Grimm Recap: Unbearable Lightness
So, I’ve decided to start posting weekly recaps of NBC’s Grimm. I’m kind of busy with other projects these days, but I want to do something quick and fun at least once a week. James Hibberd already has Terra Nova recaps on lock over at EW.com, so I went with Grimm, mainly because for all of its silliness, I think it’s actually a decently clever show which could get really good if enough people watch it to get it another couple seasons (hint,hint). I’m gonna plan on these going up on Mondays, but we’ll see how it goes. Oh, and spoilers, and stuff.
Like the pilot, “Bear Will Be Bears” started out with kind of dumb yet fun and then suddenly got clever. It opens with a couple breaking into an empty mansion in the woods and having a great time. Between the interior design style, the title, and the fact that this is Grimm, it’s pretty clear that this is going to be a Goldilocks and the Three Bears episode. Joy. Upon hearing the arrival of the house’s occupants, the couple goes to leave, but the boyfriend is suddenly pulled back into the house and the girlfriend is chased to her car.
Meanwhile, Nick is recovering from the murder attempt from the last episode and eager to check in with creepy aunt Marie. He and his partner, Hank, have trouble identifying the woman/thing which attacked him on the security footage, partially due to the fact that their boss seems to be working with her. Before they can zoom in and enhance, they’re assigned to investigate Gilda’s (the erstwhile Goldilocks from before) claim of her boyfriend disappearing. They meet the mansion’s owners, a WASPy couple who collect aboriginal art and stuff. There’s some fun dialogue here, especially from Hank. Nick is still a little suspicious, but Hank assumes the boyfriend is at home. Cut to a scene of him tied up and menaced by some hairy thing in a cave. Imagine that.
As a side note, props to Grimm for hold out ten minutes before throwing up the title card. Gilda seems seriously upset and scared and her boyfriend is still missing, so Nick decides to give the Casa de Osos another look when his creepy aunt Marie calls him to her bedside, presumably to drop some more exposition. She give hims some basic hero motivating talk and throws out some references to other Grimms and some bad guys before passing out. Nick and Hank head to the mansion where they run across some motorbiking punks, led by the couple’s son Barry (seriously??). Barry’s face shifts into a bear creature, and his father sends Hank and Nick away because they are the most easily intimidated police investigators on Earth.
Elsewhere, their captain is meeting with the woman/thing from earlier, whom I will henceforth refer to as MonsterFace McHotBody. They discuss sending someone (a human, specifically) to kill aunt Marie when they’re interrupted by a thug, who M.F. takes care of by…eating him? Or something? It’s offscreen, but I really hope it’s something more creative than just tearing him limb from limb. I really like Captain Renard, and hope they continue to reveal bits about him here and there. Nick does some research and makes out with his girlfriend, who seems kind of underutilized. If this were a Joss Whedon joint, she and the other supporting characters would slowly be revealed to all be creatures, up to and including Nick himself, but thankfully it’s not. Barry and his cronies throw a scarecrow into a punji trap they dug to test it, which seems like a waste of a perfectly good scarecrow to me. Nick has a creepy dream where his aunt stabs him, which is there for a quick scare but seems to possibly be a sign of more important elements, a la the prophetic dreams of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Upon discovering a similar weapon to one of the couple’s in his aunt’s trailer, he seeks out Monroe for help, and the episode starts to pick up. Silas Weir Mitchell is funny and likeable, and his exposition bits are more natural and and fun. He explains that the family are Jagerbars, which are werebears in the same way that Blutbaten (his race) are kinda like werewolves. Jagerbars are a dangerous race of hunters who have a bloody, murderous coming-of-age ceremony for their males. Nick believes (correctly) that the boyfriend has been captured to be hunted in this bloody Bar Mitzvah, but before he can head out to investigate, Renard dismisses the police guarding his aunt. He calls in Monroe to watch over her, which ordinarily seems like a very bad idea, but Monroe’s charming enough for it to be believable. Gilda heads over the the mansion and holds Mama Bear at gunpoint until she’s attacked and knocked out by Barry. It’s actually kind of a nice scene, in that it shows that even though they’re not human, these creatures have genuine familial bonds and attachments. It seems obvious, but after last week’s wackjob villain, it’s a good reminder.
Nick goes to confront the family Bear, who aren’t at all pleased that a Grimm keeps showing up at their house. But when he mentions the ceremony (it’s called a Roh-Hatz, but I’m already sick of the fakey German stuff), Papa Bear scoffs at it. Turns out he’s Reform Jagerbar, and they don’t do that sort of thing. His wife, on the other hand, is pretty darn Orthodox. This was a super clever twist, adding to the ambiguity and diversity of these things’ lives and cultures. Nick delivers a pretty great appeal to conscience and the dad decides to help him stop his son and his buddies. Back at the hospital, things get a little heated between Marie and Monroe, who heads off to confront a shady dude. He gets jumped by a couple of thugs in a maintenance room before wolfing out and ripping the arm off of one of them. It’s a little over-the-top, but it’s quick enough and played for laughs, so it works.
Nick and Papa Bear discover that the hunt’s already started, leading to a pretty striking if somewhat Twilight-inspired sequence of Gilda and her bf being chased through the woods by bear creatures. Nick stone cold grapples with one of them before pulling out his gun, which while not the best plan is still bad ass. The dad manages to talk the kids down when a bear charges out of the woods and falls into the punji trap they Chekov’s gunned earlier. She reverts to the mom, who has been skewered through the shoulder. This, and the scene after it when she’s being loaded into an ambulance on a stretcher, raises a lot of questions. Can Monroe and other Blutbaten turn into full wolves? Do these creatures have human anatomy while in human shape? What are their lifespans and natural healing abilities like?
A man disguised (??) as a priest enters Marie’s room an attempts to kill her. The old broad puts up a good fight and manages to turn the guy’s knife on him and murder him, but the strain is too much for her heart. Her Uncle Ben role complete, she dies in Nick’s arms. The episode ends with Nick and his girlfriend at her grave, being watched by something in the woods. Not gonna lie you guys, this thing creeped me right the hell out. I’m hoping it’ll be the spider that sat down beside Little Miss Muffet or another insectoid baddie.
Overall, I liked this episode. Grimm is still finding its footing, but things are looking pretty good. I’d like more esoteric creatures and fewer weresomethings, but we’re only on the second episode. I highly recommend watching this show on Fridays at 9:00 on NBC. Check back early next week for a recap of tonight’s episode!!