Sunday, November 20, 2011

Grimm, season 1, episode 4: Lonely Hearts

We begin with a woman dressed for bed, hallucinating, running down the road and being hit by a car – the driver gets out and tries to help her and someone else kills her.

Let the detective work commence! An abusive husband, facebook messages, online pictures – and a bed and breakfast - the owner of which is supernatural  with an unpleasant diet – a ziegervolk, a bluebeard. And lots and lots of missing women – who are kidnapped, disorientated, raped and return pregnant.

And there’s a creepy French guy with a scythe engraved with German – Looking for the policeman who shot his friend (yes, that would be Nick). A reaper – a reaper who is here without the police chief’s permission. This does not make the police chief a happy man.

Yes, I am amused by Eddie playing the cello. I couldn’t say why – the idea of the Big Bad Wolf and the cello just amuses me muchly. And, of course, his reluctance to play grimopedia. He’s less reluctant to play undercover, but he also fails badly at it.

Hank is around quite a lot in this episode, which made me much happier. Usually he’s shuffled off pretty quickly so all the supernatural stuff can happen behind his back. He has more independent action to a degree, and his own role throughout the entire show. He did feel a little more side-kicky/back up than usual, probably because we’re seeing more of him

I’m a little confused and unhappy with the conflicting messages of the Blue Beards. The Blue Beards have supernatural attraction and a touch that “makes you there’s”. And they live “for the rut” one night stands with women they attract with their powers. Now it is called rape and it is identified as rape – but only after the clusters of disoriented women are found who describe themselves as being kidnapped and kept confused with “some kind of gas”. Now they never say the Blue Beard isn’t a rapist – but I wonder, since Nick didn’t label him as such when Eddie first described their powers and proclivities – would it still have been called rape if they had, say, seduced a woman, gone back to her place then left the next morning? I.e. without the kidnapping? To be clear, they never say that what he does isn’t rape (nor did they say anything that denied the scenario I described as being not rape), but I’m left with this fuzzy feeling.

This is a somewhat short review simply because there wasn’t much twisting or nuance in this episode (probably a good thing considering the subject matter). That shouldn’t be taken as meaning it was a bad episode – it wasn’t. It was interesting and enjoyable… though part of my attention was earned with me waiting for the twist that didn’t actually come (which, I suppose, is a twist in and of itself). It was a very simple story – not a bad story, but simple. And the simplicity leaves me without much to say. There wasn't much character interraction, not much character development, not much plot development, not much story development.

There was a bad guy. He was bad. he was found, he was investigated, he was chased, he was caught. Again, I don't want this to feel like damning with faint praise, it wasn't an awful episode by any stretch (if it were, this review would be much longer because I'd have far more to snark about and comment on) but there just wasnt much there to comment on.

I will say, though, that I probably only want to see maybe 1, at most 2 more of these. The world is introduced, the nature of the Grimms has been established – we now need some more substantial meta-plots beyond vague hints and some more plot development – otherwise Grimm risks becoming a “monster of the week” kind of show. And those tend to get rather old rather fast without something else to carry them