Beauty and the Beast 2.21 – Operation Fake Date

by Mieke Trudeau

 

“Light and easy”

We find our heroes hiding out in New York; living in a hostel and pretending to be tourists. Cat is wearing a bad blonde wig and sunglasses on a dreary winter day and Vincent, hilariously, has simply plastered a bigger moustache over his existing one. As I have seen many fans and reviewers, including myself, comment about Vincent’s lack of disguise wearing, it came across as a clever inside joke; one of many in this episode. I like it very much when the show has some fun with itself. The dramatic elements of the story are actually highlighted when framed with humor.

Vincent is pretty on edge; he is angry with Gabe and impatient with the injustice of their situation. As usual, Cat is the voice of reason, constantly telling Vincent to keep things “light and easy”, when he threatens to lose it. Cat trusts that if only she stays in control of the situation, they can overcome and she will be able to fix whatever messes they find themselves in. She seems to be the eternal optimist, but perhaps she is just pushing down her own worry and anger about their lot.

Luckily, when they meet with agent Knox to get an update on the status of Vincent’s exoneration, they get some good news. The charges against Vincent will be dropped, but he has to turn himself in. Seems like a plan, until Cat’s reporter friend Beth comes back into their lives, ready to expose Vincent. Our friends quickly figure out that it is Gabe who is feeding the reporter her information and Cat thinks she can persuade Gabe to call Beth off, once she tells him Vincent is about to be arrested.

Gabe once again shows how delusional he really is by demanding that Cat go on a date with him. He firmly believes he is in the right and if only Cat opens her heart to him, she will come to her senses and see he is her safe haven. Over and over, Gabe tells Cat how dangerous Vincent is and that he will never be trustworthy. He tells Catherine that her mysterious ancestor Rebecca was forced to kill her beast companion, Alistair, and that Gabe himself pushed his beloved mother down the stairs in an uncontrollable fit of rage. This is where I realized what it is that Gabe is really afraid of; it is not Vincent and what he may do to hurt Cat; it is the beast within himself. Gabe is a self-fulfilling prophecy and he does not trust himself; perhaps he never has. He is projecting his fear; as if imprisoning Vincent will, once and for all, lock away the beast he fears still lurks within.

After telling Agent Knox their secrets, Vincent is put in solitary confinement but is soon whisked away by mysterious men in dark suits, determined to put him through a battery of tests. Vincent tries very hard to keep “light and easy” but he beasts out when he hears Cat’s voice and sees her arguing with Gabe. Who are these men and why do they have Gabe’s apartment under surveillance? They claim to be “the good guys”, but don’t they all! Vincent persuades them to let him go by promising to eliminate Gabe for them, once again placing himself in the role of mercenary.

Cat angrily confronts Gabe, who she blames for Vincent being taken from his cell by yet another secret agency. Gabe gets irate when Cat rejects his insistent advances. Her reaction is explosive and violent. She punches and kicks until he is unconscious, no longer breathing and without a pulse. Vincent and JT find her desperately trying to revive Gabe and it is doctor Keller who ends up saving the life he came to take. Cat is devastated that she lost control like that, but Vincent reminds her that by “beasting out” she actually saved both him and Gabe. Suppressing your inner beast is obviously not always the better choice.

Our team gives a recovering Gabe the warning that he has lost and should just let go, but we all know that won’t happen. In fact, when JT and Tess leave him alone for a while, Gabe fully beast out and escapes. He meets up with Beth who demands some answers, but instead gets her still beating heart ripped out.

I found plenty of drama and heart stopping action in this episode. It flowed well and showed great development, not only in plot, but also in the characters. Gabe’s storyline showed depth and nuance and Sendhil Ramamurthy’s performance was spot on. In the meantime, the heavy drama was very well balanced by plenty of humor. Initially irritated by Heather’s reluctance to help Vincent by filing a police report against Gabe, I actually found it folded easily into Beth’s story of dealing with a traumatic event, which in turn fit very well in the overall arc of the episode.

Once again, JT and Tess provided the warm heart of the story. The subplot of the two of them shopping for Heather’s bachelorette party in an adult shop and JT’s subsequent insecurities about their sexual compatibility was not only funny, but sweet and sexy. Austin Basis and Nina Lisandrello have such great chemistry and JT and Tess keep Team Beastie grounded in every-day humanity.

I can’t wait to see where the finale takes us. Vincent may finally be exonerated, but is he really a free man? I can’t imagine that these mysterious men that took his blood and disappeared will now just leave him be. What is in store for Gabe? There is no turning back now. His brush with death must have brought back his beast and in the preview we see him threatening to take away everyone Vincent loves as we get a close up of crushed bloody glasses.

Where will this end Beasties? I have to confess I am a little worried! Tell me what you think in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 Comments on Beauty and the Beast 2.21 – Operation Fake Date

  1. Gabe intentionally made himself a beast again. He injected himself with the serum that he was going to give to Beth as evidence that Vincent was the result of a botched super soldier experiment. There’s a shot of the syringe and empty vial of beast serum on the sink, just after he looks into the mirror and his eyes glow for the first time. Did he do it because his warped mind has convinced him that Cat only goes for beasts or to kill Vincent once and for all? Both?

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    • Oh, good catch! I did hear him mention the serum to Beth, but I missed the syringe. I figured he was cured by dying, so maybe that’s how he got his powers back. Thanks for pointing it out. He must be pretty desperate to turn himself into the thing he despises and fears the most. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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      • You’re welcome! I love your commentary. When you hate someone that much, it’s usually because you see something in them that you hate about yourself. He was terrified of being injected by Sam’s beast, but now that he’s lost his grip on reality, I’m thinking he sees his voluntary rebeasting as the only way that he can finally take Vincent out to save Cat. He’s justified every vile act to himself that it was necessary to protect her and this is his last great sacrifice. And he’s delusional enough to think that he might still have a chance with her because he’s now her type. I can’t wait until Gabe is gone, but Sendhil Ramamurthy has done an incredible job portraying his downward spiral.

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  2. Michele S. // July 3, 2014 at 8:08 pm // Reply

    Hee, Vin plastering a mustache over his own mustache reminded me of the Canary’s disguise on Arrow: Sara wears a long, straight, blonde wig over her own long, straight, blonde hair. Except on Arrow it is done earnestly rather than ironically, and it is even more preposterous when the Canary’s own sister does not recognize her during a face-to-face conversation, even though Sara has a very distinctive chin (it looks like she’s wearing a doll’s bum below her mouth, it is that cleft and bulbous.) (Aside from the wig though, Arrow’s pretty awesome.)

    But back to BATB, you hit on one of the things I love most in a TV show, and that is its ability to bring the drama into greater relief by contrasting it with a bit of comedy. (Enlisted does this better than any show I’ve ever seen.) For all its darkness and drama, BATB has always been good at not taking itself too seriously, and giving us some comic relief, even if it’s just little touches like pornstaches and gummi worms. And the sex shop was priceless!

    “This is where I realized what it is that Gabe is really afraid of; it is not Vincent and what he may do to hurt Cat; it is the beast within himself.”

    As usual, you have great insights that make me appreciate the show even more! I too think they are doing a great job with Gabe’s story, both in terms of writing and acting. Instead of just being evil, he is delusional and mental and completely convinced he is doing such horrible things to protect Cat from Vincent, never realizing if Cat needs protecting against anyone, it’s himself.

    Great review as always! See you next week for the finale.

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