The Catch Recap: A Bug’s Life

The Catch

The Laragan Gambit
Season 1 Episode 5
Editor’s Rating *****
Mireille Enos as Alice, Jacky Ido as Agent Dao. Photo: John Fleenor/ABC

Hello, hello! As you might know if you read my Scandal recaps, I’ve been on the road for almost a week, which explains why I’m tardy to the party. My bad, boos! I finally caught this episode of The Catch and it’s a lot of fun! I even gasped and uttered a “You go, girl!” at the end.

Why? Because Alice has become a multi-layered character, rather than a stoic ex chasing the man who broke her heart. Same goes for Ben, although his makeup job leaves a lot to be desired. (If you are going to make his fan look tan, the rest of his body needs to also be tan when he takes his shirt off.) Nevertheless, Ben is still bae. His choice to reveal himself to Alice deepens his character, too. He’s no longer just a slick, handsome guy who slips away because he’s charming. Yay for everyone getting real! Yay for The Catch turning out another good episode! Let’s dig into it, shall we?

As we saw at the end of the last episode, Alice’s decision to not record Ben’s confession on the wire proves that she still has feeling for him. That’s why, at the beginning of “The Laragan Gambit,” he’s texting and calling to ask if he can see her. Boy is sprung! She answers his call, they make plans to meet on the steps of Disney Hall at noon, but she doesn’t know Dao is listening in, so … whoops! Ben and Alice continue to lie to their partners — this will surely blow up in everyone’s faces. At Disney Hall, Ben notices that Dao is spying, so he calls Alice and tells her that the meeting is off. Oh, snap! Alice races to the office and gives her phone to Sophie to see if it’s been hacked. Valerie notices her behavior like:

Uh-oh, is Valerie going to figure this out way sooner than expected? Before we get to that, it’s time for the weakest part of the episode: the case of the week. It’s seems like an ongoing case, so this episode is laying the groundwork for the future. But it’s pretty boring, and the villain is more cheesy than scary.

So, there is this super dope attorney named Rene. Her husband thinks she’s out heauxing with some random dude, so he turns to Vaughn & Anderson to get to the bottom of it. Turns out Rene isn’t cheating; the man in question is Tony Ellis, a powerful businessman who has been buying politicians so he can do what he wants around town. And the reason he’s been all up in Rene’s grill is because he wants her to approve some contracts. She isn’t playing along, so he’s trying to blackmail her with information that her husband was the skanky one. He allegedly slept with one of his 17-year-old students back when he was a 21-year-old teacher. Hold the mayo and hold the hell up. William was Über-trifling, boned one of his students when he wasn’t supposed to, and never confessed to Rene about his scandalous past, but he had the nerve to think his wife was the one being inappropriate?

I literally cannot with William. I will continue to be unable to can with this fool. Anyway, Alice and Valerie call a meeting with Tony after they cause a security breach with his company. He figures out it was them, then gives them a warning that he’s not to be messed with, but Alice doesn’t care. She bugs his phone and then confronts him the next day. Tony is a big baddie, so he does not give a damn and says that he’s going to get his payback against Alice and the firm. And … that’s it. Whatever, Tony. I can’t be scared of you. You look like the floor manager at a Staples. #Eyeroll

That’s the whole case of the week. Back to the rest of the episode. Now that Ben’s rendezvous with Alice was foiled, he can focus on work. He and Margot — and Reggie, I guess? Where is he? I miss him! — are still $10 million in debt since Ben never turned over the check Princess Zara gave him. The Benefactor will forgive every dollar of debt if they can steal a bracelet from the wife of the prime minister of Larago. Cool, but the more the Benefactor keeps being chill about stuff, the less scary this mysterious person seems. Anyway, Ben and Margot are down for the plan and they join forces with Felicity, the hit woman who is Margot’s sometimes sidepiece. After obtaining fake identities, they get themselves on the invite list to an upcoming gala that the prime minister will attend with his wife. I’m excited about this because Ben looks super hot in suits. He should never wear anything else on this show. If he ever wears beach shorts and a polo shirt, my lady boner will commit suicide. Intense? Yes. Accurate? Of course.

While this scheme is set into motion, tons of things are happening at Vaughn & Anderson. First, Danny tells Alice that he forgave her for going after Ben. Yikes! Looks like Alice was not being discreet after all, but what’s worse is that Danny doesn’t know the full story. Homegirl is trying to get her bae back, not necessarily take him down. Next, Sophie is bugging because she lost Alice’s phone. O to the M to the motherflippin’ G. Soph:

Ay-yi-yi. Turns out that Valerie stole the phone. She confronts Alice and asks what the hell is going on. She wants to know why Alice is still talking to ex-bae. Alice finally admits that she’s been going after Ben with the help of Dao, but leaves out the part about still being in love with him. Valerie looks hurt, but is also relieved to know something.

Speaking of Dao, he comes over to Alice’s place that night with a bottle of wine. He’s obviously still suspicious of Alice, but I’m also curious that maybe the two of them are going to hook up? Not opposed to that. Before anything can happen, Ben calls her to warn that Dao has bugged her house and can’t be trusted. DAMN! She discovers the bug, but pretends all is cool and gets off the phone. Then she asks Dao if he is hiding anything from her and he’s like, “Nah, bruh.” And with that, Alice and Dao will never bone or even be friends. Oh, well.

Once Dao leaves, Alice immediately wants to meet with Ben, but he has a gala to attend. She tries to get him to say where he’s going, but he’s mum. Because this is TV, she quickly figure out he’s planned a jewelry heist. She gets off the phone and traces his license plate to the Laragan consulate’s place, a.k.a. the home of the gala. Next, she enlists Valerie to help stage a fake conversation about how Alice will meet Ben that night at a bar. Dao falls for the ruse and rushes over to the bar … only to see that Valerie is there. They start chatting and drinking, so I’m like, maybe they’re going to bone? Alas, they do not. She lets him know that she’s hip to his ways, then demands that he stop bugging Alice and drops the bug in his drink. OUCH! Looks like it’s just Dao and his hand tonight. Also, now that Dao doesn’t have Alice by his side, how the heck will he ever catch Ben? Dao really screwed this up, y’all!

The gala is way more stressful than Margot, Felicity, and Ben thought because a whole bunch of notorious criminal groups are after the bracelet — and they’ve all stashed guns throughout the consulate. Our trio is only packing Spanx and Ben’s sly smile. This is extremely dumb, but they only had like 13 minutes to concoct this plan. To make matters worse, the prime minister’s wife is surrounded by bodyguards, so they’ll need to come up with a distraction. Ben pays the band to play the couple’s wedding song, which is a tango. So the prime minister and his wife get lit, start tangoing, then Margot and Felicity join them. Ben is looking at them like, “Ooh, y’all get busy … naked. Cool, cool, cool.” Anyway, during a spin move, the ladies snatch the bracelet, give it to Ben, and he’s on the move. As he’s running away, a rival named Mickey from one of the other groups holds him at gunpoint. They fight and Ben gets away, but not before Mickey shoots him! A car pulls up. It’s Alice. He gets in. As they drive off, Mickey memorizes her license plate number. Uh-oh!

Back at Alice’s place, she touches up his flesh wound and digs for answers. As usual, Ben is cagey and doesn’t want to snitch on Margot. Ben and Alice start rough-housing, but then she head-butts him too hard and they stop. She asks him what his real name is. It’s Benjamin Jones. Then they hook up and it’s sweet and tender. I hope they can run away together at the end of the series!

Anyway, Ben spends the night and has to bounce the next morning. As he’s walking to his place, he calls Alice — he wants to know where the bracelet is. Alice doesn’t give a damn. She’s wearing the bracelet and is like, “We’re going to play by my rules now.” YAAAAAS! Alice got the D and is the HBIC. This is the Alice I love.

Alrighty, what did you think of this episode? How long do you think it will take before Valerie figures out what’s really going on with Alice and Ben?

The Catch Recap: A Bug’s Life