Written by David Greenwalt and Jim Kouf
Directed by Norberto Barba
Airs Fridays at 9pm EST on NBC
This week, on Grimm: A new player blows into town, Prince Viktor is read the riot act, and Adalind stops crying
Grimm continues its strong run this week, picking up right where the recent two-parter left off. Nick’s mom may be on the lam, with Adalind and Capt. Renard’s daughter Diana in tow, but the pace doesn’t let up one bit as Adalind reacts to the loss of her daughter and a new player, Teresa (make that “Trubel”), blows into town in a big way. Adding such a significant new element right as Adalind’s storyline transitions is a surprise, but it works well and helps provide an extra push of momentum for the final stretch of the season.
Much of this episode has a noir feel, particularly the stylish opening, and it’s great to see the show playing in this tonal world somewhat. From the jazzy scoring to the camera work, Capt. Renard’s melancholy drink alone is straight out of a Chandler adaptation and the episode’s sad tale of a woman in trouble ties fits in with this nicely. Of course, Teresa is less the damsel in distress than the badass in confusion, following in Grimm’s long line of tough, empowered women, but this only ties the episode even further to its heightened genre aesthetic. Her transition from perceived victim to deadly threat is pure pulp, in the best possible way. The show may be trying a bit hard with “Trubel” (if they want us to go with this, the least they could do is have her last name be pronounced “Rubble”, making Teresa’s nickname a true portmanteau rather than a contrivance), but on the whole the character, and performance from Jacqueline Toboni, work well. It’ll be fun to see how she ties in with the rest of the season’s final arc.
The highlight of the episode, however, is Adalind and her impassioned pleas to the Portland gang to help her find Diana. Claire Coffee is great throughout most of the episode, showing rare vulnerability; unfortunately, it seems that nuanced performance may be limited to this episode. By her last scene, Coffee is back to smirking, a visual cue for the audience that Adalind’s intentions with Renard are not as they seem. It’s understandable that director Norberto Barba wanted something small to tip off the audience, but Adalind should not be in a smiling mood, no matter how private the moment. She’s a fun villain for the show, a source of chaotic energy to say the least, but after such a significant bonding with and betrayal by Nick and co., Adalind and her role on the series needs to change. Hopefully the writers have a plan for this moving forward.
Most of the episode ties into these two arcs, but we do spend a bit more time with Prince Viktor and his uncle, father to the seemingly still late Prince Eric (until we see the body, he’s still presumed alive, at least by this viewer). These work better than they have in the past, perhaps because there’s a sense that the Portland gang and the arrival of his uncle have Viktor on the ropes, making him somewhat less smug than usual. The balance of menace to campy arch villainy doesn’t always come together with Viktor, but these scenes are a step in the right direction.
Also of note this week is the score, which is more memorable than usual. As mentioned above, the opening scene features distinctive, lovely scoring and the later fight scenes with Teresa also benefit from particularly effective music, mirroring her energy and her confusion. The fight scenes are well choreographed, though Teresa’s sunglasses staying on throughout the fight in the park is a stretch, tipping the writers’ hand on the reveal, and it’s nice to see the show continuing to muddy Nick’s Grimm and police duties and exploring how that impacts Hank as well as Nick.
There’s a quick indication that Sgt. Wu may still be piecing together the Grimm world, picking at his mental scabs in his off(screen) time, but otherwise several of the continuing arcs, such as Nick’s changing physiology and darkening morality, continue to lie dormant. With only three episodes left, it’ll be interesting to see which elements are returned to and which the writers will keep for next season (or hope we’ve forgotten). All in all, it’s been a strong stretch of episodes for Grimm– here’s hoping they can keep it up straight through to the end of the season.