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Into the woods without delay, Grimm’s careful not to lose the way

Illustration for article titled Into the woods without delay, iGrimm/i’s careful not to lose the way
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Because The A.V. Club knows that TV shows keep going even if we’re not writing at length about them, we’re experimenting with discussion posts. For certain shows, one of our TV writers will publish some brief thoughts about the latest episode, and open the comments for readers to share theirs.

  • “Tree People” is one of those Grimm episodes where the creative team puts its world building on hold and tosses its heroes into the unknown. While most conventional episodes have Nick learning about a new portion of the wesen world, installments like “Volcanalis” or “La Llorona” introduce an air of an even deeper mystery, creatures that not even his ancestors’ journals or his wesen allies can fully explain. Rather than sabotaging the world-building, it helps keep the feeling that there’s still uncharted territory in the world,
  • The feeling of the primordial is particularly apparent this week with the introduction of the Kinoshimobe, a tree man who’s equal parts Evil Dead and Guardians Of The Galaxy. While a familiar archetype, Grimm’s creative team gets a lot of mileage out of it, between the looming presence in the background and the rapid pace of his entangle ability. And when he’s feeding his latest victim to the tree, there’s an air of reverence that’s startlingly strong amidst its grotesqueness.
  • Grimm’s never shied away from the unsettling, and this week’s depiction of the Jubokko tree vaults into the top ten of the creepiest things they’ve ever done on the show. A tree that feeds on blood is one thing, but to then weave the faces of its victims into the bark makes things exponentially more macabre.
  • While the visuals are on point, the moral ambiguity of killing the creature gets a bit of a short shrift. Monroe’s defense of its “organic, all natural, free-range kind of self-defense” clashes with the realism of Team Grimm’s chop-first-ask-questions-later approach, but once Rosalee’s in danger that potential conflict goes out the window. While they get away with it by having the Kinoshimobe ultimately survive and the team decide things officially become too weird to dig deeper, there was room for said digging.
  • It also helps that everyone the Kinoshimobe kills have it coming as polluters. I’d like to see one of those walk into Scott Pruitt’s office.
  • The long-term plot elements are largely on pause this week. Diana offers some creepy and cryptic insights into Nick and Eve’s visions of Black Skull (“It’s something that’s not real yet … In the other place. Through the hole in the mirror”) and Eve decides to take the fight to him.
  • More of a drag is Renard’s online chats with Dasha, which feel like killing time as they speculate over just how Diana saw the images. It brings back unwelcome memories of Adalind’s European vacation in season two and three, yet another storyline where a main character was marooned from the rest of the cast as someone rambled at them in a Slavic accent.
  • Nice to see the return of both the Grimm weapon chest and Nick adding his own entries to the Grimm diaries, neither of which have shown up this season. And it was rewarding to see Nick’s continued expansion of what it means to be a Grimm by making the journaling a collaborative process.
  • The gimmick of mirror buddies is a fun joke early on, especially when Nick and Adalind make the unanimous decision that he doesn’t need to shave. But how did Nick and Hank cope with all the rearview mirrors in the police cruiser?
  • Interesting detail: this is the first collaboration between showrunner Jim Kouf and his daughter Brenna. Both have written episodes and Kouf’s directed before, but they’ve never joined forces before this point.
  • Gotta love the “LIGHT BEER” generic branding on all those empty cans.
  • Not sure in what world Rosalee thought driving a Fiat down an unpaved forest road was a good idea.
  • “The woods are lovely, dark and deep. And full of dead bodies of all sorts.”
  • Exiguous. That’s one of my favorite words.” I know what I’m deploying in my next Scrabble game.
  • “When you get a weird feeling, it’s different then when I get a weird feeling.”
  • “I’m just gonna go out on a limb and say a womb with a view.” A doubly layered pun! Well played, Sgt. Wu.
  • This Week In Portland: Nothing in the city this week, but I do want to take a moment to acknowledge just how much value Grimm has gotten out of shooting in the woods around Portland over the last few years. There’s a definite sense of something older and more primordial in western Oregon’s forests, and the creative team has gotten the bang for their buck out of it. The moments that the officers take to reflect while hunting their prey show they’re cognizant of what they have to work with.
  • This Week’s Epigram: “In the morning, glad, I see my foe outstretched beneath the tree.” William Blake’s A Poison Tree, a cheery little group of verses about the festering desire for revenge.
  • Know Your Wesen: Monroe hypothesizes for a cannibal wesen explanation similar to the Wendigo, and Rosalee cites the use of her chemical on both Gelumcaedus and Skalengeck.

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