Grimm Review, Season 1, Episode 19: “Leave It to Beavers”
Written by Nevin Densham
Directed by Holly Dale
Airs Fridays at 9pm EST on NBC
The trouble with reviewing a series is that, like it or not, you have to watch it. That’s not so much a problem for the reviewer perhaps, who has at least the satisfaction of seeing their words in print at some stage. But it’s maybe not quite so much fun for the Significant Other of the reviewer who, instead of watching important other stuff like Liverpool stuffing Everton in the FA cup semis, has to spend an hour in the company of various hairy and scaly things and, adding insult to injury, put up with me drooling quietly every time Sacha Roiz or David Giuntoli appear on screen.
He’s very good about it. But I know (because men have a way of beaming these things to you telepathically) that Grimm isn’t exactly his cup of tea. So it was nice when after this week’s show, instead of reaching for the remote control with a small sound of relief he said, “you know, I quite enjoyed that.”
BREAK THROUGH! But why? Nonchalantly (not wishing to spoil the moment) I queried this change of heart.
“I dunno,” (he’s getting a little angsty now), “there was more happening this time.”
I left it at that, knowing from experience how much he loves it when I get all analytical (the way he would love being dunked in a vat full of fire ants) and also because I understood what he meant. Grimm in the past has played it safe and simple: one storyline (Wesen of the week) plus occasional snippets of character development, but never too much. This always gives me the impression that the writers imagine us viewers as having the intellectual capacity of a not-very-bright wombat. We have to be spoon fed information in tiny doses and have the same messages repeated to us several times S.L.O.W.L.Y. in case we forget the beginning of a sentence before a character finishes speaking.
This week, they trust us to handle more. The plot deviates from the strictly linear “Nick solves a case” mode by having the Wesen he’s hunting (David Zayas, doing his best Tony Soprano impersonation) sic a couple of Reapers onto the Grimm (“my Great Uncle was a Reaper” Zayas tells his doubtful buddies when he explains the plan. Obviously calling in the Reapers is like calling in the Family – you only do it if you are on first name terms). This adds some much needed complexity, allowing for more action, culminating in a fight scene that for once didn’t give me an instant recollection of James T. Kirk dodging a Klingon wielding a cardboard dagger in one of those polystyrene boulder sets that passed for Other Planets on Star Trek.
In other words, whoever choreographed the fight this time makes it look real. And having cut the Reapers down to size, it’s a nice touch for Nick to send their handler a little message (first class mail, in a cool box) telling the Wesen world, and the rest of us, that Nick is not quite as clean cut and Dudley DoRight as we might have been led to believe.
All this is paired with a deepening of the Nick and Monroe bromance (hanging out in the woods together, dinner at Nick’s place – next they’ll be giving each other flowers). No wonder Bitsie Tulloch as Nick’s girlfriend Juliette spends most of the dinner looking charmingly perplexed. She probably senses a threesome in the offing. Now that’s an episode my SO would definitely miss the football to see.