Sunday, April 5, 2015

GRIMM is a "Heartbreaker" For Sure

Article originally written for Seat42F.

On this week’s GRIMM, “Heartbreaker,” Nick (David Giuntoli), Hank (Russell Hornsby), and Wu (Reggie Lee) track a Wesen that accidentally fatally poisons people who are attracted to her. Two victims threaten to turn into more, and the cops must insert themselves in the middle of a family situation in order to not only save the lives of local men, but to save the killer herself. Of course, they do, with a slight twist ending that she ends up happy.

Not only has GRIMM become a crime procedural, mainly devoted to solving a case-of-the-week, but it’s become one of the crappiest entries in the genre on today. In “Heartbreaker,” no detective work is needed to track the murderer, Bella (Leah Renee, Franklin, The Playboy Club). Instead, every witness that Nick and company interview tells them exactly what they need to know without hesitation. When they look for a pattern with Bella’s mother, her police records, complete with photos, are already digitized on the computer, even though the incident happened before such paperwork was online. The trio simply follow the obvious breadcrumbs straight to their target, whom they give a magic potion to and let go, with no official wrap up.

During this, there is absolutely no character development. Hank and especially Wu are simply set dressing, contributing nothing at all to the proceedings. All they do is follow Nick around. Nick is cold and rude to those he interviews, not showing the least bit of sympathy for Bella or her victims. When they do catch her and Nick lets her go, after she agrees to drink Rosalee’s (Bree Turner) concoction, it seems strange Nick would even grant her this, considering how emotionless he is as he works the case.

What this means is that GRIMM has become nearly unwatchable. There are very few shows I’d consider giving up four seasons in, having already invested so much time and usually wanting to know how it will end, but GRIMM is the exception. Were I not committed to a weekly column and if I was just watching the show for pleasure, my season pass would definitely be canceled after tonight’s episode, if not before.

The far-too-small bits of the serial story we get are not much better. A major plot point has been Juliette’s (Bitsie Tulloch) break up with Nick. As she rejects him, she goes completely out of character. When they talk in “Heartbreak,” she laughs in his face when he expresses his love for her. This is not the Juliette viewers have come to know and care about. I don’t know who this woman is, but she’s lost direction entirely.

I’ll admit, this could be explained away as a side effect of turning into a Hexenbiest. Not only do I think GRIMM won’t do that, though, but even that revelation this late in the game would ring hollow, not providing a reason for Nick to not notice the huge personality shift. He’s her fiancé and a detective. He should be trying harder to do something for her, or at least confide in someone that Juliette seems to have lost her mind.

The second subplot finds Renard (Sasha Roiz) encountering the new royal in town, Kenneth (Nico Evers-Swindell, Manhattan Love Story). Kenneth tells Renard he doesn’t want to kill him, then proceeds to fight him for no apparent reason. This is after Kenneth kills Renard’s friend, whom Kenneth lets call Renard without working out the details of the trap ahead of time, such as what time they should ask Renard to come to the abandoned warehouse. So stupid.

Adalind (Claire Coffee) figures into this part of the story, too, lying about being pregnant with Viktor’s baby. This, after she plans to trick Viktor into sleeping with her after she’s already obviously pregnant, and without asking Viktor to back up her lie. It’s probably the worst thought out plot in the episode, and that’s saying something.

My respect for GRIMM has been rapidly fading all season, but “Heartbreakers” seems to hit a new low. Nothing about the hour makes too much sense, people are acting out of character, and the story is about as simple and dumb as one can get. I really don’t know how GRIMM could take such a turn for the worst so quickly, but it’s certainly happening.

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

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