Beauty and the Beast Season 2 Review “Man or Beast?”

Man or Beast?

If you weren’t aware that this episode of Beauty and the Beast, ‘Man or Beast’, was a mid-season finale before watching, then you definitely were by the end. The first half of this second season was a bit mixed in terms of consistency and any real direction, but in the final hour they’ve pulled out a rip-roaring adventure with blackmail, murder and heartbreak – all topped off with a surprising outcome that will probably upset a lot of hard-core shippers. For me, the twists and turns just makes things more interesting.

You may have gathered from my reviews this season that my enjoyment of the show doesn’t depend very much on whether Cat and Vincent are coupled up or not. That’s why I didn’t mind how this episode went, because the initial promise of a season where they were torn apart seemed to have been avoided by their subsequent reconciliation in recent weeks. In this episode, however, the show bravely turned Vincent into a villain of sorts, and there seems no real prospect of Cat and Vincent being happy together anytime soon. There will be people on her side and people on his side, but they’re definitely not agreeing with each other right now.

Catherine has been in a state of denial all year, deciding that all of the killing Vincent has done since returning wouldn’t matter as much as killing her father would. Reynolds is a bad guy – I think we’re all in board with this – and he’s also Catherine’s family, and the latter excuse should have been her go-to to prevent Vincent from seeking bloody revenge. Instead, she wrote off the lying, the cheating and the murdering as acts outside of Vincent’s control (they weren’t) and decided that he is, deep down, still the same man as she fell in love with last year.

But we know otherwise, and both of them have been trying to recapture a love that no longer exists. Instead of trying to build something new, Catherine pushed Vincent into trying to resume normal service, and that has resulted in a lot of pent up resentment on his part. As far as he’s concerned, Reynolds robbed him of his entire life pre-Muirfield, and for that he deserves to pay. What Catherine wants doesn’t really factor into it, and he was talked out of any potential hesitation by new beast bestie Tori.

It’s very interesting and, though it hasn’t been a particularly pleasant watch, it does demonstrate the show’s staying power beyond the central love story. Where will they go from there, with Reynolds in jail and Vincent and Tori presumably cast out from the central group. Catherine even went so far as to shoot Vincent when he ignored her warnings and, if that’s not a breakup, then I don’t what is. Will she seek comfort in Gabe’s waiting arms? I wouldn’t hate it if she did but, other than that, I have no idea where the show is going post-hiatus.

That’s very exciting for a show that was once so predictable and, with this, it feels like the fabric of the show has been altered significantly. What did you think of the episode? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.