Sunday, April 12, 2015

"Hibernaculum" Puts GRIMM Viewers to Sleep

Article originally written for Seat42F.

This week on NBC’s GRIMM, Nick (David Giuntoli), Hank (Russell Hornsby), and Wu (Reggie Lee) investigate a frozen body. Of course, a Wesen is involved, so the trio research what kind of Wesen it is, ask Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) for help, then try to track down the killer before zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Oh, sorry. Did I fall asleep while writing the episode description for “Hibernaculum?” That’s because this show pretty much lacks all originality at this point, now following a pretty strict formula and presenting what is basically the same episode over and over again.

The fact that GRIMM has become almost strictly a crime procedural is bad enough, but it’s a bad crime procedural, which is much worse. From Nick and Hank wondering if a dead guy is a suspect before a simple check for bite marks, which they then do and immediately rule him out, to the facts, such as their murder suspect having an obvious, distinguishing tattoo, being far too convenient, it makes one wonder if our main characters have any detective skills at all.

A question occurs to me while watching “Hibernaculum”: what did the police think of all these Wesen cases prior to Nick being a Grimm? When Nick finds out about the secret world, he doesn’t go “Oh, all the strange things I’ve seen now make sense!” Instead, he is completely surprised by this other world. Yet, now, he finds strange things all the time, and the Wesen, as they are presented in GRIMM, didn’t just show up when Nick realizes what he is. So the current plots don’t make sense with how the show begins.

The Wesen on the show have become so much less complex, just villains to arrest or kill. Until they aren’t. Those in “Hibernaculum” that don’t commit murder are innocents that should be protected and left alone (though how they all explain their months-long annual absence to employers and loved ones remains a mystery), while those that killed to survive should be killed in turn. There is no debate about letting the third murderer go back to the hive with the others because, by Nick’s definition, he isn’t innocent. That, despite the fact that if he didn’t attack the cab driver, he’d be dead, and any one of his fellows in the “Hibernaculum” would have done the exact same thing in the same circumstances.

Rosalee (Bree Turner) screaming to no one about Juliette also shows how poorly thought out the writing is at this point. Why does she do it? It just doesn’t make sense.

“Hibernaculum” does give us our few minutes of interesting, serial story. Monroe has PTSD well after his kidnapping. Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch) comments on not feeling like herself, which somewhat explains her erratic behavior, though not completely. Oh, and everyone else finds out Juliette’s secret. Renard (Sasha Roiz) continues to be plagued by bleeding and flashbacks of his death, and he sleeps with Juliette because, um, I don’t know; there is no explanation for that. And Adalind (Claire Coffee) is afraid Juliette will kill her, which actually does make sense, though I think if Juliette commits murder, there will be no coming back from that for her.

The threads in the above paragraph are what this week’s episode should be about. Not so long ago, GRIMM presented such tales for most of their hours, making for a more unique (though not wholly unique by any stretch) story. For whatever reason, though, GRIMM has abandoned this in favor of what so many other shows are doing, which really has made it a chore to watch much more than a pleasure, confining the good stuff to a scant few minutes. It can’t end soon enough at this point.

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

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