The Company You Keep Season 1 Episode 3 Review: Against All Odds

Is love really a scam?

The easy answer is no, of course not. There are many different forms of love, and that pure emotion that comes from looking at your child or relishing in the warmth of a hug from a close friend can’t be described as anything but love.

But an emotion as powerful as that can be twisted and contorted for nefarious purposes, which we see play out on The Company You Keep Season 1 Episode 3. And for Charlie, he has to decide whether he’s willing to help someone get played the same way he once was.

Charlie and Emma’s romance has been so whirlwind and all-consuming that it’s easy to forget that Charlie was an engaged man when the series began. We didn’t learn much about Tina, but Charlie fell hard enough that he thought he wanted to marry her, so at the very least, she must have made him feel pretty loved.

It’s demoralizing and gutting to realize that someone is lying about their feelings for you. It’s one thing to tell a little white lie about whether or not someone’s butt looks big in a new pair of jeans, and it’s another to lie about wanting to spend the rest of your life with someone.

Jonesy is a real piece of work. He’s a career criminal like the Nicolettis, but he definitely lacks the humanity chip everyone else has.

He was unapologetic in his con, never once wavering or showing any signs that he felt bad about what he was doing to Martha. He spent his whole life perfecting the art of loving, leaving and stealing, and he was so devoted to it that he never once thought that he wouldn’t be able to pull it off.

But he didn’t account for the Nicolettis. The family who can (mostly) smell a bad vibe from a mile away and are smart enough to find a way to swing it to their advantage still.

Birdie: Hey, Charlie. Martha Pope sounds like a saint.
Leo: But cooler.
Fran: The vibe on this one is bad, Charlie.
Leo: This isn’t our kind of job, son.
Charlie: I agree. It’s why we’re not going after Martha. We’re gonna take down the conman.

Their whole plan hinges on Birdie’s ability to get through to Martha and understand that Jonesy is playing her, and she may have been the only one Martha believed.

Birdie has a very tough exterior. She’s as no-nonsense as they come, and you can see that in the way she parents Ollie and is always the voice of reason within her family. That’s not to say she’s made of steel because her shield seems to come more from her fierce love than anything else.

The way in which she breaks down Jonesy’s con to Martha is so precise that Martha has no choice but to accept the reality of her situation. And once she does, she’s more than ready to bring him down, but you can see the heartbreak written all over her face whenever she’s in the same room as him.

Flipping the con to their advantage means that Charlie and Leo slip into some nice outfits and saunter around the racetrack, dropping the hot gossip on all the betters.

Martha’s last moment of doubt is sad but very relatable. She met Birdie a few days ago, but she’s spent months with a man and shared her heart with him. Even with all the facts right in front of your face, it can be tough to go against your heart.

It’s a fun little caper and probably the best in the series short run. The parallels between Charlie’s situation with Tina and his new one with Emma allow the con to take on a deeper meaning.

Turns out my son does know how to pick a winner.

Leo [to Emma]

Things between Charlie and Emma are going swimmingly right now, and the series has decided to stick with the elongated montage scenes to show their time spent together learning about each other’s bodies and minds. For as much as Charlie and Emma and their chemistry are the stars of this show, I enjoy the quick montages for what they are.

They’re fun, little bursts of sexiness. And here, they do an excellent job of telling us that the bond between the two is deepening without taking away from the various other parts of a packed hour.

The con forces Charlie to take a closer look at his relationship and try to make sense of whether or not he can be justified in his decision not to be honest with Emma.

On the one hand, his feelings are real. He’s not faking that. He’s not Tina or Jonesy pretending to care for someone when they just want to pick their pockets. No, Charlie cares about Emma, getting to know her, and building toward a future with her. But he’s not being honest about one aspect of his life.

And it’s a pretty big aspect.

Can you fall in love with someone you’re lying to? Sure, you can. But you’re doing them a big disservice by not allowing them to see the real you.

Charlie knows that once he lets Emma into the other side of his life, there’s a very good chance she’ll walk. Of course, he doesn’t know the big secret she’s hiding, but from his perspective, he has to decide how much of himself he’s willing to share.

Meeting the family seems to cement something in Charlie and makes him realize that Emma is the real deal. She fits in perfectly with the Nicolettis, charming Leo, signing with Ollie, and even getting Birdie to crack a smile.

One thing about Emma, she’s a solid, caring human being. You can glean that in all her interactions with Charlie and her family. And that vibe is intoxicating, so it was no surprise how well she fit into the Nicolettis world.

By the end of the hour, it spurs Charlie on to appear ready to let Emma know that he does much more than run a family bar. It’s a shame he gets kidnapped before getting a chance to see her again.

So, who are we thinking kidnapped Charlie?

The number one suspect is probably Daphne, if only because she’s his number one nemesis at the moment. She spends her hour trying to rebuild and rebrand the Maguire empire in her own way. And it’s a way that’s putting her on the radar of many.

Side note, how brilliant was Ollie for putting her tracker in Daphne’s bag? I’ve wondered whether Ollie would end up playing a part in her family’s activities, and it becomes increasingly hard to imagine she won’t, given how perceptive she is.

Ollie wants a little independence, as all young adults do, and she ditches her tracker not to do anything outrageous but to help her family. She truly is a Nicoletti.

But back to Daphne, kidnapping Charlie right now doesn’t make sense because he’s doing what he’s supposed to be doing. He’s getting her money—big chunks of it and sticking to his end of the bargain. So there’s no real reason she needs to be scaring him right now.

Not unless she (quickly) found out about his call to Connor.

And that brings us to suspect number two…Connor himself.

Maguire’s son seems to have some anger issues, and now that he’s been tipped off to what’s going on in the Americas, it’s probably only a matter of time before he shows up on American soil with a chip on his shoulder.

Dearest dad is in the clink mostly because of Charlie and that deal gone wrong, so maybe he’s come to get his own brand of justice.

But if I’m being honest, I’m not sure that Connor knows what Charlie looks like, let alone where to find him without Daphe’s help, so it’s probably not Connor. And if not him, then who?

The authorities are another guess, but it feels too early in the season to bring that element of drama into things. There will eventually come a day when everything gets intertwined, but I doubt that day will come anytime soon.

My guess is that it’s someone we haven’t met yet. Charlie has lived a lifetime of conning people, and I can only imagine how long the list of people he’s burned is. Any of those people could have tracked him down, intending to get even.

And if that’s the case, it’ll be interesting to see how that kind of major wrinkle messes things up for the careful groundwork the family has laid for getting out underneath a criminal enterprise.

The Notes I Kept

  • I would have included Jones as an option for kidnapping Charlie, but no part of me thinks that man has men he can call on speed dial to kidnap someone.
  • The side plot of David’s political aspirations going up in smoke is exciting, but it’s too underdeveloped to make an impact. We don’t know who Claire Fox is or why we should or shouldn’t be excited about her introduction, so it leaves the story feeling a little hollow right now.
  • Connor not knowing about Daphne is on brand for the way the elder Maguire apparently moves.
  • It’s always so lovely to see Jes Macallan! I miss Mistresses every day.
  • We need to get the story on Simon and what happened between him and Birdie! I just know he fumbled the bag hard when it came to her.

This first season is barrelling along nicely, and the action (and romance) is about to ramp up even more!

Let me know in the comments how you’re feeling about the first season and where you think things may be headed! And as always, watch The Company You Keep online right now so you can join the conversation.

Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.


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