Saturday, December 15, 2012

Beauty and the Beast: Season 1, Episode 9: Bridesmaids Up!

Catherine and Heather (remember her?) are all prepared for their dad’s big wedding day coming up soon and Catherine has become all gung-ho about the wedding. And Vincent arrives and actually smiles

Wait… let me double check that. Yes, he is actually non-angsty. The serum is working. He’s not blacking out and he likes Catherine’s dress. She has some worries about going alone and she also fees that while she’s been obsessed with her mother she has ignored her father a lot and is now overcompensating. They joke about bringing Vincent in on a false name so Catherine won’t be alone and angst begins to creep in.

But he’s here because he has a job for her – he was walking and found a guy who smelled of blood, he was nervous and also had a blood smelling briefcase (what is this, neighbourhood nosy Beast?) . Catherine goes to set up the wedding brunch (which is apparently a thing) while giving the details to Tess saying it’s an anonymous tip.

But Evan comes to Tess with his own project. He wants her to try and ID the intruder in his lab from last week (JT). And Evan was pursuing his own project on genetic mutation at the same time and worries that JT was trying to steal it or sabotage it.

The brunch is as fun and relevant as you can imagine and Catherine is rescued by Tess telling her the building nervous bloody guy entered is owned by Drake and Sabrina Meyer  - he’s in finance and she’s a professional matchmaker. Back to the brunch where everyone woman is horrified that Catherine is single! By the end of the episode they may actually grab a random man off the street and tie him to her. In desperation she claims she has someone in her life – a doctor but it’s too early in the relationship to invite him to a wedding. There follows a Spanish Inquisition of questioning to force out the name and make him come to the wedding.

Time to check in with JT and Vincent and Vincent wants JT to taser him. No this isn’t a kinky game, he wants to see if he’s safe to go outside. JT is not keen on this, sure they stopped the blackouts but his DNA is still the same, he has the same anger and control issues and he’s still capable of tearing people into teeny tiny pieces. Vincent mentions wanting to go to the wedding and JT thinks he has well and truly lost the plot. Vincent tries to provoke him into hitting him, JT isn’t such a fool and walks away. Vincent declares he passed anyway because he was irritated by JT’s refusal.

Catherine complains to Tess about the whole situation and how everyone regarded her with such pity because she was single. Tess suggests using Evan and his accent as a distraction but she’s already used Vincent’s name. And the case (yes there is one, conveniently brought by Vincent remember) they have Neil Mendell, missing finance guy – sure he’s only been gone 2 hours but what else do they have to do. As far as I can see only the fact both Mondell and Meyer work in “finance” connects these 2 and he’s been missing for an entire 2 hours.

Yes, apparently these 2 NYPD homicide detectives are so underworked that they can investigate long shot non-reported crimes for shits and giggles.

They go to his house, find the bed rumbled, an empty condom wrapper and a tiny blood stain. In the shower, they find a body with three bullet holes in him.

We have a crime. Time to take it back to Joe and review. Evan reports the flat was cleaned down and the blood stain was a contaminant. It also turns out that Mendell was paying into Sabrina Meyer’s dating business.  And, since murder cases are getting in the way of Catherine’s social life, it turns out Evan has accepted a date to the wedding with Heather! Yes, Catherine saying she has a date has convinced Heather that Evan is available. This leads to Tess’s excellent idea of having Catherine interviewing Sabrina Meyer alone so she can join the dating agency (because what’s wrong with mixing criminal investigation and your social life? And who says you can’t ask a murder suspect for dating tips!)

Sabrina has a whole bunch of rules on dating – men don’t like funny, men don’t like “whores” – yes, this is going to be fun. Catherine tries to bond and fails dismally and resorts to desperation, gushing about Sabrina’s successful husband Drake (learning he’s in property specifically). And, looking at Neil Mendell’s profile, she tells Sabrina he was murdered – this shocks her and she tells Drake her husband as well as saying he was with Britney McCabe who called Sabrina and was very upset.

Time to return home, briefly mention the case before talking wedding and boyfriends with Heather – and then Vincent who is stalking her in her bedroom, again. He wants to go to the wedding with her. She’s not sure – not just for control issues, but she (finally) remembers he needs to stay undercover. She says she simply cannot let him do it for her – she couldn’t live with herself if anything bad happened to him because she didn’t want to go to a wedding alone.

To the wedding where, after getting Vincent’s place setting, her father talks to her about over thinking things and worrying too much. Back to work where Catherine has filled in her dating booklet for Sabrina because her father. On the case, they have the message from Britney McCabe sent to Sabrina in which she describes having too much to drink and doing something really bad. Tess thinsk that’s a confession but Catherine counters that they had sex which is against one of Sabrina’s rules.

Time to see Vincent (and JT snarks about him doing her job and living on his salary which I kind of have to agree with). Vincent’s done some checking up on her crime scene to be her fake detective (because he can’t be her fake boyfriend) and says something is bogus – I THINK the property deal found in Mendell’s apartment is what he’s talking about (how does Vincent know), but Catherine points out “he” (who? Drake I assume?) alibied out. This is actually really hard to follow. The red stain on the floor is paint and Catherine thinks it may be nail polish after the bridesmaid gang gave her a tip to coat the bottom of your designer shoes with nail polish to protect them from being scuffed (does anyone care about the soles of their shoes being scuffed?) and her observing Sabrina’s own designer shoes.

She has a theory : Neil told Drake that he was going to expose him (ah, so it’s Drake’s fake property deal that Vincent used his beastie powers to magically unravel?) who tells Sabrina who, requiring her husband’s reputation to maintain her own business (her dating agency is successful because she has caught a successful, wealthy man, it seems) so goes and kills Neil and then Drake helps clear it up – which is why he smells of blood.

All of this? Based on a property document, a red stain on a carpet and the smell of blood on a random guy who MAY have been Drake. Y’know, there are shows with psychic detectives that would draw the line here.

She also tells Vincent he’s not fake – he’s the real thing. Boyfriend or detective?  And Vincent offers up JT to be her fake boyfriend for the wedding because she simply cannot cannot cannot go alone. When Catherine leaves, JT whines and Vincent goes through her dating profile for the dating agency and finds her “perfect guy” is basically him. We’re totally shocked to learn this. Really.

To the police station where Catherine confronts the surprised Sabrina with her little theory. Adds that she set Britney up to be the fall guy since she has a record – why else send a curvy blonde to a man who prefers petite brunettes? And she gets in a nice little shot across the bows “you’ve spent your entire career telling women that if they’re single they’re broken – who’s broken now?”

From there she goes to the wedding and confesses that she’s single and that she lied because of the pressure to have a +1. The other bridesmaids, empowered by her confession, all reveal their own relationship woes, including Paige revealing that she’s separated from her husband showing that all of them feel the need to present a perfect front. Unfortunately this is when Vincent arrives to lurk and Catherine focuses on him. I know this is supposed to be romantic, but all I see is Paige crying because she’s separating from her husband, everyone else flocking round to comfort her and Catherine zoning out “totally not interested in your drama, hon, I got me a hot guy to look at”. She goes to JT and starts dancing with him (leaving Paige to weep at the table). She then tells Vincent that she confessed so now everyone thinks she’s single which morphs in to she really does have someone (Vincent) and… oh they’re a couple and they’re going to eat in the garden which already has a table set up for them

Which is when she’s distracted by Heather talking about Evan and his work mutating DNA – time to talk to Evan who reveals that it’s about the monster in the subway, the mutated DNA from the crime scenes they’ve been finding and that someone broke into his lab and he has a sketch. And all the odd DNA he’s found from the crime scenes are from the same source – but it’s changing, it’s becoming less human and more animal.

Time to go tell Vincent this – because he’s been happy for almost a whole episode and this can’t last. Let the angst return! After making a big relationship speech she decides to leave and go find Vincent.

As she drives away, Sabrina uses her sports car to ram Catherine off the road, accusing her of ruining her Happy Ever After. She points a gun at Catherine – and they both shoot each other. Ok, no I saw the dress she was wearing, no way she had that gun hidden in it. Which is when Vincent arrives (what does he do, just follow her around all day every day? Is this the Cullen school of romance), ripping apart Catherin’s car to get to her. Evan and Heath arrive and stop when they see the car wreck, and Vincent kind of runs around in circles holding Catherine – waiting until Evan arrives.

Ok Vincent wanting to go public because he’s sure he has his self-control sorted. Fine but firstly - a wedding? Really this is going to be your test zone? And secondly, before the blackouts Vincent’s control wasn’t why he was hiding. Oh it was a concern, that he may lose his temper, but the primary concern was Muirfield finding him. The whole reason why Vincent didn’t have a phone and lives in a warehouse is to dodge Muirfield. Yes they dodged one cell of Muirfield, but did it suddenly become not an issue? These people were remotely hacking Catherine’s computer in the NYPD and attacking her on the Subway – that’s over now? They’re acting like his being undercover was a secondary motive. It feels like a meta shift, like they decided Vincent’s lack of control is a more compelling storyline than the Muirfield secrecy.

I did love that, after an episode hammering it home, Catherine finally turns round and says there’s nothing wrong with being single. That not having a +1 isn’t the end of the world and doesn’t mean they’re damaged or broken. I kept waiting until the episode ended so I could rant about this and them Catherine very nicely calls it out.

One of the ongoing things I don’t like about Beauty and the Beast is that Catherine’s life constantly clashes –her family, her job and Vincent are always clashing against each other, not crossing over a lot and feel like different storylines. That could be an interesting theme if we did see Catherine torn or conflicted or struggling with this – but she doesn’t. It’s like she’s able to put one life on pause and then toddle off to the next one. No-one cares if she ducks out of wedding planning or disappears for hours in the middle of a murder case and she constantly just wanders back into the various

And I’m kind of wondering about meta and where this is going – is it going anywhere? Is Vincent dealing with control issues or is that fixed? Is Muirfield still hunting Vincent or are we ignoring that now? The emotional tension between Catherine and Vincent is all but resolved with the love interest well established. Is Catherine investigating her mother or is the serum they found conclusion enough? We had these threads of ongoing plot line and they’ve all… ended. I won’t say they’re RESOLVED, at least, not satisfactorily, but they’re not open either. Is all we have left Evan’s suspicions about JT? I feel like we have a lot of mini metas that close and then a new meta starts- and it’s not working for me.

I have an overwhelming feeling of “meh” I have about this series. I can’t say there’s anything WRONG with it, there isn’t. But nor can I say there’s anything compelling or exciting about it either.