The second episode of Grimm‘s sophomore season proves to be significantly more satisfying compared to last week’s ho-hum premiere. Plus death and naked flesh!
Let’s bitch it out…While I recognize that the premiere had to lay the groundwork, ‘The Kiss’ is much more representative of what Grimm is capable of. Although it still acts as the continuation of the story that began last week, this second episode feels better paced, has some standout sequences, big reveals and ends with a lovely (albeit, incredibly predictable) cliffhanger. All in all, it’s a very pleasant way to spend 42 minutes.
Let’s begin with the good:
- Mama Grimm (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio): Last week I was lukewarm on the Elizabeth Mastrantonio’s take on the character – or perhaps the show’s treatment of her – because she was far too shady for Nick (David Guintoli) to trust her so readily. This week she gets rounded out more and the effect is a much more believable series of interactions. From the awkward car ride with Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) and Rosalee (Bree Turner) to the nicely emotional goodbye with Nick at the station, I found myself warming up to Mama. Bonus points for the uncomfortable (if tonally off) hug with Rosalee!
- Girlfight!: As anyone following my Lost Girl posts knows, I love me some girl-on-girl action. And we get a kick-a*s fight scene between two protective Mamas when Grimm goes up against Hexenbiest in a fight to the death. Much like my all time favourite television action scene in Alias, this is a fight scene that leaves no reflective surface unbroken. RIP Catherine Hexenbiest (Jessica Tuck) – that neck wound looked painful.
- Backstory on Capt. Renard (Sasha Roiz): Easily one of the best decisions Grimm has made in the last batch of episodes is giving more airtime to the arsenal of supporting players surrounding the sometimes wooden Giuntoli. The best of these – besides Weir Mitchell (who’s really more comedy relief) – is Roiz and his mysterious Captain Renard character. This week we finally get confirmation on a number of fronts: he’s the brother to the strange man in France played by James Frain; he’s Royalty…but a bastard (Catherine mentions the word literally) and he’s some kind of Wessen. It’s unclear exactly how that works though. We see his face contort like we’ve seen others do when they come into contact with Grimms, but Catherine also casually suggests that he’s “barely human”. Are Wessen considered “human”, “barely human” or “other”? Either way we know more about Renard from the last two episodes than we learned in all of S1.
Now, there are a few things that don’t quite work as well. The most glaringly annoying is the FBI storyline in which Nick comes under suspicion for the murders that took place at the warehouse at the end of last week’s episode. It makes sense that he would be implicated (or his mom would be), and it’s kinda fun watching him scramble to toss the gun and dodge confused/hurt looks from Hank (Russell Hornsby), but then it’s all wrapped up so simply that this whole plotline feels like an afterthought. Although I’m not sure I want the show to have FBI agents peeking around fenceposts and popping up whenever Nick is about to kill something, it feels a little ridiculous to just have them drop the case because they got their killer. Umm…agencies don’t work that way.
The final piece is either a “woh woh” or a “potentially cool” development: after spending the majority of these first two episodes in a coma, Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch) gets kissed by a purified Renard and wakes up (yay?)…with complete amnesia (ugh). We mostly expected this based off Rosalee’s fear that the cat-scratch poison was erasing Juliette’s memories, but I think we all hoped the show wouldn’t give into this idea and backtrack on everything that happened at the end of last season. Before people get too upset, however, bear in mind that this could all be temporary. Or it could be a chance to write Juliette out of Nick’s life (and the show – huzzah!). Let’s see how this develops in the coming weeks.
- Mama Grimm has made off with the coins, as expected. Just because she steals a car instead of going into the station doesn’t mean she has an ulterior motive, but we’re clearly meant to assume that she’s not telling Nick the entire truth. Damn you untrustworthy mother figure!
- The potion that Catherine gives Renard (before Mama Grimm gives her a second smile) looks like curdled milk. Whatever’s in it certainly has an arresting effect on the body, prompting Renard’s skin to turn first red and then grey. Double bonus points: shirtless Sasha Roiz
- So it’s clearly Renard’s kiss that wakes Juliette. What does this say about Rosalee’s skills as an apothecary? Lesson learned: fake-looking CGI golden eyedrops don’t save lives, kids – they just help with memory loss (according to the AV Club)
- Anyone else impressed with the expensive CGI castle James Frain is hanging out in? You should be: Grimm clearly spent oodles on money on it since they keep feeling the need to do sweeping crane shots towards and away from it. BE IMPRESSED!
That’s it for week two of Grimm. What was the biggest revelation for you? Did you enjoy the fighting and neck slitting? What’s up with Mama Grimm…why can’t she just take the d*mn train like everyone else? And are you excited for an amnesiac Juliette? Hit the comments below!
Grimm airs Mondays at 10pm EST on NBC