Beauty And The Beast 1.07 "Worth" REVIEW
Writers: Brain Peterson, Kelly Souders
Director: Rick Bota
THE ONE WHERE Everybody finds out about Vincent’s blackouts and are all worried that he might have murdered someone. Catherine frowns a lot.
VERDICT Hallelujah! They’ve toned down the “Everybody’s fascinated by Catherine’s love life” chatter this week. Well, a neighbour who we’ve never met before asks about it and the partner is still trying to hook Catherine up (this time with tickets to a firemen’s calendar launch party). But most of the episode is about stuff actually happening rather than talk of stuff that isn’t happening. It’s a refreshing change.
After being teased with hints of Vincent’s blackouts for a few weeks, we finally have an episode in which they become the main focus. The idea that Vincent may have killed someone during one of his blackouts is an obvious plot-device. The slow drip of people suspecting him as the events tie up is good, but it was obvious that there was always going to be something else going on because there’s no way the show would make one of its leads a murderer. Well, not a cold blooded, maniacal one anyway. At least Vincent comes clean over his possible involvement pretty quickly which, given how often characters in this show don’t tell each other stuff, is a minor miracle.
JT really kicks it up a gear. After a few poor episode he’s back to being our favourite character. Here he shoots Vincent with a tranquiliser gun, fobs Catherine off by being nice to her and even stands up for Vincent pretty convincingly. He also gets to be sarcastic quite a bit. We know how he feels. The show has the same effect on us.
The college involvement in this week’s police case felt old; it’s the same tropes from a hundred other college crime plots. Frat boys, pledges, mean bully kids, scared kids. This is another one of those “done better before” police procedural routines that this show excels at. Would it be too much to ask them to try something original?
With Vincent possibly involved in this week’s crime, at least the outcome of the case wasn’t obvious until near the end of the episode, for a change; a vast improvement on spotting the killer as soon as we see them which is usually the case. Although we did figure it out long before the reveal; the intern was far too happy and, as a newly introduced character, was obviously going to be a wrong ’un in some way. If they’d introduced him a few episodes back maybe it wouldn’t have felt quite so hackneyed.
The idea of a copy-cat murderer recreating famous murders is nothing new. The idea that the next murder scene to be recreated just happens to be something involving Catherine and Vincent's past was way too implausible. And how is Vincent breaking up a fight between Catherine and some dodgy government types (from the pilot) supposed to a famous murder scene? Just how Catherine figured this all out off a single newspaper cutting is beyond us. It made no sense because we remember the scene Catherine is referring to happening in a well-lit, in-use station, not the abandoned track we end up in. The use of an old abandoned track, by the way, is another well-worn and over used crime plot device. It’s like they don’t even try anymore.
The scene after Creepy ME guy is kidnapped, when all the cops are spurred into action, is a bit clunky. Kreuk looks like she’s parroting the words without having a clue about what any of it meant and it really shows. We’ve seen Star Trek technobabble delivered with more conviction. Frowning and overly enunciating every syllable does not make for convincing drama. Seven episodes in and we still don’t buy these guys as cops...
The bit with Creepy ME guy video calling Catherine is also dodgy. It stuck out like a sore thumb; none of these characters have ever video called each other before and they just happen to communicate that way on the one occasion someone gets attacked so Catherine can know it’s happened. That’s just lazy writing right there. (See below for another issue with this scene.)
All that being said, this was a better episode than most. There was some real drama here with the possibility of more. Having Creepy ME guy witness a Vincent attack is an interesting move. He’s already seen Catherine and Vincent together previously. We wonder if he’s going to be the guy asking the questions and figuring things out, and if so, how that will play out. There’s also the fact that the police have been alerted to Vincent now, after he kills this week’s bad guy, and that too could lead to some interesting repercussions. We just hope the show can do something with the storylines it’s teeing up. Looking at Catherine’s expression while her boss talks about the hunt for the vigilante suggests she could give the whole thing away with her frowns and her terrible poker face.
The episode ends with Vincent voluntarily locked up and still no clue as to the cause or cure for his blackouts, and you know what? We’re actually looking forward to finding out more. There’s still far too much angst and too many frowny meaningful looks, but the show is getting a little bit better.
STALKER BEHAVIOUR OF THE WEEK Midway through the episode, Vincent steps out of the shadows in a creepy-possible-crime-scene attic. He says, “I’m so sorry, I followed you.” No, he’s not creepy at all. Catherine jumps at first and then, of course, she melts. Get a clue woman!
STRANGE CAMERA ANGLES When Creepy ME guys is attacked while video chatting to Catherine we see the angle of the camera picture wobble and go to a view across a concrete floor. When we see the phone seconds later it’s lying flat meaning all we’d see is the wooden ceiling.
THE 555 THING Catherine is given a phone number by fireman model September. The number he writes is 212-555-0100. We all know that the 555 prefix on phone numbers is a fake number only used for TV and movies, but in fact, only 555-0100 to 555-0199 are reserved for fictional use. There are plenty of 555 prefixes that will actually connect you to a real phone. 555-1212 for example will get you through to directory assistance in most of the USA and Canada.
MURDER DEATH KILL College party goers find a murdered body on campus; everybody thinks Vincent might have done it but the reality is way more convoluted and unbelievable than that.
JT ( as Catherine storms in): “You forgot to turn on the security? What’s the point? ”
Catherine: “Vincent, I need you. Someone took Evan.”
JT: “The guy from her birthday? ”
Catherine: “Yes. ”
JT: “The one that you kissed? ”
Vincent: “JT! ”
JT: “Just clarifying...”
Steven Ellis @Steven Ellis
Beauty and the Beast has been picked up by Watch in the UK for broadcast early next year