Ben Mark Holzberg/benmark.ca
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BEAUTY AND THE BEAST: The Sun from Both Sides

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Episode 307: “Both Sides Now”

[photos: Ben Mark Holzberg/CW]

Episode 307 of Beauty and the Beast. Not as satisfying an episode as the handful of ones leading up to this point. Many over-reactions and generally out-of-character behavior from our main characters, but at least the fashion was really strong in this one. More on that in a minute. Like I usually do, I’ll break out what I liked and liked; let me know if you guys are in agreement. Or if you think I’m crazy, feel free to rant.  It’s what I’d do!
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Decent:

  • J.T. admonishes his police sitters not to eat his gummy worms, and continues the mysterious gummy worm shtick. Who can tell me the secret behind the gummy bears? I must know.
  • Genome sequencing of the previous outbreak victims uncovered a chemical that’s tightly controlled and narrowed down the list of labs.  Now, there’s a scientific explanation that actually seems plausible.
  • Tess talks the chief into going along with her decisions regarding protective custody for Heather and J.T. Really well delivered. TV characters persuade other characters using lame reasons and excuses all the time. But Tess provided a rationale that I may just use in my own life, when the situation calls for it.
  • Is anything better than Tess sarcasm? J.T.: “You’re mad.”  Tess: “That’s why I love you, J.T., you pick up on the tiniest detail.”
  • Tess is overwhelmed the entire episode with her new job responsibilities, and if that isn’t something that most of us can relate to, I don’t know what is. I’ve waxed poetic in previous commentaries about how they’ve done a good job making the characters more relatable this season. Here’s another example.
  • Character actress Jayne Eastwood (the receptionist at the Niagara Falls wedding chapel) stole the show in this week’s episode, just like last week’s performance by Lochlyn Munro. The quality of the episodes are definitely elevated by using strong guest actors.
  • J.T. talks Vincent out of eloping, even if it is a ruse, in part because he already has his best man speech ready. How many best friends of the guy getting married show that much enthusiasm for the upcoming nuptials? Like, oh…none.
  • Vincent’s impassioned speech to Cat about why having a real wedding with family and friends is so important. Romance is not dead. I going to make my husband learn some of Vincent’s lines and recite them to me when I’m angry. Pretty sure that’ll get things turned around quickly.
  • Fashion this episode.  Cat’s polka-dot blouse in the wedding chapel…super cute! Heather’s interview outfit: leather detail on the shirt and leopard print skirt? Nervy, and amazing! On the first day of her new job, Heather’s printed sheath with the cap sleeves showed off her rocking bod in a totally classy way. Oh, and some of those horrid wedding dresses in the chapel? Hilarious! This episode had the best costume design of the season, in my semi-humble opinion.
  • Heather finds a tranq gun…wait, what? Heather uses logic and reason to get out of a predicament? Color me impressed. She’s not always the most street smart. Or book smart. Or people smart.

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Less Decent:

  • So why is it, Cat, that you think leaving NYC, your home turf that you are familiar with and where you’ve been successful a million times before, is going to give you more control over Superhuman Assassin Dude (SAD)?
  • SAD is deterred by a fire alarm where all people in the vicinity are out of sight and distracted by the evacuation process, but he’s willing to throw Cat into Niagara Falls in front of a crowd of people that are all gazing in their general direction? Hmm…
  • Heather, turn your freaking ringer off.  Turn the volume down.  Set the “Do Not Disturb”.  Power your phone down.  I don’t care what you do, but for goodness sake, do NOT look at your phone during a job interview. Even if it is against an evil interviewer.
  • “I need to show Tess why [finding the guy pulling the strings of the SAD] is more important than the police detail she’s so bent out of shape about…” Exactly, J.T., exactly. We all know Tess is my girl, but in this case, she was way wrong. Your job difficulties and flak you’re getting about the protective details? Not as important as the very threatened lives of your friends, and you need to put your needs to the side until that is resolved. Except maybe the problem is that Cat and Vincent are ALWAYS in danger…
  • Cat beats the snot out of Juliana. Cat’s actions in this scene were clearly out of line, and while she owns it later on, Vincent pooh-poohs it. I hope there is some intentionality behind Cat losing control, like she has secretly been injected with beast serum somewhere along the way, and she’s slowly changing into a beast herself. Because if she just continued to whale on someone who was clearly no longer a threat without any kind of subtext, then that’s a real problem. I’d like to see writers take violence against women a bit more seriously, even if the woman in question is a really horrible person.
  • Vincent’s and Cat’s reaction to the reveal that Juliana’s intentions were to stop someone even worse? “Meh, that’s her problem.” Wait, what? That’s jacked up, guys. Seriously, after everything you’ve been through to eliminate beast and enhanced human threats against humanity, you’re just gonna blow it off? I get you’re trying to get your own lives back, but sheesh, it just seems callous and out of character.

Overall, a much more soap-opera-esque episode than I can recall having seen in this series. I guess I jinxed things last week when I pled to the universe to keep the quality of the show up over the remainder of the season. Well, I can use reverse psychology just as good as the next guy. “Dear Universe, please allow BATB to stink for the rest of the season. Thanks, your pal, Leslie.” You guys are welcome. Don’t forget I’m here for you.

See you on Thursday, with Episode 308 “Shotgun Wedding,” where it looks like maybe, possibly Vincent and Cat start to head to the alter…but Juliana’s pleas for Vincent to help stop a new nemesis named Liam and shots fired out at Cat’s precinct imply things go off course. Poor Cat and Vincent need an easy button.

[Official Site for the Show] [Previous article on Beauty and the Beast]

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