Sunday, November 13, 2011

Grimm: Beeware, a Review

Ah yes, Beeware, the punnily titled episode in which Nick finally does some detecting, we meet the worlds' worst best communicators, and the tradition of needlessly cryptic warnings is rigorously kept.

I continue to like the idea of Grimm without being attracted to its execution. Nick is still reading as painfully generic, and sadly, so is his partner (Hank?) and the uniformed-guy (Sergeant? Somebody) who provides them with information. So, sadly, is Juliette, though she got one reasonably amusing line--addressed to the wrong person(1).

The bright spot: It is, finally, looking a little bit at the detective side of things: Nick and his partner are investigating two murders by bee-venom carried out during flash mobs.

Of course, the murderer turns out to be a fairy tale creature, and Monroe turns up very briefly to provide some encyclopedic information: The murderer is one of a group of beings called mellifera, whose main ability is to communicate.

Nick figures out that there is a third planned victim, also a fairy tale creature, this time it is Adelind, the same hexenbiest who tried to kill his aunt earlier. He is now responsible for protecting her from her would-be attackers.

And this is where the story starts to implode: No one tells anyone anything, even when it would make sense to do so.

Nick recognizes Adelind, but for no reason at all, does not tell either Renard or his partner. This is the woman who tried to kill his aunt and him. The fact that she is a hexenbiest does not, so far as Nick knows, have to intrude on the police aspect of it. I can't say whether or not this secrecy is in character because I don't know yet that Nick has a character.

Then the mellifer prove to be very poor communicators after all. Nick catches up with the lead (queen?) mellifer while she is trying to kill Adelind. Despite having an entire room full of bees at her command, the mellifer is trying to stab Adelind with a syringe while trying to persuade Nick to let her. As the women fight,  she explains that the hexenbiests she had been persecuting her and her fellows in order to keep them from warning the Grimms, and so Nick should just stand aside (3). After fumbling with his gun for a while and dodging curtains of bees, Nick opts to shoot her rather than let her kill Adelind.

Nowhere during the rather long conversation does she actually give this all-important warning, not until she is dying, at which point she manages several sentences all of which add up to letting Nick know that "He" is coming and Nick should "be prepared." What is wrong with "John Black is coming. He'll be wearing a red jacket, and he'll be trying to steal your soul"? Or some other, similar, clearly-worded message?

Oh, and Nick gets stung at the end. Guess he just made a whole host of new enemies. Oops.

(1) Really: Wouldn't that scene about bee stings and dogs have worked better with Monroe? Wouldn't it have been more likely with Monroe? I mean, why was Hank going to his partner's fiancee, a vet,  for first aid instead of stopping by a clinic or something? As an aside, I find myself wondering: Why is Monroe helping Nick at all? In the first case, he had some motive: There was a girl whose life was immediately in danger, and he, arguably, had some personal stake in it, since it was his species causing the mischief. What's his motive now? He doesn't particularly like Grimms as a race. Monroe remains a bright spot in the show, but I'd like to know why he's hanging around with the plastic people.

(2) By the next day, so far, but it's anyone's guess whether it will stay that way. Stations have a tendency to make deals with iTunes etc. that push the airtime back later. Whether that will be true of Grimm or not, I don't know.

(3)  Let me repeat: This woman has an entire room full of bees at her command. All she needs to do is have them sting Adelind and then she and Nick can chat cozily. No one would believe him for one minute if he tried to explain that she'd used the bees as a murder weapon.

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