‘The Catch’ Review: Latest Shondaland Entry Is Worth Holding Onto

Mireille Enos leads Shonda Rhimes‘ drama

Shondaland sure does love its female leads, so it should come as no surprise that the latest entry to the ABC “TGIT” lineup features another potential star in the form of Mireille Enos.

“The Catch,” which was massively retooled after creative differences last fall resulted in the departure of co-creators Jennifer Schuur and Josh Reims (Shondaland vet Allan Heinberg took over the script) features Enos as Alice Vaughan, a working woman with her own PI firm who seems to have her life together.

She’s good at her job, maintains a great relationship with the woman with whom she owns the firm (Rose Rollins) and happens to also be engaged to a terrific guy (Peter Krause). The problem? He’s just swindled her out of her life savings and stolen her entire contact list to run off with his girlfriend (Sonya Walger).

Enter the Olivia Pope-level shit storm.

While it’s a lot to handle in the pilot, the narrative moves with Shonda Rhimes‘s traditional
lightning-speed pace, setting up the story through quick montages set to snazzy music. It’s all bound to pique the interest of any lingering TGIT viewers in the 10 p.m. slot.

As a lead, Enos is surprisingly engaging, a complete 180 from her former TV role as Sarah Linden on “The Killing.” For all the dark and dreary scenes with turtlenecks and minimal dialogue on that show, Enos is light, charming and fashionably decked out as the aforementioned Pope while whipping through “The Catch.” Krause is well-matched as her love interest, bringing a sense of guilt and true love to a role that gives him some moral backbone to play with in the coming weeks.

It’s heightened reality at its finest as Vaughan and her associates (Elvy Yost, Jay Hayden and Rollins) proceed to track down the con artists who hacked them and stop them before too much damage is done. In subsequent weeks, the narrative is broken into three parts — the firm’s case-of-the-week, whatever ongoing plot the con artists have going on, and the main love story between Enos and Krause’s characters. It’s the classic “bait-and-hook” formula that works so well for other Shondaland shows.

The show makes good use of its leads, showcasing a rare instance of two women working together in tandem as equals, rather than counter-balancing the dynamic with a male partner or relegating one female to a lesser role. Things are a touch sloppier on the con artist side of things, with Walger’s character taking charge over the men under her employ and calling the shots in a cold and callous manner. Should these three women ever meet up, they could have one of the most interesting dynamics on television as of late.

For now, viewers can content themselves knowing that while this isn’t television grounded in real life issues or relevant social commentary, it is a fun romp into unchartered territory that will allow them to escape their otherwise stressful lives for an hour. Or three, depending on whether you buy into the whole of TGIT.

“The Catch” debuts Thursday at 10 p.m. on ABC.

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