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Alcatraz – S01E03 – “Kit Nelson”

FOX's Alcatraz

Alcatraz – S01E03 – “Kit Nelson”

There is a pecking order in prisons and at the bottom of the rung is the child molester and child killer. Kit Nelson (Michael Eklund) is a child killer and he’s back. If he follows pattern then Madsen and Soto have 48 hours to find him and save the life of the child he’s kidnapped. “Kit Nelson” is a much more concrete episode than the first two, a tad preachy in the middle, but definitely finding that sweet spot between cop drama and supernatural thriller. We may not be any closer to discovering the secret of Alcatraz but the ride has gotten way more interesting.

Score: 3 ½ of 5

>Spoilers<

Alcatraz – S01E03 – “Kit Nelson”

Soto tracks down Kit Nelson.

A touchy subject in film and television is the unfortunate reality of the child molester and child killer, the lowest of the low. Kit Nelson, the latest Alcatraz escapee, is one of these and he’s struck again… and apparently a cord in Dr. Soto. Garcia is given plenty to work with as his character figures out Kit is responsible and then sets out to find him, with or without Madsen’s help. Kit, for his part, is downright creepy, hitting all the right (or wrong?) notes.

What really makes this episode better than the last two is that the Alcatraz story takes a bit of a back seat. Sure, you have the flashbacks but that in itself is not unique. This could be any other procedural cop drama with a cop and civilian going after a bad guy. Hell, it could be an episode of Cold Case or Criminal Minds… but it’s not… it’s much more and it’s going to sit back and let that sink in a bit.

Among the chilling chase is a side story still trying to play Hauser as both sympathetic and a grade A a-hole. Still unsure what they are doing with his character and the episode dipped into the melodramatic towards the middle when he got into an argument with Madsen but quickly dug itself back out of that hole. I have a feeling a flashback of Hauser’s character post-disappearance is coming soon and hopefully this will clear things up for us.

Alcatraz – S01E03 – “Kit Nelson”

Kit Nelson (Eklund) holds his victim hostage.

I won’t go through the details of the plot but Soto does end up going it on his own and finding Kit and the missing kid but he’s not exactly the kind of person to take on a psychopathic killer. He is able to impart some hope into the kid to ‘stay strong’ and the boy does manage a pretty smart escape attempt. Of course the plot dictated that he get caught and a standoff occur in which Hauser pulls a Mal and shoots Kit in the head as he’s holding the kid hostage… omg… that was an almost perfectly replicated scene from Firefly “Serenity”.

I don’t know what to think of that…

Okay, mind blown, but let’s move on to the important facts we discovered from the episode. The blood is apparently not a red herring, the warden has kids (will these guys become plot points?), the doctor returned same as the psychologist, and apparently something happened to Soto in the past which made for a very non sequitur moment. What can I say, the clinical description of ‘arrested development’ was not the first thing that came to mind.

Overall a great improvement from the first two episodes so let’s hope this is a trend and not a one-off.

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Posted by on January 24, 2012 in Television

 

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Grimm – S01E09 – “Of Mouse and Man”

NBC's Grimm

Grimm – S01E09 – “Of Mouse and Man”

A man is killed, stabbed with a screw driver and dumped into a garbage truck. Nick and Hank are put on the case and the suspect pool includes not one but two different monsters. Meanwhile, a more cautious Juliette eyes people spying on their home and Monroe gets asked to work on a clock but is it more than he can handle? Solid episode which delves into the psychology of mice, men, monsters, and everything in between.

Score: 3 ½ of 5

>Spoilers<

Grimm – S01E09 – “Of Mouse and Man”

Monroe returns after being beaten for consorting with Nick.

When I say stabbed with a screw driver, I mean that in the most literal of sense. It’s brutal, personal, and spontaneous. This is why Nick and Hank immediately look at the last people who saw the victim alive and that would be one Mouse and one Snake monster, respectively.

The Mouse is a timid pack rat… yeah, I see what they did there… and the Snake is a slimy personal injury lawyer. A bit blunt there guys but it isn’t a defining trait or really that much of importance so we’ll let it slide.  So which one of them did it? Or was it either of them?

The episode slumps a bit as more pieces are put together, another person is murdered, and we learn more about Mouse and Snake monsters, but then three very interesting things occur.

Juliette sees that her house is being watched and is able to get a license plate. Nick gets an address which Juliette memorizes and goes to. She sees the woman who was watching them and she immediately runs her two kids into the house when she sees Juliette watching. Is this woman a monster, one who is scared that the Grimm is going to catch her? I don’t think Nick really understands what it means to be an active Grimm.

Grimm – S01E09 – “Of Mouse and Man”

The result of the killer's psychotic break is chilling.

Monroe gets asked to work on a clock, only when he shows up, several monsters beat the crap out of him. Good news is, if they wanted him dead, he’d be dead, so this was only a warning. The Reaper monsters who are after Nick and probably monsters in general don’t like Monroe socializing and upsetting the social monster norm. Nick offers to stop going to Monroe for help but he’ll have nothing of it. He likes helping and he’s not exactly one for doing what is expected of him.

Lastly, our killer is the Mouse who literally snapped. A psychotic break I think they call it. It’s really a wonderful examination of our own inner mouse as this monster could have easily been a human. His digression into a full blow psychosis is both blunt and subtle at the same time. A bit more depth than to be expected from a show like Grimm and that is why this show has a very bright future indeed.

 
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Posted by on January 23, 2012 in Television

 

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Grimm – S01E08 – “Game Ogre”

NBC's Grimm

In what is possibly the best episode of the season so far, “Game Orge” highlights some of the secondary players while Nick sits on the sidelines, though not of his own volition. We learn more about Hank as a character and Captain Renard shows that he’s just as much a cop as a monster. Juliette gets a significant development moment and even Sergeant Wu does more than stand around filling in exposition. All it took was the Grimm-universe’s version of an Ogre who is possibly the scariest monster yet. The series is starting to flesh itself out and let’s hope that “Game Ogre” is really ‘game on’.

Score: 4 of 5

>Spoilers<

Grimm – S01E08 – “Game Ogre”
Hank and Renard work the case.

I will fully admit that this episode actually gave me a fright. I knew something was going to happen but when the Ogre runs full long through the window and tackles the judge, well, maybe I shouldn’t have been sitting so close to the screen. It was then nice to see Wu doing something other than giving out exposition by showing up on the crime scene and going through the motions of a beat cop.

Nick and Hank investigate and the Captain shows up because it’s a state judge and that warrants him making an appearance, then what follows is more of a Hank and Renard episode as it’s these two who follow the leads to another dead body, this one missing a hand and wearing a watch as a clue. As Hank says, Nick knows a watch guy. There is a fun but awkward moment where Monroe tries to play off that he and Nick aren’t as good friends as they are now.

Monroe is able to quickly get them a lead to the next victim (which I guess is believable, watches are big business so I can see lots of paper trails involved). This leads to a prosecutor that Hank knows and the whole thing clicks. Hank helped put away a man, Oleg Stark (Eric Edelstein, wonderful casting btw), and he’s out for revenge. Renard immediately puts Hank under protective detail, he’s not to leave the station. This is an interesting character point for Renard. We know he’s a monster and he’s got some kind of plan doing for Nick and the other monsters… but he seems to be genuinely concerned for Hank as one of his cops. The line becomes ever more muddled on just how much of a bad guy Renard really is.

Grimm – S01E08 – “Game Ogre”

Nick is sent to the hospital after his run-in with the Ogre.

Stark decides the best way to draw out Hank is to beat the living daylights out of Nick who really gets his butt beat. For a Grimm he’s not very effective against an Ogre, but then I suppose who is? Juliette comes home just in time to scare Stark off by throwing a pan of boiling hot water on him. Nick is hospitalized and Juliette is left to clean up after the mess made by the home intrusion. There is a wonderful underplayed moment as she reacts to what just happened. She’s a strong character but is she strong enough to live the life of a Grimm’s gf/wife? I’m sure more on that soon… if Nick bothers to tell her he’s a Grimm before she finds out the hard way.

But Nick does the one thing his aunt told him not to do and let Monroe know about the trailer, guess that means Nick trusts Monroe that much… or he cares more about Hank to risk it. Monroe gets the gun and poison to kill an Ogre but is too late getting it to Nick. Hank has decided go against Wu’s plan (again, he’s given more to work with in this episode) and leads Stark to a quarry. Monroe follows in what is the worse ‘trailing each other’s cars’ scene I’ve seen in a long while.

Grimm – S01E08 – “Game Ogre”
Monroe prepares to take on the Ogre.

While Stark beats the crap out of Hank, Monroe loads the special gun and it knocks him on his rear but he’s able to take out Stark. So the bad guy is dead, Nick is recovering, and Hank survives, all is well.

Then Renard let’s Hank know how Stark died, a three barreled ‘Elephant Gun’ from the 1800s. Both are very interested in knowing where that came from and who shot it… but for obviously different reasons. I hope this isn’t the beginning of perhaps pitting Hank against Nick, though it would make sense since Nick hasn’t told Hank about him being a Grimm, etc. Not that Hank would really understand.  

A storm is brewing… and Nick is at the center of it.

 
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Posted by on January 22, 2012 in Television

 

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