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BEAUTY AND THE BEAST: Eat Your Heart Out

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Episode 304: “Heart of the Matter”

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[photos: Ben Mark Holzberg/CW]

Episode 304 of Beauty and the Beast largely righted itself from last week’s slight detour from credibility.  Cat behaves a little less reasonable than normal, but heck, she’s about to get married.  We can maybe cut her a break.  In any case, I present for your review and approval my likes and dislikes for the week.  Per norm, let us know in comments below how you feel about the assessment…please and thank you!

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Things liked:

  • Having at one point in my life been a counseling psychology grad student, I actually saw a lot of things in the counseling session that I thought were fairly true to the process.  I’m not sure if the writers got a consultant to bring authenticity to the script, or if they just happened to figure out some of it on their own.  Either way, it was nice to be able to watch without repeatedly rolling my eyes at the on-screen therapist, as played by Saul Rubinek, Warehouse 13‘s Artie Nielsen.  In particular, I thought the advice at the end of the episode that we should be careful not to lose our separate selves in the context of our relationships was really wise.  I’m grateful that this show about romantic ideals took a moment to balance those ideals with grounded, real-world perspective.
  • Even though I’ve been watching the show since day one, I couldn’t track to the issues as  laid out by Cat and Vincent.  Was really grateful that the good doctor was as confused as I felt.
  • When Cat and Vincent were asked by the doctor to elaborate on how they met, they’re united response was comedically, “…skip ahead.”  I see this particular quote being particularly fruitful going forward.  My kids ask me about the birds and the bees? “Skip ahead.”  The husband wants to know about that $200 Nordstrom bill?  “Skip ahead.”  My editor wants to know why my BATB article is late?  “Skip ahead.”
  • Tess reasonably tries to draw boundaries based on her new job, and goshdarnit, I don’t blame her.  Cat sometimes asks too much.  But when Tess draws her line in the sand, she simultaneously does it with grit and grace.  That’s a hard line to walk, and I think this here Southern girl is probably going to re-watch that scene a couple of times to appropriate Nina Lisandrello’s Steel Magnolia act.
  • In case you readers hadn’t quite arrived upon it on your own, I love words…connotation, verbal volleyball, alliteration, and double entendres.  I even love four-letter words (shocking, I know).  So when Cat says she wants “to suss”, and Tess tells her to “go suss”, they were speaking my language.  I support you in your sussing efforts, detectives.
  • When J.T. throws himself down the stairs, at first we’re left in shock wondering if he’s okay.  His delayed and comic, “…Oooowwww…” defused that anxiety in the best way possible.
  • “We’re better together”, “your lives are unusually intertwined”, the hand-holding, and every sweet moment that Cat and Vincent had in therapy.  Would that all couples could have these therapeutic insights.  Don’t you think the world would be a better place?
  • Oh, that hilarious scene with 4-way phone conversation ‘twixt Cat, Vincent, Tess and J.T.  Confusion and mayhem, may you ever reign.  Anyone who has ever accused this show of being boring or banal really needs to watch this scene if at all willing to rethink his or her initial assessment.
  • Cat stumbles upon Vincent in her search for the missing donor heart, and before she realizes who he is, she yells, “Freeze scum!”  By itself, this line would be a little hokey, but that Vincent calls her on it by echoing the line back to her a little mockingly…good stuff.
  • When Cat and Vincent are stuck in the freezer, Cat puts on her bossy pants.  She soon realizes that Vincent feels a little stung in response to said bossy pants, so she takes a moment to acknowledge his good intentions.  If you haven’t seen the episode yet, I highly recommend you pay attention to this scene.  Description fails to do it justice, because it’s all in Kristin’s delivery, which is both genuine and patronizing at the same time.  Lots of comedic gems this time around.
  • Lots of good smooching in this episode.  If I have to explain that to you, you’re probably not actually watching this show at all.
  • When Cat frets about their open window, Vincent distracts her in the best way possible.  This could happen more often, and BATB fans would not be sad, I suspect.

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Things not

  • Sometimes, Cat and Vincent refuse to recognize each other as capable adults.  This week, Cat chews Vincent out in public in front of the Zalmans.  Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with a woman calling her man out.  You just don’t air your dirty laundry out in public.  It’s rude and embarrassing for you both.  And Vincent tells Catherine how to conduct herself as a detective.  If my hubs were to try to tell me how to do my job, that my boss trusts me to do, we would have words, lots of them.
  • And to continue the above bullet, Cat pretends that she and Vincent are going to have a “date night,” when in actuality it’s “case night.”  So, she pretty much lied to Vincent.  Not cool.
  • So while I took real exception to Vincent telling Cat how to do her job, he did have an actual point.  The manner in which Cat went after Zalman at his charity event,  like he was already guilty, was really tacky and tasteless.  Yes, Cat, I get you’re a woman on a mission, and time is often of the essence.  You just need to take a more measured approach to things.  IA investigations, lawsuits, and suspensions would be a boring path to a more peaceful life for you.
  • Vincent tells J.T. not to check the blood sample that Cat gives him to see if it’s enhanced.  Why the heck not?  What would it hurt Vincent to go ahead and let her have the blood checked for the serum?  If it’s enhanced, you know what you’re dealing with.  If it’s not, you get to say “I told you so.”  Win-win, in my book.
  • “We gotta start working together.”  <insert string of four-letter expletives here>  What will it take for you guys to always present a unified front?  For the love of all that is holy, please don’t continue to learn this lesson over and over, ad infinitum, until my head explodes.
  • Cat and Vincent walk into a meat locker.  The door shuts behind them and is locked.  If this weren’t a show I cared about, I’d say, “Good.  Darwinism.”
  • The best sign of a really good mystery or plot twist is that you don’t see it coming.  I saw The Sixth Sense in the theaters the first week it opened.  The reveal hadn’t yet made its way into the collective unconscious, and holy cow, I was one of the highlights of my cinematic viewing history because I was TOTALLY CAUGHT OFF GUARD.  Mrs. Zalman planning to do in her husband?  Saw it coming a mile away; consider it a case of “methinks the gentlelady doth protest too much”.
  • What kind of doctor is Vincent?  Because I’m pretty sure he’s not a heart surgeon, and just because he can see in the dark does not mean he also can perform a complicated aortic resection.  Okay, I have no idea if that’s what he was really doing, but it sounded impressive, right!?
  • Tess to J.T., “You do not have to go through this alone, I don’t care how busy I am.”  Well, you’ve dusted him off plenty the last few episodes, so this rings a little hollow, Tess.  Time to stop talking, and start delivering.
  • Don’t get me wrong (see above), I’m glad that Vincent came up with a distraction from the open window.  But geez Louise, it’s a freaking window.  With five seconds of effort, you could just close the damn thing.  So, first you close it, then you distract.  Gah.

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As mentioned previously, please let us know what you think.  Divergent points of view not only entertained, but welcomed.  As for episode 305, “The Most Dangerous Beast”, Vincent and Cat try to follow doctor’s orders and lead more independent existences from one another, but with Carol and Bob still out there after them, they may have to go to extreme measures to defeat these supercharged assassins.  Will the people that Cat and Vincent love pay the price?  I won’t be on Twitter this Thursday to watch the show with you guys due to travel plans, but I will see you guys next week with my regularly scheduled commentary.  Have a great week, all!

[Official Site for the Show] [Previous recap for Beauty and the Beast]

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