Recap: BATB S4E5

"It's a Wonderful Beast": The Unbearable Lightness of Beasthood [this would have been a better episode title... just saying]




This week BATB went all Fringeon us and we got to see an alternate reality w/o Vincat. Plus we had the return of our favorite Brit (Evan) and our favorite inanimate star (the scar!). We also learned about dual-big-bads and got to revisit a S1 plot point, but fear not… it is NOT flatlining.


Remember the beast bounty turned ‘beast hit’? Of course you do, it’s been the ONLY PLOT POINT IN EVERY EPISODE THIS SEASON. So it surprises no-one when yet another assassin attacks Vincent in his bed. Vincent survives the attack [Cat’s pillow doesn’t, R.I.P. pillow], but he re-opens the wound inflicted by accountant assassin last week. Plus the series of unfortunate beast-assassination attempts lead Vincent back to the self-hatred path he knew so well in S1. He concludes that Cat would be better off without him. Cat disagrees [because she has eyes… oh and she loves him].
Anyway, Vincent realizes that his phone was hacked. Whoever hacked the phone sent a text to JT and Tess luring them to il Cantuccio [but didn’t cover his/her tracks because hackers are stupid, duh]. It is clearly a trap so Vincent rushes there, even though he is still sort of bleeding out. At the COFFEE SHOP OF BEAST-RELATED ATTACKS, JT and Tess are having a “we are broken up but clearly still care for each other” moment when a sniper starts shooting at them. Vincent arrives just in time to get shot [again]. Cat arrives shortly after and they all end up barricaded inside the coffee shop. That’s when Vincent goes into an untimely FUGUE STATE!

When V wakes up he finds himself in a cage with bloody hands, a dead deer and no clothes [It’s OK Vincent, I still love you, even if you killed Bambi!]. Along with the beast blackouts, Vincent realizes that his scar is back! To confuse Vincent even more, JT shows up and starts acting like it is 2012. Through a lot of yelling and freaking out, JT gives Vincent the lay of the land: They live in hiding, they are still looking for a cure and he has no clue of who Catherine is.

Vincent starts going through a BEAST INCEPTION CHECKLIST: 1) How did I arrive here? 2) Am I simultaneously creating and perceiving this reality? 3) Where is my totem!? OK… that’s what he should have done. But apparently V isn’t as big a fan of Christopher Nolan movies as I am [he could have used some Memento tips as well, if you ask me], so he remains confused about his situation. Of course, we know that nothing of what V is experiencing is real. He is still bleeding and fuguing while they get shot at the HOTTEST SHOOTOUT SPOT IN TOWN.

BACK AT THE FUGUE, Vincent decides to find Cat. Luckily, alternate realities don’t seem to interfere with BEAST TRACKING [unlike fog and children]. However, when V approaches Cat, she doesn’t recognize him. And it gets even worse, Fugue-Cat is married to Evan! It obviously breaks V’s heart to see Cat with Evan and he gets into a jealous fit, but JT gets there to take him away. Later V stalks Cat [because that’s how you win over a lady… when you look like Vincent] and discovers that she is not all that happy with Evan. In a nutshell, she feels something is missing from their relationship and she  was never able to move on after the night of the M attack.

This knowledge gives V enough confidence to approach Cat again at the ROOFTOP OF SIGNIFICANT RELATIONSHIP MILESTONES. But instead of telling her he is the Beast of her dreams, he goes into a very vague plea of help. Naturally, Cat kicks his ass and leaves.

V’s next [not entirely logical move] is to find DADDY BOB and ask him to come out as Cat’s bio dad. This is supposed to convince Cat to help Vincent [do what exactly? I’m not even sure]. Here is a better idea, Fugue-V, just Beast out in front of Cat and tell her you are her mystery saviour! Gee… no sense of efficiency these fugue entities.

So V, Daddy Bob and JT [who came on board at some point] go to Cat’s apartment, but they are too late. She has already been abducted by M, who were once again tipped off by Evan. But just like RL Evan, Fugue-Evan is filled with regrets and helps V find Cat, who is being held at the off the grid power plant of S1. Evan and Vincent go in, Evan sacrifices himself [again] And V gets Cat out. She finally recognizes him from the night her mom died and…. V comes back to reality.

While V was having his fugue-fun, Cat and company were freaking out about the possibility of the cops finding V in some beast-human limbo. But he regains consciousness just in time to be transported to the hospital AGAIN, where his colleague scolds him for “not taking care of himself”. By now, he must have concluded that V is either a vigilante or at the very least a drug dealer. Anyway, after confronting the Ghost of Beast-Life’s Past, Vincent concludes that Cat is NOT better off without him.

END OF EPISODE

Unlike time jumps [which drive me insane], I actually like callbacks to the past [especially when shows are about to end]. So I quite enjoyed this episode, it was probably my favourite of the season so far. I think it’s a smart thing to go back to the beginning [it really worked on Orphan Black this season]. I even liked the idea of the fugue because it is something that was introduced early on the show and it would make sense for Vincent to have that particular delusion since he was worrying about it before getting hurt. So I am actually OK with the FUGUE LOGIC.

However, it could have been so much better! They had all the ingredients. I think the point of the fugue was to show that Cat may have had a “safer” life with Evan, however she would have always had a void without Vincent. I don’t think they needed the M abduction subplot, it just added noise to the “alt-dream”. I would have rather seen Cat just working a non-important case and coming in contact with Vincent, him realizing she is not actually happy with Evan and then rescuing her revealing himself as the Beast… and then they could have found their way to each other showing the inevitability of their relationship. [And we didn’t need to see Evan die - or almost die - AGAIN]. Well… they tried.

Random thoughts

  • Even though I liked the Alt-reality idea, I think it was a mistake to do the back and forth with il Cantuccio. It kind of broke the illusion. I think they should have kept the pretense almost to the point of making us question if Vincent had actually imagined the last three years. That was, of course, never going to happen, but I wanted more ‘commitment’ to the alternate events.
  • There were POV issues and this drove me INSANE. If this was Vincent’s fugue dream, it had to be told from Vincent’s POV. So it made NO SENSE that there were scenes between characters without Vincent around [JT/Tess e.g. and Evan talking to M dudes]. There is a reason the lead character of Life on Mars was on EVERY SINGLE SCENE.
  • Is il Cantuccio open 24/7? Does Tess have a key? Why were they the only ones there? Who pays for the damage on that place? Who keeps rebuilding it after all the shootings and beast fights? Why do people keep going there? Seriously who owns that place?!
  • As much as I enjoyed the episode there was exactly ONE scene that moved the overall plot along. The one where Tess talks to DEPUTY HILL and we learn that the Beast Bounty and the Beast Hit are independent. So someone is trying to KILL V and someone is trying to CAPTURE him. Huh… this is sort of interesting.
  • Even though I was a bit disappointed with how the plot played out, I loved having Evan [and Daddy Bob] back, if only for a little [fake] bit. Reminded me of the good old days.
  • I see the hospital hasn’t invested in gowns yet, but they are getting lazy with taking away patients’ clothes. Seriously, that tank top was so unnecessary.
  • Biggest complaint about the episode... I wanted an Evan/V "Train scene 2.0"
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TVEmpress

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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8 comments:

  1. an evan/v train scene would have been super! one of my fav #batb non vincaty scenes ever!
    i agree with all your points but I won't complain...only because there has been so much nonsense running around that when I do get feels (which I did this time round) I just shut up and enjoy it. who knows how long the feels will last - for all I know next week we may go back to square one. so yes! i really liked this episode, it gave me feels and I'll just savour that while it lasts (most likely for a few more days lol)

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  2. I just want to say that they did have a scene with Vincent and Evan in the car which was a perfect mirroring of the train scene.

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    1. hmm not so sure about that...didn;t feel the same to me. much less intensity and less gripping (iMO anyway)

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    2. Oh no... that car scene didn't come close to the train scene, AKA the best scene ever haha... ok mb not 'the best' but I love it so much

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  3. I was really looking forward to your review of this episode, specifically, and as always I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

    This episode was, in my opinion, the best episode of both seasons 3&4. Yes, a lot of issues and plot holes as usual, but just like season 1, I willingly overlooked them because the whole episode had enough redeeming features. After such a long time (probably after 2x17), I actually felt something after watching the ep, and wanted to re-watch immediately - something I hadn't done in a long time.

    Jay knocked it out of the ballpark this ep. He's always amazing, but this episode he simply shone. I loved seeing classic JT&V bromance, and also the old JT. My favorite scene is the one when V finally comes to and Cat reassures him that he's real. Oh and loved seeing the scar :)

    Totally agree with everything you've written. Thank you so much again xxxx

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  4. Great review & I sort of agree with most of your points as well as everyone's comments. However, I disagree that they would have been better off without the abduction, as I think that it added a necessary element of action & intensity, as well as a clear mirroring of S1 & Evan scenarios. I absolutely loved this ep, & like S1 was for me, it wasn't perfect, but it gave me what I look for & love the most in the show, which is the strong "feels" along with great excitement, action & drama. Also loved the nostalgia aspect as well, especially knowing that this is the last season.
    This was a fabulous episode for me & is easily without a doubt my favorite of S4 so far & possibly S3 as well. Hope they maintain & possibly build on this level of intensity & "feels" for the rest of this season, but hopefully progress a little more clearly on the overall plot.

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  5. Ps- I forgot to mention that when you said the whole point of the fugue was too show that she had a void without Vincent, you overlooked that it was also about proving to himself that she needed him to provide much needed answers about her parents & what happened that night that her mum died, as well as Vincent needing her to save him.

    The real point was that they saved each other - which was in the closing lines of the pilot - so V does not need to feel guilty any more - they saved each other & complete each other because they are each other's destiny.

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  6. Wow :)
    This is an incredible collection of ideas!
    Waiting for more helpful pieces.
    You would amazing to read a similar one here-
    thedogfences

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