Grimm review – 2×03: ‘Bad Moon Rising’

Courtesy of NBC

As feared, Grimm sinks back into a bland “case of the week” format that dilutes a the monumental plot development that will forever alter the show. Oh, Grimm

Let’s bitch it out…

Obviously the big news of the week is that Hank (Russell Hornsby) learns the truth about the Wesen and Nick (David Giuntoli). It’s nice that Grimm doesn’t drag this out – like the amnesia storyline (more on that in a moment) – but the way it’s done is so bland and boring, it nearly renders the reveal immaterial. In the future, ‘Bad Moon Rising’ will be remembered as the episode where Nick is “outed” as the Grimm to Hank. And that’s it – it’s completely unmemorable in any other respect.

This is my big issue with semi-serial shows that adopt a case-of-the-week format (see also: Lost Girl). There’s an obvious business model for creating a show that allows – or even encourages – viewers to drop-in, even if they aren’t familiar with the show’s overall mythology. Casual viewers can catch a random episode, enjoy it and hopefully become fans.

Or at least they will in theory. Shows like Grimm need as much support as possible because they are battling several mitigating factors, including genre (fantasy), scheduling (the show will soon return to its Friday berth) and stilted acting from the lead (Giuntoli, who we all hope will one day shake off the woodenness to become a real boy).  The issue is that these cases of the week are completely forgettable; episodes such as ‘Bad Moon Rising’ introduce a new set of characters that we will never see again and ask us to care about them for forty-two minutes.

At times this can be fine, especially if the case ties back into the show’s mythology. Case in point: last season’s 1×14 ‘Plumed Serpent’ in which the villain of the week kidnapped Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch) and held her ransom. Although Ariel (Danielle Panabaker) hasn’t returned, she and the episode remain memorable because it was an early-ish example of a villain implicating Juliette. Looking back at ‘Bad Moon Rising’, will we remember Carly (Maddie Hasson), her father, Jarold Kempfer (Mark Pellegrino) or uncle bad-touch, Hayden (John Pyper-Ferguson)? Well…we may remember Pellegrino since he’s a genre favourite (LOST, Supernatural), but aside from that, the entire Criminal Minds meets True Blood storyline of Coyotls sexually assaulting their 17 yr own relatives was icky, predictable and chock full of stereotypes (clearly they’re inbreeders since they wear sleeveless flannel shirts, baseball caps, and roast pigs on a spit. All that was missing was Burt Reynolds and a freakin’ banjo).

Courtesy of NBC

Other Observations:

  • It’s cool that Hank knows the truth, but I wish it weren’t handled so sappily. “I’m just glad I’m not alone” he coos to Nick. Oh barf. The angry “I think I’m going crazy” bit was never that interesting to begin with, but at least then he was shooting the closet and shaken-baby-syndroming his therapist. Now he’s what: Robin to Nick’s Batman? This better result in significantly more interesting storylines for Hornsby
  • It’s pretty hilarious that Nick doesn’t even explain what a Grimm is to Hank. Or, you know, elaborate on any of the rules, practices, Royal families, or histories of this completely alternate world. Clearly this will play out over several episodes, but you’d think that the final scene wouldn’t be Hank exclaiming how happy he is that he’s got company in the nuthouse, but rather pestering Nick with as many questions as the day is long. Guess he’s happy to simply not be headed for the nuthouse. Ladies, here is a gentleman that’s easy to please
  • Was that an Elvis impersonator working at the body shop? Or simply atrocious sideburns?
  • I enjoyed the topicality of the Coyoltls staying at a “foreclosed” farm. Way to keep things “real” and “relevant” there, Grimm
  • In a slight twist on the amnesia trope (and don’t kid yourself – this is like a “get out of jail free” card for the show), Juliette remembers everyone except Nick. Clearly this is an effect from Adalind’s (Claire Coffee) cat-scratch elixir, but it fails to produce anything interesting. Nick mostly looks like he wants to slap some sense into his fiancee and she’s understandably uncomfortable with him hanging around, especially when he crams their relationship down her throat like an eager boy scout. Did you really think those face-sucking photos were a good idea, Nick? Because she doesn’t know you, buddy
  • Side Note: I like how the hospital forces Juliette to go home with a man she doesn’t remember.Are we meant to draw parallels between the forced sexual subjugation of Carly and Nick’s relationship with Juliette? Otherwise why was this the case of the week selected to play out alongside the Juliette-amnesia bit? Don’t think it’s not intentional, because any case could have been chosen to reveal the truth to Hank – it didn’t have to be one involving women being gang raped by hillbillies. Discuss the idea amongst yourselves
  • In one of the more pointless scenes of the episode, Nick and Capt. Renard (Sasha Roiz) decide that they need to find Adalind, who’s skipped town without leaving a convenient forwarding address or cell phone. Annnnd…scene. That’s for coming out, Roiz
  • Finally, no Bree Turner. That’s a fail right there

Best Line:

  • Reggie Lee’s Sgt. Wu (comparing Nick’s six arrests to his submitting overtime & scrubbing the coffee machine): “Yeah, we’ve all put in a rich, full day”

And that’s week three of Grimm‘s second season. Were you as disappointed with this bland, boring effort as I was? Are you excited that we don’t have to do “hide the truth from Hank” stories anymore? Were you hoping for more from Pellgrino’s guest spot? Hit the comments below

Grimm airs Mondays at 10pm EST on NBC

About cinephilactic

cinephilactic is a university contract instructor in Film Studies. He is an avid TV watcher, particularly science-fiction, fantasy and drama series. His favourite shows currently airing on TV include The Good Wife, Breaking Bad, Justified, Hannibal, Game Of Thrones and a smattering of shows on The CW. He has a tendency to "hate-watch" particular shows and likes to think that his sarcastic voice comes through in his reviews, though sometimes he's just being bitchy

5 thoughts on “Grimm review – 2×03: ‘Bad Moon Rising’

  1. Personally, I really liked last night’s episode of Grimm. It might just be because I’ve wanted a true Hank and Nick partnership when it comes to the wesen. I really liked that they decided not to make Hank mad at his partner for lying to him; instead it almost healed him a little bit. I wasn’t home to watch last night’s episode live because I was working lat at Dish, but my Hopper was able to record it for me on PrimeTime Anytime. I watched it this morning in no time with the Auto Hop turned on to skip the commercials. It makes it so nice to not have to worry about watching ads that interrupt your TV shows. I can’t wait for the next episode, let alone the rest of the season!

  2. I like Hank finally found out the truth about Wessens, but the way he did was a bit unbelievable. No big explanations, just Nick yelling: “Weird things exist and we are weird, now pull yourself together and let’s kick some ass”. Even the final fight with Coyotls was too easy.
    Amnesia storyline is just dull. Give Juliette her memories back or erase her from the show. No one really cares.

    • I’m still hopeful that there’s a plan to incorporate Juliette into the show in a more meaningful way, but I’m fearful that there’s going to be low buy-in if the show continues with the amnesia storyline for a lenghy period of time.

      As for Hank just accepting everything in stride, I’ll be okay with it if they address it in next week’s episode. If, however, everything is hunky-dory, I’m going to be frustrated because there’s no way someone could just drop that bomb and not have a million questions.

  3. I was so disturbed by the forced bathing/rape centered plot I actually STOPPED watching the show entirely. That isn’t entertainmnet – I’m surprised more people aren’t a little appauled by the storyline…but maybe there are enough that think this wasn’t such a bad thing being that women are essentially viewed as walking uteruses. Lame Grimm. I’m done.

    • Well I think that you were right to be appalled – the show clearly wasn’t endorsing it, which is why it had the villains performing the actions. Was it graphic (and more akin to something like Criminal Minds, which routinely features female-centric violent crimes): yes. But I wouldn’t expect this to be a regular feature on the show

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