Saturday, April 18, 2015

Grimm "Mishipeshu" Review

I don’t like episodes that begin in media res, especially in Grimm, because the story won’t reach the ‘hook’ of the in media res until the last act of the episode. Some TV shows would catch the story up to the ‘hook’ point halfway in the episode. I dig non-linear storytelling, but in media res differs from one’s preferred non-linear storytelling fare. “Mishishepu” opened with Hank-with demon face-attack Nick. The immediate transition to “Now” happened. The case hadn’t come to Nick and Hank. Oh, how would that happen?

A Native American myth came to ‘reality’ in Portland-mishipeshu, the great lynx, and an underworld water being. The Grimm writers transmogrified an already transmogrified and mythic creature to fit within the specific crime/wesen format of the procedural. It’s more of a vengeance demon than underword water being. It drinks from the water after brutally murdering men. A late teenager, on a vision quest of sorts, was possessed by Mishipeshu and murdered two of the men responsible for his father’s death. A third died after Hank’s love-interest police officer friend, possessed by Mishipeshu, The possession of Hank lasted less than one full act. He attacked Nick. A tertiary character necessary for exposition (for without him the episode would not have progressed) blew magic red dust into Hank’s face, which relieved him of the possession.

Grimm tells morality tales more oft than not. The turn in the last act is Hank’s disgruntled manner after he experienced the teenager’s childhood memories, saw the men kill his father, and then watching the third murderer walk into his face. The teenager won’t face charges due to the possession of an ancient and mythic creature. Nick can’t bring the third guy in court because the trial may link the teen to the other two murders. Wu informed Renard about the wesen case. Renard didn’t care about it, because he needed to return a wallet he randomly stole from a man he suspected worked with Prince Kenneth. I’d like for Grimm to have Nick choose between the law and the grimm. Past episodes briefly touched on the conflict. I don’t expect to see it become a significant conflict for Nick in season five.

Nick and Juliette continue to conflict. Juliette intentionally assaults a bar patron because she wants to know will Nick free her from the prison. Nick won’t free her from prison. Juliette, naturally, threatened to harm him. She raised the problem of a Grimm and hexenbiest living together, sharing a bed, and murdering each other in his or her sleep. Juliette’s mad and vengeful because Henrietta told her she cannot cure the hexenbiest thing. She has become her enemy. She blamed her friends for bringing her into the world. Rosalee and Monroe worked in two scenes to help Juliette, assisted by Renard. Nick won’t free her to protect her from acting brashly and rashly, and because of the potential she’ll hurt him. Juliette’s at least dynamic as the angry hexenbiest, which is a marked improvement from the wretched amnesia storyline from season two.

I felt disappointed, too, when I realized much of the episode would involve the case-of-the-week. It’s not an unusual for Grimm; in fact, it is the norm. The previews, I’ve learned, show every non-case-of-the-week scene. That’s an exaggeration. The serialized stories receive maybe 8-10 minutes of the 41-minute run-time. A non-passive aggressive conversation between Nick and Juliette would be a start.

Other Thoughts:

-I joked that Renard wouldn’t learn the identity the man with the benjamins until 2020.

-Janelle Farris returned and killed folk during possession. I doubt that will have a follow-up. It’s the story of dark whimsy Grimm likes for a conclusion.

-Alan DiFiore wrote the episode. Omar Madha directed.

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About The Foot

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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.