Friday, April 11, 2014

Grimm "The Law of Sacrifice" Review

David Greenwalt ran ANGEL during season three’s baby Connor arc. The baby Connor arc hit a tragic end after a string of episodes that focused on adorable baby Connor. Angel worked extra cases to provide for him. Cordelia and Angel snuggled with him, creating an idyllic family tableau. Lorne babysat with him and performed a puppet show for him with characters from the Rat-Pack. Indeed, it was an adorable stretch of episodes in an otherwise terribly sad arc. Grimm, also co-run and co-created by David Greenwalt (with Jim Kouf), had limited options with a baby character: have it kidnapped or have it saved from the dangerous life she was born into. “The Law of Sacrifice” combined two ANGEL episodes: “Provider” and “Sleep Tight.” “The Law of Sacrifice” lacks the crippling sadness of “Sleep Tight,” but it hits a rather striking note near the end.

“The Law of Sacrifice” continues last week’s adventures with Nick meeting Renard and Adalind in the hotel room. Two Verrat men die before the trio leave the hotel for the refuge of Monroe’s home. The major conflict between Nick and his boss and his boss’ lady is the fate of the child. Viktor flies from Vienna to Portland in pursuit of the baby. An FBI agent is in the employ of the Verrat, allowing Viktor to access places he can’t physically access, to gather information he otherwise could not because of geography. The addition of the FBI agent serves to make Prince Viktor more threatening, though Denisof’s performance helps the character more menacing than the addition of C. Thomas Howell does. The goal for every character is the baby: the baby’s protection or possession of the baby or the baby’s safety, which means taking her far from her parents.

The singular goal shared by the characters unites them in action. Adalind’s shuffled to Monroe’s house where she receives the nurturing comfort of Rosalee. Nick and Hank concoct a plan with Renard. Renard deals with Viktor. Viktor makes menacing threats to Renard. Kelly wanders around in the shadows of Portland. She neutralizes the FBI agent problem. She sneaks through backdoors. Of all the characters in Grimm, even more than Adalind, she has a soothing effect on the baby. In one scene the baby cries and cries, and Adalind cannot calm her down. The baby’s cries unleash her powers. Monroe’s clocks swing wildly around in circles. Kelly walks into the room. The baby looks over. The clocks stop. She settles.

The goal of the writers is to separate Adalind from the baby long enough for the other characters to execute the plan to whisk the baby away to safety, thus sparing everyone’s lives from the wrath of Prince Viktor. Renard initially wants to keep the baby in his and Adalind’s care, but realizes he cannot after a conversation with Prince Viktor. The plan involves using Nick’s mother’s murder to distract Adalind while Renard takes Diana away. The scene before Adalind leaves her baby is reminiscent of Angel’s last scene with baby Connor before Wesley takes him and hands him over to Holtz—for the baby’s protection. Adalind’s goodbye to her baby is touched with the trope of the ‘name the baby right before the character realizes he/she won’t see the baby again’ Claire Coffee’s excellent after Adalind learns she’s been tricked by Renard, Kelly, and Nick. She frantically runs outside the police station, looks around for signs of the baby—now in the hands of Viktor—and then woges and wails like an animal in the wild that’s lost its baby. Her wailing cry breaks the windows of every parked car on the street.

Meanwhile, the gang took the baby from Viktor’s hands moments before Viktor and his men boarded a private jet bound for Vienna. Once the baby is safe, Nick reminds Renard that the best thing for the baby is letting go of her for a number of years. Renard does. Baby Dianna leaves Portland with Kelly, while the others will wait for Adalind to unleash total hell and carnage on those who deceived her and took her precious baby girl from her, her baby girl she carried and protected through Vienna, from the city to the forests on the outskirts. Grimm needs Adalin as the villain, though—she’s visceral and threatening when scorned and betrayed (except for that extremely slow storyline involving her and Eric last season and early this season).

“The Law of Sacrifice” definitely concludes the baby storyline with finality. It shows off the best qualities of characters: compassion, mercy, grace, comfort, etc., even with all of them reduced for the sake of removing the baby from the narrative. Adalind’s still not in control of her life, but this arc humanized the character and makes whatever she does next more sensible.

Other Thoughts:

-Michael Duggan wrote the script. Terrence O’Hara 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.