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Tag Archive: Sasha Roiz


Pompeii image

Years ago I had the great fortune of living in Vancouver, Washington, across the beautiful Columbia River from Portland, and every day I watched the skyline of Mt St. Helens as I drove to work downtown.  Fifty years before that, my dad peered up at St. Helens as he walked to school in that same Pacific Northwest town.  The big difference of what he saw–compared to what I saw–was the top of the mountain was gone, destroyed more than 15 years before I got there when the volcano reared its force across southwest Washington, devastating the forests and towns and lives of several people nearby, killing nearly 60 people, nearly 7,000 deer, elk and bears, and 12 million fish.

The eruption was still a topic of conversation years after the blast.  Vancouver had been covered in ash.  People shoveled ash like it was snow, and it even looked like dirty snow.  Vancouver and towns closer to the blast zone’s 230 square mile destruction area were just plain lucky the 24 megaton blast of energy didn’t stretch any further.  Even 20 years after the blast, remnants remained.  We were having our home re-roofed and a worker fell through into our family room pulling with him pounds and plumes of ash that had sat quietly in the shingles and attic all those years.

Mt St Helens 1980

As a kid watching the blast on TV, I learned a new word: pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis, a disease from inhaling the ash and in its plural form the biggest word in Webster’s Dictionary.  The blast also brought memories from my dad about his service days around the city Pompeii, including reviewing his photos of the aftermath of Mt. Vesuvius and solidified stone tombs still documenting the last acts of the townspeople.   With 1,934 years removed from the tragic event, it’s easy to marvel at how interesting these people looked.  Yet I had a newly found sense of horror last week, reading the New York Times front page news of Syria. Horrific photos showed the gassed suburb of Damascus, with families also found dead in various states of simply living their lives, left in this strange, unreal-yet-too-real and disturbing way.  These people were of course murdered, in contrast to the Vesuvius natural disaster, but both events are similarly shocking.

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It’s been almost four months since we last saw our favorite Friday night series, Grimm.  And the show’s creators really kept us hanging. In the penultimate 2012 episode “To Protect and Serve Man,” Monroe caught Nick’s girlfriend Juliette kissing Nick’s boss in the spice shop and Monroe struggled in the last episode before the hiatus, “Season of the Hexenbiest,” with whether or not he should tell Nick and how he should reveal the bad news.  The cause of all the problems in Portland is Adalind, back to stir up everyone again.  Or worse.  If it’s been too long to remember all that happened, now’s the time to caught up.

Monroe on Grimm

Much of the last episode revolved around Silas Weir Mitchell’s Monroe, who made our borg.com “Best of 2012″ list.  His innocence and angst with getting stuck between Nick and Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch) added some comic relief to the otherwise dark events.  Nick and Juliette split after Monroe revealed to Nick (David Giuntoli) almost all that he knew and Juliette informed Nick she had feelings for another guy.  Juliette ended up at Monroe’s, remembering a bit about the night she lost her memory.  She’s tired of being left in the dark by everyone around her.  Monroe responds, “The dark does have its bright side.”

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Review by Elizabeth C. Bunce

Season One of borg.com favorite Grimm ended on a high-stakes cliffhanger, with Juliette in a coma, evil Adalind missing, and surprise-of-surprises, Nick’s mom alive and kicking Wesen butt.

Thankfully, NBC didn’t make us wait long for the outcome to all this suspenseful buildup, and Monday night’s Season Two pilot jumped right in with both feet, ratcheting up the tension and stakes with more twisty mysteries, otherworldly conspiracies, and good old-fashioned drama.  What it didn’t do was wrap up any of those storylines–Juliette is still in a coma, Adalind is still missing, and Nick’s mom is a back-from-the-faked-her-own-death UberGrimm–presaging a season full of complex mystery and perhaps more questions raised than answered.

Its attention soundly focused on building the series mythos, “Bad Teeth” follows a French Wesen assassin, or Mauvais Dentes, sent to Portland to presumably dispatch Nick (David Giuntoli)–and anyone standing in his way, including cargo ship stowaways, crewmen, harbormasters, security guards, and FBI agents.  A brief appearance by veteran character actor James Frain (Leverage, Burn Notice, The Closer, etc.) hints at the involvement of the Verrat, one of the ancient secret societies of the Grimmverse introduced last season.  Frain, who is always solid, was especially fun in his one short scene–and we hope to see him again this season.  He’d make a great ongoing villain, and it would be nice to see him in a regular role, instead of just popping up for guest appearances.

Meanwhile, Nick’s reunion with his mother is equal parts tender and educational. Kelly (Kelly? Really?) Burkhardt, in a fun, Chuck-style stunt casting move, is played by longtime favorite Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, The Abyss, Without a Trace).  They navigate the secrets of Nick’s past and her disappearance/supposed murder, explore Aunt Marie’s trailer, and decipher some of the mystery of the Verrat, the Mauvais Dentes, and the fabled Seven Royal Families in charge of it all.

Meanwhile-meanwhile, as Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) and Rosalee (Bree Turner) work on an antidote to Juliette’s (Bitsie Tulloch) magically-induced coma, the backstage machinations of shady police captain Renard continue.  All last season we watched Renard (Sasha Roiz) lurking in the background, conspiring with Hexenbiest Adalind Schade (Claire Coffee), and menacing Nick’s early efforts to harness his Grimm abilities.  The Season Two Renard seems less altogether evil, and more nuanced and complex–a welcome and fascinating development. In fact, it is Renard who seems most dedicated to waking Juliette, although for his own yet-to-be-revealed motives.

If there were missteps in the episode, they’re the same ones to haunt the series thus far.  Primarily?  The consistently underutilized Juliette could hardly be more marginalized–not merely sidelined, but comatose!  Her storyline is compelling, but she’s not doing anything.  The late-season additions of Rosalee and Nick’s mom have helped bolster the female power structure of the show, but we definitely hope to see Juliette recover and take a truly active role in the series.  If she must be kept out of Nick’s secret life, fine–but let’s see more of the smart veterinarian (who, seriously, could be a terrific asset to Wesen investigations).  And how about more scenes showing off one of our favorite cities–the filming location, Portland, Oregon?

It definitely appears as though NBC is investing more in Grimm this season–moving it to a new timeslot (Mondays at 9/8), getting a jumpstart on the fall season, launching innovative multimedia promotions, including a full-on marketing effort at this year’s Comic-Con, and adding a whole new opening to the series.  We love this, because we love Grimm, and it seemed to lag behind similar series Lost Girl (SyFy) and Once Upon a Time (ABC) last season.  Exciting new developments abound, both behind the scenes and onscreen.  We can’t wait for next Monday’s new episode!

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