Grimm, Ep. 3.21, “The Inheritance” sets up a personal finale

Grimm S03E21 promo image

Grimm S03E21 promo imageGrimm, Season 3, Episode 21, “The Inheritance”
Written by Dan E. Fesman
Directed by Eric Laneuville
Airs Fridays at 9pm EST on NBC

This week, on Grimm: Trubel loves spaghetti, Adalind’s up to no good, and there’s another Grimm in town

In its first two seasons, Grimm fell neatly into the modern network procedural form, starting and ending a given season with heavily serialized episodes (and maybe throwing another couple in around mid-season) while keeping to standalones the rest of the time. This season, however, the show has experimented with far greater serialization, thanks to Adalind’s weekly adventures in Europe earlier in the year. For the most part, this experiment backfired, with too much time given to an underdeveloped arc.

Since “Synchronicity”, however, the series has been almost entirely serialized, with Diana’s birth and Adalind’s fleeing to Portland propelling most of the major storylines, and this approach has been far more successful. The show has gained energy from its tight construction and exploration of Adalind and the newly arrived Teresa. This week, that momentum stalls somewhat as the intensely personal motivations of the previous few episodes take a back seat to yet another new character, Sam Anderson’s Rolek. Rolek provides an interesting contrast to Teresa, his son thinking he’s crazy when he starts to discuss the Wesen world, but beyond this parallel, Rolek and his son function as a plot point, a distraction for Nick and a reason for Teresa to be out of the house when Adalind comes around.

It’s likely the Wesen world will expand thanks to Rolek’s texts and key, but for now, Adalind’s on the warpath and there’s a wedding to think of. Between these two continuing arcs, Weston Stewart (C. Thomas Howell)’s Royals-sanctioned desire to take out Capt. Renard, Teresa’s still hesitant relationship with our leads, and Sgt. Wu’s continued processing of his experience with the Aswang, there’s plenty happening without another complication added to the mix. The show has reached critical mass in regards to its plot; developments viewers are supposed to remember and invest in are falling through the cracks, weakening the foundation that the writers so frequently draw upon. That being said, at least Rolek and his son’s progression this week ties in with Teresa’s growing confidence in herself and her experiences.

Grimm S03E21 promo imageDespite the Rolek-inspired digression this week, this episode features several memorable character moments, which stand out against the busyness of the episode’s plot-based backdrop. Teresa’s relaying of her first experience of a Wesen woging is harrowing. Jacqueline Toboni plays the moment with awkward nonchalance, a choice that keeps the well-written (presumably by episode writer Dan E. Fesman) and well-directed (by Eric Laneuville) scene from being overplayed or melodramatic. It would have been easy for all involved to play it big. Instead it’s painfully small, the first in a long series of experiences shaping who Teresa’s become, a trauma she’s likely relayed several times, but only now to an believing audience. There’s another similarly small moment later in the episode that counterpoints this one nicely, as Juliette offers to take Teresa shopping. Teresa’s assumption that this supportive, happy situation she’s found will dissolve, and sooner rather than later, fits very well with the character, as does Juliette’s conflicting respect for Teresa’s boundaries and nurturing warmth as she insists on taking her out.

Capt. Renard and Adalind share a telling moment or two this week, but the other memorably engaging, and foreboding, scene is Rosalee and Monroe’s, as Rosalee verbalizes the fears any sane Wesen would have for her and Monroe’s upcoming nuptials. It’s clear the wedding will play prominently into the finale and with so much going on, from Adalind to Rolek to generic familial wedding drama, the chances of a smooth ceremony and reception are just about nil. Along with these few character-driven scenes, this setup for an eventful finale is what “The Inheritance” does best. Monroe and Rosalee are getting married, Adalind’s pulled off a doppelganger spell (her motivation for doing so remains up in the air- is this at the behest of Viktor? Some explanation besides, “Because she’s evil” would be nice), and given how recently the audience was reminded of his Aswang trauma, Wu may be in for another bad day. The table has been set for a very personal, very high-stakes finale, and that’s a good thing. Hopefully next week’s finale, and inevitable cliffhanger, live up to the season’s potential.

Kate Kulzick

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