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BEAUTY & THE BEAST: All in…a Bit of a Mess?


Episode 103: “All In”


[Photos: Ben Mark Holzberg/The CW]

This week’s episode of Beauty & The Beast was better. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was good, but it sucked less overall. If the show continues on its current improvement trajectory, I would say that somewhere in 2015, we’ll have a show worth watching.

The show begins with yet another voice-overview of the show’s premise. While I assume this is for viewers who are just now jumping on the bandwagon, it’s trying for those of us who have stuck it out from the beginning.  And really, the premise isn’t that complicated.  I’m pretty sure the average viewer would be able to get the jist without the words.  Remember guys, good TV = show, don’t tell.

For the bloodthirsty viewer, we get a treat just after the overview, with a judge getting creamed by a car in a courthouse garage.  Reminded me a little bit of the movie Jade. Not only is Linda Fiorentino a goddess in this movie, but the movie has the mother of all “girl gets hit by car” scenes in it. Definitely worth a view for that scene alone.  Poor Angie Everhart.  Ah, but I digress…

Cat bugs J.T. some more after one of his classes.  He protests, she insists on contact with Vincent.  Sound familiar?  Yeah, to me, too, but J.T.’s line about how if she hasn’t heard from Vincent in three days means he’s just not that into her was both germane and funny.  Seriously, Cat, have some pride.  You guys are not in a relationship, so stop stalking him and having expectations of the man.  In fairness to Cat, though, Vincent admits to following Catherine around after she was attacked the previous week, so at least they’re stalking each other.

Speaking of repetition: Vincent gives Catherine input on her case, she asks him for help, he says he can’t get involved, but they both remember that helping puts him in touch with his humanity, and together, they save the day.  Yawn.  We’ve already seen a ton of arguments between them now about his limitations (can’t get involved, can’t be contacted); at least this episode, we see them argue about Vincent’s assertive approach to information extraction.  I’d like to see them argue about something altogether different at some point, just for novelty’s sake.  Maybe the virtues of plain over BQ?

Last week when I said I hoped to see more of Heather in upcoming weeks, I didn’t necessarily mean I wanted to see more skin.  Cat comes home after bothering J.T. to find her sister wrapped in a sheet and a strange guy chugging milk straight from the carton.  Dude, couth.  And what was the point of this scene?  That Heather is getting cheap relations with the opposite sex and Cat isn’t?  The strange dude comments to Cat, “Nice digs,” which brings up another point.  How is it that an NYPD homicide detective can afford such a huge, cute apartment?  I looked it up, homicide detectives make somewhere between $65k-$100k a year, and real estate in NYC is not cheap.  Just saying.

If we’re going to get hung up on reality, though, let’s just get this out there.  Tess and Cat are not that believable as homicide detectives because they’re both pretty, well-dressed, and well-coiffed.  There, I said it.  I’m not saying that a pretty woman can’t do that job.  I’m just saying it’s unlikely for two attractive women to work in homicide and be paired with one another.  Fortunately, the show addresses this prejudice, when another male detective demeaningly refers to Cat and Tess as the “estrogen squad.”  Tess also admonishes Cat for not taking a female suspect seriously as a criminal, and that it’s just as bad as the other jerk detectives not taking Cat and Tess seriously.  I consider myself admonished by extension.

The very best scene in the whole episode comes to us via Cat and Tess.  Cat has repeatedly sleuthed without Tess, and has broken some police procedures and guidelines in the process.  Both Cat and Tess land in trouble with their supervisor Joe Bishop, resulting in suspension for Cat and desk duty for Tess.  Tess gives Cat a believable tongue lashing, accusing her of taking a swan dive off a cliff and going off the rails.  They patch it up later and solve the murder together, of course, but Tess’s moment of righteous indignation is the best acting I’ve seen in all three episodes.  Way to go, Nina Lisandrello!

Kristin Kreuk also has a well-performed scene this episode, though it’s good more in a relative sense than an absolute one.  Despite her suspension, Cat returns to the club where the prime murder suspect works, and sneaks down to the owner’s office, but gets busted by him.  She believably plays off that she was looking for the owner.  He dictates, “Let me watch you walk that skinny little ass out of my club,” to which she retorts, “Charming.”  In this scene, Kristin’s tendency to underact works to her advantage.  Any further iciness in her delivery would have commented more on her character than on his.  Well played.

My final criticism of this week’s show is again with the makeup and/or special effects when Vincent beasts out.  Terrible, just terrible.  I again find myself wishing that the effects on the show look as good as the promotional stills for the show.  There are so many TV shows out there with decent effects, I wonder what the problem is.  Budget?  His “Beast” mode is a major plot point, and it’s a crying shame that it’s not done to better effect.

An important development in this week’s show is that Operation Muirfield bad guys procured samples of Vincent from Evan’s medical examiner lab, and they now know with certainty that Vincent is alive.  Previews of next week’s episode reveal that the bad guys try to pit Cat against Vincent.  I think we all probably know how that episode will play out, but tune in next week, and let’s see if we’re right.


[Official Show on CW]     [Previous Recap: “Pilot”]

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