Hot off the heels of Parenthood, Peter Krause is right back in the thick of things, this time with Mireille Enos, who is herself taking on rather a different role from her time on The Killing.

Selling itself as being “From the producers of Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy and How to Get Away with Murder,” because they want you to think Shonda Rhimes, without actually saying it, The Catch hopes to capitalize on the Thursday night schedule, but is nevertheless a very different creature… largely just by virtue of being a pretty good show.

The show’s trailer gives you a fair idea of what you have coming your way, and more or less “spoils” the pilot, but it doesn’t give you much to go on when it comes to the week-by-week continuation of the story, and that may be one of the show’s best moves.

The show follows Alice Vaughan (Enos), a top private investigator in Los Angeles. Her firm handles some top-tier clients, and she can’t afford to miss a trick. When her fiancé, Christopher Hall (Krause), turns out to have been pulling a long con on her, and disappears with millions, she has to become her own client, and figure out what else he might be doing.

It turns out that he wasn’t working alone, and bigger things are afoot. This may be the sort of thing Alice and her firm manage for a living, but now things are personal.

Enos is on top of her game here, and she has a lot of emotional work to pull off, but Krause steal the show, reminding of Matt Bomer in the first few episodes of White Collar. He plays a similar sort of con man, who doesn’t really have any fancy tricks, he just knows people, and can get you to look the other way.

The Catch ABC MIREILLE ENOS, ROSE ROLLINS, JAY HAYDEN, ELVY YOST
photo: (ABC/Richard Cartwright)

Both of them will hook you into the show, and as much as that is a matter of their ability to deliver the reality of their characters, it’s also the result of writing that envisions characters with more value than just whatever gets you to the next moronic twist. There’s probably no better praise that can be aimed at the writing than to say that the pilot manages draw you in, despite the fact that you, more or less, know exactly what’s going to happen. It’s a show, and pilot, that plays like a movie, and you’ve got the entire outline ahead of time.

But, the best thing the show has going for it is its ability to write dialog that actually sounds like it might come out of the mouths of these people. Alice doesn’t continually explain everything that happens to her co-workers, as though they didn’t do this everyday, and the show dispenses with all the injections of Google-search definitions whenever someone uses a technical term. These are the sorts of things you almost don’t notice anymore, because it happens so frequently in other shows, but it’s refreshing to watch something that pays attention to who its characters are, instead of working from a background theory that anyone watching needs you to talk to them like they’re idiots.

It’s tricky to figure where this show might be headed, except that we’re apparently in for a perpetual game of cat and mouse, but it doesn’t matter, because you’re already on board with the characters.

That said, the show seems a divergence from the schedule it hopes to pull an audience from, especially because despite the grandiose nature of a story involving an international con artist, this is a show that gets all its power from subtlety, as opposed to ridiculous dramatic turns.

Assuming the pilot isn’t a complete anomaly, this is likely to be one of the biggest hits of the spring schedule.

 

Alice Vaughan is LA’s top private investigator and the type of woman you don’t want to mess with. Having built Anderson/Vaughan Investigations from the ground up with her best friend and business partner, Valerie Anderson, they investigate some of the most elaborate cases around the world, alongside their elite team of private investigators: Danny Yoon, a mischievous and irreverent PI who is not afraid to break the law when necessary to solve a case; and their newest member, Sophie Novak, who serves as their in-house counsel and brilliant hacker.

Alice is on the top of her game, but when her fiancé, Benjamin Jones, cons her out of millions and disappears, she suddenly becomes the victim and goes on a private mission for payback, stopping at nothing to catch her man.  However, she is not the only one chasing Ben. FBI Agent Jules Dao has been following his criminal activity across Europe and now is closer than ever to capturing him and hopes to elicit Alice’s help in taking him down. Meanwhile, the elusive Ben has slipped back into the dangerous and sexy world of international crime with his long-time partners, mastermind Margot Bishop and Reggie Lennox. With stakes this high, you can’t make one misstep, but both Alice and Ben are playing with fire in this intoxicating game of cat and mouse.

 


 

 

 

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Marc Eastman is the owner and operator of Are You Screening? and has been writing film reviews for over a decade, and several branches of the internet's film review world have seen his name. He is also a member of The Broadcast Film Critics Association and The Broadcast Television Journalists Association.