Saturday, February 6, 2016

Grimm "A Reptile Dysfunction" Review

Grimm’s sweet spot is maintaining balance between the procedural and the serial. “A Reptile Dysfunction” showed why that balance works. It furthered the Black Claws intrigue, and it told a one-off monster story that let the characters have a bit of fun. Serialization tends to become intense the deeper the season gets. The narrative focuses acutely on the serial/mythology. At that point the season loses its fun. Grimm’s far off from the intense batch of episodes to come. The writers can parse out plot information while introducing fun cases such as the Diamond Lake Monster.

Perhaps “fun” should be swapped with “light.” It’s not quite a light story. The Diamond Lake Monster story is bloody: two dead bodies, attempted fratricide, followed by two more dead bodies. Genre fans know what this humble blogger means by light. Nick and Hank don’t bother with trying to tie the murders to someone because they can’t arrest a wesen that killed when woged. Instead they wait, I guess, for fate to work it out for them.

The brothers running the Diamond Lake store hired a wesen whose name I cannot remember—the aforementioned Diamond Lake Monster—to swim in the water. They need to drum up business. The plan fails because the monster decided to kill the man shooting at him. The victim and his girlfriend thought a sea creature wanted to kill him. Business boomed after the death. The brothers charged $15 for souvenirs. Their wesen friend demanded more money after he killed a second time. Wayne and Oliver possessed differing moral philosophies. Wayne reasoned the bodies were worth the business after their father struggled and toiled to make it work. Wayne did not like earning blood money. Trubel got involved. She made a deal with the brothers to kill the Diamond Lake Monster. Wayne then betrayed his brother by making a separate deal with Lou (is it Lou?) to kill Oliver. Wayne’s plan went awry. Nick and Hank burst in, for it was a sting operation. (Actually, it becomes an unintended sting operation thanks to Wayne’s idiocy).

Trubel snapped Lou’s neck. Wayne ran when he saw Nick was a grimm. Police officers in police boats shot Wayne as he swam away in the lake. The next morning, Nick and Hank explained what happened to the county sheriff. The Sheriff wondered why someone with a snapped neck was found in the lake. Nick replied, “Maybe the Diamond Lake Monster does exist!” Hank told Nick that people would believe a monster did it far more easily than what happened. Nick followed with a disparaging remark about “reality.”

“A Reptile Dysfunction” started with fallout from the assassination event at the end of the last episode. Nick covered up what happened with a rote story about gangs and murders. Meisner revealed more about the federal government operation to stop Black Claw by showing him the base, taking him to his mother’s grave, and giving Nick an opportunity to familiarize himself with Eve more. Eve reminded Nick that she’s not Juliette. Later, she wondered why Meisner did not give her a different face; however, she commented about regretting that Nick didn’t marry Juliette. Friends and well-wishers, Eve is a covert way to rehabilitate Juliette without overtly copping out of her actions last season.

Black Claws want to take over the world, which connects with the Hitler-as-wesen reveal early in the series. The Hitler reveal was quality nonsense. Grimm continued its bold and nonsense writing with another reveal about the turmoil currently gripping the world, especially throughout the Middle East: it’s not what everyone thinks; it’s wesen rising up to take over the world. I like that Grimm goes for it, however big the story, without compromise. Nick didn’t decide whether he’d work with the government. Rosalee suggested they do it together or don’t do it at all. Obviously, they’re going to work with Meisner and the government to stop Black Claw.

“A Reptile Dysfunction” was spotted with clichéd writing. Meisner left Nick at his mother’s grave. Nick knelt over it, touching the earth where his Mom rested. Meisner walked back to the base. Trubel asked, “Is he okay?” Meisner paused and said, “He will be.” The Diamond Lake story was littered with cliché and tropey plotting, as well. That’s okay, though. It shaped up as a pretty good episode of Grimm.

Other Thoughts:

-Rosalee received a second letter from her past. Monroe suggested finding out what the guy wanted. I’d guess he wants Rosalee. He made it clear he felt they had a relationship in their past. Rosalee doesn’t want to re-visit her past. Of course, she will. She expected him, so did Monroe, in the spice shop, but it was Trubel. Will the guy send a third letter after not receiving a response? Rosalee tore the second letter into pieces. Wouldn’t it be remarkable if Grimm didn’t bother casting anyone and had Rosalee re-live her past only through unwanted letter correspondences? It won’t happen. He mentioned he’ll be in Portland.

-Oregon’s beautiful. I adored the lake scenes. The Pacific Northwest is a place of magic.

-The writers poked fun at the kind of people that visit somewhere pretty and spend all of it taking pictures to show they went to the place instead of experiencing the place.

-Renard slept with a new character, a woman with red hair that coached him through an endorsement for the Portland mayoral candidate. Once again, Renard’s adrift in the narrative. I assume this mayor works for Black Claw.

-Wu returned long enough to hear the latest about Eve and Black Claw. After the exposition, he disappeared from the episode. Wu could’ve provided good quips for the lake monster case.

-The episode title amuses me. It's good nonsense. David Greenwalt wrote and directed Buffy's "Reptile Boy" during season two. 

-Michael Golamco wrote the episde. David Straiton 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.