Grimm, Episode 2.15 “Mr Sandman”
Written by: Alan DiFiore
Directed by: Norberto Barba
Airs Friday 9.00pm EST on NBC
In Grimm the Wesen crimes Nick has to solve fall into two types: those concerning Wesen’s with emotional issues (like the Mauzhertz in ‘Of Mouse and Man’ or the Genio Innocuo in ‘The Other Side’) and those concerning Wesen’s with eating-people issues. The show is always at its best with the latter at the center of the tale and this is what we got this week. This Wesen not only morphs into a parasitic fly, it enjoys using its proboscis to lick up the tears of its victims, but only after it has infected their eyeballs with its flesh-eating young. So far, so eewww. Even Monroe has to suppress a gag reflex when reading up on this particular beast.
With a foe of this awfulness to beat, it’s the perfect moment to finally unveil Team Grimm. Most shows set up their monster-hunting band from season one, episode one (think X-files, Supernatural, et al) but Grimm has held back from giving Nick more than occasional allies for not one but almost two series. He’s gradually acquired help: first Monroe, then Rosalee, then – after his brush with a Hexenbeist – Hank, but this is the first time we’ve seen all four of them around a table, sipping wine and discussing tactics.
It’s a welcome development. Keeping Nick isolated creates tension, but it also makes for complicated writing, as those close to him have to ignore the obvious in order for him to keep his secret. Now everyone important, except for Juliette, is in the know, the stories can focus on what gives the show its drive: big, bad horrible monsters and tracking them down.
With the holes in Juliette’s memory shrinking fast, it can’t be long before she becomes the fifth team member. It will be interesting to see how the group dynamics play out and if the writers will manage to give each character enough screen time and enough conflicts to keep all of them viable. Juliette and Rosalee inhabit much the same ‘warm and caring person’ territory and neither have sufficient quirks in their nature to make them distinctive enough. The writers need to make one of them do something awful, and fast, before we start mixing up their names.
The joker in the Team Grimm pack is Renard. The way the others discuss him while he’s not around make it clear he’s the outsider, a role which fits his character – haughty, aloof, family outcast – very well. He’s still not over Juliette, although it’s Adelind and her plan to soak both him and his brother for child support, he really needs to worry about. Claire Coffee’s grin is now so evil it lingers on the screen after her like the Cheshire Cat’s and begs questions about whether both Renard and his brother are stupid enough to trust a Hexenbeist when she claims to be on the pill.
Taking all of this together, the show is gathering momentum. David Giuntoli has hit his stride in the part of Nick, conveying a toughness which is much more attractive in a lead character than the emotional wreck the writers made him during the first half of the season. He has some cool new powers to play with and as Adelind is nurturing a demon seed, he’s probably going to need them.
Questions for the next show: Will Juliette give Rosalee some much-needed style tips? Will Hank and Monroe get to solve a case together? How will the writers come up with a Wesen to top the Jinnamuru Xunte?
– Cath Murphy