Saturday, December 13, 2014

Grimm "Chupacabra" Review

Network television does not foster ambiguity in characters, especially in the villains, whether it’s a macro villain or a micro villain (i.e. a villain of the week). Diego’s a great example of the quasi (or not so quasi) morality tales that mainstream pieces of pop-art have told more frequently in recent years. Bad guys are bad because they’re bad, and they’ll receive a terrible comeuppance for being bad. I watched the end of The Internship last weekend. The movie’s essentially Wedding Crashers in Silicon Valley. I thought indifferently about the movie until the morality play ending, in which the antagonist of the film is punished severely for his cold business stratagem. Current popular culture loves to extol its progressiveness in thought and consumption of art, but Hollywood, its writers, its producers, produce stories most popular in the 15th and 16th centuries.

Grimm’s villain of the week/sacrificial lamb, Diego, falls into the other trope of safe primetime acceptable family viewing television. The episode establishes him as a great person, a loving husband, a devoted doctor, who would risk missing his flight for the sake of the sick in the Dominican Republic. His colleague tells him, “We can’t do it all on one trip!” So, he’s a great person. A rare blood disease morphs him into the violent chupacabra. He brutally murders his neighbor and his neighbor’s dog, retains no memory of it like a werewolf, and accidentally spread the disease to his wife. He’s confused and selfless by the end, committed more to everyone but himself, and so he gives his wife the only dose of the cure. Diego dies an honorable, selfless death. The character still paid for his crimes with his life, but he saved a life-his wife’s life.

“Chupacabra” is better for what happens around the Chupacabra case. Wu becomes more assimilated into the world of Wesen and Grimms. The slow assimilation destroys his mental balance, but he’s closer to truth and contentment. The nightmares will stop. Hank and Nick do their part by explaining Trubel’s situation with the FBI agent. Wu doesn’t understand. He confuses what’s real and what’s not, which is potentially fertile thematic ground for the show if the world wasn’t rooted in its absolute existence. If network television branches out into more experimental television, which will never, ever happen, an exploration of “reality,” would shatter consciousness and perception. For Wu in Grimm’s established world his arc inevitably leads to acceptance and then contribution. It seems, in the New Year, the police department may finally become an issue for Nick. Finally.

The other case Nick and Hank work involves the pure Wesen death group that terrorized Rosalee and Monroe once. Rosalee’s terrorized again by a phone call and the hanging corpse of a fox (I think it’s a fox, or maybe a cat). The group kidnapped Monroe near the end of the episode, because the series won’t return until January 9, 2015. The story’s not great for a specific reason, which is an issue that the writers don’t care to fix, or don’t notice: marginalization. The serialized stuff happens in spurts. The creative energies every week go into the case-of-the-week. Renard discusses his child with a resistance leader. The Resistance wants to find the child. Viktor and Adalind plan to find the child. Neither group will come near the child until season six. The threat to Rosalee and Monroe happened in spurts. Burning wood in front of the house; a hanging, gutted animal, and in between Rosalee and Monroe seemed relatively unconcerned-relative the other stuff happening around them. The absence of the treat does not add to the dread and doom of the threat. I mean, one doesn’t feel dread because time has passed between threats. It’s more of a bullet point the writers want to return to. For the audience, it’s a forgotten point. If not that, then it’s a point without urgency.

Other Thoughts:

-Twists and turns happen in the last act. Juliette’s a hexenbiest. Monroe is forcibly taken from his home. Wu lost it at a bar. Come back in January to see what happens next.

No comments:

About The Foot

My photo
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.