Grimm, Ep. 2.01: “Bad Teeth” explores a Grimm family reunion

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Grimm, Season 2, Episode 1, “Bad Teeth”
Written by David Greenwalt & Jim Kouf
Directed by Norberto Barba
Airs Mondays at 10pm ET on NBC (Fridays at 9pm ET starting 9/14)

In a preemptive move, Grimm begins a three episode August run to launch its sophomore season. When last we left Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli) and his friends, Nick’s presumed-dead mother (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) dropped by for a visit, his girlfriend Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch) caught cat scratch fever after learning the truth, his partner Hank (Russell Hornsby) struggled with the supernatural, and his Captain (Sasha Roiz) acted mysterious, as usual.

This episode introduces us to a Wesen called Mauvais Dentes as time is running out for Juliette. Nick and the FBI track the beast while our favorite Wesen Monroe the Blutbad (Silas Weir Mitchell) and Rosalee the Fuchsbau (Bree Turner) hunt for a cure. Meanwhile, Renard lends a hand and a man in a castle tortures a man and seemingly calls the shots.

We bear witness to a chilly family reunion.  No warm hugs, just martial arts.  It makes sense, considering Nick thought his mom was dead.  The mother-son moments early on work well.  However, her role soon reduces to providing exposition about the coins, key, and Nick’s family tree. This gives context to some of the clues presented in Season 1, but avoids some potential character beats.

The Monster of the Week is one of the creepiest yet seen on Grimm.  The makeup and effects work is solid and follows a less-is-more philosophy.  The bloody crime scenes are gruesome enough to reinforce just how dangerous the Mauvais Dentes is.  Nick must’ve really hit a nerve when he sent those severed heads in the mail.  The Royal Families tried sending quiet assassins but have since upgraded to a bloodbath on two legs. The name of the game is ambush, and Nick must play along or more innocents will die.

Once again, Renard surprises with his desire to help Juliette, remarking that a Grimm on his own is a dangerous thing. This seems to make sense, since Nick has put down roots and is relatively easy to monitor. After a visit from Adelind’s mother, Rosalee is pointed toward a cure for the memory-erasing spell afflicting Juliette. Renard’s motives remain unclear, though- is he protecting Nick or seeking to control him?

As with most series with continuing mysteries, secrets drive the action.  As much as viewers want answers, revealing them too quickly or too slowly tends to hurt the show. This episode nicely clears up some secrets of Nick’s past, but there is little progress elsewhere. Juliette is likely to forget Nick’s revelation and might even forget Nick altogether. Hank is still clueless and thinks he’s crazy and seems to be preparing for the zombie apocalypse when off-duty. Secrets are sometimes worse than the truth, as Hank unfortunately shows. It will be interesting to see these storylines develop in next week’s conclusion to this two-part premiere.

To Be Continued

Matt Marquisse

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