by Mieke Trudeau
“Love knows not its own depth, until the hour of separation”
The above Khalil Gibran quote, as spoken by Liam (Jason Gedrick) in the last few minutes of the truly spectacular season 3 finale episode, sums up Beauty and the Beast beautifully. The one thing that Vincent fights so hard to hold onto, his love-fueled humanity, is the very thing that destroys Liam in the end.
Liam has our friends reeling. Not only does he have the authorities reopening every unsolved beast related death, Liam has managed to implicate the whole gang for their roles in covering for Vincent’s involvement, going back years. In fact, in order to stay ahead of the game, Cat, Tess and Heather are compiling a Vincent kill list of sorts and it is quite long. It is an interesting recap of the show in a way and it really made me realize how much Vincent and Liam are the opposite sides of the same coin. Liam is what Vincent could have been, if it wasn’t for JT being a Jiminy Cricket on his shoulder and Cat’s love to give him faith.
Liam is a constant presence for Vincent and it’s beginning to take its toll. Of course our hero is prepared to take full responsibility for his own actions, but he is not willing to sacrifice his loved ones for their loyalty to him. Tess is worried for JT and rightfully so. The professor has cut some serious legal corners over the years in his quest to help fight the bad guys while keeping Vincent safe and hidden, and soon he finds himself under arrest. It is the final straw for Vincent and he foolishly falls into a trap set by Liam. It is motivated by wanting to spare his friends, but Vincent really needs to learn that “better together” is not just a nice hash tag and to stop going “rogue cowboy” and doing things alone.
Vincent gets himself caught by Homeland Security and even though Agent Russo (Pat Mastroianni) is somewhat on his side, Vincent finds himself being confronted with his beastly past. He is offered a deal; confess to all the gory details and his friends will be kept out of it. Now this is a new concept! From the very beginning of the show we have been constantly reminded that the number one threat for Vincent is the dreaded EXPOSURE. In fact, some people have made a drinking game of hearing the word uttered on the show. So Vincent and Cat contemplating coming clean about who and what Vincent is, sends shock waves through their world. JT can’t believe his ears when Tess tells him why he has been released from jail. This goes against everything he has worked so hard to protect. He rightfully feels apprehensive, since their so-called friends in government agencies have not been so trustworthy in the past. However, if JT can’t fathom taking this risk, perhaps neither can Liam and so a plan is forged.
The only way that Liam may be defeated is if our friends can make him take his guard down and the first thing he has to believe is that Vincent is out of the picture. With the help of Agent Russo and a SWAT Team, Cat and Vincent recreate the mob and pitchfork scene that doomed Alistair so many centuries back; if Liam so badly wants to relive his past and get a do-over, that is exactly what they are going to give him.
We are not in on this plan at first and watching Vincent be chased and shot as he plummets of the roof of the hospital was quite a shock. I think our entire timeline on Twitter gasped, with one fan asking me if we were sure this wasn’t the SERIES finale instead. Luckily, Liam believes it is real too as he hears Vincent’s heart stop beating. He sees his opportunity and goes after Cat. Interestingly, Liam is also looking for a weak spot in his opponents and depriving them of each other is his best move. He knows the power of love, as its absence is what brought him here.
Liam thinks love brings weakness, as its loss did for him. His solution to losing Rebecca to Alistair was to cross that primal line and lose his humanity completely. Of course it doesn’t seem like it did him much good in the end. He is still filled with pain and anger and the need for revenge. Love still rules him, in a way, and Cat is able to speak to that. She knows a thing or two about loss and she certainly is good at talking beasts off their primal ledges. She appeals to Liam’s humanity, buried deep down inside him and just as we see a glimmer of hope enter Liam’s eyes, Vincent appears. He is in full beast mode and as he is able to catch Liam off guard, he plunges his arm through his chest, ripping Liam’s heart out, killing him instantly.
It is a powerful scene, and the tragedy of it plays itself out on Cat’s face. She is horrified and relieved all at once. Here are two beasts facing their true nature. Vincent the reluctant beast, made this way against his will, forever saved from becoming a monster by love. And Liam, born different, a reject, turned into a monster by the absence of love; both killers, both with along list of dead bodies in their wake. Vincent beasting out right at the moment that Liam finds a glimmer of humanity; that it is his heart that is literally ripped out of his body is beyond symbolic at this point. Well done, show.
We deservedly get three button scenes. The first one wraps up the practical matter of the gang’s legal troubles and also sets up season four very nicely. For his cooperation with DHS, Vincent gets a pass on most of the unsolved old cases. Many can be pinned on Liam and the rest will be shoved under the rug by DHS now that they are in on the secret. That’s the sticky bit of course; the genie is out of the bottle, as Agent Russo says, and what that means going forward remains to be seen next season.
Button two is a lovely one of our friends laughing and drinking and eating in a busy bar. We haven’t seen them this happy in, well maybe ever, and it’s great to see. It is lovely to hear them talk about finally being free to make plans for the future, which leads us to button three.
I wasn’t expecting this one, but I am so glad that this is the way the wedding of Vincent and Catherine finally happened. It was right to have it in the end come about as a spontaneous affair; casual, on their rooftop, with a newly ordained Tess leading the ceremony. It was light and sweet and I may have teared up a little. Nice touch that it took a few tries, but Tess finally did catch those flowers!
I think the finale wrapped up the season beautifully. It took the myth-arc for not just the season, but the entire series in many ways, and wrapped it up in a nice and tidy bridal bouquet bow. Sometimes the show tends to drag a little, or put too much emphasis on telling rather than showing, especially when it comes to the ongoing themes of dependency and not going it alone. I think that it serves a show like Beauty and the Beast well to have fewer episodes per season, even though it would be nice to not have to wait so long for the next one to start. I think it lends itself to leaner and more powerful storytelling and that is exactly what happened this season. It was nice to have a destiny myth-arc that is not just some vague romantic notion but an actual history with “real” people. Bringing Liam in as the beast from the past to connect it all to the present was an inspired idea and casting someone of Jason Gedrick’s caliber helped to give the whole story more credibility.
Cast, crew and writers really stepped up their game this season and gave us something to look forward to for season 4. I would love to hear your thoughts on the finale and how it wrapped things up. Thanks for letting me go along for the ride, Beasties! Now let’s chat; we have a long hiatus to fill!