Episode 301: “The Beast of Wall Street”
[photos: Christos Kalohoridis & Ben Mark Holzberg/CW]
Hey there, fellow beasties, I’m back to give my two cents on the season 3 premiere. Last season, I was giving bulleted lists of the high and low points of the episodes, and I’m still digging on that format. Keeps me from giving a simple play by play of the episode, and lets me really focus on critique. Let’s face it, you’ve all seen the episodes backwards and forwards and don’t need a reminder of exactly what happened! So without further ado, please allow me to opine:
- The proposal. After Vincent tried to piece together something fancy for Cat, I was concerned. It didn’t seem like a good fit for Cat, who values tradition and simplicity. So when the moment happened, in their spot on the roof of her apartment building, with minimal words, megawatt smiles, and unending dimples, it was a moment to treasure. A huge thank you to the writers for not caving to their egos and spoiling the moment with unnecessary words. Oh, and the ring? Perfect. Not too big, not too little. Simple, elegant.
- All the lighting in this episode. Just splendid. Specifically, the cityscape near-porn shots close to the end of the show; the lighting during the fight scene; and of course, that last scene on the rooftop. All such glorious examples of how lighting creates both beauty and mood.
- The morning routine showing these two lovers sharing life together. Most people want at least two things from their romantic relationships: passion and acceptance. While this morning routine montage didn’t have the heat of the shower scene or their first time together (anybody out there still singing ‘We Are Stars’?), the familiarity between the two of them is enviable. Ah, takes me back to the early days of marriage.
- Vincent back in a hospital situation, with his shiny new stethoscope. Not only does Jay Ryan rock every uniform that has been put on him, but it’s so great to see Vincent have a sense of purpose that connects him with his greater community.
- Sweet kisses on the rooftop. “How long do we have?” “How long can you last?” Oh girl, you just took your gloves off!
- I vacillated on whether J.T.’s moment in front of his classroom of students was a good or bad moment. But it was such a gloriously awkward moment on purpose, I decided it’s good. I mean, it was soooo painful, but it was supposed to be, so that means the cast and crew got from us what they wanted to. Well architected scene, guys! <shudder!>
- “I’m not good with neurotic, I don’t have the patience.” Oh my gosh, Tess and I are officially the same person.
- OMG, OMG, OMG…Heather’s back! I have such a love-hate relationship with that kid (that probably echoes something of my own relationship with my own little sister, but I’ll leave the therapy talk for the couch). Heather is annoying, precious, irritating, supportive, exasperating, sweet, intrusive, funny, grating, and well-dressed. Okay, so I have mixed feelings, but really, I am glad she’s around. Her wise, “It’s a couple’s problem…,” it shows she’s grown up a lot. But I cannot wait to see who this guy is that she’s marrying, because you know it’s going to be someone with whom Cat and Vincent are familiar, and NOT in a good way.
- “He is my perk, not yours.” Get back in your place, presumptuous little sister!
- “Get off your damn pity pot and grow a pair.” Any time I ever hear any man whine in the future, this will be echoing in my head. Did I mention that Tess and I are the same person?
- “You’re not normal, you’re a beast.” Said with love, this simple statement reframed the entire issue for Vincent, and it was entirely believable. Maybe I’m still a little star-struck from my recent interview with Austin Basis (here), but this one simple little sentence just put it all into perspective for me (and Vincent, too, apparently).
- “You made my day suck less” and “I heard you”. Other than the proposal, these were the two most romantic things said all episode. Pillow talk for the cerebral set. Throw in that scotch from the scene, and they’re practically Bogie and McCall for this era.
Worst Moments…I’ll be honest guys, not too much to bag on this episode, which is a good thing:
- Cat continues to wear blousy, baggy shirts that dwarf her beautiful physique. She could easily wear tailored shirts that show off her figure without looking trashy, because she’s such a wee thing. I only say this because I noticed that I have the same shirt that she wore in the opening scene, and I’m working hard to hide a lot more than what KK has going on.
- Kicking off the show with both Vincent and Cat rushing towards the rooftop, dodging clotheslines and traffic, respectively. It wasn’t awful, but felt contrived.
- Every time any one of the characters said they didn’t have a choice. Grrr. I get that you feel called, and I can respect that. But there are always choices. Say, “I think there are two choices: do nothing, or do something, and doing something seems like the right choice.” I can get behind that. But don’t tell me that there isn’t a choice and expect me to get behind that. Maybe it’s a personal thing, but there is a choice; you’re making one, so own it.
- “It could be the latest street drug.” Really, Cat? I mean, I’m not an expert or anything, but seriously?
- After all the times that Catherine and Vincent ran amok, she’s keeping secrets from him again? I get that it creates the drama that we all tune in for every week, but Catherine is a reasonably smart character who keeps doing the same dumb things week after week. I want her to learn and grow, for goodness sake. I want to respect her. Is that so wrong?
All in all, a pretty respectable ratio of likes to dislikes this episode. I won’t lie, I miss Gabe a little bit. But I do like the direction the episode is going, I just want to resonate with the characters’ motivation along the way. It’s not too far off from where I hope to be, so I am looking forward to seeing how the rest of the season unfolds. Hope you guys are there along the way with me!