Friday, November 1, 2013

Grimm "PTZD" Review

Not a lot happened in the season three premiere of Grimm last week, which is why I chose not to write about it. I went to see the new Steve McQueen movie instead. I planned on writing a review for the premiere over the weekend and posting it, but the premiere offered so little to write about. I decided to wait a week so I could write about the two-part in its entirety. The best parts of the opening two episodes involve every major character except for Nick, who’s long been the most consistent character on the show. Monroe, Rosalee, Juliette and Renard work together to help Nick. The widespread zombie disease got contained last week. Nick’s the only lunatic terrorizing innocent folk in Portland.

The first two seasons of Grimm were marked by stretches in which some characters knew what other characters did not. In season 1, Hank solved essentially zero crimes in this season. Nick would go off with Monroe and solve it. In season 2, Hank learned the truth, but Juliette didn’t. For most of the season, she was in the dark about it, and also amnesiac. Finally, Juliette learned the truth about her boyfriend and regained her memories. Before they all could work together like ANGEL investigations, Eric Renard flew into town to kidnap Nick so that the Grimm could be destroyed. The plan, of course, failed. Nick took the plane down that was headed to Austria—in zombie-mode—and survived the crash, because he’s a Grimm and he reacted differently to the green goo’s toxic neurological affects. Nick resembled Angel for Buffy season 3 after he returned from hell. Buffy’s presence was his cure, but Juliette’s not Nick’s cure. The sappy, sentimental cure for Juliette was Nick. Feral Nick’s a harder beast to tame. Beauty and red hair won’t do it.

Curing Nick’s a given, though. Indeed, a feral Nick for more than three episodes would’ve gotten obnoxious. The reason for the two-parter is clear: create more conflict. Murder’s a great conflict for a character to deal with, for the greatest of writers have dealt with the morality of murder. One of the bikers Nick beat up in the bar in last week’s episode died. The police department has to investigate. Nick’s friends have to cover for Nick. Nick, meanwhile, is barely back from what’s happened to him. The antidote cured him, but he looked like death took him while he slept. His skin was pale, almost grey. Nick felt fine, though. Juliette looked worried. All the while he had no idea he killed a man.

Murder as a plot point is only worth hitting when a main character’s responsible for the death. I’m thinking of Faith in season 3 after she kills the deputy mayor as well as the gravity of the scene in which Giles kills Ben to spare Buffy from regretting her moment of mercy. Renard working together with Hank, Monroe, Juliette and Rosalee is a different dynamic and fun to watch. Renard’s plan to cover for Nick is approved by all. I’m glad Kouf and Greenwalt didn’t wait awhile for Nick to learn about the death he caused. One’s never sure how long a storyline will get dragged out before it advances. That’s one of Grimm’s biggest problems. Through two episodes, the story’s plenty substantial and moves at a nice pace.

I also liked the reverse of the last two season’s conceits. Whereas Nick kept nearly everyone in the dark about his other life as a Grimm for two seasons, Nick’s the one in the dark for most of “PTZD.” The neurological disorder affects him differently as a Grimm. I’m not sure if its affect was intended to show what Nick’s capable of physically rather than mentally or both. Physically, at his Grimm peak, Nick’s a deadly force. He’s a tempest with the reflexes of a mountain lion. The teaser and the first scene of “PTZD” shows Nick at his most frightening. He terrifies the traditional nuclear family, he beats up his friends, and he hits Juliette. The first act is terrifically executed. The physicality of the scene is created through David Guintoli’s intense acting and the sound editing. The pounding on the door is loud, like the pounding of one’s head when one’s afflicted with a head ache, it’s a sound that sounds unceasing, like the sound of the drums on a slave boat. Little girls scream their throats out. A father struggles to get his gun from his electronic safe. Nick growls as a mythical beast would. Feral Nick is super quick in reacting and acting. Without morals and a conscience, he’s deadly.

Feral Nick’s abilities don’t call back to the Grimms of the past, but there’s a sense that it might. The epigraph in the opening of the episode is about resurrection. Nick’s feral-ness is a kind of death as is his eventual despair and crisis upon learning of the death he caused. The root Grimm is animalistic, acting without thought or reason, and deadly exact. Humanity doesn’t save.

Other Thoughts:

-Other developments include the death of Eric Renard. The death happened off-screen. I doubt Eric’s dead. Adalind continued the weirdest baby shower on television, which concluded with a blood skull forming from blood she put on her belly.

-Jim Kouf & David Greewalt worte the episode. Eric Lanueville directed it.


Anonymous said...

I've done some research and I found out Eric will probably be dead because the actor (james frain) got a role on another show so they needed to end his role on grimm. Instead of him, there's gonna be another royal (his cousin). So the murder was off-screen because james frain isn't showing up anymore in the show.

Anonymous said...

Eric is dead because the actor James Frain got a role on another show. He isn't showing up anymore.

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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.