Grimm review – 2×08: ‘The Other Side’

Courtesy of NBC

Grimm sticks with its traditional case of the week formula, filtering in just enough interesting mythology tidbits to make the episode worthwhile. I see a formula emerging…

Let’s bitch it out…Much like TVAngie’s recent assessment of Elementary, Grimm will likely be seen as an enjoyable show with the potential to be more, but never quite goes for it. Last year, the final batch of episodes of S1 kicked things up a notch, suggesting that the show would return in S2 with a new gameplan. That hasn’t quite happened, although the most recent episodes have hinted that the show has managed to strike a better balance between its more procedural, case-of-the-week format and the bits of mythology. It’s disappointing that the show can’t find a way to seamlessly merge them, but as long as it exists on Friday nights, Grimm needs to remain as accessible as possible to casual, as well as long-time, fans.

This week there’s a traditional case-of-the-week that involves a slate of murders that Nick (David Giuntoli) and Hank (Russell Hornsby) must solve. There’s meant to be red herrings, but as soon as teenage science project Pierce explains that his mother won a genetic award, the jig is up. Ordinarily the remainder of the case would be a complete snore-fest, but there’s something inherently interesting about the idea of cross-mutating Wessen. Part of me really hopes that the show dips into Fringe territory and explores this idea on a larger scale. Nick would have a significantly more challenging job if he suddenly has to identify the personality characteristics of multiple Wessen in a single villain.

The other interesting development occurs when Nick battles with Pierce and we finally see things from a non-Grimm perspective. As suspected Hank only sees Nick pummeling the human version of Pierce. Hank had earlier commented that he can now tell when Nick sees a Wessen based on the look on his face, but as previously established, humans can still only see them when Wessen enter a state in which they want humans to see their true face. Otherwise it just looks like Nick is punching teenagers and other humans in the face.

What’s interesting about this is that there is another hint at a darker direction for the show to go in: Nick has yet to be seen beating up or even killing a Wessen, but since he is the only one who can see them, this could land him in a ton of trouble at some point down the line. This storyline seems a lot more likely than the cross-bred Wessen, though in the case of ‘The Other Side’ both are pretty interesting ideas to consider.

Courtesy of NBC

It’s disappointing then that in the final scene when Nick talks Pierce out of committing suicide and although both Wessen personalities are displayed, we aren’t shown Hank’s perspective. With the way his Lowen side speaks, it seems obvious that Pierce would have been diagnosed as suffering from multiple personalities. As a result, the end of the episode – in which Pierce is seen turning the tables on two inmates – makes no sense. Wouldn’t he be undergoing psychiatric evaluation?Even more problematically, using the timeline established by Sasha Roiz’s Renard’s visits to the Spice Shoppe, a single day has passed between Pierce’s apprehension and his prison sentence. Clearly the Grimm employee responsible for monitoring continuity for the episode fell asleep on the job. Better luck next week!

Other Observations:

  • Adalind (Claire Coffee) is definitely making a move. After unsuccessfully wooing Renard to her side last week, she turns up in Austria to court the other Royal brother, Eric (James Frain). This time she finds more success as they bond over betrayal and Eric helpfully provides context as to how Renard ended up in Portland. Juicy! How long before the blonde b*tch is back in town and causing trouble?
  • Speaking of Renard, his obsession over Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch) reaches dramatic new heights when he spies on her in the shower. He barely stops before drawing attention to himself, and takes off in his car, nearly killing a pedestrian in the process. I’m loving the slow reveal of Renard’s Wessen look. In 2×02 ‘The Kiss’ we saw him undergo a transformation and tonight his true face begins to emerge: it looks like a mixture of worms and boils beneath the surface of his face that transform into reddish burns. Kinda like a devil. Hmmm…what does that suggest?
  • The CGI remains completely hit or miss. Turtle face looks okay; Lowen face looks terrible. Guess it’s a work in progress.
  • I realize that the budget for the show may not be huge, but can’t Renard at least change his clothes between visits to Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) at the Spice Shoppe? BTW, nothing says inconspicuous like black leather jacket, black sunglasses and shifty eyes. Nothing
  • I do find it interesting that Renard isn’t recognized as a deposed Royal when he meets other Wessen. Part of me thought Monroe would realize just who his client was, but nada. Guess the Royal family is either quite secretive, or they’re not publicly well known
  • Everyone catch the appearance of cute new intern Ryan (Bones‘ Michael Grant Terry)? It’s a pretty auspicious way to start, but he’ll be sticking around for a bit, so get used to the over-enthusiasm
  • Final cliffhanger: Renard will only become more obsessed with Juliette and individuals who stand in his way (*cough Nick cough*) are in trouble. Did we expect anything less on this show? Bring on the Nick vs Renard battle!

Best Lines:

  • Adalind to Eric (refering to her relationship with Renard): “The circumstances of our discord were quite…grim.” Nyuk nyuk
  • Eric to Adalind: “What do you say we put our clothing on the floor?” Cheeky! I like it
  • Monroe to Renard: “Are you sure that there’s no way to track down the object of your affliction?”

With this episode we pass the 1/3 mark of S2 (shocking right?). What are your thoughts about procedural episodes infused with little nuggets of mythology – like or dislike? Do you think S2 is doing a better job of balancing the two? Are you interested in watching Renard shame spiral over Juliette? And what does this mean for Nick? Speculate below in the comments

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

One thought on “Grimm review – 2×08: ‘The Other Side’

  1. I don’t think it’s strange at all that Monroe, or other wessen residing in Portland, wouldn’t recognize a royal. First, there are seven royal families with the implication being that they are in Europe. Second, royals are human and there is nothing to distinguish them from regular humans. Third, American wesen are not under any “royal family” and probably have no clue what the European ones look like.

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