Beauty and the Beast
Season 1, Episodes 15 and 16: “Temptation” and “Promises of Someday”
Original airdates: Feb. 5 and Feb. 12, 1988
Playing the role of the wisecracking boss on a show like “Beauty and the Beast” can often be a thankless task, mainly involving delivering exposition and giving Beauty something to do when she’s not with her Beast.
However, Jay Acovone, portraying Catherine’s boss, Joe, is an underappreciated MVP of this series.
He takes a standard character and infuses it with authenticity and humor, bringing his workaday weariness and sarcasm to the forefront. His presence is a crucial counterbalance, preventing the show from veering into starry-eyed silliness.
Joe is gruff but fair, his genuine crush on Catherine becomes increasingly less concealed, and he finally seizes a featured role in “Temptation.”
While it’s Catherine and Vincent’s anniversary, the focus shifts as Joe unwisely follows his heart, or perhaps his desires, toward a seductive woman clad in Revlon cosmetics.
She also happens to be the legal representative of a client that Joe’s D.A.’s office is trying to prosecute.
The seduction turns out to be a trap, and it takes Catherine’s intervention – along with a last-minute attack of conscience from his Reaganite Delilah – to extricate him from trouble and safeguard his job.
The evolving relationship between Catherine and Joe stands out as one of the highlights of this series.
Joe’s initial disbelief at a socialite’s willingness to undertake grunt work has transformed into genuine respect and growing affection.
The next episode, titled “Promises of Someday,” revolves around family matters and marks the return of a prodigal figure.
A mysterious new assistant D.A. appears in the office, and Catherine isn’t pleased to find him snooping around tunnel entrances.
She alerts Vincent about a potential threat.
Vincent, in turn, surprises the man and is in for a significant shock himself – the man happens to be Devin, Vincent’s adoptive brother, whom he hasn’t seen in two decades.
This storyline is quite intricate and sheds a rather unfavorable light on Father.
Devin, portrayed by Bruce Abbott (who, incidentally, was Linda Hamilton’s real-life husband at the time), has assumed various identities, resembling a proto-Pretender, since his departure from Below.
His resentment stems from Father’s blatant favoritism towards Vincent and a dispute from their adolescent years that resulted in Devin bearing three small claw marks on his jaw.
He had been Vincent’s protector and closest friend, and he is in for a jolt when it’s revealed that he is not just another tunnel orphan but Father’s biological son.
The revelation in question required a more substantial aftermath than what we witness here, even though Devin returns in a second-season episode.
This revelation underscores Father’s character as someone who envisions himself as a virtuous leader but, in reality, is just as human and fallible as anyone else.
His justifications for never acknowledging Devin as his child come across as excuses.
Whether intentional or not, the viewer gets a much stronger impression that he desired an heir, and a dark-haired illegitimate child wouldn’t suffice when there was a golden, extraordinary lion boy right there.
Nonetheless, being a TV episode of Beauty and the Beast, it must conclude with, if not Devin and Father engaging in a friendly chess match, at least the sense that they are on the path to reconciliation.
The bonds that connect people leave various marks, but it’s possible to heal, progress, or even move to the world Above.
Next week, we can anticipate a dose of crazy love and the discovery of gold within those tunnels.
A nice detail worth noting is Catherine’s appearance in bridal white during the concluding scene on the balcony in “Temptation.”
The cautious CBS executives always hindered the natural progression of their relationship, making it inconsistent and sensible.
At the very least, this is why tasteful fade to black and shots of billowing drapes were created, folks.
It would have added an amusing twist if, while Devin recounted his previous adventures, he had let out a sigh, recalling an unfortunate encounter with a certain “Dr. West.
This Might Interest You: Team-Up Review: My So-Called Life, “Guns and Gossip,” “Father Figures”