Saturday, March 16, 2013

Beauty and the Beast, Season 1, Episode 15: Any Means Possible

  It’s been a brief hiatus so a quick reminder of where everything stands:
Everything is falling apart. Everyone is suspicious of Catherine, Darius is dead, Evan has joined Muirfield and it’s all very messy indeed.

Time to open with Vincent and Catherine getting all hot and steamy (though very careful with their hands and wearing a lot of clothes), it heats up and then Vincent’s Manimal thing kicks in, making his eyes glow and him jerk away. Way to kill the mood with your out-of-control-feral-killing-machine-moment. Vincent wants to wait a moment and it’ll past – I have to say that if you have an out-of-control-feral-killing-machine-moment it’s probably best not to just wait a couple of seconds then pick up where you left off, like it was cramp or wind or something.

Proving me right, Vincent starts growling (especially since she doesn’t give him a minute) grows claws and tosses Catherine across the room. Ok my money’s on angst nightmare. She cowers helplessly on the floor begging him as he advances menacingly. He attacks her – and wakes up

Told you! Angst nightmare. And seriously, Vincent, you’re having sexy dreams of you both fully clothed? Someone needs a word with your subconscious, man. He gets up shirtless – please stay that way Vincent, I need something to balance the inevitable epic amounts of angst that are, no doubt, going to overwhelm us because you had a nightmare.

Which is when Catherine arrives – with her own house key which JT comments on a little snarkily (since he does live there as well it would have been nice to tell him. Y’know angry manimal is one thing but bad housemate etiquette is really pushing it. I bet he drinks all the milk and puts the bottle back as well). Catherine wants to spend time with Vincent (since she no longer has any friends at all) while JT effortlessly skewers her small talk before making a grossly conspicuous “I’ve leaving you two alone to get it on” exit. Hah, JT, you should know better, of course they’re not going to get it on, they’re too busy stammering like awkward teenagers at Prom while Vincent falls down his angst cycle and, rather than talk about it decides he’s going to avoid her instead and runs out the door, leaving a confused Catherin in his wake.

Let’s switch to Muirfield where Ethan is meeting some bad guys in a white room. No really, the walls, the floor, the table, the chairs, everything is white. No-one would have a room like this. You’d need to employ 15 people just to keep it clean and they’d have to wear sunglasses so they wouldn’t get migraine. The only possible purpose to have a room like this is to scream “evil sinister lair”. Either way, the evil people have taken Ethan’s work and are surprised by how quickly Vincent is mutating. And Ethan realises the evil people are trying to sideline him and pushes to be more included eventually resorting to violence which gets him escorted out with a gun pointed at him. My, working for a shadowy group with secret headquarters that performs illicit experiments on people is not everything Ethan imagined! Who could have predicted this?

Catherine is in the gym complaining over the phone to heather about Vincent’s lack of eagerness to get hot, sweaty and necked with her (Heather’s misgivings about Vincent have disappeared – possibly because her boyfriend turned out to owe money to a loan shark and try to kill her which means she will Never Have the Moral Highground Ever Again). Her frank description of which is overheard by the extremely hot guy who makes a joke before she points out he’s in the women’s locker-room by mistake. With that chest, who cares what room he’s in?

It seems Beauty and the Beast may be replacing plot with half naked man candy. I see no problems with this flawless plan. Ok, putting aside eye candy, he acted all kinds of skeevy there – even if he did accidentally enter the women’s locker room, butting in on a woman’s private phone call (even if loud) and inappropriately coming on to her while half naked? Skeevy and wrong, even when you look like that.

Alas, I can’t remain on pause so onwards, with Catherine at work offering  cappuccino to Tess so she can have some girl talk to vent even though they’re on the outs with each other. So she rants about Vincent and half-naked guy until interrupted by Joe introducing the new district attorney – Gabe Lowen, aka half-naked guy. And why is Lowen – and extra investigators (including 2 cops who have a reputation for shooting first asking questions later) – hanging around? To catch the vigilante (that would be Vincent). Catherine isn’t impressed by Vargas isn’t joining her on that one. They’re investigating Joe and the whole special crimes unit to see what’s not working and why.

Which means Gabe interviewing Tess and her having none of his “friendly friendly” approach. So he takes off the gloves and asks why she wants to no longer be Catherine’s partner – and if it’s connected to a whole lot of tampered with evidence he’s been seeing

Let us leave this interesting plot to spend some time with Vincent’s angst and JT questioning why he spent 3 hours killing time to give Vincent and Catherine alone time if Vincent was just going to rehash old, resolved angst. Catherine arrives and JT leaves to give them more time, but Catherine’s not here for sexy times, she’s here to warn him. Vincent, in full angst mode, accepts his death as inevitable, but Catherine thinks if they find the goons who were pressuring Darius they can prove that Vincent was only trying to protect Heather.

We could spend more time worrying about that threat, instead we’re going to angst about Vincent losing it when he has sex - he describes how, 2 years ago when his adrenaline kicked in with a woman he couldn’t stop from changing (err, this isn’t relevant information before they made out last episode?)  Back to the plot and they discuss how Darius borrowed a large sum of money from a loan shark from the East River Crime Syndicate to start a VIP lounge that didn’t actually make any money. Oops. For 40 seconds. Then it’s back to the “rawr I’m out of control no sex I hate myself” angst. Back on topic – she has information on a man called Ross who may know people in the Syndicate to help them find the man who got away that night. But Catherine can’t go because if Joe finds out she’s trying to prove the vigilante innocent, she’s in trouble.

Vincent goes to Ross, as a veteran who needs some quick money to pay off some foreign loan sharks who will kill him if he doesn’t. And offers weapons as collateral. And he has a time limit so Ross needs to call his boss fast – which he does at a distance, but not out of range of Vincent’s super-hearing to catch the boss is called Ray

Whose details Catherine tracks down, Ray Sheckmman, and takes to Evan where she learns that the trigger-happy cops are also following the same leads, only they may fabricate evidence to get the warrants they need. When she leaves, Evan passes on the information that he may have a witness who saw their “creature” up close on the night Darius is killed. At this point, what does Muirfield have to do for him to stop co-operating? Muirfield refuses to give him a bigger role in the investigation so Evan doesn’t pass on the name – saying he’ll handle it himself.

Catherine has a talk with Gabe where he suggests that, maybe, she is tampering with evidence in the interest of justice. Catherine doesn’t fall for it any more than Tess does. But he then reveals that his mother was also murdered. Catherine consoles and empathises with him rather than saying “seriously, you’re actually going to use the corpse of my mother who was murdered in front of me as a questioning tool?”

Back at Catherine’s she and Vincent have a planning strategy: talk to Shekman before the trigger happy cops do because if they arrest him first he will just say he was an innocent bystander and finger Vincent as the killer. They need to “talk” to him first – which means going to a special formal event (they go to a lot of them, am I the only one who thinks so?) Thankfully it’s a masque ball so Vincent can come as well. Yes, really.

To the fancy party where they can put the characters in evening dress again. I think they have all these formal parties because the person in the wardrobe department has a gun and occasionally snaps and yells “EVERYONE MUST BE PRETTY! MORE STYLE!” On that note, Catherine hasn’t bothered with a mask and has gone for some awesome eye make-up that there’s no way she had time to do instead. Vincent is so stunned he takes off his mask. They spot Shekman and Vincent questions whether Catherine is really fine with planting evidence, but she’s determined to go ahead.

At work, Tess talks to Joe who she finds drinking in his office. She thinks it’s a terrible idea to have the shoot-first-ignore-the-rules cops around while an ADA is investigating them and further that it’s not a good idea for them to be together. He pushes for discretion instead and adds that with his baby brother dead less than a week ago, she was the only thing that made sense to him. Tess kisses him. Guess they’re back on.

At the party, Catherine flirts with Ray and arranges for him to meet her alone in the closed Asian exhibit to give her a tour (hem hem), we also see that Gabe and Evan have also turned up for this event. To the darkened Asian exhibit where Catherine holds Ray at gunpoint. She talks rather ineffectually until he calls her a bitch and points a gun at her – leading to Vincent leaping on him all snarly. She uses Vincent to threaten him unless Ray goes and tells the truth in a full confession.

He leaves and runs into Evan – who notices he is shaken and wants to ask about the monster, but then Gabe arrives and, of course, Ray has something important to say to Gabe. Meanwhile Catherine and Vincent discuss Ray seeing Vincent (better than Catherine planting evidence) and they’re impressed that while Vincent looked all snarly, he was in complete control. This is proof that all the angst was unnecessary (really? No! Surely not!) and they can dramatically kiss again.

Ray, with Gabe wants full immunity to be a witness saying that the vigilante only acted to save Heather’s life. But Gabe is more interested in what the vigilante looked like.

The next day Evan gets a call from Muirfield congratulating him on doing the right thing – finding the witness before he spoke to the ADA – and killing him. Though they wish he’d been less public about it. Evan is shocked but checking the paper he sees that Ray’s body was found in the basement of the museum. And Muirfield think he did it and, on the strength of that, he’s now in.

Catherine, Evan and Tess are dragged into a conference where Joe dissolves all their partnerships and puts them on a new task force, entirely focused on catching the Vigilante. And Gabe says he wants cops who focus on justice above all else… uh-huh. These leads to a dramatic press conference where Gabe swears to protect the people of New York from the vigilante – with all the cops in the background

At this point, it’s probably best for Vincent to leave New York. Instead he and Catherine have a reconfirmation of their commitment and finally sleep together.

Things I’m happy about with this episode:

Tampering with evidence isn’t just swept under the rug. There are chains, there are investigations, people are noticing, Catherine can’t throw out the entire justice system by destroying evidence.

Vigilantism isn’t treated as a negligible crime

What I’m not happy with:
Convoluted Catherine/Vincent angst. Honestly the whole “ugh I could hurt you” has already been DONE! Enough already

Evan working with Muirfield that praises him for murder? Uh-huh, why would he want an in with these people?

I actually find Joe and Tess’s relationship more compelling than Catherine and Vincent’s – the emotion (and possibly the acting) seems much more real and much less melodramatic.