3.07 “Cold Blooded/Twelve Days of Krampus”
[photos: Scott Green/NBC]
I should have realized it but somehow I was expecting one 2 hour episode not two regular 1 hour episodes. I also was expecting more on the story arcs and a cliffhanger. Grimm has been using cliffhangers to their advantage. It seems like they missed an opportunity to do something dramatic here.
I’m not really sure how to write this. There’s two stand-alone episodes for me to cover. So, I think I’ll just take them one at a time and try not to do too much cross over.
While both episodes did some things really well I was disappointed with other aspects. “Cold Blooded” did an excellent job building tension and worrying me over Wu’s safety. But it didn’t set up the whys or tie up the end of the story. It had a great middle but was skimpy on both ends. We’ve all been taught that stories need a beginning, middle and end. And it’s not just a perfunctory need. All three parts need to have their weight and purpose to serve the story.
My quick recap: a young man comes home and interrupts a burglary and is brutally murdered. That brings Nick and Hank on the case and they start looking into a string of burglaries. The next victim is a maintenance worker. He goes down into the storm drains to check out a problem. He finds a problem or the problem finds him and it kills him in the same violent way the first victim died.
Our new Wesen is a Gelumcaedus, an alligator type that hunkers down in the storm drains. And you thought the urban legends of gators in the sewers were myths. Well, even in Grimm they still are myths but, there is something vicious in the storm drain tunnels.
Our only story arc that we’re continuing is the story in Vienna. Adalind has her meeting with the new Prince. He wants to retain her for her legal services. This guy makes Eric look downright pleasant. He’s also been watching Adalind in her hotel room via the in room security cameras. Sean Renard is in hiding and learning who he might be able to trust.
I hoped that we’d pick up more of a story arc to take us into the end of the season. Sean Renard lays the Grimm card on the table in his meeting with the resistance to solidify his value. That leads me to think that there may be a trip to Vienna in Nick’s future. But the promo for the up-coming episode in January states that Captain Renard is returning to Portland to help out on a case Nick will be working on.
There was another disturbing moment with Nick this episode. The first Gelumcaedus that he encounters calls him a Decapitare. Monroe describes it as an old school term for a Grimm meaning one who decapitates. And at the end of the episode as he’s putting away the weapon he used to defend himself against the bite of the Gelumcaedus, he declares that he likes the handle of Decapitare. Personally, I find that disturbing.
It felt like the actual police case was solved really easily. The rest of the episode was how to take care of the case off the grid, without their police badge. Nick takes the Gelumcaedus that they arrested out of his holding cell at gun point. So, that would be okay? It’s okay for a detective to just walk out of the precinct with a suspect at gunpoint? No questions asked? No paperwork to fill out? That seems really unlikely to me.
The “Cold Blooded” case ends without wrapping up what happens to the third Gelumcaedus. How can they re-arrest him? How do the police account for two dead bodies in the storm drains? What happens to all storehouse of loot they found in the gator lair? If they return it don’t they have to explain how they found it, where they found it and do a ton of paper work? None of these loose ends were tied up. I’ll concede that may not make for exciting television but at least give us what happened to the third bad guy.
Notice the lighting in this shot because I assure you the lighting department took care to set this up. It’s not by accident that Hank happens to be in a beautiful pool of light. The lighting has not always made sense on Grimm but quite often it’s beautifully done.
“The Twelve Days of Krampus” lacks some of the tension and suspense of “Cold Blooded”. I’ll forgive it only because it allowed for more screen time for Krampus. Kudos to the special effects team! This time they went above and beyond.
When the audience sees who and what kind of Wesen is committing crimes in the first scene it’s hard to keep up the tension. And if it’s not shown in the first scene it has often been revealed by the promos the previous week. So the suspense can only come from how the case is solved and if any of our lead characters are in danger. “Cold Blooded” accomplished it by creating fear for the leads’ safety. Then there’s Renard’s story, which is full of backstabbing and spy stuff that can be really fun to watch. The only tension in this episode is the race against time to find the kids before Krampus eats them.
Briefly, this episode surrounds Christmas traditions old and new. The old tradition is the ancient European myth of Krampus. The story goes that Krampus whips and even steals bad children the night before Saint Nicholas visits the good children leaving them gifts. Of course Grimm delves into the dark side of the tradition with a wonderfully wicked Krampus. He abducts bad teenagers in his sack leaving behind a lump of coal. He puts them in baskets and hangs them from the highest tree to be eaten before midnight on the eve of winter solstice.
The new traditions are in how our young couples celebrate the holidays in their own way. Monroe and Rosalee need to find their own new holiday traditions. Monroe can be a bit excessive when it comes to holiday decorating. He absolutely adores all the trimmings of the season. Rosalee associates Christmas with the death of her favorite Aunt and Uncle. This is their first Christmas together as an official couple. Each of them is trying to make it special for the other. Juliette indicates that she and Nick have created their own traditions but we don’t get to see or even hear about them.
Again, it seems that Juliette has all the time in the world on her hands. She can spend a full day decorating Monroe’s house, meet Rosalee for tea and sympathy and still be there for her boyfriend. She’s my nominee for Wonder Woman. The wonder is how does one woman do all that she does and still hold down a job?
I have an issue with timing when our heroes find the naughty kids. Krampus is on his way back to the tree with yet another naughty kid. Nick battles Krampus and as he lies there knocked out for a bit he morphs back to his human form. Here’s my issue: if it were that close to midnight, he didn’t have time to hang another basket with a kid and eat all the other kids before the stroke of midnight. The fight with Nick and the argument about what to do with Krampus takes a couple of minutes. It would have made much more sense that he morphed sometime later. I get that it was done for the sake of truncating the story for TV, but it doesn’t make sense.
In the end Nick suggests that they turn the Krampus case over to the Wesen Council. Which feels like he’s taking the easy way out. But upon further reflection I don’t know what else he could do. It would have been a fun scene, the stuffy guy at Wesen Council listening to the case of a real Krampus and then deciding what should be done. That assumes that he would believe the story of Krampus. Because of course he won’t morph into Krampus until next December. Oh that would be fun to watch!
Here’s my Christmas wish from Grimm. I’d like more continuing stories and less stand-alone case work. Go back, explore and give us some payoff for stories that were started and never followed up. There were many things introduced even back in the first season and were never seen through. How about we get some completion on all of those orphaned stories?
The winter break is not going to be very long. Grimm returns on January 3rd. It looks like we’ll get more of on the story arcs and that is exactly what I want.