Monday, September 19, 2016

Beauty & the Beast 4x12 & 4x13 Recaps: “No Way Out” & “Au Revoir” (All Good Things Must Come to an End) [Guest Poster: Bibi]

“No Way Out”
Original Airdate: September 8, 2016

This episode, J.T. is scrambling to get cash to get Cat a lawyer while she waits in jail. He is selling all of his prized computers, taking out loans, and doing anything to get her out. Heather, feeling guilty about the fact that her boyfriend is responsible for their arrest, is still under the impression that Vincent and Cat can eventually be exonerated. She is in for a startling realization when J.T. informs her that Cat and Vincent have no other option but to flee the country once released.

Cat’s former DHS boss pays her a visit in prison and tries to convince her to turn on Vincent. She lists all of the dead people that DHS believes Vincent killed. And Cat realizes, in that moment, that someone is successfully trying to pin everything on Vincent. Moreover, DHS is going to try to pin all sorts of domestic terrorism charges on Vincent and are looking for “his” next target. During their chat, Cat is released and begins the search for who framed Vincent. She goes immediately to see Tess so that they can work together. In a moment of vulnerability, Cat is honest with Tess about being completely unsure about what they all are doing. She feels overwhelmed and knows that DHS putting Vincent on the terrorist list is the worst thing that could happen.

Meanwhile — down in some dungeon of a hole — we see Vincent cuffed and basically in solitary confinement. He is being interrogated by what we assume is a DHS operative. The operative basically is trying to get Vincent to let the beast free and confess to killing that aforementioned long list of people. Vincent continues to be honest and tries not to break, swearing up and down that he is not responsible for the deaths — that he is being framed. They inject him with a serum and tell him that they know he is a beast and there is no way he can break out of the chains or the underground prison.

He is about to break from all of the torture and reprogramming by this DHS operative. Vincent joined the Super Soldier program to help people and save lives, and this guy is trying to convince him that he did it to become a trained killer and terrorist. This line of the interrogation really takes a toll on Vincent psyche, and we think that it is his end. The interrogator comes at him one more time and threatens Vincent with lethal injection if he doesn't confess. He also tries to use Cat as a tool, but is unsuccessful (the operative tried to convince Vincent that the only way to save Cat is by confessing). In a moment of despair, Vincent starts to remember all of the human moments of truth he has had with Cat. He remembers how their love has been a constant source of humanity for him.

Elsewhere, Tess visits Agent Dylan (a.k.a., Cat’s old DHS boss who is convinced they are criminals) to get information on Vincent and Cat’s case. Agent Dylan warns Tess that she is on the wrong side of the law with this, and she will bring herself down when Vincent and Cat get caught. Tess finds that there is a second apartment and she steals the keys from the Agent Dylan. When Tess and Cat arrive at the apartment, they see Vincent’s name on the mailbox and know that someone went to great lengths to set him up. They walk into the crime scene and find training equipment, lab materials, and personal photos. Whoever is framing Vincent used everything they knew to make it seem like he had a motive. They managed to erase all of the positive things Vincent had done over the years to make it seem like he has been a terrorist all along.

As an aside, Heather is still having a meltdown in this episode about Kyle turning Vincent and Cat in to the authorities. She feels really guilty, but... it is just a smokescreen to give her more of a storyline. I get feeling responsible, but this heavy emphasis on her guilt seems a tad bit over-the-top, especially because there are more important things at hand than wallowing. Girl, move on! If the writers thought we would forget that Heather is essentially useless in actually helping with this plan, we haven’t. Using guilt to give her more of an arc isn't necessary. Let’s focus on her strengths and her relationship with Cat. In a beautiful moment, the sisters talk about their mom and how Cat’s whole life and her desires really changed the moment their mom was murdered. That is when Cat finally tells Heather that this isn't about her or Kyle, but it is about right and wrong and the pursuit of justice that she had dedicated her entire life to — even sacrificing those she loves the most.

J.T. and Tess are trying to figure out where the next terrorist attack will be in an attempt to catch Braxton’s beast. While doing so, Tess basically tells J.T. that she wants her happy ending. Finally, because we know they will end up together!

Meanwhile, Vincent — in a lucid state — sees Cat visit him and she helps him put the pieces together. That is when Vincent realizes that Braxton is the one behind this, not his beast. He escapes (turns out that this prison is on an island) and goes straight to the morgue to confirm that Braxton is still alive. From there, he then goes directly to  J.T.’s place to tell the team the news.

J.T. figures out that the next target is a prince and the team needs someone to convince the prince’s secret service to keep him out of harm’s way. More importantly, though, the team needs to figure out how to find Braxton. As it turns out, Braxton is a serial killer who faked his own death to get out of a state department investigation. Braxton’s exit strategy always included framing his killings on a super soldier. That lucky soldier, of course, is Vincent.

The team decides to canvas the area and beast-track Braxton using clues from the apartment. While in the apartment, Vincent and Cat decide that this is their last fight in the field, because they are tired of sacrificing everything. While examining evidence, Vincent realizes that Braxton must live close by because he plants new evidence daily. Heather sees Braxton and stupidly goes after him against Vincent and Cat’s orders — and probably in an attempt to stop her own guilt, let’s be honest. Braxton shoots her and get away.

Heather survives her wound, and Cat tells her that they can't leave until they find Braxton. She also tells her to forgive Kyle because he was only looking out for Heather’s best interest. Tess and J.T. chat about relationships in a bar and it becomes pretty clear that they’ll end up together. They bond over the fact that soon they will be doing life without their best friends — either by tragic end or moving away — but realize they need to start putting their lives first when everything is over.

So what will happen next? How will the series end? Will the team finally capture and kill Braxton? Will VinCat get a happy ending? Will the two be exonerated or will they have to flee the country?

“Au Revoir”
Original Airdate: September 15, 2016

In the series finale of Beauty & the Beast, we open with Vincent and Cat getting their affairs in order for those closest to them. Vincent sells his car to make sure J.T. has some cash, and Cat transfers everything into Heather’s name.

J.T. and Tess still don’t have any leads on the final act of terrorism against the prince, can’t get any assistance with his motorcade route, and have no leads that will help save him and the city. In the hospital, Heather reunites with Kyle and tries to explain to him that she needs to do this final thing for Vincent and Cat. Kyle begrudgingly agrees to help her escape the hospital and decides to help Heather with whatever the pair needs to flee the country.

Elsewhere, Vincent and Cat intercept the prince’s driver and question him. They inform him of Braxton’s plan and offer to save the prince’s life… if the prince provides a list of names related to the experimental tests done by Braxton. Braxton got into the business with the prince by offering him the most advanced and well-trained security that he could ever wish for. The prince, not knowing what experimentation was being done, would’ve never agreed to it. But because of this, many people lost their lives.

Meanwhile, we see Braxton prepping his bomb in an attempt to take out the prince. J.T. is still trying to find where Braxton’s workshop is. Tess begins her job by chatting with Agent Dylan, trying to convince her that Braxton is alive. Dylan, of course, refuses to believe Tess. She wants Tess to lay all of her cards on the table before offering assistance. Tess covertly downloads some information from Agent Dylan’s computer in hopes that the team gets more details on the prince’s motorcade route.

Cat — being the big sister she is — sets Heather up for the next year of her life and gives her a chance to finally get her life back. Vincent gifts J.T. with a brand new computer, and a chat about their future. In these two scenes, we see the protagonists saying goodbye to their respective siblings. The prince’s ride happens tomorrow, and Vincent and Cat aren’t sure if they move out of the country or die. It is hard for everyone — they have spent years doing life together as a team, and change is never an easy thing. I will miss Vincent and J.T. because they truly have a great relationship.

Tess and Cat chat about the motorcade route and devise a plan to try to stop Braxton. They decide that only Vincent and Cat can truly stop him and the explosion. This scene really is goodbye for the best friends. They are the best relationship on this show for me — two strong women who have been through so many ups and downs. They are partners and best friends and even when one is wrong, they still find a way to support the other and try to make things right. I’ll definitely miss their relationship.

On the rooftop, Vincent and Cat have one final rendezvous. This rooftop has been the scene for their love affair. It really started here for them and was how they fell in love. There, they learned how to be open and share, and truly be vulnerable. It is only fitting that in this last scene here, they talk about their future, about their friends, find hope in an insane plan, and come to the reality that they are never coming back to the city or the States.

So the plan is in motion: J.T. uses a stalled car to distract authorities. Vincent and Cat blur into the prince’s motorcade and try to convince him to help. While they do so, Braxton attaches the bomb to the limo. In a hurried state, the prince agrees and Vincent is able to get him and his driver to safety. Vincent and Cat get back into the car and drive it over the bridge in an attempt to save the bridge and innocent lives. And in that moment, it looks like they did not make it. Tess and J.T. share a moment in the street, when J.T. fully realizes that Vincent and Tess didn’t survive. Tess, however, realizes that Braxton is still out there and alive. They go to the airport hanger and J.T. and Tess unload several rounds of ammunition on him. I guess that while dating Tess, J.T. picked up a few lessons at the gun range. With Braxton finally dead, they move on to honoring their friends.

There is a funeral, and J.T. gives a eulogy to his family. We see everyone leave, and J.T. is interrupted by a gentleman presenting a job offer, seemingly set up by Vincent. How could Vincent have secured a job for J.T. from the grave? How could he have known the date and location of his funeral before it happened?

Heather returns to the apartment with Kyle, and immediately realizes that the wigs they purchased for Vincent and Cat are missing. That can only mean one thing: the pair is alive and they were able to flee the country! Not for one second did I actually believe the series would end in death for our two main heroes — I mean, the whole premise of this show is them having their happy ending.

Next, we see Cat in her new identity in Paris, just having passed the bar. That’s right, the show came full circle and she finally went to law school! Turns out, it's Vincent and Cat’s wedding anniversary, and Vincent surprises her with a horse-drawn carriage. Her new legal friends are jealous, and the couple looks happier than ever.

Vincent tells Cat that he has a surprise for her, and they arrive at a café. When they walk through the door, they are greeted by Heather, J.T., and Tess — the best surprise they could’ve hoped for. Tess and J.T. are happy and living together, Heather and Kyle moved in together (I’m still shocked Kyle wasn’t a beast), and all seems to be well. You know this is just the first of many reunions. Just when they are about to toast, the team notices a mugger outside, and can’t say no. They have to do what they do best, after all — be heroes.

So what did you think about the series finale? While slow in the beginning, I think the ending was just what I would’ve expected from this show. I wish The CW had given Beauty & the Beast more time to develop more stories, but a happy ending is the fitting end we knew they would have.


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