Saturday, December 17, 2011

Grimm "Let Your Hair Down" Review

Last week's previews for "Let Your Hair Down" suggested we'd see the most badass adaptation of the Rapunzel story ever. The previews included scenes of the Rapunzel figure kicking ass and NOT bothering to even take names. The Rapunzel figure had badass qualities, particularly in her quick actions of self-defense. The girl whipped her hair around like she was a hyperactive vocalist handling a microphone. The show took a significant departure from the source material. Rapunzel was actually a 16 year old girl named Holly who was kidnapped nine years ago and taken into the woods where she had to survive by herself. The episode ruminated on nature v. nurture whilst telling a story about responsibility, loss, and the importance of being found. Not just 'found' as in being located and rescued, but 'found' as in understood and no longer alone.

"Let Your Hair Down" successfully bridged the two worlds of the series, meaning the supernatural/fairy tale world and the real police world. Nick suspected that the person, or creature, who snapped the neck of a drug lord in the Portland woods, was a blutbad. A hair found on the victim's person belonged to a Holly Clark. The name rang a bell in Hank's mind. The case of Holly Clark went cold several years ago. The girl never left Hank's mind, though, so he and Sgt. Wu investigated possible suspects while Nick tried to track her in the Portland woods. Nick enlisted Monroe to assist him because of his blutbad suspicions. Monroe freaked himself out by thinking of a girl who experienced her first surge alone, without anyone to explain to her what the surge means. The time alone in the woods would already transform her into a wild child, one not suitable to immediately re-enter society.

The episode introduced two forgettable villains--the brothers of the drug dealer slain in the hybrid teaser-first act. Randall and Micah wanted blood vengeance for no other reason than that "Let Your Hair Down" needed a threatening presence, characters that'd raise the stakes of the action. Once found and being treated for her wounds, Nick wanted to return to the station to find help; however, the blood vengeance brothers were in the woods, looking the man who murdered their brother, which meant Nick, was stranded in the woods. The brothers closed in on the tree house, shot some bullets, and then were eliminated by Holly. The brothers were the worst villains the series has created. They reminded me of the hillbilly/redneck vampire twins in Buffy's "Homecoming" episode, or the similar redneck/hillbilly vampire couple in "Bad Eggs." None of the villains just mentioned were effective.

Grimm took an interesting angle to the nature v. nurture thing. Holly wasn't representative of that debate. The writers explored the complex relationship between Grimms and blutbads. Aunt Marie told Nick that Grimms were destined to kill the creatures the rest of the world read about in fairy tales but don't really believe exist in this world. The scared refrigerator repairman re-appeared in a scene, with his friends, in which he swore that he saw a Grimm. His friends were skeptical because Grimms immediately kill any blutbads they come across. The refrigerator man couldn't explain why Nick didn't kill him--he just DIDN'T kill him. Later, the trio of blutbads watched Nick from their car, and freaked at his casual and calm demeanor (or they freaked because a Grimm's in their town once again). I liked how the blutbads aren't painted in black and white strokes. Monroe's a reformed blutbad. The refrigerator man and his friends were simply enjoying a relaxing night at the pub. Holly didn't even understand what she is. The blutbads aren't confined to their natures. There are good ones and bad ones, just like people--this portrayal reminds me of demon depiction on Buffy and ANGEL (and that's a good thing).

Silas Weir Mitchell was the best part of the episode yet again. Last week revealed an entirely new side of Monroe--one tortured and recovering blutbad. Monroe displayed paternal care for Holly in the tree house. He communicated with her; he didn't scare her; he assured her that they were the same, that he understood her and that she wasn't alone anymore. Holly didn't need a crash-course in "How To Co-Exist in Society;" she just needed some compassion and understanding.

Indeed, I thought "Let Your Hair Down" was a great 42 minutes of TV. The characterization's been better. The Grimm world is deepening. Nick's other life needs more definition. After 7 episodes, his fiancé barely has a personality. The show has time, though. Their method of storytelling's been effective. I won't complain too much. Grimm's a good series.

Other Thoughts:

-Monroe adorned his entire house with festive Christmas lights, complete with a train track around a large portion of his living room. Nick learned about the fairy tale origins of Santa Claus in an exchange with Monroe that was totally Mutant Enemy inspired.

-Holly pointed her kidnapper out in the final scene. Addison had a solid alibi: he explained a dog bit him during the time Holly was kidnapped, which meant he was innocent. Of course, Holly bit him in self-defense.

THE YOUTUBE CLIP OF THE WEEK


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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.