Last week's Beauty and the Beast premiere answered two big questions: Where's Vincent? and Did Gabe survive? Thankfully the latter was answered in the affirmative since fans of actor Sendhil Ramamurthy had recently been through a very similar situation (ie: his explosive exit from Covert Affairs) and weren't ready to say goodbye, once again.
Neither were the BATB showrunners, who recognized the importance of Gabe to Vincent and Catherine's journey considering he will attempt to replicate his Beastly cure in the first stretch of episodes. ETonline caught up with Ramamurthy to talk about surviving the finale, what's next for Gabe and why this role is giving him Heroes deja vu!
ETonline: Did you know you'd be surviving the finale?
Sendhil Ramamurthy: They told me before we got the finale script that I was going to get shot, but if the show came back, I was also coming back. But I couldn't tell anybody so I just played dumb for three months [laughs]. I'm always OK being a cliffhanger as long as I know first. And I have to say, everything feels kind of different this season. The Beast's movements are different, the action sequences are different, the stakes are higher, everybody is in danger -- including the bad guys. You really don't know what’s going to happen from scene to scene.
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ETonline: What do you like about the new direction season two is taking?
Ramamurthy: It's really cool to have our core characters all feel united against one bad entity. It's nice for us, the actors, because we're having proper scenes with all five of us together. That really didn't happen last season, especially with me. I was apart from the cast because no one trusted me. The cool thing for me as an actor is I have a whole new challenge this season. I love this born-again Gabe. He's trying to make amends and ingratiate himself to these people who want nothing to do with him. It's been a real challenge. The writers made sure that Gabe's road isn't easy; no one is willing to cut me any slack. Nor should they considering what he got up to last season.
ETonline: Is Gabe's cure permanent?
Ramamurthy: So far, yes. But we're still exploring it in every episode though because we're still not sure how the cure worked, we just know that it worked. What Gabe is trying to do is find out if he can replicate this in other Beasts that show up throughout the season. Gabe believes the best way to get in with these guys is to do the same thing to Vincent that was accidentally done to him. I like the fact that Gabe stays and helps because he's a wealthy guy and could just jet. He's rich and could easily be living it up with bikini-clad women on a yacht, but he doesn't. He stays in a place no one wants him because he needs to make things right. As an actor, that's a really compelling thing to be playing.
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ETonline: What can you tease about tonight's episode?
Ramamurthy: It's all about Vincent and Catherine trying to find love again. They need to fall in love again, and there will be multiple obstacles on that path. And I don't just mean Vincent's lack of memory. Things come up that make it hard for Catherine. She begins to question everything she's doing because she's let this completely consume her. She does nothing else besides try to cure him, which is where Gabe comes in. He spearheads the experimentation on a cure. He's trying to figure out how he became normal again so he can hopefully, possibly, replicate that on Vincent. Because, at the end of the day, none of the Beasts volunteered to become Beasts. They're all innocents in that sense and Gabe really feels for them because he can sympathize with them.
ETonline: Hearing you talk about curing people of an affliction they didn't ask for is giving me Heroes flashbacks.
Ramamurthy: You caught that did you? [laughs] There's one scene coming up where I'm holding a syringe and there were a lot of photos with Dr. Suresh holding a syringe. I've definitely had some Heroes flashbacks with this storyline.
Beauty and the Beast airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on The CW.