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Two Takes: The Catch “The Dining Hall” 

Two Takes: The Catch “The Dining Hall”
Photo Credit: Richard Cartwright/ABC
Photo Credit: Richard Cartwright/ABC

WARNING: This is a recap so plenty of Spoilers for The Catch “The Dining Hall”

Okay, that was fun.

On ABC’s The Catch, the action picked up right where things left off last week, with Tommy enlisting Rhys’ help to (stupidly) steal the 3 million from the offshore account that’s in his name. Rhys was also tasked with providing Tommy with a discreet way out of the country as well as a new identity.

In turn, Rhys gave Alice’s brother the family and friends discount. Who knew said discount would mean all for Rhys and none for Tommy? All of us should have known.

In all this mayhem, the Southland Drug Cartel materialized, which meant bad things for Tommy and anyone who knows him. The crime organization’s appearance also meant we learned some new intel on Valerie, who reached out to her former partner at the LAPD for his help on the Tommy Vaughan case.

There was much juggling going on because at the same time this pesky drug cartel was trying to track their money down, the Kenji diamond smuggling case continued, with Ben(ji) and Rhys making sure Justine went along with their latest plan, a scheme that involved Ben showing off his considerable sushi-making skills. That guy was on fire.

We can’t forget Margot. Alice and Valerie sent the B-Team to do her bidding. Or should we say, B-Team and Sophie, because Sophie’s skills earned her mad respect from Margot and The Hammer. Meanwhile, Danny didn’t do enough to set him apart from the crowd. He got Margot’s attention in the end, however.

And speaking of the end, only this show can close things out with a bit of a Mr. and Mrs. Smith-type moment. Ben and Alice — the two lovebirds — pointing guns at each other. Yes, “The Dining Hall” was a wild, wacky, wonderful ride.

Tina: Cortney, that was a super long intro recap from me because so much happened. And I didn’t even get to fit in the part where Gina Torres wore an amazing dress. She was stunning.

Photo Credit: Bob D’Amico/ABC

I enjoyed this episode immensely and so I want to put a plea out there to the masses: If you’re in the mood for a quality TV show that’s fun, features flirty and fiery banter, keeps you guessing, and is a genuine good time, please tune in to The Catch. I need more people to watch. Please spread the love for this show, everyone!

Cortney: While your plug is shameless, I totally agree! My list of “things we MUST discuss” is a mile long for this episode and I loved every second of it. Even the parts I didn’t love, I still loved! Ha! As I mentioned in our first article, I wasn’t sure how they were gonna turn this dram-com into a rom-com, but they did and in a way that totally keeps the heart of the show.

Honestly, I dare to say it might even be better this year than last, which is not an easy feat! The dialogue is snappier, the quips are quippier, and the twists are more unpredictable than ever. Plus, now that every case revolves around our characters, we’re finally getting backstories! And you know I’m a sucker for backstories.

Photo Credit: Bob D’Amico/ABC

So, let’s get to it…where do we even start?! I feel like since we haven’t had a chance to give Val much love yet this season, she deserves some attention. Not to mention that this is one of my favorite and most unexpected backstories so far (did I mention I like backstories?! lol). Last week, Alice offhandedly mentioned that Val used to be in LAPD, but other than that, we didn’t get much. Lucky for us, that storyline came back around this week, as you mentioned, when her old partner (and current chief of detectives/wannabe police chief), Nick, was pulled in to help Val out with the Tommy “situation.”

First and foremost, I love the chemistry between Val and Nick — it’s undeniable. Although that does make me wonder what this means for Agent Dao. Only Val could juggle a police chief and an FBI agent at the same time.

Nevertheless, back to the story. While I was fascinated by Val’s LAPD roots, especially the “we both know why I left” comment, it was the undercurrent of disdain that Nick seems to hold for Alice (and her for him) that really had my wheels spinning. Sure, we learned last week that Alice got kicked off the cheerleading squad, but it seems her bad-girl behavior went beyond a high school extracurricular. So what did Alice do? And was Val’s decision to side with Alice the reason she left (or possibly got kicked off) the force? This back and forth had me particularly intrigued:

Nick: Alice Vaughan can’t seem to stay out of trouble, can she?
Val : That was a long time ago, she’s one of the good guys now.
Nick: If that’s true, it’s thanks to you.

So what was “that” exactly?! Alice has been a goody-two-shoes of sorts to this point — aside from the whole assisting a felon part, of course — so my brain is having trouble grasping what could possibly be so bad. Tina, how are you feeling about Val and Nick? And any thoughts on these new Alice revelations?

Tina: I’m very interested in learning the entire Val/Nick/Alice story. Oh and from here on out I’m giving superfriends Val and Alice a supercouple name: VAlice. It just works, you know? Anyway, Nick wasn’t about Alice at all. On the flip side, Alice didn’t seem to want to have Nick a part of this operation either, which makes me even more curious as to what went on. I love that there’s this potential dark side to Alice. It makes her more interesting and at the same time explains why she’d go for a guy like Ben.

Unlike you, however, I didn’t really feel sparks between Val and Nick. I guess I’m still loyal to Val and Dao. But I did get the sense of a special bond between the partners. Like I said, I want to know more.

Cortney: I agree and I have a feeling we’ll be getting it — hopefully sooner rather than later. Since Nick was brought in to aid in the Tommy situation, I feel like that’s the next logical step. Was it just me or did Tommy seem to go from doofus to mastermind-ish and back to doofus in the blink of an eye?

When he was presenting his idea to Rhys, I thought “ooh, Tommy’s just been playing dumb, he’s really a conniving SOB,” but before we knew it, he was back to being a bit of a bumbling fool, which leaves me unsure as to what to think. Is he really a mastermind or did he just see a convenient opportunity to pair up with the Kincaids and took advantage of it? I’m guessing the latter. That being said, any time you try to steal from a drug cartel, you have to know it isn’t going to end well. Especially when you enlist a con to help you — that’s just asking for double trouble.

But, con-smart or not, it does seem that Tommy at least has a heart — as proven by his awkward jewelry store visit. Has this man ever bought a girl a gift?! It seems unlikely! Which is why he’s lucky Rhys was on the line to help him out, because let’s be honest, no girl you kissed once is going to be impressed that you’re using STOLEN MONEY to buy her a HAIR CLIP! Again, the doofus-ness returns.

Tina: Personally, I thought Tommy needed to get his sister a gift. It didn’t even cross my mind that he was buying a little something something for Sophie. Although, she deserved a gift, too. She unknowingly provided the access he needed to steal the money. He also helped torpedo her budding romance with Danny.

Before I get to that business, I need to talk more about Tommy’s cartel connections. So he was actually working for them the entire time? He’s good at making himself look semi-innocent. At the very least, he’s good at making it seem like he just stumbled onto this double murder mayhem. Why would he go against the drug cartel he works for? He knows what the stakes are.

That moment when VAlice met with a new client and it turned out to be an associate of the cartel? That was kind of scary. Why would Tommy even think about making off with the money? I just don’t get it.

Photo Credit: Bob D’Amico/ABC

Now back to Danny. He had a fairly bad time of it in “The Dining Hall.” Margot kept calling him B-Team. Margot and The Hammer didn’t have any faith in his skills. He had to watch Sophie receive those diamond earrings from Tommy. But then he and Margot hooked up and made hate. I can’t call that making love. I expected my first thought to be: Ewwwww! Guess what, Cortney? I actually loved it. Nice twist, show.

Cortney: Yep, I think we all thought the earrings were (and SHOULD’VE been) for Alice, which is just another reason this show is twistier than ever before. After all, she is the one who let him live with her, offered him a job and had to deal with the backlash a.k.a. the cartel when he ran away. That warrants at least some diamond earrings and in my opinion, he deserved a lot more than a heel to the back when she found him. But then again, she did turn him in…even if it was for his “own protection.”

Ok, so now on to the B-Team storyline, which I loved. But before we jump in to Danny and Margot making hate, we have to back up for a second and revisit the fact that not only did she repeatedly make him the butt off many jokes in front of Sophie, she also set up him up with a smoke bomb at the bank (resulting in a security take down and a near arrest) and made him stay in the van with the “surveillance system he set up” rather than letting him join them for lunch. That being said, it all had a rather fun, cheeky quality about it, so while Danny wasn’t thrilled, it was clear Margot was having fun with it and as such, the hook-up wasn’t a total surprise to me. But I am curious to see what, if anything, comes of it moving forward.

Another connection in this foursome that we have to discuss, Sophie and The Hammer. Is it weird that I was kind of digging The Hammer this episode? Something about him is distant and removed but he also has a sense of humor, which I totally didn’t expect. Not to mention those eyes! After Sophie gave him the finger (no, not THE finger, a real finger) so he could prove he completed the hit on Margot, he returned the favor with a gift of his own…and unlike Tommy, his gift actually hit the nail on the head (get it? Hammer. Nail. Never mind. Lol).

The Hammer: You gave me a finger, so I brought you a heart. Joking, it’s a liver….I’m joking, although you might need a new one if you drink this all by yourself.
Sophie: That’s a $3000 bottle of bourbon, I can’t accept that.
The Hammer: You did something nice for me.
Sophie: I gave you a dead woman’s finger.
The Hammer; Do you want me to take it away?
Sophie: Yes…no. You kill people for a living, we are never going to be friends.
The Hammer: I kill people for a living, I don’t have friends. Just saying thanks.

Am I crazy for liking this? It just felt so sweet and innocent, which you wouldn’t expect from an assassin! I’m hoping he sticks around a while longer…even if they won’t ever be “friends,” I like the two of them together. What did you think?

Tina: Sophie and the hitman was a surprising connection for sure. I was on board with it, even though it was a bit off-putting. It was almost overkill for me when I thought The Hammer was crushing on Sophie. She already had Danny who’s way into her and then Tommy was going after her as well. When The Hammer softened towards her, my first thought was, “Really? Him too?”

As much as I love Sophie, I was like come on! Let’s hit the brakes on this. I ended up really liking their interactions, especially the one you highlighted above. I have to admit that when he said the “I kill people for a living. I don’t have friends,” line, I really loved the actor’s delivery. It moved me a little bit. Kudos to Ismael Cruz Cordova, who’s had roles on The Good Wife and Ray Donovan. I really like him (and his eyes) in this role.

Before we get to the diamond smuggling caper, I have to ask. The photo of the woman Team VAlice claims is the one making Margot’s life hellish — Margot knows exactly who that woman is, right? She totally recognized her. Why wouldn’t she admit it? Who is this person?

Cortney: Good question! When Danny brought that photo over, it was clear Margot not only recognized the woman in the red hat, but was somewhat shaken by it as well. My only guess is she didn’t admit knowing her because, in typical Margot fashion, she is planning to take matters into her own hands somehow. I don’t know if this is good or bad, but knowing Margot, it’s going to be somewhat devious and definitely entertaining.

Photo Credit: Richard Cartwright/ABC

Tina: So what did you think of the next phase of the Kenji case? The chef/restaurateur has vanished. For Ben and Rhys, all roads now lead to the Japanese Consulate General (Rosalind Chao, After Mash, Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine),  who’s in L.A. for a visit. I do like the twist that she was actually an innocent in all of this. It was her spoiled rotten son Jesse (The Glee Project‘s Abraham Lim) who was the diamond smuggler. But, honestly, Ben making sushi, Justine wearing that dress, and Rhys finding out Justine possibly has a husband did it for me with this part of the story. I’m hoping Justine doesn’t have a husband, however. I’m digging the chemistry between Rhys and Justine. I can’t help myself.

Photo Credit: Richard Cartwright/ABC

And then there’s the fun ending with Ben and Alice pointing guns at each other over a bag of money. Ben needs it to save Rhys who’s in danger of being poisoned to death. Alice needs it to save her brother, who’s now in the custody of the LAPD and pretty much has a bullseye on his head courtesy of the Southland drug cartel.

I reiterate. I loved the ending. Made me want to watch next week’s episode a.s.a.p. You?

Cortney: Not only did it make me want to watch next week’s episode A.S.A.P., but I actually did! Well, not all of it, but let’s just say I was able to watch the first 5 minutes — I couldn’t help myself! But before we get to Alice and Ben, back to Kenji.

Photo Credit: Richard Cartwright/ABC

Yes, I absolutely loved this storyline. And once again, it had me drooling over sushi — who knew Ben was such an accomplished chef?! I feel like there a lot of things about Ben that we don’t know…and will hopefully continue to find out as the series unfolds.

Photo Credit: Richard Cartwright/ABC

That being said, Justine was definitely WEARING that dress and I agree, I’m liking the flirty banter between her and Rhys, although I can’t really say I ever see anything coming of it.

Photo Credit: Richard Cartwright/ABC

But speaking of flirting, I also got a real kick out of watching Rhys try to charm the Consulate General — that man is a pro! Even if her son didn’t appreciate it quite as much — his “you hit on my mom, dude, not cool” line after stabbing Rhys with the knife was priceless. And I love that he turned out to be the diamond smuggler, as well as the fact that the fugu came back around again….first with Kenji then with the Consulate and finally with the “poisoned” knife that sliced Rhys’ arm. I wondered why they were focusing so much on this fish, but when that happened, it all made sense.

Photo Credit: Richard Cartwright/ABC

And last but not least, the Alice/Ben/Mr. & Mrs. Smith moment. Loved it! Both are fighting for men who either are or are like their brother and the money is the only thing that can save them….dum dum dummmmmm! I mean, you can’t beat that, right? Obviously, we know neither Alice nor Ben are going to shoot one another, but it sure is fun imagining how this is going to play out…and as someone who’s already seen it, I can tell you that the resulting stand-off and resolution do not disappoint! As always, the twists keep coming so I hope you’re ready!

The Catch airs Thursdays at 10/9c on ABC.

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