by Mieke Trudeau
“Catherine, if you can hear me, I need you.”
So far this season, Beauty and the Beast has examined its past, looked ahead at possible futures and thrown us a few “what ifs”. In Beast of Times, Worst of Times, the show goes back to the core of the story, the bare bones beginning of it all; the undeniable fact that Vincent is a beast. So far love has saved the man, but will it always? The line Vincent crossed in this episode certainly set our heroes on a familiar path.
The episode opens with a chaotic scene; the whole crew is lying low at JT’s. Everyone is itching to jump into action, but since they are all in constant danger now, hiding until new clues emerge about who is after them, seems like a good choice. DHS Deputy Director Hill (Andrew Stewart-Jones) sure thinks so. His attitude all along has been strangely self-centered. He inherited these secrets and they have put him in danger to be sure, but his unwillingness to see any other side to the matter seems unfitting to his position.
Hill brings Cat and Vincent another possible suspect and this time it is someone with a direct tie to not only the super soldier program, but to Vincent himself; his former wartime commander, Colonel Kurt Fuller (James McGowan). All those years ago, it was the Colonel who wiped out an entire garrison of super soldiers, barely missing Vincent in the process. Vincent is visibly shaken by the prospect of revisiting this particular part of his past, but Cat convinces him that as long as they work together, everything will be alright. It comes as no surprise that this bit of foreshadowing plays out just as feared; Vincent makes it onto the highly fortified base with a plan to download compromising evidence off a super secret computer, but as soon as he gets separated from Cat’s reassuring voice in his earpiece, all things go to hell. Not only is Colonel Fuller not quite who Vincent thought he was, but the device that Deputy Hill gave Vincent to plug into the computer turns out not to be for hacking, but rather for blowing up. Yes, the strange vibe we have been getting off our Deputy Hill was dead on; Hill is the new threat who has been trying to kill the team. Turns out the deputy wasn’t too keen on having his life and job perpetually threatened, so he is aiming to have his “beast problem” permanently eliminated.
Vincent’s biggest fear, besides losing Cat, is to once again lose control of his beast side. As I mentioned, Vincent being a beast has been the first part of the core of the story all along. It provides all the danger and conflict. Vincent the beast is dangerous, different, misunderstood. No wonder Hill can so easily use everything that has happened, the files full of cases that make up three+ seasons of the show, against Vincent. With a slightly different interpretation, a bit of spin and law enforcement muscle, Vincent’s story is made into one of terrorism, a PTSD fueled rampage of fear and destruction. Hill didn’t even have to plant the bomb, Vincent did it for him. Hill’s plan to set up and eliminate his beast problem once and for all, only backfires when he pumps Vincent full of adrenaline, in order to expose him as the beast he is, so Hill can justifiably kill him. Of course Hill has no real idea who and what he is dealing with and when the uncontrollable beast comes out, he snaps the deputy’s neck like a twig. Cat can only look on in horror, as even she can no longer reach the man within the creature.
This, of course, is the second part of the core of the story; how love can conquer the beast within. It is therefore heartbreaking to see Cat powerless to stop Vincent from crossing over that terrible line and knowing how much this is exactly what Vincent fears. There is nothing left now, but to go back underground, to run and hope for a way out of this mess. Once again, the show has made a full circle and put us and our heroes back to where it all started; hiding in fear, from a hostile world.
The rest of the team, meanwhile, is falling a apart a bit. A reporter is doggedly pursuing the beast story unearthed by those pesky bloggers. Heather leaves a befuddled (or is he?!) Kyle behind as soon as she hears of Cat and Vincent’s troubles and JT and Tess are nowhere nearer a reconciliation. JT scores an interview with a rep from a prestigious biotech company and although the resulting banter and bickering with Tess is amusing on one level, I wasn’t terribly charmed by JT’s leering at his interviewer, a well-respected leader in JT’s field, just because she was young, female and attractive. The point of the scene nevertheless hit home, showing Tess’ continued investment in their relationship, and JT’s ongoing cluelessness on how to fix things from his end.
Beast of Times, Worst of Times is yet another worthy installment in this wrap up season of Beauty and the Beast. In the past the show has sometimes tended to get a bit stuck in its formula, but not this season. Season four is still going full steam in unraveling the show in order to bring it to a satisfying end. Hit me up with your thoughts about where things are and where they are going with a comment below, Beasties and I will see you Thursday evening on the CW!