Beauty and the Beast: Who Am I?

TV renewals are a tricky thing. On the one hand, your show is coming back. On the other, it might not be your show anymore. Beauty and the Beast premiered season two this week and I hesitate to use the term “returned,” because I’m not sure yet that it did.

We pick up with Cat asleep over her laptop, a half-eaten dinner in front of her as missing posters cycle on the screen in front of her. She dreams to a very effective use of a slowed-down version of Ellie Goulding’s “Lights“- -about the night she lost Vincent, and as it turns out, revived Gabe in the hopes he would lead her to Vincent. She startles awake and calls JT, who gently admonishes her that nothing’s new since her last check in eight hours before. She tells him it was nine. They talk a bit about how much time has passed (three months) and the toll it’s taken and JT exposits for us that Vincent wasn’t her only loss–her father didn’t survive his injuries.

Cat goes to work and it’s Tess’s turn to suggest that Cat’s spent enough time on the folly and then she fills in the blanks for us that their unit isn’t special investigations anymore, Joe is gone, and so is her relationship with him. Gabe (who’s now beast-free) saunters in and we learn he’s their new boss. He asks for a word and Cat rails at him a bit before he finally get it out that JT found Vincent.

Cat goes running to JT and JT quantifies it as a “maybe.” It’s enough for Cat, so she takes the lead and goes out to the docks where she sees a gathering of goons. Inside one of the warehouses, a chained figure is being “mwa ha ha’d” by an Asian mobster sort and when the chained figure raises his head, he’s Vincent–made over–no scar, new haircut , no remorse.

He breaks his chains and goes after the guy and Cat runs in and calls out to him mid-beast, but nothing about her registers. JT and Gabe show up and three tranqs later, they drop him. He un-beasts and back at JT’s  finally wakes up and Catherine tells him how glad she is to find him, and how long it’s been, and…nothing. He doesn’t know her. Undeterred, she says he will.

Then she’s summoned by Heather to a memorial event for their dad (apparently Heather did not tell Cat the tidbit about him not being her father), so she leaves JT in charge of Vincent and that works out like you’d expect.  After a weird encounter with her bio dad/Feeb dude, she bails on her sister when JT calls because Vincent tranqued him. We see Vincent return to a houseboat and check in with Cat’s bio dad/Feeb kidnapper, who would now appear to be his handler. He tells Vincent to try again and make sure the goon guy is really dead this time.

Sidebar: goon guy is apparently the brains behind Muirfield and Feeb dad wants him shut down.

The next day, Cat goes back to the warehouse and spies Vincent and follows him while he tracks goon guy all over the city. Vincent gets a hit that she’s following him but he doesn’t let on. When she shows up at the Muirfield lab just as he’s taking everybody out, she falls down in a sea of noxious gas and he grabs her and leaps to safety just as the penthouse blows.

Back at her apartment, she doctors him up and talks to him like they know each other and soliloquys that they were a big damn deal to each other and will be again, even if it means falling in love again for the first time. She asks him if he believes her and he says yes and they kiss. He says he has to go and she asks him to stay with her, telling him that she doesn’t understand why Muirfield won’t leave him alone. He says he doesn’t know either and he agrees to stay. Also in there Heather texts her and that’s upsetting to Cat because she realizes she’s likely lost her sister in all this drama so she hugs Vincent instead of calling her sister.

Cat wakes up alone later as the phone rings and Tess is asking where Vincent is. Separate from Vincent tracking goon guy, Gabe and Tess figure out who he is. And now he’s dead in the park–mauled. And we see Vincent drop down from a nearby tree and slink away.

And credits!

So, my problems with the reboot are completely mine, and have a lot to do with Haven (which I hard-core LOVE) choosing the same plot device–amnesia. I hate that it’s occurring on two of my shows, and I hate that in both shows, the real-life realization of the core relationship took FOREVER but now that one has amnesia, “Carpe diem! I will kiss you immediately!” I find that MADDENING.

I have no spoilers. It’s one of the few instances where I wish I did, but I sincerely hope this new Vincent who just readily accepts that this woman loves hm, so hey, why not, doesn’t replace the Vincent who was genuinely distraught about his situation and for whom Cat was a light in a world of darkness.

I completely realize I’m a crusty bitch, but I think Beauty and the Beast and I are going to take a break. We don’t know yet (or it hasn’t been leaked) how long this arc will run and right now, it feels disrespectful to anybody who spent time really enjoying the slow build of season one like I did.  It gets into the larger conversation of soul vs. personality vs. body and that makes my head hurt. And this is the CW for Pete’s sake. I know shows rejigger for ratings and audience and studio–totally get that. This just feels like version three and I still miss version one.

So, I’ll take  a break, and bank a few on the DVR, and see where we are in a few weeks’ time and check back in then.

Photo courtesy of Ben Mark Holzberg/The CW

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