Grimm season 3 episodes 7 & 8 review: Cold Blooded & Twelve Days Of Krampus

Grimm sees off the year with a double bill featuring sewers and a very bad Santa. Here's Christine's review...

This review contains spoilers.

3.7 Cold Blooded & 3.8 Twelve Days Of Krampus 

NBC decided this week to shoe-horn two episodes of Grimm together in a ‘double feature’ before a short mid-season break over the holidays.

That of course, is fair enough. However the two episodes really had little in common, and were only broadcast together due to scheduling issues, so it’s probably best to just enjoy the extra episode as a pre-Christmas treat from the network.

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Firstly we had Cold Blooded, which was a reminder for anyone who remembers watching the 1980s B-movie classic Alligator as a kid, to beware of what goes on in a city’s sewer system.

Nick and Hank are sent to investigate two separate murders where both victims were shaken so violently their limbs were torn off. This leads them to an encounter an ancient alligator-type Wesen known as a Gelumcaedus, which has occupied underground sewers and aqueducts since ancient times. They also apparently burgle houses for a living, which also seemed a little incongruous to Sergeant Wu: “Alligators don’t rob homes,” he tells Nick. Well, this is Portland and apparently they can, and they do.

The adventure provided Nick with a new weapon – a leather arm protector called a vambrace that protects him from the reptile’s bone-crushing bite. (Actually fact-fans, the American alligator bites with 2125 pounds of force per square inch, so it’s unlikely a leather arm band would protect Nick against that. But again, it’s a Grimm world and we just live in it.)

Not that Nick seems to need much of a weapon as his new super senses once again kicked in, including an incredible strength that helps see off his adversaries. This is taken to a new level later in Twelve Days of Krampus, where Nick ‘dies’ again momentarily in the grip of his enemy – but comes back with an incredible force that knocks his opponent out. I do hope the writers get round to explaining this post-zombie side effect at some point this season.

The main thing that Nick discovered this week though is that he seems to be good with killing Wesen again. After spending much of the season trying to arrest the bad guys, Nick seemed very pleased to take on a new nickname: Decapitare, Latin for ‘he who decapitates’. This is, however, put to the test in the next episode, where the line between good and bad guys is a little blurred.

Things continue to move ahead over in Vienna – albeit at a frustratingly slow pace. Renard finally meets up with members of the resistance, who appear to hate the Royal family – his family – as much as he does. We’re introduced new a group of new characters, most of them henchmen and women who clearly all shop at Vienna’s finest leather jacket emporium. But Renard also meets Claude Fornay, who it turns out, once saved the life of the Captain’s mother.

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We also finally get to meet the charming, and probably sociopathic, prince-in-waiting Viktor, played by Buffy’s Alexis Denisoff. Summoning Adalind, he tells her he is determined to find out who killed his cousin, Price Eric. We later discover later that Victor is quite the voyeur, spying on Adalind in her hotel room as she coos to her blood-smeared bump.

On that note, Adalind’s character has been impossibly dull since she left for Europe. It was fun to watch her get grossed by her gruesome trial to restore her powers, but for the last few episodes she’s just mooned around a bit, not really contributing to the story or the action. I can’t wait for the return of deliciously evil Adalind, causing chaos with an impish smile. Hopefully the writers won’t leave it too long.

Next up was the Grimm Christmas episode, which could have been titled Very Bad Santa.

The story focuses on Krampus, a creature so mythical not even Wesen believe in its existence. He appears each year in the run-up to the holidays, dressed in Santa’s red jacket and boots, to scoop up any kids who make his naughty list. They are then whisked away to face a very unhappy Christmas.

It turns out that Krampus isn’t really a Wesen as Nick and the gang know them. He’s just an average guy who blacks out for three weeks every December, who has no recollection of anything when he wakes up on Christmas Eve… which leaves Nick in a quandary when it comes to killing him. In the end he decides to leave it up the Wesen Council. This seems a bit of a cop-out, as the Wesen Council last week had no problem attempting to kill a young boy, no questions asked, so I think we can guess Krampus’ fate.

But as Wu rightly comments, “It’s Christmas. It brings out the worst in people.”

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Things continue to trundle along over in Austria, where we are introduced for the first time to Tavitian, who seems to be the leader of the resistance. As tall and brooding as Renard (there must be a type as many of the resistance appear to be tall, handsome and scowling, even the women) Tavitian calls Renard the “Royal bastard”, to which Renard replies: “I am Royal, and I can be a bastard.” Hoorah!

Tavitian appears to trust Renard, who interestingly says he “has a Grimm” – giving the impression Nick is in his pocket. Thus, a new alliance is formed. It really would be useful to be given a bit more background on the resistance, and what they’re actually fighting for. But I suspect this will unfold as slowly as the rest of the action in Austria.

Renard did manage to break into Adalind’s hotel room though, where he clocked Victor the Voyeur’s secret cameras. He leaves her a note to warn her, and with details to meet – which we now don’t get to see until the next episode in January – argh!

There was also a rather unsatisfying storyline involving Monroe’s over-the-top love of Christmas clashing with Rosalee’s dislike for the holidays. Rosalee apparently had a favourite aunt and uncle who died in a car crash at Christmas when she was seven, and she’s hated it ever since. It seems Rosalee got a bit of a crappy attitude along with her new bangs.

It just didn’t ring true, and felt really like filler for the episode more than anything. Of course Monrosalee resolved everything by the end of the episode. It would be good for our favourite couple to face a real challenge, no? (Maybe in a ‘meet the parents’ way?)

So that’s it now until January, as the gang takes Christmas off to enjoy Monroe’s nut loaf and admire the decorations.

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The season has started some interesting story arcs – Nick’s strange post-zombie side effects, Adalind’s strange pregnancy, replacing Evil Eric with probably-just-as-bad Viktor, the possible return of Nick’s mother – but overall those themes have all been slow burners. Let’s hope the second half of the series sets about expanding on them. Perhaps with a bit more pace? And old Adalind back, please.

See you in January 2014. 

Read Christine’s review of the previous episode, Stories We Tell Our Young, here.

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