Hooray for Halloween #3: Review of Grimm S3 premiere “The Ungrateful Dead”

Nick the zombie is, well, kinda sexy in an undead kind of way (image via seriable.com)
Nick the zombie is, well, kinda sexy in an undead kind of way (image via seriable.com (c) NBC)

 

… and we’re RACING!

Barely pausing for breath, and picking up just a few minutes before season 2 ended with Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell), Juliette (Bitsie Tulloch) and Rosalee (Bree Turner) racing through the container yard, a pack of snarling, ultra-aggressive zombie-like people hot on their heels, Grimm kicked off season 3 in an adrenaline-fueled race to save Nick (David Giuntoli) from the hands of the Wesen prince Eric Renard (James Frain).

It was pedal-to-the-metal full speed ahead kind of stuff, with action shifting from the sandy ground around the containers to their dizzying heights at breakneck speed, Juliette in particular showing a fine Rockettes-meets-Moulin Rouge ability to kick the zombies back down to the ground.

Quite how they’re all walking afterwards is beyond me but keep walking and climbing and snarling they do … until the police cavalry arrive in the form of Nick’s partner Hank (a fully ambulatory Russell Hornsby) and Sergeant Wu (Reggie Lee) and a crack squad of colleagues in riot gear who lock them all up in a shipping container till a gaseous antidote can be administered.

(Which prompts one of the rare genuinely moments of a tension-filled episode when Wu asks how they will know if the cure has worked; Monroe drily remarks  “I think it’s like popcorn. When it stops making noise, it’s done”, referring to the cessation of banging against the container walls by ever less furious zombies turned back into regular, thoroughly confused folks).

 

Monroe and Rosalee decide it might be time to rethink their date night choices (image via hypable.com (c) NBC)
Monroe and Rosalee decide it might be time to rethink their date night choices (image via hypable.com (c) NBC)

 

Captain Renard (Sasha Roiz) is on deck too, arriving separately to discover Nick has been spirited away to the airport, in a death-like state in a coffin after being zombified by the rather nasty Baron Samedi (Reg E. Cathey), on his way to goodness knows what fate in Austria.

While that particular part of the plan doesn’t quite work out as envisaged – Nick wakes up mid-flight red-eyed and zombiefied, uninterested in the inflight entertainment, preferring to angrily attack the Baron (who gets his just desserts) and the pilots instead with dire consequences for the plane’s ability to stay airborne – everyone’s favourite Grimm (who makes a damn fine and yes handsome zombie) is still in real jeopardy, angrily stomping through the woods, and an isolated bar with everyone else in hot pursuit.

It’s all go, go GO! with barely a millisecond to pause.

It was all very dramatic and action thriller-ish, and thoroughly enjoyable but one thing I did miss were those quieter, character-driven moments that set Grimm apart as an intelligent supernatural police procedural with a heart.

Obviously given what had transpired, there was no real time for thoughtful heart-to-heart moments or dry quips – save for Monroe who as always managed to keep a droll commentary going; when he wasn’t running hither, thither and yon of course – and they would have interrupted the flow of what a well calibrated episode but I am looking forward to their return when things quieten down a bit and Nick returns more or less to normal.

(Though we have been promised an angrier, not as well adjusted Nick once this happens.)

 

Juliette, of course, wonders if she will ever get an uninterrupted date night with her beloved Nick again (image via hypable.com (c) NBC)
Juliette, of course, wonders if she will ever get an uninterrupted date night with her beloved Nick again (image via hypable.com (c) NBC)

 

One person who was sweetly demure and quiet, albeit as she grimly went about seeking the return of Hexen Beast-ishness was Adalind (Claire Coffee) who, with the help of Stefania (Shohreh Aghdashloo), who seems obsessed with overly elaborate rituals to Adalind’s equal parts bemusement and frustration.

She succeeds in restoring Adalind’s power thanks to Frau Pech’s (Mary McDonald-Lewis) still beating heart (and her hacked off hands, feet and eyeballs), a wax-sealed wooden box with a flying lid, and a vibrant field of poppies that doesn’t end quite so pretty once all is said and done.

It was definitely the B story to Nick’s zombie romp but I have the feeling it’s going to come back to bite pretty much everyone on the proverbial in a BIG way as season 3 progresses.

After all, an angry, calculating revenge-minded Adalind, back in full command of her powers, is not the sort of person you want wandering around anywhere in the world, and I can only imagine what will happen when a furious Adalind meets a disgruntled, I-have-been-violated Nick.

Sparks will no doubt fly and then some, and not in Hallmark kind of way,  as Grimm delves into deeper, darker, far more emotionally gritty places, a welcome move for a show moving into what is effectively the beginning of a long running drama’s narrative middle age.

So shaking things up can only be a good thing.

As the end of the episode proclaimed “This ain’t over yet” … no, not by a long shot.

 

* Here’s the promo for S3, E2 episode “PTZD” …

 

 

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