Beauty and the Beast – Season 1 Episode 15 – Recap and Review – Any Means Possible
Recap and review of Beauty and the Beast – Season 1 Episode 15 – Any Means Possible:
After its last episode, which was pretty terrific by the standards of the series, Beauty and the Beast returns with a bit of a clunker that does little else but reestablish the plot points presented at the end of the previous episode. “Any Means Possible” doesn’t take the show back to its procedural roots, which is a good thing, but it also doesn’t advance its serialized story in any significant way. It takes the declaration of love that Cat (Kristin Kreuk) and Vincent (Jay Ryan) made and backtracks, but this development actually makes some story sense, although one would think that this is an issue that would have come up at some point before — not the whole “Vincent can’t have sex without hulking out” thing, but Vincent’s insistence that he never feels more out of control than when he’s around Cat, which is why he can’t be around her. It just feels like an issue that should have been confronted some point before now. Having the issue pop up here just feels like a clumsy way of introducing an obstacle to Vincent and Cat’s relationship when a perfectly plausible obstacle already exists: Muirfield and the NYPD’s full-scale hunt for Vincent, who is being dubbed “The Vigilante.” This is the most compelling aspect of the episode, and the best conflict in the series, far more so than whatever personal reason exists as an obstacle to Vincent and Cat’s happiness.
Much of the episode expands upon Cat’s desire to keep Vincent safe, which is certainly an interesting inversion of the “man protecting his woman” trope. New Assistant District Attorney Gabe Lowan (Sendhil Ramamurthy) joins the investigation, existing on the fringe of just about everything that happens this week. He’s handsome and more than a little cocky, and his persistence increases the pressure on Cat to find a suitable fall guy for Vincent’s crime. She decides that if she can find the gangster who was forcing Darius to shoot Heather, she’ll have a witness who can verify that Vincent was simply trying to protect Heather. It’s not a bad idea, per se, but it doesn’t really absolve Vincent of the murder, accidental or otherwise, of the brother of a Police Captain. Though things are still pretty lousy with Tess (Nina Lisandrello), Cat remains persistent in her detective work, attending a masquerade ball to track the gangster down, with Vincent accompanying her, because this show loves putting Jay Ryan in a tux (and I suppose I can’t blame them). Cat ultimately proves successful in her investigation, getting the gangster to confess to Lowan that The Vigilante was simply trying to protect Heather, but the story doesn’t entirely jibe with Lowan. He gets the suspicion that there’s far more to the story than he’s being told.
Captain Bishop (Brian T. White), meanwhile, is far less interested in letting the matter go than obtaining his own measure of retribution against The Vigilante. Ol’ Joe is out for blood, and reveals at the end of the episode that he’s assembling a task force dedicated solely to hunting down The Vigilante. Turns out that Lowan’s constant presence was an extensive vetting process for this task force, as he wanted to make sure that Cat was a cop more dedicated to justice than to her own personal motivations. Cat accepts the position, and has her partnership with Tess consolidated into this task force. Tess is no less suspicious of Cat’s motivations than she was before, but she keeps them to herself, as she has her own problems to worry about, particularly her relationship with Joe. Tess is worried that the death of his brother will mean more eyes focused on Joe, meaning that there is now a greater risk of their affair coming to light if they’re seen together. But Joe doesn’t want to give her up, insisting that they can be more discreet. He tells Tess that he needs her, as she’s the only thing that feels real to him right now. This is all well and good, but I still have a hard time feeling invested in this romance, particularly since we’ve been given no indication that Joe’s wife is a bad person, which is usually a necessary component in getting the audience to root for an adulterous affair. But the storyline isn’t necessarily a dud, just yet. With any luck, it’ll be the mechanism by which Tess comes to understand where Cat is coming from when she destroyed evidence, as Tess could invariably find herself in a position where she puts her feelings for Joe ahead of the investigation. Either way, I hope they get past the distrust between Cat/Tess soon, as it’s making Tess insufferable, even if her motivations completely make sense within the context of her character.
The episode has a lot going on, for the most part, including a subplot where Evan is accosted by Muirfield, who feel he’s a nervous, shaky, potential liability. However, he ultimately ends up on the task force to apprehend The Vigilante, which puts just about our entire main cast in a situation where they’re pitted directly against Vincent. In Cat’s case, it’s a matter of being caught between Vincent’s interests and the interests of justice. For his part, Vincent feels he should just turn himself in, since he can’t be controlled, and his actions can’t be predicted. He’s been holding off on sleeping with Cat due to a nightmare in which he hulks out during sex and attacks her. He reveals to Cat that his fears are based on an incident from two years ago, where the same thing happened with a woman he was seeing. The woman only survived because she was able to get away (wouldn’t be surprised if we meet that woman somewhere down the line). Cat, however, insists that whatever hardships they will face, they’ll overcome them together. Cat and Vincent finally consummate their love, and it’s much more of a tender, tasteful love scene than I was expecting. I know it’s not cable or anything, but there didn’t seem to be much passion. That said, it’s kind of a silly criticism, especially when it’s something the audience has likely been waiting for since episode one. The follow-through on this romance is going to be way more important than the milestone moments (first kiss, first time, etc.), so I’m far more interested in the big picture than the individual parts.
“Any Means Possible” doesn’t measure up to the previous episode, as it does little to move the story forward in a significant way. It simply restates what we knew going in, while setting up the pieces to move the story forward later, which is fine for the future episodes, but no episode should ever feel this weightless. Had Cat and Vincent not finally gotten together, this episode would have been entirely skippable. As it stands now, it’s simply a clunker of an episode.