Beauty And The Beast season 2 episode 1 review: Who Am I?

Though not a fan of amnesia storylines, Rachael thinks Beauty And The Beast will get away with it. Here's her season 2 premiere review...

This review contains spoilers.

2.1 Who Am I?

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Well okay then. Hello show. I did not see that cold open coming. I don’t know about you guys, but I was sure that Gabe Lowen was one super dead super mutant. To paraphrase Tevye the Milkman – for a guy who’s been dead for three months, he looks pretty good.

Tess! Hi Tess! I love you Tess, with your realism and your unwillingness to be treated poorly. You are no longer dating Joe because he wasn’t coming correct – hurray! You are calling Cat out on how her behavior is to the detriment of both her life and the lives of others. And you do it all while dressing like someone who actually works in a profession where they have to be active and possibly chase killers down. Seriously. My love for Tess sprawls in all directions including deep down.

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Despite her concern, and her sister’s concern, and JT’s concern, and not-so-dead Lowen’s concern – Cat cannot let things go where Vincent is concerned. I know, I’m just as stunned as you are. Her finding him does give us the chance to see her kick some ass, which was awesome because its been a while since she broke out the hand-to-hand. Unfortunately, none of that mattered much as the Vincent she found didn’t recognize her or JT or anything really.

Cue the stereotypical run through of “How little can you remember?” Not much of it is worth mentioning but there is a moment where JT is explaining their living arrangement and boy oh boy, does it sound gay. Being the amnesiac that he is, Vince’s look is questioning, said question clearing being “were we living together in sin?” which we all know they weren’t. It’s played for laughs but that’s not why I mention it, nor because I like to bang on the diversity drum in my reviews.

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No, I’m focusing on the idea that our amnesiac Vince is so brainwashed that he isn’t even sure of his own orientation because of the interesting implications. There’s nothing of note in the possibility that JT and Vincent once dated but because the depth of manipulation that making a person unaware of their own inclinations would take speaks more to the mind-buggery mojo than his failure to recognize the two of them or his history. Barring a few naysayers whom I’m ignoring because lots of science says they’re wrong, sexual orientation isn’t related to memory or history. Attraction to men or women goes down to a genetic level and manifests our animal impulses. The genetics of sexuality and lizard brain attraction implications are what make this one simple throw-away humorous line into a piece of brilliant exposition if you stop to think about it. After all – what did Muirfield do to Vincent? It altered his DNA with animal genetic material. The fact that a mind-wiped Vince would pause and wonder says more about the power of Muirfield’s science than than Zhao or Reynolds or any of pseudoscience that’s been shoved down our throat.

Test tubes and microscopes are throwaways, but the possibility that there’s a serum and a mind-altering program with the ability to change everything from our physical appearance and ability to control ourselves (which we found last season) to who we want to bang is terrifying. In fact, it’s so brilliant that I question whether or not it was intentional on the writers’ part.

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From there to the end is anything but a surprise. The government is still the enemy. Bad people in Muirfield are still doing bad things. Catherine ducked out of another family event for Vincent because thats how she rolls when they aren’t in their stable good communication place of the back quarter of last season.

But then he saved her! My heart! I am a creampuff on the inside. I can’t help it. This has all happened before, this will all happen again – like a not depressing version of Battlestar Galactica. I am not a fan of amnesia storylines; I think they’re lazy but with this show I’ll make do. Even with the lazy amnesia tag, Beauty and the Beast has still done better relationship-wise than most shows do period. Catherine’s desperation, knowing that the Vincent in front of her wasn’t the same person she lost but not letting herself care because of need and loss coupled with Vincent’s attempt to be supportive even when he had no idea what he was doing or even who she was showed more complexity in five minutes than most shows that use amnesia get in an entire story arc. They are still Catherine and Vincent. They’ll get where they need to be.

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Meanwhile, I’ll be here, clutching my pearls and making desperate noises over their interactions all season. That and hoping for a fewer terrible covers songs from hereon in.