Grimm: Tribunal Review

Grimm season 4 episode 10 explores prejudice in Wesen but misses the tension. Here is our review.

“May the God of Vengeance now yield me His place to punish the wicked.”

What could have been tense and taut in tonight’s episode didn’t rise above a college hazing ceremony. I never felt Monroe’s life was in jeopardy during the lukewarm intimidation attempt by the costumed Wesenrein.

Monroe has been charged as an “impuro” for having married a different Wesen species. The Wesenrein didn’t present a formidable case against Monroe, so viewers were left with basic prejudices.

What has been the worst incident of Wesen intermarrying? Do certain pairings produce mentally-deranged, mutant offspring? Does the tribunal fear mixing would create dangerous super hybrids?

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There aren’t any tangible threats to the Wesen world, similar to humans of different racial and ethnic backgrounds marrying; similar to humans of the same gender marrying. Show viewers something terrifying that has happened when Wesens intermarry, and perhaps we’ll think twice about our loyalties.

The bigger issue in this episode is the absence of a ticking clock. Monroe’s been held hostage over a few episodes, and yet he remains alive. If the writers wanted to ramp up the drama and tension, they ought to have shown multiple victims of their biased opinions. Previous television shows have better handled abductions, torture and murder that would have given Grimm writers several starting points to then twist, turn and reimagine in the Wesen realm. Perhaps it was too much work to rise above suggestive spooky to something that might cause nightmares or at least disturb the mind and compel viewers to watch the episode with the lights on for fear of shadows out of the corner of the eye.

The time away from the tribunal felt wasted because when we rejoined the action, Monroe wasn’t severely injured, maimed or unconscious. As a recurring cast member, killing him wouldn’t work in the larger scope of the show.

What I’d like to have seen in the episode was a gradual raising of the stakes throughout until we reached the climax. The visual equivalent of a page-turner that keeps me awake at night. What we were given instead was Sergeant Wu’s continued education and research into all things Grimm and Wesen at the police station and in the hidden trailer.

Combing through the previous wedding guest list further diluted tension. No sooner was Bud kidnapped, he was delivered to the tribunal location as if by magic. Time seemed to have dissolved whereas other scenes were painstakingly slow.

Over the course of two episodes, and near the end of the ‘next day’, the loose strings are close to being pulled tight. Monroe’s declaration of love and what’s important in life was yet another stalling technique before what we were to believe was his inevitable death. The scene when Team Grimm headed to the secluded wooden area on the outskirts of Portland was straight out of a Marvel’s Justice League slow motion sequence, with the obligatory kick-ass theme song.

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In that magical writers’ room, Team Grimm instinctively knew the exact coordinates of the tribunal because they found it minutes after leaving the police station.

Juliette has learned to control when she turns into a Hexanbiest, and according to next week’s preview, Grimms and Hexanbiests are sworn mortal enemies. Let’s see what’s in store when Adalind returns to Portland and discovers that Juliette is a deadlier version of herself because she was made not born as such. 


2 out of 5