Friday, December 5, 2014

Grimm "The Grimm Who Stole Christmas" Review

The Grimm did not steal Christmas. The Grimm saved Christmas. Well, no, he didn’t save Christmas. The Grimm helped relax the Christmas season in a slightly less rambunctious and less Gremlins-like holiday season through fruitcake, which King Augustus used in the 1700s to quell wesen children during the mania of puberty. The name of the children is hard to pronounce, impossible to spell without looking at it, and Nick and Monroe even exchange several lines about the difficulty of the name, its pronunciation. In fact, there are a few winky lines about the difficulty of the German Wesen names. A quasi-metafictional burst, seconds long, hits Monroe when he’s asked for the meaning of a Latin name, which he knows for no reason though the reason is that the writers need to communicate the puberty line, and it’s sort of a nod to the needs of the episode, to impart information, and I’m digressing. The Grimm doesn’t steal Christmas.

Grimm’s very enjoyable when the central plot involves Nick, Hank, and everyone else whom the audience feels invested in, likes, and enjoys watching. Too many times procedural television shows develop stories around and for a character, or characters, the audience will never follow again. Too many times Grimm does that. Nick and Hank seem reduced to more device than character. Other plots are more fragmented than stories. Adalind realizes her heel broke in a series of scenes—three or four, or, Wu detects a loose bulb in his home that also resembles a nightmarish beast from his past that only Nick knows about, that only Nick can explain; or Viktor maybe realizes he wants rare steak instead of medium rare, which takes two or three scenes.

“The Grimm Who Stole Christmas” has focus, concentration, directness, and involves Nick, Hank, Trubel, Juliette, Monroe, Rosalee, Joshua, and even Bud. Grimm can juggle multiple stories, engage the audience with those stories, without sacrificing the case-of-the-week to disposable characters in a disposable case that barely involves anyone the show follows weekly, but the writers choose to tell the procedurals with very little else happening. Part of that may be future syndication deals. Channels will want to run episodes audiences can follow without knowing the ongoing story. “The Grimm Who Stole Christmas” is most entertaining. It begins with Monroe’s honeymoon proposal with them surrounded by toy trains, and it ends with a possible pregnancy.

The pregnancy doesn’t involve the newly married Rosalee and Monroe. It involves Juliette, anxiety about her Adalind appearance during her magical curing sex with Nick, and the pregnancy stick. Is she or isn’t she? Does it matter? Well, that’s a theoretical tunnel one needn’t grab a shovel for right now. One needn’t dig to explore what matters and what doesn’t in storytelling. In between the honeymoon scene and the end of the pregnancy is a mystery about rambunctious children enduring a crazy puberty period for twelve days. They wreck Christmas trees, attack homeowners, and smell like a high school boys’ locker room. The story allows for fun character interaction, fun wesen history, and Wu’s continued approach to the truth about Portland and his coworkers.

Meanwhile, Trubel and Joshua sleuth for clues about the group posing a threat to Rosalee and Monroe. Their storyline allows for the departure of Trubel and Josh. Trubel’s exit happens abruptly, yes, but two Grimms in Portland seemed unnecessary. Josh wanted to return home. Trubel wanted to protect him. Also, she wanted to become distant from Chavez. One knew Trubel would disappear into the world offscreen when Nick offered her the opportunity to show Josh the trailer without supervision.

“The Grimm Who Stole Christmas” had the structure and focus of the last episode before a hiatus, but Grimm returns with a new episode next week. Indeed, a mythic monster arrives in Portland. I thought tonight’s episode was the best this season--un, enjoyable, endearing, poignant, and silly.

Other Thoughts:

-The train scenes were amazing. Rosalee’s commitment to the trains’ protections would cause any man’s heart to swoon. Monroe’s dedication to gluing Santa’s head onto his body delighted me. Silas Weir Mitchell’s intense eyes in that scene deserve an Emmy. Okay, maybe not an Emmy, but maybe free fruitcake.

-Dan E. Fesman wrote the episode. John Gray 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.