'Beauty and the Beast': Crimes and memories heat up in 'Hot Head'

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"Beauty and the Beast" seems to be going with a beast-of-the-week strategy in Season 2.

How many of these criminally inclined beasts will Vincent have to kill before he's free to return to Catherine? It's hard to say, but there is at least one fewer beast out there by the end of "Hot Head."

On top of this, Vincent's memories start coming back at an ever-faster pace. Find out how much of the old Vincent comes back in this recap.

Relaxing is hard work

One of the recurring themes throughout "Hot Head" is Catherine's need to relax and unwind a bit after months spent obsessed with bringing Vincent back. She can't even find her own clothes -- that's how disorganized and disinterested Cat has been lately.

But now, armed with the stressful knowledge that a) Vincent isn't the man/beast she loves anymore and b) her father wasn't really her father, Catherine needs to chill.

It doesn't really work out in this episode. Despite Tess' best efforts, Cat gets into a brawl when she goes out drinking and takes calls from Gabe when she's at the spa. Maybe Catherine just needs to find a different outlet for her stress? Rushing into burning buildings seems to work pretty well for her ...

Back on the hunt

It turns out that Vincent is pretty stressed too. Now that memories of his past are squeezing back into Vincent's focused present, the man is having trouble keeping his soldier's mission at the forefront. Vincent deals with this by exercising a lot (pretty!!!) and demanding more kill assignments.

Bob the FBI Guy doesn't have another name ready yet for Vincent, but Vincent has other sources for beastly information. Gabe has realized that a series of strange arsons must be the work of a fire-resistant beast. Although Catherine doesn't want to pursue this guy -- partially because arson investigation isn't part of the NYPD's job -- but that's not enough to stop Gabe.

You see, Gabe is now wondering if his own de-beasting via defibrillator can be replicated on other beasts. If a little bit of heart stopping-and-restarting is all it takes, maybe all of the beasts can return to a normal life.

Gabe wants to try out this theory on the arsonist.

To do this, however, Gabe needs Vincent. A foolhardy but ultimately successful solo visit to Vincent's boat puts the beast on the arsonist's trail.

Fire bad

Using his super-senses, Vincent quickly figures out where the arsonist beast is setting his next fire. It's just too bad for Vincent that this guy, Eddie Long, has been made both fire resistant and fire causing. A quick run in the general direction of Vincent, and Eddie sets the guy on fire.

After that, all Eddie has to do is kick Vincent a few times and stroll on out of the fire.

There's nothing like family when you're feeling bad!

Don't worry. Vincent doesn't die in the fire or anything. He is found and saved by firefighters who rush to the scene, and Gabe manages to get Vincent hidden away in a hospital before anyone tries to check the guy's ID.

That's not quite enough to stop the arson investigators though. They insist on talking to the first witness to anything involved with these fires. While Gabe convinces the men that Vincent is actually Victor, an undercover officer investigating a related case, the arson experts want to know more.

The younger of the two firemen, a guy by the familiar name of Aaron Keller, really wants to know.

Unfortunately, the mention of Aaron's name sends Vincent into a spinning whirlpool of hidden memories. Aaron turns out to be Vincent's nephew, the son of his dead brother William. Overwhelmed by the images and emotions, Vincent does his standard beast thing and jumps out the window.

Why arson?

Between the Gabe/Catherine team and the fire department, it becomes clear that Eddie is engaging in revenge. The man was once a convicted arsonist pulled from jail by Muirfield for testing. They made him fire-resistant so he could help put out oil-operation fires.

Now, Eddie is targeting buildings owned by a super-rich oil executive. But that man owns dozens of buildings across the city -- which is the right one?

As another fire begins, everyone realizes that one firefighter is missing -- Aaron Keller has run off to take on the arsonist alone. Vincent rushes after the young man as soon as he hears the news.

Good Vincent saves the day

Preparing to rush into the fire, Vincent takes a moment to do something important -- he kisses Catherine. Then he runs off to possible death. Talk about a mixed message for the woman.

But there is a nephew to be saved, and a kiss is all that Vincent has time for. The arsonist has already dealt with Aaron by this point, so it's up to Vincent to stop the burning. Instead of just getting fire-bombed like last time though, Vincent manages to subdue his foe with a little fire suppression. Then it's just a fistfight.

Before Vincent can finish off Eddie, however, the sound of Aaron's firefighter alarm distracts the good beast. Flashbacks of the brief time when Vincent was a fireman, helping William stay alive. Because their mother couldn't handle another son heading into the flames, Vincent went back to medical school after his brief period in the flames.

The other brothers didn't make it out after 9/11.

Guided by a vision of his dead brother as much as by Aaron's alarm, Vincent finds the boy and gets him to safety in time.

Some experiments cannot be repeated

Elsewhere in the burning building, Catherine and Gabe find Eddie trying to escape. He would have done a better job at this, were it not for Cat's gun. As it is, Gabe and Catherine work hard to resuscitate Eddie the way Cat saved Gabe months before.

It doesn't work out so well. Maybe something else was going on in Gabe's case?

Almost a date

In the aftermath of all of this, some good appears. Catherine and Vincent walk the night and talk about roads not traveled. With some of his memories returned, Vincent wonders if he could have saved his brothers if only he had stayed a fireman. Catherine points out that there's no benefit to worrying about what could have been done differently.

The two hold hands as they somberly consider the site of the Twin Towers.

It's not the most exciting, fun date maybe. And it's not relaxing. But at least Catherine and Vincent are starting to face things together again.

Photo/Video credit: The CW
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