by Mieke Trudeau
“How do we get back to our normal lives if we’re constantly playing whack-a-beast?” – Tess
I got a bit nostalgic, as I stood in a long line waiting to get into a panel at my local comic con (DC’s AwesomeCon) this past weekend. As I waited patiently to see John Barrowman with a few thousand of my fellow pop culture enthusiasts, I couldn’t help but think back a few years to the New York Comic Con where I first learned about this little show that could, and its fabulously enthusiastic fandom. As you may already know, I found myself in the Beauty and the Beast panel quite by accident back then, as I was actually there for the one that was to come after. As I watched clips and listened to Jay Ryan and Kristin Kreuk’s animated banter, I was intrigued; however, it was the overwhelmingly warm and positive reaction I got from the BatB fandom as I live tweeted the event, that got me to dive into catching up with the show. I wrote about the experience of becoming a Beastie in an article back then, and I haven’t looked back since! And here we find ourselves at the final season of this tenacious little show.
What a premiere of the fourth and last season it was! It was everything we have come to expect and love about Beauty and the Beast; romance, danger, humor and above all, loyalty. Let’s recap and talk about what happened in Madame et Monsieur Bete.
We meet up with all our friends two months after the events of last season’s finale. Vincent and Catherine (Jay Ryan and Kristin Kreuk) are on their honeymoon in Paris, but Cat’s perpetual worry about Vincent being discovered once more, keeps them cooped up in their room. Not sure either of them really minds though.
Meanwhile, back in New York, JT (Austin Basis) discovers that there is some talk about cross species genetics on the blogosphere and when he finds out that a particular blogger promises to reveal the truth about beasts the very next day, he runs to Tess (Nina Lisandrello) in alarm. But JT and Tess are about to move in together (awwww) and Tess is none to eager to “go backwards”, as she puts it. She figures that the DHS has covered their tracks pretty well and they have lived for two months without worry now. She wants to continue to put their beast troubles behind her and focus on their new “normal” lives.
Of course, our heroes’ lives are never going to be quite normal and not placated, JT turns to the Robin to his Batman; Heather (Nicole Gale Anderson), who happens to find herself a little lost anyway. It seems that both JT and Heather miss some of the action and purpose of their past as part of the beastly scoobie gang. Pretty soon, JT and Heather find themselves in familiar trouble when their plan to sabotage the blogger instead lands them face to face with a cold blooded killer. Heather ends up hurt and JT sees no other choice but to call Vincent and Cat. Tess is understandably upset and Nina Lisandrello gives us classic Tess when she first hugs JT in worry and then punches him for putting himself in harms way. Luckily Heather is OK and even meets a cute EMT (Michael Roark), of whom I suspect we will see more, and not just because Heather took a shine to him. His many questions seemed a little suspicious to me.
In France, Vincent and Cat are having a bit of trouble maintaining that whole “normal” thing themselves. When they finally do venture out on a nice romantic bike ride through the French country side, they stumble on a car accident that makes Vincent jump into beast mode in order to rescue the trapped motorist and his passenger. Between a suspicious local constable and curious passers by with cell phone cameras at the ready, it seems that our friends are not that sorry to go home.
Tess finally has to concede that JT was right to be concerned when the team discovers that the blogger was tortured and killed by a beast hunter (an appropriately chilling and menacing Peter Wingfield). His next logical stop is DHS Agent Russo and when Tess and Cat unfortunately get there too late to save him, they find that the sadistic killer is hot on Vincent’s trail. Cat decides to use herself as bait but gets nabbed by the mercenary before a distraught Vincent can stop him.
As the beast hunter prepares to torture Cat into spilling the beans on Vincent, he reveals that he was hired by an anonymous trophy collector for a price of five million dollars. Luckily, our intrepid Detective Chandler is no damsel in distress and she manages to beat her attacker and escape. As Vincent bursts in, in full beast mode, the surprised hunter meets his match and quite literally gets hoisted on his own petard, as he gets impaled on a poached elephant tusk.
The team now knows that their sense of safety and normalcy was of course not really meant to be. They all long for a happily ever after, but maybe it will always look different than the normal they so desperately want. JT explains it quite well; his past with Vincent has shaped who he is today and even if he doesn’t want to go back to the days of constant danger, he can’t just pretend none of it ever happened. JT wants to keep helping, wants to keep making a difference. For all of them it really continues to be about being part of a team, of something bigger than themselves and I couldn’t help but think; isn’t that what being in a fandom is about as well in many ways?
This episode felt the way Beauty and the Beast is supposed to feel to me; full of love and teamwork. The cast slipped back into their characters seamlessly. Jay Ryan and Kristin Kreuk were badass and romantic as ever as VinCat, Austin Basis was hilarious and touching as JT, Nina Lisandrello gave us feisty, caring and competent Tess and Nicole Gale Anderson managed once again to be the funniest, scene stealing side kick. The story felt familiar, yet promises a good send off. And of course it all ended with a romantic scene on the rooftop. What more could we ask for?
Hit me with your comments below, Beasties. This is your last season, lets make it count.