by Mieke Trudeau
“Bottom line is, we’re better together”
Our team continues to question exactly who they are and how they fit in, in this fourth installment of season 3; The Heart of the Matter. The title of the episode is apt, as the case of the week not only involves a philanthropist billionaire in desperate need of a heart transplant, but also has at its roots an exploration of Vincent and Catherine’s relationship.
Our duo is still very much stressed to make their newly merged lives work, even going as far as talking with a marriage counselor. Sometimes Cat seems to ignore that Vincent has an actual job as an ER doctor, and Vincent appears to have forgotten that Cat tends to be a pretty obsessive and tenacious cop and investigator. Catherine is convinced that a woman found dead in her locked apartment, holes drilled into her skull, somehow is connected to the new beast experimentations, once she discovers that the victim’s heart is already claimed by a Marshall Zalman (the always fabulous Stephen McHattie). Mr. Zalman is rich and influential enough to have bought access to the rare blood type donor and he could be the one behind these new beasts. Turns out that the heart belonged to a sickly type who, shortly before her death suddenly became healthy and strong. Adding in JT’s new super healing powers, it makes sense that Cat draws the conclusion that perhaps these new experiments are personal, meant to bring healing to otherwise terminally ailing rich men and that Mr. Zalman is behind it.
Vincent meanwhile is trying to build a life with his fiancée outside of the cases they work together and even Tess (the never better Nina Lisandrello) is holding back; understandable considering that her new position as Captain could be severely undermined if her secret life as a beast hunter comes to light. Cat doggedly stays focused on the case however, even turning a rare date night with Vincent into an opportunity to confront her suspect. And no one seems to be paying much mind to poor JT (played with ever increasing depth by Austin Basis), who is left to explore his own new powers, which he does my throwing himself down a flight of stairs, breaking a few bones in the process. JT is a little fed up with being put in the middle of his bickering friends and he is left to worry on his own about any adverse effects his special powers may reveal next. He is able to develop an antidote that clears up the donor heart that was indeed tainted with beast serum, but unfortunately he himself seems immune to the cure.
In a not too unexpected twist, it is Mrs. Zalman (effectively portrayed by Emily Swallow) who is behind the shenanigans with the donor heart. It turns out that she is quite resentful that she sacrificed her whole life for her husband, who as he arrives at death’s door, decides that his fortune should go to charity, rather than to his long suffering wife. It is not yet clear how involved she was with preparing the heart with beast serum. To me it seemed like the Zalmans were clients rather than the power behind the new threat, but that remains to be seen.
Vincent and Catherine learn from this case, with the help of their counselor, that it is important to talk early and often and not let resentments or fears build up. They also realize that their “unusually intertwined” relationship is a blessing but can also be a curse. Of course what really lies at the heart of it all is that they each want to protect and save the other, at all costs, sometimes clashing in the process. This particular case seems to bring this out more than ever, especially as it comes on the heels of the real and unresolved danger they found themselves in when they came up against Bob and Carol. Cat is forever afraid of losing Vincent to his beast side, which he would need to access to confront this new threat. Vincent in turn wants to protect Cat by turning away from all things beast and pushing that reality out of their lives. Neither is tenable of course, they can’t just pretend that their life is normal, but they also can not let these cases consume their entire existence to the point where they have nothing else left. The key seems to be that they need to allow each other to be who they are away from each other and trust their individual strengths; only separate can they truly come together.
Even JT and Tess discover this as they finally talk. They both are dealing with many changes in their lives, and much as Vincent and Cat had to learn to navigate these difficult and unique beastly problems, so must JT and Tess. Luckily love conquers much and Tess lets JT know that even though she has new challenges as Captain; he matters, and is that not what it all comes down to in the end?
Heart of the Matter was another great episode in what is so far a solid season. It again had a good balance of humor and pathos, romance and action. I am enjoying the deeper exploration of the characters and who they are to each other and in the Beauty and the Beast universe and I am very excited about what is to come for JT. With director Rich Newey at the helm, the pace was quick and light, the banter and quips adorable and sharp and the action and stunt work excellent.
So far so good Beasties! What did you think? Are you enjoying season 3? Let us know in a comment below.