"The Three Bad Wolves" was one of my favorite Grimm episodes of season one because it was a rare episode in which the writers integrated the principal characters into the fairytale case of the week. The external conflict paled in comparison to the internal conflict of Monroe's as his wild Blutbad of an ex-girlfriend returned to disrupt his life, all the while searching for her brothers' killers, which made things more conflicting for Nick as Grimm and friend of Monroe's. "Over My Dead Body" doesn't reach the heights of the "The Three Bad Wolves," mostly because of my own disinterest in murder-for-hire plots on network television. Yes, Angelina's role in the plot, as well as the revelation about the reason someone wants Monroe dead, separated this plot from a similar plot on Law&Order or any CBS procedural. It just didn't come together as a whole.
The weakest parts of the episode involved purposeful delays. Indeed, Juliette and Nick share a lovely dinner, pleasant conversation, but then Nick balks when Juliette asks about her reasons for declining Nick's marriage proposal. Grimm waited until the season finale of season one to write a scene in which Nick tells Juliette the truth about his other life. Juliette soon went into a coma after Adalind's cat bit her. Nick explains to Juliette her reservations about marriage because of her thought that Nick hid stuff from her. Juliette wonders if Nick hid stuff from her. Nick pauses for a couple of beats, as if the writers expect the viewer to lean forward in their seat in hopes they'll hear Nick tell all again; however, the writers did that last season, and it was unnecessary. Fortunately, their scenes together ended after Nick received Monroe's emergency phone call.
Monroe's a dead man walking because of his association with the Grimm. The only question is who ordered the hit. The idea of any creature being targeted for helping the Grimm is quite welcomed, as the Reapers caused some chaos last season because Monroe's associations with Nick. Angelina's role in the murder-for-hire plot is, at times, irritating, and, at other times, necessary for the episode's pathos. The circumstances of their second reunion directly oppose the Blutbaden way: they don't kill their own. Immediately, the gang brainstorm ways to save Monroe and learn the identity of the person responsible for ordering the hit. The episode's most realistic and earned emotion comes from Rosalee, who's the heart and soul of Monroe's fate; she is the audience, breathless and anxious to know if Monroe survived the plan to survive the plan. (Let's ignore how obvious it was that Monroe wouldn't die.)
Alice Evans joined the show as the mysterious European woman with ties to the Royal Family. A lack of payoff is inevitable when Evans and Renard say so little despite using a lot of words to say very little about the Family. Any number of assassins can be sent to kill Nick or Monroe, and Renard can engage in any number of vaguely meaningful conversations with his brother or Alice Evans or anyone else, but it feels a bit like the show's spinning its wheel with each passing scene that provides nothing. I'm already interested in Renard's role and the Family; I don't need more scenes designed to elevate my curiosity because I'm curious. Nick questions the snake-like creature during a fight but doesn't get an answer about who hired him. Alice Evans quietly drives away from the scene. We already knew Nick and his friends were in danger. The episode wanted to show just how dangerous it is for them, all the more because they don't know anything about the threat.
Monroe's bond with Angelina carried the episode. Nick wasn't given the time to process the guilt of his role in putting the people he cares about in danger. The title of the episode refers to the common expression about someone not letting someone else do something--"over my dead body," you know? The urgency was inherent to the plot (they had less than 24 hours to figure it out) but the action didn't feel urgent. Monroe and Hank hung out in a kitchen as Monroe showed Hank his Volga'd out side. Nick seemed urgent; however, the process of making the dead faint jawn went really slowly. The action led to the inevitable moment when Angelina took a bullet for her former beau, which was followed by a quietly effective scene in which Monroe put his former love to rest and grieved her death the only way Blutbads know how--by howling sadly into the vast wilderness of Portland.
So, "Over My Dead Body" was a mixed bag. The murder-for-plot sort of reminded me of early ANGEL episodes, particularly in the horrible acting by the two cronies of Alice Evans. I feel softer about the episode because of its resemblance to old ANGEL. ANGEL never deliberately wasted time though. That's what I'll remember most about "Over My Dead Body", unfortunately.
-Rosalee's off to help with a family member who suffered a stroke. This is how Bree Turner's been written off because of her pregnancy. I think she'll back for episodes airing in 2013. Bree Turner was great during her scenes on the bus talking to Monroe.
-Silas Weir Mitchell was extraordinary in the seconds before Monroe's fainted. The two tears that rolled down each cheek was a spectacular choice. The dude nails everything that's asked of him.
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