By Mieke Trudeau
Sidekicks on a TV show or in any other narrative, often fulfill important roles. They can be there as the narrator or to provide an outside (the viewer’s) point of view and often they serve as the little devil or angel on our hero’s shoulder, his or her moral or immoral compass. Also quite often, they are quite literally the embodiment of a certain aspect of our hero’s story or character. In the Beauty and the Beast universe all these things hold true for the focus of this week’s episode, JT and Tori. Both were front and center in Recipe for Disaster, episode 2.12.
JT is scammed into believing that he has won a prestigious award for his work in science. Little does he know that it is all a trick by another lieutenant of our mysterious big bad, a real estate mogul/con man named Tony Barnes/Frank Darnell, played with appropriate menace by Colm Feore. JT ends up chained in an ancient dungeon, forced to work on making the beast serum and serving as bait for his beast friend. He has a mysterious cellmate who seems to have been held captive for years.
Meanwhile Tori is having a bit of an existential crisis. Vincent is pulling away from her and back towards Catherine. Tori seems to realize that she is quite alone without him. She does not have much of an identity without Vincent and certainly no other friends or family. Vincent is beginning to acknowledge that he has been on a wrong path for a while now and he seems to think that the choices he made with Tori led him there. Even though Catherine and the gang are actually quite kind to Tori (who loved JT’s awkward hug!?), she perceives them as excluding her. Of course it is actually Vincent who is keeping her at arms length. From the domestic mutual bathrobe scene it is hinted that the two have been having an intimate relationship, but it seems that Vincent has been calling Cat at least once a day and from their conversations it is clear that he is rethinking and regretting some of his choices.
This all sets up for a collision course when Tori, on a quest toward redemption, storms in to save JT from his captors. She does not know that the whole thing is a trap, set up to catch a beast and she find herself captured, badly hurt and drained of blood, restrained from using her beastly powers by the gem necklace. Luckily the bad guys don’t know about Vincent and he is able to save the day. He frees JT and his cellmate, but he is too late for Tori. In a poignant scene, well played by Jay Ryan and Amber Skye Noyes, Tori, dying in a distraught Vincent’s arms, confesses what we have known all along, that she was misguided and that Vincent and Catherine belong together.
Harkening back to the Beauty and the Beast of old, Cat gets to save Vincent in the end. He tells her that he regrets his choices and that it was all to keep everyone and especially her, safe from harm. “People close to me, they get hurt”, he tells her. But Cat replies that, “This is my story now too”, and that is significant. Through their separation, she has figured out her own role and identity in their shared universe, something Tori was never able to do. Cat is not just there as a relection of Vincent, she owns her own story and place in their shared history.
As I have theorized before, Tori represents Vincent’s “pure beast” nature. The fact that Vincent recognized how being tangled up with her was influencing his thinking and actions and subsequently choosing to distance himself, marks an important turning point in the story. Tori’s death at the end was certainly very symbolic and I would argue, necessary.
Just as Tori represents a part of Vincent’s nature, so does JT. He has always been Vincent’s moral compass, his “Jiminy Cricket” so to speak. Their paths are meshed together forever because of the decision JT made a long time ago, to set them on their shared journey. Austin Basis and Jay Ryan knocked it out of the park in the final scene where JT finally confesses that it was him who got Vincent into the Muirfield trials to begin with. It al feels like a welcome new beginning which JT sums up very well with, “Looks like were back where we started again; you and me buddy.”
The story is really just beginning again and I truly hope we get another season to see where it goes. Gabe was pulled back in by Cat, Agent Landon now not only knows about Beasts but also has her presumed dead husband back (anyone else not quite trust Sam?) and the ancient connection between Cat’s family and beasts begs for more stories. Oh, and while we’re at it; I would love a good Tess centric episode. She’s another sidekick character well worth exploring.
What are your thoughts Beasties? Do you like where the story is going? Tell us in the comments below.