Nick (David Giuntoli) and Hank (Russell Hornsby) hit the big top in the compulsory genre outing to the circus.
Let’s bitch it out…
There must be some kind of secret contract for science-fiction and fantasy shows that insists at some point during their run they will set at least one episode at a carnival. X-Files did it, Heroes set an entire (atrocious) season at one and now it’s Grimm‘s turn. There’s definitely an attraction for shows that already feature the fantastic to delve into a world that’s even more unusual and exotic. It’s a chance to focus on the theatricality of the carnival: a desire to explore the (perceived) darkness and secrecy that’s implicitly associated with a group of wandering nomads who make their living selling themselves as “freaks”.
Unfortunately ‘The Show Must Go On’ offers an extremely muted version of this. The case is nothing more than the usual “oppressive boss who mistreats his employees” storyline, but the context is completely missing. The episode never explains why these Wesen would stick around if they were truly unhappy with how the ringmaster (Carlo Rota) abuses them and the ease with which they dispatch him in the hall of mirrors suggests that he wouldn’t have lasted 10 months, never mind 10 years.
On a larger scale, this is the second week in a row that we’ve explored “humiliations” of the Wesen community, after last week’s Annubis flavoured outing. I wasn’t a huge fan of ‘Once We Were Gods’, but at least it was attempting to explore something new (albeit not very successfully). ‘The Show Must Go On’ once again brings the Wesen Council back into the discussion, though in this case because of the theatricality of the performance, we’re told that the Council turns a blind eye. I’m happy to continue getting background on the Council, if only because it informs our understanding of the differences of Wesen society. Here, however, it’s pretty quickly revealed that “carnivals are frowned upon” and that’s as far as it goes. Okay then.
At least the suggestion that local Wesen should get involved allows for more Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) and Rosalee (Bree Turner) (or “more” than simply plan their mountain wedding). I’m still not convinced that they needed Rosalee to stay undercover as part of the show, however. Why not simply address the situation head-on? Clearly there was a belief on the writer’s part that a more substantial climax was required, hence the chaos of a circus show that ends with patrons fleeing and fisticuffs ensuing. It’s dramatic, yes, but ultimately unsatisfying. Even the final conflict as the performers confront their oppressor feels muted and hastily executed. I thought that we were going to get a Freaks-style finale, but with a Dämonfeuer on hand, all it takes is a few seconds to produce a crispy charcoal corpse. (I laughed – not in a good way – when Sasha Roiz’s Renard blankly suggests that they close the book on the case. I’m fairly certain that policework doesn’t work that way!)
Meanwhile, back in the “Swiss Alps”, Adalind and Meisner (Damien Puckler) continue to evade Prince Viktor (Alexis Denisof) with surprising ease, doubling back to the cars and rescuing Sebastien (Christian Lagadec). After a brief encounter in which Adalind forces a henchman to kill himself (she amusingly confesses she only meant to maim him, but her powers are rusty), the pair escapes. Sebastien stays behind to handle the remaining mercenaries, though he predictably runs out of bullets and Viktor kills him for his troubles. I’m sure no one saw that development coming.
- Monroe and Rosalee ask Nick and Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch) to serve in their wedding party in a super sweet moment. Nick later complicates things when he dreams of killing the guests because he’s a Grimm. I appreciate that this is a very real concern, but if Wesen recognize him the moment they woge, this scenario might occur whether he’s the best man or seated at the back of the ceremony. This could conceivably happen the minute someone gets emotional so unless he’s planning on missing the wedding entirely, they’ll need to discuss options.
- Unintentionally hilarious moment: the performers are going to transport Max (Sam Witwer) in a giant cage on the back of a truck? Won’t passerbys find that a little strange?
- With his performance as Max, Sam Witwer is turning into quite the genre actor. Aside from his role on the US version of Being Human, he has also appeared on The Walking Dead, Dexter and Battlestar: Galactica. Seems like he’s overdue for Arrow or The Vampire Diaries…
- Just in case you were hoping Reggie Lee would get more to do as Wu following the events of the Aswang, don’t hold your breath. Aside from a quippy aside from Hank about his return to work, Wu is back to second-class status <le sigh>
- Finally, bestiality occasionally pops into my mind while watching this show, but that final scene when Rosalee and Monroe woge after she emerges from the bathroom in her carnival costume is pretty funny/sexy. I love those two.
- Monroe (to Nick): “But seriously…can you pay for the wedding?”
- Hank (seeing Wu at the crime scene): “Homicide. Just ain’t the same without you”
- Monroe (when Rosalee reveals Max, the Blutbat, may be behind the murders): “Oh my god, why is it always the Blutbat?”
Your turn: what were your thoughts on the Carnival Metamorphosis? Did you buy into the case or did it feel undercooked to you? Did you enjoy seeing Rosalee and Monroe get more involved? Do you think Adalind got away from Viktor far too easily? Sound off below.
Grimm is taking a two week breather and will Friday, April 4 at 9pm EST on NBC. Judging by the promos, we’re about to explore the Royal baby storyline in a big way, so let’s hope all of this season’s groundwork pays off.