3.01 “The Ungrateful Dead”
[photos: Scott Green/NBC Website]
Welcome to season 3.
Understandably this episode opens with a fairly lengthy recap of last season. It wasn’t enough that if you haven’t been following along you’d be totally up to date but it brought you back to where we left off. So it served its purpose and since this episode was not a stand alone episode it was necessary. In fact it seems like Grimm has changed its format, at least for now. In the first season it was definitely an episodic with story lines that were started within the episode and never revisited. That drove me nuts.
In season two it started to be a mix of episodic and story lines that carried over from week to week. And by the end of the season it was focusing on the stories of our major characters, and the beast of the week theme was left behind. I think it was a smart move and was probably fueled by confidence that they would have time to see those stories through. Now with more of a story arc viewers have more investment and reason to stay with the show and keep up with their favorite characters. Personally I prefer this format to the episodic. I really believe that this the best format. With all the different ways that fans can view episodes they may have missed there isn’t any reason to worry that fans won’t be able to keep up with story arcs.
This episode started with the classic subtitle, “15 minutes ago”, but in this case it really worked. It gave a count down to get us back to where the story left off and showed us some angles of the story we didn’t get in the season finale. For instance, we found out that Sean Renard was following his brother to the shipping container yard. He sees the coffin that contains Nick being carried to the waiting van. Then we get to see Monroe, Rosalee and Juliette trying to rid their vehicle of the hordes of zombies attacking them. I wondered how they were going to get out of there. The answer they don’t, really. They end up having to go to the top of a container to try and fight off the zombies. Juliette calls Hank and begs for help. And we begin the scene of the cavalry coming to the rescue. It’s the point when you are cheering for the lead characters to be saved. Because things look pretty bleak with more and more zombies coming at them.
Captain Renard gathers up the crew and they speed off to the airport to stop the certain extradition of Nick. Of course it doesn’t work, since it’s hard to stop a guy who can spit zombie juice in anyone’s eyes and render them helpless. They get there in time to see the plane take off and find the two police officers that tried to stop him now lying motionless on the tarmac.
Again one of my favorite things about this series is the fact that the female roles are strong and smart characters. Even the bad women are smart and able to handle themselves when they’re in danger. The female characters have depth, complexity and are not the fainting flower type. Even Juliette who has no Wesen super powers keeps a level head in most situations and is more than able to defend not just herself but also those she loves. Now she is furious that Nick is in danger and she blames Renard.
The next task that Monroe, Rosalee and Juliette face is to come up with enough antidote to cure all the afflicted zombies. Their solution is really both pretty ingenious and the only solution available. They make a variation of antidote molotov cocktails that they can throw in the shipping container and make the zombies breathe in to cure them. All the while they are worried about Nick’s plight.
Baron Samedi sits comfortably on the chartered plane, confident that all is going according to plan. Just as Rosalee suspected the zombie spit does not affect Nick in the same way as normal people because he’s a Grimm. Nick pounds his way out of the coffin and attacks everyone on the plane, crashing it in the process. Nick is the only one to walk away from the crash. He’s now afflicted with an acute sense of hearing and real anger management issues. He walks to a rural bar and attacks everyone in his path.
Hank and Renard follow him there and we end this story line with Nick observing a family coming home. The implication is that the whole family is at risk.
The other story line is Adalind’s testing journey to regain her Hexenbiest powers. Stefania, the gypsy queen, has killed Frau Pech, the other Hexenbiest. Adanlind begins the Contaminato Rituals with Frau Pech’s body and its parts to prove her worthiness and regain her powers. It’s the most gruesome part of the episode. There’s the body its self, then the removing of the parts. And what they do with the parts, putting the hands and feet in a bucket to later be buried in a sacred poppy field along with the heart. Adalind is as snarky as ever. A trait that does not endear her to the gypsy queen but she doesn’t correct her for it. Probably because she is thinking of the price she will be able to fetch for the baby Adalind is carrying.
The most interesting prop in the whole show is a digging tool in the shape of a hand that Adalind has to use to bury all the body parts. She keeps asking how many tests there are and Stefania answers it’s not them that are testing her. It’s not explained who is testing her. I guess it’s the Hexenbiest spirits or something. But it’s not explained. In any case Adalind seems to have passed.
This was a really satisfying opening for the new season. And next week promises to bring more surprises and a further continuation of the current story lines. I’m glad to have Grimm back on the air. And considering I watch each episode more than once so I can write these reviews that’s saying something.