Saturday, May 11, 2013

Beauty and the Beast Season 1, Episode 21: Date Night

Tess talks about work  - securing Gabe since there’s a hit on his life at a 5 star hotel – but Catherine is distracted. She’s 10 days late. Oh. Oh dear.

Vincent’s reaction is more “OH GODS NO!” considering he doesn’t know what his screwed up genetics would do to a child and how the child would be hunted and even if he’s fine he’d still have a dad who is officially dead and had to hide. Then Gabe calls so Vincent has a tangent down the “if Gabe were the father” which neither Catherine or I have any time for. All that panic and the test comes back negative – but it does make for a good round of “we can never have a baby or a house or a marriage” angst. Still on the depth side Vincent recognises it as a cause of his jealousy over Gabe since he could have that normal life with her. But Catherine, again, reminds him that she doesn’t want that life and doesn’t need it.

But when she gets to work for the security detail, Catherine gets sufficiently wistful over children that Tess notices. Catherine says it’s fine she knew what she was getting into but Tess stomps on that, telling her not to do the “girl thing” where she thinks she’s agreed to terms so can’t talk about what she wants.

When they get to Gabe’s he gets rid of Tess so he can talk to Catherine – telling her he knows she was with someone when they took out the sniper. Catherine goes into full denial even as Gabe says he knows what Vincent is. She continues to deny – and Gabe’s eyes turn gold. Catherine backs off and pulls her gun and he assures her he’s not going to hurt her. It was what was done to him at Muirfield and he takes medication to stop his DNA from expressing itself; made by her mother. But the stuff he’s been synthesising doesn’t work so well – as evidenced by his eyes.

Which is why he wants to meet Vincent, the only other one like him, and why he tracked down the cases with cross-species DNA. And he knows Vincent’s DNA is different from his – by comparing DNa they may be able to help each other.

Well there’s a nifty info dump. At least Vincent doesn’t have to be jealous any more. Catherine fills in Tess on the way out – also warning her to stay out the room until Gabe’s girlfriend, Tyler, arrives who can calm him down

Catherine goes to Vincent and tells him Vince why he’s been feeling all weird around Gabe (possessiveness? Jealousy? Because they’re on the CW and only threat of horrific torture will convince the writers not to include a love triangle? I think you may have to kidnap their cats or something). Vincent doesn’t believe Gabe could be like him in a high stress job like ADA and not maul someone – so Catherine reveals the pills and that Gabe wants to meet. Vincent is extremely reluctant and raises many many objections and concerns. Eventually Catherine falls back on how, if he can control his impulses, they could go to movies and dates just as he lamented earlier. Which kind of puts the question to the idea that she’s happy with what they have.

Vincent and Catherine go up in the lift – while Gabe screams in his phone desperate for Tyler – and a bad guy loads an automatic weapon. They hear gunshots – but no-one can get in the room, and the sounds of roaring and growling. When they get in the room, the attacker is dead – but Gabe is missing, he’s gone out the many storey window, creature out in the middle of Manhattan. Oops.

And security arrives and Joe calls and everyone’s pissed and wants to know where Gabe is. Catherine, thinking fats (I know, I was shocked too), tells Joe that Gabe has been kidnapped – he’s unhappy (and snarks about Tess and the pool which he will pay for later) and tells them to find him. Catherine gets a call on Gabe’s phone from Tyler making it clear she knows about Gabe; she doesn’t know where he’s gone but once he’s in his animal state he doesn’t come down (unlike Vincent), he needs his meds to do so.

Meanwhile Vincent tells all this to a rather confused JT who has to mentally run to keep up with the revelations and the implications of someone who went through an earlier version of the procedure used on Vincent 20 years earlier. So the same pills etc won’t work between the two – because they’re very different versions

Vincent and Catherine go to one of the De Monte’s properties (the gang that is trying to have Gabe killed in a mobster-style hit for being a good prosecutor)  but rather than focus on finding Gabe they have another relationship angst – Vincent concerned that Catherine is so focused on a cure means that she really isn’t happy with the way things are. Anyway, they take down a couple more goons, just because – and the fight scenes are fun (especially since they sacked the cameraman who loved his random shaking) and Catherine gets a text from Tess. She has another address from Gabe’s files – Vincent’s. He put a tracking device on Catherine. His primal drive isn’t to take out the people trying to kill him – it’s to find Vincent.

Switch to JT who is making up a terrible excuse for his girlfriend as to why he can’t meet her parents when Vincent sends a warning message – BeastiGabe is on his way. Of course, warnings like that ALWAYS arrive too late. It is known.

BeastiGabe arrives and starts destroying the furniture just before Vincent shows up and puts several tranq darts in his shoulder – but they don’t work. Time for Vincent to go golden eyes as well. Time to throw down! Or not because the tranqs then kick in.

Catherine reassures Tess that they have Gabe which she’s relieved about – but she’s also prepared to make Joe pay for taking out his stress on her based on their relationship. Catherine also talks to JT about the possibility of a cure and is surprised to find him not receptive. He tells her they spent years looking for a cure, lots of tests that didn’t work and every step of the way Vincent burrowing into self-loathing rather than accepting who and what he is.

They give the unconscious Gabe his meds and he returns to his normal self. Gabe wakes up with no memory of what he does as BeastiGabe. Vincent’s hackles are up because he thinks he’s got the short end of the stick – Gabe can be part of society, is functional and isn’t hunted. But Gabe says he’s uncontrollable as a Beast and only his meds stop it – and without them he is an out of control Beast all the time. And he’ll commit suicide before that happens.

He wants Vincent’s DNA to extract the element of it that is stable and Gabe would gladly trade Vincent’s future for his. Catherine and Vincent have a private discussion with Catherine trying to back off on the whole cure thing but Vincent agrees to go ahead, for a chance at a life.

Cut to a scene of Gabe getting a blood sample off Vincent – and Vincent taking one of Gabe’s pills. Yeah, might you not want to test them first?

In the aftermath, Gabe seems to be endearing himself with Vincent, especially since he told the powers that be that he was kidnapped and claimed he killed the man Vincent killed in self-defence – earning big points for taking the fall for Vincent. The beginning of friendship, much to Catherine’s amusement. And since Vincent has 12 hours of no-beastiness from the pills, they can go to the pool in the fancy hotel!

And Vincent talks about wanting the picket fence – wanting to be in a relationship that is moving forwards to something more. And Catherine decides she wants the same thing.

That sounds like fun and happiness. Can’t have that – time for the bad news. JT has tested the pills and, yes, they make Vincent calm – but they’re also toxic for him. If he keeps taking them, they will kill him. (Catherine would have a good point smacking him for talking down to her but at the same time she pulled the “they work for Gabe” card despite knowing they’re different versions of manimal. She has been told this at least 4 times this episode and she still refuses to take it in.)

Catherine breaks the bad news and Vincent considers taking them occasionally, every now and then for special occasions. Catherine doesn’t think special occasions are improved by one’s loved one taking poison (for once she has a point).  He promises not to take them any more – but later, when Catherine’s asleep, he takes another pill.

And 2 of the De Monte gang find Catherine’s apartment and break in – they attack, one going for Catherine and one Vincent and the fight begins. Only Vincent, on the pills, can’t beast out. Eventually they get the upper hand when Catherine manages to overpower her attacker, grab her gun and provide a distraction for Vincent so he can beat his. Since it’s been over 12 hours, Catherine realises Vincent has taken another pill.

At the police station Tess has Words with Joe about him treating her like shit. She wants to know whether it’s because it’s his desperate attempt to keep their relationship secret (which would work WITHOUT this straight woman call them closeted, which is really offensive especially since there hasn’t been one single tiny token GBLT representation on this show) or because he’s lost all respect for her as a cop now they’re lovers. He says he is fighting desperately to hide how deeply, madly in love he is with her. Well that distracted the argument! They break it up in time for a meeting with the FBI who want the assassin’s body who Gabe killed – they call it a confidential, related case. And this is the same “FBI” agent who they spoke to about the dead people at the subway – the Muirfield agents who attacked Catherine. Muirfield’s back in the picture.

Vincent and Catherine have another go round the “but I want a future,” “I don’t care what the future is like so long as it’s with you,” “but I can’t give you the future you want,” “I just don’t want you to give up” merry-go-round.

And another complication –Gabe meets his girlfriend Tyler who tells him there’s good news; Vincent can stabilise Gabe. And the bad news – Vincent won’t survive the process.

While Beauty and the Beast has exhausted my angst tolerance long ago, Vincent’s worry about Catherine seems much more sensible and less convoluted this time. After all, societally we’re all told there’s various things we should want from life – and he recognises he can’t give them to her. It makes his jealousy of men who can and his worry over Catherine’s eagerness to find some way to control Vincent’s beastliness much more realistic. It’s hard to believe Catherine saying she doesn’t want the picket fence when media, culture and society constantly insists it is what we SHOULD want – especially with her continuing to seek the opportunities that Gabe represents. (Of course her denials are undermined by the fact that she does actually want those things).

Especially when JT adds the excellent insight about Vincent’s self-loathing and how his focus on looking for a cure rather than self-acceptance just destroyed Vincent’s sense of self. That’s a great point that has a lot of real world analogies - which the show didn’t draw. It made the point without appropriating and it was pretty excellently done.