Beauty and the Beast – Month 4

If you’ve not read the previous posts then this will make no sense at all. But, I’m doing a rewatch of the TV show Beauty and the Beast with CE Murphy. And, much to my surprise, the show is a lot better than I remembered, or rather I was convinced my rose tinted memories would be trashed when the show was dragged into the harsh light and reality of 2014. In reality, the show is still really good today.

Ep. 13 – China Moon – This episode as a whole was quite good, not brilliant, but good. However, it was another Romeo and Juliet story where people from either two different worlds or different sides of the same world, cannot be together despite their feelings, once again reflecting what is happening with Catherine and Vincent. It’s starting to get a little thin now and I think this is the third such version. I’m also at the point where each time they don’t kiss I start to twitch and get close to shouting at the TV. Ok, I already have shouted, but I didn’t this episode, although it was a close call. This time instead of Protestants and Catholics, it’s Chinatown where a woman is marrying a young man to honour her grandfather who owes another man a great debt. Family honour and so on aplenty. Vincent goes bananas and actually kills several people to defend his home but is also shown to be a man of honour. I’ve used that word a lot in this episode but that’s it’s core. I’m hoping for more going forward, although I have a sneaky feeling it will not progress as fast as I would like.

Ep. 14 – The Alchemist – This was an interesting episode exploring a little further what happens to a person who doesn’t fit in or abide by the laws of the underground society. What if their crimes are so severe? What happens to them? A new street drug has ties to the underworld and is traced to a man exiled from the underworld, but he is still living underground, beyond the reaches of their territory. He threatens to reveal the secrets of those living underground if arrested and he’s beyond the borders of Father’s jurisdiction which creates a thorny issue to deal with. The episode itself was pretty good, but the information beneath the surface that they hint at was what really held my attention. The exiled man was one of the founders of the society with Jacob, he came up with the idea of communicating on the pipes and Jacob hints at other things. He also manages to disarm Vincent by hinting that there’s more to his origin than Jacob has told him, being found abandoned outside St Vincent’s hospital. This is the first time someone has said anything about his origin. For most people Vincent is simply different and that’s the end of it, but every time you see his face it’s hard to forget. This episode definitely asks lots of interesting questions but only answers a couple of them. Hopefully more of them will be addressed in the future.

Ep.15 – Temptation – This was a Joe focused episode, so Vincent had very little to do which was fine for a change. It focused on Joe being seduced by a beautiful attorney who was actually using him to delay a case he was due to take to court. It was handled really well and not ham-fisted at all, with him slowly becoming more and more distracted, leaving Catherine to be the bad and point out he’d been acting like a teenager. This episode highlights their friendship and it’s also the first time in years I can remember there being a strong friendship between two leading characters, a man and a woman, that didn’t then lead to a romantic connection later down the line. They’re close friends, she tells him how much she cares for him and only wants what’s best for him, but at no time does she get that look in her eyes or vice versa. For a show that’s coming up on twenty years old, it continues to surprise me, open my eyes to things I’ve apparently forgotten about the show and characters on TV in general, because I just don’t see it very often these days.

Ep.16 – Promises of Someday – This episode was written by George R.R Martin, and in some ways it turned out be a very personal and small story, with wider emotional repercussions. It dealt with the return of a character from Vincent’s past, a boy called Devon whom he grew up with, and one left physically scarred by an incident with an angry Vincent. It also showed Vincent as a boy, and it gave an indication of his age for the first time of being somewhere in his early thirties. Father was painted in a less than favourable light and it showed him to be human, fallible and not the perfect father-figure. I really liked seeing the flashback parts where we saw a young Vincent and hearing Devon talk about how he carried the tunnels and world below with him as he travelled around the world. I don’t want to spoil it too much, but this episode really added more texture and history to the characters of Vincent and Father. It also showed Vincent as less than perfect and that not everyone liked him. Catherine didn’t have as much to do, except act as a sounding board, but it’s good to get a balance between episodes set predominantly above and those below.