Friday, March 11, 2016

Grimm "Into The Schwarzwald" Review

Grimm’s a show defined by its lethargic attention to its history. The Keys, for instance, have barely been a thing until they became a thing again this season. Depending on the message board members or the blogger, Grimm returning to The Keys is a stroke of brilliance that gave the current narrative urgency, that it’s representative of the wide scope of the series, and the many exciting ways of its mythology, or it’s maybe one or two of those things.

“Into The Schwarzwald” highlighted other parts of the series besides The Keys that were forgotten. Renard, after the death of Andrew Dixon, became the person Black Claw wanted to lead Portland into a brand new world. The writers originally planned to make Renard a villain in season one, but they loved Sasha Roiz, and Renard remained on the side of good. Since season one, Renard’s been mostly an insignificant part of the show aside from a cool arc here and there. Renard became the first of a few characters that continued in the narrative without a clear purpose. The producers will keep actors despite their character having little purpose—but, eventually, the writers will find an arc for a character. Enter Adalind, an extraneous character this season, who sat in a kitchen or showered or worried about Nick. Claire Coffee’s great, but Adalind’s been pointless for two seasons. The writers obviously wrote domesticated Adalind for a reason over the first dozen episodes of the season. Like Eve/Juliette, the audience needed to think what was was, but what was wasn’t. Adalind found peace and domesticity with Nick. She connected with Nick for the first time without deception before he left for The Black Forest. Nick expressed great ambivalence about how he felt for her when Monroe asked him how he felt, but he seemed willing to give it a shot. Adalind’s old hexenbiest powers returned, though, as he begun his return to Portland. The thing that he hated about her is the thing she can’t stop or suppress. It is her. The audience definitely doesn’t root for them. Their strong antipathy towards the two should dull whatever ‘making it work through the trials’ storytelling looms.

Tonight’s episode marked Grimm’s 100th episode. Returning to the roots of Renard and Adalind was designed. A show’s 100th episode is about the present story, sure, but it’s about weaving the past into it to show it all meant something. Rosalee’s past returned to terrorize her, which led to the women sharing their pasts together. Rosalee wanted to know if Adalind wished she could forget a period in her youth. Adalind said no, adding that she became a lawyer to free herself from a bad life with her mother. Becoming a lawyer didn’t lead Adalind to a desirable place, of course. Lucien and Rachel used Renard’s nature to make him part of their group. Renard never exactly fit into the group. Nick never entirely trusted him. When Lucien told him ‘You’re one of us’ and Renard doesn’t immediately kick ass it’s because of bad writing and because Renard hasn’t belonged. They tried to Macbeth him. Rachel showed him the poster for his mayoral run. Lucien assured Renard that he was meant to kill Marwan.

Black Claw is a more gripping story if Renard becomes an antagonist working against Nick. Nick didn’t share the revelations about The Keys to Renard. There’s tiny foreshadowing about a divide; however, Lucien’s far from a charismatic, convincing villain that the writers could dream the audience would believe he’d turn Renard with a derivative political poster and a Spike ‘You belong here, with us, in the dark’. The 100th episode needed dramatic fireworks. Renard and Adalind were the best fireworks the episode could, however limply.

The treasure hunt continued beneath the earth in the near-millenia old church. The priest and his goons looked for Nick and Monroe above ground, somehow missing the giant hole in the earth mere feet from their search party. Nick used creative thinking to discover where his ancestors hid the treasure. They couldn’t open the key because they lacked his blood (as well as the final act). The priest and his goons were plot devices, with a two-fold purpose: be obstacles to Monroe and Nick leaving The Black Forest, and to bite Monroe so that the treasure could cure him.

What’s the stick all about? It’s all about healing Monroe’s arm. For a second, I thought the plot would dictate a return to Germany for a magical antidote from the sacristan. Grimms slaughtered wesen for centuries. Does the stick represent an olive branch from Grimms to wesen? Will the stick forever alter the world of Grimms and wesen in ways Black Claw never dreamed? We’ll see.

Other Thoughts:

-Happy 100th episode to Grimm. The professional critics didn't think Grimm would make it to 13 episodes. Those fools of tooks.

-So, that’s it for Tony? I didn’t like the character. Hitting Rosalee is a mortal sin.

-Working around, I assume, budget constraints by having Nick and Monroe slash tires was nifty.

-I understood Hadrian Wall’s plan, but why didn’t they take Marwan and do what they did to other Black Claw members?

-Jim Kouf & David Greenwalt wrote the episode. Norberto Barba directed.


Justin said...

The stick that healed Monroe's arm could be a piece of wood that Jesus was crucified on

Justin said...

The stick that healed Monroe's arm could be a piece of wood that Jesus was crucified on

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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.