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Beauty and the Beast – 1.05– Saturn Returns – Retro Review: The Perks of Being Catherine Chandler


Beauty and the Beast – 1.05– Saturn Returns – Retro Review: The Perks of Being Catherine Chandler

“The Perks of Being Catherine Chandler”


‘The soul of the newly born baby is marked for life by the pattern of the stars at the moment it comes into the world, unconsciously remembers it, and remains sensitive to the return of configurations of a similar kind.’
― Johannes Kepler, Harmonies of the World


Preface

Well, I just want to say that I was really impressed with turn out last week on my inaugural Beauty and the Beast Retro Recap. It was the second most viewed review here on Spoiler TV so I just want to say thank you. I love my Beasties and I’m proud to be a part of this fandom. Always have been and always will be.

Up for discussion this week is actually the first episode I ever watched of Beauty and the Beast, 1x05: Saturn Returns. It was only after this episode that I decided to give the pilot a shot and well, the rest is history. ..

So, obviously, this episode holds a special place in my heart but objectively this is just a really well-crafted episode that runs the gambit of emotions and situations. Every character gets their chance to shine. The pacing was great. The dialog was fun. The party was great and a breath of fresh air. It gave us as the audience a chance to see most of our characters let loose and have fun.

So onwards and upwards with the second installment of my Beauty and the Beast Retro Review...


The Recap & Review


Title: Saturn Returns
Story by: Blair Singer/Teleplay by: Blair Singer & Kelly Souders
Director: Steven A. Adelson

Episode Summary: It's Cat's birthday, and things get complicated when she has to cancel her plans with Vincent because her sister throws her a surprise party where she shares an unexpected moment with Evan.

Vincent is caught on security camera preventing a robbery, leading his photo to appear in the newspapers, and Cat investigates the disappearance of a woman after her fiancé puts their engagement notice in the paper. It turns out that the missing woman was in witness protection and trying to live a normal life.
She disappeared when she saw her photograph in the engagement notice, worried that the gangster she was to testify against might have seen it. The gangster kills her case officer and shows up in his place, as he tries to find her.

Cat tracks the missing woman to a motel and arrives before the gangster. Cat and the gangster fight, with Cat winning. The missing woman is reunited with her fiancé. Cat pretends to be surprised at the party.

At the end of the evening, Evan kisses her, and they are seen by Vincent, who leaves a present for Cat on the window ledge and wanders off.
After the party, Cat goes to see Vincent and invites him for dinner.The last few scenes show Cat preparing dinner and Vincent walking to the date. However, he blacks out and does not show up. The candles burn down. Vincent wakes on one of the Brooklyn Bridge pylons.
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My thoughts on the writer…
I really liked this writing team but they were never put together again and more notably not asked back for season 2. While Blair Singer went on to write other episodes solo as well as one with Roger Grant, Kelly Souders was often paired with Brian Peterson (who was also not asked back for season 2). I really liked how they went out of the way to give every character a moment to shine as well as balanced the time between Cat and her life, Vincent and his life and his time together. The dialog was fun while also very realistic. They even managed to capture a few moments that felt very believable between Cat and Heather as well as Cat and Tess. I honestly can’t say enough good things about this duo and the work they did on this episode. My only regret is they never got the chance to work together again on Beauty and the Beast.

My thoughts on the director…
While this episode marked Mr. Adelson’s Beauty and the Beast directorial debut, this episode certainly wasn’t his last. Adelson has a clean and almost blunt directorial aesthetics for the most part. But he also has a way of getting the most out of the scene without the frame feeling crowded. I like that he really thrives on capturing not only the emotions of the actors but manages to even encapsulate the scene’s emotional aurora.
I’m very much looking forward to the next time he directs an episode of Beauty and the Beast which will actually be episode 2x20: Ever After.

My thoughts on the case of the week…
During the first season, for the most part, (and if you listen to the podcast, you know in the second season I still wouldn’t bat an eye if one week Cat and Tess were suddenly no longer cops but instead private detectives) I really didn’t care for the case of the week. It made the show feel too procedural in nature and the cases were often thinly veiled morality plays that tied into the theme of the week. After numerous re-watches, I’ve decided they were charming plot devices that helped build a bridge that eventually connected to other things and was a necessary evil.

Another problem with the cases of the week was the lack of originality. After watching the Law & Order franchise for quite literally more than half my life, not to mention CSI and NCIS, I can spot a red herring and ferret out the real perp in about 5 minutes flat in almost in procedural show but in the case of Beauty and the Beast, you can cut that time in half. I even figured out the ‘surprise’ twist long before it was said.

But for some reason, this really is one of my favorite cases of the week. I guess because the parallels to Cat and Vincent are so blatant yet poignant and not to mention the couple gets their happy ending thanks mostly in part to Cat.

My thoughts on the theme…
The theme of the week was very obvious but at the same time tied nicely into the case of the week.

The prevalent theme of the episode was: You can’t just assume what is right for someone else; they need to be allowed to make that choice for themselves.


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Important Incidents

• JT and Vincent go for a walk and Vincent stops a convenience store robbery a story that makes the papers.
• Heather throws Cat a surprise party with the help of Tess.
• With the help of JT, Vincent realizes just what is at stake for Cat if he continues to encourage her to spend time with him.
• Sarah asks JT out and he says no (later he takes her up on the offer of going out for coffee)
• Cat kisses Evan at her birthday party while Vincent looks on.

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Actor Assessments

Nicole Gale Anderson – This was some A+ casting because despite Nicole being Filipina and Kristin being of Dutch and Chinese descent they really look like they could be sister. Throw in the bonus that they both look like they could be Khaira Ledeyo's daughter and the wow factor of the casting is to be commended.

I've loved Nicole since the day she showed up on ABC Family's Make It or Break IT as the quintessential mean girl with a messed up family life.

My friend is a super fan of Nicole's and alerted me to the fact the she was on this show as Kristin's character's little sister and we made a date to watch the show together and well, it was right after the episode ended that I became willing to give this show a shot.

Nicole and Kristin's chemistry is so awesome. They play off each other really well and it is so easy to believe that they are sister. I hope Nicole gets to come back before the end of season 2 (if indeed the show gets cancelled like so many are predicting, but I'm not counting Beauty and the Beast out, just yet).
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Character Contemplations


Cat – Cat was already starting to feel the burden of keeping Vincent's secret and instead of running away from it she was leaning into it. I find it interesting because Cat essentially has everything Vincent had to give up: friends, a family that loves her, the ability to celebrate a birthday, the freedom to do as she pleases when she pleases as well as working a job where she is making an actual difference in the world. I really liked that Cat was feeling guilty. But I also like that she was following where her heart was leading her. I think that was something very difficult for Cat to do previously up until this point. I was a bit shocked that Cat didn't push Evan away and actually tried to use her being "tipsy" as an excuse. But the most important thing of all is that even with all this drama in her life, she still managed to be a good a cop and save the day and Vincent was even, indirectly (just the way I like it), able to help her solve the case. She also got a glimpse that a happy ending for her Vincent was possible.

Evan – This was strike one for Evan. I just couldn't believe he kissed Cat while his date was waiting on him. His saving grace is that it was done at the last moment and not right away and that he was obviously uncomfortable being alone with Cat, especially after such implied copious amounts of alcohol had been consumed. I too also couldn't believe that Evan Marks was on an internet dating website. But you just can't take away his good looks, charm and winning personality. I still find myself loving the chemistry between Max and Kristin to this very day. Mandler FOREVER, LOL!

Heather – If I had the opportunity to pick who could be my younger sibling, it would be Heather Chandler. Cute as a button, fiercely loyal and protective yet loves and knows how to party. Heather was just all sunshine, puppies and rainbows in this episode and she even got to interact with Tess and Evan.

Joe – Not much on the Joe front. But I did notice they were really going out of their way to make sure we noticed his wedding band in this episode. But I did like that we got to see both Boss!Joe and Downtime!Joe. I have to admit while I was never a fan of the Joe and Tess relationship, their scene in the photo booth was adorable. Hell, I even loved the little kiss and hug he gave to Cat. That really made it seem like the 125th precinct or at the very least the special victims unit was a close knit unit with nothing but love for each other.

JT – JT annoyed the living hell out of me this week in the first half of the episode because he came across as a nagging wife for the first time ever. It wasn't until we got a little backstory about how JT had to give up his life and go on the run with Vincent that things start to click with the JT and Vincent scenes. I also loved that they were trying to let JT have a life since Vincent was pursuing Cat. In the end JT had the most zingers and one liners and still managed to get back on track as the heart of the show before the episode was over.

Tess – Tess knows something is up. She even knows that it more than likely has to do with a guy. Tess feels a little left out of the loop but she is still there for Cat and trying to stay close with Cat. I love that Cat understands Tess (knows that the flowers are from her)and Tess is willing to give Cat leeway in their relationship. I also like that their personal disconnection does not affect how either one of them do their jobs in this episode. They are still able to have silent conversations and read each others signals and manage to save the day.

Vincent – I just want hold Vincent and never left him go. He is so turned around and conflicted about Cat. He is drawn to her, has been watching over her for so long and now he finally gets the chance to know her but there are so many perils when it comes to being in a relationship with him. He's already basically ruined JT's life in his eyes and really wants to take JT's advice and let Cat live her life without getting caught up in the negative consequence that being with him can cause. But that pull won't let go, not even after seeing her kissing another guy. Vincent even buys her a very thoughtful gift. There is a stereotype, especially in media that guys don't listen to women, so I think that is awesome that Vincent took the time to get her something meaningful that was based on a good memory about her mother. I was a little bummed out that Vincent was prevented from having dinner with Cat but deep down on the first watch, even I knew it was too soon for them to get together. PS: Boy was I relieved to learn that Vincent's fugue states weren't really caused by Cat.

VinCat - This is the episode that takes their relationship that has pretty much been classified as an uneasy "friendship" and transitioned it to a case of them both wanting to find out what this mysterious pull they both feel for each other really is. Of course it was just a tease but I love that Cat was the one to initiate it and tell Vincent that at the end of the day it was her choice to make about whether or not she wanted pursue any kind of relationship with him despite the dangers. It made me feel like their relationship, when it got to a serious development stage would be on equal footing. I really like both of the protagonists and I enjoy romantic relationships on TV that are built on strong foundations of friendship, equality and neither partner being perfect. This was a good building block for the relationship, in my opinion.

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The Highlights


Memorable Moments

1. Now that’s how you open an episode, with a restless and more importantly shirtless, Vincent tossing and turning in bed.
2. JT puts his finger in the string so Vincent can make a perfect bow for Cat’s birthday present
3. Cat practices her surprise face.
4. Cat and Heather hug.
5. Cat and Tess in the photo booth
6. Joe throws up air quotes at a crime scene
7. Cat practices her surprise face.

Laudable Lines

1. JT: … and I’m not asking her out because I live in an abandoned warehouse with a complicated roommate.

2. Vincent: I need some air.
JT: Open a window.

3. Vincent: JT, she makes me feel like… like I have a life again.
JT: Awfully dangerous for a guy who is supposed to be dead.

4. JT: What’s got you so amped up? OH! You must have seen Cat.

5. Cat: You seriously have something called phase B?

6. Evan: I didn’t know you thought my accent was sexy?

Scenes I’m Smitten With

1. JT and Vincent talk about Sarah. – It’s refreshing to be talking about someone else’s love life.
2. Cat goes to Evan’s lab to get the results and witty sexual tension type hijinks ensue.
3. Sarah confronts/asks out JT in the stairwell while he’s trying to steal stuff for the home alarm system he’s building.
4. Cat, Heather and Tess trash talk Claire as she walks away to the bathroom
5. JT embarrasses the crap out of Vincent by telling Cat in the most flowery way possible how Vincent feels since having actually met her.

The Lowlights

1. I was too easily able to solve the case of the week.
2. Not enough time spent with Cat and Heather (I really love them together).

Awards


Character of the Night
• Cat

Best Character Interactions
• Cat & Heather
• Cat & Vincent
• JT & Vincent

Most Memorable Moment
• Duh, you had to know this was coming, shirtless Vincent. (Excuse the fangirl moment, please)

Line of the Night
• Heather: Surprised, pissed or both?

Scene of the Night
• Cat and Lily/Amy have a heart to heart (and the parallels are uncanny)

That Awkward Moment
• That awkward moment when you tell a woman you like to move on and you catch her doing what appears to be just that with another guy.

The ‘Nosiest Little Sister’ Award
• Heather is as equally adorable as she is nosey

Miscellaneous


Recurring Elements
•Newspaper clippings

For Real?
• Evan kisses Cat while his date, Claire is waiting for him
• Michael just happened to be a doctor just like Vincent use to be?
• How the hell did Cat manage to get the thumb drive into the USB port without even looking on the first try? Witchcraft, I tell you!
• Evan's online dating profile, it justs more funny with each thing you notice.

Biggest Surprise of the Episode
• Vincent ends up on the Brooklyn Bridge.


My Music Picks
Raise Your Glass by Deana
• Take A Walk by Passion Pit


Things I Miss
• The Cat and Vincent character intros at the beginning of an episode
• The way Cat use to light up when she talked about her mother
•Cat feeling guilty about lying to everyone almost all of the time

Fun Fact: Vincent gave Cat flannel pajamas for her birthday (because that is what Cat’s mother use to get her for her birthday).

Tasty Tidbit: This episode has one of the shortest openings (the time before we get to the title card)of the series (03:19)

Style Spotlight: I absolutely love the shirt in the picture to left. I just had to hunt it down and make it mine. I love that is was soft and feminine but basic and could be dressed up or dressed down. It is also super comfy. Cat's wardrobe consists of a lot white flowy tops, so much so it could almost be considered a 'recurring element' to be honest. But this is one of my favorite tops.

Grade: A

Side Note: A lot of fans, me included, think that this is the episode the show came together and began to gel. It is frequently mentioned among Beasties I know as one of their favorite season 1 episodes.
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Elite Eight Review Line Up

Here’s a list of the episodes that I will be writing Retro Recaps for until the hiatus is over:

Pilot – April 8, 2014
Saturn Returns – April 15, 2014
• Out of Control – April 22, 2014
• Bridesmaid up/Seeing Red – April 29, 2014
• Trust No One – May 6, 2014
• Insatiable – May 13, 2014
• Heart of Darkness – May 20, 2014
• Anniversary – May 27, 2014
• Bonus Review (on my blog): Date night – June 2, 2014


Plugs & Shameless Self-Promotion

If you’re bored and you’re re-watching season 2, how about you listen to my podcast for a fresh perspective, theories or just have a listen to a couple of
gals who just really love talking about Beauty and the Beast.

The DVMPE’s Beauty and the Beast Podcast
The Podcast’s Facebook Page
The Podcast's Email
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I would love for you to leave your thoughts and comments about when you first watched the pilot and some of your initial thoughts about the show below. I look forward to reading your comments.

ps: Don't forget to promote this and all positive Beauty and the Beast articles in all the social media you can. For instance be sure to click the like button, retweet this and +1 this article if you like it and appreciate this reviewer's hard work.

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