Well that was disappointing. After getting a slow start to the season with a premiere that seemingly contained 10 minutes of plot stretched to 42 minutes, Grimm once again drags its narrative feet. This does not bode well for the season to come.
Let’s bitch it out…I’ll be honest: I didn’t really enjoy last week’s premiere very much, but after being off the air for so long, I was willing to give things a pass because I missed the show. That willingness to forgive has dissipated after ‘PTZD’, however. For the second week in a row Grimm delivers a dud of an episode in which very little happens. Perhaps this episode should have been called ‘DOA’ or ‘Zzzz’, instead?
Here’s where we stand: Nick (David Giuntoli) terrorizes a family, gets caught and treated by the Scoobies, and recovers in time to discover that they’ve lied to protect his ass after one of the victims from last week has died. On one hand, I’m glad that Nick is no longer a zombie because I don’t think I could have taken another week of watching him pillaging the countryside (dull!).
I had anticipated that the series would explore the aftermath but I figured the show would focus more on the otherworldly implications such as the strange new near-death state he achieves at random moments. Instead Grimm turns Nick into a murderer. I suppose this is a more realistic development compared to the show’s usual practice of having folks get into insane fights that they simply walk away from. I mean Grimm Nick has greater than average strength, so in a heightened state he very likely would have killed someone in last week’s rampage. Here’s the thing, though: narratively speaking this is the dullest possible scenario the writers could have pursued. Bear in mind I’m speaking from a knee-jerk perspective (having just watched the episode), but dramatically speaking this approach only works if the show is willing to delve into the psychological and moral effects that accompany killing another human being (Nick has been a murderer since the show began – he’s killed plenty of Wessen).
Judging from the end of the episode, I don’t have a lot of confidence that Grimm can handle this storyline responsibly. After Nick learns the truth, he shrugs off Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch) and Hank (Russell Hornsby) but stops short of confessing after he sees the surveillance tape of himself in Renard’s (Sasha Roiz) office. Confronted with his somnambulist shadow self, he remains silent when he sees the two officers in charge of the case. Then the episode just ends.
Is this the end of this storyline? Unlikely. Has it proven interesting to watch thus far? Unfortunately not. If anything, it’s proven painfully dull. The writers have somehow managed to sap the scenario of any dramatic weight by having the group talk in circles about how they can’t tell the the authorities the truth because they don’t believe Nick should be punished for being out of his mind. This could have been interesting but the conversation essentially goes like this:
Renard: “I don’t think we should tell. Nick wasn’t himself”
Everyone else: “Agreed.”
Renard: “Good. So we’re pretty much done here.”
It’s decided with the intensity allocated to the purchase of a new washing machine! They don’t even consider how easy it is for Nick to find out the truth (as though he wouldn’t read the case file…or the freaking paper!). The end result is that the death of a stranger in the bar and its effect on both the group and Nick is addressed without the necessary weight considering the severity of the crime. I think we also need to face facts: if this storyline does continue, it seems likely that a loophole will be exercised in which we discover that Nick wasn’t actually responsible for this guy’s death and the victim actually died from something else (essentially absolving Nick of responsibility).
Regardless of the outcome, the only good thing that I can see coming from pursuing this storyline is that the core cast (minus Reggie Lee’s Wu – naturally) is now united around the secret. Whether anything truly interesting (or emotional) comes from this remains extremely unclear.
- If there is one direction I wish that the writers had pursued, it would be Nick’s new death-like state. At select times (during sleep, when listening in on conversations in another room), Nick goes slate-grey, his heart-rate slows and he’s cold to the touch. Clearly this is an aftermath of his time as a zombie, although whether it’s a power or a complication isn’t clear. Had this been prioritized over the mundane “killing a human” angle, I would feel much better heading into the next episode. As it stands, I just hope this doesn’t play out over the remainder of the season like Juliette’s coma and its aftermath did last season
- On the other side of the world, the storylines are also slow to play out. After going through a series of random tasks last week, this week Adalind (Claire Coffee)…goes through more random tasks. I’m not sure about anyone else, but when I rub the congealed blood/guts of the woman I killed on my stomach and it produces a skull image, I get concerned. Or I would, if I was in that kind of thing (I guess this is why I’m not a character on Grimm?)
- Side Note: Why the hell is Adalind so squeamish about all the gory stuff? Surely she’s encountered worse when she still had her powers? Suck it up, buttercup
- After calling in the hit last week, Renard receives word that his brother Eric (James Frain) has been killed in a car bombing in Vienna. This is a disappointing development if it proves true (and for now it appears that it is). The show barely used Eric last season and I would hate for him to go out in such an uninspired – and off-screen – fashion. The only upside is that perhaps this will kick-start the long-gestating Royal Family storyline again
- Finally, I love how dumb Grimm assumes we are. After we see Renard with the surveillance footage, do we really need a lengthy flashback of Renard taking it and destroying the bar’s office? Did the writers honestly believe that we wouldn’t understand how he got it?!
- Hank (seeing Monroe and Renard): “I wish I could do that”
- Juliette (when Hank asks if she’s okay after Nick hits her): “No, that hurt.”
What are your thoughts: are you annoyed that Grimm delivered another non-episode after last week’s premiere? Do you want to see the show explore how Nick and the others handle the reveal that he killed a human? Do you think Eric is really dead? Is Adalind being too sensitive considering what she’s apt to get out of the deal? Sound off below
Grimm airs Fridays at 9pm EST on NBC