If the comments sections on recent Beauty And The Beast posts here at KSiteTV are any indication, the show’s sizable fan base is a bit worried. The show will be leaving the network schedule between March and May, and the series’ titular couple doesn’t seem to be together, and they don’t look like they’re even close to being back together.
So, when we ran into BATB Executive Producer Brad Kern at a CBS event that is part of this year’s television critics’ press tour, we asked him flat out: Is there any encouraging news coming for those “VinCat” fans who are a little worried lately, especially with Tori hanging around?
“It’s something I’d said before; this season is a journey,” he told us. “It was always my feeling, and the writers when we got together at the beginning of season 2, [we] talked about that; that we felt that to give the series legs, Vincent and Cat had to split apart, to find themselves separately. It’s always painful to split apart, but the plan for that, the long-term plan, was for them to be able to come back together again, stronger and better than ever, individually, which would also make their relationship stronger. Obviously if you do the math on that, Tori would be the ‘odd man out’.”
So, it sounds good that things will get better for Jay Ryan’s beast and Kristin Kreuk’s beauty. But for those fans who don’t want to wait until the end of the season, might there be good things to come BEFORE the March hiatus? “Oh, definitely,” Kern assured. “Because The CW has changed the air order, and Episode 16 basically the last show that will air, to my understanding, before we find out if there is a Season 3, we’re building our show up to basically Episode 16 being our big season finale. So, our last episode we air in March before we go on hiatus will be a big one.”
Our conversation also covered the devotion and loyalty that we have seen between characters; specifically, the recent revelations of J.T.’s guilt over what happened to Vincent. “This season, its theme is ‘Who Am I?’ Its sub-theme is redemption and making amends. Much like Gabe’s been trying to make amends, certainly Vincent’s going to start trying to make amends for frankly, the poor choice he made in Episode 8. J.T. is trying to make amends, first by admitting what he did. Admitting what you did is only the first half of the journey. The second half of the journey is trying to make living amends for what he did. So, his help for Vincent through his journey, certainly once he’s separated from Cat, is going to be part and parcel with him trying to make amends for what he feels very guilt-ridden about. We have a very important scene in Episode 12 that brings all that out,” Kern explained.
With “Who Am I” being a theme for Season 2, might Kern and the show’s writers have a plan for Season 3 if there should be one? “I have the question to ask, which is ‘Who Are We?’ Because if Season 2 was all about ‘Who Am I’ as far as separate individuals finding themselves separately and coming back together again: Look, it’s no big spoiler that Vincent and Cat get back together again. It’s called Beauty and the Beast. But the point was to take them apart to bring them back together again to make them stronger, separately as well as a couple. Therefore, Season 3 now becomes ‘Who Are We’,” he declared. (On the subject of “we”s, by the way, we asked if there’s a chance for J.T. and Tess as a couple. Kern replied with “I will say…. Yes.”)
In the end, the producers of Beauty and the Beast are aware that the fan base has their worries. “Obviously, we’re aware of their concerns. We’re aware that they don’t like Vincent and Cat separate, but I think the faith that we as writers and producers are asking them to take is that when you break something apart, you build it back together again, bigger and stronger and more romantic than ever, and that’s why we look at it as a season story. I mean, in this era of instant gratification, the challenge in doing a series is to make loyal audiences feel rewarded for their investment and their time, and you really can’t do that by giving the candy every week. You have to do it, again, thinking of the big picture: Grow with the characters, have faith that we’re going to reward you, the audience, with your patience and sharing the journey with us, and that’s a promise I can assure them that we will be keeping,” Kern said.
Encouraged? Disappointed? Leave your comments below! A new episode of Beauty and the Beast airs Monday, January 20 on The CW.