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Beauty and the Beast - Episode 2.16 - About Last Night - Review

Damn, that was an excellent episode! "About Last Night" fired on every possible cylinder, bringing Catherine and Vincent's long separation to an end while working in a cliffhanger just to keep us in delicious suspense over the next month and a half or so.  In fact, this episode was beautifully structured to feel almost like a season finale, since it tied up so many loose ends from storylines that were ready to be put to bed (teehee).  While I have a few reservations about the "Vincent accused of murder" plot, as well as Gabe's character development (or lack thereof), otherwise it couldn't have been more satisfying.  I mean, we had VinCat reuniting, more Vincent and J.T. bonding, action and adventure as the Sam plotline edged closer to resolution, hilarious shenanigans between our core quartet, and even some sweet JT'nT action.  In short,

I loved that "About Last Night" featured the eternally slinky Alunageorge's gorgeous song "You Know You Like it" during the masquerade party, exquisitely hitting on the sexy chemistry between Vincent and Catherine.  Hence, I'll include some of those lyrics in this week's review.

"Some people want me to be heads or tails
I say no way, try again another day
I should be happy, not tipping the scales
I just won't lay, letting my life get away"*

Indeed, Catherine has been letting herself be an emotional pawn on Gabe's chessboard for too long.  It played into her agenda of repressing her feelings for Vincent out of fear of being hurt again, though she also tried to rationalize it with the repetitive phrase "I can't go backwards" this week.  I think Catherine knows very well that she's never been a damsel in distress in her life, and nor has Vincent ever tried to put her in that position.  The problems between them had nothing to do with their relationship being essentially doomed by his beasthood, and everything to do with life just being crazy and hard.  It's about time Cat put her hangups aside and prioritized her happiness over the words Gabe put in her mouth and the smothering agitations that were fogging up her memory of what being with Vincent was actually like.

I loved the use of the pure white screen to open the episode, emphasizing a fresh start for Vincent and Cat as well as the dreaminess of the flashback scenes of their love.  Wow, what a swoon-worthy clip reel that was! There have been so many stunning romantic moments between these two over the show's run, and more were to come in "About Last Night."  Much as the title suggested, Cat awoke with a splash of cold reality water to the face as she realized she was in bed with Vincent.  She immediately clung onto the idea of "break-up sex" and dismissed her night with Vincent as a mistake, much to his chagrin.

I know Catherine's been a pain sometimes lately, but man, this response on her part, though infuriating, also shows why I love her so much as a character.  She's hilarious and has so many layers.  There's something about her twisted sense of logic that never fails to crack me up and even impress me in its self-deceiving complexity.  First of all, she and Vincent broke up too long ago for this to have been break-up sex.  Secondly, she's already in a new relationship with Gabe, so even though they're not living together, she did pretty much cheat on him.  It's telling that Catherine doesn't even take her relationship with Gabe seriously enough to acknowledge the nature of her transgression...and reflective of the very truth she's skirting here: she was never committed to Gabe and she never let go of Vincent.

"I'm no fool, no, I'm not a follower
I don't take things as they come, if they bring me down
Life can be cruel, if you're a dreamer
I just wanna have some fun, don't tell me what can't be done"*

Vincent sought counsel with J.T., because seriously, who wouldn't?  The guy has the best advice and general wisdom bombs about life ever.  I feel that the humor and the sparkling warmth in the easy, sweet friendships in BatB have come really far this season. Some of the gentle, quietly funny little touches lately have involved poor Vincent trying to find something to eat, from his gummy worms and seemingly doomed frozen dinner attempt, to this week's confused granola bar experiment.  I also loved J.T.'s simple, too-true assessment that break-up sex is the opposite of what Vincent and Catherine had.  

Sam broke out of prison, natch, so the gang had to crack down on that sitch despite the inevitability of its throwing them all back together in the midst of some serious personal angst shooting out in every direction.  For example, Gabe's disappointment in Cat's doubts about their relationship (finally she admitted it!  Despite his annoying attempts to guilt her about it) collided uncomfortably with Vincent's plans to interrogate a member of the secret conspiracy club targeted by Sam.  It was so incredibly refreshing to see all of Vincent's over-politeness towards Gabe and eggshell walking with Cat evaporate as he did things the beasty way and got results.  Though, of course, it's always fun to hear Gabe try and discuss legal ramifications as though any plotline in BatB is ever particularly hampered by the technicalities of the law.

J.T. and Tess got their own little subplot as they worked to track Sam down and ended up discussing their night together a few weeks back.  J.T.'s gruff attitude to Tess's demanding one showed that he was frustrated by her lack of communication about their connection, and the snips being traded between them were downright adorable.  Once J.T. finally confronted Tess about her issues, she gave a beautiful speech explaining that she never expected to be drawn to someone like him and it scares her, because whenever they aren't together, she's thinking about being with him.  True to his wise form, J.T. saw through her confusion and right to the important part: that her feelings for him are real.  The two then shared an awesome kiss.

"You know you like it but it drives you insane
You know you like it but it drives you insane
You know you like it but you're scared of the shame
What you want, what you gonna do?"*

As Sam's plans ramped up to the point of attempting a mass assassination of the conspiracy crew at a masquerade ball, the scene was also set for Vincent and Cat to return to one of their most romantic memories: last year's masked ball and their steamy kiss while also solving a mystery.  As Catherine noted the similarities, she was clearly unable to deal with the intensity of the romantic associations.  Catherine's asking Gabe and Vincent to each pick a number to decide who would be her "date" perfectly showed the ridiculousness that this would-be love triangle has reached.  As chortle-worthy as that moment was, clearly, an end to the madness was needed ASAP if anyone was planning to get anything actually done in the future.

The witty repartee and barbed flirtations between Vincent and Catherine at the party were fabulous.  I especially enjoyed Vincent murmuring "why is she so beautiful?" as Cat walked away after trying to reject him yet again.  It's so fantastic that her sassiness only draws him in more and increases the sparks between them, such as when he tried to help her out in an altercation with a baddie and got rebuffed.  Between Cat insisting on being an independent non-damsel, blah-blah-blah, and Vincent muttering about his ability to change, the laughs and fun, suspenseful moments continued to pile up.

As far as Gabe giving the "stay away from Catherine" speech again, sigh.  The writers need to get Gabe off the broken record he's been stuck on lately.  Surely he has more going on in his life, or should, than basically stalking Cat into being his girlfriend and undermining everything he did to help Vincent earlier this season.  I thought Gabe helped Vincent to make amends for his past actions and out of a respect that eventually developed between them, but everything Gabe's done in the last two episodes has shown an immature and spiteful disrespect for Vincent made even worse by the fact that he once tried to kill the man.  Gabe was enjoyable as either a man seeking redemption in earnest or a conflicted villain, but now he's sadly muddled somewhere in between.

"If you wanna train me, like an animal
Better keep your eye on my every move
There's no need to be so damn cruel
Baby you got nothing to prove"*

Sam actually became genuinely pitiable as he pondered suicide after his brutal attempt to exact revenge for his son's death went awry thanks to our heroes.  It was very interesting to learn that there was always a bigger organization behind Muirfield, one determined to make beasts for selfish reasons and in destructive ways.  Even a villain as conniving and violent as Sam, and even Muirfield itself, pale in comparison to the organization responsible for starting the chaos.  As Vincent tried to talk Sam off a ledge and then saved the man, showing that his beast powers could be used in a calm, measured, heroic way, Catherine was visibly moved by his thoughtful words and his ability to control his beast side while using it to help someone.  Clearly, Vincent has changed simply through growing as a person over his recent journey since getting his memories back.  But all of this "old Vincent, new Vincent" talk has started to get confusing!  I guess now we have a new, new Vincent.  And Cat really likes him.

The final glances between Catherine and Vincent when they were rejoined by Gabe to wrap up the case were priceless.  Her inability to deny what she really wanted was cannily reflected in Vincent's knowing gaze upon departing.  The break-up scene that followed between Catherine and Gabe was really well done. It had all of the emotions in a break-up that ring so true: the awkwardness, the hollowness, the bitterness.  It's hard not to hate Gabe for still trying to manipulate Cat right up until the last breath of their relationship, but he's just getting pathetic now.  Moreover, we can see that Catherine's too smart to let Gabe talk her into anything she doesn't want to do...she's the only one who can do that, and she's done with that hobby now as much as she's done with Gabe.  

"You know you like it but it drives you insane
Only 'cause you know that you wanna feel the same
You know you like it but it drives you insane
What you want, what you gonna do?"*

Now that the hard work was over, Cat returned home and walked right into a special treat for nostalgic BatB fans (yeah, we can be nostalgic about 2012!): a certain open window and softly fluttering curtain that indicated Vincent's being up on the roof.  Yes, the roof, the ultimate VinCat date zone.  In a gorgeous scene amid softly falling snow, Vincent and Catherine reaffirmed their love to each other and kissed.  

The morning after, the happy couple enjoyed a few fleeting moments of continued bliss before being rudely interrupted by the aforementioned cliffhanger.  Seems Vincent's been accused of murder, and I highly suspect it's Gabe who has engineered these charges.  If so, Gabe has definitely sunk to a whole new low.  Even though this episode ended on a note of trouble, the fact of Vincent and Catherine's love being stronger than ever seems to negate the severity of any new problem.  I can't wait until May, when we get to see what will happen next for Vincent, Catherine, Tess, and J.T.!

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

*lyrics are taken from the song "You Know You Like it" by Alunageorge.

About the Author - Virginia Mae Fontana
Virginia is happy to be reviewing The Vampire Diaries, Hart of Dixie, Nashville, Beauty and the Beast, Elementary, Witches of East End, Covert Affairs, and Devious Maids for Spoiler TV. She is a college English instructor and 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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