Grimm unveiled their obligatory Christmas episode this week. It was as hokey as most other Grimm Christmas stories before it, but it still had charm.
Let’s conduct the Grimm Christmas checklist. Was there a Christmas-themed Wesen? Check. Was it a mindless beast? Sort of. Did Nick have to defeat the beast in combat? No. In fact the Wesen in question was a group of teenagers going through – ahem – changes. The main story arc does a great job of treating Wesen as something other than monsters; they’re people, too. As a result Nick and crew solved the case with a gentler touch than usual.
While Nick learned the true meaning of fruit cake, Trubel investigated the ongoing harassment of Monroe and Rosalee. Trubel proved her detective skills with the side story, but we knew she wasn’t long for this show. Once Nick regained his Grimm powers, she was as good as a ghost. Josh – the son of another Grimm we met last season – wasn’t more than a plot device to get Trubel out of town, but despite the formulaic aspect of his character, we saw him change, and he allowed Trubel to leave on a good note. It doesn’t hurt that we get a promise for possible dual coast Grimm action.
Verdict: A fun Christmas-quasi-standalone episode that trims some of the fat from the cast as well as the tree.
This week wasn’t just a case of Manny being Manny. Manny played more than his role as Angel of Exposition. He lends John a helping hand. Manny still finds a way to feed us some backstory – so he does give us a taste of the usual Manny – but he sticks around long enough to show us that the fight between good and evil extends beyond the mortal plane. Seriously, Constantine has painted the big man upstairs as an absentee father, and it took a creature John couldn’t handle for a celestial being to take action.
As you can guess, this week’s antagonist differed from all the others. We even get a switcheroo-twist in the plot, too. I’ll try not to give away too much (Constantine Spoilers), but for the first time we see John finger the wrong man—err demon or unholy harbingers of evil or whatever else John takes down a weekly basis. The guy John suspects of wrong doing is just a misguided soul.
For a character like John who’s a study in a gray, you can’t have a black and white antagonist. It’s great to see back-to-back episodes where good and evil aren’t so clear.
Verdict: Another entertaining show that minimizes the show’s flaws.
We learned in previous seasons that Bob and his father Bob don’t get along. We’ve never seen Bob senior in the flesh, but in true Bob’s Burgers fashion, we see the two Bobs’ dysfunctional relationship play out over Christmas.
Bob shares with Linda that he can only spend fifteen minutes with his father until he’s had his fill. Louise calls it speed dating with his dad, her Popop. Cue the montage. A bright-eyed Bob opens Bob’s Burgers for the first time, and his father tells him it won’t last a month. A smiling Bob throws his eldest child Tina a birthday party, and Bob’s father notices that Bob’s fatter than he was at his age. A frazzled Bob hands a newborn Gene to his father, and Bob’s father asks if it’s not too late to change the name. In a span of thirty seconds we get a wealth of history.
We also see the rivalry between these two. Bob believes that his father has no faith in him. He has to one up him at every turn only to realize—with the helping hand of his children—that his father was proud of him all along. Throw in a psychotic Linda Christmas carol, Gene running around half-naked covered in baked beans and some failed Christmas presents and you get a wonderful day in the life of Bob’s Burgers.
Verdict: Another great holiday episode.