Grimm, Ep. 3.03, “A Dish Best Served Cold” introduces overdue conflict, moral murkiness

Grimm S03E03 promo picGrimm, Season 3, Episode 3, “A Dish Best Served Cold”
Written by Rob Wright
Directed by Karen Gaviola
Airs Fridays at 9pm EST on NBC

This week, on Grimm: Monroe and Rosalee dine out, Nick struggles with his memories, and Adalind mourns Eric

After its two-part premiere, Grimm is back to its usual procedural format this week, as Nick and co. investigate the mysterious deaths of several Portland residents. The series already did its take on the Three Little Pigs, with season one’s “The Three Bad Wolves”, but it seemed likely this Blutbad-Bauerschwein conflict could pop up again. Thankfully writer Rob Wright takes an entertaining approach to the familiar tale of unending blood feuds, and comes up with a decidedly gruesome method of poisoning to spice up the sauce.

Centering an episode on Monroe’s foodie ways is a nice move (man did that food look good!) and a clever scheme by the Bauerschwein- make the poison as enticing as possible. If the Blutbad is strong enough of conviction not to start eating meat, he’ll be fine. More could have been done to develop the head chef as a character, though. Is he a sociopath? Has he done this before? There are also myriad larger questions the show has yet to explore. We know Nick views Wesen as somewhat less than, something touched on briefly this week when Capt. Renard questions his motives. How does the Wesen community see itself in relation to the Grimms or the Kehrseite (unknowing human) population? Is this Blutbad-Bauerschwein feud a rarity or somewhat the norm? It seems pretty clear that Blutbads don’t go around slaughtering and eating Bauerschwein any more, if only because there’s been no indication of a higher rate of what looks to humans like murder/cannibalism in the Grimm universe, yet our villain this week says that every Bauershwein has lost someone to a Blutbad. Is he exaggerating or is Monroe more of an exception than this episode, with its at least two innocent victims, implies? These are the inconsistencies that work against the type of world-building at which Grimm has generally excelled. Hopefully the PtB at the show are thinking about all of this and know the answer, even if they prefer to wait to share it with the audience.

This episode also introduces a long-overdue development- serious conflict between Monroe and Nick. Perhaps this is a mere tease for something to come later, but the few moments we get of significant, emotional strife between them work well and bring up a number of thorny issues. It’s heavily implied few if any Grimms have ever befriended Blutbads. There’s a reason, and it’s not just their ancestors’ bloody pasts- there’s a clear potential for work-related strife and while Nick avoids it this week, what happens when a quick bit of play-acting doesn’t scare the Bauerschwein stand-in of the week into confessing? The show can only avoid this situation for so long. Nick is starting to deal with the moral ramifications of his work, consequences tidily sidestepped up to this point. Perhaps season three will finally be the start of a darker, more introspective Grimm.

Elsewhere this week, Adalind continues her European adventure. The various political machinations at play remain less than engaging, and this viewer remains unconvinced that Prince Eric has been in any way harmed, but given that the show briefly returns to Adalind this week rather than having her sit this one out, we’ll hopefully be seeing a lot more of her in the near future. She’s a fun character, but with Adalind so in the dark about her baby and the specifics of the spell she’s undergoing (undergone? Is that done?) to regain her abilities, a few minutes per episode is not enough to sustain interest in this rather oblique storyline.

Overall, “A Dish Best Served Cold” is a fun episode, if not among the series’ most memorable. The episode’s detour into morally and ethically tricky territory may be disappointingly brief, but at least these seem to be ideas the show is now willing to explore. We’ll have to wait to see if this is something they’ll be willing to commit to.

What did you think of the episode? Where do you stand on Nick’s moral struggles? Will no one at the precinct ever appreciate Wu’s delightful deadpan? Anyone else itching to watch Hannibal after seeing those tartlets? Post your thoughts below!

Kate Kulzick

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By Kate Kulzick

Kate is a violinist by day, TV-aholic by night, and film geek by somewhere around dawn. While attending UIUC, she earned a Masters Degree in Violin Performance and a Schrute Buck in a Pop Culture Trivia Contest; of the two, so far only the latter has hung on her wall. Her favorite movies are The Princess Bride, Casablanca, and The Third Man and her favorite TV shows are Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Wire, and Arrested Development.

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