Beauty and the Beast‘s Season 2 finale (airing Monday at 9/8c, The CW) is titled “Deja Vu” in part because it hinges on a rematch between Vincent (played by Jay Ryan) and Beast Gabe. This feral face-off however promises to be bigger and badder than their Season 1-ending skirmish, raising a big question that could inform Catherine (Kristin Kreuk) and Vincent’s future together… or, gulp, apart.
Here, B&TB showrunner Brad Kern shares with TVLine a preview of the sophomore drama’s intense final hour.
TVLINE | So, all season long I’ve been shouting at my TV, “Gabe, just take the serum!” But now that he’s done it, I’m admittedly very afraid.
Be very afraid, Matt…. I mean, Sendhil [Ramamurthy] is a terrific actor and we had a nice journey for him this season where Gabe really was trying to redeem himself, and he gave it his all. I think he actually did something that is almost impossible to do, which is get the audience to at least have some belief that he could actually have turned the corner. But, you are who you are and what’s then fun for us, and hopefully rewarding for the audience, is not to bring the ultimate bad guy out of left field but to bring it full circle back to the end of Season 1, that unfinished business.
TVLINE | You didn’t really get to play with this too much on screen, but in your mind what was the significance of the fact that Gabe took a life as a regular human? Because when he did that, I was like, “Ohhhh, [expletive].”
Yeah, that’s it. Knowing that he was going to beast out at the end of the season, it was important for us to not just have that just suddenly happen but to begin the slide of the character…. We needed him to cross that line as a human impulsively to begin to show that the beast in his heart is still there, setting up for the transformation back to beast.
TVLINE | How would you compare the new Beast Gabe with the one we’ve met before?
Well, he’s much more formidable. When I was hired on the show, I was personally not satisfied with the season [one] finale fight between Beast Vincent and Beast Gabe. I just didn’t think it was cool enough and worthy of two beasts going at it. This year, when we realize the direction we were heading, we wanted to do kind of a sequel but “times 10.” With Gabe possibly even bigger and badder than Vincent, it will force Vincent to test the moral line we’ve established, that if beasts cross they lose their humanity forever. That’s where we wanted this last episode battle to get to. We aren’t just threatening the life of Vincent, we’re threatening his humanity, which threatens his and Catherine’s love…. It’s safe to say that the battle that we’re going to inevitably watch, Vincent and Gabe going up against each other , will be supercharged.
TVLINE | What sort of role does Catherine’s father play in the finale? We see them talking in the promo.
There is a bit of a turn in his relationship with Cat. As everyone knows, he is in prison because he believes that Vincent is a beast and will only become worse and therefore will always be a threat to his precious daughter. But he will have an epiphany of sorts that will help him begin to believe that the love Cat shares does trump all.
TVLINE | Kristin described the finale for me as “emotionally traumatic for everybody.” Did she get it right?
I think so. I’m a big believer that a season finale needs to reward the loyal audience for watching the entire season, that it should be an emotional tsunami that crashes onto the shore and carries through emotionally and even mythologically all of the strands that we were building over the course of the season. I hope the audience agrees with Kristin, because that’s certainly how we feel.
TVLINE | She also said there’s a “big question” to be answered….
There are a lot of big decisions to be made in this episode. There is, I’ll tell you this, a leap of faith. The question is: “Do we take the leap of faith trusting that love will save all, or do we not take that leap?”
TVLINE | You probably won’t get to it in the finale, but will Season 3 be the time to throw some obstacles at JT and Tess (Austin Basis and Nina Lisandrello)?
Oh, there’s plenty of obstacles for JT and Tess in the finale — and going forward for Season 3. JT and Tess have developed their relationship to a point where it is both rewarding for us as writers and for them as actors, but I think the audience is enjoying them as well. Their relationship and the separate characters will continue to grow — if they can survive the finale!