Saturday, February 11, 2017

Grimm "Breakfast in Bed" Review

Jim Cornette spoke about the Seven Year Rule. The Seven Year Rule earned a spot on the TV Tropes website, so it’s not a secret unwritten rule. Cornette said that after seven years re-using gimmicks and storylines would be okay because of fanbase turnover. You can call it a fanbase or an ever-changing demographic, whatever it is it supports the re-use of stories throughout the years and decades. For someone, it’ll be new to them, while for nerdy nerds it’ll be a reminder of an earlier, better story,

“Breakfast in Bed”, an episode about a wesen that feeds off a person’s sleep in a hotel and by doing that drives the guests insane, was a pale imitation of ANGEL’s nearly twenty year old classic episode—“Are You Now or Have You Ever Been?”—about a demon that fed off people’s fears for sixty years. “Breakfast in Bed” isn’t a terrible episode; it is, at most, an average episode of the series, but it highlighted the show’s fatal flaw, which is substance. Grimm has no substance. It is what it is. The writers don’t pay attention to their self-created mythos and history, and their stand-alone episodes like “Breakfast in Bed” don’t aspire to more than show off a nasty new wesen and build to a stupid punchline. That’s fine. It’s what Grimm is.

Let me compare the substance-free “Breakfast in Bed” with the TV classic “Are You Now or Have You Ever Been?” We learned that the Alpe was a selfish capitalist who took advantage of the poor and the homeless. Her clumsiness kills her. Nick and Hank move on. The entirely pointless and superfluous Mr. Lync character exults in the Alpe’s death. ANGEL’s “Are You Now or Have You Ever Been?” reveals that a demon who feeds off fear haunts the hotel after the guests and Judy, the woman Angel had protected, hung him from the ceiling. Their fear and paranoia drove them to it. Their decision turns Angel against them. He tells the demon to take them all before he leaves the hotel. Angel returned to the hotel years later looking for new headquarters for Angel Investigations. Him and his team expel the demon. Afterwards, Angel finds Judy in her room. She’s older, near death, full of guilt for what she did to him, but he forgives her. “Are You Now or Have You Ever Been?” is about what fear and paranoia does to people, how it drives them to hurt and kill people, and, ultimately, it is about absolution and forgiveness whereas “Breakfast in Bed” isn’t anything close to that.

One of the things that prevented “Breakfast in Bed” or any of Grimms previous one-offs from meaning much is the passivity of Nick and Hank in investigations. The murder investigation acts as a distraction from solving the riddle of the cloth symbols. Grimm, only rarely, used a stand-alone episode investigation to explore more deeply what makes up Nick and Hank. Tim Minear’s Angel script explored so much about Angel at a specific point in his long life. Grimm’s writers tacked on Monroe’s personal history with an Alpe and his Aunt Ada halfway through. If I never watched ANGEL, I wouldn’t critique “Breakfast in Bed” so hard, but I did, and the difference between each episode highlights how much better Grimm could be if the writers tried—because, as I often repeat, David Greenwalt ran ANGEL when they made “Are You Now or Have You Ever Been?”

Meanwhile, Rosalee’s access to programs that easily solve ancient riddles and unearth obscure wesen is remarkable. Rosalee, Juliette, and Monroe researched the symbols throughout the episode and traced them to ancient civilizations, languages, and constellations, which interested me. Rosalee and Juliette learned that the symbols point to a future date, March 24th, but the history of the stick and from where its power stems remains unsolved for the group.

Finally, Renard’s inevitable redemption continued when he rejected Black Claw. Ghost Meisner, who did not hijack a living body last week, tipped Renard off about the Black Claw agents waiting in the parking garage to kill him. Why did Meisner help him? Renard chose the right side. The gang will likely need him for March 24.

This was the Alpe’s episode, though, and I can’t decry it too much when it finally gave the world murderous Alan Matthews, can I?

Other Thoughts:

-Did I hear right in the NBC teaser for next episode? Is it a New Year’s Eve episode? Is it Grimm’s take on the Buffy’s beloved “Tabula Rasa” and ANGEL’s beloved “Spin The Bottle”? I understand why Grimm made a New Year’s Eve episode. NBC executives informed production late that they pushed the show to mid-season. If the show premiered in late October, the seventh episode would have aired prior to the Christmas hiatus.

-Juliette’s so sad that she isn’t with Nick. Did you see that look when Rosalee mentioned that her last wish for Monroe came true? She’s in a pathetic space that I don’t think anyone cares that the writers will end the series with Nick and Juliette reunited. It’s not like anyone cares about Nick and Adalind together either.

-Kyle McVey wrote the episode. Julie Herlocker 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.