Beauty And The Beast 1.08 "Trapped" REVIEW
Writer: Emily Silver
Director: Paul Fox
THE ONE WHERE Vincent and JT look into the blackout problem which leads to Vincent remembering his time in Afghanistan and Catherine dumps having to protect an obnoxious teen music star on her partner.
VERDICT If you don’t look too closely, this week’s episode seems to be pretty good. We have some revelations about Vincent’s past; we have movement on the cause of his blackouts which leads to a cure; Catherine, Vincent and JT work well together as a team… The episode feels like the best yet by far.
But pay too close attention and it starts to fall apart.
The experiment TJ performs to find out more about the blackouts unlocks memories of Vincent’s time in Afghanistan and his part in the super solider trials. This is a great move and the glimpse at what was going on and how it all fell apart is intriguing. It’s no surprise that we see Catherine’s mother there; we’ve been expecting this revelation since the Muirfield guy showed Catherine the photo of her mum in a lab coat a few episodes back.
At last we find out something about what happened to Vincent in Afghanistan, but it’s all a little trite that the only things he remembers are exposition-heavy conversations with Catherine’s mum and a few other details relevant to the blackouts issue. For a scientist involved in a secret drugs trial Catherine’s mum is very quick to explain as much as she can to one of the guinea pig grunts. Including the fact that the scientists don’t really know exactly what the serum will do. The line, “I’m doing this to protect my daughters” line is dropped in very heavy handedly, too.
And the revelation that she’s not really a baddie evil scientist but a goody?
Next we have the revelation that all of Catherine’s mother’s work is in storage at the family home. You know; the secret government files she had while she was working on the secret government projects. Well, they’re all locked away in the storage room behind the wine rack. Come on! The woman was killed because of secrets she knew and we’re supposed to believe that all of her notes were just left untouched for years in the garage?
Then Catherine helps JT break into the crime lab – where they just happen to have all the tools he needs to make the serum from the recipe they found in Catherine’s mum’s book – and he cooks a cure in just a few hours. Please.
It’s a move in the right direction. The show is concentrating on finding out stuff concerning the main arc-related mysteries, and getting the leads to work together is a good thing – certainly more interesting than the relationship angst which has dominated the show of late – but the handling of the details here is terrible. It’s like a romance writer suddenly tried to write a science journal but didn’t bother to do any research. None of it hangs together at all.
The crime of the week is barely sketched in. With so much happening with Catherine, Vincent and JT, the police aspects just feel like something to keep the partner out of the way for huge chunks of time. Her interactions with the teen star are supposed to be amusing. They end up just being a bit lame. Are the police allowed to just walk into people’s offices and hunt about for evidence? Isn’t there a search warrant thing needed?
Creepy ME is given short shrift too. There’s a quick scene about him still being bothered by last week’s events but very little is done to flesh this out. It’s good that they aren’t forgetting about this thread. As we said last week it could be good for the character to have something to do other than letch over Catherine, and it would also be interesting to have someone trying to find out more about Vincent other than the shady Muirfield guys. We wonder if creepy ME guy’ll realise that it was Catherine who let JT in his lab or whether he already suspects she did.
It is good to see Catherine being able to calm Vincent down when he’s in his beast state, though. We know she’s done it before but here it felt like a real breakthrough in their dynamic.
On the whole this was a slight improvement on what we’ve come to expect. Nothing amazing, but definitely a step in the right direction. Now, if they can just get the details a bit more believable this show may head into four-star territory.
BEST CHARACTER IN A PHONE While hunting through her parent’s garage for secret super soldier serum formulas Catherine has little pocket JT along for the ride. Everyone should have one.
STALKER BEHAVIOUR OF THE WEEK No one. Not one character does anything remotely stalker-like or creepy. Let us say that again… NO ONE! Vincent turns up at the cemetery to see Catherine at the end but, dare we say it, that actually comes across as quite sweet.
VINCENT HULKS OUT We have two “Hulk out” moments here, one in the present with JT in the lab and one in flashback as Vincent saves Catherine’s mother from a naughty soldier. The two events are nicely played against each other; wild Vincent threatening his friend and in control Vincent defending a threatened woman. We also get to find out just how he got the scar on his cheek which is a nice touch.
MURDER DEATH KILL The case of the week involves a teen star and possible hate mail, stalker issues. Turns out it was all set up to grab headlines and sell a book. We knew it was the manager as soon as we heard that accent.
WE CAN’T GO ON TOGETHER, WITH SUSPICIOUS MINDS We think Catherine’s dad is going to be a bad ’un. No real reason. We just have a feeling.
Police partner lady: "If you sing again I’ll arrest you!"
Steven Ellis @Steven Ellis
Beauty and the Beast has been picked up by Watch in the UK for broadcast early next year