Although Kate Atkinson, Helen Gregory and Jennifer Schuur are the co-creators of The Catch, having influential creator Shonda Rhimes (Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away with Murder) as an executive producer on the show certainly gave viewers the incentive to tune in.
The first season was entertaining. It had that pull of big screen con movies à la Focus, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Catch Me If You Can, American Hustle and Oceans 11 – but in a TV series.
Another drawcard was the casting of Mireille Enos. Until this show, the characters she played had the gravitas but lacked the glamour. Her transformation from ugly duckling to catwalk ready is handled with panache. Her wardrobe, heels, false lashes, perfectly coiffed hair and makeup wonderfully complements her fearlessness as Alice Vaughan. She is the co-owner of Anderson Vaughan Investigations with her best friend Valerie Anderson (Rose Rollins).
In season one, much of the storyline centred on a cat-and-mouse chase to track down her con-artist fiancé Benjamin Jones (Peter Krause), whose real name is Ben.
It proved to be intoxicating mix of action, suspense and drama and, in the end, love won. Ben professed his undying love for Alice and sealed the deal by taking the rap for a sting operation to take down Sybil Griffiths (Margot and Rhys’s mother) after it went south.
The Catch worked for season one... but can the creators maintain the interest this time around?
The answer is a resounding, ‘Yes!’
There are a few game changers this season, the most prominent being the introduction of Gina Torres (Suits) as Agent Justine Diaz. A new ball-buster and Jules Dao’s superior, she uses Ben’s history to their advantage.
Basically, he does what he does best – con people – and she gets him out of prison on a technicality. And he has Rhys at his disposal once again.
Meanwhile, Margot reluctantly asks Alice to help find out who is trying to kill her now that she is the head of their crime organisation.
There’s also the unresolved sexual tension between Danny and Sophie, which isn’t helped by the arrival of Alice’s brother, Tommy. He also comes with his own baggage.
Tommy has $1 million sitting in his account but doesn’t know where it came from. This opens another can of worms.
As always, the narrative is kept afloat by several intersecting threads.
The writers cleverly juggle the respective romances with the unfolding drama and action, while offsetting it with much-needed comic levity, largely generated by Rhys.
The Catch once again reels the viewer in with even higher stakes as foes forge alliances while the FBI plays puppet master with all their lives.
The Catch 2 airs on M-Net (DStv Channel 101) on Mondays at 8.30pm.