10:30 am EDT, May 3, 2016

‘The Catch’: Why that character didn’t need to die

The Catch killed off a fan favorite character in the most recent episode, and we think it may have been a better idea to not pull the trigger.

Warning: This post contains spoilers from The Catch season 1, episode 6.

The first recurring character death on The Catch has been met with a lot of controversy. Felicity only lasted a few episodes on the series, but in the short time we knew her on the show, she became a fan favorite character, and a big factor in many fans’ decision to tune in to the show. This is largely, though not entirely, because she was a bisexual woman of color herself, and she brought the bisexuality of one of the lead characters to light. Unfortunately, she fell victim to the harmful, “Bury Your Gays” trope, and was killed off far too soon.

It is both horrible, and great, that this trope is currently being so widely discussed throughout many sectors of fandom. Horrible, because of the ubiquity of its use that has made the discussion so necessary. Great, because more knowledge imposes more responsibility on those in charge. The defense that so many showrunners claim when they receive backlash for falling into the trope is ignorance. Many assert that it is a trope they were not aware of, thus, they refrain from taking complete responsibility for their problematic decisions.

I must admit, I was ignorant of the trope myself until quite recently, but many people have been feeling marginalized by it for years. The fact that showrunners and television writers are now starting to acknowledge that the LGBTQ+ community both needs and deserves better representation in the media, even to the point of The Lexa Pledge being created, gives a sense of hope that things might be better in the future. Regrettably, progress didn’t come soon enough to save Felicity, and some other beloved characters.

Related: Television is killing lesbians, and fans aren’t happy about it

the catch, margot and felicity

Another part of the problem is the growing number of television deaths, in general. More and more series seem to be following the “nobody is safe” model that became common with shows like Game of Thrones. Character deaths are definitely an effective way of keeping stakes high and getting viewers’ attention, but there are many other compelling ways of telling stories, that don’t necessarily result in a shorter call sheet.

Related: The complete list of major TV deaths and departures in 2015-2016 and what they mean

Now, back to the topic at hand: the lovely Felicity. Her death couldn’t really have fit better into the “Bury Your Gays” trope. She was unceremoniously shot by her male love interest, immediately after having sex with her female love interest.

Felicity was never afforded the chance to be a multifaceted character, or to have a real story line of her own. She was merely used as a plot device to serve the lead characters, to act as an entrance point for the benefactor, and to introduce us to Margot’s bisexuality (which we’ll hopefully still get to explore more of).

While she did have a significant impact on The Catch through her interactions with other characters, she could have been so much more, had she been given the chance. In The Catch season 1, episode 6, we finally got a real glimpse into who Felicity actually was, and what she could offer the show, but it was already too late.

The impacts of Felicity’s death were the following:

  • It illustrated the ruthlessness of Reese’s character. After he learned that Felicity, a woman whom he supposedly cared about, may not have been completely loyal to him, he shot her in cold blood. This left viewers with a sense of fear of what he might do to Ben and Margot if they get on his bad side, and also what he might do to Alice, now that he knows about her.
  • Felicity’s confession immediately preceeding her death put Ben and Alice in a more precarious position than ever. Things may have been complicated between them before, but now, their future together and their lives are in jeopardy.
  • Although we don’t know for sure yet, since we haven’t seen Margot’s reaction, Felicity’s death will definitely affect her deeply. She may have started sleeping with Felicity to distract her from the debt that was owed, but it clearly grew into something much more significant for both of them.

the catch, margot and felicity

Given these impacts, Felicity’s death definitely left its mark on The Catch, but the truth is, all of these things could have been accomplished if she was left alive!

Reese’s psychopathy was made abundantly clear just minutes earlier in the episode, when he relentlessly tased someone and then shot them, completely unnecessarily. Yes, when he shot Felicity, it took it one step further to say that he would do exactly the same thing to someone he knew, but The Catch has already clued us in, many times, on the fact that the Bishops won’t let anyone come between them and what they want (which includes Ben, for Margot). Seeing how happy that taser made Reese was more than enough to make any reasonable viewer realize that he was not to be trusted by anybody.

Related: ‘The Catch’ 1×06 review: Brotherly love

Margot’s continued ignorance of Ben and Alice’s relationship has been a saving grace to them so far. Now that, with Felicity’s tip, Reese is close to finding out about them, that safety is seriously threatened. Admittedly, this does do a lot to propel The Catch forward, since Ben and Alice were starting to get way too comfortable in their strange little love affair.

That being said, this information could have come out in a myriad of other ways, that wouldn’t result in a bullet in Felicity’s chest. Margot and Reese are both insanely intelligent con artists. If they had simply looked, even a little bit, they would have caught Ben in the act! He’s not exactly being overly careful about his little trysts. If Margot didn’t trust him so much, she would certainly have caught him by now.

Finally, we get to the Margot of it all. Her character was a clear highlight of The Catch, even before Felicity came along, but Felicity’s entrance gave us so much more insight into who she is. Instead of just being the cold and calculating leader of her little band of outlaws, Margot’s relationship with Felicity opened her up to being a softer and more caring character. Also, instead of watching Margot sit idly by while Ben’s off betraying her with Alice on a daily basis, we got to watch her find her own happiness with someone else.

Seriously, how much more interesting would it have been to see Margot have to actually deal with having feelings for Felicity. Now that she’s dead, at the very best, we’ll see a brief grieving period, but probably not. It’s possible that it might take a while for Margot to even realize what’s happened. Reese could want to cover it up, or he could traipse into her room immediately and brag about the cool thing he just did. It’s really 50/50 with him.

the catch, margot and reese

No, don’t count on Felicity’s death turning Margot into a grieving widow. Probably the death will affect her most in her relationship and her interactions with her brother, if and when she finds out. It would have been so much cooler to see Margot in a more vulnerable place, with someone she actually loves. I’m sure her and Ben do have a deep connection and love between them, but something has definitely faded in their marriage to the point where they are simply familiar partners, rather than lovers. Seeing her with Felicity was entirely different.

As complicated as Margot’s relationship with Reese will inevitably get now, it would have been way more tangled if Felicity was still hanging around. I mean, the fact that Felicity was sleeping with both of them would add at least a bit of intrigue into their dynamic, right? She could have been extremely valuable and it would have been amazing to see her playing double agent.

While this is all great, it still all hinges around how Felicity’s presence would serve to make the other characters far more interesting, which isn’t really solving the problem. We didn’t get to know much about Felicity in her abbreviated stay in Los Angeles, but the things we do know could all contribute to her having fascinating story lines of her own.

She is clearly well respected within Reese’s con syndicate, and there must be a reason for that. The skills that she showed in her brief stint as a double agent, and her experience as a collector, showcase the uniqueness of her character. Besides the interesting choices she would have to make while playing double agent between Reese and Margot, she could also be running her own, competing cons. Also, Margot is married to Ben, so why couldn’t Felicity pursue another relationship herself? All the infidelity!…?

In any and all of these ways, Felicity’s character could have made the world of The Catch a much fuller, more interesting, and more inclusive place. Alas, all of these possibilities were forfeited when that fateful bullet escaped the barrel. Now, we can finally get back to focusing on the sordid love story of Ben and Alice! *sigh* Felicity, you deserved better, and we will miss you, and all that you could have brought to The Catch.

What did you think about Felicity’s death on ‘The Catch’?

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