Friday, May 9, 2014

Grimm "The Inheritance" Review

Grimm’s a rather remarkable show to follow. David Greenwalt and Jim Kouf, and a bunch of other writers, have created a rich, dense mythology that flitters in and out of the show’s orbit. How many other shows employ quick flashback cuts to remind viewers about the smallest bits of mythology that haven’t been part of the show in over a season? “The Inheritance” brings the keys back to the center of the show after almost a full season passed without mention of the keys. The existence of other grimms was known by Nick, and other Wesens, but other grimms never came to Portland. Too many grimms coming to Portland would be dismissed as plot contrivance. An episode full of grimms may turn into the Meseeks episode of Rick & Morty—completely nonsensical yet joyful madness and chaos. The structure of individual episodes of Grimm veers away from traditional structure, and the structure of Grimm’s seasons don’t follow the traditional three act structure of its season: the first nine, the middle seven, and the final six. The Grimm writers may possibly eat too much Fun Dip before breaking what they’d like to do with the show. Maybe, after the sugar high leaves their system, they realize the need for an endgame to the season.

All of that above is a longwinded way of writing that central knot of “The Inheritance” fits into the world of Grimm but still seems thrown together. Does that make sense? The Verrat have been a pain in the ass all season for Renard and Adalind. The Verrat continue to be a pain in the ass in pursuit of the map key. Rollick was introduced at the end of last week’s episode, in possession of the key. “The Inheritance” continues to follow Rollick and his son. His son, Josh, follows his dying father’s every wish and order. He wants to see Nick Burkhardt, “the Portland Grimm.” Josh doesn’t understand his father or the strange drawings or the importance of the trunk and the key. He understands even less after learning more. Rollick needs to pass down the key to the next grimm. It is Nick’s inheritance. It is a task worth Rollick’s life. The sickly old man, with eyes red and puffy from approaching death, a weak staggering sway when on his feet and struggling to stay up using his cane, rides from Pennsylvania to Portland for the sake of passing the key along to Nick. Rollick bypasses hospitals and doctors because of his sacred duty.

Rollick succeeds in his task, and then he dies. His last words are about the location of the key. The clue to its location is the object he asked for while he struggled to lift himself up in bed: his cane. The Verrat pursued father and son the way The Verrat pursues any persons or thing they want: violently and aggressively. Weston moved on from assassinating Renard to locating the trunk. Renard, meanwhile, let Nick and Hank know about the murder at the hotel involving a Verrat and Rollick and Josh, but he’s concerned about Adalind. A powerful man with nothing she wants drives Adalind’s actions, but her ignorance of his situation makes her vulnerable; and so she’ll do his bidding. Viktor’s suggestion that she take Nick’s powers moves along. Adalind’s specific behavior last week—with her mom’s house and the book—and this week—with Juliette’s belongings—is part of her plan to assume Juliette’s look. Through a concoction, she becomes Juliette’s double. Viktor implied such actions would help Adalind see her baby again. During the major fight scene of the episode, when the Verrat wants the trunk, Weston drives away from his buddies in the Verrat once Nick and Trubel show up kicking ass. The Verrat will abandon their followers, or will use people as a means to an end. Adalind’s still a pawn.
Nick doesn’t meet Rollock until the penultimate act of the episode (or third-to-last act). Nick and Hank don’t do before then. The tension Grimm creates for suspenseful act breaks includes the Verrat’s pursuit of the father and son duo, and Renard’s surveillance of Adalind. “The Inheritance” is again odd because the story has its urgent moments. Renard needs to find out Adalind’s plan, because the last time she messed with Juliette she messed with him, and that nearly destroyed his relationship with Nick. At the same time, much of the episode treads water. The finale is next week. So, Rosalee and Monroe freak out about wedding preparations. Adalind becomes Juliette in the final scene. Weston remains at large. Nick receives the key from Josh. Everyone stands around while he uses the key to see the rest of the map. There’s a little chatter about what’s hidden in Germany, about Germany as the center of this crazy world, which suggests a season 4 Germany setting.

The best part of the episode is Josh’s reaction to the map scene. Josh consistently wonders what the hell’s going on. And when he’s not wondering that, he’s wondering about his sanity. During the map scene, Josh wonders if he’s not crazy but everyone else is, i.e. the ones that know about the map. It’s a fun meta wink to the audience. Grimm’s an insane show that’s able to get away with its insanity by spacing the insane mythology out. Most weeks it’s a procedural with a genre bent, but it’s always insane. So maybe that explains Grimm’s odd structure along with it ignoring interesting bits of mythology for long stretches of episodes: the writers need to satisfy the network’s demand for an accessible, broad procedural format but they want to satisfy their creative muse that wants to tell a story about grimms, wesens, royals in Germany, and hidden treasures.

Other Thoughts:

-Dan E. Fesman wrote the episode. Eric Lanueville directed it. I probably mentioned it before, but Lanueville directed one of my favorite episodes of LOST, “The Brig.” I noticed the one-er during the teaser. I liked the wide-open space of the dinner scene before it cut to closer coverage shots. Lanueville shot Sam Anderson from a nifty angle, too. I’ll work on describing what I liked about directing, in case all 10 of you reading think I’m writing too vaguely about why I like Lanueville’s style.

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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.