Mireille Enos, who scowled so thoughtfully through all that punishing Seattle rain in The Killing, seems a bit miscast in the pilot episode of ABC’s new series The Catch, a stylish little frippery from Shonda Rhimes.
As Alice Vaughan, a chic private investigator in Los Angeles, Enos ought to be confident, fun, a little shallow. But she still projects a kind of obdurate seriousness, despite the sunny weather and lot of minimalist, light-catching décor.
It may be, of course, that I’m just too used to seeing her that way, not only as The Killing‘s Sarah Linden but Big Love‘s twins, the Marquarts.
On the other hand, why shouldn’t she be given the sort of grand, scenery-chewing, awards-generating moments routinely doled out to the cast of Grey’s Anatomy and Viola Davis on How to Get Away with Murder? Why should they get slabs of meat and Enos a spring salad with quinoa and light vinaigrette?
Alice is on the trail of a taunting criminal mastermind, known as Mr. X, who’s about to infiltrate the security of the posh firm she runs with Valerie Anderson (Rose Rollins). He’s going to tap into all that data without much more ado than if he were siphoning electricity from a Tesla. The details are meant to be playfully inconsequential, and on this point the show succeeds. What matters is that the mastermind is Alice’s charming, good-looking, wealthy fiancé, Christopher (Peter Krause).
And yet Christopher, for all his cunning, may have gotten in over his head: Even as he prepares to erase himself from Alice’s life and disrupt her company, he allows a flicker of romantic regret to cross his face. It’s very George Clooney.
Or very Peter Krause: He has a sure touch for the cat-and-mouse playfulness the show will need after Alice, realizing she’s been conned, sets her mind to reversing Christopher’s vanishing trick. (In short, her “catch” becomes the catch. Well!) His performance is less realistically detailed than Enos’, even less human – she dominates an intimate scene between them by wordlessly suggesting an unexpected undercurrent of vulnerability and loneliness – but in the context of The Catch, his approach may be the better one.
The Catch premieres Thursday at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.