Beauty And The Beast 1.18 "Heart Of Darkness" TV REVIEW
Writers: Roger Grant & Blair Singer
Director: Scott Peters
THE ONE WHERE Creepy ME Guy comes clean about everything with Catherine, but it’s all a ruse to get her out of the way while Muirfield takes down Vincent. Catherine tires to rescue Vincent and gets help from unexpected sources.
VERDICT This show has taken a while to find its feet but we think it might have finally hit a decent stride; the last four episodes have shown considerable improvement.
This week’s episode continues two running plot threads; the episode is led by Creepy ME Guy’s reaction to finding out about Vincent and Catherine. He comes clean with Catherine about what he knows and tells her he’s been working with Muirfield. But it’s all a lie to get Catherine out of the way while Muirfield search the sewers for Vincent.
The other continuing plot is Police Partner’s… no, let’s call her Tess from now on; over the last three episodes this character has finally become a real person, so we’re awarding her a name. Tess’s plot concerns her reactions to who and what Vincent is and his relationship to Catherine. Tess comes across as someone who has Catherine’s back and who is both happy and cautious about her friend’s situation.
These two “people finding out about Vincent” plots become intertwined this week as Creepy ME Guy helps Muirfield hunt down Vincent and Tess helps Catherine and JT get him back. JT and Tess even seem to have the makings of a nice comedy duo.
Creepy ME Guy’s slow realisation that Muirfield are the bad guys is telegraphed but no less compelling because of it. We also saw his sacrifice at the end coming a mile off but we were still surprised when he actually died. We expected a last minute save.
The final word from Catherine seems to suggest that the season will wrap up with our plucky heroes taking the fight to Muirfield. This is something we look forward to seeing.
There are a few niggles; we won’t ask just how Muirfield got their soldiers to Creepy ME and Vincent’s location so fast or how they commandeered an entire subway platform to stage their ambush.
Agent Kyle shooting Creepy ME Guy in the stomach right after saying he was going to kill him smacks of plot contrivance. Especially considering Kyle then leaves him bleeding on the floor so he can be rescued later. If Kyle wanted Creepy ME Guy dead, why didn’t he just shoot him in the head?
We also didn’t buy Deputy DA Lowan accepting Creepy Me Guy’s emailed in confession. Lowan’s not happy about the resolution to the Vigilante case and is investigating Catherine and her colleagues doggedly and he also has ulterior motives. The email confession and Lowan’s acceptance of it stretched credulity.
Dropping the “crime of the week” format seems to have been Beauty And The Beast ’s biggest leap forward. Getting rid of by-the-numbers crime plotting has allowed the leads to become characters we care about rather than just people who look like they’re play at being cops.
Another move in the right direction is making Catherine and Vincent a couple. Since this happened the angst quotient each week has dropped to a believable, story-relevant level; there’s angst this week and it’s perfectly acceptable given the events.
The third big improvement is letting people find out about Vincent. Before this the character was mainly seen mooning over Catherine or acting like a spoiled child when JT gave him reality checks. Now V – which gives both the character and the actor a chance to show more depth. There are good examples in this episode; Vincent’s conversation with Creepy ME Guy on the subway is genuinely gripping, as is the resolution. We’ll even admit to not having a clue where the confrontation was going and being as surprised as Vincent about the trap he’d walked into. A later conversation between Creepy ME Guy and an imprisoned Vincent is equally compelling.
Another aspect of people knowing about Vincent is a lack of Kristin Kreuk’s terrible, uncomfortable, “I’m hiding things” acting, which we really don’t miss at all.
So, all in all that’s a lot of things this show is finally getting right, it’s not the best show on the telly but it is turning into a pretty entertaining hour of TV. We’re as surprised as anyone else by this turn of events.
TO BE REVEALLED Creepy ME Guy finds out something about Catherine’s parents while rifling through Muirfield’s files, something Vincent knows about, but says Catherine can never know. We said we thought Daddy Chandler was dodgy way back in episode six. We still think that.
Towards the end of the episode Deputy DA Lowan has some sort of seizure which affects his hand; he quickly fumbles for some drugs. Our money is still on him having been experimented on by Muirfield.
STALKER BEHAVIOUR OF THE WEEK Yet again there’s no actual stalking in this episode, although Creepy ME Guy admits to Catherine that he spied on her and Vincent. Vincent also references his watching Catherine from afar for years. Some might find the idea of Vincent as a guardian angel quite romantic but we think he always sound a little bit creepy.
LAMEST EVIL ORGANISATION EVER Muirfield seems to have finally realised that sending three blokes at a time up against Vincent will never work.
MURDER DEATH KILL No crime of the week. But there is a death; Creepy ME Guy makes the ultimate sacrifice after realising what a creep he’s been. Farewell Creepy ME Guy; you may have been a creepy bloke but you came good in the end and we’re going to miss you now you’re gone. But we won’t miss typing “Creepy ME Guy”; boy did we create a rod for our own back with that one.
MORE BIG WHITE ROOM After showing a previous love for big white rooms, Muirfield shows it has a big white waiting room. Presumably it’s where you wait in before being invited into the big white room. They also have a small white prison cell which they keep in a very big white room.
BEST PRODUCT PLACEMENT KIA! After a slow, loving panning shot across the back end of a Kia Optima, we’re treated to a demo of the cars one touch wiggly wing mirrors feature. Swanky.
Tess: "First he was a serial killer we were chasing, now he’s Hulk with a heart of gold."
JT: "Is she cool?"
Tess: "Cooler than you in a ladies locker room."
JT: "I’m JT Forbes, I’m sorry about the whole tranq thing..."
Tess: "What tranq thing?"
Catherine: "Can we skip this part?"
Steven Ellis @Steven Ellis
New episodes of Beauty And The Beast air in the UK on Watch on Wednesdays at 9pm