Friday, January 13, 2012

Grimm "Game Ogre" Review

"Game Ogre" opened with two most iconic lines from the English fairy tale Jack and the Beanstalk. The episode and the fairy tale only shared one thing in common: the presence of an ogre. The ogre's the lone element of the fairy tale side of the show. "Game Ogre" was a very average episode of a television. The procedural story didn't re-invent any tropes or a narrative. This story followed an ogre who was pissed off because he spent five years in prison. He wanted revenge and took it, victim by victim. The story didn't break new ground. In fact, the ground was old and rather dull.

Hank, Nick's partner, hasn't been given many chances to shine; in fact, he hasn't been given any chance to shine thus far. Monroe's been the only character, besides Nick, whom we've learn about since the pilot. Of course, not even Nick's been given much depth, and he's the main character. Nick's a Grimm, a good detective, and a loving boyfriend. He doesn't really know how to be a Grimm. Luckily, he's always faces creatures who've broken the law, so the police have cause to arrest the creatures every week. The two worlds remain separate each and every week.

The two worlds seemed bound to merge this week. Hank and Nick paid a visit to Monroe. Monroe took up the dirty work while Nick healed in the hospital. Monroe hovered in the bushes, with a loaded rifle, while Hank fought the villain-of-the-week several yards away. The worlds never met, though the narrative's bringing the worlds closer every week. Monroe shot the villain-of-the-week three times in the chest using bullets doused in an ogre poison. The police chief examined the bullets, noted the bullets were made for a 100 year old rifle. Hank wanted to know why someone used a 100 year old rifle to kill the villain. The captain shared that desire for information.

Starks, the ogre, wanted to kill Hank because of the prison sentence he just finished serving. I thought the focus on Hank would be beneficial. We don't know what makes the man tick. Well, after another hour of Grimm, I still don't know what makes Hank tick. He'll bend the laws to ensure a bad man's put into prison, and not saved by a bullshit alibi. Hank's behavior is somewhat reckless. We've seen before how he reacts without thoroughly thinking about his actions. Hank's decision to tamper with Starks' alibi put Nick directly in danger. Starks attacked Nick at his home, beat him senseless and would've killed him if not for his girlfriend who saved the day by throwing boiling water in Starks' face. Hank confronted the criminal face-to-face and almost had a rock thrown in his face if not for Monroe's excellent shot. However, Hank's story didn't feel like a cautionary tale about his behavior; it really felt like the writers needed Hank to do something so they chose this. There were neither lessons nor epiphanic truths. It wasn't a satisfying story.

Nick, meanwhile, learned how to kill the ogre. The murder represented a first for Nick as I've already mentioned his tendency to arrest the fairy tale creatures. Of course, Monroe shot Starks because Nick couldn't. We learned how overmatched Nick will be in a fight. Perhaps, though, I shouldn't make too much of the beatdown. The writers were careful to repeat how different a beast the ogre is compared to the other. Evidently, they were disinterested in the risk of making their main character, THEIR HERO, look like a wimp. I'm not convinced he's anything but a wimp.

Honestly, "Game Ogre" was a boring 41+ minutes of television. There aren't many talking points. It didn't deepen the mythology. None of the characters progressed. It was just an off week for Grimm, not the ideal episode to return from break with.

Cameron Litvack & Thania St. John wrote the episode. Terrence O'Hara 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.