As we venture tonight into the sophomore season of the Beauty and The Beast, will the love between beauty Catherine and beastly Vincent prevail even after the season finale when the evil Muirfield organization finally captured the latter?
Expect a rocky initial road as Cat and the gang try to save Vincent, who will be a somewhat changed Beast when we first see him.
But will he return to the monster we know and love? And what's next for sidekicks JT and Tess? And how long before Cat finds out that Big Bad Reynolds is Cat's father?!?
Leave it to new showrunner Brad Kern (Charmed) to give us a look at the Beauty and The Beauty and the Beast Season 2 drawing board and to give us an idea of what’s to come for our favorite beauty and her handsome beast...
TV Fanatic: The premiere is so action packed, Brad. Lots of stuff happens.
Brad Kern: Yeah there’s a lot of stuff that has to happen because the season finale ended with a lot of cliffhangers, a lot of questions and there was a lot of loose ends to tie up. There was a kind of reset and a redirection that I personally wanted to give the show and that kind of all seemed to add up to a bit more action packed than we’re typically going to be doing.
TVF: The procedural elements have been pulled out and we’re focusing on the mythology of Vincent as well as more of Catherine’s back-story. Talk about this new focus for season two.
BK: I wanted to get away from the Muirfield of it at all. To me, when I was hired, I felt that as interesting as the Muirfield of it all was, that’s a conspiracy not a mythology and I kind of wanted to help direct the show as fully move towards more of a mythology. Given a beast you’re pretty much forced to have a mythology underneath it, so what we wanted to do with [episode] 201 was try to end the Muirfield, as we knew it.
It doesn’t mean that there wouldn’t still be Muirfield ripples that continue forward because they had a huge impact, a footprint on season one, but we really wanted to try to send the show off into a direction that would ultimately begin to reveal some nuggets about Vincent and some nuggets about why Cat’s involved in this story as well. After all they’re meant to be together and we want to explore all the different ways they’re meant to be together.
As far as the choice we made was to pick the show up three months later and discover that something had happened to [Vincent] that forced him to live as his memory so that he could just go on his missions but we want to use that device as a way to discover, as we recover bits of memory, more about who he was as a human being. When you have to remember who you were that discovery takes you to and reveals to the audience things about that character that we didn’t know. That kind of expanding his back-story as a human being as well as the mythology going forward about why he’s a beast and that became the theme for season one frankly.
TVF: Are we going to get back to the Vincent we knew or is this kind of a new Vincent because JT says something like, 'It’s the new Vincent.'
BK: We are definitely going to get back to remember the old Vincent but there will be in the process a new and improved Vincent both the man and the beast that evolve because of it. I mean, we’re not going backward, we’re going forward in both the human and the beast. The big question for Vincent this year, in the ‘who am I?’ of it all. 'Am I man or am I beast?' These struggles with the Jekyll and Hyde of it all in the first episode and will be forcing him to a choice for the middle part of the season.
TVF: Cat definitely has some good action sequences, very Buffy-esque, which was great.
BK: We like that too. Her character has been defined by Vincent a lot for obvious reasons and what we want to do in the beginning of this season is to have her like a poker player, she’s got all her chips in the saving Vincent of it all. By definition that means Cat will be sacrificing a lot of who she is and what she needs and what she wants and that will express herself in a lot of different ways and action and kicking people in the face and kickboxing will be some of those ways…Cat’s back-story is riddled with tragedy and now she is in a possible tragic romance which may not end well, it may end well. There’s a lot of stuff for her as a character for her to sort through and we want to be able to accomplish that but first she has to try to save Vincent from all that’s happened to him.
TVF: Reynolds seems to be the big bad at least starting in the season but how long before Cat finds out that he is her father? Will we find out sooner rather than later?
BK: We’ll pay it off sooner. One of the things we’re trying to put into the show this year is let the audience play along with secrets that the audience have that the characters don’t have with each other. So the audience will know and they already do know that Reynolds is Cat’s father. They’ll get to enjoy, we think-we hope, watching Reynolds play both Vincent’s master, if you will, and also how’s he going to reveal the secret that he’s Cat’s biological father to her. There will be a tension there that’ll be both fun and dramatic at times that will play out in the first eight episodes.
TVF: On a scale of one to ten how bad is Reynolds? Ten being as bad as you guys can make him.
BK: See, I don’t like cliché bad guys. I never have and I never will. To me Reynolds believes in his heart that he’s actually doing the greater good. It turns out that it’s a lot more complicated than that and he does a lot of terrible things to accomplish what he would consider to be the greater good but in his mind he’s got the greater good in mind and that also includes what he considers to be the greater good for his daughter. I like to think Reynolds is a richly complex character which is always my favorite villain.
TVF: Has it been a challenge keeping Tess in the mix since your stepping away from the procedural side of things or are you finding ways to keep her still very involved?
BK: We are. She’s first and foremost Cat’s friend and Cat needs a friend. Cat doesn’t have a lot of people in her life based upon her tragic back-story and also the fact that she’s put all her eggs in the Vincent basket. Heather, her sister will have her own arc that takes her away from the show for awhile so that will really will put Tess in Cat’s corner as far as somebody who she can rely on and be friends with, but also we have plans after we get the show up and running, the first several episodes do have Tess begin to develop who she is. After all she lost quite a bit based upon what happened in the last year too and she needs to figure out who she is.
We want to explore all the characters, I mean J.T. as well. The thing about J.T. is he’s lost his friend much like Cat has lost her friend in a way to the pursuit of finding Vincent. J.T. has lost Vincent as his friend. J.T. and Tess will share that, for lack of a better word, pain which will bond them as well. So I think what’s interesting for us, what we’re trying to do is look at this as a long-term series. First year shows are often times just scrambling to stay alive. We’re really trying to lay the foundation with all the characters to begin to build a longer-term story arc for each one of them individually as well as their interrelationships.
TVF: Knowing your background with Charmed, how do you see the show staying grounded in reality when you do have a lot of doors you could open to go into, not so much supernatural, but definitely science.
BK: It’s a great question I think and that happens to be a topic that we raised in the story room and the network raises with us all the time. We’re hyperaware of trying to keep it real so then it seems real. The metaphor is need to feel real, the place of work needs to feel real. You’ll probably notice the precinct seemed more alive and more active in the background in the first episode because it’s New York, for God sakes. it’s busy. Keeping everything real, the threat of exposure of beasts out there, the urban myth if you will, all those different things we’re trying to explore to try to make the show feel real. At the end of the day love is real, the love story is real, and that’s what we’ll lean into as much as possible to keep the show from feeling - it’ll never feel science fictiony, it’ll never feel supernaturally.
Beauty and The Beast Season 2 airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on The CW.
Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of JimHalterman.com. Follow him on Twitter.