Sunday, December 28, 2014

State of the Blog: Grimm Conclusions

You've probably noticed that over the last few weekends we've only been posting the Haven recaplyses. When we first started this blog we made first a tentative guideline, then (after some experimenting) a hard and fast rule that we would not hatewatch for the blog. And, honestly, we don't enjoy Grimm anymore. Many of the qualities we used to love about the characters are gone, new storylines keep forming as fast as old ones are dropped without consistency or conclusion, and you can go back and look at the recap for 4x03 which we flatly refused to deal with as it was blatantly fucking racist. That's become more typical of the show, and with all of those factors combined, it's not fun anymore. And if we're not having fun writing it, you're not going to have any fun reading it.

While there's always a slim possibility that'll change, we don't want to commit to anything: by the time the show finds its feet again (if it does), there's a significant chance it won't be a show we're interested in blogging anyway. We still adore the cast, and we'll be interested to see what else they do in the future - just not, sadly, on Grimm.

Archives and the show page will remain up and available for the foreseeable future.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Choose Someone Else Haven S5E13 Chosen

Previously on Haven! Audrey is sick. Audrey is undergoing Spiderman-style clone decay, I forget the exact name for this, really you guys? Mara wants aether to fix Duke. Nobody believes her except maaaaybe Duke, and he really shouldn't. We get reminded of the existence of the open thinny in Manteo, which has apparently been nothing but a plot device to get us to Bad Decisions time at the end of the episode? I really hope they pick that up next season. Dave has Weird Shit and visions and Croatoan and no, none of that makes sense yet either. Even at the end of the ep. Cue showdown with Charlotte, who turns out to be one of the… whatever aliens/superhumans/whatever the fuck they are, from the other side where Mara and William came from. Why? Because she's Mara's mother! Well, she phrases it as Audrey's mother, but even for the heinous villain Charlotte turns out to be I can sort of forgive her eliding that when confronted by a woman with her daughter's face.

This week… okay I'm going to be upfront with you guys: for us, this was a giant fucking mess of an episode, the magic rules don't make SENSE, they break their own rules at every turn, and given that we've spent four seasons with every woman who isn't Audrey Parker and is on the show for any length of time getting completely fucked over by the narrative, this is… really kind of gross, by the time we get to the end. Apparently if you're not a self-sacrificing empathetic savior figure, you don't have worth as a woman on this show. I'd try and point at Gloria as the exception except she's raising her grandson in the twilight of her life and gave up a peaceful retirement to come back and be the coroner in the middle of the worst bout of Troubles; if that doesn't scream the Crone version of sacrifice and empathy I don't know what does. So if you don't want to read a lot of snarling punctuated by cheering for Dwight going NOPE YOU LIED IN A BIG WAY I'M OUT, GOT SHIT TO DO, I suggest you skip this recapaplypse.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Fatal Attractors Haven S5E12 Chemistry

Previously on Haven! Mara manipulated Duke into letting her off his boat. This has historically been regarded as a Bad Move. Dwight keeps getting manipulated by Charlotte and not wanting to admit it, which is also a Bad Move, though possibly not as bad as Mara. Insufficient data, which is our current and perpetual refrain. And now, Vince's as well! Oh, and Mara managed to seduce Duke.

We'll take it, apparently, from the morning after. Where Duke is already dressed and Mara is naked and using her sexuality as a weapon again. Some more. I'm honestly pretty skeeved out this ep by the extent to which that's portrayed as both the natural inclination of women (I mean, there's good reason for that in our society when you're a woman working to ensure power over men, but still) and portrayed as a horrible thing. But we'll get to that point in awhile. The main point here is, Duke is feeling vulnerable and therefore, dressed and heading out after the aether rather than hanging around for cutesy morning-afters, or the second bout Mara tacitly offers, or anything else. You can just assume that every time we hear about assumptions the boys are making about each other's motives this ep, we're sitting and swearing about TALK TO EACH OTHER. Duke thinks he knows where Dwight and Nathan moved it! Duke, Mara is playing you and using someone else to do it. Duke. No? No. She keeps insisting that she's in this to fix Duke and for the sex, which is kind of fucking ridiculous given her early behaviors. You know, the ones where she murdered and assaulted at least a dozen people in her attempts to get back through the thinny and get William? Those? C'mon, people. The remainder of this scene is what I would consider, and I'm pretty sure some part of Duke considers, transparent attempts to manipulate him into believing that she's on his side and wants to fix him. No really. No really, you do believe her, seriously, what is this, remedial HUMINT? Okay, the distract with snark tactic is slightly better, I'll take it while Duke makes his escape. Thinks he makes his escape.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Trust But Verify Haven S5E11 Reflections

Previously on Haven: how do you solve a problem like the CDC? If you're Dwight, you adopt the new person and are all YES PLEASE YOU ARE SHINY AND PRACTICAL AND NOBODY ELSE AROUND HERE IS. Gee, it's like she was kind of tailor-made for Dwight. Or he was handpicked by her. Or both? Vince was investigating things. Mara was a manipulative fuck at Duke some more, who at least for now seems to be giving in rather than playing her, which is mildly irritating. And Nathan is freaking right out over Audrey still being sick even after Pete's contagion Trouble got, um, dealt with. This seems reasonable, honestly! I'd be pretty freaked too.

We open, oh, probably a day or two after the last episode, not more than that judging by lack of decomp on the body in the crime scene photos. Plus these seasons have been getting what feels like increasingly compressed in their timeline. Nathan is bringing case files instead of coffee and they have one of those quiet, adorable bantering moments. Except Audrey being tired, not just tired of the Troubles and the murders and wishing she could still fix them the way she used to, not just with the barn but with her immunity and the sense of purpose it gave her. At any rate, Nathan's the one holding the intelligence and willing to say shit straight out here while Audrey reaaally would rather not be thinking about what Duke's up to. Whether that's using his Trouble by choice or letting Mara off the boat; I wonder for the umpteenth time how much knowledge of who Mara is and what she's willing to do Audrey learned while she was fighting for her existence. Because I'm sure the answer is "lots" but she's also not talking about it to anyone. About much of anything. Though she will still almost pick a fight with Nathan about whether or not he thinks she's a really real person. Oh Audrey, have you been paying any attention? Nathan will believe you're real with his dying breath. Has! Several times, depending on how you measure it from what happened to Nathan versus what he was expecting to happen. But she is still sick, has a racking cough and probably fatigue, judging by the snippiness, and Nathan, now that Audrey is in need of a kind of support he's better able to give, has picked up the common sense ball! Oh Nathan. It's true, too; they don't know the details of how that Trouble affected Mara and Audrey, and with the loss of her immunity who the hell knows what else might've happened to her. Long term effects are never any fun.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

A Grave Man Haven S5E10 Mortality

Previously on Haven: there was a plague! That affected Troubled people! We sat and grumped at the TV about how IT'S PETE, OKAY, DO SOMETHING ABOUT THAT while everyone was busy trying to make the assorted Troubles emerging not, you know, kill everyone in town. So from an outside the situation POV we were prepared to cut slack. The CDC showed up in town, Dwight got put on cleaner duty because that's exactly what the guy who's gone from Ranger to Guard/cleaner to chief of police and leader of the Guard wants to go back to. Haven gets put under quarantine because that many Troubles are not, in fact, possible to hide. Oh, and creepy fucking dancing bears. Also Dwight broke, tased Duke, and may have broken Duke. I'm still holding out for Duke is playing everyone, personally, but this ep put some laaaarge dents into that theory.

We're All Mad Here Grimm S4E04 Dyin' on a Prayer

Previouslies cover don't/tell Wu, Chavez and her weird group, Elizabeth being kickass, Adalind being fucking stupid about eating random food from strangers. Quote includes… the Book of Job? Considering the origins of golems I'd go for Genesis, but okay, fine, whatever. Nobody expects you fuckers to have done your research at this point even with one source for it right there in your cast. Oy vey.

Yes, we did, yes, we are, yes, we've stopped giving a shit. We pick up right where we left off with people in fighting? death? masks, and the potions class in the spice shop, which remains the most interesting side-plot they've got going. What this scene is doing is establishing all the shit that Adalind's gone through in the past few seasons without being too much of a rehash. Yes. Keep doing that if you need to remind people. Also WHICH of these MANY options makes poor baby Diana more valuable? All of the above? Because fuck's sake I want answers. Not that I expect them. Nor does anyone expect the brick through the window, which turns out to be some Wesen group or another that disapproves of mixed-Wesen marriages. (Elizabeth clearly doesn't, she slept with a human, produced a child, and is apparently fine with all of this.) Because of course there's at least one group to which we can say "oh THOSE assholes." Cue Monroe and Rosalee freaking out in the direction of what they'd normally do, and Elizabeth providing the calm cool head. I see where Renard gets it from.

That does not look like enough stir fry for two people and a Grimm, especially one who eats like Trubel does, but okay, whatever. The point is not the adorable domesticity, the point is that she left without saying anything, took all her stuff but the black knight pendant, and has freaked her foster not-parents out. Meanwhile the potionsmaking continues, Monroe attempts a Scarborough Fair joke that falls entirely flat, be nice, Elizabeth. But the point is, he wants them to get their honeymoon, whenever this is over. Monroe, you're on a weekly genre TV show on network, you're never getting that lucky. But it's cute that you're trying.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Dishonor On You Dishonor On Your Cow Grimm S4E03 The Last Fight

Yeah no.

Look, this episode's cop plot was a racist, sexist, classist clusterfuck MESS from beginning to end, and we established when we did Once Upon A Time that we don't do hatewatching. That never ends well. We're not even sure if the writer or the casting director is most at fault on this one, though the writer has historically been pretty close to this bad. If asked, we can try to enumerate at not too great a length why we feel this way, but for now we're putting this down and moving the fuck on.

And then we're going to go address the Hexen/Zauberbiest scenes, because we established at the beginning of the season that that's what we're here for, and frankly they're semi-competently written to the point where I wonder if the room didn't simply ask for x pages to be left blank here and there.

A Plague On Troubled Houses Haven S5E09 Morbidity

Previously on Haven! Mara calls Duke on splitting her from Audrey and keeping them around. Chris Brody turns up, which means we're having probably more than the usual quota of s2 callbacks. Dave's leg and the CDC are a little beyond a Trouble and straight into a problem.

Let's start with oh goodie, more of Dave's fucked up dreams. I think there's a little more green on the blue filter than there has been, which might not mean anything other than oh look a lot of trees. And then, right, chasing through the forest, no more filter which means, I guess, all the way out the other side of the thinny and into our world? Or that's the suggestion of it, at least. Then running into the deer and killing it, that we've seen before. The deer morphing into a still-alive naked young woman who screams and has black fog coming from her face is a new one on us. Sort of reverse Greek, isn't it? CROATOAN carved into the tree is also old, but masses and masses of dead? unconscious? paralyzed? people dressed in colonial-era (probably meant to be Pilgrim-era) clothes. It's blurry and foggy and hard to get more than a rough count, but that looks like… eh, fifteen or so people, all ages, men and women. I think I am going for paralyzed, because one of the figures is sitting. And then we see the thinny from this side, glowing blue and green and all kinds of ominous!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Octopus's Garden Grimm S4E02 Octopus Head

Previously, on Grimm! Everyone was stupid. And then everyone was stupider. Except for Renard, who can't qualify as stupid, he was dead at the time. Seriously, that's basically what this boils down to: stupid, or insufficient data to be smart. Also these are incredibly long previouslies, who the fuck edited them and why are you doing such an awful job. Mind you it's only this awful because there was so little data in the premiere, thereby making this basically a one and a bit minute's worth of recap of the only salient points therein.

Oh look it's a quote about memory to start us off. I will continue to give that such looks, both for the more literary reference (Alexander Smith, poet of the Spenserian school) and for the general attitude of LOOK CAP2 DID IT SO WILL WE. Guys, I really am judging you if this is where you're getting your ideas from. Badly. Apparently Renard's mother is capable of freezing time with her eyes and not actually woging while she does it. I'll grant that saves on FX. I'll also note that that makes her fucking terrifyingly powerful. Oh, the reason we're saving on FX is for the really atrociously bad CGI snake. One head black going into Renard's heart, one head red attached to hers (K: Positive to positive, negative to ground!), okay, I will grant that this is a pretty substantial indication that Renard has someone solidly in his corner. I'm sure she has her own motivations here, but this is the first person who's sacrificed of themselves to keep Renard alive let alone well-off in any kind of emotional or physical sense, beyond the confines of being cops in the line of duty together. So… yay for that? I already assume she's going to end up dead, evil, or both. But alright, the snake turns into dust/ash, she goes pale and collapses like you do when you used a… snake life-force transfuser to resuscitate your son. I wonder if that works on anyone you're not blood-related to. I'm betting the answer is no. The doctors tend to the abruptly-appearing still living person on their floor, Renard woges when he comes back to life, we'll leave them flailing around and visit the evil castle of evil.

Where the preeminent henchthing (is he getting a name ever guys? he hasn't died yet! I'm impressed! wait, Sebastien died after he got a name, we should name this one immediately) is filling Viktor in on the money trail: courier in Lisbon, cash payments, no trace to them. I wouldn't take his word for it either. In fact you're all incompetent please just stay in your model for the next ever and stop bothering people. Oh but wait a phone call! Adalind's not waiting to be summoned back to Vienna, she's at the gate demanding her baby. Really, Viktor, if you were half as competent at evilling as your goatee would suggest you could have foreseen this. Cue wailing and nearly crying and making us feel sympathy for Adalind who swears she only did what she had to do. In those words. A lot of repetitions of it. Yeah, I don't imagine having sex with a Grimm was all that fun for her, but let's not forget that she's had a lot of sex with people at her own instigation in … oh why am I fucking bothering. It's not like the show's going to point out that Adalind's a serial rapist, they're just going to let her keep blaming the men who control her. Which is the apparent purpose of this scene. I mean, I have some sympathy for her, but I don't for a second forget that she has raped three men on this show and that's just the ones we know about. In conclusion it's more nuanced than they're bothering to portray. Aaand I'm done ranting, because if you haven't been reading our blog for the last ever the archive is right fucking there, and the writing hasn't improved any. Nor have the brains. Seriously, that's not telegraphing, that's outright saying hi I'm going to throw you in a dungeon now.

Octoman will be better, right? Well, we can watch Trubel fail to shadow him steathily, which is fair, all her experience is with being the hunted rather than the hunter. I'm still gonna facepalm. I'm also going to give Russell Hornsby ridiculous props for that little headtilt as Hank suggests Nick try to stop blaming himself, because that is continuity and shared kinship of having… well, they'd probably call it having sex with Adalind, because Men Can't Be Raped, but we all know what they mean. And Hank's had a couple years to recover from that. Trubel continues to be a good detective/Grimm-in-training and update them, and we know how long that's gonna last: not.

Adalind left her brain on the plane to Vienna? Or possibly in that bundle of blankets. They're continuing to push us toward blaming Viktor for everything rather than acknowledge that Adalind had choices anywhere in here. I'm continuing to froth at the mouth about fucking agency fucking give your female characters some and let them be fuckups you assholes. No, I give up. There are no brains here, there is only dungeon and the need for steel wool while Viktor tries to ask her how the sex was. EW. EW EW EW. And then he'll drop the by the way Sean Renard might be dead any minute on her head just to keep her off-balance while he shoves her in the dungeon. Okay, seriously, I do see what the writers are going for? But all it does is create UTTER STUPIDITY on the part of everyone in this scene. And cackling, moustache-twirling villainy. And I'm bored now. I mean, everyone's doing what they can with what they're given, but the huff and puff line is on par with the fucking awful Little Miss Muffet line from The Covenant. Seriously. That is how far your dialogue is sinking, people. Do better. At least Claire Coffee still screams and froths convincingly. I am intrigued by the comment that the cell was built for Hexenbiests, which says some potentially interesting things about Sean's mother. And father. And maybe Eric Renard's mother. Who the fuck knows, but the older generation definitely had a hand in it.

Roll credits, while we sigh and set the snark engines even higher, because it's going to be the only way to get through the shoddy writing. A reminder: this says nothing about the acting and directing, which is anywhere from competent to excellent, by and large. It's just… they don't have a fucking thing to work with, and in at least some cases I think they're being directed into an oversell, and it gives us hives. Trubel's failure to stalk people also gives me hives, but at least that's predictable embarrassment squick by now and given time, I have some confidence in her learning curve. The Mr. Anderson is just giving me Matrix flashbacks now. There's not a cat on this hotel floor, is there? Trubel, you don't count. We're back to hotel room numbers make great ep number drops, gratuitous non-bleeding shirtlessness, and oh yeah, he's going to change his appearance. At least someone's not fucking stupid. Shame it's the one-off. There's still a puddle of blood on the floor where some dude is calling to find Henry, yadda yadda, what a tragedy, seriously, is this going to have payoff? Or do we just get a spy ring running around the West Coast poking at defense contractors with only one of them in jail? I'm assuming the latter, because what the fuck is continuity. This is why we call out bad writing, guys, this would make a wonderful addition to the influence of the Royals, out of which we've only seen one political machination in Japan (Mia), a shipping company (GQR, from Eric), and one allegedly influenced election from Viktor. And yet, we have no faith that this is going to happen. Trubel updates the people who actually give a shit about the law, yes, really, no evidence means no evidence and stop lopping off people's heads, it sets a bad precedent, kid. The lunch money exchange is, at least, moderately humorous. I will sign up for all the Nick and Hank and Juliette make awkward parents jokes.

Monrosalee have finally changed out of their wedding finery and are looking through the infinity of books. Yay! None of that looks like anything that's a gun on the mantel for later. Boo. Especially considering the work props had to put in. I like that we slowly get their hands revealed as they start working together on brainstorming how to figure this shit out, showing the wedding rings about the same time as we see them clicking past the frustration and worry and fear. I will be over here wincing at how they're better at detective work than Nick at this point, though granted there's also some emotional distance from it. Yes! Let's find out where the potion was made, if nothing else that might give Rosalee the ability to play sympathetic magic potion games with it, yes? Mind you finding out where Renard reverse-engineered the potion and/or made the antidote isn't going to be the helpfulest because, again: Zauberbiest. Enjoy that clusterfuck, you guys.

Trubel is eating a sandwich outside the door of Octoface's hotel room. Trubel, honey, that is not how you eat while on stakeout. That is also not how you shadow someone, although admittedly it's not like she can hear what's going on in the room otherwise. Still. She's so going to get made, this is so going to bite her, we can see it happening. Another phone call to another person in this defense company who we are also probably never going to see again, and it's the head injury story again. Imminent crisis is usually a good way to get under people's guard, and in this case it's a good way to get into the guy's house. Although if the address was in his head already, why did he write it down at all? So Our Heroes would have something to look at of course. Trubel, sensing imminent door to the face if she remains there, books it down the hall. Leaving her sandwich behind. Oh boy. Deprived of his car, Squidman has to hoof it to the address. Trubel you are the least inconspicuous shadow ever. Can't you at least pretend to be talking on your phone or something?

We interrupt this critique of her espionage skills for the Captain to wake up and gasp out "Mother?" at the woman who revived him and is now petting his face. Well that's not creepy at all.

Back at the precinct "Lawrence Anderson"'s cover is slowly falling apart due to a lack of sufficient background paperwork. No DMV record, an address and employment record that connects him to the Satellite Defense technologies thing, therefore to the victim Slocum, etc. Trubel continues to be obvious. Nick puts the SatDef employee on speaker so that Hank and we can hear what's going on, turns out Lawrence Anderson also suffered a head injury a couple weeks ago. And yet he's up and walking around now, gee, I wonder how that happened. Oh dear, Mr. Anderson had MilInt clearance. Wespionage! Yes, I went there. This tracking of the Red Octopus will have to wait till after the Steinadler Chavez pulls Nick out of there. Hank will liaise with Trubel in the meantime, attempting to put the brakes on her sticking her neck further and further out there. If nothing else, she can at least check in at regular intervals. Fifteen minutes is a good amount of time to set up a quick alarm if she goes dark.

This part is at least sort of a nice nod to the assorted times Nick's hauled a Wesen into interrogation for the express purpose of getting them to woge! Except now Chavez would like to know what it is Nick knows, both about the shooting and his house turning into a crime scene (again) (I would so have moved by now) and, under that, about Wesen in general. Well, he might work with her as a Grimm as well as as a cop, except… he's not a Grimm right now. Line busy. Try back later. Complete with woging out and giving herself plenty of time to prepare for what she might see when she looks at him! Nick suggests conspiracy, cough Royals cough, you fail your subtlety check, Nick. Fine, what about Trubel? ...what about her? Yeah, this is just going for a lot of stonewalling and nowhere useful, and while I assume eventually this will have some payoff, it would be awfully helpful if Nick had Grimm powers right now. Alas. His innocence, on the other hand, is inarguable as a result! The woge camerawork is very nice, I will admit.

While all this is going on Wu is putting together the pieces about the "criminology student" and the suspect from the footage from the stolen truck of the dead guys, remember that? Yeah, they might want to tell Wu, sooner rather than later. Not that they will.

Back at the castle of excessively hammy villainy we are apparently going on old stand-bys and feeding Adalind slops. She is the kind of scornful and defiant you get when you've only been a prisoner for a couple of hours. Viktor snarks and leers and snarks some more, and apparently is keeping her for her information on the Resistance? That actually shows kind of a want of imagination. I'd argue for that being just what he tells his henchman, except Viktor's never shown any kind of awareness of his henchman as a person. Then again, apart from Sean, none of the Renards really have.

Hank is still trying to track down the international and defense related espionage angle, but isn't getting anywhere. Wu would like to interrupt Hank for answers, starting with Teresa Rubel and her alleged criminology degree. That's not going to happen, Hank will now interrupt him to plead investigation and run away. Very blatantly, as soon as he sees Nick come in the room. At least he knows he's been obvious. So first they get to quietly freak out about Wu is going to figure it out, never mind that the worst risk isn't that he figures it out but that he figures out something else and runs with that, and they can't provide evidence to the contrary. And then Nick gets to freak out about Trubel is running around amateur detecting in the middle of an international espionage case. Oh you guys. Best worried foster parents.

Chavez is going to make sure that she knows who the Grimm is. We're going to have a moment over no, seriously, who the fuck is she working for? All of the major players so far know Nick's a Grimm. Or was a Grimm. And have worked with him extensively in the past! Or against, but the point is, the Royals (Eric Renard and Viktor at least), the Wesen Council (the hitpanther, deGroot) (... having seen Guardians of the Galaxy that's suddenly a lot funnier), a vast majority of Wesen in Portland (duh, and also Bud and the Beavers), the Lauffeuer (Ian Rosalee's friend), the Verrat (Edgar Waltz if he reported back, the voice on the phone for the ear conversation), even Wesen police in other states (the Balam), take your fucking pick they all KNOW. So what the fuck. Either this is the left hand and right hand of some agency aren't talking to each other (plausible), the writing is fucking sloppy again (also plausible) or we have yet another fucking player in the game, in which case I'm glad that Kitty stopped updating the murder dot-plots a long time ago because no, we fucking need a fucking Jarvis. Or a 3D rendering, and neither of us are architecture majors.

Juliette is going to the spice shop! Oh my god that is an adorable sign, even if they aren't on their honeymoon. Monroe continues to be the most adorable of awkwards, and Rosalee admits no, they haven't found anything, but they're still looking. What follows is the most awkward, uncomfortable, depressing, emotionally stressful conversation about how maybe they shouldn't cure Nick of not being a Grimm, mostly because she is tired of this shit interfering in their lives and she isn't yet ready to deal with Grimming being a part of her normal life. I do appreciate, however this looked on paper, that no one involved is trying to make it be okay, because it really sounds like Juliette is trying to dictate Nick's ... innate self? Body? Whichever. But no one is entirely okay with that, but no one is prepared to say, in the absence of input from Nick, that he didn't tell her he's thinking about quitting, and everyone is sympathetic towards Juliette and what she's been through. And Juliette is trying not to be That Person, and quick to reassure both of them that this won't have anything to do with their friendship. It's performances like this that keep us coming back, you guys. Poor everyone. Monroe opts to keep looking anyway, which is probably good. They, of all people, are some of the best at sitting on information when it involves quality of life or life choices rather than immediate life or death issues.

Renard continues to recover in his hospital room, with that annoyed face over what, no, why the fuck should a few bullets and being declared legally dead slow him down. I sympathize. He's also having a hard time believing she's here. Fuck, I'm having a hard time believing it, because what the everloving fuck she looks like his slightly older sister. Or his wife. Not his mother. Please, please let the later snark about this have dividends, because otherwise the only thing I can think of is both atrocious casting and directing. Apparently all Hexenbiests are blonde, ambitious, and incapable of playing on anything but their sex drives until they reach the age of full Cronehood or unless they're being cast in a remarkably racist role. I… yeah, I got nothin. Seriously that is creepy stoppit you guys. I'm at least impressed by how young Renard manages to look next to her, which is at least half the acting job. Snark about childbirth ensues, that's at least a little bit cute. The dialogue throughout is pretty fucking awful, Maman Renard would like to know who did this so she can go murder them, Sean would like her to get off the subject of the Family. Not that I entirely blame him. Also, what the fuck, lady, as far as anyone knows you've been in hiding for the last 30? ish? years so that the Royals don't kill you, you know the fucking answer is no. Bad dialogue is bad and should be taken out back and shot. Oh, and Renard needs to go do that thing. You know, the thing where he saves Nick's Grimm ass for the umpteenth fucking time. No, I'm with your mother, Renard, lie back and get better, you had bullets through your vitals. Well, now it's the hour of playing catchup in short order from last season again, at least that one's going to mostly take place off-camera and be presumably horribly emotional. Because ow. And it's a faster catchup than last episode, which I'm still grumpy about.

Back in the suburban neighborhood of bland in which Trubel sticks out like many hands worth of sore thumbs, Nick is trying to convince her that now is not the time for amateur hour. He does at least manage to get a location out of her (which is accurate to the neighborhood as seen on streetview!), and then she goes off to pick up the trail again, Trubel, honey, you are not a spy, you are not even a hunter, leave this to the experts. Such as they are. No, she's going to go follow him up to the house where the Squidee is playing Anderson some more and giving the head injury story again. And then sending the new victim out for a glass of water so he can track down, sneak behind Trubel, and hit her over the head with a log. Or that's the rough sequence of what happens, with a short break to incapacitate his next victim. After the break Hank and Nick drive up, see no sign of Trubel, and inexplicably upon not getting her on the phone decide to leave the area. Both of them. No, apparently taking five minutes to scan the area and/or leaving one of them behind to assist while the other one went back to check the hotel, or even sending a uniform to check the hotel, was too much of a stretch. Ugh. Just... ugh.

Back in the dungeon which is not at all like the hotels to which Adalind would like to become accustomed, she has rats. Big ones. Not quite rodents of unusual size, but they're working on it. I think Viktor specially imported those.  This, understandably, sends her into an "I just want my baby" mantra and a few camera angles of descending into madness. But wait! What's that scratching sound over there? No, not more rats, that's a peephole swinging open. Scraping open. Something. There's a cackling person on the other side of it. Robert Carlyle, is that you giggling from the Once Upon a Time set? Given that "my name is for me to know and you to find out" is a very Rumplestiltskinish thing to say. Grimm already did that story, though. Maybe it's Mark Hamill again. Adalind is the least impressed.

Sure, let's have some incredibly creepy spy!squid!Wesen moments. He's got a good point here about how what the fuck is a girl like her doing following a guy like him. That might be the only good point made in this entire subplot. Especially since for the love of god, Montressor, no, USE your creepy Grimm deathstare! In a mob it just makes the mob worse, with one guy he might haul back enough to get kicked in the face. No? No. She's established as too terrified to be a threat so he'll go poke the other guy's brains out with his face tentacles while the hotel manager flails about at the cops and the cops flail about at a cursory search. For this, you left Trubel on her own with a known to be dangerous spy? Seriously you guys are not being helpful at ALL right now, nor are you being very good cops. It's apparently time for the bad techno music of Trubel's asskicking, which she will deliver because squidman was dumb enough not to duct tape her legs. No. I have no explanation for this. I just need a new desk again. The one sort of benefit here is that she's still their best stunt fighter and it makes a cool scene, but fighting without your arms, even as a baby Grimm, does tend to make you lose. In this case lose consciousness again, that's three concussions in a few days, I don't know about you but I'm wincing for her brain cells. At least it provides an excuse for her not to be conscious at the time of brain-sucking, and now we have a montage that serves as a reminder of Trubel's rather traumatic life just going off what we've seen of her onscreen thus far, that's without going into less recent memories. He will now proceed to relive these while the cops finally get there and secure the fucking scene, and confirm at some greater length than they really need to that yes, in fact, both of tentacle man's latest victims still know who they are. They get to deal with horrible head injuries! But, y'know, aside from that they're still themselves. We'll call that a win, though a win by sheer fucking luck. I have no idea how they're explaining this shit in court. At least we get the detectives being adorable foster parents some more.

Back at police headquarters they finally get an actual name to the Octospy, which gives us nothing except that he was a well established and bad spy, seriously, how bad do you have to be as a spy to have an international record that size? With your picture and details attached. Natasha Romanoff is ashamed to share a profession with you, dude. A brief and purposeless reprise of the assault by Grimmemories later, we're over in the hotel room with Nick and Hank visiting the Captain! Which suddenly gives me all the mental images of a steady stream of police visitors stopping in to say hi and glad you're alive. I hope that happened. Pleasantries are exchanged, everyone is happy to see he's alive, he's behaving himself and staying in the fucking bed for once. Though not with the relaxing, he asks if Nick got the potion and, no. Not so much. Renard is not the happiest about this, but also blaming himself, oh, sweetie, no. We're laying this on the shoulders of no one in this room. Everyone can agree that they're glad the Captain is alive, at least, including the mysterious blonde! For a second there Renard has the most hilarious oh god I can't believe I have to do this why did you stick around face. Yes, in fact, he will because he is the ONLY one in this show who freely shares information, despite having the MOST reasons to be paranoid about it, but he will introduce her as his mother. Whose name is apparently Elizabeth Lascelles. Scelles, for the record, can be roughly translated as sealed. Elizabeth for, what, the English queen(s)? I'd've gone with Eleanor or Catherine, or maybe Mary, but I have a thing. And introducing this woman who looks to be about his age as his mother gets exactly the looks you'd expect. Apparently we're going to explain this with "she's had a little work done", with exactly the yes-I-know-this-is-absurd face you'd expect, and right in front of her, which is rude, but really what else is he supposed to do. You know what my biggest question in this scene is, actually? What the hell is that necklace?

Next morning we have some brief domestic tranquility of the checking on Trubel with her other foster parent, shut up, we're going to get all the mileage out of this we can because humor value. She will now steal all the bacon and take off on Juliette's bike so they can have some alone time to discuss Trubel's rash behavior and whether or not it matches Nick's. (Hint: he went into being a cop before he ever knew he was a Grimm. The answer is yes.) The dialogue here is written so clumsily I can't tell what it's meant to convey; the acting is aimed toward trying to be comforting toward and accepting of each other. Oh honeys. But that's not the intended focus of this scene; we have Wu watching the house so he can go talk about Trubel behind Nick's back. This is going exactly nowhere good. Yes, do tell Wu. Please. For the love of god. No, no, there will be no telling this time because of this… immense pain in his head? I'll even admit that my first thought was some kind of weird sympathetic Grimm-shared pain from octoman, but no, this is Adalind's spell fucking with them both. And this, children, is why you don't fuck around with mysterious zaubertranks when you don't know the side effects! I can't actually tell if this is shared vision or switched bodies. Or to lead to switched bodies eventually. Well, this should be hilarious and end extremely well for everyone involved! Juliette meanwhile has a the fuck have you been not telling me expression for the surveillance photo of Trubel. Who will now be Grimmnapped into the back of a van shotgunned by Chavez. No seriously who the fuck is she working for. Inquiring minds.

Next week… that does not look like answers. That looks like maybe Adalind has Grimm powers now, by the voiceover, certainly there's ongoing repercussions to the zaubertrank of doom. Time will tell if those bring any of the zombie!Nick repercussions into play, the guy's had so much done to and with his powers and we've barely scraped the surface of what could be long term results. Also Nick wants normal back, whatever that qualifies as. Well, that should be an interesting conversation or three.

Photo Finish Haven S5E08 Exposure

Previously on Haven! We get a thorough recap of what this Trouble is and how it works, to the point where we're jumping up and down going YES THIS IS HOW IT WORKS NOW FIGURE IT OUT and wondering what, exactly, the mystery of this ep is. Or if it's just intended to be a spooky ep. And then we realized maybe we've been doing this awhile. Oh, and Dave's leg is still an issue, and here we were wondering where the metaplot was. The Teagues stole it. Who's surprised?

We begin on Duke's boat with another meal being brought to everyone's favorite prisoner and a fucklot of lampshades for how she's holding all the cards. Well. Yes. She does have a point, she's got a lot of knowledge tucked away in there and they're not exactly treating her well. That looks like beans or some kind of vegetable-laden stew? soup? again, which might be okay if it were seasoned decently and not the fifth time this week. She lays it out there: Duke needs to release a Trouble, Nathan's a ghost, Audrey's not immune, she's the only link to Nathan they've got and gee, she hammers on that, I wonder if he showed up to tell her about the dead ghost-body? Hmmm. Duke, honey, trying to insist that Mara being your link to Nathan is the only reason you haven't thrown her overboard is… not actually the way to convince anyone this is true. But that's for later. Now is for Mara admitting that she started negotiations with the big thing she didn't think she'd get (the Crocker journal) and she's falling back to… asking Duke for a story about his mother. Oh goodie. I mean, we've been sitting here going "where the fuck are the mothers" for awhile now, but this is a lot bit creepy. And that said, without Duke's mother actually showing up I don't know how else we'd ever have gotten him talking about her. I'd love to know which of the many motives I'm sure Mara has are topping her list: fucking with Duke, getting to know something about him Audrey (and Nathan?) don't, digging for information that may or may not be helpful… it's a veritable treasure chest of motives in there, up to and including Mara knows something we don't know. Duke flat shuts that one down right away, leading to taunts and teasing about Nathan getting dead. She does, in fact, give him enough to make the situation more desperate, but given that he doesn't have any reason to believe she's not lying to get what she wants, and/or exaggerating the direness of the situation… well. Plus it's too early in the episode! This one's going to take a whole long string of events before Duke's willing to break into that pile of issues.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Paul Is Dead Haven S5E07 Nowhere Man

Previously, on Haven! They brought Audrey back! And according to Millikin this was always the way they intended to do it, which makes us feel so much better about things (no, seriously, no sarcasm) and gives us a fair bit of glee. Audrey is of course naked on arrival, but Nathan is not letting on whether or not he can feel her touch, so.

Our first shot is the Cape Rouge! Alas, Cape Rouge, we will miss you. For those of you who didn't catch it the first couple times we mourned (I think this is the first episode set in large part on the Cape Rouge this season?), the boat that serves as the look and shell and establishing shot of the Cape Rouge actually sank recently, and I believe it's non-recoverable. Thankfully as far as production is concerned, they've already got a lot of establishing shots and everything else is shot on a soundstage, so Haven is still good to go. The poor people who owned that boat, though. At any rate, we start off in the Cape Rouge, with Duke pouring through the Crocker journal to find anything about body splitting or cloning or split personalities or anything like that. Duke can't find a damn thing, and the best he can come up with is weird mutant Trouble. The best Nathan can come up with is that maybe it was one he doesn't know about, since the Crocker family (of serial killers, thanks Nathan) (no, really, thanks, the snark gets Audrey to smile at the familiarity of it) probably didn't keep perfect records. Actually, Nathan, serial killers can be very meticulous to the point of mental disorder, so maybe they did keep perfect records! No, no they didn't, the Crocker curse is more like a drug addiction than the kind of compulsion that drives serial killers and I'm getting off topic. The end result is they have no idea what happened. But they're glad it did. Audrey is off in the corner, somewhat less damsely and more understandably shook up and fragile over what happened. She does focus more on the fact that it's just her in her body, Audrey Parker, and not Sarah or Lucy or Veronica or any of the others we've heard about so far, and that's a good thing to be focusing on. But then they also have the demon in their basement, and Audrey is in favor of giving her over to the Guard. Which I actually find unusual or unlike her, but not in an out of character way? It's a very much in character reaction to what Mara has put her and everyone else through, and I like that they went there. Duke, of course, is also in favor of this. We're in favor of it too, guys! Motion carries? Wait, no, we don't actually get a vote, dammit. Nathan doesn't want this to go down until Dwight gets back into town, because Dwight left town? And suddenly I see why they fridged his sister, maybe, although it's still irritating me that there's a sister in the fridge. Who wants to bet this is Adam Copeland's paternity leave coming up, yes? Yes.

Hail Hydra Grimm S4E01 Thanks For The Memories

We're going to try something slightly new with this season of Grimm, partly because frankly the writing last season made us incredibly sad, where the acting and directing and everything else did not. And partly because, and this is just the nature of the beast, Grimm is a network procedural. We started out this blog because we enjoyed chewing over the metaplot, the Royals, the world-building implications into a pulp and getting to analyze the shit out of all of them. And it's not that we don't dearly, dearly love having a scooby gang and friendships that are meaningful and the thing that gets you through the day as much if not more than the romantic relationships. Those are great things to have onscreen! They just… aren't what we started up analyzing. So we're going to aim for shorter is better, save in places where the metaplot kicks out anything like useful information. Ha ha. Ha. Ha. And we were so hoping because it was a season premiere. Maybe next ep when they're not still rushing the cleanup from last season's finale?

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Secret Job Haven S5E06 The Old Switcheroo (Part 2)

Previously on Haven: Vince and Dave switched bodies! Dwight and Gloria switched bodies! Nathan got another of his brilliant fucking ideas to try and bring Audrey back out, which led to Mara faking it like the lying liar she is to Duke when he talked to her about the hotel room in Colorado. The name of the Troubled family is given! Duke and Nathan switch bodies! The boys attempt to fool Mara, Dave!Vince finds the thinny in the Doohan backyard in Manteo, none of this can possibly go anywhere good. It's a pretty quick and dirty summary of last ep only, and I'm really looking forward to the possibility that they'll drop the two parter shtick going forward. Maybe? Hopefully? Please? Not that I think it was kind of them to fling a double-length season at a writers' room that's spent four years adjusting to the pace of a 13-ep season, but I remain unconvinced that this was the sensible way to go about it.

We pick up back in Haven, not at the Gull as we might half-expect but with Jeffrey the mental patient exhibiting remarkably few signs of psychosis. Apart from forgetting that he's in standard hospital whites, or not thinking to replace them at least, which I think is as much a function of personality and habit as it is of genuine lack of mental faculties. Cabbie notices! Cabbie wants cash, and if not cash he's going to make comments about well you're a mental patient. Which gets him bodyswapped, with the sort of apology that says Jeff knows exactly what his Trouble is and how it works and how disorienting to people it is. Poor cab driver is duly discomfited, including some physical acting that suggests he got bodyswapped with a woman. Probably his wife. Ooh, that's going to be fun.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Manteo Job Haven S5E05 The Old Switcharoo (Part 1)

Previously! Oh our first glimpse is of Dave's adoption file and the cave and the thinny and possessed!Dave nearly dropping into said thinny. And being more possessed after. That's not good. I'll be over here getting the booze while we get the semi-short recap of talking to Audrey rather than Mara and how well that worked up until Mara found out Audrey was in there. Uh-HUH. Because that's going to totally convince Nathan she's gone. I believe that. Thousands actually would. Nathan, not so much. Although if we're getting into technicalities I can believe that Mara will eventually choose to accept the memories and emotions associated with Audrey and form some kind of synthesis, because how we remember things affects how we think about them and ourselves, and she's stuck with that now the same way all the AudSarLu constructs were stuck with memories of someone who wasn't really them, either.

Next morning, or some morning not very long after the cabin of really disturbing interrogation scenes that make us feel sorry for Mara, Mara's still not a fan of pancakes. You know, while I appreciate on some level the fanservice and in-jokes that they're doing with this, surely Audrey had another meal she liked? Even assuming she's in there I'd be sick of the same damn things by now too. Some standard gloating over how she doesn't like pancakes, the plan won't work, Audrey's dead, yadda yadda. Although she does point out one major flaw in this plan, which is that it requires her to have utensils, which gives her weapons. She will now insult Duke's tacos (could be worse, could be waffles) and get threatened with force-feeding. DUKE. You're supposed to be the good guys, don't even fucking start that shit. I'd throw a fork at him too, but I'd make sure it hit. Neither of you is making this whole thing where we try not to sympathize with the Evil Cackling Evil any easier right now. Especially not with Duke about to offer to create holes in order to feed her. DUKE. SERIOUSLY. I know you miss Audrey and you feel like shit in general, but oh my god that is not helping, either with getting Audrey back or with getting cooperation off Mara. For once I'm with Nathan, let's discuss strategy. Out back on the docks of the Gull where many a serious conversation's taken place over the last four seasons. Duke will now switch up providing the voice of reason, or at least the voice of Nathan you're completely fucking fixated would you consider the possibility that you're wrong? No? No. Not even with new and disappointing data about what Mara didn't know wasn't hurting Audrey, and now that she does, well. Bye, Audrey. Duke protests that he can't handle someone that hateful, essentially, looking out of Audrey's face, and hasn't he done enough, though he's pretty careful not to frame it in those words. Nope! Sorry, you're going along for the ride, Duke, and Nathan's just had an Idea. Possibly to probably not a good one, either, based on his track record.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

This Quintessence of Dust Haven S5E04 Much Ado About Mara

Haven S5E04 Much Ado About Mara

Previously on Haven! Jodie shoots beams of concentrated light, isn't THAT fun. Dwight accused Duke of hiding shit, which was true, Nathan continued to fixate on Maraudrey to the probable, yes, retention of Audrey's personality in there but let's not forget that this is actually a complex moral and ethical question. Something that I remain unconvinced the writers are aware of, in their relentless pursuit for the Ultimate Love Story. Duke needs to release a Trouble or die! Mara will help him! Everyone who's not exceedingly suspicious of that, raise your hands. I'd sit on mine except I have to type.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

How Infinite In Faculty Haven S5E03 Spotlight

Previously on Haven, someone edited the fuck out of this sequence to make it look like Nathan was the only person with emotional issues surrounding Audrey versus Mara. Ahahahahahaha. Ha. Ha. No, nuh-uh, cute, nice try, nope. Though the Teagues are Sirs Not Appearing In This Episode, which doesn't give us any of the warm fuzzies, just means their assorted issues are taking place, shall we say, offstage. This does not, in fact, inspire confidence or trust in what happens when they return. As it is, our drama this episode is almost entirely, thank you previouslies, about Nathan and Maraudrey. Also we had Jennifer die so Duke could be sad (seriously this is Haven you guys couldn't have left it a mystery? what's one more? honestly) and Dwight took over the Guard. Nobody believes Nathan actually plans to deliver Maraudrey to the Guard because Nathan is an easy fucking mark. Okay, possibly not a mark, but still and nonetheless, I disapprove so much of all of his actions.