Saturday, January 24, 2015

Grimm "Tribunal" Review

After nearly three and nearly half a season of Grimm, there’s a hero shot. The group hero shot exists for iconography. David Greenwalt’s former shows with Joss Whedon, Buffy and ANGEL, had iconic hero shots. The end of Buffy’s first season features a hero shot. Buffy, 16 and in her prom dress, walks with her friends for a showdown with The Master while the Nerf Herder’s Buffy theme plays. ANGEL had a couple. What immediately comes to mind is the “Darla” and “Fool For Love” two parter when Angel, Darla, Spike, and Drusilla, walk through the burning streets. There’s also the gang early in season three walking together to help the helpless somewhere. The group hero shot shows unity and conveys that the group is more than a randomly assembled group of people, that the group transcends family, and that the group is a family.

The Wesenrein are the antithesis of Nick, Monroe, Rosalee, Juliette, Renard, Hank, Bud, and Wu. The Wesenrein seem rooted in the past, a mix of Nazism and the KKK. Monroe’s put on trial for marrying a fucshbau despite being a blutbad. Nick’s a grimm, who’s best friend is a Wesen, and who upholds the law with humans. Monroe explains to the tribunal, in Silas Weir Mitchell’s most triumphant scene in the series, that the purity of his love for his wife and her love for him is more pure than the purity the wesenrein revere, and that life is messy and impure. It reminded me of James Joyce who, when someone asked to shake the hand that penned Ulysses, told that someone he wouldn’t because that hand did a lot of other stuff too. Monroe’s right. Life’s messy and dirty. The oceans and the rivers carry so much dirt but it’s also so pretty and translucent. The tribunal ignores Monroe’s defense of himself and sentences him to death.

Monroe’s trial by the tribunal is an unnecessary plot device. He kills a member in front of members of the wesenrein but yet the trial continues because of tradition. While seemingly unnecessary, the trial represents the types of rituals cults do as a way to rationalize what they’re doing and as a humanizing thing though it is ultimately dehumanizing. Nick and friends are the thesis, the tribunal is the antithesis, and the synthesis is what Nick and friends do, which then may create a new thesis: a Wesen community that accepts all diversity. They work together, they help each other, and they’ll risk their lives for one another, whereas the wesenrein will kill their own. Ultimately, last week’s episode and “Tribunal” is about the Grimm family. Thus, there’s the hero shot before they save Monroe from the tribunal’s execution. Once they save him, they gather in the home of Rosalee and Monroe to celebrate them, their love, their makeshift family, and to send them off in style and with protection to their long-awaited and delayed honeymoon.

Nick, Hank, Wu, and Renard need 3/4s of the episode to learn where the wesenrein took Monroe. The treacherous police offer falls for the myth of the grimm, the myth that Nick’s acted against, the myth of the vicious unrepentant killer, that he’ll murder his sister if the wesenrein murders Monroe. Wu becomes initiated into the group and seems almost obsessed with the other side of life he sees is real and that’s not a hallucination, a symptom of a broken mind. The time it takes sort of adds tension to the tribunal court and eventual sentencing of death. Last week’s episode returned, briefly, zombie Nick. His temper leads to intense interrogation scenes with Jesse, but he doesn’t look zombie; however, the thin line between the law and lawlessness is briefly broached. Nick throws his badge onto the desk. Okay, no, he gently places his badge on the desk of Renard and tells him, ‘this is getting in the way.” Renard, Hank, Nick, and Wu leave their badges in the back of a truck before breaking up the execution of Monroe. Perhaps Jim Kouf and David Greenwalt will return to Nick’s choice between the law and the lawlessness of being a grimm, because it’s really an inviting, interesting, and engaging storyline.

Other Thoughts:

-“Tribunal” was a really great episode. The episode seemed like the last episode before a hiatus. It had some cliffhangers that’ll probably not resolve next week or even next season.

-Juliette revealed her hexenbiest side to Renard. Nick is clueless. I thought the show might not have ever returned to that dynamic. Juliette almost eviscerated the bratty teenager that kicked and punched Monroe.

-Wu eats fast food and pages through Nick’s books.


-Jim Kouf and David Greenwalt wrote the episode. Peter Werner directed.

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Originally, I titled the blog Jacob's Foot after the giant foot that Jacob inhabited in LOST. That ended. It became TV With The Foot in 2010. I wrote about a lot of TV.