The Catch: The Ringer – Holes (Review)

 JOHN SIMM, ALIMI BALLARD, PETER KRA-- USE

‘The Catch’ is trying to keep things interesting. In ‘The Ringer,’  guest star Michael Welch plays Teddy Seavers a rich man who Rhys Bishop (John Simm) wants to fleece for a big payout. His sister Margot (Sonya Walger) takes charge of the operation and turns it into a “The Sting” operation where high stakes poker will clean the millionaire out. 

Margot sets the “underground” game up, enlists the help of Reggie (Alimi Ballard), and using a rigged game (CCTV cameras focussed on the player’s cards and  Margot orchestrating each hand) that works until Rhys gets drunk and destroys the cameras and the set-up.

The game lasts till the morning. Margot, Reggie and Ben save the day and clean out Seavers. As the abbreviated team go to celebrate, Margot discovers that Rhys had been drinking water all night and was never intoxicated.

Plot Hole:

During the game, when Rhys destroys the cameras and folds, instead of calls to win the crucial hand, Margot confronts her brother immediately afterward.  This is not long distance confrontation, this is “close enough to kiss” angry intimacy. The rate that Rhys is seen to be knocking back shots of “vodka” (or any other clear alcohol) he should have had an alcoholic reek that would gag a goat.  Yet Margot, clever crook that she is, misses this and does not discover that her brother conned her till after they clean out Seavers.

Sidenote: Contrary to popular belief vodka as the alcoholic’s drink of choice due to its “lack of smell” is, overall a myth. While this is somewhat true in small doses, even vodka, which is low odor compared to other drinks, emits an alcoholic aroma. Especially if imbibed in the copious amounts that Rhys apparently kept throwing down his neck. 

Plot Problems:

Margot confronts her brother again only to learn that Seavers was a distraction and not a mark at all. The target was a buy-in to a hotel chain based in the U.S. as Rhys is moving in on the American market.  When sis gets angry and accuses him of declaring war, he reveals  the Alice Vaughn situation and explains she is the enemy.

Next Alice makes a deal with the FBI to “save” Ben/Christopher  to find the real culprit of the murders Agent Dao wants to solve.

Early in the episode, Val Anderson (Rose Rollins) recommends that Alice call her therapist who will  recommend someone else to help Vaughn deal with the Christopher situation. Anyone who has been paying attention knew immediately that when Vaughn agreed to call the professional, that she would end up seeing Margot. 

Vaughn approaches Ben and tells him of her deal and he is horrified. She leaves, to see the recommended therapist and (no surprise here at all) it is Margot.

Subplot:

There is a subplot in this episode of  ‘The Catch.’ A rich “video games” mogul hires the firm to find his missing son. He has sole custody and his wife is a bipolar wreck who could become violent. He believes his wife has kidnapped their son.

 JAY HAYDEN, ELVY YOST
JAY HAYDEN, ELVY YOST (Subplot Investigation)

He is right. However it turns out that the father paid for testimony at the custody hearing to get custody as it would be cheaper than paying out alimony and child support. Alice enlists the aid of Ben/Christopher. With her lover’s help they find the fake ID created for the boy and track him down.

The whole thing, the kidnapping of the boy, is orchestrated by the Protective Parent Network, a real organization apparently set up to help victims of abuse, domestic and sexual, incest, et al.

Final Thoughts:

The episode was entertaining in a “The Sting” sort of way. A high-stakes poker game, all tuxedoes and cocktails, a grand scheme of cheating spoiled by an a**hat brother and the reveal that it was all a “double con.”

It was, unfortunately, somewhat predictable (We knew Margot was going to be the therapist from the moment Anderson mentions the “recommendation.”) and then there is the plot hole, or good old fashioned boo-boo if you prefer, of the intoxicated brother.

Michael Welch was brilliant as the gambling addict mogul. The actor has been busy since his character was killed off in ‘Z Nation‘ and his character was interesting and much thinner than Mack in the Syfy series.

JOHN SIMM, MICHAEL WELCH
JOHN SIMM, MICHAEL WELCH

‘The Catch’ was all too predictable this week (and with a few plot holes)  but the thorough unpleasantness of Rhys (John Simm) does make it almost a necessity to tune in again to see what he will get up to next.  Nasty bit of stuff that man. The series airs Thursdays on ABC.

 

The Catch: Mireille Enos Plays Cat & Mouse in March – Preview

In The Catch, due to air 24 March on ABC Mireille Enos plays cat and mouse with her former business partner and fiancee in a plot and presentation that feels all too familiar.

PETER KRA-- USE, MIREILLE ENOS

In The Catch, due to air  24 March on ABC Mireille Enos plays cat and mouse with her former business partner and fiancee in a  plot and presentation that feels all too familiar. Created by Jennifer Shuur who is also executive producer (Hannibal, Hostages), the pilot is helmed by Brit director Julie Anne Robinson and the opening shot from the new series feels like a McG production. 

A mixture of the Shadowhunters pilot and (going way back here) the 2003 film  Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle are in evidence here. Although the recent series of Cassandra Clare’s YA adaptation is more obvious.

To give Robinson her due, Hollywood does have a tendency to blatantly copy what looks good, regardless of whether it works or not.  For example:  In the Guy Ritchie 2008 film RocknRolla; there  are a couple of shots where Ritchie opted to use “mini” mini cams to capture somewhat distorted close-ups of actor’s faces. Once during a chase sequence and the other scene dealt with firing an automatic weapon.  This technique has been used repeatedly since that film in both television and film.

So it comes as no surprise that this new crime, drama, thriller has an opening episode that offers a style that looks so much like other shows on offer, and not just on ABC either. The pilot of The Catch offers split screens, dissolves (into more split screens) as well as rapid camera tracking that shifts from one individual to another and all these camera techniques are backed with snappy/catchy tunes meant to convey excitement and a sort of cultural relativity.

The storyline has a successful private investigative company, which is heavy on the strong female front,  where Alice Vaughn (Enos) is engaged to be married to the suave and terribly well off Christopher, aka, Kieran Booth (Peter Krause).  Enos is a proactive and quite physically adept operative who is not afraid to tackle the baddies.

The pilot starts with an attempted art theft and then shifts into industrial espionage. As the team begin to narrow down their search for the instigator of the industrial miscreant, Alice’s wedding plans move forward.

As the they narrow in on the latest conspirator, they lose their target.  Christopher gets a check from Alice for $1.4 million and then disappears.  He also leaves with all the company’s files and money.

Alice’s business specializes in preventing fraud and theft and as they attempt keep their clients from learning that their accounts have been hacked, she moves to find Christopher and to regain the firm’s money and confidential files.  Meanwhile, it looks like “Christopher” may really care for his former fiancee.

The cast is filled with television “regulars” who have appeared in numerous shows. Some of the actors have been on projects together in the past, Brit actress Sonja Walger worked on Parenthood, as has Krause.  Rose Rollins plays Enos’ character’s “former maid of honor” and business associate and there are a total of nine characters in the show’s credits list which could make this an ensemble piece but based on the pilot it is not likely.

The emphasis is on Enos’ Alice which is perfectly understandable. Mireille has proven her acting chops are mighty both on the big screen Gangster Squad, World War Z, and small The Killing, can carry this series no problem.  From the start, it does seem to really be about her and that nefarious former fiancee Kieran (Krause.)

The Catch looks like another fast-paced and “clever” crime/thriller with attractive people who all make loads of money and dress in designer threads.  Still, the pilot is interesting, despite the too loud soundtrack that threatens to drown out the actors, another McG trait that director Robinson opted to use for the pilot.

The new series airs March 24 on ABC. Tune in and see just how gorgeous Mireille and the rest of the cast are and for the music, if for no other reason.

Verdict:

The jury is still out.

If I Stay: Youthful Romantic Drama Has Laughter and Tears

If I Stay: Youthful Romantic Drama Has Laughter and Tears

Gayle Forman joins the ranks of Young Adult authors who have had their work adapted for film, the 2009 book If I Stay, a youthful romantic drama which has its fair share of laughter and tears has been made into a film starring Chloë Grace Moretz. The 17 year-old actress plays Mia Hall, a gifted cellist whose unconventional family are suddenly and tragically taken away from her. The teenager survives a car crash but is in a coma. The film, like the book, follows her out-of-body revelations while deciding to live or die.

‘Sabotage’ Arnold Schwarzenegger Getting His Mojo Back (Review/Trailer)

‘Sabotage’ Arnold Schwarzenegger Getting His Mojo Back (Review/Trailer)

Arnold Schwarzenegger seems to be getting his Mojo back with his latest offering, Sabotage. His performance in this David Ayer directed film is on par with his earlier work, pre-politics. The movie is one of those cinematic treats that begins as one type of film and then segways into another before changing lanes yet again. Co-written by Skip Woods (The A Team, Hitman and Swordfish) and director Ayer (Training day, End of Watch and S.W.A.T.) the action is pretty relentless and quite satisfying.

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