The CW’s Beauty and the Beast (Mondays at 9/8c), which launched with the tagline “How Brave is Your Love?,” now might be more on point to ask of its titular twosome: “How Resilient Is Your Love?”
As if things didn’t already look bleak coming out of the fall finale, which ended with Cat choosing to shoot Vincent to save the father she barely knew, last week’s episode found the ex-lovers essentially electing to write their romance off as a loss and move on with their individual lives.
But all hope is not lost. “Have faith” is the message from executive producer Brad Kern, who here with EP Jennifer Levin previews the episodes to come before its spring hiatus.
YOU ARE MY DESTINY | The skeletal remains discovered by Cat and Tori in the abandoned curios shop represent the literal bones of a meaty new mystery. “We’re trying to explore who Vincent is as a beast and how he’s connected to a deeper mythology,” Kern says. “And ultimately Catherine will be connected to it as well. We’re going to find out over the course of the next several episodes that it’s not just Vincent who’s connected to his destiny, that Cat might be as well, in a different way.” Wait, so “beasts” perhaps were not born in a Muirfield lab but preexisted long before? Says Kern: “We’re going to discover that Muirfield was a Chinese box behind a Chinese box behind a Chinese box… a front corporation” for a whole other entity that perhaps was looking to re-engineer an extinct species.
FOUR’S A CROWD | Of course, “shared destiny” or not, Vincent and Catherine are far from alone in taking this journey. Cat, for one, has ADA Gabe helping her lick her personal and professional wounds. “Like Vincent having to explore his beast side, Cat has to explore this ‘Mr. Right’ who understands what she’s gone through, because he used to be a beast. She’d be stupid not to, especially after what a jerk Vincent was to her.” (Will this would-be couple kiss? “You’ll have to wait and see,” Levin hedges.) Vincent meanwhile has fellow beast Tori at his side — for now. “As he explores the season-long question of ‘Who am I?,’ he’s got a woman who can connect to him in a way that Cat never can,” Kern notes. Just don’t count on Tori staying around through to the season finale. “That’s not a season-long arc,” Kern makes clear.
DAY WEEK! | Fittingly, a Valentine’s Day-themed episode airing Feb. 10 and involving a “vow renewal” will mark the first significant step toward a VinCat reconciliation. Says Levin, “[EP] Sherri [Cooper] and I wrote it and we went for the romance — hyper-aware of the fact that it would be airing on Valentine’s week.”
KEEPING THE FAITH | But again, that episode is but a first step. There is no one grand gesture that will get the beast out of the dog house. “It’s going to take Vincent a while to earn back Cat’s trust, once he realizes that the path he chose maybe wasn’t the right one. But it was a necessary path for him to explore,” says Kern. “If he’s going to find the balance between man and beast, between heart and soul — which he must do if he is to be a better man for Cat — he must take this journey. It’s a painful path, but we ask the audience to have faith in us and to be with us on the season’s story, so that they can be rewarded with a series of episodes that bring them back together again in a much more fulfilling and foundational way.” That said….
GONNA LEAVE YOU HANGIN’ | As previously reported, Beast is going on a spring break — and it’s going out with a bang. “The winter finale promises to give the fans what they’ve been waiting for,” Kern teases, “as well as a shocking VinCat cliffhanger.”
COMING SOON IN MY INSIDE LINE COLUMN: What’s ahead for JT and Tess?