Episode 108: “Trapped”
THERE ARE SPOILERS AHEAD!
[Photos: Ben Mark Holzberg/The CW]
I’ve figured out why I’ve really started liking B&TB at this point. The show has developed into a consistently, if subtly, funny show over the course of its nascent life. This week’s skewering of the music industry and other random comic nuggets during the episode definitely amped its watchability. So again, with few complaints to register this week, let’s plow ahead with a straightforward recap of the show’s storyline.
Normally, I don’t provide much overview of the mystery/homicide component of the show, but this week’s investigation proved more interesting than usual. Max Schneider, who played the hip-hop singer Jake Riley with such delicious obnoxiousness, has a real future in entertainment beyond the Nickelodeon work he’s already done. I look forward to seeing his career unfold, and kudos to the casting team of Sari Knight and Mandy Sherman for giving us wonderful character actors to enjoy each week.
The show opens with fan-pandering Jake Riley snaking his way through the crowd in front of his limo, when shots are fired at him. Since it’s clear from pretty much the first moment we see Mr. Riley that he embodies the things we hate about music entertainers, I wonder what percentage of the audience drifted off into fantasies about life imitating art.
The shots having missed, Jake and his manager end up in an interrogation room at the precinct. Tess ushers Cat into the room to meet the two men, with a little comic reference to Agent Mulder en route. After dubbing Tess “Diversity Barbie”, Jake’s manager provides the two detectives with a generous bagful of hate mail written for the annoying young artist. Because of Mr. Riley’s celebrity, the chief has ordered a protection detail; Jake sidles up to Tess with a sly grin, and insists on her involvement in the detail, both to Tess’s horror and amusement.
Meanwhile, J.T. jacks Vincent up on endorphins and Lorazepam so that Vincent can explore repressed Muirfield memories. While under, Vincent recalls that Cat’s mom oversaw Muirfield, at least from a medical perspective. After a short verbal tussle, Vincent and J.T. agree that Cat needs to be told. However, when they share the news with her later, Cat confesses that Muirfield agent Silverfox had shown her a picture of Dr. Chandler and other Muirfield scientists during her kidnapping.
As more information is needed, Vincent goes under again. Vincent recalls hanging out and drinking beer with his other special service experimentees, when his buddy Lafferty (as played by Bianca Lawson, who was Emily Bennett in The Vampire Diaries, among other roles) freaks out and takes out her aggression on an innocent table who may never walk again. Vincent then speaks with Cat’s mother in the sequence, revealing a little about her character, her motivations, and the fact that the fugue side effects were unexpected and she was trying to fix them. I mentioned a recap or two ago that it bothered me that Vincent didn’t know what a fugue was when he and J.T. discuss it for the first time. In this scene, Vincent apparently knows what a fugue is. So he knew all the way back in Afghanistan but not in the more recent past? Kinda weird.
When Vincent comes out of it, Cat apologizes for her mother’s involvement in the uprooting of Vincent’s life. Vincent, however, instructs her not to be sorry, because they don’t have to stay away from each other anymore. Cat’s reaction? She changes the subject; she declares her intention to find her mother’s records on her work. That’s great and all, Cat, but you just skated by some kind of semi-formal expression of sentiment by your intended. I mean, he is your intended, right? You invited him to dinner? Next week you’re inviting him to your dad’s wedding, according to previews. You’re just going to pretend you didn’t hear…oh, good grief. Whatever. It’s not how I’d play it, but to each her own, I guess.
As Cat screws around with job-unrelated duties, Tess uncovers that our boy Jake Riley has been in a nasty Twitter War with another music artist by the name of “Li’l Tap That” (comic gem #3). Mr. That meets with Tess and corrects her understanding of the situation; the Twitter war is an artifice, cooked up by the managers of both artists to enhance their celebrity status. Mr. That observes, “Drama sells.” Sadly, it’s true.
Making good on her change-of-subject promise, Cat goes through old boxes and finds her mother’s notes about Vincent’s fugues. The notes are thorough enough that J.T. feels he could produce a serum, if only he had the proper equipment. Luckily for our heroes, the proper equipment could be found in a police forensics lab, if only a handsome medical examiner with a killer accent could be persuaded away from the lab with the flimsiest of excuses, like, “Hey, come with me; let’s do some field work.”
Cat realizes that if Jake’s manager were enough of a dirtbag to fake a Twitter war, he might in fact be enough of a dirtbag to fake an attempt on Jake’s life. Thus, she and Evan search the manager’s office. After approximately two minutes of searching, Catherine finds a thumb drive taped to the back of office artwork (when will criminals ever figure out how to hide things well?). Evan uses the nearby password-less laptop to view the contents: an autobiography of the manager’s rise and fall in the music industry, ending with the unrealized death of Jake Riley. Throw in the recent thirty thousand dollar withdrawal from Jake’s bank account, and the whole thing stinks. Cat shares her findings with Jake, and in response, Jake drops just enough of his swagger to show his vulnerability, hurt, and disbelief.
While Cat and Evan have been detecting, J.T. creates the necessary serum in Evan’s lab. Unfortunately, when J.T. returns with the serum, Beast Boy has broken out of his prison cell and is reliving a fight scene from Afghanistan. Cat shows up just about the time J.T. looks like he might actually be in danger from our fugued-out hero, and she talks Vincent down and out of his Mr. Hyde state. Unwisely, Vincent plunges a needle full of untested serum into his arm, despite vehement protests from both J.T. and Cat. Gasp! What are the chances that Vincent would die at this point in the series? Nah, I wasn’t too worried either.
Cat and Tess have a job to finish up, so they catch the bad guy with their usual flair. Cat dispenses some wisdom about trusting people to young Jake before bidding him adieu, but Jake’s parting gift for Tess is given in a scene that is both touching and gratifyingly light-hearted.
The episode ends at the cemetery where Cat visits her mother’s grave. Vincent shows up to walk her home, and assures her that she doesn’t need to feel badly. It’s because of Cat’s mother that he gets to be in her life. They put their arms around each other and walk off. Still no kissing though. And that brings me to my final point: if I were Cat, and Vincent hadn’t kissed me by now, I’d be thinking there were something wrong with me. “He acts like he likes me. He says things like he’s glad he gets to be in my life. I think he looks at me like he wants to. What the heck!?” If Vincent goes to Cat’s dad’s wedding with her next week, and they don’t get to first base, I will feel like we’ve completely left the realm of science fiction and headed over into fantasy. That’s because it is a scientific fact that no man with feelings for a woman is able to accompany said woman to a wedding without putting the moves on her after leaving the reception.
See you guys next week for our final episode of the series before we break for mid-season. Until we meet again, let’s all be grateful that Cat’s bridesmaid dress next week didn’t turn out to be chartreuse, after all!