Friday, April 13, 2012

Grimm "Love Sick" Review

Grimm had as much energy and plot movement in the first five minutes as it's had all season. Renard shot two of his former associates. Nick tried to figure out what the key his aunt gave him months ago unlocked. The Renard action was connected to the key. "Love Sick" balanced several stories but the writers never lost track of their stories; nor did the pacing suffer or the tone--everything was consistent. Plus, everything is slowly being brought together. Characters are coming together. Nick continues to learn more about this life he's been fated with. The plan of the enemies as well as the enemies themselves is emerging. I thought "Love Sick" was a sensational episode.

The blood cookies are the most important plot device in Grimm's history. What started as a reminder of Darla's mind tricks on Angel in the second season of ANGEL became so much more. Grimm keeps many aspects of the plot close to the vest. The key hadn't been mentioned in months. The two foreigners whom Renard murdered were part of Renard's back story, but we haven't gotten an iota of an idea of who Renard actually works for. Similarly, Adalind and Renard's plan with the cookies didn't become clear until "Love Sick." The cookies were designed to entice the victim but not much else was known beyond that. The potion she used (no way can I spell the German term for potion) is designed to kill its consumer; the victim will become so obsessive that the body will eventually shut down. Adalind used Hank because she knew Nick would need to choose between Hank and the key, knowing how ignorant he is of the Grimm history. The story eventually reached 'life and death' stakes and Nick needed to be a hero. The story shined because of the ideas behind the characters of one another. I liked how Renard planned to exploit Nick's biggest weakness, which is his ignorance. I liked how, in turn, Nick used Adalind's ignorance to destroy her essence, which is the hexenbeast. A hero that can kick ass is great; but a smart hero is more interesting; Nick needs to hit the books in the trailer more often. And, of course, a smart villain is more interesting than a run-of-the-mill generic moustache-twirling villain. Capt. Renard is the chief of police who's actually more corrupt and violent than many criminals who find themselves in his custody. Renard uses the system for good and ill, and his ability to manipulate the system and its pieces (i.e. workers) shows why he continues to walk around with nary an eye suspiciously cast on him.

There isn't enough detail about Renard and Mrs. Hexenbeast to definitively write about it at this point. The key doesn't unlock anything in the trailer; it’s the design on the key that's worth looking at. Nick imprints the key on a sheet of paper at the end and examines it through a magnifying glass. The design resembles a structure but the camera never lingers on the image long enough to see what it is. It could be an elaborate door, a window, a structure in a forest or a graveyard. Renard belongs to a 'family' in which a Swiss and Brit are sent to Portland to violently up the stakes of the game. The 'family' is impatient about the key. Renard won't be bullied so he kills his two former associates and covers up the crime. Hank and Nick investigate the case and find it strange, especially when the evidence is bizarre. The case should lead Nick to the truth about Renard. Renard learns more about Nick from the blood cookie fall out, specifically that he's SMARTER than he thought. Such a thing changes things a bit.

Each story thread magnificently built off one other. The teaser ended over a failed dinner. Nick glared at Adalind and then threatened her. Nick formed a theory about Adalind's interest in Hank rather quickly. Adalind dominated Hank's thoughts. The murder investigation became an afterthought for Hank who worried about not sending his girl flowers after an abrupt end to dinner. Nick also witnesses Sgt. Wu eating Chap Stick and pens, and then flashes back to the horrific event in the Apothecary. Rosalee and Monroe hit the books after Nick details both situations and finds the hexenbeast potion link between the two. Hank and Wu needed some saving. Rosalee created the antidote, which worked on Wu. Saving Hank was more difficult as he needed a Grimm's blood. Nick and Adalind fought and she bit him. Contact with Grimm blood killed the hexenbeast inside her, leaving her a poor, weak, and sad human fated to be ostracized by the man she loves and her mother. Claire Coffee, and the writing, really gave Adalind depth in just two scenes.

Discovery has been one of the themes of the season. Nick keeps discovering new creatures. This week, the other characters discovered things or were close to discovery. Monroe needed a quick lie to tell Hank about why two strangers were with him in Adalind's bedroom. Wu discovered Nick and two strangers standing above him after he awoke from the antidote a cured man, evidently forgetful of what he'd been eating. Nick discovered the key design. Renard discovered how even he can miss things sometimes. Adalind discovered what she is without her power, and she discovered how cruel a mother she has and how unloving a guy Renard actually was. The idea of discovery should remain a key part of the final five episodes. I can't wait to discover more things along with the characters.

What an awesome episode.

Other Thoughts:

-There were so many great moments tonight. Wu stole every scene by quickly ingesting all sorts of non-edible items like Chap Stick, pens, coins, and carpet. Wu had the line of the night when he responded to Nick's question about what he was eating for dinner: "Fiber," and then he laughed maniacally.

-Monroe got several great lines. After seeing a comatose Hank and hearing the reason behind the coma, he said, "Sex is always messing things up." Rosalee and Monroe shared significant glances, though neither saw the other's significant glance. Also, this is the third week I've spent her name differently. I think I got it right this week. I got a kick out of Monroe's concern for Nick when he went to fight a hexenbeast alone.

-David Guintoli has become a great leading man. The scene in the bathroom when he punched the bathroom door was a highlight of "Love Sick" as it showed myriad emotions in just an action. He has a dare I say David Boreanaz type presence now. Other highlights: his reactions to everything Wu did and his interactions with Claire Coffee.

-Russell Hornsby was great in the background as Monroe scrambled to concoct a lie to tell Hank. Fine comedic timing by Mr. Hornsby.

-Renard is a true bastard. No man should speak to a woman like he spoke to Adalind.

-Catherine Butterfield wrote the episode. David Solomon directed it.



dani said...

Zaubertrank is the German word for potion... literally means "magic drink". Loved this episode, agree with your review. I don't have anything more to add to it:) Nick and Monroe are great characters played by awesome actors. Looking forward to seeing Adalind on the show (couldn't help but think of Spike getting the chip in his brain on Buffy and becoming pretty useless as an evil being, lol) now, instead of wishing Nick would just kill her.

Anonymous said...

Lawyer and hexenbeast his mistake destroyed the harmless half.

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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.