The Catch Recap: Finding Michael Thorn

Peter Krause as Benjamin. Photo: Richard Cartwright/ABC
The Catch

The Catch

The Trial Season 1 Episode 3
Editor's Rating 3 stars

Hi everyone! I’m Rae Sanni, and I’ll be writing about The Catch this week while Phoebe’s away. There’s so much to talk about, so let’s get started.

We open with Ben, having begun his latest con as Michael Thorn. He is unloading his relationship woes on Princess Zara and charming the hell out of her. Qasim, Zara’s handler, is immediately suspicious of Ben, but Ben smooths things over.

Elsewhere, Agent Dao is listening on Alice’s calls, and discovers that Ben is now using the name Michael Thorn. He requests bank and credit card information for the alias, which I guess is smart, but aren’t there a ton of Michael Thorns out there? Which one are you talking about, Agent Dao? Ten Michael Thorns were born while I was typing this sentence.

Back at the firm, Val’s estranged husband Gordon shows up. Val doesn’t want to see him, but he has brought a case against Big Pharma that Alice thinks is worth taking. Gordon’s client is his sister Susan, who has multiple sclerosis — and Gordon had previously kept that a secret from Val. Despite some tension, Val and Alice hear their case. Gordon’s sister started a clinical trial with a drug company that allegedly lied about adverse reactions, and now she needs Val and Alice to find evidence to support her claims.

Ben and his gang of crooks are posing as real-estate investors to pull off their con. Ben’s hotel room is broken into, then he encounters Qasim and two henchmen who search him. It’s even more obvious that they are on to him.

We jump to Alice and Gordon in a conference room, where they catch up with one another’s lives since they’d last met. In a flashback, we see Alice introduce Ben to Val, Gordon, and Susan for the first time. He offers to hook Susan up with a gig. It’s character development and background stuff that the show needs, I guess.

Sophie and Danny attend a conference to hack a doctor whose medicine harmed Susan. There are some hints of obligatory romantic tension, which is meant to be cute. More background stuff. Snooze.

Meanwhile, Ben has convinced Princess Zara to take him on as a real-estate investor. Yes, this adult person to whom the universe has bestowed a brain decides to consider entrusting her family’s fortune to a tall dude she met at a bar. Maybe she can afford to be that naïve because she is rich and beautiful. I’m too poor to be all that trusting. At the fake office that Ben, Reginald, and Margot have set up, Reginald starts taking bids to invest in a set of large towers to be built in Los Angeles. Qasim bets on two towers on behalf of the Royal Family, and it seems we’ve begun to wrap up this con of the week.

At the firm, as everyone continues their investigation into the medical trial, Sophy and Alice learn that there has been recent activity on a credit card assigned to Michael Thorn. Just as Alice heads to check it out, Agent Dao drops by with a little announcement: One time, Ben maybe killed someone. It’s bad news, but is it all that shocking? A super-successful international thief who tricked a P.I. into thinking he was marriage material probably has a body or two. It stops Alice in her tracks anyway, and she sits down. Turns out Agent Dao knew Ben’s victim intimately, so this is PERSONAL. But wait! Agent Dao has gone rogue to chase Ben. Okay. Huh. Cool. This won’t go badly at all.

Flashback time! We learn more ways Ben had ingratiated himself to Alice’s crew. We see the night he got Susan the job he promised, and agreed to marry Alice. Present-day Val insists that Alice stop spending time or energy on Ben, but we all know she ain’t listening.

Elsewhere, the cons have been conned by Qasim, who pocketed a portion of the asking price. Insulted, they plan to get revenge by eliminating Qasim altogether. They expose his theft to Princess Zara, and Qasim is fired. He’s sent off, probably to be dealt with in a not-so-nice way.

Alice goes undercover to steal a sample of the drugs being administered at the trial, but eventually has to receive the treatment to complete her steal. That is some dedication! Wouldn’t be me. I like being alive. Just as Alice receives notification of Ben’s whereabouts, she is injected. She may be out of wack, but insists on seeing Ben. She heads to the restaurant where he is meeting with Princess Zara. During a restroom run, Ben is attacked by an armed and infuriated Qasim. Margot enters the restroom, then kills Qasim. On their way out of the restaurant with Qasim’s body, Ben sees Alice and calls her, warning her to leave. Alice chases him instead, following the trail of Qasim’s blood to discover the cons stuffing his body into a trunk. She also sees Ben with Princess Zara, but she’s too impaired to give a real chase. Agent Dao finds Alice passed out. After what she just witnessed, she agrees to work with him to capture Ben. Here we go.

The cons regroup and decide to extend the Zara con, and Ben promises Reginald he will leave Alice alone. (He will not leave Alice alone.)

Alice is back at the firm, a little shaky from her misadventure. The investigators reveal that nothing is wrong with the medicine, but that the doctor leading the clinical trial had sabotaged it after the medicine didn’t work on his own wife. That is an especially cruel way to do doctor stuff, even for a Shondaland show. Anyway, that’s basically a wrap on the case: Susan can sue, and Gordon is an insecure man who cheated.

Before he leaves, Gordon hands Alice the signed divorce papers. He’s too soft to give them to Val himself. But then, Alice pushes Val to recommit to her marriage because Alice selfishly needs to believe in love. Uh, what? Your man ghosted you, so now I got to stay married to a cheater?

Later that night, Ben and Alice do the obligatory I HATE YOU BUT THIS IS A NIGHTTIME SOAP SO WE MUST TALK AND HURT AND FEEL phone call. It’s also the ARE YOU A MURDERER? phone call. Oh, and the I LOVE YOU PLEASE DON’T HURT YOURSELF BY LOOKING FOR ME phone call. Too bad Alice is on a mission. No call will stop her.

Will Ben ever learn to let Alice go? Is Agent Dao the truth-teller he purports to be? What are your thoughts on the episode?

The Catch Recap: Finding Michael Thorn