Grimm, Ep. 2.07, “The Bottle Imp”: All Work and No Play Makes Renard a Dull Boy
Grimm, Season 2, Episode 7, “The Bottle Imp”
Written by Alan DiFiore
Directed by Darnell Martin
Airs Fridays at 9pm (ET) on NBC
Okay, maybe the reference to The Shining is a little obscure, but c’mon, this is a movie website. I can’t be the only one who flashed to typewriters in the Overlook when Renard woke from a daydream to find he had typed a pageful of Juliette’s name. We were primed for that moment, but maybe not for Juliette to feel the same way as the lustful Renard. I’m really starting to feel sorry for Nick, who has a sex life even less promising than Sergeant Wu’s (and who else thinks Wu’s main love interest is a huge poster of his face photoshopped onto Bruce Lee’s body?).
Back to Nick. Juliette’s reaction may explain why he’s looking so lovelorn, although I have a sense that David Giuntoli is coasting in the role at the moment. True, it’s hard to always be the straight guy – the best lines and reactions routinely go to Russell Hornsby as Hank and Silas Weir Mitchell’s eyebrows (who deserve a credit of their own) – but that’s no excuse for the way Giuntoli is gradually disappearing into the background, as though his mind is on other things. Nick is the lynchpin of the series: without him the story motivation ceases. The writers either need to give Giuntoli something more interesting to do than look beseechingly at Bitsie Tulloch, who gets better every week as the still-bewitched Juliette, or he needs to reconnect with his inner Grimm and start acting like he means it.
The storyline this week contains an above-average, though fairly well signposted, twist, combining elements of the conclusion to “Tarantella” and “Let Your Hair Down” in season one. The plight of young Wesen learning to handle their dark side has cropped up a number of times in the show and Nick, as before, is left wondering if he has done the right thing by the afflicted youngster. I’m guessing the point is that Wesen youth are easily led astray because of their quasi-animal nature and Nick’s instinct as a policeman to guide them to straighter paths is set to conflict with his duty as a Grimm, which is to show their necks the business end of his axe.
Comic relief this week, apart from Wu’s oneliners, which are especially dry and crispy, is provided by Munroe’s efforts to cover for Rosalee at the apothecary. Cue another Mouse-Wesen doing a Dennis Hopper impression, but this time played for laughs, which works. The apparatus the poor afflicted creature has to wear on his head to deliver the potion he needs is a piece of steampunk genius. And speaking of steampunk, Hank gets to see the inside of the trailer, which basically means we all get to see the inside of the trailer too, always a very special, freeze-frameable moment. Hank’s discovery that Munroe saved his life is a useful step towards binding Nick’s partner to the Wesen point of view, leading to speculation in my mind that maybe Hank is going to get an opportunity to pay Monroe back very soon.
Questions from this week’s episode: Will Renard attempt to use his French in order to seduce Juliette? What nameless illness is Rosalee’s aunt suffering from which means she gets to lie in bed with no apparent treatment? Why didn’t they use Christina Aguilera (Genie in a Bottle – that so would have worked) for the music when Nick and Juliette are dancing?