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Beauty and the Beast - 2.21 - Operation Fake Date - Review: The Nuclear Option.



Hey Beasties! Sorry the review is late, AGAIN. But if I’m going to be honest, I struggled with this episode and didn't really know what to make of it, let alone how to write about it. I've seen even the most veteran of reviewers kind of adjust the format for this particular episode. But without further ado let’s dish about Beauty and the Beast episode 2x21: Operation Fake Date. This episode was definitely a whirlwind. A lot of the things that needed to happen happened and a lot of things that didn’t need to happen happened as well (cough *that date with Gabe* cough). This episode was cute, funny and very frenetic but a little nonsensical. I liked this episode but I didn’t love this episode and it definitely wasn't what I was expecting and I will get into that in just a bit.

If I had to sum up the events in this episode briefly I guess it would go a little something like this: A deeply deluded Gabe tried to win Cat back while also nearly exposing the existence of beasts to Cat’s old high school friend turned reporter, Beth. Heather was planning her bachelorette party and hiding her post traumatic stress in true Heather fashion – avoidance. Meanwhile Cat and Vincent continued their quest in getting Vincent exonerated and finally succeeded. Also, some mysterious G-Men came into play and managed to take a sample of Vincent’s blood.

So this week’s episode saw Sherri Cooper and Jennifer Levin return to their writing duties and I have to say I was shocked to discover that they were the ones who wrote this episode. It didn’t have any of their usual hallmarks, AT ALL. The structure definitely deviated from their norm as I found the dialog for the most part to be very bland and unmemorable. The episode’s pacing was a little wonky as well. Also, JT and Tess also seemed to be very out of character to me. This episode was should have been a little darker in tone overall and not just in some spots. This just didn’t seem like a penultimate episode until the last five minutes and Sherry and Jenny are just so much better than usually. This episode felt just felt thrown together and a little disjointed and edging towards unbelievable at times.

Fred Gerber returned to the director’s chair this week and I was shocked again that this was his handiwork. I’ll chalk it up to the fact that a lot of scenes were trying to cram way too much into them whether it was intentional or not I do not know. But what I do know is that this episode felt crowded and cramped on so many levels and visual was the one that annoyed me the most. I will say that Mr. Gerber pulled out some fine, subtle and nuanced performances from all the actors.

The most aggravating theme of all that this show loves to explore reared its ugly head with a vengeance in this episode, the men in Cat’s life and their weird obsession with being her knight in shining armor. I also noticed that themes of fate, destiny and a fear of repeating the past. Which I find odd seeing as how the powers that be are trying so hard to recapture the first season’s vibe after deciding the show needed to be a soft reboot and the beginning of this season which started out fine and turned into a hot mess (but that’s none of my business, though).

This week’s episode opened with something that I wasn’t expecting, comedy. I mean come on, Vincent in that awful mustache that really didn’t disguise him very well and Cat with her blonde wig was hilarious. As was Vincent’s brutish manhandling of the baby carriage. Right down to Agent Knox’s comments about how Cat and Vincent were being so good at following protocol all the sudden. Luckily for them (and us) he comes bearing good news, the murder charges are getting dropped and all Vincent has to do is turn himself in. Well, that seems like a pretty simple task. But it’s Beauty and the Beast and things are NEVER ever that simple or easy.

We left that scene to abruptly cut to a scene that featured JT and Tess at a place called Lizzy D’s Closet. It turns out the place is a sex shop. JTnT awkwardly banter about bachelorette party staples, just whose responsibility is it to be doing all this stuff for Heather and for good measure JT even managed to bash Heather for not filing charges against Gabe (Oh, don’t worry, I don’t condone that and I have a few words to say about it later). Tess is seemingly frustrated that JT isn’t into any of things in the sex shop but that gets dropped because Tess is being stalked by Cat’s old high school friend, turned reporter, Beth. She’s looking for confirmation about some juicy details that Gabe has told her about Vincent. JT and Tess treat her like she’s crazy and insinuates that Gabe has an agenda but leaves that for Beth to discover for herself.

From there we were treated to a scene at the hostel where Cat and Vincent are staying. Tess once again has to break the bad news to Cat that Gabe has done something that might put a wrench in her plans to get exonerate Vincent. But never fear, Cat always has a plan and it’s usually a plan no one likes. She goes on and on about how she has power over Gabe and that she is sure she can convince him to get Beth to drop the charges. Cue everyone’s groans and eyes both from ¾ of Team Beastie and the audience.

So Cat sashays on over to Gabe’s place where he is so delighted to have Cat around he decides it’s a good idea to start day drinking. He drones on about how everything he has done was to protect Cat. Yes, even getting Heather kidnapped. But Cat’s not there to talk about that. Gabe sees an opening and tries to exploit it. If he gives Cat what she wants then she has to give him something he wants. What does Gabe want? He wants a real chance at winning Cat back.

I seriously puked in my mouth a little bit at that point it wasn’t the last time it happened while I watched this episode. What the F@#%? Are you serious? Gabe must be completely delusional to that he thinks Cat would honestly go for this? This is our evil, genius, master mind villain that we have wasted so much time on? Apparently, the lights are on and nobody’s home at this point but whatever. Cat agrees but knows that hard part wouldn’t be going on the date with Gabe; but getting Vincent to stand down and not freak out.

Vincent reacts (as does JT) as any normal person would to the news. But Cat manages to persuade everyone that it will be just fine. And as it turns out, it was just fine, right down to the perfectly chaste peck on the lips at the end of the night. I should say everything was fine until a cake swapped didn’t go unnoticed and caused Gabe to go back to Cat’s place just in time to overhear her talking about the farce of date she just went on with him.

So the next day, at the press conference where Vincent is turning himself in, Beth asks an inappropriate question that makes her look like she’s off her rocker (and probably got her press pass revoked) about Vincent’s DNA and the FBI’s involvement and cover up. This sets off alarms and with the help of a phone call from Heather, Cat manages to piece together the puzzle of what caused Gabe’s change of heart. In a last ditch effort Vincent spills the beans to Agent Knox about what he is capable of. But it’s too late to back out of the deal; Vincent still has to go jail.

After the fiasco that was the press conference it seems Beth is not pleased with the lack of a reaction from Vincent. Gabe calls her and reassures her that there is more to the story and he has proof that he can show her. But they are interrupted by a phone call from Cat. Beth takes it but not before Gabe tells her that Cat is in love with Vincent.

Meanwhile, Heather is throwing a bachelorette party (even though she has yet to set a wedding date). Cat and Tess invite Beth to it to try and talk her out of writing her story and getting all the information to make an informed choice. We find out that Heather hasn’t told her fiancé that she was kidnapped and she realizes she is suffering from post-traumatic stress. It felt like a big step backwards for Heather by having her deal with her stress in such an old!Heather manner, which of course is avoidance of painful topics.

But it is understandable to a point. But why would you allow someone to roam free after they did that to you? Gabe knows where you live. Gabe has a sick obsession with your sister. If anything I’d be paranoid that he was plotting to do something even worse and would do everything in my power to thwart such a person. But hey everyone handles traumatic events differently. Anywho… by the end of the night Tess and Beth are on more friendly terms and Heather is ready to file charges against Gabe if it comes to that. But not before Agent Knox calls to inform Cat that Vincent is missing.

During that time Vincent gets taken out of his cell by some mysterious G-Men. They say they work for/with Knox but it seems doubtful. But Vincent wanting to be a model prisoner goes with them without a fight.



In a panic Cat rushes over to Gabe’s place to confront him wither her suspicions. What follows in screaming match that turns physical and (nearly) fatal. Gabe lost deep in his delusion keeps insisting that everything he has done was to keep Cat safe and furthermore wants to spare her the same fate her ancestor Rebecca Reynolds had to go through, killing her beast. But Cat finally snaps and unleashes all of her fury and beats Gabe past an inch of his life. She panics and tries to revive him.

But let’s get back to Vincent real quick. Being very suspicious and cautious Vincent feels the government guys out tells him he won’t be doing anything of interest until Agent Knox arrives. Hearing someone approach he asks if it’s him. But surprise, surprise he hears Cat’s voice and freaks out and runs to the other room to reveal Gabe’s place being surveilled. He wonders why but doesn’t get much time to process as hears Cat confirm that these men do not work for Agent Knox. He tries to escape but he gets tranquilized into submission. When he wakes up he has a chat with one of the G-Men and makes them offer to kill Gabe if they let him go. They go for it. And off Vincent goes to finally rid himself of the Gabe only to discover Cat had beaten him to the punchline.

But Cat, of course, begs Vincent to save Gabe. Vincent obliges and manages to revive him through a process right out of Pulp Fiction. Cat is relieved that she didn’t kill him and JT (who stopped by to help but ended up only providing snarky commentary) is mildly annoyed that they let the bad guy live to see another day.

I found the talk about Cat being the one to beast out and Vincent being able to save Cat from herself melancholy and downright odd. I was actually thankful that JT interrupted that painful chat with a phone call from Agent Knox. Agent Knox called to let Cat and Vincent know that exoneration went through but that he wasn’t the one to thank. I’m honestly a little miffed that we didn’t have much of a chance to let the news sink in before SOMETHING else happened.

But inevitably something else does happen. At least the next big threat waited a few beats. JT keeps an eye on Cat as she informs Gabe that he is defeated and that they have won because Vincent’s exoneration went through and Heather is willing to come forward and put him behind bars if he doesn’t stay in his place and out of the hair. And just to add insult to injury Cat said she went on the date looking for the man she once cared about but sorely disappointed to find missing in action. I honestly think that was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

It seems as though we’re wrapping up all the events from this episode in a nice tidy little bow when we see Vincent and Agent Knox finding an empty “lab (?)”. But nope, it’s revealed those so called good guys took a sample of Vincent’s blood.

That little nugget gets swept aside for another time and we head to JT and Tess who are guarding/babysitting Gabe. JT has a goody bag from Lizzy D’s closet because he is bound and determined to prove to Tess (and Cat and Vincent) that he is edgy once and for all. Tess confesses that she was overcompensating and assures JT that they are not sexually mismatched. Which gets them in the mood but they realize that they’re still at Gabe’s place and that he has been taking a super long time in the bathroom.

WELP! When we, the audience get a glimpse at Gabe’s reflection in the mirror we see the oh so familiar yellow glowy eyes staring back at us. Gabe is in the process of becoming a beast once more. Just JT and Tess go to check on Gabe; he beasts out and escapes by jumping through a window and disappearing into the dark and stormy night.

A blissfully unaware Cat and Vincent are back at the hostel and packing up trying to decide whether or not to stay one more night. Cat is reading Rebeca Reynold’s journal and her escapes with her beast Allister. Vincent assures her that that won’t happen to them and initiates a make out session that looked like it was definitely going to lead to something more (but we’ll never know because they faded to black and cut to something else).

The last scene of the night begins with Beth waiting. A calm, cool and collected Gabe shows up. Beth asks about the serum and he admits that he didn’t bring it. Beth thinks the story isn't real and informs Gabe that she won’t be writing the story. Gabe tells her that everything he told her was true and that by morning, everyone will know the truth. Beth is confused. Gabe beasts out and rip’s Beth’s heart out and that’s where we end our episode.

Grade: C+ (Please don’t hate me… but I just couldn’t find this episode as awesome as so many of you did. I try really hard to be the bright spot in Beauty and the Beast reviews but I just couldn't this week.)

Awards

Character of the Night
• Gabe (he took revenge to a whole new level and finally did the thing I’ve been wanting him to do all season long, show his true colors).

Best Character Interactions
• JT and Tess

Most Memorable Moment
• JT threatens Vincent with the tranquilizer gun
• JT snorts at Beth’s “ridiculousness” when she talks about supercharged DNA.

Line of the Night
• Agent Knox: We’re involved because this is a federal case not a plot in a comic book.

Scene of the Night
• Gabe becomes a beast once more/Gabe rips out Beth's heart.

That Awkward Moment
• That awkward moment when you think your significant other is more sexually experienced than you. – What the hell was up with JT this episode? He was extra sensitive and acting really weird. So what if your lady is more adventurous in bed than you, just ask for some lessons and lay back and take it all in, duh.


Miscellaneous

Have You Ever?

Have you ever seen a sex district as cute as this?

Bright Spot: Gabe is once again a beast so surely that means his demise is imminent. Or at the very least we can now shove off into a corner without wasting so much screentime.

Easter Egg Alert
Beyond Anger is a real book.


I Call Shenanigans
Beth didn't have to die. She could have been an awesome asset to Team Beastie. Plus it wouldn’t hurt to add another lovely lady to the cast. Full disclosure: I really like Annie Ilzoneh. Like A LOT.

Fun Fact #1:Public Relations and Event Planning Management are two different things especially in a major city like New York.
Fun Fact #2:Lizzy D’s Closet is unfortunately not a real place in NYC or Toronto.

Style Spotlight – It’s a tie. I really loved Cat’s black and gold dress (despite where it was headed) and Heather looked tastefully stunning in her blue dress with subtle cutouts (which is so on trend it hurts).







My Favorite Tweets of the Night






Shameless Plugs and Self-Promotion
BATB Podcast (now with improved sound quality)
BATB Podcast Fan Page
BATB Podcast Email
My Blog

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

PS: I would like to highly encourage you guys to tune into the podcast this week to hear the full story about the highlights and lowlights of this episode according to Kristen and I.

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