Episode 2.01 Writers: David Greenwalt and Jim Kouf Director: Norberto Barba
THE ONE WHERE Nick tries to adjust to the news that his mum is alive after all, while a trail of brutal murders leads neatly (albeit gorily) to the next monster that’s set its sights on our broody hero. Meanwhile Rosalie and Monroe frantically try to rouse Juliette from her coma.
VERDICT The second season opener grabs you by the throat with a bloody hand and doesn’t let go. Forget all the complaints of the end of last season leaving so many cliffhangers that David Greenwalt et al had actually run out of cliff, finally a couple of mysteries are on the way to being explained. Mama Burkhardt in a few short minutes gives the ever-confused Nick more backstory and exposition about Grimm-ness than he was able to figure out himself in the entire first season. It’s satisfying stuff though, a meaty mythology which also gives some intriguing possible explanations for Renard’s behaviour. Throw in a couple of intriguing new characters (Mary Elizabeth Mastranio’s battle-scarred and potentially untrustworthy Kelly and the brilliant James Frain as a new supernatural baddie) and it more than holds the attention, as well as being gorier and more creepy than ever – although the CGI still looks exceedingly ropey in places.
There’s lots going on here, so many strands that it’s difficult keeping track of them all effectively – the underworld machinations swirling around Kimura, the Burkhardt reunion, Renard searching for Adalind and Juliette’s coma all get a nod – but poor Hank is overlooked. Despite this, overall it’s very watchable. Nick is still pretty wooden though; his reaction on being reunited with his mum after years apart is as effusive as a man finding his favourite pair of trainers in the back of a cupboard. And there’s not enough Monroe – who’s relegated very much to the B-plot with Rosalie – to give the episode the warmth and humour needed to break up the bleakness.
A second “to be continued” feels like a cheap ending – although inevitable from the point Rosalie said the potion was only usable for 45 minutes (how convenient… but what about the advert breaks?) – but it’d take a disinterested soul not to want to find out what happens next. Although if, after the big reveal of everything supernatural last season, Juliette’s coma leaves her with amnesia, then I might be less inclined to watch any more…
BEST BIT James Frain overseeing a torture session while trying to hold up his end of a phone conversation. If his turn as bonkers Tara-obsessed vampire Franklin in True Blood and hints at how his character will develop are anything to go by, we could be in for a treat.
“Dude, I gotta be honest. Your mom scares the crap out of me!” – Monroe doesn’t react well to Kelly attacking him.
Grimm season two will air in the UK later this year on Watch