Beauty And The Beast 1.05 "Saturn Returns" REVIEW
Writers: Blair Singer, Kelly Souders
Director: Steve Adelson
THE ONE WHERE A woman goes missing, Catherine has a birthday and Vincent manages to get his picture in the paper.
VERDICT For some reason this week every single character manages to start the show irritating the hell out of us. JT and Vincent talk about Catherine again and JT sounds like nothing more than a stereotypical nagging wife. The two men then start talking about relationships. Catherine’s sister assumes Catherine has been out with a bloke because she gets home late at night. The police partner (when she becomes interesting in any way whatsoever we’ll bother remembering her name) asks about a secret boyfriend when Catherine receives flowers on her birthday. Even the creepy ME has joined an online dating site. I know the demographic, but please, can something not be about looking for love or who’s dating who, secretly or otherwise? And is there anyone in this show who doesn’t give or receive unwanted relationship advice? Maybe they should change the name of the show from Beauty And The Beast to Beverly Hulk 90210 or Dawson’s Creature .
Maybe if somewhere in the last four episodes the writing or acting had made us care even a little about these people we’d be interested in their love lives. As it is they’re still the blank slates that they were when we were first introduced to them and are in fact a lot less interesting as times goes by.
This week’s “Vincent in danger” plot is a result of his stopping a robbery and getting caught on CCTV, which ends with his photo appearing in the newspaper. He’s been doing the lone vigilante thing since 2003 and this hasn’t happened before? Or you know, every other week? Surely the possibility of getting caught on camera has been considered something worth thinking about.
To add insult to terrible plot Catherine then tells Vincent and JT that they have to be more careful. You know, Catherine, who’s spent the entire series so far taking stupid risks and getting them all into more trouble than she’s worth?
The explanation Catherine gives for not wanting to celebrate her birthday was supposed to tug the heart strings; instead it just made her look like a whiny bitch. JT talking about dating a work colleague later on comes across equally whiny. JT was our favourite character, but this week he’s been drawn into the needless repetitive melodrama of it all which was disappointing.
Vincent trying to tell Catherine she should leave him alone because he doesn’t want her to lose her life is kind of too little too late. They’ve spent every episode so far arranging and rearranging how they’ll interact, how they’ll contact each other or whether they should even be in contact at all. How many times can we rehash the same conversation? Find a format and stick with it for God’s sake.
Moving onto this week’s crime, as soon as we saw the newspaper article we knew that the woman was in witness protection or hiding in some way. That’s three weeks in a row we’ve figured out the crime plot in the first 15 minutes of the show. And low and behold she’s in witness protection. Are they really just going through the Big Book Of Cop Show clichés methodically, chapter by chapter every week? Every case so far has had no originality whatsoever and we can cite many times when it’s been done better elsewhere. We also pegged the marshal guy as a bad ’un too. They really must do better.
The crime story each week is supposed to reflect or reinforce the angst plot the character are going through; watching Catherine listen to the missing woman talking about her life but thinking about her own and Vincent’s predicament came across as really self-involved. Probably not what the show makers were going for.
The scenes at Catherine’s surprise party looked exactly like a bunch of stars from a TV show doing their bit while the extras filled up the back of screen. There was no sign whatsoever that Catherine knew or even cared about any of these people. The only people we saw anything of were the sister, the work mates and the ME guy’s date. And speaking of the ME guy; his level of creepiness went up a few notched after his snatched kiss with Catherine and the, “I was drunk”/”You didn’t push me away,” bit. And, of course, Vincent was spying at the window on the whole thing, because that’s what he does.
The one thing this episode had going for it was the brief moments of Vincent suffering some sort of dizzy spells which culminated in him passing out and later waking up on top of a bridge support. The “What? Why? Who?” of this development could be something interesting. God knows this show needs interesting.
After a slight improvement last week this show has slipped back into being repetitive and unoriginal. And as these reviews have said time and again the writers need to figure out the Catherine/Vincent dynamic; pick a way to make them work together and stick with it, because this is getting really old really fast. Still it just got picked up for a full season so someone must like what they’re doing.
BEST INCERTION OF A USB STICK EVER Catherine has some information on a memory stick and she slides it straight into the laptop’s USB port first time without having to turn it over or fiddle with it at all. Come on, that is utterly impossible. There’s being a fantasy show and then there’s stretching credulity to breaking point.
BEST FIGHT SCENE Once again Catherine is seen to kick some serious ass. She beats the hell out the guy chasing this week’s victim.
SCIENCE OF THE WEEK Creepy ME guy tests hair and a blood sample found at a crime scene and says they’re from the same person; a woman in her mid-to-late twenties. Can DNA really tell a person’s age?
STALKER BEHAVIOUR OF THE WEEK The creepy smile Vincent wears after he tells Catherine how he knows when her birthday is, “Been watching over you, remember.” Seriously, do girls find this kind of thing hot?
MURDER DEATH KILL A woman goes missing under suspicious circumstances.
A Creaky Door: "Phfuuuueeeert."
Nothing anyone said this week stuck in our heads. But the door sounded like a fart. Awesome.
Steven Ellis @Steven Ellis
Beauty And The Beast has been picked up by Watch in the UK for broadcast early next year