Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Grimm "The Waking Dead" Review

Grimm's stretch run last season was thrilling and exciting, recalling to mind the yesteryears of ANGEL when David Greenwalt ran the show with Joss Whedon. The season two stretch run hasn't been as exciting, though the stand-alone episodes have been worthwhile. I quite liked the imagination of the last two episodes of Grimm. "The Waking Dead" is the penultimate episode which means stand-alone plots are discarded for the sake of the finale build. Greenwalt and Kouf's script introduces a new villain and also brings Eric to Portland for a one-on-one chat with his brother. The C story brings Juliette together with Monroe, Rosalee and Bud for a session of Volga, so that one wonders how she'll react, and whether the truth will keep her away from Nick. The A story introduces a man with a top-hat who uses a deathlike trance goo on people and puts them away in a shipping crate. The final scene reveals top hat man is a Baron working for Eric of the Royals.

Grimm's second season premiered in August 2012. Renard's brother, Eric, and the whole of the Royals storyline has unfolded in spurts. Adalind arrived in Vienna to seduce Eric. Once impregnated, she inquired about the price a royal baby would get on the market. There's a divide between the brothers. Renard has a partnership with Nick. Eric's not interested in grimms; indeed, he's tried to kill Nick once or twice, if my memory is right. Eric, of course, wants the key that unlocks Something. I'm not really interested in the Royals storyline. Half of the episode is concerned with the Royals. Adalind hears two conflicting things about her royal baby growing inside her womb. The woman the audience met some episodes ago tells her everything is good and that no danger will befall her. The Frau Pech tells her danger WILL befall her, warning her that the womb could be her tomb. Basically, the royals will kill her and save the baby. Adalind's desperate to get her powers back, so one can forgive her for overlooking an obvious drawback to her plan. She's power-hungry; her hunger makes her vulnerable. Adalind's not a sympathetic character. Yeah, she's in a bad spot after losing her powers, but she's not been written redemptively. So, it's difficult to care about her fate.

The episode keeps Nick and Juliette apart. Nick works the zombie case with Hank while Juliette sees the other faces of Bud, Monroe and Rosalee. I usually don't nitpick Grimm, but the Juliette scenes with two of my favorite characters in the show, and Bud, were a waste of time. Greenwalt and Kouf are veteran writers. They know they shouldn't devote two or more scenes to information the audience already knows. Juliette's reaction to the Volga-ing of the trio of Wesen is important for the story. Her reaction will tell the tale of her thought process--will she stay or will she go? The scenes unfold slowly, really slowly. Bud's freaking out. Rosalee and Monroe must freak out Juliette more by the deliberate caution they're showing when they should behave like someone diving off a high dive for the first time. Close your eyes, jump, and remember your ability to swim. Grimm could've trimmed these scenes, focused a little more on the disposable villain to be dispatched next week, or have any decent character stuff for Nick.

The Baron character or book man or any of his other names including the one he'll be referred to as hangs in the shadows for half the episode. Nick noticed him at a crime scene. Nick and Hank learn interesting details about their suspect. He creates zombies in a way, but he doesn't kill folk and then reanaimate them. He's spits green goo in the faces of people that renders them deadlike. The Baron's amassed a small army of faux-zombies for a mysterious reason. The Baron drops off the radar by the final act as Nick's focus shifts to Juliette. The Baron meets Eric in the hotel, which means The Baron's plan is Eric's. Eric's small speech about the superiority of Vienna over Portland was delightful, but a man of his tastes shouldn't use something as kitsch as zombies to do his dirty work in Portland.

Of course, Grimm's use of its zombie figures is more sophisticated than in other works of fiction. The backstory of the Baron is rooted in Haitian vodou. I'm not well versed in the history of Haitian vodou, but I read about vodouists' beliefs in a creator as well as their beliefs in their Ioa's power of different aspects of life. Ideally, the finale will show a piece of the history between Eric and the Baron insofar as the Baron's role in matters of the royal family. I wonder whether or not the Baron's involved with the key. Perhaps he's simply a man called in because he can send people into a deathlike trance. Right now, the character's just a top hat and green goo. He's Kwang if Kwang had exchanged his mask for a top hat.

I wasn't into the 'To be continued' to tag to end the episode, because the suspense was non-existent. Nick arrives for dinner with Juliette, unsure of her feelings about what he does; however, the audience knows Juliette's all-in. Why the cliff-hanger? The Baron and Eric shake hands to end the episode, as I've already stated. Eric's been horribly developed as a villain. He's all hair, and The Baron barely spoke. Renard's alarmed about his brother's surprise arrival, but I'm not. I'm detached from the storyline. Grimm can be amazing when it delves into its mythology and embraces serialization. I'm just not into this story. It hasn't taken me yet, which is a problem since the season ends next week. Season 1 had a quite good Royals-related plot. It's not all bad, but the execution of the storyline's been lacking in season 2.

Last season's penultimate episode had more momentum than "The Waking Dead." I'm hoping for an awesome finale next week to send me into the summer feeling good about Grimm.

Other Thoughts:

-Rosalee, Monroe and Bud together should be a hole-in-one for the show. Nothing about those scenes worked except for Bree Turner's and Silas Weir-Mitchell's chemistry.

-NBC moved Grimm back to Fridays starting next season.

-David Greenwalt & Jim Kouf wrote the episode.


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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.