We'll do brief capsule reviews without a ton of commentary and then we'll add a few closing thoughts on the first season of Grimm (which is maturing and gaining in staying power for me)
1:19 - Leave it to Beavers (8.5)
One-line Summary: Nick forges an alliance with a den of beavers to stop a mafia-like hierarchy of trolls from crippling their communities by making them pay painful taxes every time they cross Portland's bridges (which they themselves frequently built).
This may be the first of many plots in which Nick acquires a large army of potential vescin soldiers to fight for freedom in the future...time will tell. But I like the concept of enlarging the Grimm world by giving Nick allies among the vescin - especially the lesser species in their corrosive caste system. This episode is really quite fascinating IMHO and deserves high marks for pathos and good storytelling.
1:20 - Happily Ever Aftermath (6.0)
One-line Summary: After a wealthy matriarch is killed by the power of ultrasound waves, Nick and Hank discover that a seemingly innocent step-sister is actually a deadly predator and sociopath who has been manipulating her prince charming to take control of the family fortune and give her everything she wants from day one.
Meh. This retelling of the Cinderella story is, frankly, not a very good match for the real story, nor a particularly interesting new spin on it. Screaming someone to death is kinda cool...but...beyond that, there's nothing that makes a lasting impression here nor any apparent message to be sent.
1:21 - Big Feet (7.8)
One-line Summary: Juliette is called to service a horse attacked by a large predator and stumbles on a trio of brutal murders committed (evidently) by big foot - who turns out to be a vescin victimized by a mad psychologist who thinks he can experiment on patients to eradicate the patient's urges to undergo the Vulga (beasting out), but whose treatments actually cause his patients to lose control and get stuck in partially beastly forms.
Juliette is a smart cookie...she's getting dangerously close to the truth here just with investigative know-how and intuition. Beyond that, this is a good parallel for modern psychology's obsession with pharmacology above and beyond real spiritual healing, and a well-told story...but hardly groundbreaking.
1:22 - Woman in Black (rating withheld)
One-line Summary: Nick is forced to tell Juliette about his Grimm identity when she is scratched by Adalind's cat - just when Monroe is about to show her the wolf, she collapses from the attack and is hospitalized (what little good that does), and then turns into some kind of black-eyed beast. Meanwhile one of the murderers of Nick's parents arrives looking for the evil gold coins and systematically attacks the chief of police, then Hank, then Nick - all the while tailed by a mysterious woman in black who, at the last moment, claims to be Nick's mother (not dead after all!).
I am waiting to see how this cliff-hanger ends (next year) before rating it...but they sure had my attention this time...it was a fast-paced (almost frantic) series of events that will lead to a whole new status quo in season two and that is exciting. However, we do not know for certain what that status quo will be, so I cannot pass judgment on it fully. Great season-ender though...they have my attention for 2012/2013.
The season, overall, developed VERY slowly...this seems to be a trend in modern sci-fi that didn't used to be common...and when you are a new fan, this can be a little frustrating. BUT...they are starting to build their true ensemble and set up a very interesting and complex world in which stories may be told. Which is a good thing, because their basic pitch (what if the Grimm Brothers fairy tales were real?) was limited to a very short lifetime and didn't have a lot of big-world potential for someone like me who likes their stories grand. This maturing show, however, is much bigger than its' original pitch. We'll see how that will play out next year...I will return to weekly reviews in the new year.