Grimm 1.16 Review: "The Thing With Feathers"

By John Keegan

Grimm-2I don’t know if “Grimm” is trying to outdo “Supernatural” and “Fringe” by taking things to even greater extremes, but this was not a family-friendly episode. The force-feeding scenes were truly disturbing, from the opaque tubing to the very bird-like fluttering of Robin’s hands. Showing the preparation of the “food”, on top of it all, was just nausea-inducing.
But I can understand the desire to kick things up a notch. I recently compared this first season of “Grimm” to the first season of “Angel”, in that it has the tone and feel of a show that is still, even this late in the game, trying to figure out what it is. A lot of the freshmen genre shows this season have fallen into that quagmire, and only a handful have the benefit of a second season on the horizon to reassess and make adjustments.

One big problem with that, and one I have mentioned repeatedly, is the irritating lack of progress in getting Nick to tell the most important people in his life about his Grimm identity. Consider just how comfortable he’s getting with his personal Scooby Gang. His kindler, gentler Grimm approach has gained him several allies in the creature world, notably Monroe and Rosalee, to the point where they are a solid support team.

Grimm-The-Thing-With-Feathers-4-550x366Yet two major plot threads are all about Hank and Juliette. Imagine if Hank were aware of the creature world. For one thing, a lot of the weirdness from recent cases would suddenly make a lot more sense, and Nick would have the perfect opportunity to tell Hank about Adalind. Granted, then we wouldn’t have the whole subplot of Captain Renard using Hank as leverage against Nick in the future, or all these fun scenes with Adalind in various states of undress, but wouldn’t it make for a less predictable turn of events?

Setting that aside, this episode was the perfect time for Nick to come clean. Juliette was vulnerable several times in this episode, and she would have been much better off knowing the true nature of the problem. Given her abilities with a weapon, she’d make a damn good team member, even if she didn’t turn out to be from a Grimm bloodline herself. (I still suspect that’s the case.)

But even if the nature of the situation didn’t prompt Nick to open up, why wouldn’t he do it when that very secret was the thing that ruined his proposal? That was the time to say something, not later, when more and more hesitation just makes the secret seem worse. It’s not like this is something that will simply go away or settle down with time; if anything, Nick is getting deeper and deeper into his role as a Grimm, and it directly pertains to Juliette already.

It all feels very formally constructed to fit the transition from complication to resolution. This is roughly 2/3 of the way through the season, so this is when Juliette gives Nick the ultimatum that frames their relationship through to the end. Similarly, now is when Hank is targeted by Renard/Adalind. If it means that “Grimm” will really start kicking things into gear, that’s good, but I’m still not sure that the writers are comfortable enough to make that kind of move.

John Keegan is Editor-in-Chief for Critical Myth, a partner site of SciFi Vision.

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