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Beauty and the Beast - 2.17 - Beast is the New Black - Review - Never Gonna Give You Up


Welcome back Beasties! Did you miss me? I missed you.

Before I get underway with this week’s review I would like to say that I’m super proud of each and every Beastie who roared long and hard to help get BATB renewed for season 3. Beasties come together when it counts and this is honestly one of the most passionate and dedicated fandoms I have ever seen and I’m always going to be proud to be a part of this fanmily.

I feel like the renewal has given me a new outlook on Beauty and the Beast. Especially since I can gather what the end game for season 2 is and what they are planning for season 3 and they all appear to be things that I can be happy about and get behind wholeheartedly. I truly hope the feeling is mutual for the fans that have stuck around this long through so many of the ups and downs. I think they are planning on rewarding us for our loyalty by getting back to the basic tenants of the show.

There was so much that happened and a lot to process. So let’s see… Where should I begin?

Cat was running around like a chicken with their head cut off trying to save Vincent and in the process lost her badge and made a few people think she was an escaped patient from some mental hospital in the process. She got to flex her lawyer skills, have some girl time with Tess, comfort JT and still managed time to have to be shoved into quite a few forced, long, drawn out and unnecessary scenes with Gabe. Heck, she even stopped by to check in on her dear old dad. And let’s not forget she was handcuffed by Vincent, for like the 4th time (I mean if that’s their kink no judgments here just show some of that in bedroom already). Oh and of course let’s not forget that the writers came down with a case of Lana Lang syndrome by having Cat be kidnapped by the bad guys. Let’s just hope she manages to stay out of the hospital for these next five episodes or I might have a few choice words about that.

Gabe wasn't behind Vincent being arrested! Really? Are you sure writers? I mean sure it’s always great to see Ted Whittall again being the bad bio dad we all love to hate and as much as I love Sendhil I just don't see the point of keeping the character of Gabe around. One of the cardinal rules of writing is a character should serve the plot, the plot should haven’t to serve the character. For the life of me I can't understand why the writers keep trying to remind us of a plot that was nearly universally hated by the fans. They should be trying to gloss that over and phasing the character out or down playing his screen time for the time being. He’s pretty useless and one note at this point which is a shame because Mr. Ramamurthy can play evil in a wonderfully delicious manner. But the character of Gabe seems so neutered and lovelorn that I’m getting secondhand embarrassment for him at this point. For me personally, the character of Gabe can never be truly be redeemed for me no matter what the writers try to force down my throat. Gabe comes across as selfish, petty and arrogant. Those traits by the way are the prime ingredients for a villain, just saying. I truly hope they build on the evil smirk while drinking a glass of wine thing because I just can’t take the jealous puppy dog routine any longer.

OK, let’s just get this out of the way. You know it was coming and be honest, you know you love it when I say this, criminal underuse of Austin Basis as JT Forbes. But at least he was in the episode and clocking some pretty good screen time, well for season 2 at any rate. It absolutely broke my heart that Vincent wasn't able to say a proper goodbye to him. But JT knew in his heart that the day would come eventually. At least now he has Cat AND Tess to help him through this rough time. I’m really happy that JT got a little bit agro in this episode and all of his points were valid. It is nice to know that JT has a back bone underneath all that good guy armor. I have feeling this might come in handy over the course of the next five episodes as well going into season 3.

I loved everything about Tess in this episode. Tess was written a little more in character than she had been in quite some time. Tess is a good friend, fight me about it, I dare you! I was absolutely smitten with her concern for Cat and JT and how she was clumsily handling her inability to really help. Even Tess’s make up was well done and I guess the lighting guys who use to have a grudge against Nina finally let bygones be bygones because it wasn’t very often that the character of Tess had good lighting in any scene but this episode was one gorgeous shot after the next of Tess. It might also help they've been filming in the daytime and outdoors more, LOL! Tess’s dialog may not have been that great but Nina really sold the character’s social awkwardness that comes from always trying to be tough and being a tad bit rough around the edges. I absolutely can’t wait to see what sides her relationship with JT brings out in her.

I know we saw an awful lot of Vincent but I felt like he really didn’t have a lot to do in this episode per se. He got arrested. He was strip searched by Officer Miller (in a scene that didn’t last long enough or show nearly enough). Cat came to his rescue to keep him calm and discover the gem’s hiding place. He had a pretty cool scene with JT when he realized that his friends were willing to take huge risks to save him and decided he wanted to spare them. I really liked that scene especially since he acknowledged that he was guilty of the crime. That scene really felt like old Vincent from season 1 and it hit me hard because I’ve missed that Vincent very much especially the vulnerability that Jay Ryan gave in that iteration of Vincent.

What else? In another scene that made me tear eyed (there were quite a few, to be honest) Vincent has a heart to heart with Cat but much to my surprise and Vincent chagrin Cat chose a heck of a time to find her backbone and told him she was going to save him. That didn’t sit well with Vincent so naturally he started a fight with an inmate to facilitate his escape. Just when it seemed as if Vincent was gone for good we get another rooftop scene that just punched me in my gut. They proceeded to follow that up with a sexy shower scene of VinCat dancing to the song they had their first dance to. Some writers focus too much on the show’s pat and some writers don’t have a healthy enough respect for it; but as always Sherri and Jenny managed to find the perfect balance (which by the way, left me a little bit of an emotional wreck). Of course Gabe just sensed the perfect time to come and be a cock block (and I swear my whole timeline lit up like a Christmas tree when it happened). But at least it was with some semi-helpful news. But it doesn’t pan out and this leaves Vincent ready to run. Cat offers to go but it’s too late, the cops have her place surrounded and he has to blur away.

I really liked how this episode ended with shots of seeing what everyone is up to. Usually we just end with Cat, Vincent or VinCat, which is always nice but this definitely feels like a shift in the writers' focus to me for some reason. The music was also pitch perfect in my opinion for this episode.

I really liked the way this episode was written. It was hands down one of best put together scripts of the seasons and it should come as no surprise that Sherri Cooper and Jenny Levin were the ones who wrote this episode. I think the pacing was fantastic. The dialog was natural and filled with a kind of awkwardness that worked for the plot. All of our main characters got nearly equal attention. This is something I have been waiting for, for like 16 episodes since I was promised this show was moving in an ensemble cast direction way back during SDCC 2013. It’s such a pity that they haven’t be allowed to write much for season 2 and are getting knocked down to “consultants” for season 3.

I was absolutely in love with the way this episode was shot. It felt fresh in a whole lot of ways, so much so that I thought a new director had come on board. But that was not the case; it was one of my series favorites, Fred Gerber. He shook things up a bit by trying his hand at few new ways of capturing scenes. Some scene felt muted in a way that made me sit up and pay attention. The scenes were blocked and captured in such a way to put the focus on everyone in the scene not just one person for the most part and I really found myself liking that. Some directors make the viewer feel like an intruder verse an observer. Mr. Gerber makes me feel like a quiet observer and I think that for this show that fits best. I could gush all day about this particular technical point but I won’t…

For a show that has a fairy tale connotation for a title, our protagonists very rarely get those ‘happily ever after’ moments, do they? The cycle of being drawn together and torn apart is to be expected, especially since we answered that question of will they or won’t very early on in the series. The show shines best when Cat and Vincent (as well and Kristin and Jay) are allowed to play off each other. That’s the draw. They have amazing chemistry together. Every story needs conflict but I’m not sure if a story needs as much conflict as season 2 of BATB has had. It has quite literally been one thing after another without much of a break from the chaos, for the fans or the characters. I look forward to how they resolve this season over the course of the next 5 episodes.

I really hope they plan on getting back to the heart and soul of the show as well as revisit some of the overarching themes from last season such as: doing what is right, standing up for what you believe in, self-discovery, friendship and epic love. Because to me that what this how boils down and what makes it great. This show really does have something for everyone: a romantic side, an action side and a heavy Sci-Fi element that should totally be expounded upon, along with an awesome cast and a timeless story to be told.

I feel BATB has the potential to be a mainstream success if only the network would let it be. I’m hoping that next season there will be a lot more promotion for the show from the network as well as the fans. I’m happy to report that our ratings did go up from a .3 to .4 in the demo and we had the most viewers since last season’s finale (1.1 million). I'll chalk that up to the fans that created a street team initiative to literally put the butts in the seats and spread their love for the show the old fashioned way, word of mouth. My biggest hope is the ratings continue to climb for the duration and that the decision is made to make BATB a summer show, since it would mean less pressure for ratings, more time to promote it and also build up anticipation for the show. Only time will tell.

So until next week, keep roaring Beasties.

Grade: A-

Awards

Best Character Interactions
• Cat and Vincent (duh!)

Character of the Night
• Cat

Scene of the Night
•VinCat dancing in the shower

Line of the Night
• Vincent: Catherine, don’t you get it? You are my gem. I want to take you everywhere with me.

Most Memorable Moment
• The Cat and JT hug

Miscellaneous

Burning Questions
• Does anyone else feel like Gabe has been keeping in touch with Reynolds this whole time?

Style Spotlight - I was absolutely in love with Tess's coat. It wasn't already so damn hot here in NYC I would totally try to track it down.

Side Notes:
Do you guys still want a question of the week poll like I use to do before the hiatus? If so let me and leave some questions of the week in the comments below.

Shameless Plugs & Self-Promotion

Beauty and the Beast Podcast
BATB Podcast Facebook Fan Page

What did you think of this episode? How does it stack up against the rest of the episodes from this season? What do you think should be done with the character of Gabe? As always, feel free to sound off in the comments. You know I love you for reading…

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