Sunday, May 17, 2015

GRIMM Makes Me "Cry"

Article originally written for Seat42F.

This year’s season finale of GRIMM is called “Cry Havoc.” Picking up from lack week’s cliffhanger, Nick (David Giuntoli) still reeling by the box containing its mother’s head, the hour features the showdown between our heroes and the royals who have plagued them this season. It also features the death of a main character.

“Cry Havoc” finally fully eliminates my frequent complaint that the show has become too procedural. Nothing about this installment is case-of-the-week. With Nick going after Kenneth (Nico Evers-Swindell) and Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch), and Renard (Sasha Roiz) dealing with the fall-out of his Jack the Ripper possession, the show only has time for serial arcs, not anything new.

Unfortunately, that’s not enough to save this season finale from being completely terrible, doing nothing to redeem a once-good series.

The opening of “Cry Havoc” is absolutely awful. The house is a “trap,” and yet a henchmen calls in to Kenneth to get permission to attack Nick, several minutes after Nick enters? Permission is given freely and without hesitation, so why wasn’t it pre-granted? Then, the bad guys all come across the street very obviously to the front door, leaving the back completely unguarded. If this is a trap, it is the worst trap ever. And Kenneth is surprised when it doesn’t work? Really? This from the scary group that policies the Wesen world. Guess they aren’t so scary, huh?

And why does Juliette look slightly concerned with hearing Nick’s death ordered but doesn’t say anything? Does she want him to do die or not? This isn’t clear even when she declines to flee Portland and returns for a final confrontation. First, she asks him to kill her, then she tries to kill him. Is she just drawn to him for some reason? I’m not saying the writers should hand us everything on a silver platter, but when a character is as back-and-forth as Juliette, we need some clue as to what her motivations are.

I hope Nick doesn’t hold it against Trubel (Jacqueline Toboni) that she kills Juliette. Juliette seems irredeemable at this point, and while Nick can’t bring himself to snuff the life out of the woman he once loved, which seems a little weird given how final he is when he says he’s done with her, the world is better off without Juliette. At least, without this version of her.

Juliette’s fall is a tragic tale, and I hope GRIMM follows up with this next season. Her being dead doesn’t erase the trauma Nick goes through. While he shouldn’t send Trubel away, he needs to struggle with his grief and pain. These last couple of weeks see Nick go through the worst things that could happen to him. One does not just bounce back from that.

Might GRIMM put Nick and Adalind (Claire Coffee) together, a silver lining in the dark cloud? Nick doesn’t want her in his house in “Cry Havoc,” even after the danger seems to be past, but everyone is much nicer to Adalind than they’ve ever been. She’s almost a friend to the group. This change has come too quickly, though, without enough consideration of the bad things Adalind has done in the past.

“Cry Havoc” leaves fans with plenty of unanswered questions. Renard looks to be ready to move past the Jack the Ripper stuff, but his involvement with the royals can’t be over. When his father is murdered by the rebels to steal back Adalind’s child, doesn’t that leave Renard in line for the throne? How might that affect the show next year, if Renard is offered the position?

While the possibilities raised above, Renard ascending and Nick dealing with stuff and Nick and Adalind’s new dynamic, there are strong paths that can be used to build a more serial fifth season. Unfortunately, after the (at best) mediocre fourth year, it makes me wonder if GRIMM will pursue such things, or give them only short snippets in episodes mostly involving yet another stupid murder case. Probably the latter.

GRIMM will return next fall to NBC.

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