Behind many TV heroes, there's a loyal sidekick. On The CW's Beauty and the Beast, that role is filled more than capably by Austin Basis, who plays J.T. Forbes, the best friend to "beast" Vincent (Jay Ryan). Austin checked in with us on Thursday to preview tonight's BATB season finale and discuss the show's passionate "Beasties" fan base.
SPOILER ALERT - This interview contains hints about tonight's Beauty and the Beast season finale. If you don't want to know anything about the finale, skip the first page of this interview.
First things first, about that finale: it's a whopper. "Things happen that change the show forever," Austin told us. "I can reveal that there will be a history lesson based on Rebecca's journal, that Cat investigates what is in the journal and secrets therein. The gem is brought back into effect, the mysterious green gem. And I think there will be a sense of resolution and climax and closure from what the season has been building to. 'Who am I?' will become 'Who are we?'"
"Everyone has a turning point in the episode. Every one of the characters has a turning point that sets them on a new path. Some newer than others, and some just more definitive," he continued. "There's a solidification of who Vincent and Catherine are and also who Gabe is...truly who they are at their core and to each other. J.T. and Tess as well. There's some crazy stuff that happens. Right off the bat, it's going to be life or death."
And make sure you're watching to the very end. "I don't know what it means, and I think that's cool that I don't know what it means," Austin added, "but the final frame of the show is very interesting - if you look carefully."
While fans are excitedly awaiting the season finale, Austin discussed what it's like to be on the other side, trying to put together what is hopefully a major episode. "There's this challenge that writers and actors and producers need to meet," he explained. "People are seasoned TV watchers. You can't pull the wool over people's eyes as easily.
"You have to go to the extent that someone like Vince Gilligan has gone to to create this secrecy, the suspense. I was really impressed by The Good Wife shocker this season. To kill someone out of the blue where there was nothing leading up to that, that gave that away at all. TV shows have to challenge themselves to live up to the expectations of the audience."
"You want to really bring your 'A' game and put the best work out there. You know that you don't want to disappoint the fans," he continued. "You want to impress yourself and kind of overachieve in a way that will make you satisfied with the results, and in turn you feel like if you're satisfied, hopefully the audience will be.
"We know that there's twists and turns and crazy stuff that goes on in this last episode, and we have just as little time as any other episode, but they've packed a lot into this. You just want to make sure that you're putting the best episode forward."