Beauty And The Beast 1.21 "Date Night" REVIEW

TV REVIEW Beast meets Beast

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Beauty And The Beast 1.21 "Date Night" TV REVIEW

Episode 1.21
Writers: Roger Grant (story), Jennifer Levin m& Sherri Cooper (teleplay)
Director: Kevin Fair

THE ONE WHERE ADA Gabriel Lowan reveals his beastly nature to Catherine and asks for Vincent’s help in exchange for a possible cure for them both. Meanwhile the mob is still after Lowan and Catherine must protect him.

VERDICT Once again an episode of Beauty And The Beast is a show of two halves. As seems to be the norm with this show these days, it’s not a bad episode exactly, just not very balanced. There’s plenty going on; the arc plot moves along well, there are some interesting revelations, and there’s some decent action. But it’s all let down by the two leads and their angst-ridden interactions and repetitive moaning.

This week’s episode starts off with Catherine having a pregnancy scare and the scare leads to many discussions of a normal life and kids and white picket fences; things that Catherine and Vincent can never have. The door to this week’s relationship angst is opened early.

For the fourth episode in a row ADA Gabriel Lowan is the character responsible for the main thrust of the plotting. After last week’s mob hit the ADA is in protective custody and, in a move which surprised us, Lowan reveals his beastly nature to Catherine in the pre-credit teaser and asks to meet Vincent.

The pills we saw him take a few episodes back do, in fact, prevent him hulking out, but the meds aren’t working like they used to, so Lowan wants to meet Vincent to see if they can help each other with a cure. This has been is entire reason for hunting for Vincent since the character first arrived.

None of these revelations are exactly surprising; we’d figured out what Lowan was when we saw his glowy eyes last week (actually, we’d suspected before that, but the eyes proved it). We’d had a clue about the meds and what they did, and we also had a good idea of the character’s motivation. Despite this lack of real surprise, Sendhil Ramamurthy plays the character with a brilliant mix of slime and easy friendliness and the confrontation with Catherine is gripping stuff. Unfortunately the effect this news has on the Vincent/Catherine dynamic is less that gripping...

Catherine goes to Vincent with the news about Lowan and the meds and we have some relationship angst.

Meanwhile there’s a mob attack on Lowan’s safe house which results in him loose in the city in his beast form and Vincent and Catherine have to track him down.

This leads to more relationship angst.

After finding Lowan and getting his beast under control Lowan offers Vincent his drugs to see if they work on him. The drugs do work and Catherine and Vincent are able to have a night out together – the date night in the episode’s title – with no fear of Vincent’s Hulk making an appearance.

This leads to more relationship angst.

JT finds that while the drugs might work, repeated use would cause irreparable damage to Vincent.

This leads to more relationship angst.

Vincent decides to take another pill anyway just in time for a mob goon to break into Catherine’s house and beat him up.

More angst.

As you can see, the characters discuss the relationship far too much. We realise the show is called Beauty And The Beast and that the main focus is Catherine and Vincent and that this is a show from the CW network… but the relationship angst is far too repetitive. For a few episodes after the pair got together – which we think took far too long and was wrapped in far too much angst anyway – the balance was pretty good, and the show looked like it was finally finding its self, but things seem to have dropped back into,“How can we cause Vincent and Catherine trouble?” mode to the detriment of all other plot.

As we said at the top the rest of the episode is very good, the scenes in between the angsty moments are very good. This could be an excellent TV show, but the makers really need to stop hitting us over the head with all the angst.

STALKER BEHAVIOUR OF THE WEEK We had some beastly stalking this week. Lowan’s beast persona hunts down Vincent and ends up giving JT a nasty surprise. No stalking of the creepy kind though; it’s all got a bit thin on the ground since the demise of Creepy ME Guy.

MURDER DEATH KILL The mob is still after Lowan. He kills an assassin. Later Catherine and Vincent take one enforcer each down. Vincent kills his attacker while Catherine leaves hers alive so he can come back for revenge later.

DRUGS ARE BAD M’KAY The idea of Vincent not caring that the meds which stop his beast might kill him is an interesting one. That the character is willing to take the meds to get a normal life even if that life would be shortened is compelling. Unfortunately Vincent comes clean with Catherine and it looks like this idea won’t be explored any further.

BEST LACK OF LAME EVIL ORGANISATION Muirfield gets plenty of name-checking in this episode but doesn’t actually appear. We had hoped that the finale would be Catherine and the gang taking them on, but it looks like Lowan will be the focus of the finale. One other point about Muirfield: if one mob gang member can hunt down Catherine’s address and try to kill her there in the space of a single episode how come Muirfield can’t find her? Or find Lowan, who’s been out there in the world with a very public job for over 20 years?

BEST LACK OF PRODUCT PLACEMENT After having a two-minute KIA advert wedged into the last six episodes this episode didn’t have a single scene set in a car. KIA won’t be happy.

HE’S A BADDIE In exchange for meds Vincent gives Lowan a sample of his blood. At the end of the episode it’s revealed that Vincent’s blood can help Lowan but the procedure to get what’s needed will kill Vincent. Lowan seems to be okay with this.

Catherine: "Tess. I’m... I’m ten days late."
Tess: "Oh."
Catherine: "Don’t say, ‘Oh,’ like that. We haven’t been partners for a while, maybe we’re just off schedule."
Tess: "Sorry, it’s just my head went to Breaking Dawn part 2."

Or maybe…

Catherine: "Gabe has corrupted DNA."
Tess: "Excuse me!"
Catherine: "Yeah, he’s stable right now but his eyes are yellow and..."
Tess: "Is Gabe like Vincent? What is this? The zombie apocalypse!"

Or even…

Vincent: "There’s someone else in the world with corrupted DNA.”
JT: "Oh, God, she is pregnant."
Vincent: "No, Gabe."
JT: "Gabe got her pregnant?"
Vincent: "Gabe is the one with corrupted DNA"
JT: "I’m sorry. What?"

Steven Ellis @Steven Ellis

New episodes of Beauty And The Beast air in the UK on Watch on Wednesdays at 9pm

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