We gave it a B+
I’m definitely digging The Catch‘s relocation to full rom-com territory, with one exception: While last year’s finale did see Rhys surprising Ben and Alice with tickets to Togo in an admirable attempt to save his former partner from going to prison, he spent most of season 1 as a primary villain, making his sudden transformation into the wisecracking (and charming) sidekick a bit hard to swallow. Let’s review some of Rhys’ misdeeds:
- He callously shot his lover, Felicity, in the head after realizing she sold him out to Margot.
- In the same episode, he unnecessarily killed Mickey Shive during an attempt to recover a stolen bracelet.
- He threatened to harm Alice unless Ben played by the rules, even kidnapping her in the season finale so Ben would finish the wedding con for the Kensington firm.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Though I can’t help but smile every time Rhys makes an inappropriate joke or suggests some outlandish cover for a new con, I wish the showrunners had time to make the character’s evolution more organic versus out of the blue.
But things move quickly in The Catch, which means nuanced character development is sometimes forced to take a backseat in service of the bigger picture. And in that same vein, it’s way past time for me to start unpacking “The Dining Hall” — so let’s get to it.
Alice and Tommy
We pick up where we left off last week, with Tommy asking Rhys for help disappearing with the $3 million. Rhys agrees, of course, and says he’ll only charge Tommy the “friends and family rate.” Back at Alice’s place, she tells her little brother about the Kincaids’ involvement in the Southland Drug Cartel and her plans to put him under federal protection. Though Tommy seems surprised, it’s almost certain he knows more about the cartel than he’s letting on.
When Ben calls, he agrees to put Tommy in touch with Agent Diaz to see if she can help. But when Alice returns to the living room, Tommy’s gone, leaving nothing but a lame “I’m sorry” note behind. As the AVI team ponders his disappearance, they quickly figure out Tommy was the one who planted the keylogger on Sophie’s computer when the offshore account is emptied just three minutes after the passwords were changed.
A little while later, a mystery man by the name of Theo Tasker enlists AVI’s help tracking down a thief who stole money from him and his associates: the one and only Tommy Vaughan. After Alice tells Tasker — who turns out to be a high-ranking lieutenant in the cartel — there’s a conflict of interest because they’re already looking for Tommy, he delivers a thinly veiled threat about “seeing them soon.” With their own lives at risk, Val insists on calling Nick, her former partner on the police force who’s now the chief of detectives. Amid some friendly banter that hints at a more-than-professional past between the two, Val secures Nick’s help finding Tommy in exchange for AVI’s assistance bringing down the cartel.
We next see Tommy agonizing over a purchase at a high-end jewelry store, presumably in search of an apology gift for Alice. Rhys calls and bargains with the sales girl to save Tommy $2,000 on a pair of diamond earrings (can I bring him next time I buy a car?) before giving the younger Vaughan his new name: Albert Ollerman. The earrings are delivered to AVI, but they’re not for Tommy’s scorned sister — they’re for Sophie, who apparently made a big impression on Tommy during their brief make-out session last week. She’s embarrassed, but it’s the first real lead the team has on Tommy’s whereabouts, so Alice takes it from there.
At the jewelry store, it doesn’t take much for the sales clerk to tell Alice about the customer’s nice friend with a British accent. She immediately calls Rhys, but he’s busy giving Tommy (er, Albert) his new documents and a first-class ticket to Slovenia. (Couldn’t think of anywhere tropical to send him, Rhys?) With no update from the LAPD on Tommy’s location, his employment with the cartel becomes clear when Val and Alice realize all his former “employers” are located within the organization’s strongholds. There’s some good news, though, when Sophie finds his flight to Slovenia, which leaves from LAX in two hours.
Tommy’s not exactly the type to arrive early, so Alice finds him in the airport’s parking garage just moments before Tasker’s about to put a bullet in his head. It turns out the cartel hired Tommy to find out if the Kincaids were skimming money off the top, which is where the $3 million (which is now missing) came from. Alice negotiates with Tasker, saying they’ll return the money if he spares Tommy’s life. He gives her 24 hours to get it done.
With nothing but Tommy’s safety in mind, Alice turns him over to the LAPD back at AVI — and though it’s truly heartbreaking to see Tommy beg his sister not to do it, it’s for his own good.