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Beauty and the Beast - Episode 2.09 - Don't Die on Me - Review


Ah, Beauty and the Beast, how I love thee.  Watching this show is like cuddling up under a warm, cozy patchwork quilt made out of memories of Buffy, Angel, Roswell, and Smallville.  Even though this has been a tough season for the show so far, both in terms of ratings and how some of its semi-reboot changes have panned out, I'll always adore the adventures of Catherine Chandler and Vincent Keller.  And that's not only because of the show's inherently soothing, old-school-WB feel.  It is also due to the truly wonderful characters the writers have  crafted, the classy and badass Kristen Kreuk, and the way Beauty and the Beast can surprise us at the drop of the hat with a twist of emotion that gets us right back in the VinCat mindset - even when Vincent's been straight-out actin' a fool...again.

I honestly can't stand the way Vincent's been acting this season.  Ever since he lost his memory, understandably he just hasn't been himself, and even now that he has most of his knowledge of his life back, he still isn't fully the Vincent we knew in Season 1.  I miss his more vulnerable and honest side, as opposed to the somewhat self-centered approach he now takes to his life.  

The latest evidence of this streak of annoying behavior was when he decided (albeit in beast form - but then, deciding to beast out was up to him, too) that killing Cat's biological father Agent Reynolds was a good idea, even as Catherine begged him not to do so.  I mean, really, Vincent?  Revenge over love?  Over your own humanity?  What is this, a Damon Salvatore or Klaus Mikaelson imitation contest?  It's not your style, bro.

One plus of that violent confrontation from the midseason finale was that it gave us the classic scene of Catherine shooting Vincent.  While that was a heartbreaking scene, in retrospect and with the addition of one-liners, it's starting to emphasize some of the over-the-top melodrama combined with humor that makes VinCat so great.  More on that will follow, though - let's look back at the earlier scenes in "Don't Die on Me."

The FBI sent someone to question Cat in a completely non-accusatory manner (at first) about the arrest of Agent Reynolds.  Afterwards, she was all stressed out over the shooting and kept trying to convince herself that she has to let Vincent - and his problems, which she's habitually taken on as her own - go.  

Catherine confided these feelings in Gabe, who behaved in the kind, understanding, supportive way that has been his m.o. ever since he switched from a selfish, murderous traitor to a sweet and heroic teddy bear.  I'm not going to lie and say I think the transformation's speed was especially realistic, but I do love the new Gabe.  Out of all the changes that Season 2 has brought so far, his reform is the best one.  The way he set out to redeem himself with the utmost seriousness, prioritizing Cat's safety and her happiness over his feelings for her and what he might wish they could be is noble.  He also looks like this,



And that's not making it any easier for me as a VinCat shipper.  This just isn't really the kind of show where it makes any rational sense to ship Cat/Gabe, knowing that the title and soul of Beauty and the Beast are completely wrapped up in the epic love between Cat and Vincent.  I can't deny, however, that while I'll ride with VinCat till the wheels fall off, sometimes Gabe's adorable attitude towards Cat gives my emotions a pull in an impossible direction. 

Cat went to see Vincent to make sure he was alright after she shot him, and lucky for us, eye-roll, Tori was there playing stalker nurse.  From her first episode, I have just despised that little presumptuous hussy and her designs on Vincent.  I might be able to enjoy Gabe's feelings for Cat, but he handles them in classy, respectful way.  He doesn't let selfishness coerce him into making moves on someone who is taken.  Worse than Tori's shameless and aggressive flirtations with Vincent, who did save her very nobly, but whom she's known for about five minutes, is her bluntly unsympathetic and judgmental attitude towards Catherine.  How dare Tori think for one minute that she could understand the depth of feeling and the complexity of the relationship between Vincent and Catherine?  Or why Cat had to shoot Vincent?  Seriously, girl, step. off.

Vincent and Cat had a really frustrating discussion of their issues that included these words:

Cat: "Look, Vincent, I told you I couldn't be the only one fighting for us, and I meant that. I didn't want it to end this way, but it looks like it has."


Vincent: "Looks like it. At least you don’t have to cover for me anymore."

I'm going to give you a little hint, Vincent: wrong answer!  That would have been a wonderful time for Vincent to show some fight, some faith in his love with Cat and its redemptive power.  But I think he's going to have a hard time getting back to that level of understanding of their bond, and it may take a few more episodes, even though it already seems like it's taken too long.

Thankfully, because she was getting on my last nerve with her clinginess, Tori got her own subplot this week.  She received a call from Dan Scott's her late father's attorneys, who insisted that she sign some papers releasing ownership of an antique shop he owned.  Tori tried to play it off like, "excuse me, I'm busy sexually harassing Vincent Keller while he's recovering from a gunshot wound, I don't have time for this," but the totally evil lawyer shot that down by announcing that this law firm is Wolfram and Hart knows all about beasts and would tell all unless Tori signed off.  Sure, these were still Tori scenes, but at least she finally started to get some more development and something else to do, which she sorely needed.

J.T. scurried over to the hospital to get blood and meds for Vincent, where he was busted and Tess had to come and collect him.  Now, I was over the moon with glee when it became obvious that the show was going in a Tess/J.T. direction.  This is such a completely adorable and often funny pairing.



Due to her growing closeness to J.T., Tess was able to peel away a few layers of his backstory that were quite interesting.  She wanted to know why J.T. feels so incredibly responsible for protecting Vincent, beyond the bounds of a normal friendship and even beyond what Tess would do for Cat.  We later found out that J.T. was the one who gave Vincent's name to Muirfield, since at the time he believed their experiments might give Vincent an edge in battle. J.T.'s attempt to protect his friend led to Vincent's becoming a hunted fugitive constantly living under the threat of what chaos the latest beast-out might bring. I think I'd feel guilty and responsible, too. Since I've always thought J.T.'s level of devotion to Vincent needed a bit more clarification, I'm pleased that we finally got that in a plausible way.

Catherine went with Tori to investigate the mysterious antique shop that the evil lawyers so desperately desired.  Cat absolutely cannot stop being helplessly entangled in not only Vincent's problems, but also the problems of Vincent's trampy hanger-on. I'm cool with that because I fiercely love how real, human, romantic, and emotional she is while being tough and a force to be reckoned with at the same time.  

The ladies were interrupted in yet another verbal spar by the Evil Lawyers, who suggested that Tori use her eye to open a sketchy vault or they would kill Cat.  I had a flash of something almost amounting to respect, but really more quantifiable as relief when Tori shoved Cat into the vault to protect her.  Luckily for Tori, Vincent swept in, feeling a bit better thanks to J.T. and Tess' medical assistance.  Cat, after examining a dusty, beasty skull in the Vault of Mystery, had a moment of sadness and realization when she understood that Vincent had come to save Tori and not her.

Vincent decided, in contrast to his previous rejection of the idea, that he had no choice after the fight with the Evil Lawyers left him ailing once more.  He literally had to have Cat call 911.  He had to go to the hospital even though it meant that his true identity would be revealed.  

Possibly my very favorite quote from this episode, by the way:

Vincent: "You shot me?  Again?"
Catherine: "You didn't leave me any choice.  Again."

This repeated theme of Cat having to shoot Vincent perfectly reflects the basic problem between them.  No matter how many times Cat tries to talk sense to Vincent, or how often she tries to save him from himself, this new post-mind-wipe Vincent is too emotionally stunted to grasp the need to wake up to himself and be the man he needs to be - the man he once was.

Towards the end of the episode, Catherine had another nice talk with Gabe, who looked really good in his casual wear.  Gabe had Cat reinstated and returned her badge after it was taken by the FBI due to holes in her story of Reynold's arrest and her cover-up of Vincent's shooting.  Reynolds had helped Gabe to sneak the bullet out of evidence and solve the problem.

She mentioned that even though it was painful that Vincent showed up to save Tori and not herself, representing the severity of the VinCat rift, Cat also felt liberated by this.  If she could let go of worrying about Vincent and sacrificing her own happiness and quality of life to try and bring him back to who he was, she could enjoy her own life the way she deserves to.  I agree, but because he's so ingrained in her heart, despite how irritating Vincent's decisions have been all season, we know she cannot fully disconnect.  

It would do Vincent a hell of a lot of good if Cat could at least reduce the number of hours she puts into his redemption every day.  Maybe he would have to work to realize who he should be on his own terms, and becoming himself again would make him understand how much he loves and needs Cat.

I think we deserve a return to the purity and goodness of the VinCat from Season 1.  However, it has to be earned.



Vincent decided, or was coerced by the media and/or Tori, to hold a press conference since the world knows that he's back from the dead.  What is he going to say?  What will result from his publicly affirming his identity and aliveness?  I'm intrigued to see where this plotline is heading in the next episode.

What did you think of this episode?  Share your thoughts in the comments!





About the Author - Virginia Mae Fontana
Virginia is happy to be reviewing Hart of Dixie, The Mentalist, Beauty and the Beast, Bones, Witches of East End, Covert Affairs, and Devious Maids for Spoiler TV. She is a college English instructor and also enjoys obsessing over films and pop music - in addition to tv shows, of course! You can find her blog, SugarRushed, at http://virginiamaeblog.blogspot.com/ and her Twitter handle is @SugarRushedBlog

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