Saturday, May 17, 2014

Grimm "Blond Ambition" Review

Grimm finales always build to the moment of crisis, which is not uncommon in season finales. TV shows want fans returning in the fall to find out what happened to their heroes left in peril. There are moments of crisis in “Blond Ambition.” There are life-and-death stakes like last year’s finale wherein Nick suffered zombie paralysis (was that it?) and attempted kidnapping. The effects of what happened to him—the dead eyes, clammy skin, and violent outbursts in bars; his role as murderer instead of detective tasked to find himself generated the early stories of the season. Here and there Nick experienced lingering effects, but it stopped. Wu had his nightmare experience. Trubel came to town. Monroe’s parents came to town. Adalind and the baby happened. These events aren’t listed chronologically. Adalind posed the greatest threat, but she only acted because Viktor suggested she return the favor of taking his powers from him. So, she does by seducing Nick.

Nick easily succumbs to Adalind’s seduction, because Adalind uses a spell and magic potions to become a mirror of Juliette. The mirror spell seems like a trope from bygone genre television; it had a certain nostalgia to it. Adalind tests her manipulated image with Renard, and with Juliette, to create confusion and misunderstanding. It works. Renard calls Juliette about stopping what already started. Juliette calls Adalind, because Adalind called Juliette about Renard’s behavior, to tell Adalind about Renard’s behavior. Grimm sometimes indulges in unnecessary scenes wherein characters exchange information the viewer witnessed seconds earlier. The point, of course, is to show Adalind’s satisfied reaction to the confusion she created. Two smart characters were powerless to see that Juliette’s been mirrored, which makes Nick more vulnerable, though those scenes were unnecessary. The act breaks, too, lack oomph. Adalind becoming Juliette again ended the second act, which already happened in the final scene of last week’s episode and the teaser of “Blond Ambition.”

The finale takes a little bit to move towards the delightful chaos at episode’s end. The first half of the episode concerns the wedding and Adalind’s slow moves. Monroe receives final approval from his father about his bride. Rosalee’s sister ruins her dress, but Monroe’s parents love Rosalee and choose to buy her a wonderfully expensive dress. Everyone makes a reason for why Nick needs to wear sunglasses when the minister asks why the best man will the best man wear sunglasses during the entire wedding. Nick’s friends along with Monroe’s family, and Rosalee’s sister, take whatever one said and builds upon that to create a coherent, sensible reasons for the shades. It’s like campers around a campfire when a counselor suggests they tell a story, so little Jon Jon starts with a hookable line about a Smores monster making its bi-annual appearance at Camp No-No. The made up story about the shades lacks imagination, but the delight is in the fumbled attempts to make it okay.

The shades, of course, become superfluous at the wedding because of Shade. Jim Kouf and David Greenwalt devised a way to delay Nick’s realization about what he lost through Nick conveniently forgetting the shades and having to borrow prescription sunglasses from Monroe’s father. The prescription sunglasses blur Nick’s vision. When the wedding guests freak out because of Trubel’s surprise appearance, Nick thinks he can’t see the woged people because of the glasses. Shade solved his problem. The antidote to losing his Grimm powers crashes to floor because the wedding guests turned into a punk rock crowd and collapsed upon Trubel, causing her to drop the bottle, which Renard explained would help Nick from something ‘very bad.’

Renard takes several bullets to the chest, shot by Weston Steward, which begins the madcap end to Grimm’s third season. Wu comes to the scene and begins investigating the scene, which leads to him and his partner discussing the ‘weird stuff’ that happens in and around Nick’s life. Alone, and wandering the house, Wu finds a book containing an illustration of the Aswang, which terrorized and terrified him, inducing near-insanity in him, and reducing him to a patient in a psychiatric hospital. Wu’s discovery sets up an exciting storyline for next season.  “Blond Ambition” set up other potentially wonderful and engaging storylines for next season.

That’s all one can really ask for with Grimm, right?

Other Thoughts:

-Nick and Trubel talked about living normally, which Nick dismissed. Now he has the chance. Juliette thought about ending the relationship after Adalind duped him. His life doesn’t mesh with what she wants. I’d like for next season to focus more on Nick as a more public Grimm figuring out how to make both his lives work, which has happened on a smaller scale. I don’t know.

-Jim Kouf & David Greenwalt wrote the episode. Norberto Barba directed.


Ramón Velasco Alfonzo said...

What Wu saw was the picture of a Lausenschlange, not an Aswang. :) Great blog, I always read it in my free time!

Ramón Velasco Alfonzo said...
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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.