Grimm, Ep 1.21, “Big Feet”: Making the Outside Match the Inside

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Grimm Review, Season 1, Episode 21: “Big Feet”
Story by: Alan DiFiore & Dan E. Fesman
Teleplay by: Richard Hatem
Directed by Omar Madha
Airs Fridays at 9pm ET on NBC

It always annoys me when characters in shows have professions as an add-on rather than an integral part of who they are and in that vein, I mentioned in last week’s review that it would be nice if we got to see Juliette (who is a vet) actually treating a sick animal, rather than just mentioning it from time to time between being patient with Nick when he yet again gets called away just as they are sitting down to eat or she’s turning back the bed covers with an expectant look in her eye.

This week my wish is granted and when Wesen trouble strikes, Juliette is the one at the other end of the phone, called out to treat an injured horse. But if I was expecting her to get out her vet-kit and do some healing, Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman style, I was disappointed because apart from having a look at the gaping wound in the Wesen-bitten horse, Juliette’s main job is to find some hair left by the mysterious and hungry beast and then to have it analyzed.

With one episode remaining in the season, this is all preparing the ground for Juliette to get close to discovering exactly what Nick is hiding from her. It also allows the writers to give Bitsie Tulloch a great line when relating her discovery that the DNA test from the hair shows that the creature it came from was both human and animal. “What if all of those stories we’ve heard through our lives aren’t really stories? What if they’re real?”, she asks. This is the whole premise of the show and it’s smart to reinforce the message right before the series end. Juliette is poised for discovery. All the writers have to do is make sure what she finds out leaves us in suspense about her reaction to have us eagerly tuning in when the next season begins.

Hank is also poised for discovery – this episode he sees a transformation due to the misguided attempt of Wesen-therapist Brinkerhoff (“we have issues too you know” explains Monroe) to control the “Woge” or impulse which overcomes the Wesen and causes them to change. Brinkerhoff –  Roger Bart at his most oleaginous – has been fitting drug pumps in some of his patients, with the unfortunate side effect that they become “stuck” in Beast mode. The analogy with impulse control is a smart one – Wesens have the same trouble curbing their desire to become a beast that I have when I open the refrigerator door and spy a chocolate mousse. In the age of confessional TV, we can identify with the Wesens as having an addiction issue, rather than being evil or scary. Though, of course, they are evil and scary when they let things get out of control…

But Hank isn’t going to get to the same place as Juliette until well into season 2 – or at least that’s my prediction. Nick’s team of Wesen wranglers is going to build one member at a time – first Monroe, then Rosalee, with the first human member being Juliette. Hank’s epiphany will only come after his loyalties have been tested by the equivocal Captain Renard, who has his own murky agenda to follow (and a red tie again this week – although toned down to match the rest of Grimm’s northwest-grunge palette).

If Bitsie Tulloch gets more to do (finally) and an excellent parting shot, Sergeant Wu (Reggie Lee – deadpan and excellent as ever) gets to deliver the best line: “The answer’s obvious” says Wu, as everyone stands around nonplussed in the pouring rain trying to make sense of the crime scene. “These murders were committed by a barefoot man carrying a wolf.”

Cath Murphy

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