Saturday, April 7, 2012

Grimm "The Thing With Feathers" Review

Grimm has really rounded into form lately. It's solidifying itself as a show I like to watch regardless of the case of the week because the world that's been built is rich and the characters are likable and relatable. It snuck up on me how much I quite enjoy the weekly episodes; it happened when Nick called Rosalie instead of Monroe and Monroe acted offended. The moment was small, insignificant in the narrative, but a payoff to the weeks of bonding and friendship between the men. Similarly, the relationship between Nick and Juliette, though poorly developed, is even a comfortable certainty in the show. After all the nonsense, or in the midst of the nonsense, one can rely on a comfortable, nice scene with Nick and Juliette. "The Thing with Feathers" brought Juliette and Nick to the forefront whilst telling a story about a dickhead who bullies and abuses a woman for a golden egg.

Greenwalt, Kouf and the other writers planted little plot seeds throughout the series thus for what happened in the penultimate scene of the episode. Nick and Juliette didn't have a problem in the world before Aunt Marie passed away. Before her death, Aunt Marie told Nick to leave Juliette, knowing he couldn't sustain a domestic partnership with a woman as a Grimm. Nick tried to put the thought out of his mind. He didn't openly grieve for the woman who practically raised him. Nick continued to do his job, both in the professional world and in the creature underbelly his Grimm-ness granted him access to.

Juliette doesn't know a thing about her boyfriend's other life; therefore, his behavior, as well as the weird and surreal situations they've been involved in, are utterly bizarre to her. Nick took her Whispering Pines in an effort to get away from everything and eventually propose to her. Nothing happens according to plan. Juliette clearly witnesses spousal abuse. Nick investigates things, calls the appropriate people, and attempts to salvage the romantic weekend; however, Juliette wants to talk about Important Issues like the craziness of the last few weeks. She actively wants to address it and receive answers. Nick just mutters, "It'll calm down."

Several weeks ago, Juliette found the engagement ring in one of Nick's drawers and waited patiently for her man to come home, eat a nice dinner, and propose. But a case kept Nick from home and Juliette went to sleep in her sexy night-clothes without a ring on her finger or a clue about what really kept Nick away. This disconnect between the two has been growing since Marie's death. Nick finally proposes to Juliette after the spousal abuse situation was resolved. It didn't happen in the forests of the Whispering pines, but, rather, in their apartment. Juliette rejected the proposal. Nick looked like the oxygen around him was slowly depleting. Juliette explained why she wanted to marry him but couldn't: simply, she doesn't know who he is; the death of Marie shut him down, closed him off from her. She feels isolated and understandably so because he has been distant and closed down and shut off. Criticisms in the past about Grimm involved the depiction of this relationship and the depiction of Nick's grief. Namely, there wasn't anything suggesting Nick felt tremendous pain from his loss. Turns out that it wasn't an oversight by the writers but a deliberate character choice. Juliette doesn't know what to make of the surreal situations she's been part of, but she knows what to make of Nick when he's clearly distant and disconnected from her.

The Grimm story in Whispering Pines seemed destined to end with Juliette's discovery of Nick's other life but it did not. Tim and Robin are the creatures of the week. Tim is a cat-like Wesen and Robin is a bird-like Wesen (the German names aren't worth trying to spell from memory). The story is nearly a straight-up spousal abuse story and one would've been satisfied if nothing else happened except for Tim getting his ass kicked and locked up by Nick. The supernatural, or fairy-tale, twist lies with Azura Skye's Robin, a bird-like Wesen who is capable of producing a golden egg. Tim and his cousin, the Sheriff of Whispering Pines, want the golden egg for future wealth. Robin never wanted the egg at all. There are disturbing scenes of violence, which is consistent with Grimm's dark tone. Nick eventually saves the day. The golden egg smashes into pieces. Robin is, once again, free to live her life. Juliette also helps Nick save the day.

Elsewhere, the effects of the blood cookies linger in Hank. He obsessively calls Adalind. Adalind reacts only when Renard tells her to. The plan is still vague. One senses that nothing good will happen for Hank. Overall, "The Thing with Feathers" soared (how lame) because of the focus on Juliette and Nick. I thought their story was a tremendous piece of storytelling, rooted in character and without manipulation or forced angst.

Other Notes:

-Monroe and Rosalie cleaned her brother's store together. Their two scenes were sweet. Bree Turner is listed as a special guest star. I hope she becomes a full cast member soon.

-NBC is airing the final six episodes of the season in a row beginning this Friday. The season finale will be on May 11. The finale will conclude an 8 week stretch of new Grimm. Good times.

-Richard Hatem wrote the episode. Darnell Martin directed it.

-Azura Skye is a Whedonverse alum. She appeared in #704 “Help” of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer. I couldn’t stand the inflections she used when delivering her lines. Azura was much less irksome in this episode.


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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.