Things could not be any messier for Charlie and Emma right now.
Fresh off Charlie's confession that he was working for Daphne, Charlie got even more explicit with his maybe (?) girlfriend on The Company You Keep Season 1 Episode 6, and he let her know his whole family was involved in the criminal business! Ah!
Emma had a lot to think about this hour, but after some tears and challenging conversations, she made a move that could pay off big time or end in total destruction.
The Company You Keep has decided that it would like to ramp everything up to a hundred instead of giving us a slow-burn kind of series. And I applaud them for it because you're taking a big risk exposing your secrets so early in a series run.
But thus far, the series has done a tremendous job raising the stakes while keeping things light, entertaining, and heartwarming.
Not many shows on television can have you laughing, gasping, and on the verge of tears, but they pull it off weekly.
After coming clean to Emma, Charlie finally decided to come clean to his family, and it was much more anti-climatic than I anticipated. But I shouldn't have assumed there would be a big uproar because the Nicolettis have proven they are bonded in a way that doesn't allow for too many hurt feelings.
They accept the news and move on to the next thing, which involves artwork and a foray back into Birdie's past.
If I haven't been clear in these reviews, I adore Birdie. She's just the epitome of strength in how she approaches every task, making her a reliable and invaluable family member.
Birdie's exterior is definitely one of strength and no-nonsense, and we don't really see much of a break from that, not until now when she got to step into a world she was familiar with next to a man she shares a ton of history.
The elusive Simon finally appears here when Birdie calls for help with a con, putting Birdie in such an awkward and vulnerable place.
Leo: You sure you're up for this?
Birdie: What do you mean?
Leo: He was always your blindspot.
Birdie: Oh, not this time.
There's still a lot here we don't know, and while they shade in some things throughout the hour, the only things we know for sure are that Simon is a recovering addict who broke Birdie's heart and the two haven't been in contact for ten years.
That's a very long time and yet not long enough when you're heart is shredded by the father of your child. Birdie still holds a lot of anger and resentment toward Simon, but she pushes that all aside for the greater good of her family, who still have to deal with Daphne for better or worse.
Simon comes across as genuine in the way he approaches Birdie once they finally connect. He doesn't seem like he wants more from her than just some time to prove himself, but Birdie isn't interested in his apologies at first but more in what he can do for her at that moment.
Birdie was more in her element than we've ever seen her when she and Simon were at Grigori's penthouse rubbing elbows with the artsy crowd. She was knowledgeable and fun, and it was nice to see her let her hair down in a different way.
Sure, she was playing a part, but it was more like she was playing a different version of herself.
Simon compliments her well, and it did feel like often he was just in awe of her. In awe of her beauty, confidence, and who Birdie is, which is a damn good woman.
The con got complicated once Simon revealed that the picture was fake, but there has yet to be a problem that Charlie and his family have yet to overcome. A little brain power and some extra firefighting equipment had them devising a foolproof plan in no time!
Simon's continued help with the heist (and his lack of questions) makes me wonder how much he was involved with the Nicolettis and their schemes in the past. Obviously, he knows what they do, and he's okay with it, but was he an honorary fifth member back in the day?
He fits in excellent here, even with Charlie's cold shoulder, and without him, it would have been tough to gain access to that facility where the painting was bought.
With the amount of times Birdie is warned about Simon throughout the hour, it seemed likely that she would fall for his charms and he would end up screwing them over in the end. But instead, we get a Birdie who's confused, rightfully so, and a man who wants a second chance with a family he doesn't know.
Birdie still has a lot of unresolved feelings for Simon, but more than that, she's trying to figure out what his presence now means for Ollie, who always remains the number one priority.
Ollie is growing up fast and right before Birdie's eyes. She's intelligent, just like her mama, and she's getting too old to be kept perpetually in the dark. She knows her family is a little shady, and it doesn't seem like she's itching for an invitation into the Batcave, but she doesn't want to be lied to.
Birdie would much rather keep her daughter in the dark, not only for her protection but because exposing that side of her life opens Ollie up to newfound discoveries about the people she adores. Finding out your family are master thieves, and not respectful bar owners can be a pretty jarring experience.
There was something so profoundly beautiful about the whole series of moments when Simon met Ollie for the first time, then Simon and Charlie chatted while Birdie got honest with her daughter.
You could see the pure happiness in Simon's eyes and how proud he was to meet this beautiful child, who looked back at her dad with reverence when he signed his name. We don't know how much Ollie knows about her dad, but she didn't seem upset or super happy to see him, more curious than anything else.
And Birdie did the right thing in getting Ollie out of that situation because no one was ready for it. Conversations need to occur, and boundaries and expectations need to be established. You can't just waltz into something's life like that after absolutely no contact.
I appreciated that Birdie was open when she admitted to Ollie that she didn't know if she was ready for Ollie and Simon to have a relationship. A situation like this is not so black and white, and being unsure is okay. I would have been concerned if she so quickly went one way or the other because there are so many warring emotions at play.
Hopefully we see Simon again because he and Birdie have a lot of unfinished business, and we still need to know what Leo did to Simon that led him to disappear!
I am Leo's biggest fan, but inserting yourself into your adult daughter's business unprovoked, even with the purest intentions, will almost always lead nowhere good. It happened a very long time ago, whatever it was, but Birdie's pain has never gone away.
Leo most definitely has some explaining to do.
While the Nicolettis were doing their thing, Emma was in a sticky situation when Daphne made good on her threat to get Emma off her back.
Now, Joseph has been slandering Claire Fox's name for a minute, and it never even dawned on me that he was especially jaded regarding her because the two once had an affair, and she basically blackmailed him!
So Joseph has firsthand knowledge when it comes to Claire and how she'll use people to get what she wants.
You see, Emma. Unlike you, I know exactly who I am. And you're right, I am not my father. But I am my father's daughter. And you haven't even begun to see what I'm capable of.Daphne
Emma learning about her daddy's dirty laundry right after Charlie's blindside is one hell of a few days of whiplash! And it doesn't let up when Daphne has to throw everything back in her face with her cavalier attitude.
Daphne starts feeling herself for a minute, boasting and thinking she can do no wrong. It's her biggest issue and the thing that will keep her from obtaining her goal of becoming head of the Maguire family, especially now that Charlie is going to play her like a fiddle.
Or will he?
Listen, we all know Milo Ventimiglia is a star. He has charisma oozing out of his pores and is a terrific actor. But he's also got chemistry with everybody. Romantic chemistry. Platonic chemistry. Familial chemistry.
You throw him into anything, and his relationships feel authentic.
So now that they've given us the start of Charlie and Daphne getting a little flirty and up close, I'm buying in. They have chemistry, and it's not something I hadn't bothered to see or acknowledge until I had to, and now I realize it's been there all along, right under my nose.
Charlie and Emma are endgame, but introducing this new dynamic, where Charlie is working for the woman he loves to bring down a woman with whom he may start a fake relationship, has all the makings of a soapy, dramatic storyline we can all get behind!
It's hard to imagine this actually turning into some competitive love triangle, but imagine Daphne falling for Charlie and thinking they're going to be some badass drug and gun-running power couple, only to discover Charlie and Emma are the real power couple and she's going to jail with her daddy.
The drama! Sign me up!
Seeing Charlie and Emma so far apart right now stinks, but Emma is protecting herself, and even though she loves Charlie, she doesn't trust or like him right now. And can you blame her?
They still need to have a much larger conversation (that seems to be the hour's theme, huh?) before they can really understand each other as people. But they'll get there in time.
They talked about the impracticality of viewing life in strict black-and-white boxes during this hour, and that couldn't be more true for their situation. Emma's instincts about Charlie weren't wrong. He is a solid man who cares about her. But she needs to understand the other parts of who he is and what he stands for before she gives up on him.
Before she gives up on them.
Now that they're working together, they'll have time to communicate and dig deep with one another to find out if they're willing to live with who the other person is at their core or if it really is time to call it.
For my money, I'm not counting Charlie and Emma out just yet.
The Notes I Kept
- Geoff Stults was the perfect guy to play Simon! He and Sarah Wayne Callies played off each other well, and you could feel that push and pull of feelings between them. And I'll always support Geoff! Justice for Enlisted!
- This series gets the best guest stars.
- Daphne getting into guns is a clever play in this battle with Connor. She's got to up the ante and start bringing in more money than Connor can even count. And the gun business is how you do that.
- Charlie getting caught behind Grigori and Willford on camera was too funny. Talk about being at the absolute worst place at the worst time.
I'm just going to start preparing myself for non-stop action until the end of the season because this series is on a tear, and I can't see them slowing down now!
So many of you are enjoying the series, so let me know where you think things are going in the comments! You've heard my thoughts, and I'd love to hear yours!
And remember, you can watch The Company You Keep online via TV Fanatic anytime you'd like!
Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.