Saturday, February 13, 2016

Grimm "Star-Crossed" Review

Black Claws strive to restore what is old and lost. “Star Crossed” explored the idea of history and ritual. The drought served as a multi-symbol, literal and figurative. It provided a realistic backdrop for the series of ritualistic murders in the rain-starved West Coast recently ravaged by wildfires. Farmers struggle to provide crops. Metaphorically, the drought represents the wesen that feel dried out and forgotten. Grimm has used Black Claws primarily as a reflection of terrorism around the world. “Star Crossed” mixed reflections of terrorism with reflections of a large swath of angry Americans fed up with politicians, how the country’s been run, etc. The writing’s ambitious, complex, and layered. Mark Holloway, the person-of-interest in the episode, told his wayward son, who’s drawn to Black Claw by their message of taking back what is theirs, reminds him that he’s following those that believe what is old is true though it’s nothing but superstition. His son, Jonathan, chose Black Claw over his father. His father represents their heritage as it is: honest, hard-working, and free of ritualistic sacrifice. Black Claw preached the old heritage of ritualistic sacrifice.

I don’t know whether Grimm’s insane for dressing up its supernatural narrative as a parallel to the contemporary ideological battle happening all over the world about Islam, to Islamaphobia, to right-wing extremist politics, or whether I’m reading into it too much. Black Claws is a fictional amalgamation of the Islamic State, Al-Nusra, and Boko Haram—these terrorist groups preaching an old extremist kind of Islam. Jonathan’s a proxy for the thousands of young men joining ISIL every month: he’s young, uneducated, vulnerable to the ideas spoken by a powerful orator whose power the powerlessness and spread how it was to the world—to displace people rather than being displaced. Jonathan didn’t perform the ritualistic murders as I predicted, but how long until he becomes an active part of the group instead of a passive listener?

“Star Crossed” is full of old, forgotten things. The killer left symbols on the back of the crosses he used, marks which symbolized water, rain, and the fertile earth. Hank and Nick traced the runes to pre-Christ history. Rosalee helped them translate Irish, an endangered language because of British colonizers, to which Monroe expressed his sincere admiration in discovering another amazing part of his wife. Adalind, too, knows about rituals and uses her knowledge to help Nick. Nick, like Monroe, is swept away by a completely new aspect of a person he thought he knew. Science has rooted out mystical rituals as a way to bring forth fruit into the world; however, the rain falls after Nick and Hank kill the ritualistic serial killer (whose name I already forgot!). Nick told Hank not to think too much into the rain fall. The viewer’s left with the image of rain fall, of the possibility that it worked, and, actually, if the rain fall’s a mere coincidence, Black Claw can use the rain fall as proof the old way achieved what the new way could not. They win, either way.

Black Claw won’t win, of course. Hadrian’s Wall will. Nick and the gang still haven’t joined. All involved want to know more about the group, why they should trust them, and why they should help them They missed seeing Hadrian’s Wall’s interrogation methods. Meisner gives the suspect 7 seconds to talk. Trubel immediately says it won’t work. Eve comes in to take away the suspect’s mouth, eyes, and ears. They return later to hear the suspect speak. Their suspect in “Star Crossed” gave them little. They couldn’t get a name for the dangerous Black Claw member currently in Portland.

Monroe went undercover in the barn where Duncan Jones—or Douglas Jones?—to learn more about the Black Claw messaging architecture. He reported to Nick that the orator whipped wesen into a fervor. Monroe, Rosalee, Nick, Hank, Wu, and Renard can’t beat Black Claw alone. They’ll need Hadrian’s Wall. What’ll happen to unite the two may be the case of the Fuilcre, or something else. Maybe Lucien takes the last Burger King Chicken Fries of the night from Nick and Hank during a late night stop for a snack.

So, Hadrian’s Wall made it clear Black Claw aims to imitate Adolf Hitler, but Grimm’s going bigger by mixing in other contemporary issues. The writers may’ve dropped the clear parallels in future episodes. It may act as a way to communicate to the viewer the implications of the wesen takeover. Of course, I sort of doubt it, considering Meisner and Trubel told Nick that all the turmoil in the world stems from Black Claw. It may be a wonderful disaster, an incoherent mess, a coherent disappointment, or it may work really well. Greenwalt and Kouf meant it when they promised an epic story.

Other Thoughts:

-Rosalee’s friend from the past called. Monroe yelled at him. He hung up. I wonder if he’s the mystery man Hadrian’s Wall wants.

-Renard continued to sleep with the campaign manager. She complimented his posture. Her name is Rachel Wood.

-Sean Calder wrote the episode. Carlos Avila directed it.

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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.