Let’s bitch it out…Considering how much emphasis was placed on the fact that Nick (David Giuntoli) murdered someone (which ps: I think will still be proven false), ‘A Dish Best Served Cold’ feels like a huge missed opportunity. The episode revisits the long-standing feud between Bauerschwein and Blutbads (first explored in 1×06 ‘The Three Bad Wolves’) by adding a new twist: there a particular mushroom from Germany that, when cooked, kills Blutbads in a terrifically gross fashion, thereby threatening to even the scales between wolves and pigs. When it’s discovered that a group of Bauerschwein are specifically poisoning Blutbad diners at a high priced restaurant, Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) wants vengeance, forcing Nick and Hank (Russell Hornsby) to resort to unconventional means to prevent him from committing murder.
Herein lies the missed opportunity. Considering how guilty Nick has felt, it seems obvious that he would reason with Monroe to consider the guilt associated with killing someone. After all, we know that Monroe is a reformed hunter. Hell, he’s even a frickin’ vegetarian – something Grimm specifically reminds us of in an early scene so that we’ll know this fact alone saves his life. So clearly killing and eating the pig Chef would have had a major impact on him in much the same way killing someone has had on Nick. And yet this all goes unsaid. Instead we get a community theater-worthy performance by a band of Blutbads who threaten the pig into confessing. It’s an extremely unrealistic and deeply unsatisfying resolution to the case and the episode, which ends almost immediately thereafter (the cherry on top of this disappointing resolution is a truly groanworthy line of dialogue by Sasha Roiz’s Renard that I can’t help but imagine he felt ashamed to deliver).
In short, ‘A Dish Best Served Cold’ features an interesting idea that goes disappointingly off the rails. The result is a missed opportunity to tie the case of the week into the larger emotional arc facing Nick as he recovers from his zombie state. It’s a better effort than last week, but so far it still seems as though Grimm more often than not takes the easy narrative route rather than tackling the interesting nuances. Hopefully this third season will work out the kinks shortly as these first few episodes have been really hit or miss.
- Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch) continues to earn her spot in the group by contributing some very useful information on “bloating”. I realize that may sound super sarcastic (mostly because it’s so ridiculous), but I actually mean it! Juliette’s knowledge as a vet seems poised to come in useful in the same fashion as Rosalee’s (Bree Larsen) apothecary knowledge
- Can we take a moment to celebrate how adorable Rosalee and Monroe are together? I love that Nick’s moving out of Monroe’s place becomes a celebration for them because they can now move in together
- The surprise party features the first appearance of Bud (Danny Bruno) this season. It’s kind of hilarious how his wife gets credit for the cake, but she’s conveniently “at home, taking care of the kids” aka she hasn’t been cast (and likely never will be)
- Things in Austria are heating up: Adalind’s (Claire Coffee) connection to Frau Pech has been discovered by Renard’s informant (Christian Lagadec) and the power vacuum left by Eric’s death is causing all kinds of conflict among the remaining Royals. Considering that the history of the Wesen has always been one of Grimm‘s most interesting (and underdeveloped) plotlines, let’s hope that this gets explored in greater depth in upcoming episodes
- Finally, the actor playing the Chef was really terrible. Like brutally, eye-gougingly awful. Memo to Grimm: please cast guest actors who can, you know, actually act
- Reggie Lee’s Wu (surveying a victim’s scattered remains): “Oh look, he’s an organ donor. Though I’m not sure there’s much left.”
- Nick (pondering the connection between victims): “They all ate there, climbed trees and blew up” Well if you want to simplify it
- Renard (examining the signed confesson): “And this little piggy went to jail” Ugh
Grimm airs Fridays at 9pm EST on NBC. *Just a head’s up: I’m taking next week off to travel, but I’ll supersize the review for 3×05 upon my return