David Giuntoli made his directorial debut with “Oh My Captain My Capitain”. Once I saw that he directed the episode, I understood why Sasha Roiz pulled double duty in the episode. Directing an episode takes time. Not all actors-turned-directors, especially lead actors who need to be in nearly every scene, can fulfill both duties, so the writing staff finds a way to reduce an actor’s screentime or to make it easier for an actor to direct himself or herself (David Boreanaz made his directorial debut with ANGEL’s episode “Soul Purpose” in season five; his character spent much of the episode in bed). The episode’s mostly about making it easy for Giuntoli to direct.
“Oh Captain My Captain” restored the status quo at the end, which has rendered my post about last week’s episode irrelevant. The case-of-the-week will return next episode. Nick, Hank, and Wu will return to their jobs. Renard will continue to be their captain. The return to normal is a tad disappointing, but Grimm’s case-of-the-week episodes have been good. Stand-alone episodes have become more of a rarity in TV as executives prioritize serialized binge-worthy shows over episodic series; however, I would’ve liked a version of Grimm that took more narrative risks.
If you’ve seen any body swap episode or movie in your life, you’ll have noted that Grimm ran with all the most obvious tropes in a body swap story, including the ‘How do we it’s the person we like and not the person we don’t like?” It hits the ‘actor against himself’ fight scene, the ‘you need to act more like him’ scene.It’s a pretty terrible episode. The worst scene was Adalind’s attempts to make Renard stay in their apartment while Nick-as-Renard abdicated being mayor. Nick became Renard to overturn his election and his status as Portland’s most wanted. “Oh Captain My Captain” is a long reset episode broken in a way to help David Giuntoli direct. Kouf and Greenwalt could’ve hit the reset easy last week. Alas.
The episode raises the possibility that Nick will remain stuck as Renard because he’s a Grimm. I don’t know why that matters, aside from giving the episode some stakes, but it hits the ‘magical restoration of original self’ trope of body swap stories. Diana used her magic to see Nick-as-her-father, which sent him through the doors of The Spice Shop. I’m sure Nick is Diana’s enemy now. Eve/Juliette remembered Nick’s mother explaining that Diana’s power could be used for good if she was exposed to goodness, but her time with Renard and Black Claw has tinged her powers with ‘evil’. So, that should be great. The writers telegraph everything so clearly. When Renard and Nick made their rooftop deal, Renard made sure to know make it known that his daughter loves him more than anyone.
Where does the reset leave the Nick/Renard divide? Will six or seven episodes pass without incident between the two before Renard becomes the villain again? Will Black Claw or the Royals resurface? Who will be the Big Bad for the final episodes in the spring? Kouf and Greenwalt said Nick vs. Renard would be the ultimate stand-off in the final season; now, it appears over.
Grimm’s a crazy ass show, though. Whatever they’ve come up will likely befuddle fans and be full of nonsense. Grimm never had direction, of course. The writers scrapped their original season one ‘Renard/Nick’ storyline because they liked Sasha Roiz. Since then, the writers have thrown all sorts of nonsense to see what worked. They changed things on the fly. They dropped plotlines without abandon.
It’s truly a unique show, isn’t it?
-The ghost of Meisner, or maybe actual Meisiner (because why not?), appeared in Renard’s apartment in the last scene to remind him that he chose the wrong side.
-No one wants the Adalind/Nick/Juliette triangle, but the writers will give us that. Eve/Juliette has moved into the ‘meaningful touches’ part of her relationship with Nick.
-Renard ordered the murder of a man to protect himself in a murder case he longer had to worry about. Grossante, a new character, yet another bland bad wesen in Grimm’s universe, will have his revenge for Nick-as-Renard reneging on their deal to make him captain in exchange for Jeremiah’s death. Also, I had no memory of Jeremiah.
-Thomas Ian Griffith wrote the episode. David Giuntoli directed.