Who remembers Obsession by Calvin Klein? Because Beauty and the Beast could totally copy that ad campaign, having its characters say cryptic things about their pasts and relationships right into the camera, and it would work just as well as what we're actually getting.
Spoilers ahead. . .
Remember how Cat was all about moving on from Vincent, done with all the lies, and worried about the danger he presented the public? That lasted all of half an episode. Although, to be fair to her, that's not entirely her fault. She's trying to move on, with meditation, kickboxing, and knocking out a federal judge at a bar. Like you do. Gabe line of the night, by the way, was, "Trouble is getting a flat tire. You flattened a judge." (Warning: I play favorites, and it's Gabe.)
"Hothead" has two themes: obsession and memory. And, for once, Cat's not the carrier of either, which really works for her. She's the source of them things – she's the one who first triggered Vincent's memories and Gabe's obsessed with making amends with her – but, thankfully, she shows no signs of her earlier all-consuming focus on Vincent. She's supportive but not distracted.
(It should be noted that, yes, the show's now just ignoring last week's domestic violence issues. But that was so badly handled, I'm actually okay with the writers just dropping it. They can try again when they're actually capable of handling that topic in a serious fashion.)
Gabe's now obsessed with trying to cure Beasts the way he was cured and Vincent's obsessed with killing all the Beasts on the "list" Cat's bio-dad has. Vincent wants to focus on the list and forget the memories Cast's stirred up. Meanwhile, Tess is still pushing the "Gabe's in love with Cat" angle, which would make Gabe's quest for redemption way less interesting than before, so I really hope it's not true. Can't he and Tess be sensible and sassy together instead? Gabe at least rightly says whatever possible feelings he has don't matter. She saved him, he owes her. Stick with that, Gabe. Keep the "amends" obsession, please — do not get entangled in a love triangle.
To be fair to Cat, she's actually willing trying to move on when Gabe puts her right back in Vincent's path. There's an arsonist that Gabe's figured out is a Beast. He wants Cat to get Vincent to catch this Beast, and not kill him. Why? Oh, so he can see if the trick with the defibrillator that Cat used to kill his Beast side will work on someone else. A+ plan, Gabe.
The memory theme shows up when Vincent goes after the Beast and ends up in the hospital with smoke inhalation. Gabe gets him to a hospital as a John Doe, and calls Cast who rushes to his side. All three of them meet the fire department's arson investigators, and Gabe tells them the oh-so-good lie that his name's "Victor," he's an undercover agent, and he has amnesia. This does not really work, but the anger of the arson investigators is pushed aside when the younger one, Aaron Keller, is revealed to be Vincent's nephew. Vincent has an attack of memories, which causes a Beast blackout.
Cat's FBI bio-dad tells Vincent that all he has to do is hunt down the rest of the Muirfield experiments on the list, and then he'll be free to live his mostly forgotten life. Yeah. For a supersoldier, Vincent's superstupid to believe that.
The memories reveal that Vincent was a firefighter in his past life. The past life from before he met Cat — not the one with Cat, that he also doesn't remember. So now we're keeping track of both of Vincent's pasts. Discussing the memories helps reconnect Cat and Vincent. Taking a break from him is just not working out.
They figure out where the arsonist Beast will strike next, and Aaron goes on his own. The fire triggers a whole mess of memories for Vincent: he was a firefighter, his brother made him go back to medical school, and then Vincent watched as his firefighter family died on 9/11. Yes. The show went there.
Vincent's memory attack and subsequent saving of Aaron lets the Beast get away. But that's okay, because Cat's there to shoot him and Gabe's got a defibrillator to try out. It doesn't work, but at least the two of them got their "super unethical medical experiment" badges.
The episode ends with the two themes. Failure to save the arsonist puts no dent in Gabe's obsession to cure Vincent. And Vincent's come to the conclusion that, even if they're painful, it's good for him to get his memories and self back.
Overall, a solid installment. But I'm not giving this show a pass on actually establishing Cat's bio-dad as a menacing figure for much longer. All he's done is be creepy to Cat at her father's funeral and talk to people on the phone. He doesn't want Cat and Vincent talking, but he hasn't done anything to intervene, just asked Vincent to stay away. Make him a credible impediment and this whole amnesia/rediscovering their love plot may stop feeling like a device designed to reset everything after a season the writers didn't like. It needs to be a real idea with real impact, and not just a chance at a do-over.