Entertainment Magazine

Review #3150: Grimm 1.4: “Lonely Hearts”

Posted on the 22 November 2011 by Entil2001 @criticalmyth

Contributor: John Keegan

This episode left me wondering just what my final opinion would be, after more consideration. On the one hand, it shifted back to the “folklore of the week” concept, with the victims once again being young attractive women. It’s an unfortunate trend that the producers might want to think about changing. On the other hand, there were elements of the larger story arc that came into play, which I definitely enjoyed.

Review #3150: Grimm 1.4: “Lonely Hearts”

I suppose I am left with the impression that this was a capable enough bread-and-butter episode, the kind that allows the audience to get more comfortable with the basic elements within the series while keeping the network happy. Certainly the ratings have leveled out after the fairly predictable post-premiere drop, and the network has thus rewarded “Grimm” with a full first season. So the writers will have the chance to stretch the narrative into more unexpected territory sooner rather than later.

In this case, though, we get Billy Goat Gruff, or rather the “Grimm” version of him, and he is looking to spread his wild oats, so to speak. His typical pattern is to roll into town, release the pheromones, and draw in available young women as breeders. Despite the fact that they become devoted to his will with a touch, he keeps them in cages to ensure they don’t get away. Oh, and he eats toads using oddly rendered CGI.

Maybe part of my problem with the episode is that it resembles the pilot in a lot of ways. It’s a bit more polished overall, but it boils down to a creepy creature caging women/girls in the basement. As I said, it’s likely to keep the network happy, since it’s right in light with the stock standard for procedurals, but twice in four episodes? And I really hope “Grimm” avoids the trope of relishing female torture porn that typifies “edgy” shows like “Criminal Minds”. (Seriously, every episode I’ve ever seen of that series has featured someone victimizing women in ever more terrible and salacious ways.)

What did work for me was the ongoing reveal regarding Captain Renard. I think it’s too obvious for him to be the Big Bad for the season/series, but I do think that he’s the highest ranked lieutenant in this city for the real Big Bad. It’s nice to see that Sasha Roiz retained some of those Sam Adama skills from “Caprica”, isn’t it? If I had to make a prediction, Renard will be outed by the end of the original 13-episode run, thus pointing them to the bigger anti-Grimm threat for the balance of the season. It would fit with the kind of pattern David Greenwalt used on “Angel”, after all.

However, the value of this subplot is going to depend on how well they integrate Renard’s subplot later down the road. Introducing the reaper as a threat to Nick, only to have Renard brutally dispatch him before he even gets started on the hunt, requires a narrative follow-up, if only to clarify the set of ground rules that Renard is enforcing. It’s clear that the Grimm/creature conflict has protocols, but that’s about all we know right now.

In the end, it’s a fairly average episode for a show that is still trying to find its comfort zone, so it makes sense that mixing the various elements would still be a work in progress. It’s still trying to find the right way to break out of the early-series rut of episodic “fairy tale of the week” fare to become something more balanced. But it’s going to have that opportunity, so they have time to make it work.

Writing: 2/2
Acting: 2/2
Direction: 2/2
Style: 1/4

Final Rating: 7/10

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