Episode 208: “Man or Beast”
[photos: Ben Mark Holzberg/CW]
Episode Eight of Beauty & The Beast opens with Vincent standing on top of the trigger of a bomb in Tori’s apartment. Will the bomb go off? Will Vincent and Tori get free? Will the show go on!? The horror! Vincent and Tori work together with their newfound symbiosis; yes, I’m aware this implies a host-parasite relationship. I leave it to you to figure out which character, Vincent or Tori, is the host, and which is the parasite. They bomb goes off, but they escape to fight another day.
Tess gets wind of the explosion at Tori’s apartment and alerts Gabe and Cat. All three meet at the bottom of the building, and Cat is understandably shaken. This is a brilliant move on the part of the writers. Pretty much the only reason any reasonable woman would forgive a man for stealing kisses with another would be if she thought him dead.
Vincent and Tori, as it turns out, have been staked out in Cat’s apartment. Upon her return, Catherine runs to Vincent’s arms. Grr. I’m irritated with Cat and her overly forgiving ways. Vincent needs a tongue-lashing, in my not too humble opinion, but he escapes unscathed due to Cat’s relief that he’s alive. Vincent does have a small amount of contrition and is concerned about how they left things, but Cat says she thinks there fight was more about her father. What? Bob may have helped escalate the tension between them, but Bob didn’t force Vincent to put his mouth on Tori’s face. That was all Vincent. Can you tell I’m still mad about that?
Vincent and Cat discuss their certainty that Bob is the man who’s been Vincent’s handler (thank you, church bells), and Vincent threatens to kill him. Catherine maintains they can’t go down that path. So let me get this straight, Cat: Vincent killing beasts is ok, even though they were victims of Muirfield just like Vincent, but killing a dirtbag like your dad is off-limits? I mean, I agree that the killings are wrong, but so far, Cat has been very understanding of Vincent’s assassination list. Cat’s just splitting hairs. At least she gets Vincent to agree to pursue justice through the legal system.
Gabe and Tess come up with a plan to put Bob in jail, but it requires that Bob incriminate himself. To accomplish that, they need him to believe that someone is blackmailing him with evidence linking him to all beast killings. Whether they actually have evidence or not is immaterial; he just needs to think they do. They’ll acquire one of the beast bodies awaiting cremation in order to rattle him, and a bad guy to blackmail him. It’s up to Tori and Vincent to track down the bombmaker/driver working for Reynolds.
At Tori’s old blown-up apartment, Tori spends an awful lot of time whining about how Bob tried to kill her. Vincent has her focus on recreating the memory of Bob’s henchman rigging her apartment with explosives. She remembers that the guy had a cut on his neck and that he smelled like explosives. Based on those brilliant insights, she and Vincent are able to track the arsonist to his lair. Despite everyone’s request that Tori and Vincent bring the arsonist back alive, Tori kills the guy. Bad beast, Tori, bad beast!
JT and Tess busy themselves at morgue, trying to find the body of Zach, the jerk-beast who tried to kill Cat at her reunion. JT pressures Tess a bit to find out where her head is at. My take? She’s just not that into him. And you know what? I’m actually kinda glad that relationship isn’t just falling into place. Don’t get me wrong; I love Austin Basis and how he plays JT, but in real life, it’s a little unlikely that a JT would land a girl like Tess. Not impossible, and I’m certainly not saying that JT doesn’t deserve a wonderful woman. But realistically, it wouldn’t happen in most cases. I’m glad the writers aren’t totally pandering.
Gabe and Cat pay a visit to Bob at his office to plant ideas in his head and make him worry that someone is closing in on him. They “inform” him that they received an anonymous tip that leads them to believe someone else knows about the beast killings. And gosh durnit, if this anonymous call didn’t lead them to find out that one beast body has gone missing from the morgue. What could it all possibly be about? It’s all a ruse, of course, and Bob connects the fake dots just the way he hopes, by assuming it’s his accomplice. When Cat hugs her dad goodbye, Kristin Kreuk treats us to another one of her facial expressions that speaks volumes. Her plastiface tickles me.
Everyone regroups at JT’s. Cat expresses frustration over how the death of the bombmaker upsets the plan, but seriously, neither she, nor Tess, nor Gabe seem too concerned about knowing that a homicide has taken place and that it’s typically their jobs to seek justice, even for the morally compromised. Okay, so setting that grip aside, Tori feels imposed upon by the existence of a justice system and wants to go kill Bob right away. Tori wants him to stop fighting his inner beast and kill Bob. Cat wants him to be the good guy she fell in love with. Vincent leaves with Tori, and Cat wonders if it’s time to let him go.
Gabe decides to push forward with the blackmailing plan despite the bombmaker’s death. Reasoning that Bob has already seen Gabe on his trail for a while now anyway, Gabe will simply pretend that he’s the blackmailer, and that the bombmaker is being safehoused. Cat thinks it’s too risky, especially since Gabe refuses to wear a wire, but Gabe won’t be swayed. Gabe sends Bob a request to meet from the bombmaker’s cell phone, and Reynolds agrees.
With the pressure on him, Bob decides to run, but requests a meeting with Cat first. This scene, while not particularly interesting in terms of new information, is actually really well acted by Ms. Kreuk. Her character comes off as agitated in just the right way; we the audience know she is mad as hell at Bob, but it’s quite believable that Bob might interpret her agitation as disappointment in his sudden departure. Well done, Kristin, especially since you grace us with another plastiface there at the end of that scene. Love it.
Gabe and Reynolds finally meet on a rooftop. They chat for a bit until finally Bob gives the incriminating verbiage they need for the recording that Cat is making. Bob takes off in Gabe’s car, and Cat jumps out in front of the car to stop him. Good thing Bob actually cares about you, Cat. I don’t think your ninety pound frame would put a stop to most speeding vehicles. She puts him the back of the car, and speeds off, but then Vincent jumps on the front of the car, and Cat wrecks.
While Cat is unconscious, Vincent plucks Bob out of the back of the car, and proceeds to beat him to a pulp. As he readies the killing blow, Cat pulls gun on Vincent. She gives him a very pretty speech about how he can’t compromise himself, blah, blah, but Vincent readies the killing blow once more. Cat shoots him, and Vincent flees.
At the jail, Bob is behind bars, and tells Cat he’ll confess to everything to make everything easier on her. The enormity of it all dawns on Cat, and she crumbles sobbing into Gabe’s arms as he strokes her hair. That, my friends, is a deal-sealer for me. Any man who will hold a woman while she cries is a keeper. And yet, at the very end of the episode, Cat is on her rooftop…waiting. Vincent, meanwhile, is doctoring up his wound and making googly-eyes with the red-headed temptress.
Questions for next time: How far will Vincent go with his beastlier persona before he figures out he’s a twit? Just how far will Tori get her hooks into Vincent? When will Catherine grow a backbone and tell Vincent to take a hike? With Muirfield gone, who will the looming threat be now? The writers need to step up and give us something interesting to bring these two back together in a way that Cat can maintain her self-respect and Vincent re-emerge the honorable guy he (mostly) was in season one. Think the writers can pull that off? I hate to say it, but I’m skeptical at this point.
Beauty & The Beast returns on the thirteenth of January. See you guys shortly thereafter. Enjoy your holidays!