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How Grimm Has Redeemed Itself

How Grimm Has Redeemed Itself

By Nuala McKenna

Part Buffy, part cop show, Grimm has people talking. For the first several episodes, critics and viewers alike saw Grimm as little more than a paint-by-numbers Monster of The Week show. Over the season’s second half, though, Grimm has finally started to redeem itself, revealing its many secrets and showing it is more complex and intriguing that first thought.

This shift in quality was only possible with the continuing development of Nick’s friendship with Monroe. Monroe is a Blutbad, a hybrid human-wolf creature. In the pilot episode Nick meets Monroe for the first time during a missing person investigation and accuses Monroe of being responsible for the disappearance of a little girl. Later it's revealed that the bad guy isn't Monroe but is, instead, a buttoned-down government employee who is also a Blutbad.

Think Mr. Rogers meets Teen Wolf. Dude is so creepy that the phrase “So many kinds of wrong” was practically invented for him.

This causes some tension between the newly introduced allies. Yet over the first half of the season their relationship quickly goes from hostile to close. Despite Nick and Monroe coming from completely opposite worlds, their approach to life and the world around them is amazingly similar. Throughout the season, it’s shown that Monroe will not allow his Blutbad nature to compromise his own moral code. In the season’s second episode, “Bears Will Be Bears”, viewers see Monroe guarding Nick’s aunt (and fellow Grimm), Marie. Monroe’s decision to guard Aunt Marie is a tipping point for both him and the show; he has to decide if he will help Nick and become involved in the Grimm world. Their friendship forms the cornerstone of the series’ development and remains a vital part of its ongoing redemption.

The escalation of events in the latter half of the season has resulted in a cat-and-mouse type tension between the residents of the Grimm-verse. Things are about to get serious between Team Monster and Team Grimm. This, coupled with the addition of the character Rosalee in the season’s second half, adds to the show’s redemption.

Rosalee's first appearance (“Island of Dreams”) marks the point when the season really starts to gain speed. She’s not merely a love interest for Monroe. She also serves as an ally to Nick and a worthy foil for the malevolent Captain Renard along with any of the other monsters who cross our heroes’ path. Other allies include Nick’s girlfriend, Juliette and his homicide partner, Hank, neither of whom know Nick’s true identity as a Grimm. How much of an ally Juliette is has yet to be revealed. One of the first things Aunt Marie tells Nick on her arrival in Portland is, “You have to end it, and never see her again!” Is it a warning for Juliette or a warning about her?  At this point it’s taken too long for the audience to discover either way, and it’s doubtful many viewers care. While Grimm has proven itself in the second half of this season, the ongoing question of Juliette’s true motivation is by far the weakest link in an otherwise solid series.

Layers of the story arc have been peeled back slowly over the course of the season and the tension has steadily built. Yet the writers have been careful not to reveal too much, too soon. There are three episodes of the current season left and all bets are off as to where the story will lead.  The only guarantee is Monroe will do Pilates at some point (Or Yoga... or both).  No matter where the story goes, these few key things have redeemed Grimm in its second half: The layered storytelling, the richness of the show’s mythology and the ongoing development of the characters. All this means that Grimm will continue to be a compelling and worthy show for all fans of the fantasy genre.

Grimm airs Fridays at 10/9c on NBC.

Do you watch Grimm? If not, will you now?

Tags: television, fantasy, life, nbc, grimm

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