RECAP: Beauty and the Beast Recap – Pilot

A.K.A: The crappy pilot that turned into an awesome show [keep reading, this will be explained!]

I have been commenting on BATB episodes on twitter all season, but I have decided to graduate to full recaps because: 1) I still have more to say than I can fit on a tweet 2) It may help finally convince some new viewers to give the show a shot and 3) I really need something to do so I don’t go crazy with no new episodes until October.

First a little background on how I came to love this show. When I first saw the pilot I hated it! [if you don’t believe me READ THIS], but then I started warming up to the show until I really liked it and then I was completely hooked.

After watching the pilot under a new light, I concluded it wasn’t so bad after all! [But nowhere near as good as later episodes] If you are still wavering on whether or not you should watch this show, do it! And read this recap, you may even learn to love the pilot you’ll see!

OK let’s get down to business and START THE RECAP!

It is the Fall of 2003, we are at a college bar with the awful name of “Salty Dog” where me meet our leading lady Catherine Chandler, played by the gorgeous Kristin Kreuk. We learn that Cat goes to law school, is a part-time bartender and has a crappy car [I guess she wasn’t driving her trusty KIA back then]. After her car breaks down, she calls her mother to help her out. Cat’s lack of basic mechanics knowledge ends pretty badly. Right after they are done fixing the car two assassins come out of nowhere and shoot Mommy Chandler DEAD.

Cat’s goes from “Mom are you OK?” to “My mom is dead” to “I am getting the hell outta here” in 5 seconds flat. She manages to run into the forest but not fast enough since the assassins catch up with her. Poor defenseless Cat is convinced she is about to die, but right on cue a BEAST comes out of the woods and rips the assassins apart [limb by limb] and then decides it is as good time as any to have a staring contest with Cat. Cat sorta wins the staring contest and the beast finally grunts and takes his exit.


Cue the BEST SONG [M83 Midnight city] accompanied by the WORST VOICEOVER. Nine years have passed since Mommy Chandler’s murder. Cat was basically deemed insane and they told her it wasn’t more than an ‘animal attack’. We also learn that instead of becoming a lawyer, Cat is now an NYPD detective! That was one of the things that irritated me when I started watching, because as much as I love Kristin Kreuk she would be the last person I’d think of casting as a cop! However as I watched more episodes I actually accepted it. Yes, she is tiny… but at least she is believable as a tough independent woman, so just roll with it, OK?

And what is the first thing we see ‘cop-Cat’ do? Break up with her boyfriend Zeke (A.K.A “Z-babe”) and subsequently bust him for pot! Very coppy… It’s almost like watching Sipowitz in action! This scene is completely irrelevant other than to show that Cat gets involved with bad-boys to avoid real commitment. After the irrelevant scene is over, Cat gets called to the crime scene of the week. FYI the ‘procedural’ element of the show will go away in a couple more episodes to give way to the much cooler serialized storylines. But for now, it is time to play CSI: Pretty People Edition!

Crime of the week: Ashley Webster, fashion editor found dead in a hotel
Suspects: Her photographer husband, her assistant, her competitive colleague going for the same promotion.
Evidence retrieved: a fingerprint on a button and a hair… yeah nothing else… really… maybe the M.E. was not ‘all  that’ after all.

At the crime scene we also meet Cat’s partner TESS, who looks like a finalist on America’s Next Top Model; and Cat’s boss JOE, who hates his wife… and yes, those two facts will eventually correlate. Our gang of trusty cops go back to their precinct and man, the city of NY must have a hell of an ‘interior decoration’ budget, because that office is nice! Anyway, turns out the prints they found on the dead woman belong to “Specialist Vincent Keller, M.D.” which would explain a lot except for the fact that he is DEAD, killed in action in 2002. [Side Note: They also mention “all his next of kin have passed” which means his parents are also dead?? For some reason I thought they were not] Cat is very fixated on the fact that he was a Doctor, because she likes her men well-educated, even when they are ‘supposed to be dead potential killers’.
Tess and Cat go to the hospital where VINCENT was a resident. They ask her former co-worker to describe Vincent in 3 or less adjectives and she says he was: Humble, caring and slightly antisocial… or something like that. We also learn he lost his brothers in the towers on 9/11 and subsequently enlisted in the army. Apparently he didn’t have many friends [and even his co-workers want to pretend Alex never existed] but he had a roommate:  JT FORBES.

Tess and Cat magically track down JT FORBES to where he lives: an abandoned WAREHOUSE/CHEMICAL PLANT. And I say magically, because during subsequent episodes NO-ONE seems to ever find a connection between JT and this location. Tess and Cat enter the warehouse which is as creepy as it gets. So it is really funny when JT answers the door and he is the complete opposite of creepy! He is more of a friendly looking geek. It took me a while to place him, but I was convinced I had seen him before and that I loved him… and then it hit me! Life Unexpected!  Tess and Cat interrogate JT about Vincent; JT apologizes for not being a medium and consequently not hearing from Vincent since he died. Our girlie cops leave frustrated because “creepy digs” isn’t enough to get a search warrant; however Tess suggests Cat should hook up with JT to get a better look at second floor of the warehouse. Don’t worry Tess, she’ll get there… give her some time.

After Tess and Cat leave, JT comes running up to where all good biochemists keep their beasts. For the first time in the episode we see and hear Non-Beast-Vincent and the first thing we notice is THE VOICE! He sounds like Batman or Oliver Queen when they use sound effects; only this is ACTUALLY his voice [sans kiwi accent]. Second thing we notice is that he DOES NOT look like a Beast. Since he was still in the shadows at this point I was still expecting him to have half of his face disfigured or something but no… he only had a scar which I found rather sexy. That really bothered me at first; however I finally snapped out of it and asked myself SO WHAT if he doesn’t look like a Beast! If I want to see a beast version of Ron Perlman I can watch an episode of Sons of Anarchy. The Beast being permanently ugly is NOT what this show is about and him being SUPER HOT is not a bad thing! Believe me… it is NOT.  

Anyway, back to the story! Vincent shows JT a newspaper clipping of the night Catherine’s mom was killed which he has been keeping around for all these years… yeah, it is pretty stalkerish… and wait it will get worse. JT is having the first of what would be MANY nervous breakdowns; he wants to know why Vincent’s prints are on a dead woman. V explains he gave her CPR, he also lets it slip that he has been following Cat around for years since the night he saved her [see stalkerish]. JT is terrified that he is going to get caught and that “MUIRFIELD” is going to kill them but Vincent is getting tired of living like a prisoner, even if his particular prison has an X-Box and a flat screen.

Cat goes down to the morgue where we meet EVAN, the M.E. He may not have Vincent’s amazing voice, but he makes up for it with a sexy British accent. Seems like Evan actually gets some work done in the middle of flirting because he figured out the whole CPR thing and he found DNA at the crime scene and it is CROSS-SPECIES DNA, get used to that term, it will be used A LOT! Of course we know the DNA belongs to Vincent, but what is interesting to Cat is that the DNA matches the one found at the crime scene of her mother’s murder… dun dun dun

After spotting JT’s car on the hotel’s security tapes, Cat has the brilliant idea to go back to the warehouse without any backup, because that is what cops do when they think they have found their killer right? She goes up to the forbidden second floor where she finds the forbidden beast. Apparently no-one taught Vincent how to play hide and seek when he was a kid, because he seems to think standing behind the bookcase is enough to avoid being seen. In all fairness he probably WANTED to be found, after years of talking only to JT he was probably eager to meet the pretty girl who he had been stalking for 9 years, who can blame him?

So Cat draws his gun and urges Vincent to step out of the shadows. When he does Cat notes he “looks pretty good for a dead guy”, or any kind of guy for that matter! I mean, he is looking fine despite the TERRIBLE WIG he is wearing because he shaved his head back when he was dealing drugs to Peggy Olsen on Top of The Lake. After Cat gives him the once-over, he tells her he didn’t kill the woman, just gave her CPR. She is about to believe him when she sees Vincent’s stalkerish clipping with her picture on it. She appropriately freaks out, but is interrupted by Tess who just walked into the warehouse. Vincent uses his ‘poor-broken-beast’ charms to persuade her to keep his secret so she does… because… well how can you say no to THAT.

Cat remembers, probably for the last time ever, that she has a job to do so she goes back to the precinct to solve the murder case. Let’s cut to the chase and say that the assistant poisoned Ashley Webster because she was having an affair with the husband who lied about having a prenup. End of case, now we can focus on more important stuff, like Cat being hypnotized by a sexy picture of Vincent on the suspects’ board and then having the brilliant idea to dig up her mother’s murder case. In doing so, she alerts Muirfield.

Muirfield is not very fond of cops looking into their businesses, so they lure Catherine to a subway platform where they gang-jump her. Funny enough this version of Catherine Chandler goes all Sarah Connor on her three assailants in a way that Linda Hamilton herself never did! The fight scene is damn cool and Kristin does a great job with the choreography… but come on! She is so tiny! Anyway, let’s assume she is a black belt or something, and that Muirfield agents were a little unprepared for her mad fighting skills… or let’s just suspend disbelief and have fun!

Catherine manages to take out all of her attackers, except for a woman who throws her into the tracks, however Cat’s Beast-guardian angel is right there to save her. The Beast kills all the Muirfield agents and even has time for one more staring contest, but this time Catherine is different. She is not the scared little girl she was 9 years ago, she is a strong woman who looks right into the eye of the beast with determination. The beast takes off and Catherine stubbornly follows him forgetting that she is IN the subway tracks where you know… subway trains tend to run… Of course when she is about to get hit by a train, the beast re-appears and pushes her to safety.

When Catherine turns around the beast has completely transformed into Vincent. Catherine realizes that Vincent is the beast, and that he is also the one who saved her 9 years ago and saved her again minutes ago. She realizes all of this while they stand mere inches away from each other and it is HOT, get used to this type of scenes because there are many to follow. The tense/hot moment culminates with Catherine proclaiming to Vincent “You are him” and I swear she was ready to jump him right then and there, but somehow she manages to contain herself and they make their way to the warehouse.

Back at the warehouse Cat is still trying to make sense of everything as Vincent gets into Dr. Mode (one of his sexiest modes) and tends to Cat’s wounds. Vincent tells Cat his “how I became a monster” sob story. He tells her how Muirfield turned them into supersoldiers, but the experiment went wrong and they tried to kill them all. Then on one of the sweetest moments of the episode he tells her that he only saves people because “It reminds him of who he used to be”, “A doctor?” Cat to which he replies “Human” Aw… Cat looks at him intensely and places her hand on his cheek. Normally I would argue this is out of character and that they just met, but the scene is so intense and emotionally charged that it seems natural and fitting… plus I would have used any excuse to touch him too! It is pretty clear that there is no turning back for Cat at this point, but regardless Vincent makes her leave for ‘her own good’ and asks her never to return again.

Cat goes back to the precinct where Tess immediately notices the “sex glow is all over her face” lol. And that is when they actually finish solving their case, but we don’t care about that anymore. We also learn that Cat stood up Evan because she was busy having a sexually charged moment with Vincent. After that, Ari from Nikita pays Joe a visit and takes away the bodies of the Muirfield agents Vincent killed on the subway platform. Cat also realizes she lost her phone on the subway tracks, so she does exactly what she was asked NOT to do and goes back to see Vincent. He is not thrilled and he politely asks Catherine to leave. However Catherine is very stubborn and she also starts asking questions about her mother so Vincent Beasts out on her, but he did it out of concern… so it is OK.

Cat goes back to the precinct AGAIN. She does some actual police work this time and Tess returns her lost phone no questions asked proving she is a good friend; Cat will return the favor by lying to her for like a year. Evan invites himself to Cat’s dad’s engagement party and let’s her know that he found 6 different cases with cross species DNA, which means Vincent saved at least six people. Of course Cat would take ANY excuse to go back to see Vincent, so this seems as good as any, right? She also decides that the perfect moment to go see him was before going to the engagement party, right when she was all dolled up, yeah that isn’t obvious or anything.

Vincent and JT are playing chess when Cat walks into the warehouse looking absolutely stunning. Cat and Vincent exchange “hi”s and believe me, it is much more romantic than it sounds. JT is hilariously confused as he obviously didn’t know Vincent and Catherine had been interacting. At that point I remember thinking “Austin Basis is totally killing this”. JT gets the hint that he is completely interrupting and leaves. Cat is all “I know you are going to try to kick me out, but I like really like you so please don’t?” and he is like “uhmmm what? I got distracted by your dress”, but after their initial shocks they have a heart to heart where Vincent informs her that Muirfield agents were after her mom and she shouldn’t feel responsible for her death. Cat also tells him that he is a hero for saving all those people and that he is as far as gets from being a monster.

And then the AWFUL VOICEOVER is back, but what she says is actually sort of important. Cat comes to terms with her mom’s death and takes comfort in the fact that she was not crazy and she was in fact saved by a beast. In her own words: “He is still out there, and I have a feeling that now… we’re going to have to save each other” which is one of the biggest themes of the show… I just wish it was said through actual dialogue and not in the awful voiceover! Anyway… as Cat speaks we see her at her dad’s engagement party. She talks to people, smiles and dances with Evan but we can tell her mind is somewhere else. She approaches one of the windows and we see Vincent watching her from one of the rooftops. Yes I know! It is VERY stalkerish! But NO-ONE cares! End of episode.

Next on Beauty and the Beast, Vincent gets rid of that awful wig and he starts working out which only makes him hotter. Also the AWFUL VOICEOVER is gone for good and so will the ‘case of the week’. In summary, although I sorta like the pilot now [even with all its flaws] it is not even the shadow of later episodes. The best is yet to come!

If you liked the recap please leave a comment or tweet me. If there is enough interest I can keep this up all summer as a way to hold hands until there are new episodes!

V: It reminds me of who I used to be/ Cat: A doctor?/ V: Human
Evan to Cat and Tess: Hey it is devil and prada/ Tess: As long as I get to be Devil
Cat: Hi/ Vincent: Hi/ JT: Hi? Hi!
Tess to Cat after she was with Vincent: The Sex Glow is all over your face

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The TV Empress is a Media Management graduate, screenwriter in the making (and financial engineer in the meantime). She has serious plans to take over global television. You can follow the TVEmpress on twitter @TVRepublik

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  1. I love these recaps! Keep them coming! They'll help me get through the summer til Oct.

  2. My recap about your recap:
    -I COMPLETELY agree with the z-babe scene. What was the point of that scene? USELESS!
    -CSI: Pretty People Edition! <--- LMFAO
    -"because during subsequent episodes NO-ONE seems to ever find a connection between JT and this location." oh god I laughed SO hard with this!
    -"Cat should hook up with JT to get a better look at second floor of the warehouse. Don’t worry Tess, she’ll get there… give her some time." I'm not even half way reading this and i think this is the best recap I've ever read from the pilot HAHAHAH
    -Yup. Forget if he doesn't look like a beast, we CARE ABOUT HIS VOICE!
    -"TERRIBLE WIG" I think I'm the only one who liked who he looks with the wig from the pilot :(

    I absolutely LOVED your recap. It was so fun to read. Gonna read the others now!

    1. Thanks for reading, I am glad I made you laugh :) and yeah.... the voice...

  3. just discovered your recaps, i absolutely love them so ppllleeease keep them coming

  4. Love the recap! I think seeing as the show is "Sci Fi/ Fantasy" we are going to be expected to believe a lot of situations which are patently impractical. For instance Evan is supposed to be the ME for the whole of New that tiny little one table morgue? Not at all believable. No one sits around in the morgue ungowned, unprotected from all the potentially nasty diseases bodies harbour! Nevertheless, if you can look past all that it's a good romantic yarn. I can always hope that there are good guys like Vincent and J. T. exist! :)

    1. Oh yes, suspend disbelief and you will have more fun

  5. I'm rewatching the whole S1 n 2 again as to not go crazy waiting for S3 to start. and it's great to have your recaps accompanying the series. you described VinCat moment so well, i love it!! eg the "hi"s exchanged between VinCat and followed by JT's "hi" :D Was looking forward for your S2 recap while it was on air too, before realizing that u only write them at the end of each season. so i hope by the time i reach s2, your recaps will be waiting for me ;P

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