It’s been over a month since Beauty and the Beast hit its winter hiatus with a bang, with Vincent saving Cat from a car accident/murder attempt — but not without being spotted mid-transformation by Evan.

Wetpaint Entertainment caught up with star Jay Ryan to talk about this development... and about the reappearance of Vincent’s ex-fiancée!

Wetpaint Entertainment: You return tonight after one hell of a cliffhanger. Is it safe to assume that Catherine (Kristin Kreuk) survives?
Jay Ryan: Yes, we could not have Beauty and the Beast without a Beauty. So she absolutely survives, but I guess it sets up one of the biggest moments in Vincent’s life. He has the ability to help her as a doctor, but, as the Beast, his instincts are not those he needs at that very moment. So when he sees Evan and Heather pull up he has to make this decision — does he leave her there for Evan to do his thing and risk being seen, or do his beast instincts take over and he tries to run away with her? He does let Evan glimpse him for the first time.

What does that mean for their storyline? Evan is obviously aware of the mutated genes, so what does his actually seeing Vincent do for him?
I think it triggers Evan to really start pushing Catherine on what her actual involvement with this creature may be. He’s always suspected it, but he trusts Catherine so much that he believes everything she says. But when he actually sees this creature with Catherine in his arms after this horrific crash — he’s no stupid guy. He’s going to know something is going on there.

Does that mean the end of the love triangle? Will there still be some romantic tension between Evan and Catherine?
I believe so. I think it gives Evan more fuel to convince Catherine that whatever she may be doing in helping this creature is affecting her and her work and her friends and her colleagues, and that she should live a normal life and be with a guy like him. But not only does Evan enter into Catherine’s psyche more, he hunts down J.T. — and now Evan has the two people closest to Vincent working with him. He lures J.T. into researching this cross-species DNA, and J.T. takes the bait because he can keep tabs on what Evan is doing but also has the access to all of his equipment to study Vincent’s development. What he learns is that the DNA is mutating within Vincent at a rapid pace and starting to cause more problems.

And we hear that Vincent's ex Alex (Bridget Regan) is coming back?
He is spotted by his ex-fiancée. Vincent has thought about this a lot: how he would deal with contacting his family. So when this actually happens and Alex spots him, he has to make this decision. Does he pretend that he was some kind of ghost and that she was out of her mind, or does he let this poor woman know what the hell is going on with her true love? He makes the decision to see Alex. He wants to tell her the truth so badly, but he knows that with the truth of what he is come the consequences of also becoming hunted by Muirfield.

Is she sticking around for a while?
Yes, she's around for a while. I think with all this extra pressure, Vincent kind of feels at a loss. He really toys with the fantasy of, Maybe I can be the man I used to be. If she doesn't know what this creature is, maybe we can skip the country and live happily ever after. He’s living in this fantasy world.

Does Vincent think that Alex, not Catherine, may be the love of his life?
I think Vincent never ever doubts that Catherine's the love of his life, but he does doubt that he can make it work in this world with Catherine. And he considers righting the wrongs of all this turmoil that he's put his ex-fiancée through. Vincent feels that he needs to stand up as a man and right those wrongs. And Alex will see things with her own two eyes that no one would ever expect to see in this world that we live in. From there on we actually see where Alex's loyalties lie and how she copes with what her love of her life has become.

Beauty and the Beast returns tonight, Thursday, January 24, at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.