Dragons occupy kind of a weird space in the awesome/lame spectrum. In the context of, for example, video games dragons are utterly amazing. The draconic combats in Dragon Age were some of the most memorable parts of the game, and the other night I watched a friend bring down one of the great beasts in Skyrim. The combat was fantastic, and I actually applauded when he slew it mightily. I don’t play World of WarCraft, but I’ve heard that Deathwing is kind of a big deal, his very name striking fear and awe into the hearts of MMO addicts everywhere. In interactive fantasy media, the big aerial reptiles rule supremely.

Movies and TV are another matter. For some reason, most movies that feature dragons prominently are not exactly high-quality. Movies like Dragonheart, Dragon Wars, Reign of Fire, and Sucker Punch all manage to make the immense mythical beast boring. Dragons are fun to think about, fun to slay in video games, fun to fight and fun to interact with- but, as of late at least, they have not been too terribly fun to watch.

Last night, in an utterly non-good episode, Grimm gave us what are quite possibly the worst dragons ever. More after the jump.

The Girl With a Dragon Tattoo Who is Also A Dragon With a Tattoo.
  • The Girl With a Dragon Tattoo Who is Also A Dragon With a Tattoo.

There weren’t too many Portland locations in last night’s episode. There was a short scene in front of Dante’s, and a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shot of the “Keep Portland Weird” sign on SW 3rd. Several scenes happened on train tracks around what looked to be Washington Park. Other than that, nothing super-recognizable.

The episode’s plot was paper-thin- there were some dragons, and one of them immolated some dudes. Nick finds out that the killer is a homeless guy, and the only point of contact the cops have to him is the guy’s daughter, a fire dancer. Nick goes to one of her performances, sees she’s that she’s a dragon-lady with his Grimm-sense, and awkwardness ensues. The dragon-lady flashes him her boobs for no particular reason. Later, Nick goes after her but she jumps him, rips his shirt off, and otherwise attempts to do sex to our handsome but weirdly non-appealing protagonist. As a tattooed, fire dancing, gyrator who was instantly and inexplicably attracted to the bland male lead, she came across as a highly flammable manic pixie dream girl more than anything else.

(Allow me a parenthetical side-rant. It seemed like the show’s creators were trying to titillate the audience with a sexy dragon lady getting all forward and jumpy with Nick. It was obvious that we were supposed to find her desirable, and get at least most of a boner due to her provocations. Had the genders been reversed, though, seeing a dude flash his naughty parts and subsequently jump onto a lady detective wouldn’t have been sexy or arousing or playful- it would have just been sleazy and bad and squicky.)

Then, for some reason, the dragon girl kidnaps Juliette. (Goddammit, Juliette. WHY ARE YOU USELESS?) She brings Nick's wholly extraneous girlfriend to her hobo dad’s lair, and then Nick has to rescue his princess (such as she is) from Hobo Dragon and his fire-dancy daughter.

At the end of the episode, Nick stabs the homeless dragon guy, and then Manic Pixie Dragon Tattoo Sexy Firedancer Girl blows the lair up. She survives, though. The end.

I hated this episode. I hated that the beasties had no real motivation for capturing Juliette other than “dragons just do that.” I hated that the audience was supposed to be attracted to Dragon Girl just because. I hated that her dad, Hobo Dragon, was just kind of there at the beginning and end of the episode and didn’t do anything- we never got to know what he was about. Most of all, I hated that Grimm put out an utterly bad episode after a string of pretty good ones. I really do want Portland to have a kick-ass local fantasy show, but this was as terrible as anything from early in season one.

Grimm’s next episode is March 30th. C'mon, guys- you can do better than this.