Sunday, April 26, 2015

GRIMM Finally Takes An "Iron" Out of the Fire

Article originally written for Seat42F.

As this season of GRIMM draws towards a close, the episodes are getting better, even as they fall far short of what the series once was. This week’s “Iron Hans” finds the detectives investigating a camp for teen Wesen and their fathers when bodies turn up nearby. At the same time, Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch) continues to be self-destructive, and Adalind’s (Claire Coffee) secret gets out.

I don’t know how Kenneth (Nico Evers-Swindell) knows that Adalind’s unborn child was fathered by Nick (David Giuntoli), not Viktor as she claims, but I’m glad he does. It’s a plot hole that doesn’t make a lot of sense, but it finally moves along an arc that has been dragging quite severely. Adalind remains a member of the main cast, but her story is told in very small pieces. This revelation should help kick it into gear and make her relevant again in a way she hasn’t been for awhile.

It’s interesting that the first thing Adalind does once this comes out is go tell Nick that the baby is his. Why does she do so and why does Kenneth allow it? What is their plan? For a better series, I would be engaged with trying to figure out motivation and twists. With GRIMM, I just worry these actions won’t be explained well enough. Still, the fact that she tells Nick keeps the pace moving and opens the door to all kinds of drama for our core cast.

I don’t think GRIMM would ever put Nick and Adalind together. There’s just too much hate there. But what would co-parenting look like? It certainly couldn’t be anything resembling normal, as the child of a Grimm and a Hexenbieste will have to be in constant danger. I don’t know what the baby will be like, but it’s unique enough in this strange world that people will want it. If some sort of co-parenting arrangement is worked out, this not only keeps Adalind around more, a good thing, but also provides story outside of the case-of-the-week junk the program has been stuck in.

I’m not worried that GRIMM will become all about the babies. Even though there are now two that matter to the story, this just doesn’t seem like the type of series that would pivot to put children at the center of it. They are plot devices, not characters. But something more should be done with them. Otherwise, the story is wasting a lot of time.

As this happens, Juliette also gets back out into the world, courtesy of Kenneth. She isn’t acting like herself at all any more, though, being unnecessarily rude to Rosalee (Bree Turner) and burning town Nick’s trailer. At this point, it’s clear that the Juliette viewers are familiar with is long gone. Can she be restored, or has her transformation made her a total villain, which could be an intriguing way for GRIMM to go, especially if it redeems Adalind even a little so she can stay near Nick?

I’ve been complaining a lot about GRIMM dissing the serial in favor of stand-alone crimes, and I think that’s with good reason. The show is far more interesting when it concentrates on what makes it different from other programs, not falling into the same repetitive structure others do. At times in the past, it has done the former, but lately, the latter rules. Anything that provides a sign it might swing back the other way is more than welcome.

That being said, the case in “Iron Hans” is quite interesting. Nick, Hank (Russell Hornsby), and Wu (Reggie Lee) recruit Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) to look into a camp for Wesen teens just coming of age. Monroe went to a similar camp as a child, and so has insight.

The villain ends up not being the head of the camp, Elder Bowden (Jeff Fahey, Lost, Machete), but his daughter, Maggie (Hillary Tuck, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show), who feels left out of the boys-only club.

There are lots of juicy options to further explore this part of the Wesen mythology, giving us insight into how the secret society functions in the regular world, as well as gender roles, but sadly “Iron Hans” doesn’t explore these. GRIMM keeps touching on really good stuff that should be delved deeper into, not mentioned and tossed aside.

GRIMM is kind of a chaotic mess right now. Parts of “Iron Hans” make it enjoyable enough to forget that from time to time, and that’s better than the boring stuff it was delivering mid-year. Still, I wonder if someone can’t come in and fix a show that used to be good. Is there still a chance for it to recover?

GRIMM airs Fridays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

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