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The Company You Keep - The Real Thing - Review

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This week’s episode of The Company You Keep is an hour of television that sinks its claws into the very depths of your heart and rips it wide open. And in this episode, no one is safe from the heartache left behind. 


It’s starting to concern me just how incredible this series has become, and so quickly at that. With every episode, I’m drawn deeper into the lives of these characters we’ve come to love over the last couple months, and this week’s episode is no different. 

Right from the start, we’re grappling with the gut-wrenching turmoil between Emma and Charlie as the episode picks up right where we left off last week. He’s known for a week or so that she’s CIA, and now, she knows he’s a criminal. He tries to tell her he didn’t lie about who he is, even though he did by omission, but so did she. It’s a back and forth pull of who’s more wrong, and in Emma’s eyes, that would be Charlie. 


Nothing is black and white just as he tries to tell her, but the utter shock and pain on her face hurts, and Charlie’s too when she ultimately walks away from him. We knew it would hurt when this secret finally came out, but my goodness. I didn’t think it would hurt this much. 


Charlie returns to his family’s bar after the encounter and breaks the news about who Emma is and who she works for, and it’s like a slap in the face all over again, except for all of them now. Daphne is on one side and the feds are on the other with Emma leading the charge, and it’s as if they can’t catch a break no matter what they do. It’s your typical one step forward, two steps back, only in the Nicolettis’ case, it’s more like ten. 

And then we (finally) meet Simon, Birdie’s estranged ex and Ollie’s father, and it makes for quite the family drama when the Nicolettis have more than enough of that in their lives as it is. But they need Simon and pull him into their latest heist that Daphne has spearheaded, and it’s another hour of chaos just as you’d think it to be. 


There’s the usual recon and Charlie scales a fence — which is an incredible sight if you haven’t seen it yet — and during all of that, Daphne reaches out to Emma to kick off her blackmail scheme. 


Turns out, Joe Hill isn’t all that innocent as we’ve been led to believe. Though, what politician is? He cheated on Grace, and with none other than Claire Fox. Did your jaw drop? Because mine certainly did. I knew I didn’t like her, but I sure as hell wasn’t expecting Papa Hill to be part of the reason why. But just when you think this show couldn’t possibly surprise you any more than it has already, it pulls the rug out from under you all over again, and it is fantastic

Emma is conflicted, angry, and rightfully so given the newly revealed information surrounding her family and her now tattered relationship with Charlie that seems to be pretty much dead at this point, and she ends up confronting her father on his affair. And while it’s a moment that is tense, it’s one of near understanding between the two as well. But the photos of her father in his very compromising position with Claire Fox aren’t the only thing Daphne slipped to Emma. There’s an invitation to meet too. And when they do, it is an encounter that is so wonderfully written and executed in its portrayal by Catherine Haena Kim and Felisha Terrell that I’m torn between being completely turned on and absolutely terrified by it. These are two strong, smart, independent, and outspoken women who the writers have not cut any corners with when it comes to telling their story, and it is remarkable to watch it all unfold on screen. 

Up to this point of the episode, we haven’t even hit the nail on the head as far as our hearts being completely shattered, and then comes a scene between mother and daughter when Ollie sees Simon while spying in the basement. The two share a quick hello that is ended too soon when Birdie intervenes, and she runs after an upset Ollie that lead the two to have a heart-to-heart while breaking all of ours in a conversation with no words and all the emotions. 

All Ollie wants is the truth, to stop feeling like a little kid who can’t hold her own or make her own choices. Especially when she knows every adult in her life is sneaking around and hiding things from her. She’s not stupid. She’s too smart for her own good honestly, and lying to your kids doesn’t protect them, but instead, only makes them more curious and Birdie vows that there will be no more lies. She makes good on that promise quickly when Ollie asks about Simon and whether he's her father, and Birdie tells her the truth. Then comes the expected, “Do I get to meet him?” Birdie’s answer is as honest as it gets; “I don’t know yet. Is that okay?” 

This level of openness when it comes to parents and their kids is not something you see very often in television these days, but it’s what we need to see. Children aren’t accessories or robots. They have feelings and thoughts and make decisions just as much as adults do, and the way it is portrayed in this scene, and how Birdie handles the situation, is the kind of parenting that many could benefit from trying out for themselves.

Birdie and Ollie’s relationship has been one of my favorites from the jump with this series, but this moment between them was something else entirely. Their emotions jump right through the screen, they make you feel exactly what they’re feeling and to the very same magnitude in which they’re feeling it themselves, and it is just so beautiful in a nearly indescribable way. It may just be one of, if not the best moment of the series. 

As the episode comes to an end, we come to another crossroads where Emma is concerned. This show doesn’t hold back when it comes to delivering one crushing blow after another, and in one last conversation with her father, Emma begins to realize that maybe Charlie was right when her father says, “There is no black and white...just gray.” The dynamics of this show have been built around an underlying while obvious theme of trust and morality, and everything truly is not as black and white, right and wrong as it appears, or even as it should be. 

And because of that, it’s how Emma finds herself at the Nicolettis’ bar. She confronts Charlie about his relationship with Daphne and wants him to be an asset to the CIA, wants his help to take her down. He seems hesitant, and rightfully so given how their last encounter went, but Emma is quick to tell him the truth of it all. That they need each other. She offers him and his family protection in return for helping her protect her own. They’ve got nothing to lose. Right?

With that comes the final scene of the hour when Charlie goes to see Daphne – who looks so damn good by the way – and he sets the trap and seems to successfully get inside her head. He tells her he knows what she wants and makes her an offer to help her take the throne to her father’s empire, and it’s an opportunity she just can’t pass up. 

Looks like Charlie will be dancing with the devil for a while longer, but the question is, just how long will it last? And what will it ultimately cost him?


This show certainly isn’t lacking on twists and turns and the ability to make my heart race with every single moment, but still, I can’t get enough of it. It’s just that good. 




More of my ramblings...



- Charlie speaking the truth when he says, “Nothing is black and white.”


- “I’m not not having fun.” Daphne is hilarious.


- Birdie is so real for wearing a sweatshirt that says, “eat the rich.”


- “You’re asking me to step into a life I left behind with a man who broke my heart.” Oooooof. That hurt. 


- I cannot say enough how much I enjoy and completely adore Leo and how he loves his family. He is so protective over them and it’s so, so sweet. 


- “All I ask is that you at least consider the possibility that I’ve changed.” Yeah, I’m not so sure I can get behind you on that Simon. My guard is way up with you, pal. 


- I can’t get enough of Ollie. She’s just as sassy as her mother. 


- I really love protective brother Charlie too, and how worried he is about Birdie. 


- Charlie scaling that fence though. Can we see that again? Because whew!


- “I’m just glad to know I’m not the only one with daddy issues.” *chuckles*


- Daphne may not be a gangster by CIA standards, but she is a total badass with a scary sharp brain and you should not underestimate her, Emma. 


- This is your weekly reminder that I am completely and utterly in love with Daphne Finch and I don’t care how “evil” she is. She can do no wrong to me. 


- All the Nicolettis (sans Ollie) being nosy about Birdie and Simon is too funny, and another of those incredibly relatable moments where families are all up in each other’s business and I need more of it.


- Charlie and Birdie being smuggled into the storage facility like a Trojan horse was hilarious to me. This whole heist with the painting is wondrously entertaining. 


- Protective brother Charlie is at it again and making me swoon. 


- Leo made Simon leave?? I have so many questions.


- “I could never be disappointed. You’re my hero, mom.” Cue the waterworks.


- “There is no black and white...just gray.” Hitting the nail on the head once again. 


- I actually squealed when I saw the promo for the next episode and I need it to be next Sunday immediately.







What’s your take on this week’s episode? Like it? Love it? Somewhere in between? Drop a comment and let us know!



The Company You Keep airs on Sunday nights at 10/9 central on ABC with next day streaming on Hulu.


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