Sunday, August 12, 2012

Captain McLurkypants and the Organ Leggers Grimm S1E10 Organ Grinder

Let's see if I can get through at least the most Renardcentric of these episodes before the premiere tomorrow! Not likely, but maybe.

Oh, and this episode, Organ Grinder, was written by the dear Akela Cooper. Hi Akela! Don't read this. I swear.

Despite this being one of the more impressive episodes with our dear Captain, he doesn't show up till over halfway through. The detectives are briefing him and the first glimpse we get is over his shoulder. I'd just like to note here that his computer keeps switching from a desktop with a CPU we don't see and a monitor and keyboard that we do see, to a laptop. I have no idea what's up with that, if there's a Watsonian or Doylist reason, or what. I'm going to just assume Doylist and it's not out of the realm of possibility that a busy police captain takes his work home with him on a laptop these days. Hell, half the cop cars I see have laptops in them with police officers writing reports.

So, we sum up the events of the last 30 minutes or so in a few sentences of dialogue from everyone. We get a few good looks at his desk, which is still irritatingly and unusually clean, and his nameplate. He's being all Captainly, sitting back in his chair with a hint of slouch to his body, casually posed. At this point there's nothing to indicate Geiers to him, as far as I can tell, but mass abduction and organ-legging is a significant problem. If the city had a Major Crimes unit it would probably go to them, but since they don't he goes along to supervise personally. I suspect this is both the Princely attention to his subjects and his people and the Captain's sense of responsibility on a case.

A Captain And His Gun. The rifle doesn't look quite as much like a toy on such a big guy as his usual sidearm does, but I have no explanation why he has one. And no vest. At least no visible vest, although since everyone else is wearing their vests over their shirt... I got nothing. However, it does give the Captain an opportunity to make a shot into melee with a narrow target field between his two police officers, with partial foliage cover, and slay a bad guy. Not only is this badass, and I'll take a moment here to drool over how badass it is, this showcases Renard's aptitude with firearms and firearm combat. None of the other cops came even close to getting a shot off. Renard took only one shot, fired clear of both of his men, and killed someone. Through a wall. In the middle of melee. This also, we have to note, makes great foreshadowing for the swift and decisive warning shot to the face he gives his cousin.

The caravan of carnage! Everyone gets at least somewhat visibly hit by the smell when they walk in there, which isn't unreasonable. It's hard, a bit, for me to tell what specific sort of disgust that is as he looks around and sees what's going on, but it's also telling that he immediately leaps to the exposition, knows what's going on, not only knows that these are human organs but what each one of them is. He's the authority figure here. And he's got both feet on the inside track and a few laps ahead of Nick.

The concern goes both ways. This is one episode where the Captain and the Prince are united in the feeling that, this is a bad thing, this is hurting his people and this must be stopped. This makes it one of our few chances to see what the real Renard maybe, might be like underneath.

This always surprises me when I get to this episode: There's only one more scene with the Captain in it. He makes such an impression in every scene that he's in that it's hard to remember he doesn't actually get much screen time. Decisive actions, swift and with no hesitation or doubt, and a strong and imposing presence make him memorable with every gesture and line. Major props to Roiz for this.

We start on the last scene from the paper-wrapped box panning up to the Captain coming in, and not the other way around. The box is significant, ominous. This sets the box as the focal point and highlights its influence over Renard's actions, it puts the box as a threat before we've seen what's in the box or heard anyone speak. The wrapping is brown paper and string, an older style, and one we now associate with either classic packages or, heh, serial killers, both of which are themes running through the Wesen world. We start in on the box and pan up/out to Renard, which sets the box as the subject of the next scene and Renard and his obligations and position as the context. He's in the middle of hanging up his coat when he notices the box, and as he lowers his arm we see the context switch from tired Captain to tired Prince. This is Shit He Has To Deal With.

As we shift position we get again, box first, then his solemn face. And he pulls the paper aside and we get a very good, very clear 'oh shit' moment as his hands go still and slower opening the package, as he sees the Reaper symbol. Again, major kudos to Roiz for his performance and all the nuances. Renard knows what that symbol means and when the camera switches to his face again the frown lines are deeper, his expression tighter and more unpleasant. It's somewhat telling of how his world works that when he opens the box (again with smooth, decisive motions) there is absolutely no surprise when he sees the ear there. The moment he saw the Reaper symbol he knew what this was and what it meant. He's not surprised by the phone call either, which I think is artificially imposed good timing determined by the need for a smooth narrative. But I wouldn't put it past the Verrat or the Reaper faction of them to have his office bugged.

(Adsartha adds: Granted, he's semi-public, which means (probably) he can't show many reactions, but the extent to which he locks down his facial muscles indicates a couple things: a great deal of simmering rage, and a great deal of wariness about showing anything beyond that.)

"Did you get your present?" "Where should I send the thank you note?" is sarcasm. Banter, snide little remarks to show disrespect. Renard doesn't actually expect to get a location off of the other person and it's a bit telling that he doesn't even try. At least on screen. "You made your point, now we are making ours. The world is becoming more complicated." "Only for the simple minded." Again, small jabs here, insulting the speaker's ability to play the game they're all playing. Up to this point the conversation is relatively straight-forward, inasmuch as anything about these types of people, games, or conversations is straight-forward. "You are going to have to control this Grimm, or get rid of him." "What I do and how I do it are none of your concern."

This indicates a few things, and we'll start backwards and work forwards. Control this Grimm more than likely refers at least to Hulda's death, but also probably to the death of Oleg Stark, the Siegbarste. And here I'm cheating a little; after looking through the deleted scenes on the Blu-Rays in Game Ogre there is a significant chunk of deleted scene wherein we find out that Oleg Stark had a relationship with the Verrat. It might not have been what outsiders (or just Renard) thought it was, but there was a connection there. Stark's death by now has gotten back to the Verrat, and given how rare both Siegbarste and Siegbarste poison is chances are they're blaming Nick for that too.

And now, working forward, we have a situation where a representative of the Verrat is making threats against Renard and, by proxy, against Nick. And yet when the agent of the Verrat, the Hundjager Edgar Waltz, comes by, he doesn't know anything about Renard's supposed pet Grimm who Renard is letting run around off-leash. Which indicates that we have at least two factions within the Verrat, one who uses Reapers and one who uses Hundjagers, and they're not talking to each other. I'm discounting the Reapers from the Eisbieber episode because they were acting for vengeance against Nick and Renard. Or rather Nick, since they didn't go near Renard. No mention of the Verrat in there.

"I speak for der Verrat..." I just have to stop and be amused here that everyone was talking about the Ferat for several episodes after this. I mean, so was I, it wasn't until I was listening to some German Industrial rock music that I realized that should be a V instead of an F, and went and looked the word up. This also indicates a German accented person, when up to this point we've only heard French. "... and they have a different opinion. Things are getting out of balance. A Grimm on his own is like a samurai without a master." Another part of the deleted scene in Game Ogre involved Renard making reference to Stark 'threatening the Alliance.' Suddenly the idea of things getting out of balance takes on a much more sinister meaning when we factor in there's an Alliance here. Unfortunately the deleted scene didn't offer us much more of a clue whether this is an Alliance between humans and Wesen, Royals and Wesen, Royals and human governments and Wesen, Royals and Grimms and Verrat, Verrat and Royals, Verrat and human governments, Royals and Verrat and the Partridge family in the pear tree. Who knows. I also find it interesting that the speaker refers to samurai and, though not by name, to ronin. And then later we have a potential Yakuza member or ex-Yakuza member who spent some time in Hamburg and is chasing the Coins of Sauron. We also have a reference to a Grimm-type (though possibly not an actual Grimm) from Japan later in Tarantella. So we can safely add Japan to the list of countries of interest.

"Well, this one has a badge and a conscience." "That is your problem." I'm still not entirely sure what Renard means by the badge and conscience line. It could mean that he feels more apt to trust Nick on his own because of Nick's conscience or it could mean, given what we later learn about Grimms, der Verrat, and the Royal families that he doesn't feel inclined to push hard enough on Nick to make him into a more traditional Grimm. Or it could mean something else entirely.

And we close with a customary threat back-and-forth. "Next time, you may want to deliver your message in person." So I can chop off more things than ears. "Next time, we will." And you won't find the next time so easy to deal with. I would also like to note that the ear in the box is a right ear. And the Reaper's left ear was cut off. This led to me and A thinking that he was dead and they'd sent the other ear as a present for several episodes.

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