Grimm season 2 episode 11 review: To Protect And Serve Man

Review Frances Roberts
12 Nov 2012 - 08:55

Grimm serves up a taut ticking clock episode with a decent dilemma at its heart. Here’s Frances’ review…

This review contains spoilers.

2.11 To Protect And Serve Man

This week’s Grimm closed on an “Oh boy” cliffhanger worthy of Dr Sam Beckett, as Monroe learnt the Juliette-shaped identity of Renard’s love object. After spending the episode Googling “sexy police captain obsession”, the amnesiac belle accompanied Renard to the exotic spice shop to seek relief from their reciprocal romantic infatuation, only to be discovered by potions-master-in-training, Monroe.

It’s genuinely pleasing to have some forward momentum in this season’s geologically slow-moving Juliette plot, and just as fun to see some of the show’s dots join up (even if Renard being exposed means his painstakingly thought-out aviator shades disguise was all for naught). Will Monroe run to buddy Nick? Or will his ‘cure’ for the love-struck duo relieve him of the need? We already know that next week’s Season of the Hexenbiest is due to bring Juliette’s aggressor Adalind back into play, a return that’s bound to complicate matters nicely…

The chief action of the episode though, resided with Hank, whose recently acquired knowledge of all things Wesen had him rethinking an old homicide, the perpetrator of which was due to die by imminent lethal injection unless Hank could scratch up some non-mystical proof of the accused having acted in self defence against a pair of vicious cannibal Wesen.

It was a decent dilemma in which to place Hank, and one with a satisfying ticking-clock narrative. The cases that pit Nick’s - and now Hank’s - integrity as good police versus their supernatural calling are usually Grimm’s strongest, and To Protect and Serve Man was just such an example. Hank could no more come out about Portland’s wonderful world of monsters than he could he let a man acting in self-defence go to his death, so what to do? Luckily, Hank and Nick’s thirty-six hour investigation turned up some very last minute evidence, staying the accused’s execution and allaying Hank’s conscience.

The episode’s action was well-handled, from Hank’s backyard pursuit scenes to the grisly crawlspace discovery. We also saw plenty of Grimm’s characteristic let’s-hope-you’re-not-eating-your-supper disgustingness in the bone-pit, the second course to the Braindead-esque horror of that unappetising foot stew.

Just as the prominence of Monroe’s character has waned in recent episodes, Hank’s has inversely waxed. The detective’s recent initiation into the Grimm club has made him much less of a headache for the writers, and necessitated many fewer appearances from Monroe as Nick’s partner-in-the-know. Though Russell Hornsby is great to watch and the newly front-and-centre Hank is a boon to the series, the sooner something central is found for Monroe to do the better. Hopefully his having found out Renard and Juliette’s secret will go some way to making that happen.

In terms of highs and lows, the episode had a great scene of Nick walking through the state prison past a season and a half’s worth of Wesen crims he’s put away. Also intriguing was the introduction of Portland’s new DA and mayoral candidate (Portlandia’s Kyle Mclaughlin must be on the way out huh?), a woman who now owes Nick and Hank a favour. Conversely, the weakest point had to be Rosalee’s “Hey everyone, remember I exist” phone call (do you think Bree Turner needed a cameo to keep her health insurance valid, like Joey in that old episode of Friends?).

Overall then, To Protect And Serve Man was pithily plotted and neatly done. Using the lethal injection as a ‘cut the blue wire’-style dramatic countdown may have been a shallow and callous treatment of a serious real-life subject, but at least by questioning the certainty of fatal legal judgements, Grimm’s heart was shown to be in the right place. Kudos.

Read Frances' review of the previous episode, The Hour of Death, here.

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