by Mieke Trudeau
“It’s hard to be Dr. Jekyll when everyone keeps wanting Mr. Hyde”
Once again, a single line, this time delivered with acute insight by our own JT, nails down the main message of this week’s BatB episode, Redemption.
Vincent is not only desperate to prove to Catherine that he once and for all has gained control over his beast side; he also is looking to make amends in the larger sense. He gets a taste of his old life as Dr. Keller, the talented and dedicated doctor who would do anything to save lives, when he visits the hospital with Cat to investigate who Sam has been secretly visiting there. He saves a young man’s life and is greeted warmly by a former mentor, Dr. Markus, played with gravitas by Supernatural fan favorite Christopher Heyerdahl.
Arguably, Vincent has been on a road to redemption for some time now. Catherine’s father stripped him of any humanity he had left and even though he has every reason to be angry with the lot that has befallen him, he has been fighting his supposed destiny as a mindless brutal beast tooth and nail, sometimes quite literally. In this episode, we again see him facing difficult choices. He wants to quit his beast side, cold turkey but, time and again, it is exactly his beast nature that is called upon to save the day – by Catherine, by Gabe, and by circumstances beyond his control. Vincent tells JT that: “The more human I feel, the more human I am. The less beast the better.” He hesitates when he fights the newly-minted beast, Jacob Sutter (an imposing Noah Danby), because he recognizes that Jacob is still a man, and he is unwilling to kill him in cold blood. Vincent also chooses to fight to save the life of another Jacob Sutter (Patrick Romango), who is dying from the beast serum experiment because he is missing the specific genetic marker that allows for the creation of beasts in the first place.
I am glad that Catherine gets called out on her somewhat hypocritical view on beasts and Vincent when JT sits her down and decides to break the bro-code by telling her how Vincent really feels. I understand her fears, but she seems very unwilling to accept that Vincent’s beast nature is an integral part of him, while being all too eager to use his special talents when she needs them. She is even flippant about Vincent’s desire to help cure the non-beastly Jacob Sutter suffering in the hospital by telling him to leave that to the “real doctors”. Ouch.
Perhaps Catherine is fighting her own destiny. A visit to her father in prison clearly rattles her. Reynolds pleads with her to rid herself and the world of beasts once and for all. He tells Cat that she needs to destroy them, including Vincent, before they destroy her, just as they did the rest of her family. What is Catherine’s destiny besides being the love of Vincent’s life? She is seen to struggle with her own demons over these last few episodes. She is trying so hard to make a go of it with Gabe, but she is still very conflicted. She even seems to be losing some of her own humanity, even as Vincent is regaining his. She did not hesitate to kill the fully beasted-out Jacob and she is so focused on the mission to catch Sam/Barnes, that she is oblivious to Vincent’s feelings.
Cat’s dream at the end of the episode is juxtaposed nicely against the one Vincent has at the beginning of the hour. As Vincent dreams of Cat coming to his houseboat to reconcile with an almost kiss, Catherine dreams of telling Vincent that they need to stay away from each other. When Vincent ardently refuses and even tells her he loves her, she physically pushes him away, causing him to hit his head in an apparent deadly accident. Both dreams signify a permanent connection, a longing that is palpable. In Cat’s dream, they are destined to be together, Vincent loves her but consequently she causes his death. It is always Vincent who claims to stay away from Cat because he is afraid to hurt her, but perhaps Catherine’s fears run just as deep.
Of course in the end Sam, who now is believed to actually be Barnes, the mastermind behind it all, gets away. There are more orphans with genetic markers to find and turn into beasts for an as y-t-unknown evil scheme. Gabe has given Catherine a somewhat threatening ultimatum; even though he is fine with calling on Vincent to protect Cat, or to get him out of a self-imposed pickle, he wants Vincent gone from their lives. Is there some foreshadowing in Gabe nearly being turned back into a beast? For now I am a little irritated with Gabe and his lack of faith in Catherine, but I am reserving judgment of his storyline until we see it play out fully.
There is a profound question of fate and destiny against choice and human nature underlying the story of Beauty and the Beast. In the end I believe it will prove to be love that will give the answer, but in the meantime we get to witness the struggle, as in this exchange between JT and Cat:
“Maybe destiny will prevail,” JT says hopefully. “Yeah, if I don’t kill him (Vincent) first,” Catherine answers.
What are your thoughts Beasties? Did you enjoy JT’s sassy wisdom as much as I did? What did you think of seeing Vincent back in scrubs? Is Gabe right to give Cat an ultimatum? Tell us in a comment below.