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Beauty and the Beast - It's a Wonderful Beast - Review

In answer to the title of this episode, I must say, he most certainly is!  And never has the character of Vincent been more charmingly portrayed than in this excellent episode that was easily the best one Beauty and the Beast has had in quite a while.  In fact, this episode was actually so good that it threw me off a little.  Clearly, Season 4 has a lot more in store for us than the predictable and repetitive plot beats we grew accustomed to last season.  In fact, the writers seemingly intend to actually tell us who the villain is before the last few episodes hurriedly bring in and develop said villain just to have him swiftly, if not easily, defeated. Plus, with the last two episodes, BatB is showing that there will be fascinating and rewarding explorations of our favorite characters and the bonds between them that make them so lovable.  

Last week, Catherine's possible pregnancy caused her and Vincent to evaluate their feelings about parenthood, their renewed commitment to not letting any obstacles keep them from one another, and their fears about someone being out there gunning for Vincent.  Picking right up from where we last saw the characters, "It's a Wonderful Beast" showed the consequences of Vincent's being shot last week and provided some further clues about the threats to him and Catherine, while also examining his feelings of guilt about the danger he places Cat in on a daily basis.  

Cause and effect.  So many times, BatB episodes of the latter seasons opt to loosely string the events of each episode together to form a vague, continuing feeling of impending reveals as to the season's mythology.  Yet here we have an episode that directly examines the questions left lingering by the last installment, and to that I say, hooray!  Vincent was still very weak from his gunshot wound, with killers actively coming for him at every turn.  "I told you we should have stayed in a hotel," Catherine deadpanned after the latest assassin shot a decoy they had left in their bed.  You have to love how Catherine's affection for Vincent and generally badass nature allows her to just "go with it" and continue fighting for her husband's life and their much-deserved happiness with her sense of humor intact.

Speaking of humor, the scene of VinCat interrogating their would-be killer was laced with funny moments, while simultaneously highlighting Vincent's utter exhaustion and stress from the inundation of baddies they have faced of late.  Another assassin lay on Catherine's floor, and it was all Vincent's fault, or so he felt.  Jay Ryan did an amazing job throughout the whole episode of showing just how tired and overwhelmed Vincent is at this point, while Kristin Kreuk revealed Catherine's refusal to accept his proclamations that she would have been better off without him in a very touching performance.

Someone shady sent a text from Vincent's phone asking J.T. and Tess to meet at the coffee shop at 3am.  True to their b.f.f. fabulousness, they both showed up, just in time to trade a few flirty remarks that showed the cuteness of the J.T.'nT. relationship way more than has been the case in a while.  I really loved the running joke about J.T. getting Tess addicted to gummy worms and how he can make her laugh.  Well-written and acted, this is the level of quality, even down to the supporting characters and the smaller details, that we have been waiting for!

Vincent and Catherine arrived to save their pals from being killed by whoever had clearly plotted to draw his associates out to their demise.  But by the time they got there, a sniper already had J.T. and Tess in their sights, and VinCat were soon just as trapped, with their bullets running out as Vincent's wound began to act up and cause him great pain.  They needed an escape plan, they needed antibiotics, and they needed to find a way to stop the sniper before Vincent's injury was worsened beyond repair.  This was a high stakes situation that really kept the suspense level high.  Better yet, the "present day" situation of the gang stuck in the coffee shop and hunted by a shooter was then interwoven with the dream Vincent had when he slipped into unconsciousness as a result of his physical ordeal.

What if Catherine and Vincent never met?  As a result of his worry that meeting him had ruined Cat's life, Vincent's subconscious launched him into a scenario where this was actually the case.  Thus began a series of adorable and delightful callbacks to Season 1 as Vincent tried to navigate the weird new reality.  He woke up in a zoo where he'd been having a bit of a snack after going into a fugue beast state and losing control of himself.  J.T. was there to help, but was clueless as to why his buddy didn't seem aware that yes, he fugues on the regular, he still has a scar, and they are on the run from Muirfield.  

 Jay Ryan's acting was particularly on point when he expressed his shock that Catherine in this reality doesn't even recognize Vincent; a rant of his made suddenly hilarious when J.T. reacted by hitting him with a broom to help him snap out of it.

The friendship between J.T. and Vincent was played up so awesomely in this episode.  It was great that Vincent sort of shocked J.T. into realizing he was telling the truth about being from another, better reality by telling him not to feel guilty about signing Vincent up for the super soldier program: "I forgave you, years ago!" The combination of Vincent's irritation at his predicament, desperation to resolve it, and his funny, true comments that resulted were too fabulous. 

Familiar faces!  Vincent was horrified to discover that without having met him, Catherine ended up married to none other than Evan, the sweet and hopelessly misguided fellow who so pined after her back in Season 1 and died as a direct result.  However well Cat covered her feelings when Evan threw her a surprise party right after Vincent arrived in the alternate reality / dream, Vincent was able to discover the real truth that evening, as Catherine revealed to Evan her feelings of discomfort in their marriage.  She just didn't reciprocate Evan's romantic inclinations for her, and what's more, his continued disbelief in the story she tells about the night her mother died and a beast saved her was too frustrating for her to get over.  Really, Evan?  That's pretty rich considering your inside knowledge and investigation into the potential existence of beasts.  Sweet, but clueless, as ever.

After Vincent's attempt to explain himself to Cat was met with her violently rebuffing him in another scene mingling fun and humor with more serious emotions, he had to come up with a more solid plan to convince her that he was telling the truth.  Reasoning that if he could resolve Catherine's unhappiness and lack of understanding about her mother's death and what she saw that night, he could "wake up" to the true reality, Vincent decided to pay a visit to another dearly departed character to help him accomplish this goal.  Agent Reynolds, Catherine's biological father, was totally against Vincent's plan of having Reynolds tell his daughter all the secrets he'd been keeping from her.  It was so neat to see Reynolds again, as he was always a terrific character to have around with his combination of annoying and begrudgingly, occasionally (when it counted) admirable qualities.  And as always, the rapport between Reynolds and Vincent was amusing and interesting.

However, thanks to genius Evan's decision to call Muirfield and tell them that Vincent was on the loose (!!) in order to protect Catherine (and his own relationship with her, let's be honest), Vincent had to revise his own plans once Muirfield kidnapped Cat.  He teamed up with Evan as the two rushed to save Catherine, a situation that gave them the chance to bond a little over their shared love of Cat and the differences between their relationships with her.  As if it is his fate in any reality, Evan ended up sacrificing himself in the fight to save Catherine.  Vincent and Cat escaped and ran through the woods, and in this part of the episode, they finally got onto the same page.  Vincent finally explained what had happened the night of her mother's death and who he himself is.  When Cat finally heard Vincent's name for what, in this reality, was the very first time, she replied, "Vincent, where have you been all my life?" A sweet and poignant moment between the two.
Back to life, back to reality.  At first, Vincent was worried that even after leveling with Catherine and saving her from her confusion over her mother's fate and her own perceptive abilities (after seeing a beast and having no one believe her), he actually did wake up back in the real world.  Realizing that they had to make a tough choice to get Vincent to safety, Catherine, J.T. and Tess enacted a daring plan that paid off.  Eluding the assassin, Vincent ended up back in the hospital, where his fellow doctor friend was quite annoyed by Vincent's  refusal to properly take care of himself.  

The "fab four" realized that there must actually be two different people or groups pursuing Vincent: one party who wishes to capture Vincent and another who wants to kill him.  Could the more homicide-inclined baddies be trying to undercut the mission of the people who only want to kidnap Vincent?  I can't wait for more details. 

After Vincent promised to stay in the hospital and actually rest up this time so that his wound can heal, he told Catherine the whole story of his dream and they decided to take a quiet moment of respite together...but maaaaaybe not in front of that great big window, as Cat so cutely noted.

What did you think of this episode?  Share your thoughts in the comments, and be sure to catch an all-new episode of Beauty and the Beast, Thursday at 9/8c on the CW!

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 and her Twitter handle is @VMaeFontana
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