Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Some late world-building produces a poignant if scattered Grimm

Bitsie Tulloch (Image: NBC)
Bitsie Tulloch (Image: NBC)

Because The A.V. Club knows that TV shows keep going even if we’re not writing at length about them, we’re experimenting with discussion posts. For certain shows, one of our TV writers will publish some brief thoughts about the latest episode, and open the comments for readers to share theirs.

  • “Blood Magic” is another Grimm episode that towards the end gets to one of the things I’ve always liked about the show. For all the criticism that can be leveled at Grimm for its scattered approach to narratives and political organizations—are we ever going to mention Black Claw or the royal families again?—it’s always been reliable in terms of creating a lived-in wesen community. It’s a vibrant ecosystem with a lot of different species trying to exist in a society that doesn’t acknowledge them.
  • This focus on wesen daily life now turns to the end of it by introducing the wesen equivalent of Dr. Kevorkian, whose euthanizing powers are treated with borderline reverence by the community. Grimm’s dipped into the consequences of being a wesen before, but this goes even beyond such things as the summer camp from “Iron Hans.”
  • Unsurprisingly for an episode about assisted suicide, this is an episode with a lot of sorrow to it. The third act hits in a manner that the show rarely pulls off, the understanding of what’s been going on and what’s about to happen gradually sinking in across the room. Bonus points to the score in these moments for really building the mood.
  • While last week I was disappointed how a conflict between Monroe and the cops over killing the Kinoshimobe got brushed over, this week is far more satisfying. Monroe and Rosalee—for possibly the first time ever—hesitate to share information with Nick because his interference may do more harm than good, and when they do it comes with a condition. It’s good to see them once again touch on the fact that while Nick moves in this world, he is not fully of it.
  • “Blood Magic” loses some points in terms of case narrative, which is by necessity all over the place. As a consequence of keeping the who and why under wraps until the third act, it bounces between two crimes—the nursing home death and the mysterious night killings—and none of the players with the exception of the doctor and the elderly couple register that strongly. Thankfully, they register strongly enough that they make up for the deficit on others.
  • The title of the episode is related to Julievette researching a way into Black Skull’s realm, which she finally enters on her own after an entire episode promising she wasn’t going to do it alone. Has she learned literally nothing over the course of the last few years?
  • Renard’s finally getting drawn back into the main story as he and Nick have their first conversation in weeks, demanding to be let into the fold. Nick understandably doesn’t trust him, and at this point is there anyone watching who does? He’s worn the concerned father mantle well since his fall from grace, but if five-plus seasons have taught us anything, it’s that Renard is never without ulterior motives.
  • The sighting of wesen in an old age home stirred some momentary hope for the return of the Spinnetod and their unnatural aging, if only because it feels wrong that Amy Acker only got to be in one episode of Grimm.
  • Julievette shaking the Hexenbiest book to get the words to solidify was a fun visual touch.
  • Wow, that was some truly fake-looking blood dragged across the mirror, wasn’t it?
  • “She’s just looking for a little redemption. Aren’t we all.”
  • “Diana! Make sure your brother doesn’t fall off the bed. No making him float either!”
  • “I suppose if any place is gonna have a giant assassin bug, it’d be Portland.” Seriously: between this, the partially digested victims, and the high levels of chlorophyll, how has this M.E. not figured out there’s something off in this town? I will only accept it if in the finale we learn she’s a wesen who’s been playing dumb this whole time to see how Nick and Hank try to rationalize all the horrible things they see.
  • “How can we explain all of this?” “We’ve gotten pretty good at it.”
  • This Week In Portland: Cafe Nell is in fact on Northwest Kearney Street, a rare instance of Grimm getting the real-world geography correct. And yes, both crème brulee and linguine with clams are on the menu.
  • This Week’s Epigram: “Nothing, they say, is more certain than death, and nothing more uncertain than the time of dying.” Dipping into some American history with Thomas Paine. (So men say they’re intense or they’re insane.)
  • Know Your Wesen: The Drang-Zorn has made several appearances in Grimm as a stock tough guy wesen, and left an memorable impression in its first appearance “The Bottle Imp.”
  • Fun fact: this weekend in Portland Grimm’s production company is holding a massive prop sale. I’ll be checking in this weekend and will you know if I pick up anything interesting. If you live in the Portland area, do the same and we’ll compare acquisitions next week.