Of all the new shows that premiered last season, I had extremely low expectations for NBC’s ‘Grimm’, the previews for which all looked incredibly cheesy and dumb. Color me surprised, then, when I found myself enjoying it quite a bit. Over the course of the season, the series developed an interesting mythology and grew into a solid hit for NBC. In the hopes of getting a jump-start on the fall TV season, the network has brought back this show a little early, with a second season premiere that aired on Monday.
Last season’s finale ended on a couple of cliffhangers, as Nick’s girlfriend Juliette fell into a coma and Nick discovered that his mother was still alive. The new premiere, ‘Bad Teeth’, picks up right from that point. Well, almost. It actually starts with a lousy CGI sequence of a boat coming into harbor. (The show’s visual effects budget has sadly not improved any since last year.) Inside that boat, a tiger monster slaughters a bunch of stowaways and some Harbor Patrol agents, after which we find that the series has a very cheesy new opening credit sequence. (The old credits were much simpler and more effective.)
Strangely, this storyline doesn’t really come back around again until the very end of the episode. In the meantime, Nick has to deal with the Japanese assassin named Kimura, who trashed his house and tried to kill him. Nick’s mom (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) informs him that Kimura is part of an Old World secret society called the Dragon’s Tongue, which had something to do with his father’s murder. She wants to torture and/or kill Kimura, but Nick won’t let her. He lets his police buddies arrest him instead. Later, Captain Renard poisons Kimura in his cell before Nick can question him further.
Nick brings his mother to Aunt Marie’s trailer, and they bond a bit over being Grimms. He shows her the magic coins that everyone wants. She tells him that he must bring them back to some remote island where they were forged in order to toss them into the volcano on Mount Doom and destroy them, or something like that. Also, those keys Nick found that form a map when placed together… those will lead to a precious treasure hidden by the Knights Templar back in the day.
Meanwhile, Monroe and his girlfriend Rosalee run some tests on Juliette’s blood and discover that she’s under a spell that will erase her memories. As they work on a cure, they’re surprised when Catherine, the mother of evil Adalind Schade (who poisoned Juliette in the first place) shows up at the shop demanding ingredients for that same cure. It seems that she and Renard need Juliette to survive in order to keep Nick rooted to Portland.
By episode’s end, we finally come back around to the tiger monster. It kills a couple of FBI agents (who seem to be a weird ‘X-Files’ parody, possibly) and lures Nick into a trap. The episode closes on a cliffhanger as the tiger gets the drop on Nick, but the preview for next week’s episode spoils all suspense by immediately revealing that Nick’s mom will save him. Thanks a lot, NBC!
As a premiere, this episode does its job well enough. It gets us back into the show and sets up some interesting storylines for the season. I kind of enjoy the fact that Nick’s mom instinctively hates Monroe and Rosalee.
I really wish that the network would bump up the VFX budget a smidge, though. The show’s CGI is so bad that it’s no longer charming or quaint. It just looks like crap.