Beauty And The Beast 1.19 "Playing With Fire" TV REVIEW
Writer: Brian Studler
Director: Mike Rohl
THE ONE WHERE Mourning the loss of a colleague, Catherine gets a chance to strike back at Muirfield. Deputy DA Lowan comes clean about who he is and what his goals are. Meanwhile Vincent hunts for a new place to live.
VERDICT A solid, if slightly flawed, episode of Beauty And The Beast this week. Not quite as good as recent weeks but nowhere near as bad as what went before.
The episode picks up the pieces of last week’s shock ending and we find Catherine feeling guilty about the death of Creepy ME Guy. Elsewhere Joe the police chief wants to hunt Creepy ME down as he believes the confession email sent last week and thinks the former coroner is alive and well and on the run. Tess is feeling guilty because she knows the truth and can’t tell Joe what really happened. The Tess/Joe stuff continues to be uninteresting but the actors are trying to do what they can with a lame storyline.
The highlight of the episode is Sendhil Ramamurthy’s Deputy DA Lowan. We find out a lot about Lowan this week and it’s far from what we thought, but also confirms some of our suspicions as well. After being a vaguely creepy two-dimensional character up to this point, this week he’s really given some depth and motivation. It seems Lowan’s actually a good guy and possibly not half as creepy as we thought. Although it must be said that some of the revelations seem like a big U-turn on the way the character has been portrayed before. It might all be misdirection but given that we see some flashbacks we think Lowan might be telling Catherine the truth.
Lowan steals files from Creepy ME Guy’s house, a set of files which Catherine wants; when she confronts him he shares what he knows about Muirfield and tries to get Catherine’s help. Lowan and Catherine work together a lot this week; the two actually make a pretty good team and have some great onscreen chemistry. We wonder if Vincent will be jealous about this later.
There’s a little angst as Catherine and Vincent fall back into the stubborn protect-each-other-by-not-being-honest habits of earlier episodes. Catherine teams up with Lowan even though she’s still suspicious of him and Vincent and JT do their own detective work.
It all comes together in the end and Vincent gets to jump in at the last minute to save the day. The gang doesn’t get one over on Muirfield and while Catherine’s reasons for sabotaging the mission are understandable they could turn out to be a bit stupid in the long run.
On a lighter note, Vincent and JT finally find a new home. After spending a lot of the last four episodes in the sewers we really thought the new home would be subterranean – it would have also been a nice nod to the ’80s TV show – but it seems that Vincent has found an old abandoned gentlemen’s club. At least it isn’t another factory.
There are a few niggles with the episode. The Muirfield guy turning up out of the blue was all too convenient and the clue-filled video he made on his phone right before getting shot stretches credulity a little. That the clues leads to another clue contained within Creepy ME Guy’s files seemed a little too easy as well.
Several people talk about what might happen if Muirfield finds Catherine and are surprised the wounded man was able to find her so easily. Considering Muirfield has previously hacked Catherine’s work computer, kidnapped her, offered her a deal, knows who her mum was and had many run-ins with her over the series, we found it a bit odd that we’re supposed to think they don’t know who she is, where she works or anything else about her.
STALKER BEHAVIOUR OF THE WEEK While Catherine works with Lowan, Vincent spies on the Deputy DA from a nearby rooftop. Not really stalking but Vincent does spend a lot of time watching people from rooftops.
REVELATIONS As we suspected, Lowan was experimented on by Muirfield. This episode has flashbacks to him as a child and he explains to Catherine some of what they did to him. We also find out that it was Catherine’s mum who him smuggled him out. Lowan also has a girlfriend who, from the glimpse of the huge scar on her back, was experimented on as well. Or maybe she’s a Cylon.
MORE BIG WHITE ROOM In a flashback to Lowan’s past we find that Muirfield’s love of big white interiors goes back years.
MURDER DEATH KILL A wounded man arrives at the police station asking for Catherine and then dies on the floor. At first we thought he was the guy Creepy ME Guy was talking to at Muirfield last week but it turns out he’s some other disillusioned Muirfield operative.
BEST PRODUCT PLACEMENT KIA! This week in blatant advert land we’re treated to a pretty front on view of the car and a bizarre through the sun roof shot of Lowan. They’re just shameless.
JT: "I got nothing. I searched every database I could think of."
Vincent: "Nothing called The Orchard?"
JT: "There’s thousands of things called The Orchard. Bars, restaurants, shops... Actual orchards."
Steven Ellis @Steven Ellis
New episodes of Beauty And The Beast air in the UK on Watch on Wednesdays at 9pm