Some months ago, I came home to find a yellow flap of paper attached to the door outside my apartment. “Grimm will be filming in your area!” said the paper, and proceeded to announce that a portion of Mississippi would be blocked off by the show’s crew for a day. For a while, the crew’s port-o-potties were directly outside my apartment building, and I’d been waiting with the most tepid of anticipation to see the episode that apparently was important enough to shut down traffic on my street.
A good hunk of last night’s episode took place in the Rebuilding Center (referred to as “Marty’s Junk Shop” in the show), which is a block away from where I live. As boilerplate as some of it was, I have to admit that it was a lot of fun watching an hour of network television that took place in a highly recognizable business a mere block away from where I live. The St. Johns Bridge also featured prominently, for the second time in the series (there was also quite a lot of it in episode five). I can’t really blame the show’s creators for using it twice in quick succession. It’s huge, it’s beautiful, and it’s highly distinctive. I would not begrudge them continued shots of that given piece of engineering.
After the jump: Murder mice! Snake men! Ambushes! Mediocrity!
Last night’s episode had three plot threads, and, rather frustratingly, the A story was the weakest one. Nick and Hank were called to investigate a murder, and they found out that the dead guy was a total douchebag whom lots of people hated. This is a really tired trope in mysteries- it allows the viewer to feel unsad about the deceased, and immediately allows for multiple suspects. The cops follow up, and start looking into who might have offed the dude.
Was it his girlfriend whom he abused? Was it the asshole lawyer neighbor guy who, for some reason, is a snake man? Was it the small, nebbish mousy fellow who also is an actual mouse creature and whom you would never suspect, not in a million years, because he’s such a sad-sack loser? Who do you think it was?
If you guessed “the mouse guy whom no one would ever suspect,” congratulations, you’re not a fucking idiot. Through the course of the episode, Murder Mouse offs two other people- he kills an asshole mechanic with a tire iron, and the douchebag lawyer snake man. Because that's what happens when losers get uppity- murder. Squishy, nasty, tire-iron based murder.
One of the elements of the episode that didn’t work at all Murder Mouse seeing his dead father’s face on everyone, implying that his killing spree was some combination of gaining independence and working out his daddy issues. It was just clunky, though. Grimm trying to portray the world as seen by an unhinged psycho was painful, awkward, and way above the show's pay grade.
The B story finally gave Nick’s girlfriend Juliet something to do. It wasn’t much, but up to this point Juliet has been about as interesting as a bag of plastic white spoons. She’s been a “character” only insofar as she’s contributed to Nick’s storyline, such as it is. It’s also frustrating that the only female member of the regular cast is also the most utterly boring and underused. With the exception of Nick’s aunt in the first two episodes, Grimm has been pretty much a gigantic sausage fest. Last night, Juliet finally, kinda-sorta got to do something. She noticed that people in a truck were watching her house. For those paying attention (and I'm guessing that that audience entirely consists of me, myself, and I) the truck was the same one from episode six, where a bunch of nervous beasties spied on Nick. Nick ran the plates. Juliet investigated a little, and found a house where people were afraid of her, probably because they were beasties and they thought she was a Grimm. Then she didn’t do anything, and resumed her usual state of being an utterly uninteresting non-character, devoid of any substance, life, or dimension.
Story C was far and away the most entertaining because it had Monroe in it. Monroe got called out to what he thought was a clock repair job, and but turned out to be an ambush. A bunch of fairy tale beasties beat the snot out of him, presumably for collaborating with a Grimm. Monroe, though, called up Nick and said that he’s determined to collaborate and fight baddies, despite any ass-kickings that they might endure. Monroe is no longer a reluctant sidekick, and there were implications of a larger world of pissed-off fantasy creatures out there. Character development and world building! Why did that have to take a backseat to a shitty main plot. You tease, Grimm. You tease.
Anyway, congrats to the lovely and amazing Rebuilding Center for their televisionary fame! That place is great. The next episode of Grimm is slated for February third. As always, I shall watch it so you don’t have to.