Alice and Margot team up as Ben and Rhys go undercover
Credit: Nicole Wilder/ABC
S2 E2
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This is a show about a career criminal who lied about his true identity to the woman he loved for an entire year so he could steal her clients’ money, so it’s really no surprise that trust issues abound in tonight’s episode of The Catch. But this time, it’s more than just Alice who has reason to be skeptical — almost every character is holding something back from at least one of the people in their lives. In fact, I’m starting to think Rhys might be the most honest one of the bunch, when he’s not conjuring up cover identities so he can commit crimes with aplomb, of course.

“The Hammer” picks up right where we left off last week, with Alice and Val finding a nervous Margot in the AVI offices with a business proposition. Smartly, the private investigators pull their guns in case it’s all a ruse. But Margot’s telling the truth about why she needs the firm’s help, and when she opens a briefcase containing a cool $500,000 in cash, Alice and Val are naturally tempted. After all, they have no money, no clients, and hardly any staff.

They consult with Danny and Sophie, who are wary of working for a criminal again. But Alice reasons that taking Margot’s case will let them keep tabs on her more easily — and no, she won’t be telling Margot that Ben’s out of jail and working for the FBI, nor will she be telling her fiancé about AVI’s newest client. If the latter doesn’t spell disaster, I don’t know what does.

In other news, Jimmy and Cathy Kincaid are indeed aliases whose cover names only go back eight months. With no leads on their real identities yet, Alice summons Tommy to the AVI office, where he doesn’t seem too surprised to learn about his former employers’ murders. He does, however, give Sophie and Danny a tip that the dogs he walked for couple are microchipped, the registration for which could help lead them to the Kincaids’ real identities.

Meanwhile, Ben’s deal with the devil is kicking into high gear, and, of course, Rhys has invited himself to the party. Diaz gives them their first assignment: An informant told the FBI that Kenji Yoshida, a chef at local hot spot Vinzu, is smuggling high-end contraband through his restaurant. Diaz wants them to place hidden cameras at the property so she can get enough probable cause for a warrant. Ben and Rhys immediately start brainstorming cover stories, but Diaz already has one: Hilariously, she wants them to pose as exterminators, even though they’re much more used to wearing fine suits than coveralls splattered in bug carcasses.

Back at Margot’s place, Alice and Val retrieve the bullet that killed Jamison and realize it’s custom-made, which means it’ll be harder to track. After asking Margot to make a list of her enemies who’d want her dead, they lay down the law: She can’t go anywhere until they find the shooter, which means no internet, no contact with anyone other than the AVI team, a new burner phone, the works. Margot’s not happy, but if she wants to stay alive, she really has no choice.

After a long day at work, Alice arrives home to find Tommy, Ben, and Rhys preparing a surprise dinner party. She privately insists to Ben that he (and especially Rhys!) can’t be there, but Ben wants to get to know Tommy and spend his last free night with Alice before his FBI gig officially starts and they’re forced to stay apart. What follows is likely one of history’s most awkward dinners, during which loose-lipped Rhys starts spilling everyone’s secrets, to Tommy’s amazement. When the meal is over, the lovebirds have a whispery shouting match (she doesn’t want her brother to overhear) about Rhys and Ben’s potential influence over a seemingly impressionable Tommy.

Their fight moves to the living room, where Alice says Tommy might be tempted by the lure of a criminal lifestyle, seeing as how he’s a 35-year-old who’s never had a real job. She’s just afraid for his safety, she contends, but she doesn’t know li’l bro is in the kitchen and overheard everything. Ouch.

In an episode full of laughs, I snickered the loudest when Rhys came downstairs the next day to model his exterminator outfit for Ben. Predictably, he looks ridiculous, and the partners decide then and there to take down the smuggling ring the only way they know how — which is definitely not as bug people. Instead, Ben will pose as a famous food critic, a cover that’s sure to get Chef Yoshida’s attention, at least if he wants a good review for Vinzu.

The plan works, and Kenji visits Ben (i.e. William Sales, who you should know is a real person within The Catch‘s universe) at his table to ask how he liked his meal. After toasting to sake, Kenji invites Ben to return for a tour of the restaurant, giving them the total access they need to plant the cameras. Agent Diaz is less than impressed with their work, though, especially when she casually reveals that food critic William Sales is actually black. C’mon, guys, aren’t you supposed to be pros at this?

Over in AVI land, Tommy’s tip about the Kincaids’ dogs helps the team identify Jimmy, whose real name was Patrick Murphy. Tommy conveniently remembers how the Kincaids once told him that Patrick Murphy was their home’s previous tenant — which explains why they got so much mail addressed to him. This bit of intel also checks out, as Sophie’s able to zoom in on photos from the crime scene and see that several of the envelopes were printed with the return address of something called the Optican Group.

At this point, Tommy takes the opportunity to confront Alice about her assessment of him the previous evening, admitting everything she said was true — his life is a disaster. Being the protective big sis she is, Alice offers him a job at AVI, thought he doesn’t have a chance to answer because Sophie walks in with a worrisome discovery. She found a keylogger on her laptop that tracks every keystroke and can access every file — and it didn’t come from the FBI. Though my gut immediately tells me it was Tommy, Alice suspects Margot and leaves to confront her.

Margot denies the accusation, of course, but Alice is sure she’s being set up to take a bullet for her fiancé’s ex. After all, that’s the plan: Earlier, Margot recognized details from the ballistics report and realized who was out to get her. It’s someone called the Hammer, a highly-trained assassin who makes his own untraceable weapons. Since nobody knows what he looks like or who he works for, Alice had decided to lure the sniper out by offering up herself (dressed as Margot) on a silver platter. Now that Margot wants to earn Alice’s trust, though, she offers to do whatever Alice wants — which happens to be putting herself in the sniper’s crosshairs, along with Alice, Val, and Sophie as decoys.

The foursome heads to the crowded plaza, around which AVI has stationed agents at three spots identified as likely vantage points for the Hammer. In a bit of misdirection, they’re all dressed alike in khaki-colored trench coats and carrying identical trench coats. And here begins a seriously heart-stopping scene in which I audibly gasped more than once:

  • It starts when the Hammer suddenly appears on the roof of a nearby building and knocks out the AVI agent keeping watch there. He sets up his weapon and is ready to shoot when he notices there’s more than one Margot in his sights, their faces obscured by the cleverly placed umbrellas.
  • When Danny radios to the agent and doesn’t hear back, Alice gazes upward and sees the sniper in position. She blows her cover and immediately starts running toward the building, at which point the Hammer decides to start picking off all the Margots until he kills the right one, resulting in some too-close-for-comfort bullets hitting both Val and Sophie’s umbrellas.
  • Just as Alice gets to the roof, the Hammer is nowhere to be found, though he left his weapon behind. She heads back inside to search and the guy attacks her, giving Alice a chance to show off some seriously impressive hand-to-hand combat skills. (Who’s her trainer? Sign me up!)
  • The Hammer body-slams Alice and heads for her gun. She recovers suspiciously quickly, though, and knocks him down before he can get his hands on it. Crisis averted!

Back at Margot’s, the gang tries to interrogate the Hammer, but he’s unwilling to give up the goods. (Dude’s a professional, guys.) Margot wants to shoot her would-be murderer, at which point Val says they’ve completed the job and are now done with her. An obviously hesitant Alice barely nods in agreement and tells Margot not to kill anyone as she and Val walk out the door. She needn’t worry, though — Margot decides she’d rather hire the Hammer than kill him.

A quick update on Ben and Rhys’ FBI job: When Ben arrives at Vinzu for his tour, he’s surprised to see Agent Diaz sitting at the bar. Kenji walks over and Ben momentarily panics, until Rhys walks up and pretends to be Diaz’s husband. His ruse results in a cute and funny bit that definitely hints at a more-than-professional relationship between them in the future. While Ben’s busy sampling some potentially lethal food and trying to get Kenji to talk, Rhys heads to the back and plants the hidden cameras Diaz gave him. He completes his task just in time, too: After a bit of bonding (and, presumably, a lot of sake), the chef escorts Ben to the kitchen and unhappily confesses that some nefarious figures are using him and Vinzu as a front for “other interests.”

He picks up a rather large knife, but instead of slicing Ben’s throat, he cuts open a huge piece of fish, the innards of which reveal what I can only assume to be a lot of money’s worth of diamonds. Realizing that Yoshida isn’t the evil smuggler the FBI thinks he is, Ben tries to convince Agent Diaz not to arrest him — he thinks he can get more intel and go after the bigger fish (no pun intended) in the smuggling ring, resulting in a bigger bust for Diaz. She eventually gives him an extra 24 hours to find out what he can, but it’s too late. At William Smalls’ innocent encouragement, Yoshida has fled the country to escape the people who have forced him into servitude.

Finally, we end up at AVI, where a shaken Sophie is confronting Danny about why he disappeared after her traumatic experience posing as Margot. He was nowhere to be found, so she sought comfort in Tommy’s waiting arms and lips (ugh). As it turns out, Danny wasn’t answering her calls because he was meeting with some FBI buddies about Patrick Murphy. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, they found out the Optican Group is a front for the Southland Drug Cartel. Val, Sophie and Danny realize that if whoever killed the Kincaids was after that money — a likely scenario, given these are drug dealers we’re talking about — it means they’ll be after Tommy next.

They may not need to worry, though. In the episode’s final moments, we see via flashback that Tommy was the one who put the keylogger on Sophie’s computer. He needed the info so he could go after that tempting $3 million, and he’s bringing in an expert to help him steal it: Rhys.

Odds and Ends

  • “Jamison and I switched positions rather suddenly, bless him.” —Margot, explaining to Alice and Val what happened the night Jamison was killed
  • “If I were to write a list of everyone who wants me dead, we’d be here all day.” —Margot
  • “I can’t leave him alone. He’s like a puppy, he’ll get into things.” — Ben, talking about Rhys
  • Ben: “I’ve got Rhys on a short leash. He’ll be on his best behavior tonight.” (camera pans to Rhys talking to Tommy at dinner)
    Rhys: “And that was the first time I killed a man.”
  • Ben, upon seeing Rhys in the exterminator outfit Diaz sent over: “Take that off, right now.”
    Rhys: “Ooh, Benji, I thought you’d never ask.”

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