BEAUTY AND THE BEAST: Was Last Night the Last Night?

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Episode 216: “About Last Night”

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[photos: Ben Mark Holzberg/CW]

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Beauty & The Beast, I have a love-hate relationship with you. You’re like a semi-bad boyfriend. Every once in a while, there are breakthrough moments wherein you realize your potential, and you just keep stringing me along. Last week’s episode “About Last Night” was one of those that keep a hopeful fan/sucker girlfriend hooked.  And now, I’m not even sure if we’re broken up…

Last week, we saw Cat visit Vincent at his houseboat, and feebly attempt to draw boundaries. Please understand that I am a strong proponent of “no means no,” but Cat was definitely giving Vincent mixed signals. He took a chance, and Cat spent the night. Last week, I complained that audience didn’t really get to savor the moment. The writers took that one step further. In the morning, Cat sneaks out without waking Vincent. Ouch! Cat confides in Tess, Vincent in JT, and everyone is in on the liaison, but for poor Gabe.

While Cat momentarily deludes herself that she can avoid talking to both Gabe and Vincent for a bit while she sorts things out in her head, Sam breaks out of jail. The mechanism by which he manages the breakout is contrived and wholly unrealistic, but let’s face it: the whole Sam storyline has been fairly silly. Additionally, the portrayal of the character by Tom Everett Scott, who has turned in decent performances elsewhere, is overwrought to the point of dastardliness. I keep expecting him to twirl a pencil-thin moustache a la Snidely Whiplash.

While Cat and Gabe are dealing with the Sam situation, Vincent calls Cat to find out what gives. Cat swears it was just breakup sex, but Vincent knows she’s lying. Regardless, Cat is concerned that reconnecting with Vincent means going backwards, and you know, I get it and actually applaud her for that. The Vincent she loved was honorable and noble, and the current Vincent has some pretty crummy actions to overcome. I’m glad she at least gives it thought.

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Meanwhile, Gabe knows something is up, since Cat didn’t call or go over to Gabe’s the previous evening; accordingly, Cat resets expectations, admitting that maybe she wasn’t as ready as she had thought for a relationship. But Gabe’s not done; he declares his love and vows to keep fighting.

Faced with all the work required to close back in on Sam, Tess stresses and pressures JT for results. They combat a bit over the Vincent v. Cat issue, but it evolves into a discussion around them. Tess says they don’t work, but confesses she spends a lot of time thinking about JT. I agree, they don’t work; if I saw them as a couple walking down the street, I’d be puzzled. At the same time, JT’s such a good dude, and Tess has been so unlucky in love, we really want to see these two find happiness with each other.

Using information from Sam’s decrypted flash drive and surveillance cameras, Vincent closes in on Sam but misses him. They interview a federal judge that Sam attacked. Vincent scares the judge into confessing about a secret society that is trying to make beasts and that experimented on Sam’s kid. Further, they learn that the society has an upcoming masquerade ball, which Cat and Gabe plan to attend, after a little scuffling over who will be Cat’s date. Serious subject matter, but light and funny dialogue in this scene.

Cat and Gabe attend the masquerade ball. A couple of attendees recognize ADA Lowan, so a smugly satisfied Vincent has to step in as Cat’s date. After all, it gives him plenty of opportunity to charm Cat, all while he’s dashingly dressed to the nines and that much harder to resist.

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Irritated with Vincent’s schmoozing, Cat insists they split up to look for Sam, but eventually, Cat is hauled off by security. Vincent sees it occur and follows to save her, but Cat (unbelievably) takes out the security goons on her own. She’s angry that Vincent still seems to think she needs a knight in shining armor. Vincent doesn’t get it, but when Gabe tries to dissuade her from following the elusive Sam up a private elevator, Vincent insists that he doesn’t make decisions for Catherine. And therein lies the issue: Cat wants to be treated like the grownup police woman that she is, for better or worse. I can dig that.

Stepping off the elevator, Cat and Vincent find that Sam has injected one of the secret society jerk-faces with beast serum, resulting in murder and mayhem. Vincent saves as much of the day as can be salvaged. Bitter about the thwarted plot, Sam threatens to jump off the building. Vincent tries to talk him down off the ledge, Sam jumps anyway, Vincent saves him. Gabe’s not sure whether he’ll be able to build a case, but he’s pretty sure that the subject of beasts won’t come up in any of the legal proceedings, due to so many parties trying to protect their own interests.

At the end of the evening, Gabe takes Cat home. He guesses correctly that she doesn’t want him to come up, but then confronts her, admonishing her for her naiveté about Vincent. She tells him it’s over, and he ends the conversation with a vague threat, “I won’t let him hurt you.” Back in her apartment, Cat sees that her window is open, and takes it as a sign to meet Vincent on the roof. There, they profess their love to one another. Vincent wakes up with Cat the next morning, but she makes no move to run this time. It’s just the briefest of happy moments, until a knock on the door. Police are looking for Vincent Keller, wanted for murder of Kurt Windsor. Cat watches in horror as the police arrest Vincent and usher him away.

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With a probable six episodes left, and with the final episodes of the season having been bumped out to the summer, the whole series hangs in limbo. Is there a season three, or are the writers re-writing the last six episodes to create a satisfactory ending? What will happen to Vincent in jail? Will Cat ever get love on her terms? What about JT and Tess? And is Gabe the one responsible for Vincent’s detainment? Will we get to see Heather again before it’s all said and done? And for goodness sake, can we just avoid any more redheads in this series? And seriously, what’s up with the beast collar and chain!? Can we get some resolution on that story line?

See you guys this summer!

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[Official Show on CW]     [Previous Recap: “Catch Me If You Can”]

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