Episode 306: “Chasing Ghosts”
[photos: Ben Mark Holzberg/CW]
Episode 306 of Beauty and the Beast overall did a really nice job of shifting focus away from Carol and Bob to the yet-to-be-named nemesis still lurking in the shadows, as well as giving the female leads multiple opportunities to shine. And shine, they did. In my opinion, this has been the strongest episode of the season. Not much in the way of hot and steamy romance this time around, but lots of family drama performed credibly. Of course, you know I have to find a handful of things to pick on. That’s why they pay me the big bucks around here! Continue on, dear reader, and see if you agree with my assessment.
- So much crying in this episode! Cat tears up when she’s talking to her dad. Heather cries at Cat’s bridal shower. Cat and Heather both bawl because of their mother’s video. Confess, you teared up at least a little, too, didn’t you!? I’m probably a little more hard-hearted than the average BATB viewer, yet I too found myself looking for a box of tissues, both times I watched. I love crying scenes where there are actual tears. You know, because there are actual actors crying them. Stellar work, Kristin and Nicole!
- In my commentary on Episode 302, I complained that I felt the writers had treated family members on the show little better than window dressing. But the writers tackled that complaint this episode, with a visit to dear ol’ Dad in the pen, and Vincent speaking to why he hadn’t previously reached out to his remaining family members. Dangling plot lines frustrate me, and I appreciate that this little issue got more or less resolved. Vincent has stated that for his part, Tess, J.T., and Cat are his family, and so we’re all good now.
- Cat: “I have that case.” Vincent: “What case?” Cat: <irritated side-eye> That particular exchange tickled me. It was quick, and a little subtle, but I’m pretty sure I’ve played out similar exchanges with my own husband. I think this show has done such a great job this season of mining the normal in the lives of these people who otherwise have quite extraordinary lives.
- When Vincent suspiciously asks Catherine if her interest in his reconnection with family is motivated by her desire to fill up his side of the church, she quite sassily retorts, “Maybe I am.” Delivery is what sells this line. We don’t get to see a sassy Cat too much…determined Cat, worried Cat, sweet Cat, yes, but sassy Cat doesn’t surface often enough. Ah well, perhaps it makes her sassy moments that much sweeter.
- Assuming you’re able to push past any distaste you might have for strippers, the whole stripper scene was utterly hilarious. Vincent’s uncomfortable reaction was poetry in motion. And if you blink you miss it, but when the shooting begins across the street, Vincent pushes the stripper off his lap and respectfully apologizes. “You’re in my lap without invitation, and I have to go off and save the world, so sorry!” Awesome.
- Lochlyn Munro was deliciously awful as Hank Keller. I started a running list in my head a while ago of all the dream actors I have for when I write a movie script and become famous, and all that (you guys can all say you knew me when). When my movie requires an irritating, self-important d-bag, Lochlyn Munro is my first choice for the role. Let’s hope, for the sake of his family members, he wasn’t playing himself.
- Tess takes one for the team and lies to Heather for Cat. Tess also then ensures Cat gets home to spend time with her aunts, stops Cat from anxiety cleaning, and pep talks Cat in the aftermath of the bridal shower run amok. Tess’ awesomeness continues…Tess: “Aaannhhh! I’m sorry, try again!”…”Buttercream all the way, why is that even a question?” I know you are all probably tired of hearing me girl crush on Tess, but I can’t help myself. I WANT HER AS MY BFF!!! Supportive and sincere, with just the right amount of sarcasm. Now that I have a husband and children, what I fantasize about is time out with the girls, and Tess is my dream girl.
- In addition to resolving the niggling family lackadaisicalness, the writers give us an update on J.T.’s health status with a carefully nonchalant aside comment about how he’s still figuring it all out. Thank you! I greatly appreciate weekly updates on all the things going on in the show. And I am still sorta not so secretly hoping that J.T. turns into some kind of monster/bad guy/evil villain (but just for a season).
- Cat wrings her hands, says she shouldn’t go to her own shower because innocent people are getting hurt. Vincent replies, “What’s new?” And he’s right. Cat, stop obsessing and just get on with life, already!
- When J.T. says that the proto-beast DNA he and Vincent both have had makes them blood brothers, it was such an “Awwww!” moment. It wasn’t just the comment, though. The look of genuine affection that they shared with one another just added another layer to the heartwarming experience.
- There were multiple times during the show that a parasite was discussed as being the delivery system for the new beast infection. But “parasite” didn’t sound like the right word to me. A parasite is “… . I really think the word they meant to use was “pathogen,” which according to dictionary.com is “…
- Cat’s trying to figure out what the connection is between all the newly infected beasts. She has plastic baggies containing information from each victim placed neatly in front of her. When Tess suggests a connection between the messenger service, lo and behold, the messenger receipts were all clearly visible in each plastic bag. And Cat couldn’t connect those dots on her own?
- After Cat and Tess establish that the messenger is the culprit, they wonder aloud how they’re going to track a guy who sets up his own routes. Vincent pops his head in at just the right time to tell Cat and Tess that he can track the blood. Something about Jay Ryan only sticking his head in through the door, along with the just-at-the-right-time timing, gave the whole thing a strong sitcom feel. I expected to hear a laugh track next. I don’t think this one was because of Jay’s performance, I just think it was a weird camera angle. Just shows it takes all kinds of people working together to get those shots coming out perfect.
- So does Cat not have a new partner anymore? Another carefully placed comment about how her partner is still recovering, or Tess has decided it’s better for Cat to work alone (which would be weird), would be appropriate.
I really hope BATB can keep up the momentum it’s been able to sustain thus far this season. Storylines have been considerably tighter, and we’re getting to see more range out of most of the actors on the show. I am going to cross my fingers, and assume the writers have learned a lot from previous mistakes, and are finally hitting their stride.
I’ll catch up with you guys again on Thursday, with Episode 307 “Both Sides Now” — where the latest threat sees Cat and Vincent out of the city and into hot water.