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Beauty and the Beast – 2.07 – Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? – Review: All aboard the train to Nopesville


'All aboard the train to Nopesville’

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Now on to your regularly scheduled recap…

Up for discussion this week is episode 2x07: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? This week’s episode was written by a new comer Wendy Straker Hauser. This week also welcomed yet another newbie director into the Beastie family, Jeff Renfroe. I liked the addition of Wendy Straker Hauser in the writers’ room and can’t wait to see what she does next. Her dialog was an upgrade from the last few episodes. She fleshed out the character of Tess and made her warm and vulnerable and hopefully on the path back to being likeable. She also understood what makes the character of JT so beloved among us Beasties: sass, heart and being the voice of reason.

As mentioned in the comments of last week’s review, I’m going to be tinkering with the recap and review hybrid format. Please be sure to tell me what you like and what you don’t.

Cat
The beginning of the episode pleasantly surprised in regards to Cat. She didn’t gloss over what happened last week. It was really affecting her ability to touch and even look at Vincent. She doesn’t bottle up her concerns she puts them out in the open. Now that’s a Cat I can get behind. Too bad it doesn’t last. In this episode, Cat waffles between a take charge attitude (even if her plan was terrible at least she came up with a plan) naive and wishy-washy. She once again let Agent Reynolds pray on her deepest fears and lets him tap into the furthest depths of her mind where all her doubts about Vincent reside. She even goes as far as quote Agent Reynolds verbatim when confronting Vincent with his treachery. One minute she is calling Agent Reynolds ‘dad’ the next minute she’s offended he’s called her ‘honey’. Cat is quick to defend Vincent without really evaluating if she even believes it herself. She forces herself on him at one point in what I think was an effort to take her mind off her doubts and try to remind her about the good things Vincent (even a Vincent who barely remembers her) has to offer.

Vincent
The character of Vincent is irrevocably and irreparably tarnished beyond recognition in my eyes. I forgave him for the Alex thing. I over looked the shoving of Cat. I also try to think positively about all the hell that Cat has gone through due to her involvement with Vincent and chalk it up to developing a backstory for their “epic love”. But it is now starting to have all the telltale signs of a toxic/borderline abusive relationship. I love the darker undertones and anti-hero trappings because that gives Jay Ryan something to sink his teeth into and for that I’m glad. However in terms of character development it depresses the hell out of me. Vincent was once a strong, silent, brooding, reluctant hero once upon a time. I could understand his motivations. I was willing to cut the man some slack. But now, it has become too much. There have been seven episodes thus far and only one episode (that episode being Hothead) where I really felt for Vincent, wanted, no need, for Cat to cut him slack. But at the end of this episode, I find myself agreeing with Bob Reynolds at this point, sometimes there is such a thing as enough is enough when it comes to love. I don’t know how or when they are going to bring back Vincent from this edge of darkness but it better happen soon or I’m afraid a lot more Beasties will jump ship and never return.

VinCat
Well, we took no steps forward and about 10 steps back this week. I’m not feeling the chemistry between VinCat right now (and the writers assure us it’s written into the script that way). There are so many other ways to put VinCat on a temporary time out without rehashing the Alex storyline. Vincent could have just insisted on leaving Cat without setting up the painful trap of her to witnessing him kissing another woman (again). He also didn’t have to reiterate that Tori was ‘like him’, implying she was a more compatible mate (I know I wasn’t the only Beastie who took it that way, right?). On the other side of that coin was Cat blurting out for all of Team Beastie to hear, that she does indeed think he is an out of control beast is nearing levels of the other beasts on Vincent’s list. She is pulling away from Vincent at the beginning of the episode (and I agree with that choice otherwise Cat would have really started looking like a desperate chick that would over look anything to be with her man). But really, they should have been talking about the incident instead of making out altogether.

Tess
Finally, we get some insight into the psyche of Tess and I could not be happier. She came across as vulnerable and more importantly relatable. I’m glad we’re exploring this thing with JT. If Vincent won’t bond with him and Cat has no need for him now that she’s found Vincent, then why not let him have a friend in Tess. I love that the writer really played up her tomboy side and made her a “cub scout”. Even if it is unrealistic, Boy Scouts as an organization is no joke. They are a very stodgy and uptight bunch. I like that Tess got to show of her smarts on not one but two occasions that really helped in putting the pieces of the puzzle together. Ms. Wendy even made sure to make Tess light hearted and fun. She even came across as self-coconscious about her appearance and demeanor. Man, Grandma Vargas really has done a number on poor Tess.

JT
Can I get a heck yeah? JT is back and even though the show is still going down a road that I don’t want to walk down, at least I know there will be a bright spot. JT comes across in the writing as a plot device but thanks to the talent of Austin Basis, he breathes life into a character that could easily be forgotten and not deemed as important as we Beasties think/know he is. His absent is felt and dearly missed anytime he is MIA. It’s because he brings the funny, the sass and most importantly, the common sense. He’s the one that explains things. He’s the one that gets stuff done. He has a unique relationship with everyone on Team Beastie that serves a purpose. He’s Vincent’s best friend who gave up everything to find a cure for him and help him stay hidden. He was there for Cat when Vincent went missing, making sure she at least ate something and got some sleep. He’s Gabe’s foil and the audience’s reminder that we really shouldn’t be too trusting of Gabe. And now, he’s providing a sounding board for Tess and could quite possible be her love interest. JT is a jack of all trades and the king of the Beasties hearts. Let’s just hope the writers have figured this out and don’t pull that crap ever again.

Gabe
I liked Gabe in this episode. He wasn’t pushing up on Cat. He was showing genuine concern for someone who was not Cat. He was seriously trying to crack the case of Vincent’s mysterious handler. He took one for the team when they were confronted about them investigating Vincent’s missions. He came a running when Cat beckoned for the files. He sticks up for Vincent and even coerces Tori into falling into line, even though she wanted to go. All in all he didn’t come across as too skeevy and lovelorn. Let’s hope the character of Gabe stays this way and doesn’t try to get involved with Cat in a romantic fashion.

Agent Reynolds
I loved Agent Reynolds in this episode. He was so conniving and unscrupulous. He had a backup plan for every situation. The thing I loved the most was his faux indignation and then pretending to put it all together on the spot. Not only did that give him leverage against Vincent but also gave him a chance to really do a number on Cat. Bob was a slick talker and all I have to say is, ‘Well played sir.’

Grade: B-
Reason: On first watch this episode ranked at about a B+, but upon further inspection as well as retrospection, I settled on a B-. Initially, I was on a ‘oh thank the heavens JT is getting screen time’ high. After that particular buzz wore off, some harsh realities of this season’s storytelling began to wash over me. The JTnT kiss was a little too forced and wreaked of fan service. Not that I minded but at the same time I don’t want the writers stooping to that, if you can understand where I’m coming from on that point.

I don’t like rehashing storylines that I did like, let alone the ones I hates. Tori equal Alex 2.0, end of story, knock it off. She’s even a read head just like Alex was. The show is called Beauty and the Beast. This is supposed to be a show about an epic love. I understand it’s a drama first and foremost but it’s starting to feel like a daytime soap (and not in a good way). A person’s hopes can only be dashed so many times before there’s nothing left to pick up.

The story was fast paced and well plotted for the story they wanted to tell (though a few things felt rushed as usual). They’ve given us a great villain in the form of Agent Reynolds as well the phenomenal casting choice that is Ted Whittall. But I didn’t come to the party for the appetizers; I came for the main course.

Awards

Character of the Night

Agent Reynolds – Sure he’s the cause of all this strife in season 2 but at least he’s an effective villain who accomplishes what he sets out to do and looks good while doing it. He’s a classic villain who has, style, class and grace as well as being manipulative, cunning and calculated.

Favorite Moments

1. We got a mini flash of Jay Ryan’s abs just before the make out session was cut short.
2. Vincent’s eye roll when Cat tells Agent Reynolds that he wasn’t interrupting anything.
3. They use “Referendia” to figure out the coordinates. At least it’s not Bing, like the rest of the shows on The CW.
4. Vincent chokes on his ‘not pumpkin’ cookie.
5. A drunken Tess decides to make weird voices while inquiring whether or not JT would like some more pizza.

Favorite Lines

1. Vincent: A perfectly fine and in control assassin.
2. Tess: It looks like the holiday section threw up on you.
3. Tori: I’m not going to tweet about it.
4. Gabe: DETECTIVES! I was just explaining to Tori how we all need to be careful about what we say in front of people.
5. JT: So you’re just going to expose Vincent to your FBI father whom you’ve only known for two seconds?

Favorite Scenes

1. Gabe talking to Tori about what happened with her father.
2. When the gang is all there on Vincent’s houseboat working together to save Vincent.
3. Vincent calling Agent Reynolds and giving him a piece of his mind.
4. Tess and JT decide to spend Thanksgiving together.
5. Cat and Vincent try to come up with a code word

Best Character Interactions

It was a tie between Gabe and Tori and JT and Tess.

I would prefer it if JT and Tess aka JTnT would go more in the direction of Brotp than lovers but if this union is destined to soften up Tess, flesh her out and get her out of the role of Gabe’s wing man, I’m down. I think this union would also be beneficial for JT in regards to the fact that it doesn't seems like Vincent is really either a) remembering him or b) reaching out and trying to bond with him so why not give him another character to play off of and create new and interesting bonds in the process. You all should know I would go along with just about anything if that meant JT were to get more screen time.

I liked the character interaction of Gabe and Tori. I can’t really explain it. His interest and concern seemed so genuine. It served as personal reminder that at times I actually like the character of Gabe and not just the actor, Sendhil. The times I like Gabe best is when he is being smart, helpful and not pining after Cat. Yes, he had an ulterior motive in the fact that he wanted to keep Tori quite but honestly it would have been easier to just let her fall asleep (and perhaps not wake up) with her concussion. I feel like Gabe might see a lot of his younger self in Tori, lest we not forget that he too was once a victim of being trapped in a gilded cage.

WTF Moments

1. When JT kisses Tess. I cheered so loud my boyfriend came in to see what was going on (he thought I was watching The Mentalist and that Jane had killed Red John or something). If VinCat is on the fritz, I’m going to need another couple to root for. You know it ain’t gonna be Cat and Gabe or Tori and Vincent so why not my second favorite BatB Brotp – JTnT.

2. When Tori kissed Vincent, my blood boiled and I rolled my eyes so hard and so long, I got a little dizzy. True story. I like the actress that plays Tori. I think the introduction of a female beast is cool. What I don’t appreciate is a forcibly contrived and tired plot that only serves the purpose of creating drama for the sake of drama. The VinCat romance is already on thin ice and the tarnishing of the epic love has Beasties leaving in droves out of frustration. There was infinitely better ways for VinCat to break up.

3. When the building blows up with Vincent in it. Are we truly expected to believe that the lead male character isn’t going to survive the explosion? Are we Beasties truly supposed to be concerned about Tori after just one episode (especially since her kissing Vincent was perceived to be the straw that broke Cat’s back)? Oh writers, whatever am I going to do with you?

Burning Questions

1. Is the use of “condor” a continuity issue? One minute, it’s the handler’s code name, the next minute, its Vincent’s code name and then suddenly it appears to be Vincent’s verbal trigger.
2. So is it canon yet that when a beast’s eyes flashes that greyish-white it means they’re horny? If not that’s my theory and I’m sticking to it.
3. Why are Tori’s beast’s eyes red? Is it because her hair is red? Is it to represent that her beast power is to induce rage within other beasts?

Polls

Last Week’s Results - Who should Cat end up with? – Well, the Beasties are still rooting for VinCat despite it all, me, I’m still hoping for Evan Marks to return all supercharged and beastly to give Vincent a real run for his money. Not really but any option is better than Gabe at this point (sorry to the one person that voted for him last week).

This Week’s Poll - BatB Great Debate #7 – Do you like the idea of a female beast?
My co-hosts Lu and Kristen inspired this question, they were really happy about it. I want to know if you are. Please be sure to leave comments about why or why not. I love when I get to read how Beasties are feeling about hot button issues.
Make sure you vote and comment on this week’s best scene poll as well.

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Lilith’s Beastie Challenge of the Month – December

I want to make a podcast to send to the cast and crew (as well as Mr. Mark Pedowitz himself) over the break from the fans telling them why we love the show and how much we appreciate them. If you guys think that would be an awesome idea and want to participate, let me know and I will throw up a form and some guidelines for entries over on my blog as well make a post here on Spoiler TV.

Want to see what’s happening in the Beastie Fandom for the rest of the week click here.

Remember to watch and live tweet (@cwbatb and @BatBWriters) with the show and me every Monday at 9 PM/8 PM Central on The CW.

Feel free to sound off in the comments below.



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