This review contains spoilers.
Fans of the show will acknowledge Grimm takes the phrase ‘slow burner’ to a whole new level. (The mystical key plotline was introduced about a thousand years ago and we’re still none the wiser approaching the end of the fourth season.)
Grimm’s writers prefer to drip-feed us clues about character development or plot over several episodes, or even seasons, presumably favouring a slow build of anticipation over real momentum. We have come to accept this, despite some storylines feeling laboriously drawn-out, and others paid lip service seemingly only when the writers remember them (anyone seen Nick ‘grey-out’ lately?)
Perhaps one of the problems lies in the fact that it is a 22-epsiode season, which is an awfully long time to maintain momentum. (Den of Geek rightly points out that series that attract the most acclaim – True Detective for example – are far tighter, have fewer episodes, and are scheduled in one run.)
But as season four enters its final quarter, you do wish for things to move a little faster than what’s being delivered. Despite having one or two interesting points, you can add Mishipeshu to the file marked ‘filler’.
Mishipeshu – meaning great lynx or horned water serpent panther – is another non-Wesen case like Llonora or Volcanalis. In this instance it’s a Native American spirit that inhabits the body of a troubled teenager and wreaks revenge on the killers of the boy’s father.
We get to see more of Deputy Janelle Ferris, who we first met earlier this season in Highway Of Tears. There seems to be a little spark between Ferris and Hank when they re-introduce themselves, and the end of the episode certainly leaves the door open for another appearance by the Deputy. This can only be a good thing; Hank is supposed to have been married three times, yet he seems to have lost some of his mojo since he started fighting Wesen.
It was also Hank that plays a more integral part this week, having been relegated to the role of sidekick for the last couple of seasons, and especially since Wu was introduced to the Wesen side of life. He gets possessed by the Mishipeshu that leads to a fight with his bestie Nick, but it’s over almost as quickly as it began.
Elsewhere Nick has his own problems. Juliette is still acting out like a sulky teenager (albeit an extremely powerful one) blaming everyone else for her problems. You can imagine her waling “it’s so unfair!”
Woging in public leads to her arrest and a face-to-face with Nick where she admits she doesn’t want to give up being a Hexenbiest. She even refers to other people as “bland” – given her previous incarnation of nice but dull girlfriend, this does seem a little ironic.
This doesn’t stop Monroe and Rosalie getting on the case in the hunt for a cure, enlisting the help of Renard to return the magical spell book and witch’s hat.
But the side-effects from being pulled back from death continue to affect Renard, who this week mugs a man in line at a coffee van, and then doesn’t remember how a wallet full of cash ended up in his coat pocket. Drip-drip, eh writers? Any chance of this going anywhere before the season wraps?
With no Adalind and no snappy exchanges with Prince Ken, it was once again down to Wu to provide the highlight of the episode. He asks Renard what percentage of crime in Portland is Wesen-related, to which the Captain answers most crime, in some way. So there’s that answered then.
If you’re not a fan of the Nick-Juliette-Adalind-Renard soap circle, you may want to avoid next week’s episode. It promises a startling revelation (to Nick anyway) and more importantly, the emergence of some unexpected alliances, as our perceptions of good and bad characters become increasingly blurred.
Indeed, it may be the trigger for an action-packed run of episodes up to the end of the season. Here’s hoping.
Read Christine’s review of the previous episode, Hibernaculum, here.
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