ben family dynamic so this deception made me sad. At least she didn’t disappoint in the end. I knew there were real feelings there. Cortney, Margot and Tessa showed real feelings in this episode! Will wonders never cease?

I mean, when Margot was feeling down about losing Kensington and not seeing Tessa’s betrayal coming, Tessa gave her a pep talk. She proposed they build a new crime syndicate. I. Love. This. Newbie. Family.

Photo Credit: Eric McCandless/ABC

Cortney: I agree! And while I don’t know if it was wishful delusion or some genius foresight, but the whole time Tessa and Felicity were holding Ben, Rhys and Margot at gunpoint in the hotel, I was thinking to myself that there was no way it was going to end that way. Tessa had to come around. She may have started this to get revenge but in the end, she got a family and ultimately, that was really what she wanted.

Fortunately, I ended up being right (which is a rare occurrence in this show! Like you said, it never ceases to surprise me!). But it was also a heck of a lot of fun getting to that point. Sure, Tessa totally tricked everyone (and kudos to Philippa Coulthard for the stellar acting — that change from damsel in distress to manipulative mastermind on the bridge was stellar!), but regardless, she was still family and as such Alice couldn’t bring the call to take her down, Ben still tried to to appeal to her daughterly instincts and even Margot seemed relatively understanding of the situation at hand.

Photo Credit: Eric McCandless/ABC

Honestly, Margot seemed more disappointed by the fact that her mother was in on it, which is something I actually found LESS surprising. But ultimately, when all was said and done, family came first and as a result, we got what was perhaps my favorite dialogue of the episode when Tessa turned the gun on Felicity:

Felicity: Darling, I know this is difficult, but they’re terrible, selfish people.
Tessa: Yes, so am I. I tried to kill mum and she took me in. Dad could’ve turned me in to the FBI but he didn’t. And I’m sorry Uncle Rhys shot you but I’m not about to lose my family over it.
Felicity: You’re just like them, a conniving little bitch.
Tessa: Well, I learned from the best.
Felicity: Am I meant to be insulted by that?
Margot: She didn’t mean you {she tases Felicity}, she meant me.

Absolutely priceless. Tessa and Margot are two peas in a pod and I wish more than anything we had the chance to see these two and Ben on the run. Now, since I know you’re a big fan of Margot and Danny, let’s discuss. Because if Margot had her way, it would’ve been all four of them on the run (Tessa gets two dads!). What did you think about Danny’s decision and how this relationship has developed? I mean, the “I love you” wasn’t explicitly said, but I think it was pretty clearly implied….

Photo Credit: Bob D’Amico/ABC

Tina: It was implied. And I still can’t believe how my love for Danny/Sophie at the beginning of the season is gone and I’ve switched ships so definitively. I’m now firmly in the Danny/Margot camp. Those two are super sexy. I know Margot’s a bad, bad woman but this is fictional TV so I’m gonna go with it. I like the way Danny is with her. He still does that puppy thing every once in while but when he’s with Margot, he’s more mature, he steps up and he’s even a sniper. I really wanted him to get on that plane with Margot but I totally understand why he didn’t. His loyalty to Alice prevailed, which was so very cool and mature of him. I giggled at this scene:

Margot: Try not to fall in love with anyone until I get back.
Danny: Well then you better hurry back.

It’s love. It’s really love. Or at least the kind of love that Margot allows herself to feel. I’m happy knowing that with the end of the series these two ended up together even if they can’t be on the same continent for now.

What else do we need to talk about? I think we need to spend a little more time analyzing the Tommy situation. His redemption happened real quick. Too quickly for my tastes. Don’t get me wrong. I liked that he came through for his sister, but everything seemed way too hunky dory afterwards. I guess I’m going to have to hold a grudge for Alice. Not a forever grudge. Simply a right now grudge.

Cortney: I hear you. Tommy’s good guy, bad guy, tough guy, wimpy guy flip flops were giving me whiplash. He’s like a little kid who wants a seat at the adults’ table. Not gonna happen. And after all the sh*t he put Alice through, I not only expected, but NEEDED more groveling. I mean, did he ever even really apologize?! One thing I did love was that Alice knew from the beginning that he was not Mockingbird. She didn’t say it, but if you read between the lines, she was clearly saying “you’re not smart enough to pull all this off.” lol. And she was right. Absorbing all the other crime families in town? That’s way above Tommy’s skill set.

But ultimately, I guess he ended up being a good guy. He offered to help Justine get Rhys in order to protect his sister…even though that was a promise he clearly couldn’t deliver on, but the guns and money and players are a good start! Betray her or not, as Tommy admitted to Danny, Alice is his sister and she’s all he has. Does this justify all his crap? Nope. But it did feel genuine, which is a rare thing coming from Tommy. And since we’ll never actually know if he stood by his word or this was just another ploy in the con, I’m going to go ahead and believe he was being honest and he was really ready to change his stripes.

One more thing. I know we are both firmly on team BAlice, but you can’t deny that there was a moment between Alice and Ethan in the office. Thoughts on this? Or would you rather pretend it never happened?

Photo Credit: Eric McCandless/ABC

Tina: Do you mean the part where Ethan was trying to apologize to her for telling her that he loved her and she said she was glad he told her? And this conversation happened while they were standing oh so very close to each other?

Alice: I’m with Ben now.
Ethan: I know. I know that.
Alice: But I was going to spend the rest of my life with you. I’m always going to love you.
Ethan: I’m not sure if it makes it better or worse.
Alice: It’s just the way it is.

Yeah, I have some thoughts. I actually really loved this conversation. A lot. The chemistry between these two is spectacular. But Alice is right. “It’s just the way it is.” Yes, she has feelings for Ethan. She always will. But Ben is her present and her future no matter what they have to go through. But I have all sorts of love for this moment. Surprised?

Also, going back to the Deadline interview with Heinberg for a second. He said that had a third season happened Warren Christie (Ethan) would have been added as a series regular. I would have been all for that. I am so curious to know how he would have fit into this universe on a more permanent basis. I’m so mad we’re not going to get that.

Photo Credit: Eric McCandless/ABC

Another also — and I’m totally switching topics because I’ve been wanting to get this off my chest for a while now. My one real critique of this second season (well, other than Tommy’s too-quick redemption) is that Val didn’t get s–t to do for much of the back half of this season. She had a bit of story with Nick/her past with the LAPD. And that’s about it.

But seriously, once Agent Dao left and never returned and was never mentioned again (boo!) her storyline was pretty much non-existent. She was there for Alice and got a couple of badass moments this season but other than that, nada. And that makes me sad because Rose Rollins is so freakin’ fierce. I had never seen her before The Catch and now that I have I’m a fan.

Any last comments, critiques about this season or the Deadline interview?

Cortney: You took the words right out of my mouth as far as Val. I was so excited when Nick came on board and we started to learn a little more about her LAPD past (which definitely revealed itself in the finale as she paired up with Justine — could you imagine these two as a fierce, crime fighting team?!) but just as quickly, it was over and done. I wanted more! As you said, Rollins is a stellar actress and I have no doubt that she would’ve delivered if given the chance.

As far as the interview, I both loved it for all the insight provided — not only was Ethan suppose to be the Big Bad, but Tessa was originally suppose to be a 32 year old woman and NOT the daughter of Ben & Margot! — and hated it because it made me think of all the wonderful plans and plot lines that we’ll never get to see. This was truly an exceptional show. I was on board from day 1 and it only got better with time, which is rare in the world of TV. The show, the characters, the head-spinning twists & turns and the ever-snappy dialogue will all be missed. It may be gone, but it will never be forgotten. How about you, Tina? Favorite moments or memories you want to touch on while you still have the chance?

Tina: Believe it or not, I don’t have much more to say. Just that I’ve really enjoyed covering The Catch in season two. I wish I had discovered it earlier than I did. But I’m happy I got with the program. This was a fun, well-written, well-acted series. I’m sorry it’s not going to continue.

Photo Credit: Bob D’Amico/ABC

Thanks to the cast and the behind-the-scenes crew who created/produced such an entertaining series.

Cortney and I hope that you’ve all enjoyed our Two Takes on The Catch.

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