The midseason finale of The CW's Beauty and the Beast airs this Monday, November 25, and in it, we see some serious conflicts between the characters and a showdown with Reynolds, the antagonist who also happens to be Cat's father. Vincent (Jay Ryan) and Cat (Kristin Kreuk) may have opposing opinions on how to deal with him.
The CW this morning held a screening of the episode which preceded a Q&A with Executive Producer Brad Kern, who answered many questions about the current state of "VinCat" (the Vincent/Catherine relationship) and what that might mean for the future. More specifically, and getting to the point -- how long will it be before these two fulfill their destiny to be together?
"They have to earn their relationship," Kern says. "I mean, they got together so quickly last year, as you guys know. It's an epic love; they're meant to be together... but our design for the season, really, was asking the audience to go along with us on the ride, to explore what happens when a relationship comes together maybe too fast, and you lose yourself inside the relationship, and separating them for all these very emotional and practical and moral reasons will help them in the next several episodes [to] learn more about who they are separately. The plan is for that to make them stronger as individuals, to understand better who they are, ultimately so they can find their way back to each other, stronger than ever. That's the hope; that's the plan," he confirms.
"But it is Cat and Vincent, right? So even when they are separated, they're never apart, because as we like to say, the universe wants them to be together, even when they're apart," he continues. "So, the fun of the next several episodes will be watching all the different ways that they come together, which is kind of a sign for them. But, we're exploring their separate characters, although as I say, there won't be very many scenes where they're not together, because the gods want them together, and I think the audience does, too."
Kern is well aware that a world full of rabid "Beasties" will not be happy unless they get some payoff. "I live in a gated community, but I still think the fans would climb the gates and tear down my house if we kept them apart for too long," he laughs before explaining the plan for the relationship on the series. "They're meant to be together. You can't put two people together right away and keep them together; there's no legs to a series if you do that. What do you play? So, the challenge this year has been how we build a show that might last five years, or longer. We can't do that by having them together, and we can't really explore their individual characters together. Last year they were defined by each other because they were thrown together, which is fair, that's what that season was about. But going forward, looking beyond just Season 1 or Season 2, but trying to build a show that has the foundation to really reward the epic romance, it's challenging that relationship, and the metaphor really is for anybody who is in a relationship, the relationship has to be challenged, and you have to overcome obstacles. Not always other beasts, but the metaphor is there's other challenges that we all have to overcome to test the relationship, to see if it really is worthy for them to be together. Not just because it's epic, but because they really deserve to be together. They earned that relationship," he explains. "We've had a lot of fun playing them, even on opposite sides of a case, and there they are running into each other again, and it becomes a little Mr. and Mrs. Smith, which is romantic. Romance exists even when couples are apart," he says.
Kern is aware that some fans and critics weren't too happy with Cat sacrificing so much for Vincent early on in the season, and he addressed that concern with a challenge to that argument. "Some of the fans had given us a little heat for Cat sacrificing too much, not being strong enough, but I challenge that by saying 'when do you give up on love?' At what point, when you've put in so much time into somebody who is in trouble, at what point do you say 'that's it. You're on your own?' And that was the question we wanted to ask this first 8 episodes. We wanted to start showing some of the cracks in her character, and her frustration as she went to try to go to the reunion, and she tried to go out with Tess... she tried to get her life back, concurrent with saving this guy, because she was recognizing that she was sacrificing too much. That's tough love, right? That's what we were always aiming for, and now, we venture into the consequences of post-tough love. Tough love is sometimes necessary for a relationship to come back stronger together. We're banking on the audience buying into the season, to let us tell the story so that we can develop their relationship separately and together, as adults," he says.
With all that said, even if the "epic romance" is not at the forefront, and even if there is conflict, Kern says Cat and Vincent have a lot connecting them. "Cat and Vincent will be on opposite sides of cases for a short while, which will, again, be super fun to watch, but they will also discover that there's more than just the love that binds them," Kern teases. "They're destined to be together for more than just romantic reasons. There's a mythological reason that we'll discover, too."
The Beauty and the Beast midseason finale, "Man or Beast?" airs Monday, November 25 at 9PM on The CW. Take a look at some preview images below: