Saturday, March 25, 2017

Grimm "Zerstörer Shrugged" Review

I’ve always found writing about the first part of a two part Grimm story difficult because the first part is all set up. The Big Bad wastes time killing nameless extras. The good guys spend time figuring out what’s going on, developing plans of attack and defense, and zeroing in on what the Big Bad really wants.

Two-parters at the end of a season or the end of a series often raise the stakes at the  end of the first part. Buffy stabbed Faith at the end of “Graduation Day, Part 1”. Holtz had Justine kill him to make it look like Angel, Connor’s father, did it in “Benediction”. The episode that comes to my mind, though, is “The Candidate” from LOST’s final season. No, “The Candidate” isn’t the penultimate episode, but “Zerstorer Shrugged” has in common with it a devastating ending, an ending that shows anything can and will happen at the end, and an ending that raises the stakes for “The End”.

“Zerstorer Shrugged” isn’t without challenges, particularly its role in the Grimm universe. The symbols pointed to a fatidic event weeks ago, which was the 24th of March. Rosalee, Eve, and Monroe consulted a number of books between this episode and last week’s episode. In each book they found new pieces that helped them solve the puzzle of Zerstorer, his rod, and the stick. Their scenes reminded me of Doc Jensen’s LOST recaps in which he found a text relevant to LOST and would then develop a fun, thought-provoking theory/interpretation of that week’s episode, which is essentially what Monroe engages in throughout “Zerstorer Shrugged”. While that type of investigation may provide its inquirer with the broad strokes of a grand plan, it cannot anticipate the details, i.e. who will die and who won’t.

All the books, the research, the symbols, and the history works to make this ending the natural, fatidic ending for Grimm, and to make all Grimm’s disparate parts make sense. The effort is similar to “Inside Out” from ANGEL’s fourth season. “Inside Out” tried telling the audience how everything that happened in the show happened to bring about Jasmine. It’s fun for the audience and the writers to think that it all mattered, but it’s not necessary.

The research of Monroe, Rosalee, and Eve uncovered a vital piece of information when they deduced that the stick belongs to the rod. The Crusaders buried it precisely to keep Zerstorer, aka The Fallen Angel, aka The Devil, from finding it for his rod. Zerstorer’s rod, see, was assembled from pieces scattered across the world. As long as he doesn’t get the last piece, which is the stick, the gang has a chance. And, obviously, if they break his rod, they’ll break him.

So, “Zerstorer Shrugged” hums along as the gang researches more. Adalind and Renard hid with Diana and Kelly in the cabin in the woods where Nick saved a little girl years ago (another instance of Greenwalt and Kouf trying to circle around to beginning at the end. How Viconian.). Nick and Eve couldn’t beat Zerstorer. Diana, because she’s all plot device, without explanation, opened the portal, which Zerstorer used to crossover. Zerstorer became a handsome muscular blonde man on planet Earth, of course, killed some folk, and then he killed Hank and Wu. Son of a gun, Kouf and Greenwalt. The deaths worked spectacularly well, I thought. Losing Wu and Hank hurts, and it shows that no one else is safe in the series finale. I totally didn’t expect to lose both characters in the span of several seconds. Last week’s episode suggested that Eve would die. Characters don’t have honest conversations with each other unless something terrible will happen afterwards. As the returning Trubel followed Zerstorer, I thought that, “Oh, she’s back to die,” but then Hank and Wu died.

Pretty nifty, Grimm.

Other Thoughts:

-I loved Wu and Hank, but they were the most disposable characters. Still, I expected a Buffy ending with our heroes standing together after defeating an ultimate, first evil. Neither character had much of a personal arc throughout the series. Hank was always Nick’s partner for the murder investigations. Hank didn’t learn about Nick or wesen for nearly two years. Maybe it was only a season. Wu didn’t find out for three seasons, was it? Wu had some of the show’s best sub-arcs, though. When the writers found something for Hank besides murder investigations, it was a doomed love affair. Russell Hornsby and Reggie Lee were great. Maybe we’ll see them again in the finale. Many showrunners cannot resist reuniting characters in some kind of afterlife these days. Thanks a lot, Alan Ball.

-You can't a Big Bad named the Destroyer and not have him destroy characters we love.

-Nick, Renard, and Adalind strolled down Nostalgia Lane and remembered the time when Adalind worked for the Royals. She used to be a major badass.

-Trubel told Nick that every Black Claw cell was destroyed. That’s the Grimm I know: ending a major storyline off-screen. Black Claw used to be portrayed as the ultimate challenge for Nick and his friends. Obviously, season six being the last changed things. I have no idea, of course. I’m a lowly blogger.

-Brenna Kouf wrote the episode. Jim Kouf and David Greenwalt got the story credit. Aaron Lipstadt, a veteran Grimm director, directed the episode.

-Be here next week for “The End”!

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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.