GRIMM 2.02 ‘Bears Will Be Bears’

'Grimm's' serves up a soupy, flavor-less porridge with its take on Goldiocks.

Hilary Rothingby Hilary Rothing

Episode Title: 'Bears Will Be Bears'

Writers: David Greenwalt & Jim Kouf

Director: Norberto Barba

Story:

A young couple breaks into the cabin of a wealthy family while they're out of town. After they hear an approaching vehicle, the woman escapes but the man is attacked from inside before he can climb out the window.

Nick (David Giuntoli) visits Aunt Marie (Kate Burton) at the hospital, badly bruised from the attempt on her life. Back at HQ, Captain Renard (Sasha Roiz) tells Nick the surveillance footage from the attack doesn't provide any usable info on the perpetrator. Just then, a call comes in about a young woman name Gilda Darner who claims her boyfriend, Rocky has been kidnapped after the two broke into a cabin in the woods.

Nick and Hank (Russell Hornsby) stop by the cabin to talk to the family. Inside, Hank recognizes a number of aboriginal artifacts the wealthy couple have on display. After receiving an urgent call from Marie, Nick heads to the hospital where she warns him about a secret organization of reapers who are hunting her. She tells him to make sure they don't find her trailer.

Back at the cabin, Nick and Hank meet the couple's son, Barry and his biker friends. When Nick questions Barry about his whereabouts the night of Rocky's disappearance, he sees him transform into a bear-like creature. His parents take offense at Nick implying Barry had anything to do with the kidnapping. Later, Barry and his friends head to a spot in the woods where they throw a doll into a stake-laden pit.

After finding an artifact similar to one Hank spotted in the cabin, Nick turns to Eddie (Silas Weir Mitchell) for information. He tells Nick the artifact is part of a coming of age ritual practiced by a kind of bear-like creature. Later at the hospital, Hank tells Eddie that Barry was at the cabin at the time of the attack. Meanwhile, Captain Renard tells Nick he has to pull Marie's security detail at the hospital. Nick then enlists Eddie to stand guard for his aunt.

Hank learns that Gilda is headed to the cabin with a gun to confront the family about Rocky. However, she arrives before Nick only to be taken down by Barry. His mother tells him to take her away and hide her car before the police arrive.

Nick confronts Barry's parents about their son. The boy's mother won't help, claiming her son is only following in the footsteps of his ancestors. However, Nick convinces Barry's father to help him. Meanwhile, Barry and his friends begin their ritual with Rocky and Gilda in a nearby cave. Back at the hospital, Eddie saves Marie from another attack but winds up killing a man in the process. Fearing he's gone too far, Eddie leaves the hospital.

After finding clothing in the cave, Nick and Barry's father, who fears it's too late, race into the woods where they find Barry and his friends chasing down the couple. Nick holds Barry at gunpoint when he is charged by a large bear. However, the creature falls into the pit the boys dug, where it transforms back into Barry's mother.  Barry is arrested and his mother taken away in an ambulance.

At the hospital, Marie is attacked by a man posing as a priest. She fights him off just as Nick arrives. She dies in his arms but not before telling him to trust his instincts. Later, Nick and his fiance visit Marie's grave, where they are watched from afar by some sort of creature.

Breakdown:

It's Friday night, who's ready for "Law & Order: Goldilocks?!" "Grimm" returned this week, after its poorly received but highly rated (6.5 million viewers) premiere last Friday with a "Twilight"-esque spin on Goldilocks and the three bears. I say "Twilight"-esque because the bears in question were shirtless teenage boys. 

As a supporter of just about any attempt to create a show that's not focused on cops, lawyers or doctors, I really want to like "Grimm," and hoped it would improve after last week's disappointing pilot. Of course, "Grimm" is at heart a police procedural but the supernatural element is the hook here. Unfortunately, "Grimm" followed up with another over-expository hour loaded with a case that was neither mysterious nor essential to moving the show's larger mythology forward.

Unlike other straight up police procedurals, I'm not relying on "Grimm" to deliver a twisty-turny case of the week, which it certainly didn't in this episode. However, I am looking for each week's case to contribute to and deepen "Grimm's" mythology and build on the show's real mysteries. Who exactly are these "reapers?" What do they want?  And where do all these creatures come from and what is their ultimate goal, anyway? We're no closer to getting any answers on any of those questions after this episode. And I'm no closer to caring.

Instead, we learned about another threatening, bear-like supernatural species Nick must contend with, Jagerbombs or some such..? In between attempting to find Barry the Jagerbomb bear, Nick stops by the hospital for info-dumps from his dying aunt. Later, Nick confronts Papa Bear about his son and learns he's about to use Rocky and Gilda in a "bear Bar Mitzvah." Oy vey.

Yet again, Instead of showing us Barry and his friends preparing for this rite of passage we get Papa Bear telling us about it. And then there's another info-dump from Eddie, who made me laugh when he accused Nick of using him like some sort of encyclopedia. Indeed, that scene had all the drama and emotion of a  Wikipedia entry. 

A few other observations on "Bears Will Be Bears:"

What exactly are Captain Renard and his evil nurse assistant up to? I'm assuming Renard can transform into some sort of creature, himself, and if that's the case, why can't Nick see him?

So Aunt Marie is a woman on the verge of succumbing to cancer, barely survived two attacks and her strength is drained just from speaking. Yet, somehow she's able to take down a killer priest before dying? Talk about fairy tales…

Last week, we were hit over the head with the "Little Red Hiding Hood" motif in the form of a jogger in a red hoody. This week, we get a curly-haired blonde named Gilda as Goldilocks. See what they….oh, nevermind.

On that note, Gilda and Rocky seemed a little too old to be breaking into rich people's homes to play dress up, doncha think?

What the hell was up with the random dude attacking the evil nurse chick when she met with Renard? 

No one besides Nick's fiance thinks it's more than just a little weird that two attempts have been made on the life of a woman dying of cancer? If this were a real hospital and not one on a show about a detective who cracks the case of who kidnapped Goldilocks with a little help from the Big Bad Wolf, there would be cops all over that hospital.

With NBC continuing to struggle and "Grimm" still making solid numbers, despite a 14% drop from last week's premiere, it looks like we'll be stuck with this one for a while, at least. And perhaps "Grimm" will begin to find its footing in fairy tale land next week. But honestly, I don't have much hope for this show improving, short of a complete re-tooling in the writing, storytelling approach and tone of "Grimm." 

Crave Online Rating: 5 out of 10.