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Another week, another superb episode of Beauty and the Beast.  In fact, this one was even better than last week's fascinating "Ancestors."  The strange and wonderful appeal of this show is that even as I completely disagree with many of the characters' decisions (more an issue with earlier Season 2 episodes) and can't quite get my mind around what the writers could possibly be thinking with certain angles (i.e. the entire character of Gabe), I'm constantly laughing, having my heart broken and put back together, shouting tirades at the screen, and thoroughly enjoying it.  This is the mark of truly great t.v. anyway you slice it.

"Held Hostage" had some awesome twists and turns that finally brought VinCat to a more positive forward momentum.  Meanwhile, the affair of the necklace and those who want it for mysterious and nefarious reasons continues to grow more intriguingly complex.  Here's what went down and what I thought!

I had to give out immediate kudos to BatB for using one of my favorite songs, the fantastically angsty "Stay Away" by Charli XCX, to open this episode.  It really got me thinking because while I had previously thought this song referred to a darker and more damaging relationship than VinCat, there are aspects of the lyrics that apply perfectly to the dynamic between them.  It deals with overwhelming and consuming love and the desperate desire to shake that love off to survive another day on one's own terms.  This does speak to the difficult yet epic origins, powerful emotions, and currently troubled nature of the VinCat connection...and when VinCat first met, he did tell her to stay away.   Since their break-up this season, it's been Cat's turn to try and push her love for Vincent away...clearly, an impossible task.

"You choke my throat
With words of wonder
You make it hard to breathe
Your love's so cold
Just like an arrow
Pierced through my skin I bleed

I knew you were no angel


But god, what did I do?"*

Cat was irritated to see pictures of Vincent and Tori in the newspapers as they paraded the necklace around to attract those who may have more information on it.  She met up with Gabe to plan a surprise birthday for Tess, and her boss / potential b.f. was curious about Cat's residual anger towards Vincent.  Did it mean she was "unresolved" about her ex?  (Yes.)  Cat then went off on an explanation composed of complete lies that cracked me up: "I'm over Vincent.  I can't believe I was ever with someone like that."  The level of self-persuasion Cat was trying to impose on herself with these words formed a theme that continued throughout the episode.  




Even though Cat claimed she was done with Vincent (her favorite topic, haha) and only wanted the necklace because of its ties to her own past, and even though she put the mega-big-eyes / lean-in-for-the-kiss moves on Gabe, he wasn't having it.  It's moments like this that make Gabe's "changed man" persona and his feelings for Cat seem so genuine that he must be a total genius if he's actually been evil the whole time.  I am more inclined to suspect that Gabe is a character torn between good and evil at all times, but which way is the pendulum swinging now?  For almost the first time all season, "Held Hostage" raised some questions about Gabe's intentions that made the blend of sweet and suspicious in him more remarkable than ever.




We got a fabulous face-off - the first of many in this episode - when Gabe, Cat, and Tess showed up to get the necklace from Vincent and Tori.  The teams were divided almost evenly (J.T., where were you this week?) but Cat ended up arresting Tori after she and Vincent wouldn't give up the necklace.  

It was awesome to finally get a couple of feisty head-on confrontations between Cat and Tori this week.  As annoying as Tori often is, at least she's a fun character to have around in situations like this.  Cat was sassily priceless and quite correct in telling the she-beast that Vincent's taking Tori out on the town to draw out dangerous villains does not equal a date.  

 Tess got some great quips in as well, such as suggesting that Tori avoid ending up in a lab, "you know, like E.T. at the end of the movie?"  In fact, just overall, Tess was on fire this week.  She had numerous hilarious and poignant moments in the episode that underscored what a fabulous character she is.

A motley and violent crew of baddies showed up to hold everyone in the station hostage and steal the necklace.  As officers circled outside to try and help, Gabe discussed the problem with Vincent, who acted as if he only cared about getting the necklace and wasn't concerned with saving the lives of the hostages.  "Catherine was right," Gabe noted, "you are unrecognizable."  But once Gabe indicated that Catherine was involved...

"Is she in there?" Vincent asked, practically apparating into the station at the mere suggestion of Cat's being in danger.  I loved the abrupt switch from Vincent's veneer of insensitive selfishness to leaping into the fray to save Cat. 

Meanwhile, Cat had to try and get Tori to beast out in order to help with the hostage situation, amusingly swapping her gentle, keep-the-peace tone to an aggressive one to help Tori get in the mood:  "I hate you, and you and Vincent don't stand a chance."  That was some satisfying dialogue. 

Gabe didn't mince words in telling Cat that Vincent obviously still cares about her and went rushing into the building when he heard she was in trouble.  But then he followed that up by telling Catherine that when the current peril was over, he wanted to be with her: "I'm in."  I think the first thing you said kind of undercut the other idea, Gabe.

Cat ran into Vincent after escaping from her cell, but the two quickly began to argue, once again about "that stupid necklace."  More than a plot device, the necklace has come to represent everything that's come between VinCat, which amazingly happens to also be the same everything that will always bind them inextricably together.  

Vincent had an awesome line in this scene that seemed a bit like a direct message to the show's fans who have been disheartened with the changes in him this season - "You wanna know what happened to 'The Old Vincent'?  He was deceived and hurt by almost everyone in your family tree."  It was terrific to have an outright acknowledgement that the Season 2 Vincent is different from the one we met in Season 1, and to have him give some explanation of the pain that sent him down that dark path.

"Do you remember what I said
That first time we met
Stay away, why couldn't you stay away?
I never needed anyone
But now that you are gone

Stay away, won't you just stay away?"*

Still under gunpoint with the other hostages, Tess was having a fairly unfun birthday, also being semi-interrogated about Tori's beast-out by the rather emotionally manipulative Agent Landon.  I adored the way that after listening to the profiler's cutting words about her enthusiasm for birthdays representing some kind of inferiority complex, Tess came back with some tart retorts at the end of the episode.  Nobody puts Tess in the corner, even if the villains did eat her cheesecake.

Poor Tess then had a gun to her head while Catherine feverishly whispered a plea for Vincent to channel his "Old Vincent" self and rescue her best friend.  Of course, Vincent later said he didn't actually hear Cat when she was "like, praying" to him, but what a beautifully intense scene and lovely performance by Kristin Kreuk.

"I climbed a wall
To touch your shadow
I hear you call for me
But you're not there
You're just an echo

Why did you fall for me?"*



When Cat called Gabe back and told him about her plans to shut off all the lights in the station, his hesitance and/or runaround in telling her where the breakers were was weird.  He's always portrayed himself as pretty much entirely obedient to Cat (to the point where she's almost his boss), but here he acted sketchy.  Of course, whether or not Gabe made a sincere reinvention at the start of Season 2, he'll always be sketchy and suspicious in motives because of the way he was in Season 1.  

The apparent changes to Gabe's character this season reminded me of the similar switch around that happened with Dr. Peter Burns on the O.G. Melrose Place.  After trying to kill Amanda, Peter was brought back the next season and transitioned into a man who was more of a moral gray area, and quite often good, rather than a downright villain. With the character of Gabe, are BatB's writers similarly changing a character for the convenience of the story in having him become a good guy, or is Gabe just a total fake?  For me, it's a win either way.  I enjoy Gabe whether he's playing nice or plotting wicked schemes...I think the time has come, however, for the reality to be revealed, and I suspect we'll see this solved soon.

What a gorgeous VinCat scene we got when the two met up once more and he protected her from a sniper's bullet.  "You turned the lights off," Vincent acknowledged to Cat, since her doing this had helped him immensely.  "You didn't leave," Cat replied, showing that he's failed to disappoint her for the first time in several episodes.  Something - a remnant of trust and a flicker of the love that still burns between them - was reborn in that moment.  The chemistry between Cat and Vincent as they stared at each other was amazing.

This peaceful moment led them to a truce and a decision to perhaps even work together on the issue of the necklace.  Vincent even acknowledged that he and Cat are possibly "meant to" unite in this task.  Why else, after all, would each of their pasts have such strong ties to the necklace, and hence to one another?  It's destiny not only in the sense of each of their journeys of self-discovery, but also for their journey back to one another.

While telling Gabe that she's not ready to be with him (I get a sense she's never going to be ready for that, especially given the sliceable tension as Vincent hovered around and resisted an invite to Tess' party), Cat also explained that she now understands that she can't be too hard on herself for having loved Vincent.  Seeing a glimpse of The Old Vincent that night reminded her of the positive aspects of that love.  Now that some of her flimsy self-deceit has ebbed away and she and Vincent are back on friendlier terms, VinCat seem much closer to a long-awaited reunion.

We got a sneaky little peek of the supposed mere drunk vagrant from the station handing the stolen necklace off to a mysterious person in a car.  Who was it?  I am not sure when this scene is meant to be timed and if it overlaps with Gabe being back with Cat and Tess at the station...or not.  If it isn't a perhaps morally relapsed Gabe, who else might the perpetrator be?  

Who do you think is behind this theft of the necklace?  What did you think of this week's VinCat developments?  Share your thoughts on this episode in the comments!


*lyrics are taken from the song "Stay Away" by Charli XCX.



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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