Sunday, February 7, 2016

Grimm, Season Five, Episode Eight: A Reptile Dysfunction

"A sucker is born
every minute."

Grimm really does have some decisions it needs to make.  In this episode, it floated between the mystery Wesen of the week and trying to fold in some of this seasons meta.  Someone needs to just tell the writers that it's really okay to have a full episode fixated on the meta without distraction. In fact, Grimm can have several episodes all about the meta and people will still watch.  Balancing the meta and Wesen of the week has been a problem that Grimm has had since it first aired.

Let's look at Renard for instance.  Does anyone really care that he is spending his time endorsing a political candidate for mayor? Now if they were to tie this mayor into what is going on with Black Claw, then it might be interesting that Renard is being duped but they have yet to do that.  I call shit or get of the pot moment. Renard having sex with mayor's aide also doesn't peak my interest. Why wouldn't she want to have sex with him, the man is hot as hell?  It's as though when they aren't dealing with the issues Renard has as the bastard prince or his daughter Diana (buried somewhere in the plot box), they don't know what to do with him.

Then we have Rosalee who is getting letters about her boyfriend from the past.  Can someone tell me what this has to do with the fact that Wesen are trying to take over the world?  It's an unnecessary distraction as far as I am concerned.  We know that the mystery person is now headed to Portland, which doesn't actually bode well for them.  Are we supposed to worry that Rosalee has something dark in her past? Are we supposed to worry that she isn't the Fuchsbau that we have come to know? I think that this is another case of they don't know what to do with Rosalee and Monroe when they are not helping out Nick.

Then we have the Wesen of the week storyline - the Diamond Lake Monster. To drum up some business Luisant-Pêcheur brothers hire a Wasser Zahne to swim around the lake and scare fishermen and the kids who swim there.  It all goes wrong when the Wasser Zahne supposedly kills a fishermen in self defense.  Grimm has never had a huge budget for special effects but they really should have spent some money in the case of the Wasser Zahne in the gross red speedo. Well, it's Nick and Hank to the rescue. They set up the Luisant-Pêcheur brothers using Truble and in a blink the problem is solved.

Finally, let's get to the meta. Grimm has a history of appropriating atrocities - think Hitler being a Wesen and the holocaust. This is horrible for many many reasons. We learn that the hot spots of the Wesen uprising are: Brasil, Northern Ireland, Turkey, Syria, Yemen, Pakistan and Ukraine. Pause and think about that list for a moment.  I am particularly disgusted with the inclusion of Syria given what is currently going on.  Meisner says, "there are people displaced all over the world because of what they are doing." People are dying everyday and it's not for supernatural reason and suggesting woo woo as the cause serves to devalue lives and the loss.  It makes the various factions supernaturally evil, rather than a case of a religious/political/military problem at least in terms of Syria.  Eve says, "No one understands the real reason behind any of it. A world run by Wesen. Hitler tried once now Black Claw is trying again."  Look, I get that Grimm is suggesting that it's a mirror to both our present and our past, giving us different explanations to the history and present that we know but this doesn't work. In fact, it's not necessary to appropriate real world events or history to make this point at all. All I see is disrespect and appropriation at this point.

We learn that Meisner et al are being funded by a secret government agency. They don't know the name of the agency or how they get funded but still suggest that that Nick join up.  Meisner has even given up his role in this resistance because Black Claw is too important to ignore.  So we know that Black Claw is big and is a threat that must be dealt with but then we already had some sense of that when Black Claw killed off the Wesen council.  Other than learning about shadowy funding and government involvement, we didn't really learn anything significant.  Even the news that Mommy Grimm is indeed dead  is sad; however, it is didn't really add that much. What Grimm did is skirt around the meta because we wasted time on the ever so silly Wesen of the week. There's a story to be told and for the life of me, I cannot understand why it is that Grimm refuses to tell it.

In terms of what is happening with Black Claw, they have my interest.  I still don't see all Wesen as a universal threat.  Sure, some of them are dangerous like the Hexenbiest and others are fairly harmless like the Eisbiber.  We also know that there are Wesen like Monroe and Rosealee who just want to live out their lives in peace.  I have said this before and I will say it again, Grimm needs to give me a reason not to be team Wesen because as far as I am concerned, they've all been treated as though they are universally evil and many have been killed without provocation.  Appropriating ongoing and past atrocities is not a selling point to make the argument that Wesen simply need to be killed off, indoctrinated (Eve/Juliet) or controlled.

Speaking of Eve/Juliet it's clear that she is stone cold at this point.  Eve really does not identify at all with who she used to be and Nick had better wrap his mind around that pretty quickly if he is going to work with her. I found it telling that Eve said her only regret is Nick not having a chance to bury Juliet.  As much as I like this new incarnation, I think it's telling that Juliet had to become first evil and then Eve in order to be on Grimm as a strong woman.  Grimm simply doesn't know what to do with their strong female characters and that becomes more evident with each passing episode.