Beauty And The Beast Season Premiere Review: “Who Am I?” (Season 2, Episode 1)


If you spent the weekend reliving season 1 of Beauty and the Beast (like I did), tonight’s season 2 premiere may seem a little bit like learning a foreign language. The characters seem slightly off, the villain appears to have the best intentions, and the plot stinks of recycled storylines.

The truth is that Beauty and the Beast at its core is a love story. When you take away all the layers of fluff and mystery, that’s what it ultimately comes down to. When you take that aspect of the show away and refocus it to encompass a grander scheme of core ideals, there’s a rather gaping hole in the plot.

We spent most of Beauty and the Beast‘s freshman season gushing over the blossoming relationship between Cat (Kristin Kreuk) and Vincent (Jay Ryan). We swooned when they said their first ‘I love you,’ giggled when they started having sleepovers, and broke into simultaneous awws when they considered the possibility of a future together sans beast-mode. When all the violence settled, Cat and Vincent were a beacon of hope on a show that doesn’t shy away from real human nature.

Our hopes were dashed in the final scene, after Vincent heroically rescued Cat from the clutches of Gabe (Sendhil Ramamurthy) only to be taken hostage by Muirfield, destined to spend his summer imprisoned. We were left with the unpleasant thought that as Cat’s “dad” was laying in a hospital bed after a hit and run – presumably orchestrated by Muirfield – her biological dad might be a power player in the same secret government agency that has been hunting Vincent for the last decade.

That might have been a suspenseful note to leave off at, but it also seemed forced. Beauty and the Beast is relying heavily on family drama to propel the show forward and I’m not sure that is the best option. How is Cat going to react when she finds out that not only is her father not her father, but that her real father is the one that kidnapped her boyfriend? This is the same character that spent most of the last decade blaming herself for her mother’s death. She’s not exactly in the best frame of mind right now, and finding out the truth might push her over the edge – and, Vincent might not be there to rescue her this time.

The silver lining is that almost everyone is alive and well at the beginning of season 2. Sadly, Mr. Chandler (Rob Stewart) died from injuries sustained during the car accident. This means he’ll never be able to tell Cat whatever was so urgent, but that doesn’t mean it won’t come out on its own. Secrets within the Beauty and the Beast plot never seem to remain secrets.

Clearly this tragedy is only going to put more stress on Cat’s relationship with Heather (Nicole Anderson), which was already tense. I’d really like to see Cat bring Heather up to speed on the entire Vincent situation. She might think she’s protecting her sister by keeping her in the dark, but at this point ignorance can be a dangerous thing.

On a lighter note, Joe (Brian White) seems to have lost his job. When did that happen? I’m not entirely sure, but hopefully by means of an explanation that only makes sense on television, he’ll get it back soon.

And, everyone else is alive – even Gabe, which was a huge surprise since the last time we saw him he was being pumped full of bullets.

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