Saturday, December 14, 2013

Grimm "Cold Blooded; Twelve Days of Krampus" Review

Grimm’s two-episode two-hour mid-season finale had little connected. “Cold-Blooded” told a specific story that delved into the mythology of the Grimms, and “Twelve Days of Krampus” put a twist on seasonal Santa stories. Renard’s business in Austria connected the two episodes. The credits billed the two hours as part one and part two. I do not know why NBC executives resist honesty about lumping two episodes together for the sake of reaching the hiatus. The JFK 50th anniversary special bumped an episode. The lone way for NBC to meet its schedule demand was to lump two very different episodes together. The Austrian plot carries through into “Twelve Days of Krampus,” which offers a sense of unity between the two; however, “Cold-Blooded” concludes with Alexis Denisof’s Victor watching Adalind via camera, and Nick returning his new powerful weapon to the ‘toy’ chest in the trailer.

Fans have waited—I’ll only write that I waited—for significant screen-time devoted to the nonsense happening in Austria between the Royals and the Resistance. For seemingly forever, which isn’t true and really a crutch for lazy writers to use when writing fast for who knows why, the Austrian storyline happened in a different narrative universe. Nick’s been connected to the Austrian subplot since the first season, without his understanding of the connection for over a season and a half. Renard connected the audience to the action in Europe. Two or three episodes of the series involved Nick in Renard’s business. There was the episode with the coins, the finale last season, and the unnecessary Renard-Juliette storyline. Nick reacted to what he faced in the moment and then stopped reacting after it was over. He’s like a surfer ready for the wave but when that wave’s just gentle lapping against the board he goes back to bobbing on the board, waiting for the break.

Renard’s involvement was portrayed as passive for long stretches. Phone calls would detail him about the situation. The episode with the coins showed the audience Renard’s visions, his aspirations of grandeur, but that was followed by nothing. Eric, the Prince, the supposed bad guy, did very little for long stretches. Eric dined with Adalind, engaged in sexual intercourse with her, and talked cryptically with his brother about business. The Verrat were established as villains through its roots in Nazi Germany. Remember that ridiculous conclusion in which we learned Hitler used those coins to rise to power? The Verrat want absolute global power. Renard wants to prevent his family absolute global power. The race between the tortoise and the hare finished before the writers decided to do anything with Renard, with the Verrat, and with the Resistance. The Resistance episode has been the lone intriguing, engaging, exciting and worthwhile story involving these insufferable rebels and royals, Renard, his brother and, now, his cousin, Victor, portrayed by the quite excellent Alexis Denisof.

Tonight’s two episodes defined the specific conflict between the two factions. Eric’s assassination happened off-screen. Renard learned of it through a phone call. The confusing depiction of the pivotal plot point seemed like a deliberate attempt to mislead the audience, but why bother misleading an audience about a story so seemingly inconsequential? It seems inconsequential because of the forty-five seconds devoted to its movement per episode. The conflict is mainly about keeping the royals from securing the power they seek. The resistance killed Eric, killed one of its own for betrayal, and plans to fight Victor when he becomes the Prince. (I think I have that straight). The Resistance accepts Renard because of his ‘bastard-ness’ as well as his connection with Nick, the Grimm. Tonight’s episodes had the lengthiest scenes of this storyline in awhile, but nothing more happens than what I recapped. Renard sent a message to Adalind about the cameras set up to watch her in the hotel, a message that also served as a beseechment for her to meet him in a café to learn about what’s going on, and for him to finally learn about the very important royal baby. The writers have yet to integrate the story well into the show. Renard’s a difficult character to root for and Adalind hasn’t been interesting since she left Portland following Nick’s victory over her. Adalind was a decent character when in the role of the noir femme-fatale making Nick and Hank’s life more difficult. Ever since her arrival in Austria she’s been dependent on powerful but uninteresting; she, of course, has been dependent on others since her introduction; however, as a hexenbiest she had some agency. Renard’s finally driving the action in Austria compared to barely seen Eric and Adalind last season and that should help the story along. Denisof’s role as Viktor should help, too, but this show botched Eric so badly that I worry Alexis Denisof’s immense talents will be wasted.

Nick and Hank stop the bad guys in two consecutive episodes. The second episode stood out more. The legend of Krampus was a fun twist on the story of Santa, even if it reminded me of Goldberg’s turn as evil Santa in 2005’s Santa’s Slay. Nick discovered a powerful weapon in “Cold Blooded” that stopped three monstrous brothers. Hank’s life was threatened in the final act. Wu got his most significant action in the case when he went into a sewer to look around after a worker was murdered. Wu got more action in the second episode when he found the shocked, hysterical teenager in the car after the Krampus attack.

“Twelve Days of Krampus” returned to an idea the writers hadn’t returned to in awhile, which how to bring a Wesen to justice. Some Wesens won’t make sense to law enforcement, to courts, and Nick hasn’t had to deal with figuring out what to do until he comes across evil Santa Claus. Krampus takes naughty children to eat before midnight on the night of the winter solstice. The teenagers he took stole presents from shoppers. Nick and Hank don’t break the case open until Monroe remembers something about coal that connects the case to a Wesen legend. Nick and Hank stop Krampus but then don’t know how to deal with him. Monroe and Hank suggest outright murder, even though Nick stopped him by tapping into the side of him responsible for the biker’s death in the premiere. The Wesen retakes human form, so the human’s brought in for questioning and all that. Nick still hasn’t found a good way to deal with Wesen as a detective. I think Nick’s struggle between his work as Grimm and his work as detective worked better when he worked with Monroe. It added a cool dynamic to him and Hank’s investigation in season 1.

Monroe and Rosalee experience their first unharmonious moment in their relationship over Christmas. Monroe embraces the Christmas season, stringing lights across his rooms, assembling a Christmas train set, adorning the Christmas tree with decorations, while Rosalee feels the way Joni Mitchell feels in “River.” Tragedy in her past soured her on Christmas. Monroe’s sad about her sadness. Rosalee feels badly and figures out love will turn their frowns into smiles. Rosalee’s love for him motivates her to put up what Monroe took down for her. It’s a sweet story that shows what someone can do for someone else during the happiest and saddest time of the year.

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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.