Beauty & the Beast 2.17 “Beast is the New Black” Review & Analysis

Beauty & the Beast 2.17 “Beast is the New Black”

Review & Analysis

§ Beauty & the Beast 2.16 “About Last Night” Recap §

When BATB went on a hiatus after its Spring Midseason Finale, Beasties were left with a lot of questions.

  1. What’s going on with JT&T? Are they a couple? Friends with Benefits? Confused about their feelings?
  2. Is Gabe responsible for Vincent’s arrest? (The writers made it seem like that was the case, but after seeing 2.17, it’s clear there’s a larger enemy out there).
  3. If not Gabe, then who?
  4. How will Vincent survive prison?
  5. Can Cat & Co. figure out a way to exonerate Vincent?
  6. If not, what will happen instead?
Vincent Keller (Jay Ryan) & Catherine Chandler (Kristin Kreuk)
Vincent Keller (Jay Ryan) & Catherine Chandler (Kristin Kreuk)

Multiple questions were left unanswered, and it wouldn’t be until at least three months later where a fraction of them are answered. Beasties have fought for BATB through thick and thin, some could barely stomach some of the episodes of season 2, but BATB’s truest fans rode the rollercoaster, withstanding the ups, downs and the loop-di-loops. Yes, BATB lost fans due to the turn of the series, but slowly pulled more fans into the show.

§A Hope for the Future§

With everything the Beasties have done to promote BATB, trend BATB and share their reasons why they love BATB, CW’s Beauty & the Beast was granted a third season. The number of episodes is still up in the air. While Kristin Kreuk believes there will be only 13 episodes (source), Austin Basis is still unsure (source). Whether the number is 13 or 22, Beasties should be proud to see BATB live on! If the fans continue everything they have done thus far to save the show, there is no doubt in my mind that BATB will live another day and see a season 4. Don’t let the number of episodes discourage you from thinking the show is over because it obviously isn’t.

Congratulations to the BATBWriters for a fantastic return in showcasing the first of six final Season 2 episodes. The ratings for 2.17 were far greater than it has been all season—even since December 2013! BATB had a total of 1.36 MILLION viewers last night in the United States (source); I don’t know if that’s because all of the other CW shows are on their summer hiatuses or if the Beasties have grown since the Spring Midseason Finale (possibly both scenarios are factors), but I must congratulate the fans (myself included) and the cast and crew for a phenomenal return. Let’s hope the ratings can remain above 1 Million OR improve as the season comes to a close in July.

Now, for what you’ve been waiting for….

§ Beauty & the Beast 2.17 “Beast is the New Black” Analysis§

In the past, I have analyzed BATB by going through scene by scene of the episodes and detailing my thoughts in the process. I’m going to try things a bit differently for sake of time and my Carpal Tunnel. Instead of doing a scene-by-scene analysis, I’m going to go through the characters, detailing their performance and role in the episode and possibly figuring out how they will be important in the next 5 episodes of the season.

§Vincent Keller§

Vincent Keller (Jay Ryan)
Vincent Keller (Jay Ryan)

Vincent has been arrested—his arrest is probably the biggest trial he will have to overcome if he ever wishes to pursue a somewhat normal life with his girlfriend, Catherine Chandler. Before the beast was brainwashed, he was seen as an altruistic sort of man (kind of like Captain America) and was willing to do whatever he could to ensure Catherine’s life wasn’t destroyed due to her relationship with him. In 2.17 “Beast is the New Black,” we get a major glimpse of that old Vincent Keller.

In order to make sure Catherine didn’t throw her life away by trying to help him, he makes plans to confess to the murder of Curt Windsor.

Unfortunately, when his girlfriend drops the bomb on him, saying she will incriminate herself for covering things up, he has to change his tactics up a bit because there is no way in hell he is going to let her ruin her life for his sake.

So what does he do?

He instigates a fight in the prison and escapes via ambulance.

Vincent Keller is now on the run and has been considered a felon with a manhunt on his ass.

Though, if there is anything he wants before he leaves, it is a last night with Catherine. Wanting to bring Catherine with him everywhere he goes and telling her she is his gem is heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time.

Because of unforeseen events, Vincent has to leave without Catherine. Now, the only thing he can live on is the hope of seeing the love of his life again.

Jay Ryan portrayed Vincent’s character beautifully, and there is no doubt in my mind that other Beasties think differently.

§Catherine Chandler§

Catherine Chandler (Kristin Kreuk)
Catherine Chandler (Kristin Kreuk)

“Beast is the New Black” really sheds light on Catherine. She is tired of men controlling her life and protecting her. After putting two and two together, she figures out that her father, Robert Reynolds, hired someone to ‘frame’ Vincent in the event that she breaks up with Gabe and returns to him. Catherine has been more herself in this episode than she has been in any other episode of Season 2.

There is one main reason because of that: Her Vincent is back to his mostly old self and has returned to being Number One in her life.

Catherine definitely holds her own in “Beast is the New Black.” While Vincent tries to protect her by thinking about coming clean, she fires back and tells him he can’t make decisions for her. If he’s going to incarcerate himself, she’s going to come clean too. And when Vincent couldn’t have that, he decides to leave her, but again, Catherine stands her ground and tells him she will follow him wherever he goes.

No matter what, they are in this bind together.

At the end of the episode, she has her guard down and is captured by men in black. It’s only a matter of time before Vincent catches wind of this, and let me tell you something; the Beast is not going to be very happy, and those kidnapers will definitely get what’s coming to them.

§VINCAT§

Vincent Keller (Jay Ryan) and Catherine Chandler (Kristin Kreuk)
Vincent Keller (Jay Ryan) and Catherine Chandler (Kristin Kreuk)

Needless to say, VINCAT is this entire episode. “Beast is the New Black” proves just how much both Vincent and Catherine are willing to do in order to keep each other safe. Vincent is willing to go to jail for 20 to 25 years. Catherine is willing to incarcerate herself as well. Vincent is willing to leave New York City in order to keep Catherine from turning herself in. Catherine is willing to throw her life away and run with him. In the end, Catherine ends of saving Vincent’s life by telling him to go without her. It took a big leap for her to admit she will only slow him down. Their love has no bounds, and while Vincent is on the run, his leaving Catherine comes with dire consequences that could kill her (depending on the reason she was captured).

The non-naked shower scene was drop-dead romantic! I thought I was going to die from an overdose of VINCAT HOTNESS! Even with clothes on, the shower scene was very beautiful. In fact, ALL of the VINCAT scenes were amazing and heartwarming AND HEARTMELTING!

Way to go, Kristin Kreuk for an amazing performance!

§JT Forbes§

JT Forbes (Austin Basis)
JT Forbes (Austin Basis)

JT (Austin Basis) definitely played a major role in this episode too! He was willing to do anything and everything on his part to save Vincent. He even blamed Gabe (whoot!) for the whole event! My hero! JT impersonated a lab technician to give Vincent the gem. He told Vincent that he was going to be there for him until the very end. I can understand why JT was constantly yelling and shouting at Cat, Tess and Gabe; his best friend’s freedom is jeopardized and he blames himself for not being a better protector.

JT believes it’s his fault Vincent is wanted for murder because if he had never signed Vincent’s name on that list for Muirfield, none of this would probably be happening. In the end, however, JT must realize that because he signed Vincent’s name on the list, he saved his best friend’s life. If not for the beast, Catherine would be dead. If Catherine was dead, Vincent would never have the chance to meet the love of his life.

The eleventh hour comes, and Vincent leaves everyone behind. JT has been preparing for this moment for over a decade, and he still cannot believe his best friend is out of his life.

Luckily, he has Tess to help him cope for his loss.

§Tess Vargas§

Tess Vargas (Nina Lisandrello)
Tess Vargas (Nina Lisandrello)

I’m very glad Tess had a major role in this episode too! I was beginning to get worried for her because she was starting to not have so much luck in the Tess Vargas Life compartment. Having to constantly worry over her best friend, she has ignored her own happiness.

However, finally, JT and Tess have the DTR, and things are starting to look up for the Latina detective yet! I’m glad she’s starting to find a balance between her life and helping Catherine. She was definitely Cat’s best friend throughout this entire episode; reminding Catherine that she understands the amazing connection Catherine has with Vincent, and she admits how jealous she is of it.

Tess is finally being explored as a character and not some fridge magnet in the background.

Good work, Nina Lisandrello!

§JT&T§

JT Forbes (Austin Basis) & Tess Vargas (Nina Lisandrello)
JT Forbes (Austin Basis) & Tess Vargas (Nina Lisandrello)

Ahhhh…we finally have resolved this non-relationship! Even though JT & Tess were going through their first fight, they eventually made amends and talked through things. Even though BATB is not focused on extra relationships, I’m glad they tend to put more than just VINCAT’s relationship in the mixture because, let’s face it, both JT and Tess have earned their stripes as primary characters in this series! 🙂

§Gabe Lowan§

Gabe Lowan (Sendhil Ramamurthy)
Gabe Lowan (Sendhil Ramamurthy)

Okay, like all of you, I thought Gabe was the man behind Vincent’s arrest. However, now that I’ve seen this episode, I believe he wasn’t. I genuinely think Gabe was actually trying to help Catherine catch the person responsible for Vincent’s arrest.

HOWEVER, the moment Reynolds opened his big fat mouth and told Gabe to try harder, I believe Reynolds hardcore advice triggered Gabe’s inner vulture. That being said, I think Gabe was the one who notified the authorities that Vincent was at Catherine’s (the second time). It was too fast for anyone else to know his whereabouts. Gabe wasn’t pleased to see Vincent as showered-wet as Catherine, and aside from JT, he was the only one who knew where Vincent was hiding.

§Robert Reynolds§

Robert Reynolds (Ted Whittal)
Robert Reynolds (Ted Whittal)

I have nothing to say about this character other than the fact that he needs to wax his lips together. I understand he has intentions to protect Catherine, but he’s mentally insane for keeping a heart stowed away in case he ever needed it.

THAT BASTARD!

§BIG BAD WOLF Agency§

giphy001Honestly, I am led to believe the BIG BAD WOLF Agency (whoever was behind the killings of Reynolds’s hire and the officer who saw Vincent beast-out) is actually covertly helping Vincent. I have many reasons for this:

  • They killed Reynolds’s contact. No contact, no touch with the outside world. No more dirty deeds against Vincent.
  • They killed the officer. In a way, they protected Vincent’s inner beastly identity by killing a man who claimed he had seen Vincent change. While that’s a terrible way to approach things, they did protect Vincent.
  • They heard about beasts on the news from the officer, and stepped in to try and clean up Vincent’s mess.

However, I don’t know if they are actually trying to keep Vincent alive or not. Obviously they want to create more beasts under a covert operation. They were trying to obtain that skeleton in Windsor’s bunker. I think they are trying to finish what Reynolds started; to clean up Muirfield’s mess. But, I think the BIG BAD WOLF Agency is going try and create BETTER beasts instead—ones that wouldn’t go awry.

§Burning Questions§

  1. Where did that gem originate from?
  2. Is Vincent’s “You are my gem,” significant to the rest of the season? After all, the gem did belong to the Reynolds family about 200 years ago.
  3. Will JT&T be able to last together?
  4. What’s going to happen to Reynolds? Apparently he knows way too much, and the BIG BAD WOLF Agency seems to be eliminating anyone affiliated with/ knows about beasts.
  5. Will we ever get a chance to see Rebecca Reynolds and her role in all of this mayhem?
  6. Was Gabe’s redemption all for nothing? Or, does it serve a purpose in creating the ultimate Lex Luthor Complex?

§Speculations§

  • The gem is made from Rebecca Reynolds’s blood. For some reason, the gem is significant to the Reynolds Family. If Catherine had not been adopted by Thomas Chandler, she would have been raised a Reynolds as well, bearing the name that brings the gem great significance. Could the gem and Catherine hold similar powers over Vincent? They both seem to be able to neutralize his beast side. I have a feeling Vincent and Catherine will be exploring this pondering question throughout the next six episodes.
  • Reynolds, sooner or later, is going to be assassinated by a member of the BIG BAD WOLF Agency. It’s only a matter of time. He knows too much.
  • Members of the BIG BAD WOLF Agency did not kidnap Catherine. I believe GABE was behind Catherine’s capture to lure Vincent out of hiding. Gabe is a smart guy. Once he learned about the elite company that’s eliminating people who know about beasts, he used that intel towards his advantage by staging a covert operation to capture Catherine.
  • Vincent is going to try and call Catherine in the next episode to tell her that he’s safe. She’s not going to answer (obviously) and so he calls JT and asks her where Catherine is. JT tells V C’s been kidnapped so V will return to New York City and rescue his woman! 🙂
  • The BIG BAD WOLF Agency may recruit Vincent (not by kidnapping him but by contacting him and asking him to cooperate) for mission impossible kind of jobs as a payment for pulling strings to drop his charges or giving him a new life.
  • Whatever happens to Cat during her capture, she’s not going to break. Vincent WILL save her in time!

All right…

giphy

 

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