The Thing About Catherine

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Maclurv
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The Thing About Catherine

Post by Maclurv »

I thought I would start a thread about Catherine since Vincent's is well established. Time to give Beauty her due!

I begin with appreciation for the pilot as it was shown. I just read the two rough drafts of the pilot script in

http://www.batbforever.com/scripts/index.html

and the differences are interesting.

One thing about Catherine is that she was shown having more spunk in the kidnapping, yet more despondency about her condition when healing underground with Vincent. She gained more spunk with Tom by the pilot. Yet, a conversation with her Dad about leaving the firm was dropped. So gained spunk, she lost spunk. And this is a thing about Catherine's character throughout the show, in that it was uneven to me. She learned strength, she learned street fighting, then she was placed in situations that had her respond less than her background would indicate she could. The phrase 'damsel in distress' often fits, and it is the way they could have Vincent come and rescue her.

Two unrelated-to-Catherine notes about the drafts: thank god Vincent came out as he did as Koslow had him originally very beasty with a snout; secondly, they had Father wearing a baseball cap. Just, no!

Pat
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Re: The Thing About Catherine

Post by Zara »

Among illustrators of the original fairy tale, it was once traditional to represent the Beast as a creature in the form of a porcine man instead of a leonine one. That is to say, the Beast often resembled a wild boar, not a lion. As with an unusual 1976 version, seen here (yes, in this screenshot, Beauty is holding the Beast's hoof in her hand):

BB1976.jpg


Cocteau's 1946 film seems to have set a new standard for modern storytellers in terms of creating a beast with strongly feline features. Most of the renderings since then (including Koslow's) have drawn heavily upon Cocteau's La belle et la bête. Interestingly...the actor for Koslow's series, Ron Perlman, was drawn to the part of Vincent as it was originally drafted, containing the gnarled, snouty Beast as originally described. Makeup artist Rick Baker's powerful "rock star" imagery took him (and everyone!) by surprise.

And in the series, although he is never shown wearing a ball cap, Father IS a baseball fan. ;)

Pat wrote: And this is a thing about Catherine's character throughout the show, in that it was uneven to me.


Here, I think you make a very, very important observation. We've explored many of the problems regarding inconsistent concepts for Vincent that kept him caught in a characterization tug-of-war throughout the first two seasons of the show. But I completely share your impression that Catherine's character was treated similarly (dare I say, mishandled?) by the storytellers. She is permitted to do something that reveals her strength, and then the story requires her strength to be insufficient to survive her danger. Strong/intelligent/compassionate...then boom: back to desperate damsel so Vincent-on-the-rampage will have something entertainingly violent to do.

What about this thought: What if Vincent's uneven presentation was actually predicated upon Catherine's? Because she was formed in a way that struggled so much with conflicting notions of honorable femininity. Is an inconsistent Beauty the true fatal flaw of the show?

~ Zara
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Maclurv
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Re: The Thing About Catherine

Post by Maclurv »

What if Vincent's uneven presentation was actually predicated upon Catherine's? Because she was formed in a way that struggled so much with conflicting notions of honorable femininity. Is an inconsistent Beauty the true fatal flaw of the show?


What an intriguing question!

Several thoughts stirring around. In the 80's you have the feminist movement still ongoing. A strong female character, capable, intelligent, compassionate, loving, independent. Yeah, I'd watch that! Not exactly what we were shown, however. Another interesting tidbit from the script: the title started out as 'Beauty.' So thinking about this fact, I can see why they started her out stronger perhaps.

I think TPTB drew the two main characters in juxtaposition to each other. Vincent was quiet, Catherine was out-going; Vincent came from modest, some might say poor, means; Catherine was very wealthy; Vincent's life had purpose, Catherine's life was aimless; Vincent was self-reliant, Catherine was more dependent; Vincent was compassionate, Catherine was self-indulgent. Both were intelligent and well read, although Vincent probably exceeded Catherine also in this regard. So Catherine had more ground to cover in undergoing her metamorphosis.

Catherine was spunky. And she was a kind person even at the start. So she had good building blocks. In the pilot, she wanted to learn to protect herself so that 'nothing bad like that would ever happen again.' She desired change because she had looked in the mirror and didn't like what she saw. It wasn't the scars, it's what the scars represented to her. She begins to rebuild herself and her life. One aspect that mitigated this is her wealth. It is a lot easier to break away from a pattern when you have no economic worries. Yes, it gave the story a platform for her to have grown up selfish, yet plenty of other people of less means are also selfish. It would have made her growth all the more meaningful to have to struggle with living as did the tunnel residents. But that is not what they chose to do. So her character goes up hill and down hill, and poor Vincent gets to go along for the ride.

The one thing TPTB did not do, thank heavens, was make Catherine a woman who was conflicted with the role of being a woman. She did not feel compelled to have a boyfriend/husband in her life or be a failure, nor did she seem to have any particular views of how women should act around men. Most of her struggle was the decision to love Vincent and all that meant and her wish to do meaningful and helpful work. Neither of these struggles really require Vincent to be anything other than who he was, so his presentation could have been consistent. But this is not the show that TPTB thought they had to show, or were pressured to show. So have Catherine vacillate so that Vincent's character ended up vacillating as well.

And in a strange twist to your question, Linda's desire to have a child could be viewed as one of those conflicting notions of honorable femininity. She was a star in a popular show, known for movies, wouldn't leaving to have a child be damaging to her career? Yet, she did it. And it was, in many respects, a fatal flaw of the show. I am in no way finding fault with her decision. Just noting it as an element of your question.

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Re: The Thing About Catherine

Post by Zara »

The feminist movement has never stopped going...but it did lose momentum in America while other countries have largely taken up the banner since the 1990s. In any case, the Pilot episode of our show is amazing. One of my absolute favorite episodes. Interference from TPTB upon Koslow's vision seems to have encroached later on.

I submit that economically, Joe Maxwell is a man of modest means. men like Micha Langer, Sam Denton, and Milo Ramos are poor. Vincent and his people...are impoverished. This is a very interesting choice, a modernization, if you will, of the original fairy tale's commentary about wealth and power. Originally, Beauty was from a family that was once well-to-do but became poor, while Beast was a prince with all the material wealth (and magical "capital") one could wish for. But that was not the sort of context that needed to be explored in the 1980s. Power dynamics and women's roles have changed a bit since France in the 1740s.

Pat wrote:And in a strange twist to your question, Linda's desire to have a child could be viewed as one of those conflicting notions of honorable femininity. She was a star in a popular show, known for movies, wouldn't leaving to have a child be damaging to her career? Yet, she did it. And it was, in many respects, a fatal flaw of the show. I am in no way finding fault with her decision. Just noting it as an element of your question.


Yes. That is a good insight. From the actor-side, the deeper fatal flaw may simply have been that the leading lady, however graciously and professionally she conducted herself, did not want to be there after filming the Pilot, but was caught and held due to contractual obligations. If your Beauty wants out from the get-go, your Beauty and the Beast show is doomed from said get-go. Be that as it may, those conflicted Powers That Be treated Linda Hamilton very, very badly. All storytelling patterns aside, their ultimate choices regarding how to remove the actress and her character from the series tells me that that their working definitions of womanhood needed a hell of a lot more work.

Pat wrote:Catherine was spunky. And she was a kind person even at the start. So she had good building blocks. In the pilot, she wanted to learn to protect herself so that 'nothing bad like that would ever happen again.' She desired change because she had looked in the mirror and didn't like what she saw. It wasn't the scars, it's what the scars represented to her. She begins to rebuild herself and her life. One aspect that mitigated this is her wealth. It is a lot easier to break away from a pattern when you have no economic worries. Yes, it gave the story a platform for her to have grown up selfish, yet plenty of other people of less means are also selfish. It would have made her growth all the more meaningful to have to struggle with living as did the tunnel residents. But that is not what they chose to do. So her character goes up hill and down hill, and poor Vincent gets to go along for the ride.

The one thing TPTB did not do, thank heavens, was make Catherine a woman who was conflicted with the role of being a woman.


Thank you for this fabulous summary of Catherine's character! Your ideas about the juxtaposition of Beauty and Beast in the story speak clearly to me, as well. Most helpful.

~ Zara
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Re: The Thing About Catherine

Post by Zara »

Responding to Pat's thoughts on "The Watcher", posted in The Balancing Act That Is Vincent...

Pat wrote:Okay, I'll bite. Yes, I agree that Catherine refusing to go Below was a bit contrived. Yet, how was The Watcher to be caught if she literally was not the bait? Yes, it could have been accomplished, hopefully in the daytime, with her nights protected Below. By her absence at night, he would become more irritated, and less careful, and eventually make a play at work, perhaps.


First and foremost, no woman who is being stalked should ever, ever be expected, or expect herself, to be successfully used as "bait" for trapping and catching her stalker. Yes, that is ONE strategy that can and has been used to attempt to solve this problem. But while it may be convenient for some law enforcers, it is also the most dangerous option for the woman involved. It also increases her victimization and vulnerability, and empowers the stalker. Playing by a stalker's one-sided manipulative rules requires a woman to behave like prey. Behavior quickly informs and shapes identity.

Within this episode's nutty plot, another way out is simply to LET CATHERINE BE CATHERINE. For pity's sake, she's supposed to be the best investigator in the DA's office, right? An out-of-the-box thinker with a city-wide underworld network of eyes and ears at her disposal (anyone remember "A Children's Story", "An Impossible Silence"?), not to mention the fact that she has a fiercely intelligent soulmate on her side. Instead of having her curl up in stereotypical female fear, trying (and failing) to tough it out alone in her apartment, obessively listening to recordings of her stalker's voice, jumping at beeping watch alarms...let her be an active heroine.

She could accept the discreet Topsider help Joe is obviously willing to arrange for her, compile the clues her stalker has already left behind (a location with a view of her balcony, access to surveilance equipment, a flower delivery, etc.), relocate to the secure and supportive environment of the Tunnels, and be a woman of both worlds who rallies elements of both worlds to eliminate a dangerous criminal and personal threat. And that's just a set of first-pass revisions. A modern-woman-who-creatively-triumphs-over-evil-male-stalker story is far from impossible!

Second, in media and literature, the Stalker/Kidnapper of Beautiful Damsels is the oldest, easiest, most overdone plot device in the book. It's like the B&B writers were thinking, "What new Damsel plot can we drop into our series, now that we've already done, like, 21 episodes containing rescues of some character or other?"

Finally, bracketing the hunter-prey violence with anniversary romance is quite possibly the ugliest juxtaposition of the themes of love and fear in the entire series. It is shallow, cheap soap opera stuff that reinforces a position of women's purportedly intrinsic helplessness against violence *as well as her purported complicity with violence against herself* and it offends me to my soul.

Pat wrote:What I liked about this episode is the premise that they were alone in having to deal with this for fear of exposing Vincent. Take him out of the equation, and it was like any other stalker show and the police would be after him, and the question would be, would they catch him in time? But with Vincent, and the possibility of photos, Catherine had to be circumspect.


While I respect your excellent sum-up of the episode's central premise--no. Catherine did not *have* to do what she did in "The Watcher". Logically, IF such photos of Vincent existed (beyond Catherine's supposition that they *could* exist, we never hear of any detrimental stalker-photography again), they were (a) already in the stalker's control, (b) not Catherine's responsibility, and (c) not by any means more valuable than Catherine's life. As a lawyer, Catherine must know that all documents are subject to interpretation and explanation. She has, by implication, explained her way into and out of all manner of situations involving Vincent, including public interactions with him in "Siege" and "Masques". The assumption that the stalker is also a blackmailer without any evidence thereto does nothing but elevate fear above rationality, and degrade both Vincent and Catherine. Their capitulation with the fear of being blackmailed is a senseless reversal of the compassion and creativity they demonstrate in many other episodes. Our heroes end up catering to fear rather than hearkening to wisdom, running from the problem rather than solving the problem. This is disturbing, because the writers explicitly confuse courage with cowardice in order to force our Beauty to act against both her own best interests and Vincent's! Which makes victims of everyone: Catherine, Vincent, the now-impotent system Above, the now-rejected community Below, and the viewers of the story themselves. Now the audience is stuck with one more "stalker show" in which, actually, THE HERO DOES NOT CATCH THE VILLAIN IN TIME. In "The Watcher," *Catherine died.* So where does that leave all the real-world women who do not have a mythological Beast to extract them from their murderers' killing jars and recussitate them by mysterious means?

It leaves them dead. And it leaves the not-yet-dead with no other message than, "Woman, you can only stick it out as best you can in isolation from all the help that could possibly prevent your death beforehand, in order to protect that which you most love from harm, be they lovers, children, friends, or your own self." Not okay. Not at all.

Vincent himself (the "real" Vincent, remember) would never have participated in this deadly cocktail of faulty ethics. He may not comprehend the evil motivating the man who is hunting Catherine, but he knows how hunting *works*. If you're going to write a story taking on the societal problem of stalker-violence against women, at least tell a *new* story that explores how your unique characters would handle things, you know, in-character.

Though Lovers Be Lost.

Most basic explanation of my aversion: this episode exploits every last instinctive terror of the female psyche, and every stereotype of feminine disempowerment, in order to murder its heroine.

Don't get me wrong. Season Three is my favorite season of the series. But under emergency storytelling conditions, the storymakers chose to pull out all the stops and churn out the dominant portion of an opening episode that could not possibly nourish its target audience. From the external side of the storytelling process, I am disgusted with Martin's and other storytellers' insistence in the historical documentation that what happened to Catherine was not torture, because we can tell you *all* about what torture really is, Martin has studied Medieval history, and we gave Catherine the gentlest death possible, and isn't her courage under fire so very inspirational, after all? Etcetera, and so forth.

I can only reply to such arguments: You have obviously never been a pregnant woman.

The brutal victimization of Mother, Father, and Child (Catherine, Vincent, and their baby) kicked off a new (and powerful) storyline in the B&B universe...but it did so by (once again) degrading and tormenting our Beauty, which required the pregnant actress performing Beauty's role to vicariously go through that dehumanization too. Linda Hamilton deserved some kind of a dramatic arts Medal of Valor for her work in that episode. I can understand the process of ending a character's life. I can understand the up-close-and-personal exploration of great evil. But in a series that has been so brave about so many other issues, they chose NOT to be brave enough to avoid using the iconic imagery of an expectant mother in peril as the most intense Damsel-in-Distress plot possible. Thus, they finally objectified Beauty completely. Her character became a symbol, not a hero. Her womanhood became a means to an end, not an intrinsic quality of human identity.

I am not speaking of the villains' attitudes toward Catherine. That is a related, yet separate expression of the story. No, I am objecting to the effect of how the storytellers parsed the scenario, scripted Catherine's lines and actions, and jury-rigged sudden unexplained changes in the relationship between Beast and Beauty. It was hasty and clumsy. And haste often reveals deep seated biases.The episodes following TLBL quickly found a new equilibrium, and proceeded to offer a story that I love dearly, a story that changed my life and my outlook forever. But as any classic fan could tell me, that does not exonerate or justify the anti-woman treatment of Beauty in the Season Three premiere.

Out of my shell enough for you, dear friend? ;)

~ Zara
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Re: The Thing About Catherine

Post by Maclurv »

Your brain obviously enters the work week turned on and firing on all cylinders! Mine needs to slide into working, apparently. :)

I agree with most of what you say, I guess I would say we differ in degree more than content. I like the idea of Catherine being Catherine and do regret that Joe was not able to be a confidant finally for her and help more directly.

And you are most correct to point out that no woman should be used as bait. I was merely going with the flow of the script on that one.

Logically, IF such photos of Vincent existed (beyond Catherine's supposition that they *could* exist, we never hear of any detrimental stalker-photography again), they were (a) already in the stalker's control, (b) not Catherine's responsibility, and (c) not by any means more valuable than Catherine's life. As a lawyer, Catherine must know that all documents are subject to interpretation and explanation. She has, by implication, explained her way into and out of all manner of situations involving Vincent, including public interactions with him in "Siege" and "Masques". The assumption that the stalker is also a blackmailer without any evidence thereto does nothing but elevate fear above rationality, and degrade both Vincent and Catherine.


I don't think it was beyond logic for them to fear exposure through photos, and I don't think it was related as much to blackmail as it was from turning to police and having them search his place and finding them. Which ended up as a possibility as police were involved at the end.(plot hole?) But I do agree that photos are not worth anyone's life. Not sure about the explaining situations before in Siege and Masques, as I thought the old guy did it in Siege and Vincent himself more in Masques. But I think there is risk in heightened awareness of Vincent no matter how his image is explained away. In thinking about the part I liked more, I guess the reason I liked it is little ole romantic me liked the willingness to sacrifice that Catherine showed Vincent in wanting to keep him safe, even at her detriment. No, it shouldn't be taken to the point of her life while Vincent contemplates his navel with nothing else to do.

Now the audience is stuck with one more "stalker show" in which, actually, THE HERO DOES NOT CATCH THE VILLAIN IN TIME. In "The Watcher," *Catherine died.* So where does that leave all the real-world women who do not have a mythological Beast to extract them from their murderers' killing jars and recussitate them by mysterious means?


Interesting that you mentioned this. I just read Gross's description of this episode. It was GRR Martin's suggestion, and the two female writers agreed and thought it was a great idea, and H. Gordon thought it was great. What the writers were most upset with is that they edited out any reveal of the stalker. (As was the actor, I'm sure!) This definitely was a more mythological take on the story, because you are correct, in real life it can't happen. It obviously was not a show intended to teach about stalking, other than perhaps if it can happen to Catherine it could happen to anyone? It would have been nice if they could have let Catherine be more resourceful and Vincent and his resources come into play.

Though Lovers Be Lost

Amen. And I certainly concur that kudos are due Linda for being pregnant herself and having to go through that. Yikes!

I'll take you in or out of your shell, anytime. :wink:

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Re: The Thing About Catherine

Post by Zara »

Pat wrote:plot hole?


Huge plot hole. One that makes it look like Catherine made a mountain out of a molehill, to use the common phrase, with regards to the ultimately nonexistant photos. Yes, you are right to pull me back to earth with the script, and note that Catherine was afraid of whatever the police might discover, should she turn to her own authorities for help with this threatening presence. It's just that, either speculation (that the stalker *might* eventually blackmail her, or that the police *might* eventually find photos) leads to Catherine doing what the writers made her do: sabotage her own very strong support system, which is comprised of sympathetic forces that many real-world victims of stalking do not have access to. This cheapens the very notion of "sacrifice," since Catherine is endangering herself unto the point of death when the level of risk to Vincent has not been correctly estimated in the first place...yet everyone scurries on as if it has been.

Seriously, why should the woman have to bear the full burden of defending against dangerous what-ifs, when she's already got a concrete threat infringing upon her life and liberty? As actor Patrick Stewart has recently reminded the world, women have every right to use any available means of defense and escape in order to survive threats made against them...but the power to stop that violence from happening is in the community's hands, and most specifically in the hands of *men.* This episode rejected every male offer of help made to assist Catherine (offers from Vincent, Father, Joe, Detective Greg Hughes, other male police officers), to one degree or another. It also trivialized Jenny's instincts and isolated Catherine from two worlds willing to help her. This episode was teaching us about stalking; it was teaching us how to run straight into the arms of a predator by running away from every imaginable ally arrayed against the predator. In that way, "The Watcher" was just as damaging to the cause of men fighting violence against women as it was against the women involved in the same struggle.

Sorry for confusing the issue with "Siege" and "Masques." That was just more speculation on my part, for we rarely see the occasions when Catherine must give some account of herself to officials, and I was trying to think of episodes where Vincent and Catherine were out in public together. In "Siege," no matter what excellent statements Micha managed to corral from the group, there were still going to be plenty of "in-house" questions that Catherine was going to have to answer, as an officer of the court on hand at the crime scene. "Masques"? Well, the full details of how the rest of Halloween went for our dear lovers is up to the fan's imagination. That montage at the end functioned mostly as a teaser trailer to scenes that we never got to view.

I did not know that Martin suggested this thing. Not sure what to make of that. It's pretty clear none of the writing team thought through what they were really cobbling together, though. It's icky, all around.

She sells seashells by the seashore,

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Re: The Thing About Catherine

Post by Maclurv »

<chuckles> and 'Patti' Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, which is why I can't think straight today?

You should also know the two females authors wrote the script backwards. They started with the end and then thought their way back to a beginning. Maybe that explains it.

Seriously, why should the woman have to bear the full burden of defending against dangerous what-ifs, when she's already got a concrete threat infringing upon her life and liberty? As actor Patrick Stewart has recently reminded the world, women have every right to use any available means of defense and escape in order to survive threats made against them...but the power to stop that violence from happening is in the community's hands, and most specifically in the hands of *men.* This episode rejected every male offer of help made to assist Catherine (offers from Vincent, Father, Joe, Detective Greg Hughes, other male police officers), to one degree or another. It also trivialized Jenny's instincts and isolated Catherine from two worlds willing to help her. This episode was teaching us about stalking; it was teaching us how to run straight into the arms of a predator by running away from every imaginable ally arrayed against the predator. In that way, "The Watcher" was just as damaging to the cause of men fighting violence against women as it was against the women involved in the same struggle.


Very well made point. Did see Patrick Stewart's video. Knew there was more good reason that he was my favorite Star Trek captain. :) You are right about the rejection of male help. Quite a list when you tote it up like that. You also raised another good point:

leads to Catherine doing what the writers made her do: sabotage her own very strong support system, which is comprised of sympathetic forces that many real-world victims of stalking do not have access to. This cheapens the very notion of "sacrifice," since Catherine is endangering herself unto the point of death when the level of risk to Vincent has not been correctly estimated in the first place...yet everyone scurries on as if it has been.


She does have a very strong support system and yet she is never allowed to have one person Above as a confidant to her mysterious life. That to me is most unfair, nor realistic of the tunnel community. Helpers have one another to talk to, and many were a part of the community to begin with. Why they never addressed having Catherine nominate someone for consideration by the Council is a disappointment. Keep her isolated, and have her friends start to question her sanity, if not even loyalty to her friends.

And it would have been interesting to hear Catherine have to give some accounting. Even in the pilot, you know she had to be questioned about it and we got zip. They could have picked that up second episode. She was involved in departmental meetings and interviews with police while Vincent was mulling over what to do about the child Kipper told him about. That would have been very interesting.

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Re: The Thing About Catherine

Post by Zara »

Pat wrote:She does have a very strong support system and yet she is never allowed to have one person Above as a confidant to her mysterious life. That to me is most unfair, nor realistic of the tunnel community. Helpers have one another to talk to, and many were a part of the community to begin with. Why they never addressed having Catherine nominate someone for consideration by the Council is a disappointment. Keep her isolated, and have her friends start to question her sanity, if not even loyalty to her friends.


It is very unfair, very senseless, and severely limited the kind of stories that could be told in the series. Isaac Stubbs is at the top of my list for a Topside friend of Catherine to include in her life as a woman of both worlds. I get happy just imagining all the wonderful doors he could have opened in that regard. Nancy (sorry, her surname is not coming to mind at the moment), and Charles Chandler are also strong candidates. And in Nancy's case, Catherine did confide in her at the end of Season One, so much so that Nancy wants to meet Vincent in person. A lovely open door there, which was never explored.

Pat wrote:And it would have been interesting to hear Catherine have to give some accounting. Even in the pilot, you know she had to be questioned about it and we got zip.


Professional author Barbara Hambly did a solid job of this in her novelization of the Pilot. I only wish she could have written more books for the franchise.

:)

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Re: The Thing About Catherine

Post by Maclurv »

I've read some interviews and some fan letters in Starlog. I get an impression that besides wanting to have a child, Linda also was not that happy with her characters development, or I guess I should say, lack of development. One difference between herself and her character was that Catherine continually doubted too much, somewhat on the whiny side she felt. But in terms of development, she spoke mostly of the development in the relationship between Vincent and Catherine. She didn't like the direction the show was taking (more action, less relationship).

So this got me thinking about what were Catherine's doubts? I would suggest that we eliminate doubting her love for Vincent, because that is the most obvious, and even understandable, to me. What other doubts did Catherine have? And did she whine about them?

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Re: The Thing About Catherine

Post by Maclurv »

In thinking about this, the first thing into my mind was doubting her work ability. In a Children's Story, she questioned herself after visiting Ridley and getting Eric and Ellie split up and sent away. Also, in An Impossible Silence, she questioned herself for getting Laura kidnapped in the police station. In both of these cases, it involved the very vulnerable, children, and Catherine clearly expected to be able to protect them, and failed. But the failure wasn't hers, per se; she still assumes ownership and blames herself. Her discussion with Vincent involves emotion on her part, not just a recounting of details.

She is apprehensive about the Union docks case, involving Mitch. Here, her doubt is linked to the danger involved and the desire to be able to overcome it and change things for the better. Vincent is very concerned about the danger but Catherine looks at it as a test of her mettle, her ability to confront fear, and won't back down. But I wouldn't say she whines about it.

But I do think her work is one aspect that she does experience some doubts on occasion.

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The Watcher -- and Catherine Alone

Post by 222333 »

*
Not easy to catch up, as usual. And as usual, I’ll just offer a few thoughts prompted by past posts.

One is about The Watcher. Yes, it’s a poor, poor episode. For all the reasons already said. It has a few gems, and a bad taste. Yes, it’s ridiculous to think that Catherine can’t think of anything else than sitting in her living room with a fire stick or whatever it is called in English in her hands. Vincent is pathetically weak and ineffectual. Besides the tragic, and poorly handled subject, it’s the whole plot that’s out of character. I mean the development of it, which ignores who the characters are and do in their life Above and Below. That said, I can’t help thinking that it’s not completely out of character as far as Catherine is concerned. This attitude of “bearing the full burden” and “reject every offer of help” in front of terrible situations is the same we see, for instance, in Ozymandias, or in To Reign in Hell. Sadly, this is a late episode, and this trait of character is still there. The hopeless in me likes to think that she was so scared by what happened in this episode, that she truly meant it when, at the end of the episode, she says “WE will endure. WE will”, which is quite different from that “I can’t let him do that to me” that she uses to absurdly reject that *wonderful” opening from Vincent: “Come below tonight”. Actually, I see a change of pace in the next (few) episodes that I accept in my very personal canon.

Another thought is about the idea that Catherine
Pat:
is never allowed to have one person Above as a confidant to her mysterious life. That to me is most unfair, nor realistic of the tunnel community

It’s a popular idea, and the Canon itself mentions Catherine alone on her side of the river. But yes, unrealistic, as you said. In fact, I look at the episodes, and I look at Catherine, who’s warm, and generous, and personable, very good at befriending people. So, I don’t buy that she’s alone and has nobody to talk about herself and Vincent and the Tunnels. First, of course, we have Peter Alcott. An old friend, even a parental figure, from her same social environment, one of the first Helpers. Devin, and Laura are Above. Henri and Lin, same age, a young couple like she and Vincent. We see her delivering food from Mr Wang, and I take it that she’s in good relationship with more Helpers than we get to see. And the people that are not helpers but have seen Vincent – Misha and Sophie, Lucy and Brigit, Tony Ramos and Brian. A variety of possibilities, and it’s not so incredible that – apart from budget restraints which need the guest stars to star once only – both she and Vincent have met these people again and possibly built relationships. So, no, Catherine alone is a tunnel legend, in my opinion.

S
Maclurv
Posts: 412
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:35 pm

Re: The Thing About Catherine

Post by Maclurv »

I agree with you about Catherine having someone on her side (based on her personality). I just wish it had been suggested by someone from the tunnels to show their compassion, their principles in action. Plus, it could have added more story ideas, but that's another woulda, coulda, shoulda situation!

Pat
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