Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Beauty and the Beast, Season 2, Episode 7: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Reynolds is up to no good – or so it seems since he’s contacting someone to plant a big bomb to remove a threat of exposure by killing someone.

Vincent and Cat are enjoying some intimate time together before Cat brings up Vincent ripping someone’s heart out of their chest. That really does kill the mood. Which is probably a good thing – I mean, if talk of heart ripping doesn’t kill the mood then there could be a problem. Vincent assures her that his beastiside won’t be released again – that it’s probably just a reaction to him killing so many people on assassination missions (which are totally ok and no-one is even slightly concerned about the morality of them). Next topic – his handler; Vincent is absolutely sure his handler (Reynolds) who disguises their voice and could be absolutely anyone is completely trustworthy and totally won’t kill him like all the other beasts he’s wanted murdered because… REASONS!

Then Reynolds complicates matters by calling and inviting Cat to Thanksgiving (isn’t that awfully… soon?) which has a brief angst with Vincent because he can’t be invited to meet the parent which has a backlash angst of Cat so not being ready to call Reynolds a parent yet. Also Vincent, the assassin, thinks it’s a bad idea to spend quality time with an FBI agent (or a cop – but we’re not talking about that and when was the last time Cat worked a case?). Cat tells Reynolds she and her boyfriend have plans – and she and Vincent plan to cook a full on traditional Thanksgiving.

At work (my gods, she does work!) Tess snarks all the holiday supplies and stomps on Cat’s buzz by telling Cat Gabe’s suspicions about what Vincent’s last mission may actually be – he may be the last name on the list. Cat clings to Vincent’s trust and the fact that Vincent is different from the other beasts – Tess isn’t all that convinced, the whole heart ripping thing is a pretty hard sell.

Gabe is trying to sell the whole “Vincent isn’t a monster” to Tori, the daughter of the heart ripee and she’s not buying either. She doesn’t intend to tell the world but she’s not happy – and also wants to know if their plan to revive her dad really just included a normal defibrillator. He’s interrupted by Cat and Tess barging in with Cat quickly focusing attention on her and Tori being quickly shuffled out of the room.

Gabe’s been trying to identify Vincent’s handler (it’s about time someone tried to do that) – but someone has wiped all of Gabe’s files. Which looks suspiciously like what Muirfield managed to pull off in season 1 (before they were retconned from being all powerful organisation to a single factory whose existence was dependent on the continued breathing of one, not very skilled, man).

Vincent, meanwhile, has been sent to a warehouse to find his target which all his Beastisenses insists is abandoned. He calls Reynolds who orders him to keep going (and what, kill an empty warehouse?) and follow orders soldier – no thinking for you! Vincent sees a light blinking in the window and throws a metal pipe through it – triggering the bomb we saw Reynolds’s lacky set up in the beginning of the episode. The whole warehouse explodes in a huge, completely over the top explosion. Staggering to his feet Vincent breathes into his phone and Reynolds says his codename – Vincent doesn’t answer and hangs up.

JT, Tess, Gabe and Cat all panic about Vincent not answering calls and check the messages he’s received. Cat goes on full blown babble mode, blaming Gabe for not telling her his theory and adds that of course someone’s trying to kill him, he’s totally out of control: just as Vincent enters the room. The gang puts her rambling down to a “momentary loss of control” since Cat does babble when she’s nervous. Vincent learns that they’re trying to find his handler – and calls it a security breach after he spent so much effort telling her she couldn’t ask questions; he blames them for his handler trying to kill him, calling it a security breach.


JT interjects some reason – the Handler did just try to kill him. And the gang learns that Vincent doesn’t even hear his handler’s real voice and knows absolutely nothing about them – yet is still willing to kill for them. They make plans to trace his call and continue to track the Handler down.

Meanwhile, Gabe has to go to the hospital to see Tori – it seems she had a car accident and was knocked unconscious, they called him because she had his card on her. She also wants him to sign her out so she doesn’t have to stay in the hospital for Thanksgiving – though Gabe says if he does he will be watching her, not just pretending to.

Reynolds is having kittens to his bomb maker. Vincent is alive, probably pissed – he sets his explosive expert to make more bombs. And then Vincent calls – telling him the mission was compromised but he’s safe while Cat and Tess record the message (and Tess is almost as surprised as I am that Vincent ever trusted Reynolds). Vincent plays his role for a little while before losing his temper and chewing Reynolds out, threatening to hunt him down before Cat stops him. Vincent hangs up (at the other end Reynolds looks vaguely nauseous) and assures everyone he isn’t being beasty, he just lost his temper for being betrayed.

Tess has her recording of his voice to descramble and JT tracks down the bug in Gabe’s computer to the FBI – and Vincent mentions the dead Agent Tucker. They don’t know if that means the handler is FBI – but Cat decides the best way to find out is to have Thanksgiving dinner with her dad, Agent Reynolds. Wow and you thought YOUR holidays were awkward! But hopefully Vincent can use his lie detector skills on Reynolds.

Reynolds agrees and calls his bomb maker – no he doesn’t want to kill Vincent over thanksgiving but does hope to help his daughter and set Vincent after a fake handler – and another bombed booby trap.

Cat and Vincent arrive with Cat focusing on the job but Vince a little in the “I’m meeting her father! AAARGH!” zone. And the questioning begins – lots of questions about Vincent and, of course, Cat and Vincent still haven’t worked together on a cover story so can’t tell him where Vincent works, can only say he lives on a boat and generally contradict each other on a few issues. Reynolds “can’t help but feel protective” uh-huh, even if he were her father I’d have things to say about a man deciding an adult woman needs protecting from her own romantic choices – but a complete stranger who’s entire parenting role has been confined to distance stalking? That deserves a slap. At least he acknowledges belatedly that he’s been missing for 29 years and it’s not his place to judge – which is something.

Cat clumsily drags the topic to Muirfield and tries to feel out what Reynolds knows about them – and, really, this police officer is truly awful at interrogation. Eventually Cat just spills all – they have a friend who is a beast whose Handler in the FBI tried to kill them and they want his help finding them. He agrees to help – so long as they give him all the information they have.

She calls Gabe to get him to put together a rather edited version of the information (nothing that will reveal Vincent or that they broke the law) and Vincent gets snarky at Cat deciding to spill all to Reynolds when he said he wasn’t sure that Reynolds couldn’t be trusted - he couldn’t use his lie detector skills because he couldn’t tell if Reynolds’s heart rate was up because he was lying or because his daughter’s boyfriend lived on a boat. Cat points out that Vincent has proved he has self-control while holding his temper while Reynolds unleashed a grilling about his life.

Gabe arrives with the information and Reynolds is shocked that Gabe is in on the secret and further shocked that Gabe is so ready to help Cat that he’d drive 2 hours out to Reynolds’s holiday home, on a holiday. And Tori gets out as well – running after a brief introduction to Vincent – and shaking hands with him sets Vincent off as well (possibly because Tori is Beati herself going by the glowing eyes last episode). Especially as Reynolds keeps up his banter about Vincent’s job and life – Vincent forces him back against a pillar, going all bestial until Cat gets through to him.

Drama! Reynolds accuses Cat and Gabe of covering up brutal murders – including the inhuman murder of Tori’s father – for Vincent (true). Cat appeals to him as his daughter and he asks to speak to Vincent – Cat goes to Vincent and tells him to do anything – beg if necessary – to prove he’s in control.

Meanwhile JT and Tess are working on the creepy alien voice and having a non-Thanksgiving. Tess hates the holiday and takes JT’s excuse to tell her family she’s working so she can avoid the endless questions about her being single.

They get drunk and happy and eat pizza and JT asks why Tess is single – and Tess lists off her grandmother’s complaints (she’s a cop, too masculine, too aggressive, too intimidating) and JT is bemused by the whole thing and praises her up and down – and oh my gods JT and Tess? Are we going down this road? He kisses her… and then she kisses him. Yes, we are going down this road. They’re interrupted by Gabe hurrying them to fix the call since Reynolds is looking less like an asset. Gabe goes to Tori (waiting in his car, checking her eyes) to explain to her that they need her to tell Reynolds that Vincent saved her life.

Reynolds hears Vincent out and agrees to keep everything secret – but only if Vincent disappears from Cat’s life. Once they have Thanksgiving dinner – all invited. Tori parrots her instructions but Reynolds is sure everything is good and they’re all on the same side now Vincent has agreed to leave Cat alone. He throws in a pure mean toast about loving his daughter but staying away from her for her own good – which is, apparently, what love is. But Vince and Tori have another moment. Vincent leaves the table for a moment and Cat isn’t so great a fool as to miss all these veiled messages from Reynolds and is getting annoyed at the whole parental role he’s leaping on (I’d agree if she hadn’t just jumped on the “as your daughter I appeal to you!” which just seems so hypocritical). She calls Vincent a victim of Muirfield just like her mother – and Tori goes all Beasty and upsets the dinner table when Reynolds says all beasts are dangerous.

Well, that was an epicly ruined Thanksgiving.

Cat and Reynolds argue with Reynolds claiming Cat is making excuses, she fighting back that she’s making the best of a bad situation – and that Reynolds really hasn’t earned the right to call her “honey”. When Reynolds says life is hard enough without a Beast in her life she throws back how Reynolds gave up with her mother. Nice return shot. The family bickering is broken up by Gabe who has realised that Tori’s car accident was actually purposeful, hoping she’d flatline and someone would resuscitate her, curing her Beast

Tori has found Vincent – seeking the only person who could understand but he’s worried about them being together. She cries about wanting a life and he holds her – and the Beast starts up again. Only they don’t look angry – they touch and they kiss.

And of course Cat sees them. Vincent catches up with her and she is obviously unhappy – he tells her it’s a Beast thing. Which she accepts – but Reynolds has made a good point to her, at what point does she keep tolerating things and making excuse for things because Vincent is a Beast. The changing of her life, covering up for him, him forgetting her, him killing people and now him kissing someone else – at what point is enough enough? Vincent, remembering Reynolds’s threat, agrees – and tells Cat to walk away from him or he will.

Meanwhile Tori is being comforted and reassured by Reynolds and picked up by his driver – and by driver I mean explosives expert posing as a driver.

Back to Tess and JT and Tess hears church bells in the background of the call – if they crossreference with churches with the same cadence they can get an idea of where he lives (which is lucky that this call, Reynolds made from his home since he normally makes them from the office or moving around). JT takes it as a deflection to avoid talking about the kiss and agrees to backoff but Tess assures him it’s not – after all, she claims if she hadn’t wanted him to kiss her she was more than capable of stopping him; but they agree to keep it quiet

Reynolds gives Vincent some information on his supposed handler – and claiming that there’s a new target on the list: Tori. Vincent, of course, agrees to take Reynolds car and go check on Tori

Gabe gets the info from Tess and JT and passes it on to Cat (who, contrary to what Reynolds told Vincent, isn’t crying in a bedroom). Cat and Gabe prepare to leave, saying goodbye to Reynolds – and hear the churchbells.

Vincent finds Tori tied to a chair – in the same room as a bomb. We cut away and the room explodes.

Their inevitable miraculous survival will be covered next week.

3 of these people are supposed to be in law enforcement. How many assassinations were they going to tolerate?

And surely someone wiping out Beasts actually turning on Vincent is BASIC COMMON SENSE! Why is Gabe the only one who came up with this? Why did it take him so long? Why is Vincent so accepting of his anonymous handler’s control? Is it conditioning? WHY do the people in Beauty and the Beast have the collected intellect of a slime mould?!

I say again, the only reason Vincent is different from the other Beasts is NOT control issues. In fact, Tori’s father is the only Beast we’ve seen with control-based violence. The others have committed perfectly mundane crimes – and they writers have had them commit those perfectly mundane crimes to draw a line between them and Vincent (despite his own list of many many many many many murders) because otherwise we’d actually have to examine the whole massacring of Beasts just for being Beasts and realise how dubious it is.

This whole Reynolds-as-protective-father thing is making me nauseous. Aside from the fact Cat is in her mid-to-late 20s and quite capable of looking after herself, the man has known her for a week. He has stalked her before then but that’s all he has done- but because his sperm created her he now feels obliged to protect her? Obliged to make decisions for her?

And Beastly mating urge? Oh no no no please don’t – least of all with a teenager – how old is Tori supposed to be?

I am vaguely hopeful that we’re having this “at what point is enough enough” conversation even if it won’t go anywhere – because the idea that Vincent’s beast means she should tolerate everything is a bad one to pass on. The good reasons there are for a partner making your life miserable doesn’t change the actual misery.

How much are FBI agents paid anyway? He has this huge house and, apparently, staff.