Season 1, episode 5: “Danse Macabre”
This was a special air day and time for Grimm. This week had two episodes of Grimm; one on Thursday and the second on its regular day and time, Friday. It doesn’t matter if you only caught one or the other of them, they have nothing to do with each other. That fact bothers me more than anything else. There were several things hinted at or beginning that were not even a side note in the second episode. This has been happening all along. I don’t get it. Maybe if I were just casually watching the series it wouldn’t bother me. Maybe I wouldn’t even really notice but, not only do I notice it, it’s becoming really annoying. I watch each episode a few times and there isn’t enough connection or story arc from one episode to the next.
Grimm is good at using misdirection. They use it in every episode. It does a couple of things for the show. It helps to keep the audience on their toes. You are never sure what you are seeing. A scene will be shot so it looks like one thing is happening or that a character is good or bad and then it turns out to be the opposite. It also lets you know that you can’t trust what you see. That it’s not always easy to know what the truth is.
The other thing that Grimm is doing well is that, just as in life, it’s not so easy to tell the good guys from the bad guys. And if you have been following along, you will notice that many of these creatures are bent on declaring that they are not that bad. It strikes me that it is akin to where you are on the food chain. If you are the one doing the eating you don’t think you are bad. If you are the one being eaten you think the guy trying to eat you is very bad.
“Danse Macabre” starts out going back and forth between a rave party and rehearsal of a violin quartet. We quickly see that the teacher for the quartet is being hard on the kids. But not more so than most performers are used to dealing with. In fact, in hind sight it is usually the teacher that was the hardest that is remembered most fondly. These driven teachers are the ones that pushed their students to bring out the best work from them.
Apparently this teacher’s one comment is enough to target him for the opening murder. It’s the formula for the show. He gets in his car to leave the school following the rehearsal and is attacked by hordes of rats. I don’t usually point out the continuity errors but this one was just too much. When we leave the teacher being attacked in the car, the car is running and the radio or CD is playing in the car. When the police get there the next morning, they make a point of not having opened the locked car. But the car is now not running and the music is not playing.
Immediately a troubled young man who was recently expelled from school becomes the prime suspect. Just so happens that his dad owns a pest extermination company and cages with his company logo are found in the bushes near the dead teacher’s car. Nick and Hank pay them a visit and discover that Roddy, the troubled youth, is also a violin virtuoso. Nick sees that both father and son are Reinigen – rat people. Nick relates to Roddy being an outsider and wants to help him.
Even though Nick wants to help Roddy he knows that Roddy won’t listen to him since he is both a cop and a Grimm. So, of course he sends Monroe to have a heart to heart with the lad. Actually the talk goes well, but Roddy gets a phone call informing him that his Dad was injured while in police custody and that he can not visit him for 48 hours. That apparently is enough to send the boy into a mad destructive fury. It’s while in this fury that he comes up with his plan for revenge on the rich kids that set him up for the teacher’s death.
He lures them to a fake rave party with text invites for a Retched Kat rave at an abandoned warehouse. On his way, he sets all the rats loose from their cages and leads them to the warehouse. Now this is where is it gets hard to believe. Oh, I am not talking about the legions of rats doing his bidding. I am talking about the hundreds of candles he took the time to gather and light in the empty warehouse. Really? It makes for beautiful shots, but it’s not very believable.
There are several things going on in this episode that don’t directly relate to the main story. Shade, the pretty Hexenbiest, happens to invite Hank to join her for dinner. The next shot is the Police Chief as he’s pulling out of the parking lot. This plot line goes no where and is not picked up in the next episode.
Then there is the refrigerator repairman who reveals himself as some sort of mole – man to Nick. The repairman runs out of the house totally freaked by meeting a Grimm. He comes back the next day for his tools and gives Juliette a message to give to Nick that he does not want any trouble and he has never done anything bad. He leaves Juliette wondering what is going on. You think that this is going to lead to Juliette finding out about Nick. Or a scene of how Nick explains this to her. But no, it leads nowhere. And again this is not even hinted at in the next episode. I thought when they put two episodes on back to back days it meant something. Now, I think it had more to do with the TV schedule or something like that rather than anything that the audience would care about.
Despite some serious lapses in continuity, I appreciate the work of the art department and the Director of Photography. There are some nice foreshadowing elements in shots and some terrifically framed shots. The lighting is not the carnival colors of the pilot. And is it just me, or is David Giuntoli becoming more comfortable with his Nick character? I would still like to see more depth in his portrayal, but he is at least not as stiff.
I wish that folks from the show would see this… I have so many questions. Who was that furry face weeks ago? What was the Mellifer Queen trying to warn Nick about? Who or what is the Police Chief?