I haven’t talked much about ‘Grimm’ this season since the first couple of episodes. However, because most of the other shows I watch have already gone on break for the rest of December, yet this one aired a two-hour Christmas special on Friday, this seems like a good time to catch up.
As I last mentioned several weeks back, I wasn’t overly thrilled with the way this season began. The storyline in which Nick was turned into a zombie just didn’t quite work. No one actually expected him to remain a zombie for very long, and the way the show stretched out his recovery felt like filler. Any suggestion that the damage done to him might have lasting repercussions was quickly forgotten in the subsequent episodes, which returned right back to the original formula as if nothing had happened.
Although I still at least passively enjoy the series, I rarely feel much excitement for it anymore. A heavily-promoted episode in which Nick had to hunt down a boogeyman from Mexican folklore known as El Cucuy didn’t amount to much. That said, the prospect of the Grimm fighting an evil Santa certainly piqued my interest.
The two-hour holiday special was really just two completely unrelated episodes, one of which doesn’t even have a Christmas theme, mushed together with no credits in between. That’s disappointing, especially since the first half is nothing special. In ‘Cold Blooded’, Nick and Hank investigate a series of home robberies and a couple of murders committed by an alligator man who lives in the city sewers. After they arrest him, some contrivance leads them to return him to the sewer, where we discover that he actually has two brothers who’d been helping him commit the crimes. It’s an easily-guessed twist, frankly.
This is a pretty standard episode, and the villains aren’t all that interesting. It’s notable, however, for the introduction of ‘Buffy’ and ‘Angel’ star Alexis Denisof as Capt. Renard’s cousin Victor, who has been newly crowned the prince of whatever country Renard comes from, now that Renard’s brother is (presumably) dead. Also, the alligator men refer to the Grimm as “Decapitauri,” a nickname that Nick thinks is pretty cool.
Fortunately, the second episode, called ‘Twelve Days of Krampus’, is more fun. After a couple of punk kids steal Christmas presents, they’re attacked and one kidnapped by a goat-horned monster wearing a Santa outfit. As you can glean from the title, the beast is actually the legendary German troublemaker Krampus, described here as “Santa’s evil twin.” While Santa Klaus rewards good boys and girls, Krampus punishes the naughty – in this case by stuffing them in a big sack and collecting them for a midnight feast. Nick and crew have only a few hours to find and stop him before he eats the kids.
Monroe speculates that Krampus may not even be wesen, because he doesn’t seem to have a human form. Of course, Nick manages to stop him from chowing down on the children. At the stroke of midnight, Krampus turns into a human man after all, one who claims that he blacked out and has no memories of what happened over the last several days. This would account for why Krampus disappears for most of the year. He’s like an alternate personality, or a spirit that possesses the man. Because Nick doesn’t have enough evidence to arrest the guy, and has no other ideas for what to do with him, he decides to turn him over to the Wesen Council and let them deal with him.
In a side story, we discover that Monroe has a crazy Christmas fetish, and goes all-out decorating his house. Rosalee, unfortunately, hates the holiday, owing to a family tragedy that she relates like Phoebe Cates in ‘Gremlins’. They eventually come to a compromise.
Even though the alligator episode didn’t do much for me, the Krampus episode is ‘Grimm’ in fine form. I especially like the detail that we finally see Nick writing his account of the adventure in the Grimm journal. In countless episodes, we’ve seen him read from those journals, but he’s never appeared to fulfill his responsibility to add to them until now.
‘Grimm’ will return on January 3rd. I’m still committed to keep watching, even if not every episode lives up to its potential.