by Mieke Trudeau
“Remember, you can save yourself”
I know we are only 5 episodes into season 3, but I can safely say that this was my favorite one so far. It broke the sometimes too familiar formula just enough, while not losing focus on the core of what makes this show so successful, that it blew a breath of fresh air through the whole series. Craftily written by Benjamin Raab and Deric A. Hughes and crisply directed by Mairzee Almas, The Most Dangerous Beast heralded even better things to come this season.
As I have written before, the show has been focusing on the role of each character and their relationships with the others, within the story’s universe. This time however, we purposely saw each of our heroes go their own and separate ways, finally stepping onto their own paths, to explore their individual purpose. Of course, in the end, the moral of it all is, that to trust in their love and capabilities will result in the whole becoming greater than the sum of its parts. Even when physically apart, our heroes will always prove to be stronger together.
Tess is trying very hard to be a good Captain and not let her precinct get bogged down in Cat’s obsession over beasts lurking in the shadows. She gives Catherine a new partner and an ordinary robbery case to investigate. Mythical quest notwithstanding; she is a cop after all. Cat is not too keen to baby sit rookie Detective Wesley Atchison (Brandon Gill), but the eager newbie blends in smoothly and actually proves to be an asset. Cat keeps thinking she sees Carol everywhere, but she has promised Vincent and her friends to let go of her obsession, so she pushes down her gut feeling.
JT meanwhile is trying very hard to find an antidote for what is rapidly changing his body’s abilities. He has discovered that severe shock may neutralize the effects of the serum he was given, but realizes the risk that would come with such a cure. Everyone keeps calling on poor beleaguered JT, even though Tess is trying to shield him from the added stress. Vincent is out on the road alone, on his way to the remote countryside for an outreach healthcare program. He is worried that something may happen to make him beast out without Cat there to pull him back. As usual Vincent counts on JT to give him a pep talk and his best friend does not disappoint. JT tells him to trust that Cat’s love will be with him no matter what. Cat also puts pressure on JT to find clues on the whereabouts of Bob and Carol and when he finds an address for them in Brooklyn, it is Tess who persuades him to come with her to investigate.
We quickly discover that Bob and Carol smartly have been setting up Vincent and Cat all along, in order to get them apart. It turns out that Carol really was following Catherine, luring her to crime scenes to get her alone in an attempt to make her elimination look like a bust gone bad. Meanwhile, Vincent, vulnerable in his separation from Cat, is falling prey to Bob, who is chasing him through the woods under gunfire. The plan is to test Vincent so if he proves to be the ultimate beast he can be delivered as a prize peace offering to whoever is behind all this. Bob and Carol love and count on each other much like Vincent and Cat do, and they are looking for ways to be freed from these terrible experiments that have been forced on them. In the end they really have a lot in common with our heroes; and they illustrate how very different the outcome of Vincent and Catherine’s love story really could have been.
Cat beats and catches Carol in an epic showdown that once again proves that any bad guy is a fool to underestimate Detective Chandler, but Vincent is captured after being shot with a lot of tranq darts. Desperate to find Vincent, Cat and Tess interrogate Carol to no avail; her fear of her boss and love for her husband keep her silent.
In the end it is JT who comes to the rescue. Even though the gang always calls on and counts on him for pep talks and solutions to all their problems, they sometimes underestimate him. He is loved, to be sure, but he is also often too easily dismissed as a geeky, clumsy, absent-minded professor and hypochondriac. JT was a hero long before he got his super powers, and I cheered when he raced to Vincent’s aide. I clapped when he said that he was tired of everyone telling him not to do anything stupid and I teared up when he called Tess to tell her he loved her, just in case his plan turned out to be not so smart after all. Austin Basis has continued to step up his game all season and once again he more than delivered. JT was heroic and quite spectacular as he let himself be hit by Bob’s truck in order to both make Vincent go full beast and to shock his own body into neutralizing the serum.
It also was great to see Vincent let his true inner beast loose once again, and Jay Ryan didn’t disappoint. Vincent has been holding back all season for fear of losing control. It is still quite shocking to see him snap Bob’s neck and for a moment it looks like that may push him too far, but as JT calls his name, Vincent flashes back on familiar and loving moments with Catherine, and as he remembers and feels her love, he slowly regains control.
Tess and Cat are relieved to find out that the men they love are safe and on their way home, but when Cat catches Carol’s eye and it becomes clear to her that it won’t be her husband who will walk through the door triumphant, Carol’s face crumples in grief. Unable and unwilling to live without him, she stops her heart and falls to the floor.
I would be amiss to not point out how much Natasha Henstridge did with that quiet and short scene. Her performance as Carol, as did Alan van Sprang’s as Bob, managed to elevate every scene they were in, but that one close up was one of those special moments where an actor hits it just right; no words needed.
This episode really hit the nail on the head. It is wonderful after all this time to see all four of the main characters so come into their own, and have such great performances and supporting cast to frame that story. I was also once again reminded of how vital and central all female characters are on Beauty and the Beast. Other productions could learn a thing or two from it about how to represent women in a fantasy genre show. From stunts, to music and especially editing, it was a great hour of TV and one of my top episodes of Beauty and the Beast.
Did you like it as much as I did, Beasties? Do you think JT is rid of his super powers? Would you like to see more of Detective “like itch but with an A” Atchison? Were you as thrilled as I was to hear Tess say, “I love you too”? Who do you think is behind it all? Drop us a comment below!