Beauty And The Beast episode 21 review: Date Night
The penultimate episode of Beauty And The Beast uses its fantastic story to discuss a poignant real-world scenario...
This review contains spoilers.
1.21 Date Night
I had a hard time with this episode. To clarify, before I dig in, that doesn't mean I didn't think it was good. It was. JT was above and beyond his usual adorable levels and we got to see him Do Science. Gabe is actually growing layers. Catherine and Vincent want babies - excuse me while I go into a corner to make strangled noises of pleasure. These happy sounds go hand in hand with my glee over Beauty and the Beast getting a second season pick up. How many shades of awesome is that? So many. Way to go, global beasties. I saw your twitter campaigns, you worked hard for this little show and I'm so happy I'll get to talk about it next year too.
All of that addressed, I really did have an incredibly hard time with this episode. It didn't really hit me like a punch to the throat until toward the end but when it did, I couldn't breathe.
Here's why: Gabe is a DNA corrupt monster too as we learned last week, but Gabe has magical pills that make him human for hours at a stretch. He's building an immunity though so he's losing control and that happens when Catherine and Vincent are in the room and he takes off into the city. Everyone freaks out, naturally, and much of the episode is spent hunting him down until they tranq the crap out of him in the new Beast-Cave. He goes down, comes up sensate and talks all about how he's losing his grip and wants check out Vincent's DNA to find his own way to be in control. He's so far out of control when he's transformed he's like Buffy's Oz during a full moon. No control, no memories, no humanity. "I'll end my life" he says before he'd allow that, so he offers his control pills to Vincent in exchange for some DNA. The thing is that Gabe's pills work for Vincent. He can go out in public. He can relax. He and Catherine go swimming at the protective custody's pool for goodness sake. They're happy. They're talking about having a real future and they both, finally, believe it can happen. Catherine is always optimistic but Vincent is starting to get hope too and if you've been watching you know those puppy dogs are a killer. Only the hotel gets a call for her and JT breaks the news - yeah, the pill can give Vincent good days but it's also going to kill him and fast. Suddenly, instead of a solution, he's faced with an axe that cuts deeply no matter which way you swing it and he's faced with the choice of how he wants to live and, in effect, die. He and Catherine discuss as much. Wouldn't you rather have three good years like this, he asks her, where we can actually be together? Her counter is that yes she wants a future but what's the point if he's not actually there to share it with her?
Cue me feeling strangled at the quality of life metaphor embedded in this episode. It's not exactly subtle but its not waving a red flag proclaiming "HEY THIS IS THE POINT" either like it might on other shows either. It was in between and it hit me hard because I've got a very close family member who's chosen the first option - to have a shorter time with more good days. I'll be going to see them to spend the end of their life with them the week after the finale airs. I mention this not to get "I'm sorry" comments, so please don't do that, but to point out how this little show that I walked into expecting a simple transformation love story managed to take a ridiculous would-be Jekyll and Hyde theme and hit on something so deep and relevant that it got all the way under my skin to my core.
If thats what it did this week, I'm more than a little worried for my heart in the finale.
Read Rachael's review of the previous episode, Anniversary, here.
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