Grimm, Episode 1.09 ”Of Mouse and Man”: Too much Disney, not enough dismemberment

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The death of a bully confronts Nick with another Grimm creature: this time a mouse-man with father issues. Munroe gets a warning that his involvement with a Grimm is not meeting with approval with certain Grimm-world factions.

Grimm Review, Season 1, Episode 9 “Of Mouse and Man”
Written by Alan DiFiore and Dan E. Fesman
Directed by Omar Madha
Airs 9pm Fridays on NBC

I now have a theory about the quality of Grimm episodes. It’s similar to the one which applies to the Star Trek movies: every odd numbered film is good, every even numbered film is crap, except in Grimm’s case it’s not the number of the episode which makes the difference. It’s the presence or otherwise of rodents.

For my money, the worst episode of the series so far was Danse Macabre, a too literal interpretation of the classic story Pied Piper of Hamelin. In “Of Mouse and Man”, we see Grimm creatures who are secretly rodents again, only this time mice. Still doesn’t work for me. It’s not that I don’t like rats and mice – I’ve actually owned the critters if you must know – but somehow in my thinking they don’t form the basis of charismatic characters. So basing a whole episode on a character who sports whiskers under his human face just isn’t going to glue my eyes to the screen, however many murders he commits.

Granted, this episode also includes an ambulance-chasing lawyer who is secretly a snake (and also a close relative of Saul Goodman from Breaking Bad), but he’s only there as a secondary suspect and even though Nick’s library of Grimm creatures paints the average Lausenschlange as the kind of beast that snacks on curly headed children, he proves disappointingly easy to kill. It seems strange to set up a creature as exactly the kind of fearsome entity that Grimms are supposed to hunt down with one of the special weapons from Aunt Marie’s secret cabinet only to have the Lausenschlange offed by a mouse with a paperweight.

The same lack of story logic applied to the strand concerning Munroe, the big bad wolf in disguise who has become Nick’s crime-solving partner in Grimm world. He is tricked into answering a clock repairing appointment (it’s a huge, complicated clock, the kind of tempting project which would make Munroe ignore any warning signs) which turns out to be a punishment beating from a Grimm-faction that feels he has switched sides. We’ve seen Munroe detach limbs from a Grimm-adversary sent to kill Nick’s Aunt Marie- having him overpowered without even bruising the other guys feels like a huge let down.

I want more gore, basically. And more jokes – the repartee between Nick, Hank and Sergeant Wu is perfunctory this week. Instead the show spends its time focusing on the mental breakdown of a mouse- think Disney as written by David Mamet. So what if this Mautzhertz had problems with his father? I’m not interested to discover that there are Grimm creatures out there who could use a good therapist. I want to find out what makes them different from humans, not the same.

The only bright spot is the discovery by Juliette, Nick’s girlfriend, that she is being watched by mysterious strangers. Previous episodes have established that the Grimm creatures in the neighbourhood have woken up to the fact that their equivalent of the Terminator is residing in their midst. Now Juliette is wondering why people are hiding their children from her. Soon, I hope, she’s going to find out.

Cath Murphy

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