Spoiler alert: Yes. Oh my god, yes. It’s still as full of horrible people making horrible decisions as I remember.
Two years ago, we stopped recapping the CW’s Beauty and the Beast, because it was bad, no one cared about it, and I was developing a facial tick whenever it was brought up. The absolute nadir was this episode, where the domestic violence parallels were obvious, the writers were obviously aware of it, and no one stopped it from happening.
And thus, after the mid-season finale of season 2, I took my leave of the show. Confident that the fact that it had lost half its audience between seasons one and two would doom it. And if that didn’t take it out, my abysmal record of only recapping shows that don’t make it beyond two seasons would doom it. I was wrong. I was so wrong.
First it was renewed for a third season. And then, before the third season premiered, it was given a fourth season. Which made me wonder: Could I have been wrong? Did the show get better once I stopped watching? So I decided to watch the season three premiere. My verdict: Kristin Kreuk got a haircut. It looks good on her.
That’s it. That’s what I’ve got for positives. Kristen Kreuk: Still pretty. This show: Still sucks.
First of all, Sendhil Ramamurthy is gone from the show. Which is a shame, since his face got me through some very tough times when I recapped this show.
But it’s good for him, because he is free of this drivel.
Second, this show hates its characters. Hates them. Hates letting them be happy. Hates functional relationships. Hates letting its characters heal. Hates everything.
Vincent’s no longer on the run. He’s returned to being a doctor (which, how? What are his qualifications after being on the run?) and he wants to propose to Cat with his mother’s ring. The show cuts immediately from him getting the ring to Cat, in a bridal gown store, insisting to the people there that she’s SO NOT READY FOR MARRIAGE. NO. NO. NO. She’s just there for her sister. So, of course she accepts Vincent’s proposal at the end of the episode. I foresee no problems there, and certainly no problems that prevent this wedding from happening, since the show is committed to dragging out this relationship until the end of time. Despite it being called Beauty and the Beast and the two of them having to eventually get together. By the time this show ends, it will be impossible to believe these two are in any way compatible.
Vincent also wants to move on and have a more normal life. Which is fair when an experiment turned you into a “beast,” then you were framed and hunted, and you’ve finally got some part of your life back. Cat, however, is an adrenaline junkie who misses the good old days of beast hunting. And the a pair of men in black government agents insist that she and Vincent help them hunt down all the other people being experimented on, still. Cat’s been meeting with them behind Vince’s back, and this upsets him. Also fair.
So when he finds out and goes to his bff J.T. about it, angry, J.T. actually says “That’s it? That’s why you didn’t propose?” YES, J.T. SHE LIED TO HIM, THEY HAVE FUNDAMENTALLY INCOMPATIBLE GOALS IN LIFE, AND THIS RELATIONSHIP HAS ALWAYS BEEN ROCKY AT BEST. But, of course, Vincent eventually goes “I guess we can’t be normal. *shrug* I like beasting out and helping people. Sure, Cat forced me into it and then I nearly killed a dude and she had to talk me down because it made Cat sad that the thing I told her I didn’t want to do and that she wanted to do nearly made me a kill an innocent person, but whatever. Wedding bells!”
Gah. Let’s look at her hair again.
Now we need to talk about J.T. and Tess, Cat’s best friend and police partner. Because, last season apparently ended with J.T. nearly dying and being saved by some miracle medicine the government agents gave him — a thing they tried to use as leverage to get Cat and Vincent’s help, because everyone on this show is trash — and he has a pretty severe case of PTSD from it. LIKE YOU WOULD.
J.T. has psychosomatic symptoms which make him use a cane he doesn’t really need. He panics his first day back teaching and runs out. He’s obsessed over the fact that he shouldn’t be alive and no one can explain to him what the government agents did to save him. Pop quiz, is the show’s answer to his problems:
A) Understanding from his friends and support as he works through this;
B) Buttloads of therapy;
or C) TOUGHEN UP, WHINY BABY
Of course it’s C, this show hates everyone and everything. Tess actually says to him “You know what you’re supposed to do? You’re supposed to get off your damn pity pot and grow a pair” and “You almost died. That sucks.”
Of course the pep talk works and he’s no longer using the cane at the end of the episode. And he credits Tess for his breakthrough. I ... just ... *hands*
This show. This show is so bad at giving characters growth and depth and always inserts conflict where there shouldn’t be any — Vincent and Cat’s horrible relationship, which makes it impossible to root for our romantic leads — and always shies away from doing hard work with the conflict it does have — poor, poor J.T. and Tess.
So, the bewilderment I got every time I was reminded that Beauty and the Beast was still on the air? Justified. The sense that I’m being personally punked by the universe whenever this show is renewed? Going to continue on for a while. I tried. I wanted to watch this show and feel that the CW gave a struggling show a chance and it finally found its feet. That’s not what happened.
And so, I give you my favorite moment from this show’s 2013’s Thanksgiving episode, where a beast raged out and flipped a table. This turkey is a metaphor for this whole show: