Saturday, December 10, 2011

NEW!: Grimm 1:5 / 1:6 - The Dance Macabre / The Three Wolves (Capsule Reviews)

Readers note that since two new episodes of Grimm aired this week, I am giving each of them an extended-capsule review:

1:5 - The Dance Macabre

The gist of this one - in a send-off of the Pied Piper of Hamlin, a family of Reinekind (rat lords) is wrongfully persecuted by the kids at a snooty private school where the son has recently lost his admission despite enormous musical talent for fighting (instigated by the townspeople because the ring-leader wanted to be with the girl he admired).  After being pushed to far, he seeks revenge on the loathsome teenagers by leading a horde of rats to their favorite rave haunt to attach them.  Nick stops the revenge killing just in time and the teens are jailed for the aggravated murder of their music teacher.

The good news - this story actually has a sort of human drama to which I can relate - they're starting to pick up on a few themes that are more compelling.  First, that Nick is not like a typical Grimm and has chosen to try not to kill his potential beastly adversaries unless forced to by an attack.  Second, that the various monster classes aren't universally evil...and that many of them just want to be left alone.  On top of that, this episode features the negative consequences of evil teenagers behaving evilly...which I can always relate to.  The plot was a little slow to launch, but I'm liking Hank (Nick's partner) more and more...he brings some funny alongside Monroe (also pretty funny this week).  Still, this episode lacks compelling action or monumental character development and is thus merely solid.

Overall Rating: 7.0

1:6 - The Three Wolves

HERE we go...this one was much more interesting, at least to me.

In summary, Monroe's reform tendencies are heavily tested when a former lover - a wild blud bat - arrives to defend her brother.  Like Monroe, frat-wannabe Hap is reformed...sort of.  He's kind of a loser, but at least he's harmless.  Unfortunately, it's only a bit of random chance that keeps him from being blow halfway to hell as an assassin is killing members of his family.  That assassin - a pig-man who happens to be an arson investigator - gets his chance at Hap when Monroe is lured away from the house by his evil ex...together they join in outdoor sex play and bunny-slaughter, and meanwhile, Hap walks right into an execution-style murder.  Enraged, Monroe's ex goes after Lt. Orson (the pig) for vengeance.  As it turns out, she murdered Orson's two brothers for sport and now Orson feels they're "even."  Before the enraged wolf can get vengeance, Orson and Nick tag-team to shoot her in the back and she flees, never to be heard from again.

I love like six things about this episode.  We still haven't hit feature territory yet, but this one tests Nick's resolve not to kill unless forced to, Monroe's resolve not to become a wild wolf again, and Nick's fiance's ability to overlook the strange things circling around her husband-to-be (although not to critical mass yet).  Not only that, but I feel like we're finally building a larger world about which I can care/speculate/imagine possibilities.  Now we have a world with reformed blud bats fighting their urges, bad blud bats running wild and killing for sport, rat-lords, man-pigs, Grimm-wraiths (and you can imagine why the beastly world might be bitter with the Grimms...some of the best intentions evidently come from beasts who were harmless, and were probably still hunted down by the Grimms of old)...and this episode unveils a long-running blood-feud between the wolves and the pigs which had a lot more impact than anything we've seen to date.  I hope the continue to expand on this going forward.

Overall Rating: 8.5

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