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Beauty and the Beast - Chasing Ghosts - Review



This episode of Beauty and the Beast saw the writers stepping up their game as the story finally started to move forward.  Not only did we have the return of Catherine's biological father Reynolds, but we also got some glimmers of Beast mythology, as well as some revelations and closure regarding Cat's mother.  All that, and Vincent learned a bit about what family means to him.  Add on a pretty decent cliffhanger, and we had the best episode in a while.  

I'll be using some lyrics from Alesha Dixon's aptly named song "Chasing Ghosts" to supplement my review.

"Been chasing a ghost that doesn't exist
It's haunting my soul, I'm scared and alone
Been running away, no way to resolve
How did I get here? How can I get home?"*

Catherine's ghosts: I love the title of this episode because it beautifully epitomizes Catherine's emotional struggle this season.  She's right to be paranoid and proactive about anticipating superhuman threats, but she's also allowed those feelings to draw her further away from having a satisfying personal life.  While chasing the ghosts of those leads on the superhuman experiments and why these baddies are after Vincent, Cat's also been running from some baggage she didn't want to deal with.  We saw it on plain display this week, as the mere idea of seeing her mother's sisters made Catherine want to run for the hills (or, of course, indulge in her personal crutch of working cases before they even materialize fully).  That's because Catherine hasn't properly grieved her mother and had that issue complicated by learning that Vanessa was involved in the Muirfield experiments.  Cat's sadness at the loss of her mother is all tangled up in a lack of resolution mixed with anger and confusion over Vanessa's secret past.  I never doubted that Catherine knew better than to think her mother was some sociopathic mad scientist, but it was easier to feel that way than to take on the full burden of her grief.  

So it's a good thing that Catherine finally had to face these issues head on, even though it led to a meltdown at her own party that was painful to watch.  Even the nefarious Reynolds could see the misery Cat was putting herself through over her mother, and told her to look in the box he'd given her to find details that would explain a lot.  By watching the video of her mother's last message to her, Catherine was able to learn her mother's true motives, feelings of guilt and fear, and even the fact that the message was filmed on Vanessa's last day alive.  As horrifying as that last part was, the pieces of the story finally fit together.  Catherine could grieve her mother and move on with her life, sharing those feelings with Heather and recommitting herself to her engagement to Vincent.  No wonder Cat had a hard time choosing a wedding venue, seeing as she had so much angst from the past dragging her down, and no time to breathe between all the adventures that fill her life.

"Sometimes I drift away, I melt into another place
It's a fraction of my mind and no it doesn't need a face
I meditate, I find the light, put the wrong I've done to right
It is part of giving time to get the best I can in life"*

The last scene in the church with Vincent and Catherine was really lovely and showed them back on the same page.  That just made the surprising attack on them in the church even more potently shocking and troubling, though the wait for next week would have been a tad more suspenseful if we hadn't seen Vincent and Cat seemingly escaping their cloudy peril.

"Fly over me, make it clear, help me see
No more turning back now 'cause I'm where I should be
No longer I'm lost in a dark fantasy
I followed on and I carried on now

Help me believe that the things that I need
Are high up with you, so much bigger than me
The story is written before I could breathe
Stay here beside me, help me to see"*

The big bads are raising the stakes: Some of the unknown villain(s)' shenanigans in this episode seemed designed to draw Vincent out (to what end?), and others were so drastic that the reason for them needs more explanation, like the outbreak of experimentation victims.  Reynolds, a solid smirking quasi-frenemy of a character, gave us some good clues  to some of what's going on.  As J.T. had deduced, the particular strain of beastly DNA at work is the same one that created Vincent, and moreover, the original beast serum: the proto-beast one.  I rejoiced immediately at the idea of finally getting some details on what the hell is going on this season, as well as resolution to all the mythology of Season 2 (Alistair and Rebecca, gems and collars, et al) that was built up and seemingly dropped afterwards.  So do the Big Bads need Vincent in order to understand how the proto-beast DNA works, and is this maybe something they might have wanted to get squared away before they started experimenting on innocents (tee hee)?  There's some holes in the story, but at least the writers are bringing the mythology of beasts and the fantasy part of the show back in a major way.
Vincent and his cousins: This was an interesting way to tie up some of the loose ends regarding Vincent's return from the dead, his lack of communication with his family, and his grief over the loss of his brothers.  I liked the way that this episode dealt with parallel stories of coming to terms with the loss of family members: Catherine and her mother; Vincent and his brothers.  J.T. tried really hard to get some of the remaining Kellers together to create some fun bro-tastic times leading up to Vincent's nuptials.  Unfortunately, the only one of Vincent's relatives who had more than a couple of lines was a sleazy politician more interested in strippers and using Vincent's fame to his own advantage than sincerely reconnecting with his cousin.  All of this made Vincent realize that of course, no one can replace his brothers, and he's not obligated to try to be closer with family members who lack the merit of making the effort worthwhile.  When it comes to who his real family is, there's no question that within the fab four, Vincent has found his own new little family unit.  Moreover, J.T. was a brother to Vincent in this episode, as he always is, looking out for his best friend's welfare and happiness at all times.

Remaining questions: This episode raised a lot of questions, but unlike the previous few, not all of them were frustrating or indicative of ongoing problems with the plotting of the show.  Let's review a few of them:
  • Who is conducting the superhuman experiments?
  • What is their endgame?  (Why are they doing this?)
  • What happens next in the scene at the church?  Do Vincent and Cat indeed escape, and what new peril awaits?
  • Who is the hooded villain seen in the preview for next week?  This looks exciting!
  • Who would have their bachelor's party or bridal shower before booking a venue for the wedding?  Is it just me thinking this is a little crazy?
  • When will we see Reynolds again and in what context?
  • How will the mythology of beasts and their history come back into play with the reintroduction of the proto-beast serum?
  • Now that Vincent and Catherine have found some resolution to their past family baggage, will it be easier for them to focus on enjoying their romance and engagement?
I'm looking forward to seeing some answers to these questions in the upcoming episodes, as well as other questions I probably forgot to include, which I'd love to see in the comments.

What did you think of this episode?  Share your thoughts in the comments!  And be sure to catch an all-new Beauty and the Beast, Thursday at 8/7c on the CW.

*lyrics taken from the song "Chasing Ghosts" by Alesha Dixon

About the Author - Virginia Mae Fontana
Virginia is happy to be reviewing The Vampire Diaries and Beauty and the Beast for Spoiler TV. She 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 @VMaeFontana
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