Friday, November 11, 2011

Grimm "Beeware" Review

I have a bad habit of reading too many reviews for a pilot episode, as well as for subsequent episodes. Perhaps I have a bad habit of writing about every episode for certain series in the blog. I'm fully aware that what I'm about to write borders on the hypocritical. Anyway, the initial Grimm reviews painted horrible pictures of the series. Reviews for the second episode weren't any kinder. Pretentious blowhards mused on whether the ratings had any chance of being sustained because Grimm's such a low-brow show, designed for people with bad taste in television. The same pretentious blowhards like to opine about a character's motivations and profession as if they're in the writers’ room day after day and perfectly attuned to the show's tone, bible, and the make-up of the characters. For example, one such pretentious blogger wondered why Greenwalt and Kouf made Nick a police detective. Well, my friends and well-wishers, patience is a valuable thing to have in this increasingly impatient world. One's patience would payoff by watching "Beeware," an episode that dealt with Nick's conflicted feelings between his professional duties and his ancestral duties.

Through three episodes, I quite like Grimm. The procedural format isn't a chore to watch. The mythological elements are interesting enough. The dialogue's great. The characters interactions with one another feel natural and life-like. The case-of-the-week reminded me of early Buffy and ANGEL, which I liked. Several of early Buffy and ANGEL episodes had cheesy monster-of-the-week episodes. Demons haunted computers. A doctor could literally fall to pieces to prey on his victims. The stuff with the bees had a great level of cheese. The totality of Grimm made the episode solid, though. I don't mind vague references to an age old battle between good and evil when the very same episode includes great scenes between Nick and Eddie trekking through Portland whilst investigating fairy tale creatures.

I really enjoy the show's adaptation of classic fairy tales. I'm unfamiliar with the source material for "Beeware" but I enjoyed the modernity of the adaptation. Bees are expert communicators. The bee creatures (their name begins with the letter M) use communication to relay information to their queen bee. Nick discovers their existence when a woman mysteriously dies during a flash mob dance on public Portland transportation. The main tool of the murderers is social media. After all, social media was created for the purpose of people easily communicating with one another. Nick figures the social media angle out after the cell phone turns up zero texts or phone calls between the man and his queen bee.

Publicly, the group of three murdered the young professional because she was responsible for the end of centuries old paper mill business. The group targeted three lawyers and murdered two; however, the bees aren't sent to kill the ladies because their lawyers--they're actually hex beasts. The bee jawns are clarions (I hope that's the right term--the internet yields very little information about this episode so I'm relying on my memory, which should work out because the episode aired an hour ago but it's not). The queen bee informs the last living Grimm that her creatures protect Grimm from the hex-beasts along with other evil creatures. Adaline Shade, the woman who tried to kill Aunt Marie in the pilot, and who works with Nick's police chief, is one of the lawyers/hex beasts. Nick's disinterested in helping the woman because of her attempted murder of his aunt. Adaline reminds him of his duties, though, and that's what I loved about the episode.

Nick, certainly, was screwed when confronted with a choice between who to choose. His Aunt's words echoed in his head, remembering that Grimms protect the world from evil creatures. The bee jawns' Queen Bee told Nick that he needed to let her kill Adaline. Earlier, Adaline reminded him about his duties as cop. His ancestry might consider him a hero for killing the last of the hex beasts, but his society, colleagues and superiors would view him as a man who willingly let an innocent girl die, and he couldn't rebound from that. Nick's professional life would've been over along with his chance to defend people from the beasts who walk the earth disguised as humans. So, he shot the queen bee and let Adaline go. The decision bothered him. A solitary bee stung him to close the episode--a nice cap to the events of "Beeware."

Ideally, I'd like to see Nick work with Eddie more than Hank each week. Hank's a decent character, but the gold's between Eddie and Nick. Their scenes together poked fun at genre and procedural tropes. Eddie warned Nick not to use dog terms as commands. Nick had a good line about how he figured out the identity of the paper mill's CEO and president after Eddie wondered if Nick performed some kind of Grimm psychic trick. Perhaps the few scenes are a good thing. There's a reason the old adage "too much of a good thing" remains relevant.

Good episode. Good show.



Anonymous said...

Great recap! Thanks for your time!

Anonymous said...

The bee-like creatures are called "Mellifers". Mellifers are clarions since they can send a
warning call within the creature world. So says the NBC site!

About The Foot

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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.