Saturday, November 8, 2014

Grimm "Last Fight" Review

“Last Fight” marks the second fight related episode in Grimm. The first fight episode of Grimm I do not remember well. I compared it to ANGEL’s “The Ring.” The B story, i.e. the case-of-the-week, seemed tangential to the larger story, the A story, involving the mystery of Nick’s post-Adalind post-Grimm life. The writers will ignore the case-of-the-week story until the very end and will keep Nick and Hank apart from the tangential case-of-the-week story where then it’ll quickly wrap before the end of the episode; however, “Last Fight” did not keep the stories separate. It all came together, better than usual actually, for a stand-alone Grimm story. By that, I mean the A and the B story. (And the C story, too. Cohesion.)

Trubel kills another wesen, which creates more problems for Nick, and which will raise the eyebrow of Wu a bit higher. Trubel’s already a known grimm among FBI circles, and she hasn’t acted with the caution and discretion of Nick. Trubel couldn’t follow Nick’s ways. Nick slowly figured out the balance between the underground fight against the wesens and the aboveground fight against the criminals. Act with care, caution, and discretion. Do not antagonize. Play the hero, not the villain. Indeed, Nick’s the noble hero-he bridges the worlds, creates and then fosters cohesion and harmony. Trubel acts rashly, overeager to help, and that ends in wesens with severed heads or wesens with broken necks. At the end of “Last Fight” Nick decides to cover for Trubel or risk her exposure or incarceration or anything.

Wu wants to talk to Nick. Nick tells him to wait. The Wu problem isn’t different from the Hank problem in season one and part of season two. Wu knows something isn’t right. A small difference between him and Hank is awareness. Knowledge is awareness. Wu knows and is aware of Trubel’s living situation, her various suspicious involvements in crimes, and needs only to confirm his suspicions with his colleague and friend. Wu’s no rash character, prone to destroying his credibility because he suspects something or someone of some act, vulnerable to believing a nightmare over what one can confirm or deny for him. Nick continues to delay their talk. So many delays happen between characters that stretch out revelations and surprises. Wu will learn the truth about certain things, but the viewer may not care. It’s obvious what he’ll hear and what’ll happen. Get it over with-the interesting element is Trubel and how she’ll work into Wu’s new understanding of things.

The case-of-the-week begins roughly, with rote characters, tired tropes, and complete lack of originality. The boxing promoter’s corrupt, morally bankrupt, in pursuit of the dollar more than a modicum of human decency. He bullies the talent by hiring former, damaged boxers to beat his wesen boxing hope into a murderous rage, leading to bouts won within forty seconds of the bell ring. Clay, the boxing hope, the one Stan and Abe want to lead them to a payday in Vegas, doesn’t like boxing, and doesn’t know the nicknames of famous boxers. Trubel learns about why he boxes, which is for his mother. The mother seems a doting, caring, woman, who wants for Clay happiness. She speaks of his father in poor terms: absentee, selfish, a vulture, waiting only for Clay to hit a payday to return to his fatherly duties. The story engaged me once Trubel joined the gym and had the only meaningful conversation with Clay in “Last Fight.” That’s a difficult piece of writing. The writers had one scene to connect Clay with Trubel, with human decency removed from Stan, and the other fighters damaged and used by Stan, and to show he wants more than boxing and violence in his life.

The twist to the story is the reveal of the doting, caring, and benevolent mother as the murderer of the damaged boxer, at the end of the first act, and of Abe, the kindly older man who lacks the cruelty of Stan. She wants the payday. She beats her son to fight for her. Clay stands up for himself and his values by breaking his wrist. The twist happens abruptly. It’s enough of a turn to carry the last the two acts of any procedural, but Grimm reveals the mother in the final act, in the final seven minutes. I think the abrupt twist works. Clay reacts in the moment. He does not simmer or stew over things. The sudden betrayal of his mother would bring him to a near-murderous decision. It’s visceral, irrational, but in character, on track with what happened to him in earlier scenes.

So, the B story turned out all right. The other Nick related stories that involve Rosalee and Monroe trying to find the recipe for the cure-all potion moves at a glacial pace. Adalind escaped from her cell with a crazy bearded man. I thought the story may’ve echoed a passage in Vladimir Nabokov’s Invitation To A Beheading, in which Cincinnatus C. is led through a tunnel in the walls only to end up at the warden’s dining table. It did not. Alas.

Other Thoughts:

-The voice of Adalind’s bearded friend sounded like Alexis Densiof; however, Viktor did not appear in “Last Fight.” The crazy bearded guy promised Adalind to lead her to her child. She thinks The Resistance has him. The Resistance does not. Nick’s seldom seen mother has her dear daughter. Regarding the close parallel to Invitation To A Beheading, Adalind and Cincinnatus are not parallel characters. Adalind’s nefarious, sometimes evil, vengeful, and murderous, while Cincinnatus is not. He belongs in a place with beings akin to him, giants that stand above totalitarian brutality, the obliteration of the individual, and the proliferation of generalities. Ah, Invitation To A Beheading-it’s a magical fairy tale that’ll affect your soul.

-Thomas Ian Griffith wrote the episode. Paul A. Kaufman 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.