Saturday, January 25, 2014

Grimm "The Wild Hunt" Review

Urgency separates the episodes of Grimm that air before a long break and the ones that air during a run of new Grimm episodes. The final act tipped me off to the fact that Grimm won’t air a new episode for awhile. I thought it odd that Nick and Hank barely investigated the Wesen scalping men in uniform. I thought it especially odd how engaged I was in the Vienna material. Urgency may not be the correct word to use. Progression might be better. Grimm seems stuck in place for much longer than it moves forward in its various plots and character arcs. “The Wild Hunt” had progress—significant things happened in each story that actively moved the story and its characters forward.

David Greenwalt, who co-wrote the episode with Jim Kouf, wrote ANGEL’s second season episode, “Happy Anniversary,” which involves a man who wants to stop time so that his girlfriend won’t break-up with him. The man nearly ends the world, because ending the world is a threat in many a Joss show, but Angel and Lorne save the day. Angel and Lorne fight off demons to get to the guy, demons that want the world to end because it fulfills a prophecy. Once Angel and Lorne unfreeze the time the man froze, they sit together, drink coffee, and talk. Lorne delivers one of my favorite lines ever written in books, TV, the movies, video games and music.  Gene, the man, explains he wants the wheel of time to stop to avoid stuff. Lorne tells him, “It just don’t work, Gene-y. It’s like a song. Now, I can hold a note for a long time. Actually I can hold a note forever; but eventually that’s just noise. It’s the changes we’re listening for—the note coming after, and the one after that. That’s what make its music.” The same idea applies to television storytelling. So, it’s a bit funny David Greenwalt wrote Lorne’s line and currently runs Grimm, when so little will happen for weeks. Slow movement in a show isn’t an unforgivable crime. Writing that a show lacks urgency doesn’t always mean it lacks pacing and plotting. For me a lack of urgency means whatever’s happening within the world doesn’t matter. If fictional characters don’t care within the world we transport ourselves to each week, audiences won’t care. People turned en masse on Under The Dome for “urgency” issues.

One scene in “The Wild Hunt” represents the problem of what I wrote about in the above paragraph. The never-ending Verrat storyline continues at its glacially slow pace. Juliette decided to e-mail Nick’s mother. Nick doesn’t expect a response, but Nick’s mother responds. The response involves references to the Resistance and the Verrat. Nick’s mother writes vaguely about where she is, what she’s doing, and Nick tries to explain what’s happening to Juliette. Nick’s explanation is useless since he himself does not quite understand the details of the Resistance and the Verrat. Prince Vicktor name-dropped the grimm a month ago, and Nick is the one feared most and he’s a vital part of the battle, but he’s clueless. Nick knows the coins should not fall into the possession of the royals, but beyond that is a shrug of the shoulders for he and Juliette. All they can do is wait for more word from a woman on the constant move in southeastern Europe just as the viewer can wait for the writers to make the story more sensible and easier to invest in.

The wild hunt of the title is for a Wesen that scalps men in uniform. Nick and Hank hear the debriefing from Renard about the case, follow leads once the guy arrives in Portland, and then fail to catch him. The suspect doesn’t arrive in Portland until halfway into the episode. Nick and Hank can’t move to find the guy aggressively, I assume (since neither move aggressively to find the guy). The type of Wesen Nick learns scalps men in a warrior ritual. This specific Wesen knits the scalps together to create a warrior cloak. The Wesen of the week comes from Mexico so the Wesen mythology seems rooted in a Native American culture, though the diversity studies in me balks at writing much about its roots in post-colonial criticism. Each man in uniform murdered by the scalp Wesen is deemed ‘unworthy’ by the murderer. Hank points out that Nick’s probably the target. No man is as fine a warrior as the grimm. Sure enough, the Wesen looks at a newspaper clipping of Nick to confirm Hank’s suspicion that Nick is the target.

Elsewhere, Monroe proposed to Rosalee. Their scenes were the sweetest. Monroe used a clock to propose. Following the proposal and the abundant happy feelings, the foreboding visit from the parents loomed. Monroe opted not to tell his parents certain facts about his betrothed. Details about Rosalee’s past have been prominent the past few episodes to create more of a sense of her as a person. She still has a fragility and vulnerability about herself. The promos teased the meeting between Monroe’s parents and Rosalee as titantic; however, as I predicted, the meeting doesn’t happen until the last act. Rosalee receives rejection from the parents, she feels betrayed by Monroe, and bolts out of the house. Nick shows up at the worst time to consult with Monroe on the wild hunt case. Monroe’s parents fly into a murderous rage that seems uncontainable. The scene cuts to black and these words, “Oh, fuck.” That was pretty great.

Other Thoughts:

-Grimm won’t return until February 28, so we will wait for the resolution to the wild hunt story. Will Rosalee return to Monroe? Will Nick’s mother send another e-mail that leaves Nick bewildered?

-The Vienna scenes were good. Adalind will give birth next episode or the episode after or maybe the writers forget about her until May. Alexis Denisof returned as Vicktor. Much of the scene was concentrated on Vicktor’s anger towards the Resistance. I don’t care about the material, but Denisof was really good as the enraged Prince.

-Rob Bailey directed.

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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.