Friday, April 12, 2013


Episode 17: One Angry Fuchsbau
By: Carlos Uribe

Grimm is a show about a man, Nick, who hunts monsters which look human.

Spoilers Ahoy!

This episode's Opening Quote: “He sang a sweet song in tones so full and soft that no human ear could resist them nor fathom their origin...”-The Garden of Paradise by Hans Christian Anderson

This Episode's Monster(s):
Ziegevolk: A goat-like creature that has the powers of pheromones to influence people to do their bidding. They consume toads to make themselves more potent. They were previously the focus in “Lonelyhearts”
Eisbiber: A beaver-like monster that is friendly and cowardly. They were the focus of “Leave it to Beaver”

The episode Nameless failed in it's weekly case because it tried to combine modern technology with classic fairy tale monsters. It failed because it showed a distinct lack of knowledge about the issue and it felt convoluted. It was forced rather than naturally belonging in the world of the wessen. There is a difference between updating fairy tales and turning them into something they're not. One Angry Fuchsbau gets this. A judicial system is far from new as they have existed in every civilized society. Their a way for the government to differentiate between who is guilty and who is innocent. The idea behind judges, juries, and lawyers might not be new but the modern American justice system is distinct enough to be different from other systems. At the same time, the fact that the court system has existed for a while means that there is a lot of tradition behind it. It would make sense that the wessen creatures of old would have found ways to use this system to their advantage. The series might have trouble integrating these wessen creatures into modern technology but it is able to naturally fit them into established modern systems. It helps that instead of relying on an unknown creature, they went with the Ziegevolk. The series didn't need to establish anything new and the viewers could quickly catch on to what was happening. They might not have remembered the gold spray visual effect but as soon as the lawyer ate the toad I knew what he was. This goat-like creature already has the established power that would make him a great lawyer.

The ability to use the pheromones to influence the court system for a client is a pretty compelling one. It's using a wessen ability to succeed in life. It is difficult to be able to stop anyone from tampering with juries and witnesses when the method is basically magic. It has to be detected before people will realize why exactly something is wrong. Most observers of the court case might be confused by the witness testimonies being recanted every time the defense lawyer questioned them but it's not like they could point to anything concrete. The lawyer gets a reputation for being really good so only somebody who knows what they're looking for would be able to find them. Once the problem is discovered, finding a solution proves to be tricky. A normal Grimm might have decided to simply kill the lawyer but Nick has been proven to be special. He'll only kill when he has to. This is so engrained into the show's DNA that not a single person considers killing the lawyer for abusing his powers to set killers free. That's a simple way of looking at things because there's a chance he's helped innocent people stay of jail but that's besides the point. So the series has two problems. The first is how does it get our heroes involved in this case. Nick might be a cop but he would need a reason to suspect this lawyer for being a ziegevolk. The second is finding a peaceful way for our characters to take them down so they remain likeable.

There are limited ways that the series could solve the first problem. It could have Nick or Hank at the testimony stand and that's why they realize something fishy is going on. It could involve Monroe or Rosalee as on the jury so that they could figure it out and bring Nick in. Renard and Juliette aren't good options since they're too involved in their plots right now. There might be another clever way to bring the characters on the lawyer's trail but personally involving the heroes provides them with personal reasons to stop him and is an easy way for the narrative to start. Rosalee is the one on the jury. She falls under his influence which causes her to later get sick. Monroe tries to support her by sitting through the trial and that's when he figures out the lawyer is using his powers. They get Nick and Hank involved. So how do solve the second problem? A potion of course! Only two complications arise from this. The first is that they need the sweat from the lawyer in order to make it. They manage to solve this by running a con on him. The second is putting it in one of the toads that the lawyer eats. This toad will give him the potion which will permanently shut off the lawyer from accessing his skills. They use the con game they played on him to inject the toad but the series increases the stakes by using math. There is potion for only one toad but of course there's two. Our heroes get lucky because the toad Monroe injected was the one he ate. The lawyer loses his skills and Rosalee is allowed to send a guilty man to jail rather than having to live with setting him free. Everybody wins! Well except the lawyer and his client. The client goes to jail and the lawyer soon follows him when he figures out the plot and he ambushes Monroe. Bad news for the lawyer since his client isn't too happy about the results of the case. It's implied that the lawyer is going to get killed which I guess removes some of the reasoning on why Nick didn't just kill him.

The weekly case was exciting and it fit the world of Grimm well. The serialized aspects keep chugging along. The visual memories of Juliette become more clear when she goes to the trailer. The good news is that she can see and hear ghosts of the Nick she knew. Her memories are coming back. The bad news? She seeing a lot of Nicks. It's so bad that she's basically being haunted by them. She's forced to call that Spanish lady from the llonera episode to try and get answers but the spanish lady is as cryptic as possible. What we do find out is that Juliette is going to play a large role in an upcoming struggle between good and evil. A struggle we get slightly closer to as a pregnant Adalind reveals to Renard's brother her failure to retrieve the key. Renard's brother decides it's time to go and visit Portland a visit. He should enjoy it since the city remains as beautiful as in the first season. Overall, the narrative pace is painful as I want to know more.

One Angry Fuchsbau is a pretty good episode of Grimm. The weekly case was integrated a lot better this week than the last one since it made actual sense from what we knew of the Grimm world. There were a lot of tense scenes as well-especially the part where Monroe had to inject the poison into the toad. It's a fun and good episode but we're starting to enter the final stretch of the season-let's hope the narrative really starts to pick up speed.

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