'Beauty and the Beast' Season 2 premiere: Vincent's back, but nothing is the same

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"Beauty and the Beast" returned for Season 2, but nothing is quite the same as it was before.

Catherine ( Kristin Kreuk) and Vincent ( Jay Ryan) are still soulmates, but one of them doesn't really remember that. There is still a shadowy group chasing and wanting to use Vincent's beastly powers, but it's not Muirfield. And there's a beast. It's just that Vincent isn't quite the beast he used to be.

How we get to the premiere

A few important things happened after the Season 1 finale of "Beauty and the Beast."

Probably the most important of them would be the fact that Gabe survived his supposed death and is happily walking around when Season 2 begins. He is especially happy because apparently nearly dying only killed the beast bits of Gabe. The rest of him is totally healthy and beast-free.

Could this possibly work with Vincent? Catherine might want to look into this.

Alas, Catherine doesn't really have time for scientific theories. That's because she has spent the past several months doing nothing -- and I do mean nothing -- but look for Vincent. We're talking about a woman who has ignored her sister, her best friend, her father's approaching funeral and even her job in order to hunt for a man who could be thousands of miles away.

One might say that Cat's love is bordering on an obsession at this point. But let's just stick with love -- it sounds better.

Vincent, Part 2 - The Return

JT's endless searching finally yields results at the most inopportune time imaginable. That would be in the middle of the memorial service for Catherine's father. Of course, Catherine's father isn't really her father, but nobody has bothered to tell Cat that. Even when Cat totally meets her real father at the funeral, she is none the wiser.

In case you missed it, real dad is an FBI agent by the name of Bob Reynolds. He seems nice enough. You know, other than that hit list and unethical drug testing thing.

Anyway, one call from JT about a potential Vincent sighting, and Cat bails on her father's memorial right before a speech. It's awkward.

It is, however, also rewarded. Catherine goes to a shady warehouse of some sort and finds Vincent surrounded by Bad Men. Then Vincent takes out most of the Bad Men, leaving only the main Bad Man (whose name I missed, sorry -- but he's the shadowy head of Muirfield and REALLY BAD) to face the beast's considerable wrath.

He doesn't really have to face it though, because Catherine interferes.

A new beast

Vincent is not very appreciative of Catherine's arrival. His lack of appreciation kind of verges on murderous, as a matter of fact. It's very fortunate that JT and Gabe show up with a whole lot of tranquilizers. At least they manage to get Vincent back to JT's loft that way.

When Vincent wakes up, his mood has only slightly improved.

There's a good reason for this: Vincent doesn't remember JT. Or Catherine. Or much of anything, it appears. He just wants to go complete his mission. There is little time for romance and reminiscing about the good old (forgotten) days when one wants to go assassinate the head of a shady organization.

True love and heightened senses triumph

This is where things get interesting: Whatever happened to Vincent in his time away has somehow heightened his senses. Those senses are so heightened, in fact, that he can sense things from a great distance. It's almost like a super-power, which is totally cool.

Naturally, Vincent soon senses Catherine and runs to her aid, even at the expense of his mission. It looks like true love really does conquer all!

But wait ...

Or does love matter to the new and "improved" Vincent. Once Catherine is safe, the beast comes out again. And nothing ends well at all for the head of Muirfield.

Love is going to have to work very hard this season.

Photo/Video credit: The CW