I’ve just enjoyed the latest episode of Beauty And The Beast, ‘Seeing Red’.
We open on the aftermath of Cat’s near-fatal encounter with a disgruntled villain of the week in the winter finale. Evan and Heather discover Cat unconscious on the road after Vincent (in Beast mode) ripped off the door to her car and carried her to safety. Vincent doesn’t stick around to see Evan work his magic, saving Cat’s life with his medical training by preventing her from bleeding out on the road. Yet this is all prologue to the main thrust of the episode, as Vincent disguises himself as a doctor and visits Cat while she’s recovering in the hospital – where he’s recognized by one of the nurses… his ex-fiance, Alex Salter.
The introduction of Alex presents an obstacle to a romance that had seemed like a foregone conclusion in the winter finale, and even more set-in-stone at the start of the episode, as Cat tells Vincent that she accepts Vincent for who he is – all of him. Yet Alex’s presence upends the burgeoning romance, even though Vincent does his best to ignore her upon seeing her in a crowd at the hospital. Vincent has done his best, over the years and, particularly, in recent weeks, to forget who he’d been before Muirfield. He could try to ignore Alex, but he comes to realize, to a very real extent, that pretending she doesn’t exist would do a disservice both to her, and to the person he’s become – in a sense, he can’t grow until he negotiates whatever feelings still remain for Alex. To this end, he meets with her secretly. Alex experiences conflicting feelings of surprise, sadness and disbelief, as Vincent tells her the story of his black ops work, stopping just short of revealing to her the nature of his transformation. He tells her that she can’t afford to be seen with him, as the people who are after him will come after her.
Cat learns that Alex is being stalked and, fearing that Muirfield is after her, gets out of her hospital bed to track Alex down before it’s too late. Luckily she isn’t too late, as she is able to interrupt an attack by Alex’s stalker, who is holding a knife to her neck and chastising her for being with “that soldier boy”. Alex and Cat develop an acquaintance as Cat investigates the stalker, discovering pictures of Alex and Vincent together – it’s fairly moving, as we can pretty much see the thoughts play themselves out in her eyes, how she’s seeing Vincent as a different person, a normal person, even a happy person, for the first time.
Vincent arrives to aid in the investigation, further expanding on his emotional conflict of interest when Alex volunteers to use herself as bait to draw out the perpetrator. This leads to the climax in which the plan goes haywire, Alex is abducted, and Vincent has to come to her rescue. Turns out the perpetrator is an ex-patient of Alex’s who is having a hard time letting her go, particularly now that Vincent is apparently back in the picture. Vincent easily dispatches of the man after hulking out into his Beast form. Oh, and Vincent has night vision now, as a part of his evolution. He saves the day and embraces Alex, just in time for Cat to see that Vincent probably still has some lingering feelings he needs to work out. Later that night, she tells him they can’t move forward together, though Vincent thinks this is a total cop out, although for once, he’s not sure he’s entirely right for grilling her (he did tell Alex she was his ‘handler’, which seems like a cop out to me too).
As for other developments, Tess reveals to Cat that there might be something developing between her and Joe Bishop, their captain… who is married. Meanwhile, Evan is getting closer to discovering the truth about Vincent, tracking down J.T. at the college and asking him for his help in getting to the bottom of his cross-species DNA discovery. There’s also the mystery of Evan being so highly skilled at surgery, when he’s only working in the morgue.
It was a very strong return episode, which gave us more questions than it did answers. I can’t wait to find out more in the coming episodes.
Thanks for reading.