Pour one out; it’s the end of the road for NBC’s Grimm.
Let’s bitch it out…
Well folks, after six seasons and countless Wesen, Grimm reaches its finale with a kinda/sorta epic blow-out in ‘The End.’ And while the finale ends up walking back on the developments that occurred in the final moments of the penultimate episode (and most of the events of the finale proper), it’s hard to deny that series creators Greenwalt and Kouf (also writers for this episode) gave us fans the ending we desired. It’s not a perfect finale, but it works.
- The Achilles Hell spell: For nearly as long as Grimm has existed, and undeniably since Rosalee (Bree Turner) took over the Spice Shop, spell casting has been an integral part of the series. It’s only natural that the Scoobie Gang would find one final spell to defeat Zerstörer (Wil Traval). The fact that the spell requires the blood of a Grimm, a Wesen and a Hexenbiest nicely reaffirms one of the series’ guiding principles: that Nick (David Giuntoli) is a different kind of Grimm, the kind who can bring together different Wesen in solidarity. I particularly like that the spell doesn’t actually work (a situation which nearly never happens on genre TV) because it helps to set up the epic bloodbath that ensues.
- The blood bath: I’ll admit that at a certain point it became quite clear that the writers would walk back the deaths (I figured it out somewhere between the execution of Bitsie Tulloch’s Eviette and Sasha Roiz’s Renard), but for a little while it seemed as though Greenwalt and Kouf were prepared to dramatically cull the cast down until only a few survivors remained. This lends the finale an air of gravity, confirming not only that Zerstörer is the greatest foe the group has ever faced, but that Grimm isn’t afraid to highlight that not all heroes survive these battles. Of course this is immediately undone by the time jump, but for a little while, the show doubles down on the grave suggestion that yeah, people would die doing this kind of work…
- The Grimm team-up: Like the blood bath, this development worked for me up to a point. Seeing Kelly (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) and Aunt Marie (Kate Burton) again is a lovely callback and reinforces the idea that Nick is part of a lineage with a long historical presence. The idea that Grimms are connected and can even be called upon in the most dire of timelines is an interesting, albeit briefly explored, idea.
- The epilogue: Although the closing scene passes by too quickly (more on that below), I won’t lie: I was immediately on-board with the idea of a spin-off series set 20 years in the future featuring adult versions of Nick’s two children, Kelly and Diana (Nicole Steinwedell), as well as Rosalee and Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell)’s triplets. The callback to the trailer in the woods, the grimoires and the cabinet full of weapons; it’s all a nice touch.
What Didn’t Work
- The pacing: Forgive me for sounding like a broken record, but outside of its mythology-driven three part opening (I, II, III), the lack of serialization really fucked up this final season, and most particularly these last few episodes. There was a lack of exploration of the Other Place two episodes back, and while this episode flowed reasonably well, there was still barely any time to process the many, many deaths because we had to immediately pivot in order to get to the final battle and then the epilogue. The result is an episode that short-changes the emotional impact of the deaths (see below), as well as the wrap up. It’s fun to see Nick’s kids, but we receive literally no closure on anyone’s future. Did Monroe and Rosalee stay in Portland? Did Hank (Russell Hornsby), Wu (Reggie Lee) and Nick continue working under Renard? Sure, we can speculate, but in simply jumping forward, we don’t see what happened to the characters we’ve grown to love. Everything to do with the prophecy and the final battle ended up being shoe-horned into a three episode arc. In hindsight it is pretty evident that this should have been the focus of the entire season.
- The deaths: This may be a controversial opinion, but jumping back in time and reversing everyone’s deaths didn’t work for me. I didn’t want Hank and Wu to die last week, but it was painful and it meant something. Ditto Eviette and, to a much lesser extent, Renard (that one seriously garnered barely a shrug in my household). Death on genre shows is often taken for granted because there are limitless ways to bring a character back in some capacity, so while it was always possible that the deaths wouldn’t stick, it felt monumental because over six seasons Grimm has shown a ridiculous reticence to kill off its cast (literally: in sixth seasons, no main character has bit the bullet). The most significant deaths have been Kelly and Meisner (Damien Puckler), but they were only guest stars, not series regulars. When Hank and Wu died last week, it reminded me of Anya’s death in the series finale of Buffy: a secondary character who regularly escaped death only to die in the finale, thereby validating the risks of the epic fight. Joss Whedon knew how to raise the stakes and that death, while unpopular with some fans, worked. By undoing all of the deaths with a time jump, Grimm, Greenwalt and Kouf give fans the happy ending we want, but they undermine the significance of the battle. The result is a finale that feels more lighthearted and fairy-tale-ish than ever; this epic fight had no teeth or consequence.
- The big fight sequence: I’ll admit that the other element that didn’t work for me was the big final fight scene between the four Grimms and Zerstörer. It felt a little flat to me. After building Nick’s spirits up and ensuring he doesn’t inadvertently start the apocalypse, I thought that we might see all of the Grimms in history appear to lend him and Trubel (Jacqueline Toboni) their strength. Instead we get a fight between five individuals and the result is…mildly underwhelming (budget constraints are the likely culprit). Considering the powers of our combined Wesens Scoobie Gang, the Grimm crew doesn’t seem all that much more powerful and yet the fight is over relatively quickly and easily. Did I love seeing Mastrantonio and Burton kicking ass? Hell yes…but I also wanted something above and beyond the other fights we’ve seen on the series. Unfortunately that simply didn’t happen.
- Those initial death scenes, man. A few of them just absolutely destroyed me. Trubel crying over Hank’s body at the precinct? Brief, but affecting. Monroe’s reaction to the news of Hank and Wu’s death? Whew – full blown tears! Silas Weir Mitchell should not be allowed to cry on TV because those tears are lethal.
- Honest confession: I full on screamed “No!!!” at the screen when Adalind (Claire Coffee) got the axe in the chest. This death solidified to me that a time jump was in the works, but damn if I didn’t pause for a hot second to wonder if Grimm was so sadistic that they would murder Nick’s endgame lover.
- If you ever find yourself painted into a dull narrative corner, simply kill the problem, revive it and use the opportunity to dispense with the offending storyline. This is how Adalind’s enchanted ring is ultimately dealt with: while she’s dead, Nick simply removes it and tosses it away. Poof! No repercussions to the kids. Easy peasy!
- Sooo the series has spent the last few seasons talking about how unique and powerful Diana (Hannah R. Lloyd) is, but when the shit hits the fan, she literally does nothing to help save the group (at times she even appears to actively work against them). She doesn’t even raise a hand when she sees her father and mother die! Let me tell you, that brat would be severely grounded in that alternative timeline for being such a nuisance. Also (I’m calling it): is Lloyd the worst actress that the show has ever cast. I know she’s a kid, but holy cow those line deliveries. They just never got any better!
- Eviette (when Rosalee laments their bad odds): “Everything has a beginning and an end”
- Adalind (understating the obvious when Trubel asks if Renard is on their side): “A lot has changed”
- Nick (holding his dying ex): “Eve…<beat>…Juliette” Shippers eat your hearts out!
- Monroe (following the spell, when their wounds immediately heal): “I like that part of the spell”
- Kelly (to Nick, before disappearing): “Take good care of my grandson. I like the name.”
That’s it from me. What’s your hot take on the series finale? Did you flip when everyone started dying? Is it a cheat to revive them with the time jump or did that make you happy? Did you like the denouement with the kids taking over on Grimm duty? Would you have rather gotten more closure on the characters we know and love? And, most importantly, was Diana the show’s worst character? Sound off below with your comments / eulogies and check out the exit interview with the EPs here.
Grimm has now wrapped up its six season run. Thanks for reading over the last year(s)!