Tuesday, October 29, 2013

halloween marathon: grimm

Grimm has been one of my favorite shows for a while. I like its Buffy and Angel-esque quirky cast, and take on monsters. Showrunner David Greenwalt was co-executive producer of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and also worked with co-creator Jim Kouf on Angel, so they are no strangers to the weird and wonderful on television. Grimm's characters are constantly researching new ways to fight or kill a threat or to cure someone from a curse or attack. But mostly it's just plain fun. Its fairytale roots are not overplayed, like the boring and belabored Once Upon a Time.

I think Nick makes a pretty cute zombie — is that wrong?

The third season opener, "Ungrateful Dead," picked up right where last season left off, with our hero Nick (David Giuntoli) in a zombie-like state, his friends and colleagues trying to find and save him while trying to reverse the mass-zombie-fication of Portland, Oregon. In a sub-plot, former monster Adalind Schade (Claire Coffee) went through a series of gruesome trials with gypsy Stefania (Shohreh Aghdashloo) to once again become a Hexenbiest, Grimm's version of a very, very creepy witch. Grimm pushed its continuing plot threads to the forefront in this episode, ditching its monster-of-the week format for non-stop action. Or maybe Nick was the monster-of-the-week. Regardless, "Ungrateful Dead" was a great start to the season.

If you've never watched Grimm, it's a cop show-meets-the-darker-version-of-Grimm-fairy-tales. While on the job, Portland homicide detective Nick Burkhardt started seeing strange things — unusual people and creatures. He soon discovered that he is descended from a line of monster-hunters, "Grimms," whose job is to protect the human population from the supernatural or "Wesen" that share our world. He also soon learns that not all Wesen are evil or dangerous, as he befriends former Big Bad Wolf, or Blutbad, Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) and spice shop owner Rosalee (Bree Turner), who is a foxlike creature called a Fuchsbau. Nick tried, for a while, to keep his demon-hunting a secret from his partner Detective Hank Griffin (Russell Hornsby) and girlfriend Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch), but soon everyone in his inner circle joined him in his fight to protect Portland. The show has created its own mythology of Wesen creatures, introducing a new and interesting creature almost every episode.

Monroe and Rosalee face off with their fellow zombie citizens

"Ungrateful Dead" began with Monroe, Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch), and Rosalee, who were tasked with figuring out how to use their one-on-one zombie potion cure on an ever-expanding population while Nick's boss Police Captain Renard (Sasha Roiz), Hank, and Sergeant Wu (Reggie Lee) tried to contain the invasion. Their solution was clever and the gang then shifted their focus to the walking dead Nick. Being a Grimm made Nick more than just your garden-variety zombie, which led to some interesting altercations with both baddies and innocent Portlandians.

Monroe and Rosalee are still the cutest Wesen couple on the planet, and Juliette was back and fierce as Nick's number one squeeze — and a formidable woman to have on anyone's team. Hank and Renard have an uneasy alliance, with Hank still unsure how much to trust his part-Hexenbiest captain. Will Wu ever get completely briefed on the creatures that live in his city? Does it matter? He's still a hoot, providing some of the best one-liners in the show, although that prize had to go this episode to Monroe. After they had administered their cure to all of the screaming and moaning zombies that they had rounded up and sealed in a large shipping container, one of the cops in riot gear asked how they would know if it was safe to open the door,
"It's like popcorn, when it stops making noise, it's done."
Nick's book of Wesen creatures provides lots of clues

Previews for the rest of the season already reveal that the gang will get Nick the required potion to end his zombie days, but that the experience has left him with a difference. He has always been more sympathetic to the Wesen world than any other Grimm before him, but maybe now being one of "them" may make him even more unique. We'll have to wait until next week to find out, but Grimm is already off to a great start. Plus, another plus for Angel and Buffy fans — Alexis Denisof (Wesley) has been cast as Renard's first cousin. Will he finally get to play a baddie?


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