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TV Recaps

The Catch recap: 'The Birthday Party'

The ghosts of relationships past threaten to tear Alice and Ben apart

Posted on

ABC

The Catch

type:
TV Show
genre:
Crime, Drama, Thriller
run date:
03/24/16
performer:
Mireille Enos, Peter Krause
broadcaster:
ABC
seasons:
2
Current Status:
In Season

We gave it a C+

Tonight’s episode of The Catch devoted far too much screentime to needless B-plots, like Diaz’s reunion with her missing husband and the boring security hack/murder mystery that only served as an excuse to keep Ethan around. But despite the mostly drawn-out storytelling, there were still some bright spots: Ben’s endearing turn as the overprotective father; Sophie’s impressive car-hacking stunt; and Margot’s hilarious conversation with Danny, her employee-with-benefits. (That might be the first time I’ve heard the word “peen” on a network TV show.) Plus, the subtle way director John Stuart Scott showed Ben and Alice unknowingly start to drift apart was at once both captivating and somber.

With only three episodes left, let’s hope “The Birthday Girl” was merely a stepping stone to a more exciting climax of the show’s sophomore season. In the meantime, let’s break down the latest developments in the lives of our favorite hustlers and private investigators.

The ex-fiancé always rings twice

Last week’s “The Hard Drive” faded to black just as Ethan showed up on Alice’s doorstep wanting “to talk.” He’s there to apologize for how he acted during their breakup and, insisting he’s better now, asks her to “start over.” With perfect timing, Ben comes out to meet his fiancée’s former love and invite him inside for a drink. As the clearly uncomfortable trio sips bourbon, Alice and Ben fumble over their answers to Ethan’s questions about their relationship. Luckily, Ethan gets a call and must cut short the impromptu happy hour, leaving Alice and Ben to retreat to the bedroom for some flirty banter about Ethan’s surprise visit.

It seems Alice’s past will be sticking around for a while, as Ethan hires AVI after his development firm was hacked. With investors pulling out and deals falling apart, Ethan needs damage control, and fast. However, taking the case may prove to be a conflict of interest when Sophie reveals she asked a fellow hacker friend, Heather, to look into Ethan’s company during the course of AVI’s investigation into the death of Steve Mason. When Alice and Val won’t accept her resignation, Sophie vows to make it right.

Unfortunately, Heather was found dead in her apartment in what looks like a staged suicide. It’s also revealed Heather was paid $250,000 in the days before her death, suggesting that whoever paid her for the info on Ethan came back to cover their tracks. A shaken Sophie is even more determined to find her friend’s killer, so Danny — unbeknownst to the rest of the team — calls Margot for help. She’s in the business of murdering people, after all, so she might know an assassin with a penchant for faking his victims’ suicides. Sounds reasonable enough to me.

After a hilarious conversation in which Margot asks why she’s getting a photo of a dead girl instead of Danny’s penis, she tells him the likely killer is Willy Grace, who “loves the bathtub gag.” She draws the line on her generosity when Danny asks how to find Willy, insisting on a picture of his willy before she plays ball. (See what I did there?) With Margot’s photo and intel, the AVI team finds Willy — and when he tries to make a run for it, Sophie hacks into his car’s computer and takes control of the vehicle, enabling Alice to hold him at gunpoint so they can hand him over to the police for questioning.

Unsurprisingly, Wily Willy refuses to give up anything to the cops. (Where’s the Hammer to talk some sense into him?) A look at his phone log shows he called someone named Marcus Nash just minutes after Heather’s murder. Nash is a developer who’s been trying to drive Ethan out of business for years — and what better way to do it than to release your competitors’ dirty laundry online? It seems a bit extreme to resort to murder for a few extra apartment buildings, but unfortunately, I don’t make the rules.

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