Tonight marks the season 2 premiere of The Catch, a Shondaland drama about a private investigator (Mireille Enos) who falls in love with a con artist (Peter Krause). We talked to executive producer Allan Heinberg about the show’s first season and what to expect from the show that now stars Grey’s Anatomy alum T.R. Knight.
Let’s start with last season. Be your harshest critic about last season. What can you say felt right, and what would you like to improve upon?
ALLAN HEINBERG: I think the problem that viewers first had with the show when it was initially marketed was that they thought it was going to be like The Fugitive and Mireille Enos’ character is going to be chasing Peter Krause’s character for episode after episode. I feel like the show really became itself in episode six last year when John Simm came into the show. Alice Vaughn (Mireille Enos) had this tragic thing happen to her, so we had to spend a certain number of episodes resolving that storyline and rebuilding the trust between her character and Peter Krause’s character. Once that was squared away by episode four, Rhys (Simm) came in with episode six and the whole show just opened up and became a lot more fun. I had such a good time writing that character. It opened up a whole world for Sonya Walger’s character Margot. It made Peter Krause one-half of a comedy duo. The show just changed. Going into season 2 with John Simm as a series regular, we really wanted to keep building on that and maximize the amount of fun we were having.
Will the tone be lighter this season?
It’s a very Shondaland show in that you go from laughter to suspense to tears and then back to laughter, all in the same scene. We want to have it all on the show. So the stakes are really high. Even though it’s a sort of heightened world, we are playing things as emotionally grounded as we can. So the humor just seemed to organically come out of who they are. It wasn’t a conscious effort to go lighter, we just wanted to have more fun writing the characters and to have the actors get to do more fun stuff.
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What’s going on between Ben (Krause) and Alice this season?
They’re very much a newlywed couple. They’re not married yet, technically, but they are together the entire season. We still manage to put plenty of obstacles in their paths.
Talk about T.R. Knight’s character, who plays Alice’s brother.
He has a very sketchy history with Alice and with her colleague Danny (Jay Hayden), and Danny tries to warn Sophie (Elvy Yost) about [him] right off the bat. He’s sort of wackishly irresistible. His eyes sparkle in a way that makes you want to get to know him, so Sophie’s not going to be able to resist him for very long.
Why did you decide to give Alice a brother?
I had introduced the idea of Alice’s younger brother in episode two of season 1, and Elvy Yost happens to be really good friends with T.R. Elvy orchestrated a dinner and by the end of that night, I basically said, “Do you want to play Alice’s brother?” T.R. said, “Yeah, if Shonda and the network were okay with it.” And Shonda, of course, was delighted. The first time we were able to use him was in the first episode of season 2.
Is there going to be a parallel path for Margot (Walger) and Alice? They both seem to be cut from the same cloth, more than maybe Alice would like to admit.
We really have a good time exploring their relationship. They both love or loved the same man. They are both professional women in fields that are generally male-dominated and I think if they weren’t on opposite sides of the law there would be an enormous amount of respect and maybe even a friendship between them. Season 2 is being able to explore that relationship more slowly.
Will the season end with a cliffhanger?
We end on a cliffhanger, and I think it’s a really good one and a really moving one, and it leaves us wide open for season 3. So, I hope people will watch and find it satisfying.
The Catch premieres tonight at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.