Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Grimm 1.4: "Lonelyhearts"


Grimm's fourth episode was, I think, one of the best yet -- a great mix of police procedural and a wonderfully creepy way of reimagining a traditional story in a 21st century setting.  Lonelyhearts is based on the "Bluebeard" story, and to this show's everlasting credit I never imagined this twist on the Bluebeard legend. Instead of a woman discovering that a horrible secret about her husband (namely a hidden cache of dead previous wives -- yikes), here Bluebeard is turned into a predatory lech.

The bluebeard Nick (David Giuntoli) encounters is a Ziegevolk, basically a human goat who releases pheromones that blind people to their true nature. This is especially -- and CREEPILY -- handy when it comes to attracting women for "breeding purposes." This conceit marries the predator storyline that is a staple of crime shows (and, unfortunately, the news) with a really well done fantasy twist. That is what makes this show work so brilliantly -- how it takes the stories we know and replaces the historical trappings of the tales with modern accouterments so the dangers are perhaps not quite so easily recognized.

This episode really gave a chance for the spotlight to shine on Nick and Hank's partnership. Hank (Russell Hornsby) has been somewhat sidelined during the first three episodes, as the show has needed to establish Nick as a "Grimm" and his introduction to his family's calling. We got a good look at the Nick and Hank partnership -- the two have a very promising buddy chemistry thing going on, looking forward to seeing how that develops over the course of the season. When the two go to interview the SO NICE HE'S DISGUSTING AND CREEPY innkeeper Billy (Patrick Fischler), prior to Billy's reveal as a bluebeard he and Hank touch -- so his hormone superpowers immediately mellow Hank's perception of him (at least while the two are in close vicinity of each other). Later in the investigation Hank succumbs to the gases Billy uses to keep his female captives compliant -- so when he's rescued by Nick, you can tell that Hank is extra committed to bringing Billy to justice. The case is personal and it shows, which I liked seeing play out on-screen.

Back to Nick, who seems to be growing used to his new "Grimm vision" -- so much so that when he catches Billy morphing into a goat he's actually exasperated. I love how Giuntoli gives off an almost palpable aggravation in the scene, as if he wants to yell "can't I solve a normal crime for once?" *wink* And how much fun was it discovering Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) the big bad wolf plays the CELLO? Eddie is a mass of contradictions and I LOVE it. He talks a lot about being annoyed with Nick but each week he seems to relish more and more working with his family's sworn enemy, a GRIMM.

In addition to the bluebeard storyline, this episode hinted at the dangers to come for Nick as a "Reaper of the Grimms" arrived in town to avenge one of their brothers -- the reaper Nick killed in episode one while defending his aunt. Apparently reapers are troll-type creatures -- and the reaper who came after Nick in this episode (played by Henri Lubatti) broke MAJOR creature protocol. Captain Renard (Sasha Roiz) clearly has authority and pull -- but the question is, who is he exactly? And what sort of game is he running, because by calling off the reaper (the ear cutting scene was so creepy!) it could be read as a suggestion that he's protecting Nick.  Enquiring minds want to know, NBC! :)

The atmosphere and pacing of this episode were, as is quickly becoming the norm for this show, pretty stellar. I'd love to hear your thoughts! :)

Programming note: Grimm is off this week because of the Thanksgiving holiday, but returns with two brand-new episodes next week -- on Thursday 12/8/11 we'll get an episode entitled Danse Macabre, and on Friday 12/9/11 Grimm returns to its normal timeslot with The Three Bad Wolves.

6 comments:

Rissi said...

Sounds like this one is shaping up to be a strong show that might earn itself a second season. =)

Lynette said...

Our Portland NBC affiliate KGW, Channel 8, takes every opportunity to sing the praises of "Grimm" on news broadcasts. Recently they announced that it has been picked up for a full season. I especially enjoyed this episode, if you count barely being able to breathe by the end of it as enjoyment! And I've driven in a Zipcar by the "Bramble House" often--it's The Lion and The Rose B&B, not too many minutes from my apartment.

Happy Thanksgiving!

heidenkind said...

I loved the scene where Eddie goes into the bar and is all charmed by Billy Goat. And you're right, that twist on Bluebeard was so crazy-good.

Ruth said...

@Rissi - I was so happy when I learned NBC gave it a full season pick-up. Here's hoping the momentum continues. :)

@Lynette - That is so cool that you're right there where it's being filmed! And I know exactly what you mean, this episode was edge of your seat good. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

@heidenkind - OMG that scene was AWESOME. Loved the Bluebeard twist, can't wait to see what they do next!

Charity said...

I liked this episode, even though this plot has been done a thousand times in sci-fi! ;)

Ruth said...

@Charity - Hmm, I think you are probably better versed in that area than I am...I can't think of an example!!! :P