I don't think Bishop is useless as an agent. She's doing a fine job for a rookie - it's just that Gibbs' team as it stands now in the NCIS agency isn't the right place for a rookie to be cutting their teeth.
I really liked this episode. The mystery was good and Bronson Pinchot was awesome in his role. Abby's heart-to-heart with Tony was great (even though it wasn't very subtle on CBS' part!) because she's probably the one person at NCIS that he can drop his guard around and who won't just roll her eyes and snark when he tries to deflect her. I loved Keates too - she can keep up with Tony verbally, she knows the man behind the facade, lets him off the hook for past mistakes, and she demanded - and got - Gibbs' respect in her first scene. Honestly, I'd rather have Keates (or someone like her) in the female agent role than Bishop. This season I've realized that my problem isn't with the character of Bishop - she's fine, and totally believable in her role as a rookie - but rather that I can't buy into a rookie (someone who hasn't even gone through all the training at that - being assigned to/hired on to such a high-ranking team at the home office of a federal agency. It wouldn't have been so jarring at the beginning of the series (and even then Tim went through about a year of temporary assignments before getting his spot on the team), but now this team works on a lot of cases that merit the director's personal attention and even not-infrequently with important foreign diplomats and the Secretary of the Navy - that's a gig agents have to work up to unless there's a super-compelling reason why they deserve to be there - and there's never been one with Bishop. Just for the record (and the trolls on both sides of the argument): I liked Ziva, but don't really miss her now that she's gone; I didn't care one way or the other about Tiva (as long as the story is good, believable, and makes sense I trust the writers with where they take the show); and I understand that as a fictional show they don't have to conform exactly with what would normally happen in the real world. I'm not hating on Bishop - I genuinely wish I didn't have this disconnect with her character, but I just can't make the leap to someone at the point of her career that she's at belongs on this particular team.
I agree - I wasn't impressed with the main story (although, to be fair, a main story that lets Wu step up like he did in this one will always mean the more interesting parts of "Grimm" will have to be played down until Wu finds out Nick's secret), but the side stories were compelling enough to hold my interest. I love how the relationship between Rosalee and Juliette has developed these last couple of episodes - hopefully they'll become really good friends.
I truly dislike the Renard-Juliette storyline. I cringe every time one of them is on screen because inevitably it leads to the whole awkward pining thing. This whole story feels like a bid on the part of the writers to keep Juliette relevant to the overall plot without letting her know about Grimms and Wesen, but it's not working. I like Juliette, but let her know - and accept - or cut her loose! As much as I like Hank, I miss seeing Nick and Monroe working together. Maybe if Monroe tells Nick, Nick can figure out who Renard is and quit the police force. He and Monroe can work together as PI's with Hank (partnered with Wu) their police contact? Just spitballing here, but seriously - let's see more of Monroe and Nick working together!
Another interesting thing in this episode that I picked up in terms of "below the exterior" is Hank's continuing discovery of just how far beyond normal Nick's gotten in this life as a Grimm. He may be accepting (for now), but he looked quietly freaked out when he saw the books, the weapons, and when he learned Nick basically ordered the ogre's death. I wonder if we're going to get to a point where things go a step too far for Hank and he finds he can't go on this journey with Nick anymore. I really, really hope the show's not gearing up for a Nick/Juliette/Renard triangle. It took awhile for most viewers to warm up to Juliette and having her cheat on Nick would lead to an epic setback; plus, it's hard to imagine Nick remaining a loyal employee of the person who slept with his almost-fiancee.
I'm surprised to say I didn't hate Sara in this episode. She doesn't have any romantic chemistry with Neal, but they make good friends. While I wouldn't want to see her back as a series regular (her frequent appearances in season 3 were way too contrived) but I'm no longer dreading the 3 or so episodes she's doing this season.
It was nice to see Rachael Leigh Cook's character get fleshed out, kick a little ass, and establish her age. Some people have been complaining about how young she is, but she's a woman in her early 30's who has a respectable but not unbelievable career for someone at that age.
Someone said this last week and after this episode I totally agree: "Grimm" may have some of the elements of a police procedural, but at its core it's an urban fantasy a la Rob Thurman novels and the like. The messier endings with some of the bad guys not getting caught and punished at the end of each episode just goes with the territory. The only thing that disappointed me about this episode was that they made Ariel so evil/crazy right away. With her chemistry with Nick, I think it would have been more interesting to keep her more ambigious for the time being - because she knows about and appeals to the Grimm side of Nick her presence would have been another messy shade to the problems he and Juliette are currently having.
I got chills when Hilter was revealed as a creature at the end - holy moly! Nice (and wonderfully creepy) way to tie the coins, the Grimm/German thing, and history together! Too bad Monroe wasn't there; I thought it was a perfect chance to give him more screentime considering his excitement and knowledge about the projector earlier in the episode. It's nice to see Juliette utilized so well. I don't necessarily want her to have more screentime, just see the screentime she does have used constructively. What I'm really curious about is what kind of creature Renard is - even with him being out of control under the influence of the coins he didn't reveal his creature-ness. It makes me even more curious. Great to see Nick really embracing his Grimm-ness. Now at least one other character needs to find out - my vote goes to either Hank or Wu (that would be a good way to make him something a little bit more than comic relief!).
It was fascinating to watch Nick really being a Grimm first and a cop second for the first time. Before the creatures have committed crimes that the cop in him could comprehend or even have been victims themselves, but killing a lot of teenagers and ingesting human organs would be horrific crimes for even the most hardened cop to comprehend. These crimes would make anyone ask "What kind of monster could do that?" And Nick KNOWS this time it's a literal monster that he's in a position to stop. I don't think it's a coincidence that Renard got the warning at the same point when Nick is starting to really embrace the Grimm part of who he is. It's going to be interesting to see how all of that unfolds... I really liked the episode, but there wasn't enough Eddie. They really need to find a way to integrate him into the other parts of Nick's life - maybe by introducing him to Juliette or having Hank see a creature of what it is?
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