The 58th Episode
|The 58th Episode
|Beauty and the Beast (TV)
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It was published in Lionheart #2.
The title is a reference to the show, which had 57 episodes.
It was written as episode pitches. While it was a cynical (very!) satire of the show itself, it was also commentary on fans and fandom.
There was a second story in Lionheart #3 (1992) by the same author called "The 57th Episode: The Throat Convergence."
The fanwork contains stage directions. One example:
The audience is also feeling fairly vulnerable. They universally agree their prayers are being heard. They drop to their knees in front of the set. A miracle is taking place before their eyes.Fade-in
From the Fanwork
This episode is devoted in its entirety to Vincent aficionados. There is no meaningful dialogue, no character development, no redeeming social message. The plot is VERY THIN.
This is a cult shoot available only to a restricted audience. This group consists of fans who are "into" leather, fur, sweat and THE CHEST, Russian history majors and serious physical fitness buffs.
The production cost is high, due to elaborate costuming and travel expenses. Marketing research shows this film will turn over an immediate profit! Where the BEAST is concerned, money is NO object to these RABID fans.
This piece consists of Vincent 'doing his thing' for one hour. This is the ultimate fantasy of hard- core viewers world-wide. (R. P. will need absolutely no direction; he understands, with perfect clarity, what 'doing his thing' involves.) IT rs ENTITLED: WHAT GORGEOUS BEAST.
We find Vincent in his chamber, reclining on his bed, deep in thought. He broods, he sighs, he feels tense. Since the throat convergence (The 57th Episode -- ed.), Catherine and he have been doing some "big bonding" on a fairly regular basis. Still, the tension builds quickly, and he struggles to adjust. Dear Catherine has offered to provide him with a beeper. He is moved by her loving gesture (one of many,) but he resists.
The EVENT has been postponed. There are problems with the guest list, the honeymoon location, and the Great Hall is under temporary repair. But Father's dilemma truly has put the BIG DAY on hold. Resigned to the inevitable, Father agreed to perform the ceremony only to realize that he can not possibly pronounce them "MAN and wife." "Beast and wife" was suggested, but Catherine put her little foot down on that! Father is still ruminating on a more suitable phrase. (Catherine is secretly annoyed, fearing he will ruminate into the next century.) Vincent, a stickler for phrasing himself, sympathizes...
With Catherine curling and curving around him continuously, Vincent has fallen victim to a growing list of concerns. He struggles valiantly to remain selfless and self-sacrificing, but lately he has caught himself feeling fairly sensual and self-involved. In the dead of night, he worries about his own mortality. He's been more than willing to die for love for so long, but he is experiencing second thoughts. He secretly wishes Catherine would return to corporate law.
It's been a rough two years. He's beasted-out and burnt-out. He's survived multiple gunshot wounds, stabbings, a hit and run, a breakdown and other lesser glimpses into the Great Transcendent Void.
- Flashback to the injury episodes, cross referenced as Invincible Vincent. These are shown in speed frame (5 second max. Serious viewers have seen these once too often.)
Vincent stands in front of a full length mirror positioned near his bed (some of us are less than surprised.) Catherine has insisted on its placement here (some of us are less than surprised.) Vincent is not fond of mirrors, but he reluctantly peers into it. Slowly, he starts to remove his cloak and tosses it onto the chair. He unfastens his belt, and it falls to the floor. The candles flicker. VERY DEEP IN SHADOW (the actor firmly stated that NO amount of cash could get him out of deep shadow,) Vincent strips away the many layers of cloth and padding that have come to represent a certain fashion statement over time. Eventually, he is left standing 'in the fur' or his BVD's (Beastly Vestments Disappear,) as it were. Vincent studies himself silhouetted in the shimmery reflection. He is shocked! He suspects that he is sagging south.
With a jolt, he realizes he is not as young a beast as he used to be! He owes it to Catherine to stay at Peak Performance. Having no history of past peak performances to draw from, Vincent feels vulnerable. He wishes he could take a vacation. He adds two additional truths to his philosophic suitcase. Life isn't fair.... Be careful what you pray for; you might just get it. Dejectedly, he throws himself onto his bed and slowly turns to the wall.
- Here we begin THE LEATHER DREAM SEQUENCE.
- Vincent stands alone against the bleak and barren landscape of the Russian steppe. He is covered from head to toe in black leather. The bitter wind blows his golden hair. (This is shot initially from behind the beast. From a distance, he could be mistaken for STING in the Soviet State.)
[...]Elliot and Catherine stroll through the lush countryside near Stalingrad. Elliot takes a small package from his pocket and presents it to Catherine. It is her very own Faberge egg. Catherine smiles. Vincent, a peasant, stands in the fields watching. He is stripped to the waist; he is also covered with sweat. (This will be a favorite with future Russian fans.)
The select audience cheers! Not since 'The Wild Ones' has there been such an electric charge sent down the spines of so many.
The B&B office is frantic, fielding calls demanding an immediate sequel to the sequel. Within hours, the Helpers have designed and distributed a petition worldwide suggesting a tasteful request for more Vincent video foreplay.
The Hollywood production staff is very pleased with the package. They "adored" Russia and found everything "such a bargain!"
The leather industry is also pleased. Not since Cher have they found such a long body to drape.
The animal rights groups are pleasantly pleased. They were assured that all fur used was synthetic, including most of Vincent.
Ron's workout coach is especially pleased; he can finally justify his exorbitant hourly fee to the front office. Mr. P looked fabulous and all those months of bitching and moaning by THE RELUCTANT ONE paid off.
But the scriptwriter is more than pleased! She plans to swoon at the cast party and get laid to rest on Ron Perlman.
Mr. Perlman, however, has mixed emotions about the project. He is happy for Vincent, because no one understands better than he how deserving Vincent is of happiness but...
- in the dark of night, under the California sky, he gropes for the answer to the question that has eluded him for a long time. Softly, he asks himself:
He suspects there is a moral to the story.....
Be Well, Vincent and Ron (my beauties)
- "Chto Eto Znachit?" 
- "Chto Eto Znachit?" is Russian for "What does it mean?"