Saturday, January 17, 2015

Grimm "Wesenrein" Review

Of the two major cliffhangers from the last episode in December, Grimm begins “Wesenrein” with a truth session for Wu. Nick and Hank take Wu to the trailer where Wu looks at the books, pages though the monsters, and wonders why he should believe he’s still not being told lies. Four minutes into the episode, Rosalee discovers the Wesenrein took Monroe. The Wesenrein plot has come and gone infrequently during the early part of season four. Rosalee and Monroe experienced threats, but didn’t become consumed with worried. Their reaction to the early threats, where it’s at first alarming but then that sense of alarm decreases as days pass and no one acts on the threat, contributed to quite a lack of urgency to the storyline. Now that it’s here with life-and-death stakes, it’s still flat, unengaging-it’s more of a way for the writers to bring Wu into the Wesen side of policing, it’s more of a way to continue showing the continual struggle for Nick between being a grimm, lawless, and being a cop, living by the law, but no way will Monroe suffer the death of Timmy or Tommy or Trevor or whatever the name of that tertiary character was.

No, the writers essentially showed their collective hand in the dream scene involving Rosalee and Juliette. Juliette, reeling from seeing she’s hexenbiest, loses it during a fight with Rosalee and rips her throat open. She stares down at dead Rosalee, horrified, her hand and arm covered in blood, for several beats. Suddenly, Rosalee wakes her up. It was only a dream. It would’ve been the most unexpected thing Grimm would ever do or ever have done and move the show in a very interesting direction; however, Juliette only dreamed it. It represented her fears and what she could do if her new nature can’t be controlled. No, Monroe won’t die. Nick and Hank will save him.

David Greenwalt, and even Jim Kouf, already told a story about a hate group that kills impure folk. It happened almost sixteen years ago in an ANGEL episode titled “Hero”-a group of Nazi-like demons round up half-demons in Los Angeles for obliteration. It’s a good episode with a great ending that changes the series. The Wesenrein, led by the poorly named Grandmaster, share similar beliefs with the Scourge. The execution of the episodes differs. Doyle makes it his personal mission to help demons like him. Nick’s motivated by friendship. It’s also personal, yes, but it’s also more drawn out. “Wesenrein” had maybe a nod to “Hero” when Monroe finds his cellmate’s burned body.

“Wesenrein” also sets up a lot and tries to build the audiences’ anxious sense of anticipation. Will Monroe die? Will he escape? Oh, he escaped; but, oh, the Wesenrein caught him again. Shaw, the only lead in the case, becomes a victim of the Grandmaster. The Shaw interrogation scene involves Nick turning pale zombie again, which hasn’t happened since season three. Renard then denies Shaw any sort of civil rights because of the Wesen nature of the crime. Nick, Hank, Renard, and Wu, work the case together. At Shaw’s home, they see the cop parked outside Monroe’s and Rosalee’s in a picture with the Wesenrein. Characterization doesn’t advance, though. Nick repeats he’s doing it for friendship. Hank helps Wu. Meanwhile, Rosalee hangs out, while Juliette internally freaks. Grimm establishes life-or-death stakes in its world, but sometimes the characters behave brazenly or the writing slows. That’s also a problem of stalling for a second episode. The tribunal drama, which will decide Monroe’s fate, happens in episode ten, and the police won’t question the treacherous cop until episode ten. Rosalee expresses concern about Monroe, but the worst he deals with is a punk kid who likes bad music and yelling awkward sounding hate-filled dialogue at him.

The episode ends as Monroe faces the chanting tribunal, with a look of alarm and dread. The tribunal uses a Nazi-like symbol and dress in the garb of the Ku Klux Klan. The sand in the hour glass is running low.

Other Thoughts:

-Angel dealt with a tribunal in the season two premiere “Judgment.” It was great.

- Juliette and Nick never shared space during the episode. Her surprise may wait for two more seasons, or she’ll tell him in episode eleven. Episode ten seems busy.

-One scene in Vienna this week. Viktor reminds Adalind of the essentials of the storyline. He wants to find her daughter and thinks Nick’s mother has her. He might not have said that. I accidentally tuned out the dialogue.

-Wu asked, did the grimms take the name from the Grimm brothers? Nick said, yeah, more or less. Yes, the series was once about fairy tales coming to life.

-Thomas Ian Griffith wrote the episode. Hanelle M. Culpepper 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.