Review by C.J. Bunce
With NBC’s recently announced decision to renew Grimm for a sixth season, the network indicated it knows what TV viewers know: The fifth season was simply fantastic, full of gripping writing and a change-up of character roles in a way we’ve never seen before. Who knew a horror series full of fantasy, magic, and monsters could fare so well? And who knew Grimm would outlast so many competing shows? Constantine, Hannibal, and Dracula fizzled out but Grimm is still going strong.
In fact, if Friday night’s season five, two-hour finale is any indication, nothing can stop this action-filled freight train of fun. Grimm’s completely new universe of storytelling surprised us year after year. But last night we saw some of the best action, twists and turns, and flat-out excitement than we’ve seen on any TV show this year. This is the same series that, back in the fall of 2011, no one believed it had a chance against the ABC/Disney fantasy Once Upon a Time.
So many factors make this a standout series that will stand the test of time and make a great re-watchable series in syndication one day. It’s not another New York or Los Angeles or even a Vancouver-based series. It is another “save the city” series like The Flash and Arrow, but it uses the lavishly dark, forest-trimmed Portland, Oregon as its background for an all-out war over the supernatural world. Local supporting roles are filled with the local acting community, which grounded the show. The main cast proved their range and revealed that each individual–from David Giuntoli to Claire Coffee to Russell Hornsby, Bitsie Tulloch, Silas Weir Mitchell, Reggie Lee, Bree Turner and Sasha Roiz–will likely go on to even bigger roles once the series wraps. CGI and make-up monsters provided us that “monster of the week” series we’ve missed since classic episodes of The X-Files.
And to think we thought Grimm wouldn’t make it past Season 2.
Grimm started off strong back in 2011, then suffered a bit of a lull, but soon picked up and never seems to have lost any steam as it barreled through its first four seasons. Its Season 4 finale “Cry Havoc,” airs next Friday night on NBC, and it sure looks like the gloves are coming off and those dogs of war will be coming out to play. With last night’s episode “Headache,” the writers for the show proved that there is plenty of great storytelling waiting for us in Season 5. With so many good series getting cancelled and so many bad series renewed, we’re happy at least this series made the cut again.
The title quote for the finale is the Euripides line: “Stronger than lover’s love is lover’s hate. Incurable, in each the wounds they make.” Grimm’s writers couldn’t have set up this last act of the season with a more aptly themed climax.
If you haven’t been keeping up with the show, as with the rest of the series a quick rundown at this point will sound a bit like a horror-esque soap opera. But it all ended tonight with a scene straight out of the Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman flick Seven. Who’s in the box? No spoilers here, but it should make fans of the show pretty angry. Angry enough to support Nick the Grimm (David Giuntoli) & Co.’s efforts to obtain some well-deserved revenge, on none other than Nick’s girlfriend, Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch)? Is there any redemption possible after what she left in the box for Nick? It wouldn’t seem so. And we thought Nick would snap after Juliette destroyed Aunt Marie’s trailer.
Last week’s episode of Grimm may have been one of the best on TV this year, bringing together threads formed since the beginning of the show. The result proved the old adage “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” and pitted the “good” guys together with the “bad” guys against the “even worse” guys. The most unlikely of pairings occurred in nearly every scene. It was brilliant TV, and we can likely expect even more fun on this Friday’s episode.
Previously we reviewed The Official Companion to Supernatural Season Seven, a well-formatted look-back for fans of the series, with previous editions released annually. The Official Companion serves as both a souvenir book and behind the scenes look at the creators of the show. Many series have released works that were similar. Doctor Who has done this in magazine form, for example. Movies like The Hobbit released different variations of behind the scenes books, with different price points and trade or hardbound editions targeted at different audiences. The first behind the scenes look at NBC’s hit TV series Grimm is now at bookstores, and it follows a format similar to the Official Companion concept Supernatural uses, except it contains glossy, full color images, which will be a plus for diehard fans of the show.
Looking back from the end of Season Two of NBC’s hit series, Grimm: Below the Surface–The Insider’s Guide to the Show provides plenty of information not available elsewhere. It includes stories and interviews from the series executive producers and showrunner, each of the actors playing main characters (Nick, Monroe, Juliette, Hank, Rosalee, Renard, Adalind, and Sergeant Wu), writers, production designers, the make-up and special effects team, casting, the stunt team, and the props and costume creators.
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.
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.”