We left them with those hands shaking strong but drawn apart despite all the efforts, when the helicopter stole away Vincent, at the end of last season and we find them far more apart than ever in the first episode of this second.
In the three months that have passed Catherine did nothing but seek tirelessly for Vincent, convinced he was still alive after his capture.
Vincent, oh Vincent… he has changed so much and not just for the scar removed or the haircut more polished, he does not remember anything.
He has a new house, a different life, a job to live as a secret mission.
We immediately perceive how good and relentless he is in what he does now that someone has made of him the super-soldier who should have been from the beginning.
However, in his most important mission, just when he should destroy once and for all the Muirfield boss, something goes wrong.
A voice calls him and the mission fades.
He finds himself in an unfamiliar environment with strangers, with a girl ever acting revealing intimacy and he is seriously disoriented, even though he keeps his job clear in mind.
The audience must really be thankful to all the main performers for how good they are to characterise the emotional world of each character.
Especially to Jay Ryan and Kristin Kreuk for giving us the immediate perception of what their Vincent and Catherine has lived and suffered in the elapsed three months.
We don’t care how this episode is teeming with news and action so that we learn at one time that Catherine has saved Gabe who is no longer a beast and has taken the place of Joe, who lost his job because he couldn’t soothe the desire of revenge for Darius’ death.
It does not seem relevant even meeting Cat’s real father and learning that he is the man who erased Vincent’s memory, altereted again his DNA, made of him the cold man and distant with Cat and JT.
Almost we do not even notice that Heather has not yet told Catherine that Thomas was not her father.
Everything flows swiftly, everything makes room to the emotional impact of these two guys who loved each other with a so mesmerizing love to cancel everything else in their lives, who now find themselves having to face, from opposing points of view, the fact that all has gone, all they have fought for is lost, because there is no trace of it in Vincent.
Or so it seems at this first step of their new path.
Despite his amnesia, Vincent saves Catherine – as usual we can say – though this time he saves her without even knowing why, contrary to orders, ignoring the mission, only distracted by her heart’s beating.
So we come to the core of the episode, to the moment which will leave a trace in the whole season, in the whole story to come.
The scene taking place at Cat’s before our eyes, is one of the most meaningful and memorable of the entire show.
No one will ever forget these two people, seated there, facing each other, asking to their inner self “Why I love him/her so much?”
The answer to this question and to the other, equally important – Who Am I? – will lead them through a route that will last a whole season to redefine theirselves, not only individually but also as a couple.
Though this is nothing but the beginning of the journey, the first step on the path.
At this point there is only them, there is a girl who has given up her life to find the man she loves because her life without his love wouldn’t be life.
To understand her is not difficult at all: the tenacity, the desperation, and then the joy and the confidence, even if nothing is ever simple for her. We totally know her from the first season, we can clearly read her mood, we get first the irrepressible happiness then the throbbing vulnerability of this girl.
We have lived with her every single emotion since a meeting in the woods.
She is one of us!
But the credit for making this scene indelible in our memory is certainly to Vincent – or more accurately – to Jay Ryan.
Who he was before Vincent does not know.
He is a strong man, a special soldier with a job to do, so important they told him, that nothing else has to care.
He is good at it, extraordinarily good, and he knows that.
He shows his skill and his resolution in the clenched jaw, in the little wrinkle he gets between the eyebrows when he is so focused, in the way he walks and in the coolness of his look.
However just a few beats of a heart and his certainties melt like snow in the sun.
He finds himself in our scene at Cat’s place, kidnapped and tortured by feelings that he doesn’t even know he can feel.
I deeply love every single fragment of this scene. The amazing melody “I can’t make you love me” give us all the poignant emotional rush that overwhelms this guy. He has no idea who this girl is, nevertheless he can nothing but look at her gently, comfort her when she cries, promise her he won’t leave.
He is totally shocked and disconcerted by the empathy he immediately feels intimately rising despite his willing to stay distant.
He tries to stay rude but he fails.
She cries and his heart blows with pain and desires to make it end. His eyes look hurt by her breaking down.
He can’t leave. He can’t explain or justify. He cannot even trust because she could be working for his enemies.
But… he cannot leave her.
“I won’t” he says when she begs him not to go “Tonight, please, do not go”.
And how could he?
Totally lost, literally drowning in the emotions and the sensations this girl is making him feel.
He cannot go away.
So a great heart wrenching part of this episode is even the scene that is not told but left to our imagination.
“Tonight, please, do not go.”
So he stays.
We do not see him taking her to bed, lying down next to her on the sheets, holding her in his arms as she falls asleep exhausted …
Has he cuddled her? Have they spoken yet? Has he held her? Has he watched her sleeping?
What has he felt?
Has his anguished heart felt a little at home?
We don’t know anything but she looked for him at her side when she awoke.
Though we have looked into his eyes enough to know that this relentless tough guy has the heart so tender that overflows with love for this girl, even if still unconsciously, even if he does not know who she is.
Maybe she will suffer for the empty space beside her, maybe it will not be easy to go back into each other’s arms with the knowledge that something of what they shared has gone forever.
Maybe she will have to put everything into question, wait that long, see him making mistakes and doing wrong, think that she’s lost him
Nevertheless his first “I won’t”, the choise not to leave her despite the amnesia, despite the doubts and the uncertainties, will remain deep in heart.
It is ‘Beauty and the Beast; It is a love story.
They will both fight to win back their love.
Everything begins with this touching hug, with this “I’m not leaving.”
Episode after episode we will always have in mind that insofar as the circumstances will seem absurd and the obstacles insurmountable, they will once again embrace their feeling stronger and happier.
We know it because we have always known, because this is their history and their destiny.
I like to think that they knew deep down too, while embracing this new “first time” at Catherine’s place…
Edited by Lisa