After a long, long break between season finale and premiere, Grimm finally returns for its fourth season with Nick (David Giuntoli) suddenly powerless.
Let’s bitch it out…
The title of Grimm‘s fourth season opener, ‘Thanks For The Memories’ is apropos since so much of it concerns tying up events from the S3 finale. Obviously it’s also a reference to the memory-eating Wesen who’s also a hired hitman to steal company secrets. The case is clearly an afterthought, though – aside from the occasional detour into the series of attacks, ‘Memories’ is solidly devoted to picking up exactly where ‘Blond Ambition’ left off.
That means resolving a number of dangling plot threads including Renard’s (Sasha Roiz) shooting, Trubel’s (Jacqueline Toboni) role dealing with FBI agent Weston Steward (C. Thomas Howell) and Nick’s (David Giuntoli) loss of powers courtesy of a pork-and-run spell by Adalind (an unseen Claire Coffee). At times this burdens the premiere: by tying it directly to the past with a number of extended flashbacks, this feels more like one long episode. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it does slow ‘Thanks For The Memories’ down (Grimm has the uncanny ability to operate simultaneously at both a fast and slow pace). By the end of the hour, none of the dangling threads have even been resolved: Trubel is in the crosshairs of a Wesen FBI agent of questionable motives, Renard is pronounced dead and Nick is no closer to figuring out how to combat the effects of Adalind’s spell. It makes for an entertaining cliffhanger, but it also feels like not much has happened in this premiere. It’s eerily reminiscent of how Grimm structured its third season opener this time last year, which at the time felt more than a little like a missed opportunity to do some real storytelling. Only time will tell if this season follows the same vibe.
- The mental montages of how this squid-like Wesen accesses the stolen memories is one of the most dynamic visuals the show has attempted in its four seasons. It’s almost unsettling because it feels so out of place compared to the typical look/vibe of the show, particularly the first time it occurs. I actually wondered if I had accidentally changed the channel.
- It takes almost forty minutes for Juliette and Nick to address the infidelity in the room and…it’s not really covered all that well. Juliette clearly has lingering issues when she surveys the trussed-up bedspread and Nick flashes back to the sexy encounter with Adalind-as-Juliette, but their actual dialogue when they briefly discuss what happened is fairly stilted. I can’t help but feel that there are some unaddressed issues here, regardless of how Juliette claims she feels.
- Any chance Nick’s weird post-Baron Samedi powers from last season will help him recover his powers or have the writers completely spaced on that? Maybe Rosalee’s twinning spell will dump Trubel’s powers into Nick? That would allow the series to give Trubel the happy ending she deserves.
- Wu (Reggie Lee) finally starts to connect the dots after reviewing the Grimoire in Trubel’s room. Unfortunately it appears that the writers aren’t interested in bringing him into the fold just yet because Hank (Russell Hornsby) is interrupted before he can even infer there’s a whole other world Wu is barely aware of.
- With barely more than a cameo from Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) and Rosalee (Bree Turner), this is a relatively comedy-free outing, which only serves to up the stakes. Adding to the concern are repeated reminders that Trubel is now the only Grimm in town. That feels ominous.
- The camera work and staging for the introduction of Renard’s mysterious blonde observer (actress Louise Lombard as Catherine according to IMDB) works overtime to convince us its Adalind. Is there a connection or is it simply a bait and switch?
- Finally, the blood that comes out of that sponge when Nick cleans the floor? Blech. Similarly the wound effects from the Wesen attacks are pretty graphic. Kudos to Grimm‘s FX department for stepping up the gore quotient.
- Rosalee (upon hearing that Nick slept with Juliette): “Oh my god.” Her delivery doesn’t really come across in text, but it’s pretty amusing.
Your turn: how do you feel about this “extended episode” approach to a season premiere? Is Trubel doomed to lose her powers or go to jail? Has Juliette really forgiven Nick? Is Wu on the cusp of finally discovering the truth? And Renard can’t truly be dead can he? Sound off below
Grimm airs Fridays at 9pm EST on NBC