Grimm review – 2×05: ‘The Good Shepherd’

Courtesy of NBC

It’s been nearly a month since Grimm aired its last new episode (Sept 4 to be exact) so the big question on my mind going into the show’s fifth episode is…what is this about again? In all seriousness, it seems likely that NBC’s attempt at generating some momentum by debuting the show’s second season back in August is all but doomed to fail now. You don’t bench a show for four weeks and then expect casual viewers to notice it’s back on the schedule on Friday evenings *smacks forehead*

Let’s bitch it out…

All things considered this is an okay episode of Grimm to return to since it’s a fair approximation of what the show is about. It’s a fairly standard case-of-the-week, with a relatively obvious villain in Reverand Calvin (Jonathan Scarfe) and a predictable ending. From the cold open murder of Norman the accountant all the way through to Megan (Kristina Anapau – last seen birthing quadruplets on the season finale of True Blood) and pregnant Harmony (Rachael Perrell) in Barbados, nearly every plot point is telegraphed: if you’ve watched most any CSI or other crime procedurals, you know how this will go before the end of the first act.

This doesn’t meant that there isn’t good stuff, however. The awkward and tentative way that Hank (Russell Hornsby) treats Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) is a low-key pay-off after the latter’s involvement in Hank’s mental spiral in the tail-end of last season. Most importantly, the kitchen scene between Nick (David Giuntoli) and Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch) nearly justifies the continuing amnesia storyline as the lovers try to find mutual ground to effectively start their romantic relationship. I especially liked the framing employed by director Steven DePaul, which hung back outside of the kitchen, which helpfully emphasized the distance between them even as it made us feel like we were eavesdropping on the conversation. This scene was really effective in making us appreciate the dilemma Juliette is facing: she knows what she should be feeling, but – as she tells Nick – she’s “not quite there yet.” That’s a genuine sentiment, and it’s “real” enough to make the cynic in me pause, whereas in past episodes I’ve scoffed at this tired narrative trope. If Grimm can keep up with these kinds of moments, it will go a long way to making these more conventional case-of-the-week episodes more palatable until we get back into the mythology of the show.

Courtesy of NBC

Other Observations:

  • In the “over before it began” section, Nick expertly delivers a death blow to the Euro-trash assassin Hargrund (Jessen Noviello) who appeared last episode. And just in case we were uncertain what Hargrund was after, Nick finds a drawing of the key his aunt gave him in the series pilot. A+ for consistency, but D for trusting your audience since we already knew this from Renard (Sasha Roiz) who almost smiles when he hears that Hargrund’s dead body has been found dumped. He’s proud of his little Grimm!
  • I know that the show didn’t realize NBC was going to bench it for a few weeks, but I wish they had of used the extra time to touch up the FX. Those lamb faces are terrible, and even Bud (Danny Bruno) – the friendly neighbourhood Beaver repairman – looks worse than usual when he transforms
  • The biggest visual travesty, by far, has to be Scarfe’s hairpiece. Is that a mullet or some kind of terrible wig? It’s like a hairpiece traveled from the 90s and leeched onto his head in the present day. You’d think with all of those stolen funds the Reverend could have at least afforded a decent haircut!
  • Finally, is it a subtle wink at the audience when Juliette asks Nick if he remembers her sassy drinking friends, Brianna and Ricki? Because we have never met these ladies before, so clearly we don’t remember them!

What did you think of Grimm‘s return: was it worth the wait, or would you have liked a little more mythology for its return to the Friday night death timeslot? Did you like the scene with Juliette and Nick in the kitchen, or are you still turned off the amnesia piece? (Yes, I’m assuming you never liked it – don’t lie to yourself). And finally, if you had to die going through a mulcher, would you want your hip replacement to prevent the lower half of your body from being mulched, or would you rather just let the whole thing go through? Sound off below!

Grimm airs Fridays at 9pm 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

2 thoughts on “Grimm review – 2×05: ‘The Good Shepherd’

  1. This series makes me long for the days of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. By the second season, the writers had figured out the right mix of mythology and Monster of the Week and the cast seemed comfortable with their characters. It remains to be seen if this bunch can make it through…Don’t you miss Sunnydale’s mayor?

    • I do think this show needs something equivalent to a Big Bad to help ground the mythology. I think once we get into the 7 Royal Families we might start to see more consistency.

      I was more of a Spike/Faith fan than a Mayor fan, but I miss all those kinds of villains. Maybe I just miss Buffy :)