‘The Company You Keep’ Recap: Season 1, Episode 1 Premiere on ABC

The biggest con of all may be love in ABC’s new drama The Company You Keep.

Sunday’s series premiere introduces us to Charlie Nicoletti (played by This Is Us‘ Milo Ventimiglia), an extraordinarily skilled con man who sells a warehouse he doesn’t even own to a drug trafficker… just as the FBI arrives. But the feds are actually his partners in conning: his father Leo (Mom and Prison Break vet William Fichtner), mom Fran (Thirtysomething‘s Polly Draper), sister Birdie (The Walking Dead‘s Sarah Wayne Callies) and financée Tina (ubiquitous guest star Bridget Regan). However, as good as Charlie is at what he does, he doesn’t see it coming when Tina steals $10 million from him and vanishes.

Meanwhile, CIA agent Emma Hill (Good Trouble‘s Catherine Haena Kim) — whose cover identity is data analyst for a logistics company — discovers that her boyfriend is cheating. Even though she can’t say she loves him, she still goes to drown her sorrows at a hotel bar, where she handily dresses down a married man who tries to hit on her. Charlie witness the moment and starts lamenting about love and relationships with Emma. The two hit it off, sharing obviously fake stories about what they do for a living, then revealing the truth about their jobs, although neither one seems to realize the other is being honest.

After Charlie heads up to his hotel room, Emma shows up at his door just moments later, and you know what happens next: They kiss, then… decide they’re starving and just spend the night eating and drinking and laughing. But the next day, they get down to business, spending a blissful 36 hours in bed, frolicking in the pool and raiding the hotel bar. “Maybe we just stay here, do this. Indefinitely,” Charlie suggests, but Emma knows it’s a fantasy.

The Company You Keep RecapCharlie returns to his family with a new job that should recoup some of their lost money: They’re going to con a rich mega pastor who’s laundering cash for someone. They all go undercover at his church, eventually working their way into a fancy D.C. gala where the pastor and his shady contact will meet.

At the event, Charlie spots Emma, who is there with her dynastic family, including her former governor father (Eli Stone‘s James Saito), senator brother (SEAL Team‘s Tim Chiou) and her mom (Freda Foh Shen). Charlie approaches her for a dance, but after Birdie accuses him of being distracted on the job, he turns down Emma’s dinner date invitation.

As Charlies poses as the pastor’s contact and takes his suitcase of money, Emma gets a call from her CIA colleague about the drug trafficking ring she’s been tracking. They got a photo of the leader during his meetup with Charlie, whose back is to the camera. The FBI captures the drug leader, but his cohort Daphne (Dynasty‘s Felisha Terrell), aka the real brains behind the operation, gets away as Emma chases after her.

The Company You Keep RecapBack at the family bar, Charlie confronts his dad about his early memory loss. His parents are not OK with the idea of walking away and leaving Charlie holding the bag, even though they hoped to retire to somewhere sunny after one last big score. After Birdie mentions that there was a girl, Charlie’s mom tells him that this can’t be his whole world. So Charlie visits Emma’s home to tell her the truth: He hasn’t stopped thinking about her and he wants to take her out. He knows she can read people but doesn’t trust easily, knows she wants something different, and so does he. She kisses him in response.

But when Charlie returns to the bar, he gets an ugly surprise: Daphne is there, playing with Birdie’s daughter, and she wants her $15 million.

What did you think of The Company You Keep? Grade it below, then hit the comments!

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