CW’s “Beauty & the Beast” – On the Road to Redemption?
There are thousands (maybe even millions) of fans all over the world who are waiting anxiously for the return of CW’s Beauty & the Beast (2012). As one of the most underrated television shows on the CW, Beauty & the Beast struggled to earn a third season due to the significant drop of viewership during the program’s second season. The two-month hiatus between episodes 2x16 “About Last Night” and 2x14 “Beast is the New Black” was certainly unexpected and definitely harmed the show’s chances of renewal, but after weeks of silence, Mark Pedowitz – the CEO of CW – announced his company’s decision to grant Beauty & the Beast a third season.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, producer Brad Kern (Charmed) commented on the show’s unfortunate and sudden midseason hiatus, realizing that the romance between Vincent Keller (Jay Ryan) and Catherine Chandler (Kristin Kreuk) is what the fans have always wanted:
“[Beauty and the Beast Season 3 will be] mostly about Cat and Vincent’s love. The design last year was to break them apart for a while to try to establish separate characters and to build the separate characters and to bring them back together stronger. The design of the season [was] kind of interrupted unwittingly. We were supposed to air those last six or seven episodes right after in continuity, and we found out at the last second that they were going to hold those last six episodes. That wasn’t the design. We would have changed the setup if we had known there was going to be a two month break. The goal now is to try to focus on Cat and Vincent love and challenge it to help them grow as a couple, as opposed to try to break them apart” (Source: The Hollywood Reporter)
Unfortunately, it took over half a season of Beauty & the Beast for Kern to realize that Vincent and Catherine (“VINCAT”) was what the fans wanted for the entire season – and not the last six episodes of season 2. While Kern’s decision to break VINCAT apart may have seemed like a great plan with the hopes of bringing the characters back as a couple even stronger, it might not have been the best plan to execute.
In the first season, the writers of Beauty & the Beast took a risky move by pushing Vincent and Catherine together, and their decision to do so was fulfilled fairly well. The fans wanted it, and so did the writers. It was a win-win. Vincent and Catherine’s feelings for one another, in season one, is tested when Alex Salter (Bridget Regan) – Vincent’s ex-fiancée – comes into the picture. Alex’s character is more of a plot device than anything else in order to help Catherine realize that she can’t give Vincent up cold turkey – even when she tries to cut him out of her life, she feels responsible for him and continues to protect him. Vincent respects her space, and their mini separation in season one is, for the most part, easy to stomach. If anything, the invention of Alex’s character was more to establish some closure for Vincent and his former life as a human.
Season one left off with an interesting cliffhanger, and I believe a lot could have been done with Vincent being taken away by Catherine’s birth father, Robert Reynolds (Ted Whittall) at the end of season one. Sadly, it is too late to rewrite the second season, so what is done, is done. During this long hiatus since July, I have had a lot of time to think about one of my favorite shows; while I am a fan of some episodes of the second season, I believe the second season could have been written a lot better in some areas. I think it is safe to say that Beauty & the Beast season two, for the most part, could have gone somewhere GREAT had Brad Kern decided to stick with the show’s status quo by keeping Vincent and Catherine together. Because of the separation, however, Beauty & the Beast disappointed many fans, even fans who are loyal to the show. Currently, I own the first two seasons of Beauty & the Beast, and cannot get myself to re-watch any of the episodes in which Vincent and Catherine were apart – and that is, sadly, more than half of the second season.
While Vincent and Catherine were obviously the second season’s endgame, it was physically and emotionally hard to stomach Vincent and Tori (Amber Skye Noyes) as well as Catherine and Gabe (Sendhil Ramamurthy) being together for obvious reasons. Kern noted that they were trying to establish the strength in character for Vincent and Catherine; in my opinion, I think romantic triangles were not the right way to go. Vincent could have spent much more time with his best friend, JT Forbes (Austin Basis) instead of pursuing a weak, romantic relationship with Tori. I would have been fine if Vincent was just Tori’s mentor and nothing more. That would have been a much better plan than forcing a he-beast and a she-beast together simply because they share a DNA commonality.
The same goes for Catherine and Gabe. At the end of the first season, Gabe did some unspeakable things to Catherine and Vincent – and in the second season, it seems as though Catherine (and Vincent) forgave the ADA too quickly. The writers were seemingly trying to redeem Gabe’s character before killing him off, but Gabe’s road to redemption was poorly executed. Catherine could have easily found her strength by sticking with her best friend, Tess Vargas (Nina Lisandrello) too. The girl power in season one was a lot stronger than when it was in the second season.
Overall, aside from the last six episodes of the second season, I think season two of Beauty & the Beast was very weak. The final six episodes of the second season, in some ways, has redeemed the show in my eyes, and I am able to look forward to what the third season has to offer. I am interested in knowing what might happen to JT since he was juiced with an abnormal serum; it would be really cool to interview Austin Basis and see what he has to say for season three. I am also interested in learning where VINCAT goes from the second season. I still think there are some issues they need to work out due to how season two unfolded, but hopefully they’ll be able to work them out together as opposed to going their separate ways.
I don’t know how many “BEASTIES” (the fandom) are reading this write-up, and I don’t know how many agree with me. Hopefully people can see where I am coming from and learn something. If you are new to the show, the second season of Beauty & the Beast comes to Netflix on January 28. I think the second season would be easier to stomach when you binge-watch it because you’ll be able to get through the cringing episodes much easier than those who watched it when season two was airing.
The third season is planned to air in the summer; let’s hope the CW doesn’t back out from their decision.
Did you like BATB S2?
BATB Season 1 Trailer
BATB S2 Promo
As season three begins, Cat and Vincent are able to focus on their love, finally free from Muirfield, manhunts and beasts, However, that love will be tested as new and more dangerous threats await. When they learn that innocent victims are being used to test the boundaries of the impossible, Cat and Vincent will uncover a deeper conspiracy, one which Vincent can fight only by turning to the beast he carries within. But unleashing the beast will risk Vincent’s life – along with his and Cat's love— Spoiler TV