Episode 122 (Season Finale): “Never Turn Back”
THERE ARE SPOILERS AHEAD!
[Photos: Ben Mark Holzberg/The CW]
What did you guys think about the season finale of Beauty and The Beast? It gave us a lot of things we’d want: clues about what might have been going on with Cat’s mother; some resolution to Gabe’s story line; Cat-Vincent quality time. But in other respects, the show didn’t quite cross the finish line. I always cringe a little reporting when I’m not 100% satisfied with what the writers provide us, but let’s just call it room to grow into season two.
Cat and Vincent stroll through an idyllic little town outside of their normal bustling metropolis. Vincent’s medication is still going strong, so the pair enjoy couple time, dreaming for a few hours about what might have been. I admit I find this part of the story a little much. I understand their wistfulness, but something about sharing cotton candy was a little too sweet, if you will. And, you know, a little more passion never hurt anything.
Upon his return home, Vincent gets good news: according to J.T.’s research, Gabe’s medication has had a different impact on Vincent’s system than on Gabe’s. If things continue, Vincent could be cured. In this conversation, I enjoyed J.T.’s reference to Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis; it’s a nice nod to a seminal novella.
Cat’s reaction to the possibility of a normal life is swift; she manufactures fake IDs for both Vincent and herself, and locates a small town “with good schools” where they could hide from Muirfield danger. Tess and J.T. would be left behind, but the couple reasons their friends have their own lives. It’s a well-done scene; it’s easy to get sucked into their hope and happiness. I’d be willing to let the show go, if it meant they got their white picket fence. Ah, but the show must go on.
Cat’s dad calls, desperate to see her alone. En route to their meeting, Cat and Mr. Chandler catch sight of one another across a crowded intersection. The relief on his face upon seeing hers quickly transforms, as he is pushed from behind into an oncoming vehicle, one which appears to accelerate into the impact. The car speeds off, leaving Mr. Chandler unconscious and bleeding in the street.
At the hospital, Cat donates blood, because the nurse claims a blood relative’s donation is best. What if you’re Rh-negative and all your relatives are Rh-positive? While I’m not a doctor, I find these little medical liberties a bit frustrating. Heather joins Cat at the hospital (cute new haircut, Heather!). Cat ducks out to do some detective work on the accident, despite Heather’s protests.
At the precinct, Cat shows up with her dad’s busted notebook in hand, hoping some valuable clue to her father’s accident can be found. Tess gives her the best kind of talking-to that a girlfriend can give. It’s kind, but truthful, firm and supportive, and she urges Cat to return to the hospital. We should all be so lucky to have a friend like Tess in our own lives.
While Cat has been dealing with her father, J.T. has been doing detection work himself, at Gabe’s loft. How he manages to break in everywhere he goes is a mystery, but thank goodness, because he discovers Tyler’s and Gabe’s plan to steal Vincent’s lymphatic system. J.T. warns Vincent to stay away from the calculating couple, and he bashes the lab up with a strangely convenient baseball bat. When Tyler later discovers J.T.’s handiwork, she notifies Gabe. Gabe decides that what’s needed to see the plan through is equipment replacement and Vincent. The latter simply requires the right bait: Cat.
Cat leaves the station just in time for Gabe to nab her, while inside Tess makes some progress with a techno-nerd who bangs the notebook into submission. An article on the screen displays a picture of an unknown grey-haired character, but apparently we’re supposed to be worried about his reappearance in the country, as indicated by the title of the newspaper article on the screen. The same guy shows up at Gabe’s loft to pick through the lab wreckage, and tells his crony to be sure to get Lowan.
Gabe drags Cat to his dead parents’ manor, and here I have to apologize for some former criticism. I griped that ADAs in NYC often don’t make all that much money, yet ADA Lowan was living in style. Given that Lowan’s family is obviously quite wealthy, it seems his current salary is a non-issue. My apologies to the writers.
A quick call from Gabe to Vincent results in some desperate measure of Vincent’s own. He and J.T. kidnap Tyler, with plans for a hostage exchange, but Gabe blows them off. Accordingly, Vincent gathers his guns, intending to rely on his soldier training. Hostage Tyler, ever helpful, suggests that a vaccine of any sort will kick Vincent’s immune system into fighting off the medication that is eliminating beast capabilities from his system, thereby allowing Vincent to turn back into a beast. Vincent remains undeterred.
At the hospital, Mr. Chandler needs surgery and different donor blood. Apparently, Cat isn’t actually a DNA match to Mr. Chandler, after all. Oh my. And what about that nurse, guys? Apparently, HIPAA compliance isn’t taken all that seriously at hospitals in New York. Am I the only one bothered by that?
Vincent surfaces at Gabe’s mansion. How does Vincent know where to look for Cat? The place is huge, and he doesn’t have his spidey smell to guide him anymore. Nevertheless, he zeroes in on her just as a fully beasted-out Gabe breaks into the room where Cat had been locked up. Cat and Vincent slip out and briefly discuss their future, with or without Vincent’s beast side wrapped up in it all. Cat assures him she’s in no matter what, so Vincent shares that a vaccine can save the day. Vincent keeps Gabe busy while Cat retrieves flu vaccine from the surgeon waiting to perform the lymphatic transplant.
When Cat returns and administers the vaccine, Vincent naturally resumes his less mannerly persona. He and Gabe fight a bunch more. Right around the time I started to tire of the fight, a helicopter appears over them. A sniper in the chopper takes Gabe out easy peasy, then nets Vincent. Cat runs over to him, reaches her hand out, and they touch. Cat, wouldn’t it have been smarter to hand him the gun in your other hand, so he could shoot the rope tethering him to the helicopter? And if Vincent’s such a prepared soldier, why wasn’t he carrying a knife that could be used to cut himself out of the net? Whatever, Vincent is captured, and Cat helplessly watches him drift away. A sniper asks the mysterious fresh-in-the-country commander on board the chopper if he wants Cat taken out, too, but mystery guy demurs, claiming Cat as his daughter.
Overall, a decent but not great season finale. We got a cliffhanger, a bit of a surprise, and some new plot elements; we got rid of an old villain and introduced a new villain. But honestly, are any of you guys really concerned that Cat and Vincent might not ever get back together? My questions for next season: has mystery biological dad been keeping tabs on Cat all this time? Can we safely assume that he’s a Muirfield agent? Is he the reason that Dr. Chandler’s body was moved to that remote farm? How will this affect the relationship between Heather, Cat and Mr. Chandler? Was Mr. Chandler in on the secret? What do these guys want with Vincent? How in the heck will Cat begin the search for Vincent? And how will Gabe’s death be handled?
I can’t wait to see what the cast and crew have in store for us next season. I have a couple more articles planned before I close up for summer vacation. Hope you guys will keep an eye out, check in from time to time (you can follow me on Twitter at …), and if nothing else, catch back up in the fall. Until then, may you all be well and happy!