RECAP: Beauty and the Beast – Season 2 Episode 4 – Hothead

Save the Beast, Save the World

Gabe embarks on a mission to "Save the cheerleaderBeast, save the world" Meanwhile, Vincent has a family reunion with his Jane By Design nephew and everyone go after an arsonist Beast. The writers also try to make Vincent somewhat appealing to women and we learn the complicated procedure to flatline a beast. *Hint: IT DOESN'T WORK.

Update: 03/05/2015 While we painfully wait until JUNE 11TH, 2015 for the season 3 premiere, how about we have some profound discussions about... well Vincent. Cast your vote!

Cat and Tess are getting ready for a girls’ night out AKA “Beast time out”. Cat is trying to convince herself that she is in the “acceptance” stage of her break up after crying, meditating and taking a kick-box class. I’d argue she’s more in the anger stage… you’ll see what I mean in a moment. Tess does what any good girlfriend would do and starts listing all her problems: Abandoned by sister, dead father who wasn’t her father, amnesiac killer boyfriend and THE WRONG EARRINGS! Cat acknowledges that she has A LOT of issues but decides to stop worrying about everything else and focus on getting her life in order… starting by changing her earrings.

In the meantime, Vincent is doing pull ups… yeah. What? There’s other stuff going on in that scene? I guess I’ll have to rewind it… I actually do, because I have no idea what he was talking about. I was… distracted. So… after the 2nd [read 5th] time I watched the scene, I realized Vincent was talking to Daddy Bob and asking him to speed through the Beast-elimination process. Daddy Bob asks if the sudden rush is due to Catherine. As soon as Vincent hears her name, he freezes… [mid push-up]. Turns out Vincent is having a Beast-identity-crisis. In his words, he feels like “two different people”. He knows he is a soldier on a mission, but can’t stop feeling the pull towards Cat. Daddy Bob is all “Beast hunters don’t have time to be in relationships and stay away from my daughter… er I mean Catherine Chandler”. Vincent is all “then give me another beast to kill so I can focus on something other than her heartbeat!” I personally love how out of control he is since she entered the picture.

Without any further ado, it’s time to introduce the BEAST OF THE WEEK!

EDDIE LONG: SERIAL ARSONIST BEAST… and yes, I am gonna go all cliché and call him PYRO-BEAST

Mission: Incinerate New York for no particular reason or political statement. Just because he can.

Back at the PRECINCT Gabe has his own “board of obsession” dedicated to the serial arsonist. Looks like part of his preparation to go from lawyer to acting lieutenant was watching all the seasons of The Wire [yes, I totally stole that joke from The Leftovers]. Anyway… based on a news story, Gabe suddenly concludes that the serial arsonist is a beast. How the hell he came to that conclusion I have no idea!  I think he was looking for a beast so he had an excuse to talk to Catherine. And he used his mysterious “beast locating” powers to do it. He should go work for Daddy Bob…

While Gabe-the-beast-locator was fighting crime, his “best detectives” were playing pool and pretending to have fun. Tess tries to make Cat admit she is too messed up to have fun. She really isn’t big on the “fake it till you make it” philosophy, is she? To make matters even less fun, a drunk douchebag attempts the worst pick up in history. He starts OK-ish by telling Cat she is the “prettiest girl he’s ever seen” but it quickly goes downhill as he implies Tess is her lesbian lover and then demands a make-up hug. The latter prompts Cat to go code yellow and kick his ass! Which he TOTALLY had coming. Unfortunately, Cat doesn’t stop there and also knocks out the guy’s female friend and… a judge. Hmm looks like Vincent is not the only one who loses control when he is upset. So, anyway, Cat gets arrested; Gabe gets her out, lectures her on the inappropriateness of “flattening federal judges”and then takes her to his office for a private beast chat.

Gabe explains his theory about the arsonist being a beast. Doesn’t really say WHY he thinks that, but at least gives a plausible explanation for Muirfield building fire-resistant beasts. Basically M would set fires in oil rigs all over the world and then offer to send their “special firemen” to extinguish them and make lots of money. M-Li may have been THE LAMEST EVIL ORGANIZATION BOSS EVER, but at least he was diversifying his sources of income… This whole pyro beast theory actually makes sense, but… I would have been satisfied just thinking M made fire-proof beasts to send them to war. I really didn’t need more explanation. But they love to spend time on UNNECESSARY PSEUDO SCIENTIFIC EXPLANATIONS on this show lately.

Cat is as bored as me with Gabe’s rant so she asks him to get to the point. The point being, Gabe wants Vincent to catch the beast. And why does Gabe want a beast? To test-drive the FLATLINING BEAST CURE on him and try it on Vincent if it works. And I still can’t figure out exactly why Gabe was so invested in “curing” Vincent. Was he trying to get on Cat’s good side? Was he trying to kill Vincent? Was he trying to eliminate beasts because of his childhood trauma? Was he trying to be a character with a motivation that made sense? If so… he sort of failed. Anyway, Cat’s all “We are cops… scratch that… you are a FREAKING LAWYER! We ARE NOT arson investigators”. And she leaves the precinct to go “find herself”… or something along those lines.

So Gabe goes to the FLOATING BEAST’S LAIR … alone. Awesome plan. To make it even better he greets Vincent by saying “Hello. I am Gabe Lowan… and a few months ago I tried to kill you”. I am pretty sure that’s not the correct way to approach a killing machine. Vincent gets all menacing [and sexy] at first but decides to give Gabe a chance to explain. So Gabe tells him EVERY SINGLE DETAIL OF HIS PYRO-BEAST HUNTING PLAN. Hello redundant scene! We already know what Gabe is planning! Finally, Gabe goes into a philosophical rant about salvation and getting the girl in the end. At this point I really thought Gabe was going to start a speech about “human evolution” and say something like SAVE THE CHEERLEADER BEAST, SAVE THE WORLD, but he didn’t. Vincent is just happy that Gabe handed him a new Beast-lead.

After leaving the houseboat, Vincent goes up to a random rooftop to… listen to the city? This scene looked so 90s for some reason. It reminded me of that old show The Sentinel. Anyway… Vincent can find one beast in Manhattan by just listening to a few cars and stuff… Luckily we spent all that time on BEAST TRACKING and haemoglobin explanations because this makes perfect sense now… oh wait… it actually DOESN’T! Using his completely illogical tracking abilities, Vincent finds Pyro-Beast inside an abandoned building. And what’s up with these Beasts and all their theatrical speeches? Much like MAGICAL BEAST, I hated this beast… I hated all the pyro-runs and pyro-parades and the damn operatic pyro-related-speeches! In summary, Vincent is stronger [and hotter] but not fire-proof, so pyro-beast sets him on fire and escapes.

Meanwhile Cat is trying to “find herself” by having a massage. Her relaxation session is cut short by Gabe calling to tell them Vincent is at the hospital. I guess he collapsed from smoke inhalation after pyro-beast’s attack. And seriously? Some smoke lands him in the hospital? This new and improved beast doesn’t seem very “improved” at times. He did just fine with fire before…

So, Cat goes to see Vincent at the hospital and says she wants him in her life, but she can’t handle the drama and the secrecy on top of all her other issues [She has “picking the right earrings” to worry about after all]. He understands but also makes it clear that staying away is not what he wants. Finally, Cat asks him if he “wants to remember her” and he answers that he does “more than anything”. He confesses his beast killing spree is just an attempt to wipe out all beasts so he can be free to be with her. Cat doesn’t like the situations because a) he is still hiding things and b) he could get himself killed. I thought the way they looked at each other told more than what they actually said. Cat could pretend she had “moved on” all she wanted but her eyes betrayed her; and Vincent’s were full of sorrow and regret.

And… it’s time for some Keller family time. The arson investigators arrive and surprise! One of them is actually Vincent’s nephew. And he is played by that guy from Jane By Design. And I just realized I liked that silly show more than I want to admit because I still sort of miss it. But back to the episode. Gabe takes the lead and lies for everyone. He tells the firemen that Vincent Victor is working undercover and can’t really share any details about what he saw on the fire. Little Keller is all “this is an arson investigation, it’s our jurisdiction” and Gabe is all “Hey if I can run a precinct, I can investigate an arson… how hard can it be? Sometimes I am even psychic!” That’s when Vincent [and everyone else] realizes that Aaron is actually his nephew and he gets a sudden memory overload. He sees himself having a barbecue with his brothers, playing ball with Aaron and then inside a building on fire working as a fireman along his brother and…

WAIT A MINUTE… So let me see if I get this straight… Vincent is a doctor and a soldier AND a firefighter?

I am sure the writers sat around and had a conversation that went something like this:

Writer #1: You know this Vincent character, he is very complex and all… but I am afraid he is just not attractive enough to women.

Writer #2: You are right… what can we do about it? I mean, he is a doctor and a soldier… but women are not into that, are they? I guess he is also sort of good-looking… but I still don’t think it’s enough…

W1: Maybe… if we made him a firefighter… perhaps that could make him a little attractive…

W2: OK… let’s try that and hope for the best

Seriously? As if Vincent wasn’t attractive enough, they had to complete the trifecta of female fantasies. Talk about OVERKILL! Anyway, the memories make Vincent go code yellow and he jumps out of the window in distress. After “discharging” himself from the hospital [by defenestration], Vincent calls Daddy Bob. Like a good brainwasher/beast master, he tells him to just hang in there, stay away from Catherine and that he only has a couple more missions to complete before his beast-mercenary contract ends.

Vincent goes back to his BOATHOUSE and finds Cat waiting for him. She is there because she was worried… and this time there are no lies or pretences. Vincent tells Cat about his firefighter memory and he doubts if it’s even real. Cat tells him that memories are not just “playback” they come with emotions attached. And that is exactly why I always thought it was fundamental for Vincent to get all his memories back! Vincent takes the opportunity to point out that this applies to her as well. That whatever she feels when she thinks of her time with Daddy Chandler is real even if he wasn’t her “real dad” [At least that’s what I thought he was trying to say, but got the feeling they cut that scene]. Cat looks at him with relief… like he just said exactly what she needed to hear. I loved that they didn’t just focused on the big issue, but they actually talked about something else. Showed that he is paying attention and he cares about her life. I felt it started a connection.

Back at the precinct Gabe explains his plan AGAIN to Tess! Seriously WE GET IT!

Tess is adjusting to the fact that her current boss doesn’t want to sleep with her. She sets some ground rules (“I am not a secretary”), tells it as it is (“I tolerate you”) and explains to Gabe the obvious: Saving a girl’s boyfriend from doom is not the way to get the aforementioned girl. Gabe says he is doing this because he owes Cat. So… is that the actual reason? Guilt? As I said… I am a little confused about his motivations [and I don’t buy the selfless act]; please feel free to enlighten me.

Vincent and Catherine go to the FIREHOUSE to speak to LITTLE KELLER and figure out how to get the beast. I guess Cat very quickly went from “beast time-out” to “we are stronger together than we are apart”? [not complaining]. Vincent gets distracted by the pictures of his brothers hanging on the walls and… I guess William was OK-looking but Daniel… not so much. And they don’t look anything like Vincent! If finding two guys that look like Jay Ryan was too much trouble for the casting director, I would have been happy to do it… for FREE! But whatever. While Vincent looks at his dead bros, Little Keller also tells them about his other “dead” [but not dead dead] uncle Vincent. Awkward…

After Aaron has a family reunion without ever knowing it, we go back to pyro-beast. Turns out he is on a vendetta against a company named “Segan Petroleum” which is about to go public [more explanations I don’t really care about]. Problem is, Segan has a lot of properties and they have no way to figure out which building pyro beast will tackle next. They narrow it down to the company’s HQ, an oil refinery and a stadium. But before someone can inexplicably pick the right target, Little Keller decides to go to the HQ alone. His boss tells him to stay put… but come on, he is a Keller… He is stubborn and has a hero complex. Duh.

Turns out, Pyro beast was really after the HQ and everyone is worried about Aaron being there because… he got a 2 min head-start? As soon as they arrive, Vincent wants to get inside the building with no protective gear whatsoever. Catherine starts pointing out all the dangers. She is trying to sound objective and reasonable, but it’s clear she is simply worried about Vincent. And he actually notices it. Then the most amazing thing happens; he reads her concern perfectly, reassures her and kisses her right then and there. It was SO UNEXPECTED! And V 1.0 would have never done that, not after their fight. He would have been all martyr-like and telling himself he is not worthy… blah blah. I personally loved his assertiveness and I think it was exactly what Cat wanted/needed at the moment.

So, Vincent goes inside where Pyro Beast has already knocked out Little Keller. Gabe arrives to the scene with his defibrillator kit… Gee… I wonder what he is planning to do with that... If only someone had explained it… THANK GOD I have a flowchart to remind me of the plan!

Vincent finally finds Pyro beast. He attacks him and seems to be doing better than last time, but he is distracted by Aaron’s fallen fireman alarm. He goes looking for him while having a very untimely flashback overload. Through the comprehensive flashback montage we learn that William told Vincent to go back to med school and save lives that way since Kellers have a tendency to die in fires… [And yet it is STILL the family trade?] Also… Vincent’s dad died in a fire? For some reason I had the idea that he worked in finance… remember the MYSTICAL NEWSPAPER MAN from Worth? Didn’t he say he used to see Daddy Keller going to the “office”? Finally Vincent hallucinates his brother William conveniently pointing him towards a passed out Aaron. Hmm… I don’t know how I feel about this spiritual Beast experience. I am gonna go ahead and take it as “strange things happen during stressful situations”

Pyro beast is about to escape but he is intercepted by Cat who just… shoots him dead. Now, I know he is a beast and a psycho… but Cat just committed murder with what I assume was her service weapon. How is that any better than what Vincent had been doing? It wasn’t even self-defence. All he did was insult her. But… she did it for Vincent and she thought she might be able to revive him beast-free… which obviously doesn’t happen because FLATLINING is stupid. So basically, pyro beast just dies to the hands of Cat, not Vincent.

In the meantime, Vincent is actually being a hero and saving his nephew without ever revealing his secret human identity.  He takes Aaron back to safety just in time to get scolded by his boss for being a typical Keller. Hey… the kid is alive and with human DNA… I’d say he is doing much better than the rest of his family… Cut him some slack!

At the PRECINCT Gabe bitches about his flatlining plan not working, little Keller bitches about not getting a chance of being a hero and Cat mulls over the moralities of assassinating Beasts. She also remembers how much into Vincent’s “heroic” personality she really is. Little Keller wants to thank Vincent for saving his life, but Cat tells him he is “undercover”; which is better than “dead” I guess… I sort of wish Aaron had actually realized that Vincent was his uncle… I felt they missed out on a mini family reunion.

Later, Cat takes a stroll with Vincent somewhere in lower Manhattan. She admits her beast-time out is not really going to happen. Vincent explains that even though some of his memories turned out painful, it feels good to get pieces of his identity back. They finish their stroll at the 9/11 memorial [and mysteriously bypass all the security checks to get inside]. Cat concludes that maybe he decided to enlist because he wanted to pick up where his brothers left off. Vincent says it’s possible and then he proceeds to beat himself up for not being there to “save them”. He really is going back to being his old martyr self… but in a good way. Cat, as usual, stirs him away from those thoughts and tells him that they can’t change the past and they should focus on the future. In response to this, Vincent holds Cat’s hand and hugs her. The scene is very touching on so many levels. It reminds us of what a good guy Vincent had always been, it speaks of family love, of sacrifice and the importance of having someone with whom you can share the ups and downs of life. END OF EPISODE.

This was a funny one for me. I’d say I was quite pleased with 50% of the episode and didn’t care for the other 50%. I loved the evolution of the Vincat relationship throughout the ep, from Cat wanting a “time-out” to her acknowledging she is not ready to let go. As usual, not crazy about the procedural component in the form of “beast of the week”. These beast characters are too cartoonish and I don’t feel they fit with the tone of the show. However, I think magical beast and pyro beast were the worst. So I may not need to complain as much in the next few weeks.


Tess [to guy at the bar]: Dude it’s not a petting zoo

Gabe: Trouble is getting a flat tired, you flattened a judge

Tess: I am not a secretary, I am Cat’s friend. I tolerate you.

Aaron: Oh look who it is… bad cop and mute cop

Cat: We can’t afford to lose any more Kellers

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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. yeap yeap, as usual spot on. your whole summary and especially the last paragraph completely sums up how i feel about this episode! and regarding gabe, no i cannot enlighten u I am afraid. Gabe was so one dimensional and flat for the most part of this season - with the exception of episode 20 and perhaps 21. looking forward to your review of episode 5 (which I was not that keen on) and 6 (which was soooo boring and badly written). interested to see what u thought about 7 which most people hated but I really liked

  2. Great review, as usual. I agree with what annasirmo wrote above. I also learned another new word this week - defenestration, lol.

  3. Nice recap, You're right Vincat moments, the way they look st each other is worth athousand words

  4. Oh dear, I laughed so much reading your take on the writers' thinking process. You are an exceptionally funny and clear-thinking reviewer.
    I have several questions about the script . Cath is protesting against Vincent hiding things and can get killed. What about his being a hired, illegal, black ops killer? She accepts that without a murmur? And what about her breaking up with Vincent in episode 3, that sounded pretty definite. 'I have had enough lies in my life.' No it is explained away as a 'time-out'?
    Jay Ryan is a shining light in spite of the strange script with his usual deceptively simple and natural acting.

  5. Catherine did NOT kill Long in cold blood: she told him to freeze, don't move and he ignored that and reached inside his breast pocket as if to pull something out of it. She went totally by the book there protecting herself and shooting him WAS self-defense. Just clarifying. Loved your review, especially the 'discharging himself by defenestration' - that was priceless. Your sense of humor and your writing style are totally enjoyable - even if season two had really very dark episodes for me. But by episode 4 we were still living in a fool's paradise and quite happy and content (once we got over the shove) with the way things were unfolding....

    1. Thanks :) OK, so I was a little extreme about Cat for dramatic [and comic] effect. I don't think he killed him in cold blood, but... I don't think that was by the book either. As far as I know cops should avoid to shoot to kill as much as they can. Non-lethal shot on the leg would have sufficed to "stop" him but Cat wanted to kill him to flatline him... so she actually did it intentionally... and yes, she was hoping to resurrect him but didn't so... in the end she killed him. Not saying she wanted to murder him, but that was the end result... that's the way I see it anyway...

  6. Thank you for this recap, it is fun and insightful as always. I don't believe you were extreme about Catherine murdering Pyro. She called Gabe and told him to bring the defibrillator kit so they could try it on him. So she intended to kill the beast one way or the other. Either by cop, or by trying to hold him down and injecting him with euthanasia drugs. So it was convenient self defense.

    Her going code yellow and out of control in a tavern was unprofessional and just another of the karate of the week scene. She has to kick someone's butt every week for some unknown reason.. is it just "trope?" that women must kick someone to the ground every week so we dumbed down viewers know they are "strong independent women?"

    Thanks again


    1. Yeah I agree with the bar scene... it felt a little unnecessary... but I guess they were going for the idea that Cat could also lose control? Not entirely convinced that was their intent rather than just have an "ass-kicking" scene like you said. But, I'll give the writers the benefit of the doubt.

      About the beast killing yes, I absolutely think the beast-killing was premeditated and convenient even if they had good intentions behind it, it's still not w/o reproach. Think about it this way... if it had been a human being, we would think shooting him was so wrong... and the whole point of the show is to understand beasts are not monsters, they are humans. Having said that... what I was trying to explain is that I don't think Cat just killed him w/o feeling bad about it. She clearly did and even hinted it in her convo with Little Keller later. Just hope I made that clear. As usual I love reading all your thoughts, makes me think about stuff. Thanks for reading Marsha.

  7. This ep is one of my favs of the first 12 eps of s2. Not because of the story. I try to explain why. In s1 i often asked myself, what kind of personality/character a man is, who left work and friends and girlfriend and family from one day to the next to join military and war. I thought only a very impulsive guy, a hothead, would be able to do that. But i never had a chance to put my expectations together with the Vincent we saw in s1 (of course 10 years in hiding change a person) . Only at one point there was a clue, that i might be right. "aren't you the same guy that once climbed the Unisphere on a dare?" (Alex).
    So, when i watched this ep (204) first and the fireman talked about "He leaps before he looks. Like all the Keller boys", i was sort of hypnotized, my imaginations ran wild and i thought about how great it would be to peel off all the (outside) influences, e.g. hiding and brainwashing, to reveal the core of his character. That ep made me become a Beastie. I cried, i suffered, i laughed, i hated a lot and i loved a lot. Like you, i guess :-)
    Even if it was hard to take what happend in the next eps, i loved to hate him a couple of eps.

    Tank you for all your recaps, the best of all i know!

  8. Like always a excellent recap. I just wish that the writers, producers and film-makers show read it.


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