Friday, April 20, 2012

Grimm "Cat And Mouse" Review

A deepening of the show's mythology continued in "Cat and Mouse." There was a major mythological download in the middle of the episode, which helped to contextualize the mysterious Capt. Renard at least. Grimm consistently reminds of ANGEL. As AtS's first season concluded, Wolfram & Hart took on a more important role. For much of season 1, the evil law firm appeared here and there. Grimm's first season borrowed the same basic structure (which isn't a surprise considering Greenwalt's role in the series). There were hints about Renard's allegiance and his investment with Nick. It's been a slow burn though, and critics have attacked the show for its narrative methods. Not every show is as fast as The Vampire Diaries or Lost Girl. This doesn't make Grimm a bad show--it makes it a patient show.

Ian Harmon is being pursued by a bounty hunter when "Cat and Mouse" kicks off. Before the teaser ends, the bounty hunter is dead. Another bounty hunter, or agent of the Verrat, shows up shortly after. The Verrat will continually send out agents to kill any dangerous persons opposed to their organization. The Verrat means betrayal in journal if the internet can be considered a reliable resource for correct translations. The Verrat is made up of seven royal families who corrupt anything susceptible to being corrupted. Their influence is widespread in politics, law enforcement, organized crime, and so on. Ian's part of a resistance group opposed to the Verrat. The freedom fighter anticipates a war and singles out the Grimms as disrupting everything by working for the royal families. This information suggests Renard is part of one of the royal families, and his protection of Nick is part of the royal families stake in their Grimm. Once again, I'm reminded of Wolfram & Hart and Angel. The law firm hated him and wanted him dead, but the prophecies foretold a vampire with a soul stopping the apocalypse. They needed him. The royal families need him. Nick is different, ignorant of his history, an honest man of the law, and prone to help the helpless or the hopeless (to borrow a phrase from ANGEL). I can't wait to watch him wage war with the Verrat.

"Cat and Mouse" is a fun episode with a cat-and-mouse-like atmosphere. Sebastian Roche's Edgar Waltz is a terrific villain. His German accent and European mannerisms adds a nice quality to the character. As an agent, he's a representative of the Verrat, and only one man of many just like him that waits to take his place and that guy will be no less violent. Edgar Waltz possesses a cold and calculated sense of violence. He doesn't run after Ian or lose his temper around people who might know something; he just threatens peoples families or innocent civilians. Waltz is a terrorist. A threatened fake ID maker tries to serve two people, but he ends up dead. An innocent barkeep is killed when Waltz frames Ian for murder. Ian, meanwhile, went to Rosalee at the Apothecary in search of Freddie because of documents he needs to escape the country safely. Monroe convinces Ian to meet Nick because he'll help him. Ian's a skeptic because a Grimm works on the side of bad. After a sour first meeting, Nick makes Monroe's word gold when he sends Ian on his way.

Ian is an unremarkable character though Neil Hopkins brings energy to the role. Ian and Rosalee used to date and their families worked together in the resistance group. Rosalee never involved herself in the actual group. Her past with Ian matters to Monroe because he's been an interested in her. Ian's going to be back eventually. Amidst the war or whatever's going on the Verrat and the resistance group, Monroe's hopes for he and Rosalee will be complicated. I hope Ian's characterization is richer what he was tonight which is 'freedom fighter on the run that once dated Rosalee.' The details are vague. The exposition consisted of generalities.

Nick and the other good guys find and stop Waltz before he kills Ian. Ian kills Waltz though. Nick acts like he's arresting him when in fact he's setting him free and using Monroe to move Waltz's body for a later discovery. I have a minor quibble about the end of Waltz: he clearly never honored his word. The 'truce' meeting with Nick didn't an iota of honesty. Waltz threatened to kill Rosalee in fifteen minutes unless Monroe brought Ian to him. Waltz seemed like the kind of bounty hunter who would kill Rosalee immediately after the call. I never thought she was in danger though. Grimm will play it predictably safe when their main characters are threatened. Such predictability is a let-down. Waltz was a bad dude but the writers neutered him for plot convenience. But it's only a minor quibble. I had fun watching the episode. Nick continues to be my favorite fictional hero on network TV.

Other Thoughts:

-There was a lot to process with the Verrat. I'd compare them to The Scourge in ANGEL's "Hero." They  crave purity and used to kill any mixed creature. Renard remains a question mark in the whole affair.

-Nick started to write about his Grimm experiences in the book.

-Hank and Juliette were in one scene. Hank doesn't quite understand his bizarre attachment with Adalind nor does understand why he awoke to find two strangers in Adalind's room. Juliette assured him that Adalind isn't good enough for him. They hugged. Nick walked in and said, "Hey! He's mine." I chuckled.

-Jose Molina wrote "Cat and Mouse." Molina is a veteran of the Whedonverse. He began as a PA for Mutant Enemy. Joss hired him onto the Firefly writing staff. Molina wrote "Ariel" and the infamous airlock scene. Molina recently ran Terra Nova. The dude was smart to join Greenwalt's show. Molina is also one of the best screenwriters to listen to for advice on writing. My respect for Jose Molina is huge, and I'm glad to be watching his work once more.

-Felix Alcala directed it.


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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.