Everybody's bugging everybody
Credit: John Fleenor/ABC
S1 E5
  • TV Show
  • ABC

Following the rekindling of their romance last week, Ben and Alice are still riding high on that a-little-less-guarded loving feeling. The episode begins with Ben texting Alice, asking to meet up again. After not getting a response within two minutes of sending his text, Ben calls her, and the two make plans to meet each other at noon. But little does Alice know that Agent Dao is listening in on the call.

As noon draws closer, both Ben and Alice lie to their business partners to find an excuse to see each other. It looks like they’re both about to take yet another step closer to their former relationship, but before he can get to Alice, Ben spots Dao spying on the rendezvous point, so he calls Alice and tells her that he won’t be meeting her. Alice notices Dao, too, and is just as concerned as Ben since she didn’t tell him she would be there. Immediately afterward, Alice asks Sophie to look at her cell phone to see if it’s been hacked.

For this episode, Alice’s case-of-the-week is pretty minimal and remains incomplete (probably to be continued next week), so I’m just going to get through all of it right now. Powerful city attorney Rene is married to William, who has discovered pictures of his wife getting cozy with another man. William suspects that Rene is cheating on him, but Alice, Danny, and Sophie find out that the other man, Tony Ellis, is a powerful businessman known for buying up politicians and that he’s actually blackmailing Rene because he has information that William slept with one of his 17-year-old students back when he was starting out as a teacher at age 21. Alice is able to bug Tony’s phone and confronts him by saying that she knows all he’s been up to, but he is unfazed, responding that he’s going to attack Anderson, Vaughan and Associates back. Dun dun DUN!

Okay, so the case is out of the way, but we still have to talk about what con Ben and Margot are going to pull this week. The pair of grifters are still $10 million in debt to the mysterious “Benefactor,” but (maybe) luckily for them, collector Felicity swoops in like a gun-toting angel, delivering the news that the Benefactor will forgive the debt if they can steal the bracelet of the prime minister of Larágo (it’s a made up country, I tried to look it up). Margot and Ben come up with a plan to distract the Prime Minister at an upcoming gala and swipe the bracelet, and they enlist Felicity to help them do it.

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Back at Anderson, Vaughan and Associates, Val is proving that she’s got some super-spy skills herself by grabbing Alice’s phone away from Sophie without her noticing. After learning Alice is still talking to Ben, Val confronts her, forcing Alice to finally tell her that she’s been going after him with the help of Agent Dao. Also, in a later scene, Danny tells Alice he’s known about the Ben chase all along, too. Thank God the whole Alice team is finally on the same page!

That night, Agent Dao drops by Alice’s house with a bottle of wine, and the possibility that he could be another love interest for Alice seems to grow even more as they share laughs and smiles over their wine glasses. However, that stops immediately when Alice gets a call from Ben, telling her that Dao has bugged her house and that he can’t be trusted. Sure enough, Alice (pretending to be on the phone with Sophie so Dao won’t suspect anything) checks her doorknob and discovers the bug. After she hangs up, Alice pushes Dao to tell the truth about anything he might be hiding from her, but much to her disappointment, he says he’s not hiding anything.

NEXT: Brace(let) yourselves…

At this point, Alice’s suspicions of Dao are pretty much at an all-time high, so she turns to Ben and asks him to meet her that night, but he can’t because it’s the night of the Larágan gala. (Those darn Larágan galas…always ruining everything!) Private-investigator-and-don’t-you-forget-it Alice quickly picks up that Ben is going to be doing some illegal activity that night and traces his license plate to the Larágan Consulate.

But what about that pesky Agent Dao who keeps bugging Alice? To get him off her trail, Alice and Val talk loudly near his bug about the bar Alice plans on going to that night, but actually Val will be at the bar and keep Dao occupied. As planned, Dao shows up at the bar, and Val waves him over to chat with her. She’s nice to him at first but then lays into him, revealing she knows that he’s been bugging Alice and threatening to have him deported if he comes near her again. Damn, Val does not play around!

Meanwhile, things at the Larágan Consulate are looking to be more complicated than Ben or Margot thought — as it turns out, two other crime syndicates are there to steal the prime minister’s bracelet, as well. Luckily, Margot and Felicity’s sensual ballroom dancing provides a distraction for the whole room, getting Margot close enough to the prime minister to quickly nab the bracelet and hand it off to Ben.

As Ben tries to leave the party, Mickey, a member of one of the rival crime syndicates, stops him at gunpoint. Ben knows how to fight and is able to run toward the road, but not without getting shot in the shoulder. Thankfully, Ben has a getaway driver: Alice! She surprises Ben by offering him a ride just in the nick of time, but Mickey memorizes her license plate as she drives away, another element that’s sure to arise in a future episode.

Back at Alice’s place, Ben tells Alice a little bit about Margot (but not her name) as she tends to his shoulder wound. Fed up with not getting enough information, Alice presses Ben about his actual name — she still only knows him as Christopher Hall. After a few rounds of “playful” (read: actually pretty aggressive) fighting, Ben finally tells Alice his real name: Benjamin Jones. And never has a name been such a turn-on — the pair immediately start having sex.

In the morning, Alice wakes up to find Ben already gone from her bed, but she doesn’t seem too concerned about it. Ben calls her worriedly, shouting “Where is it!?” It’s then that we see Alice lifting her wrist, on which she is wearing the multi-million dollar bracelet that Ben just stole from the prime minister: the only thing keeping him safe from the mysterious “Benefactor.” Now, Alice holds all the cards: “If you want the bracelet back, you’re going to have to play by my rules from now on.”

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