The Beast – Nadia

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Nadia is a very intriguing and fascinating episode of A&E’s series The Beast.  It’s the third episode of the somewhat dark and gritty hour-long crime drama which stars the fabulous Patrick Swayze as the man of many layers, FBI agent Charles Barker.  Swayze is the reason to watch this show.  I realize that some people, including many of his fans, have a hard time seeing him slimmer and showing the signs of the pancreatic cancer he is fighting in real life.  However, Swayze acts with his soul, putting everything he has into a character.  It’s something he’s always done.  When I watch Swayze in this role, that’s what I see — another piece of his soul bringing a wonderful and different character to life.  It’s exciting to see how natural he is when playing this part.  He’s at ease.  While the ratings weren’t as high as A&E had hoped, Swayze had the critics in the palm of his hand.  They recognized his talent, and that made me smile.

Now as for Swayze’s co-star, Travis Fimmel, the news isn’t so good.  His character of Ellis Dove, the young rookie FBI agent Barker selected to be his new partner, needs some help.  On the good side, Dove is often just a mischievous child, doing child-like pranks to get even with the way Barker treats him, which is often as a gopher.  I suppose it’s a natural reaction, but it’s one of the differences between the two.

That said, Fimmel really needs to take a cue from Swayze in acting.  He needs to calm down. I can’t think of better words for it, so I’ll say what I’ve said before.  He overacts, especially in the face, and it’s irritating.  His actions are often awkward, and the looks he gives make me think he’s constipated.  He needs to learn how to be natural.  The actor claimed he was learning a lot from Swayze, but he has a long way to go before his name can even be close to being in the same league as Swayze.

Nadia advances the relationship between Barker and Dove a bit further. As Dove speaks up more for his ideas, Barker lets him take the lead, giving those ideas a chance.  He’s allowing the rookie to try and earn his stripes, even when he’s skeptical.  For some reason I can’t fathom, Barker sees himself in Dove.  I don’t.  Still, the partner’s relationship works and is the second biggest draw for The Beast, aside from Swayze himself.

One of the things I enjoyed the most about Nadia is hearing Swayze attempt to speak Russian, one of the world’s most difficult languages to speak.  Swayze has always been proud of his dialect skills, and I’m pretty sure he spent a long time working on these lines to try and get them as correct as possible.

Nadia had a very predictable moment in this episode, and in my view, it was the first time a scene had been so easily figured out in these opening episodes.  This occurs in a scene where Barker is undercover, drinking with one of the bad guys.  Barker ends up getting caught up in wrong information.  Look for it and see if you don’t know what’s coming when watching this scene.

In the end, the story has gone from start to finish in a suitable manner.  For me, the climax is heartbreaking, but at the same time, it was surprising.  What ultimately happens takes the show to a higher level, as far as Barker’s questionable character is concerned.  Is Barker on the up and up, or is he really a rogue agent?  At this point, we just don’t know.  What we do know is that The Beast is entertaining, and we can’t wait for the next episode to see what happens next.

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