Looking Back at Grimm (Part Two of the CPU! Goodbye to Grimm, MAJOR SPOILERS)

couchpotatoesunite

A new podcast episode of Couch Potatoes Unite!, which is based on a blog of the same name hosted at couchpotatoesunite.wordpress.com. In this episode, recorded in May 2017, our panel of CPU! supernatural and fairy tale enthusiasts – including moderator Kylie, Kristen, Nick, and Jen – is Looking Back at Grimm, in the second and final part of a two-part miniseries in which CPU! says goodbye to the long-running, procedural, fantasy-horror program.  If you have not watched any of Grimm, be aware that there are MAJOR SPOILERS! Tell us what you think in the comments below and check out the blog and YouTube for other TV related discussions, in both podcast and blog format. Also, if there are other shows you’re interested in the blog covering, sound off below! Tell us what you like or don’t like. Keep the discussion going!

PODCAST! – Looking Back at “Grimm” – The Goodbye Series, Part 2 (MAJOR SPOILERS)

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Moderator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie

THE SPECS:

Who: “Grimm” aired on network TV, specifically on NBC, for six seasons, from 2011-2017.

What: “Grimm,” a supernatural/fantasy drama, wherein supernatural forces, the stuff of nightmarish fairy tales and legends, are disguised as human beings, and only those descended from the original Brothers Grimm, can see – and fight – those beings and their true natures (for a more detailed Synopsis, read here: http://www.aceshowbiz.com/tv/grimm/summary.html).

When: The show aired in its entirety on NBC from 2011 to 2017.

Where: The show is set in Portland, Oregon, present day.

Why:  The premise of this show has always been intriguing: Grimms are not weavers of fairy tales but are humanity’s last line of defense against the beasts and monsters that haunt our nightmares. This generation’s Grimm is a police detective who stumbles into his family legacy by accident and must adjust what is his mostly normal life to these new abnormalities.  The mythology in this show is steep, meaning it will always be a cult TV show at best, but cult TV tends to appeal to this group of CPU! panelists more than mainstream/non-cult TV, and none of us have been disappointed by Grimm so far…and we continue to be drawn into its mythical and magical world, as the show only gets better in the process.

How – as in How Much Do We Love this Show?!

Couch Potatoes Unite!’s Complete Grimm Coverage

The Season Three Premiere Recap

Seasons 3, 4, and 5 Reflections and Recap

Season 6 Recap (Goodbye Series, Part 1)

Our Grimm panel of bona fide “Grimmsters” – Kristen, Nick and Jen – could not leave Grimm behind forever without spending quality time saying a long and (mostly) loving goodbye to this show, which has been in our lives for six years. After our Season 6 discussion, we agreed to reconvene to discuss the show as a whole, including all of its ups and the occasional downs, for part two of our two-part CPU! series in which Couch Potatoes Unite! says goodbye to this fantastic, fantastical program. In this second part, our panelists delve deep, reminiscing about what we loved and what we did not like as much from Grimm’s six seasons and about whether we think this series will hold up over time or whether it was a bit of lightning in a bottle or as fleeting as rage-driven “woge’ing.”

This second part of our two-part Grimm goodbye was recorded in May 2017, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as the panelists cover key plot points of all six seasons of the series because, as you may have gleaned, our panel’s devotion to Grimm is as steadfastly loyal as it is to other genre shows that CPU! coversbased upon the program’s roots to the Brothers Grimm and to the history of monster stories throughout the ages.  Give the new episode a listen, see if you agree or disagree with our thoughts, and let us know what you think by commenting below!

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@cpupodcast), Instagram (@couchpotatoesunite), Pinterest (@cpupodcast), or email us at couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com – or subscribe to this blog, the YouTube channel, our iTunes channel, our Stitcher Radio channel , and/or find us on Google Play to keep track of brand new episodes.  In the meantime, let us know what you think!  Comment or review us in any of the above forums – we’d love your feedback!

Remember, new episodes and blog posts are published weekly! Next week, our American Horror Story Series panel returns after a several-month hiatus, sporting new members and a renewed desire for discussion about the anthology series’ most recent, sixth season entry, “Roanoke,” moderated by panelist Sarah. Stay tuned!

RECOMMENDATION

The entire panel recommends Grimm to anyone who likes anything about the fantasy or horror genres and advises that such genre nerds consider giving it a chance – or a second chance if the first chance didn’t quite sell the stable. Apart from some shaky continuity and several abandoned story threads, which may compromise re-watch-ability – in fact, the most consistent continuity arises from how regularly the show abandoned some plot arcs without offering a deeper meaning to the overall narrative or a neat resolution to leave our panelists satisfied – the panel agrees that Grimm remains well written, well performed, and worth the look, with a decent, good-not-great, and ultimately satisfying, if imperfect, denouement.  Still, Grimm goes out on a high note and potentially earns at least one nostalgic re-watch, somewhere down the line.  Also: David Giuntoli is a handsome leading man, if those kinds of details matter to discerning viewers like you. 😉

Grimm is currently available to stream on Amazon Prime through season five; season six is currently available to watch via the NBC streaming app through the end of September 2017.  Did you watch Grimm?  Let us know in the comments, and tell us what you thought of any or all of its six seasons!  And stay tuned!  Though our Grimm coverage is primarily done, don’t be surprised if it makes an appearance or two in coming discussions, from time to time.  CPU! has some new plans to expand our panel formats in new and exciting ways. Details coming soon (as we work them out)! 🙂

In the meantime, from our Grimm panel of devoted Grimmsters to you, thank you for listening to our ongoing Grimm series, which now officially comes to a close.  To discover other shows discussed by CPU!, check here.  For now, we bid you adieu!

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Our “Grimm” panel, from left to right: Kristen, Nick, and Jen!

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The last screen-shot of Grimm prior to the finale end credits.

Grimm, Season 6 (Part One of the CPU! Goodbye to Grimm, MAJOR SPOILERS)

couchpotatoesunite

A new podcast episode of Couch Potatoes Unite!, which is based on a blog of the same name hosted at couchpotatoesunite.wordpress.com. In this episode, recorded in May 2017, our panel of CPU! supernatural and fairy tale enthusiasts – including moderator Kylie, Kristen, Nick, and Jen – is Around the Water Cooler and discussing Season 6, the final season, of Grimm, in the first part of a two-part miniseries in which CPU! says goodbye to this long-running, procedural, fantasy-horror series.  If you have not watched any of Grimm, be aware that there are MAJOR SPOILERS! Tell us what you think in the comments below and check out the blog and YouTube for other TV related discussions, in both podcast and blog format. Also, if there are other shows you’re interested in the blog covering, sound off below! Tell us what you like or don’t like. Keep the discussion going!

PODCAST! – Around the Water Cooler: “Grimm” – The Goodbye Series, Part 1: The Season Six Recap (MAJOR SPOILERS)

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Moderator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie

THE SPECS:

Who: “Grimm” aired on network TV, specifically on NBC, for six seasons, from 2011-2017.

What: “Grimm,” a supernatural/fantasy drama, wherein supernatural forces, the stuff of nightmarish fairy tales and legends, are disguised as human beings, and only those descended from the original Brothers Grimm, can see – and fight – those beings and their true natures (for a more detailed Synopsis, read here: http://www.aceshowbiz.com/tv/grimm/summary.html).

When: Season Six aired from January 6, 2017, to March 31, 2017, on NBC.

Where: The show is set in Portland, Oregon.

Why:  The premise of this show has always been intriguing: Grimms are not weavers of fairy tales but are humanity’s last line of defense against the beasts and monsters that haunt our nightmares. This generation’s Grimm is a police detective who stumbles into his family legacy by accident and must adjust what is his mostly normal life to these new abnormalities.  The mythology in this show is steep, meaning it will always be a cult TV show at best, but cult TV tends to appeal to this group of CPU! panelists more than mainstream/non-cult TV, and none of us have been disappointed by Grimm so far…and we continue to be drawn into its mythical and magical world, as the show only gets better in the process.

How – as in How’s It Going? (THOUGHTS…at present)

CPU! last covered Grimm in January of this year, quickly catching loyal potatoes up on three seasons of the program after a hiatus from covering the cult favorite on the blog. To refresh, give a read or take a listen to our prior coverage:

The Season Three Premiere Recap

Seasons 3, 4, and 5 Reflections and Recap

In this entry, our Grimm panel, featuring frequent CPU! panelists Kristen, Nick, and Jen, engages in part one of a two-part CPU! series in which Couch Potatoes Unite! says our own protracted goodbye to this procedural fantasy horror drama about monsters and monster-hunters based upon the stories by the Brothers Grimm.  In the first part of this miniseries, our panelists delve deep into recapping Grimm’s final season, in which our characters battle “The Destroyer,” solve the mystery of the healing Grimm stick, and find relative happiness ever after by the end of the series.  In the second part, which will publish next week, CPU!’s Grimm panel will engage in one of our “Looking Back” discussions, during which we will reflect upon Grimm as a whole and whether we think this series will hold up over time or whether it was but a precious, fleeting moment in the annals of TV’s Friday fright nights.

In season six, Nick (David Giuntoli) faces his grimmest foe yet; squares off against Sean Renard (Sasha Roiz), still reaching for some type of power; and sorts through feelings for Eve, formerly known as Juliette (Elizabeth “Bitsie” Tulloch), while raising his son with current love and former enemy Adalind (Claire Coffee).  In the meantime, Nick, as he always has, battles the wesen that go bump in the night with the help of his police partner Hank (Russell Hornsby), Lt. Wu (Reggie Lee), and wesen power couple Monroe (Silas Weir Mitchell) and Rosalee (Bree Turner).  Thus, in this chapter “Around the Water Cooler,” our Grimm panel examines each of the main characters and discusses how we feel about the show’s swansong season, including the all-too-brief “20 Years Later” epilogue tag of the series finale and the touching, multilingual goodbye to fans.

This first part of our two-part Grimm goodbye was recorded in May 2017, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as the panelists cover key plot points of the sixth and final season.  In fact, our panel’s devotion to Grimm is as steadfastly loyal as it is to other genre shows that CPU! coversbased upon the program’s roots to the Brothers Grimm and to the history of monster stories throughout the ages.  Give the new episode a listen, see if you agree or disagree with our thoughts, and let us know what you think by commenting below!

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@cpupodcast), Instagram (@couchpotatoesunite), Pinterest (@cpupodcast), or email us at couchpotatoesunitepodcast@gmail.com – or subscribe to this blog, the YouTube channel, our iTunes channel, our Stitcher Radio channel , and/or find us on Google Play to keep track of brand new episodes.  In the meantime, let us know what you think!  Comment or review us in any of the above forums – we’d love your feedback!

Remember, new episodes and blog posts are published weekly! Next week, we publish the second part of this two-part goodbye series, in which our Grimm panel looks back at the show as a whole in one last chat, for this particular panel and for this particular show, around the water cooler. Stay tuned!

Questions, Impressions, and Final Considerations

Old Questions

1) Will the Royals return in the sixth season?  If they do, what will be their aim?  Are they behind the wesen uprising organization known as “Black Claw?” Who is the ultimate head of “Black Claw?” Is Sean head of both now?  Why?

ANSWER: The Royals did not return; in fact, they seem rather extinct – a forgotten plot arc from this six-season series.  What’s more, the writers and producers never explained who founded Black Claw and whether or not those founders are/were connected to the Royals.  The show only served to confirm, via a convenient off-screen investigation by Trubel (Jacqueline Toboni), that Black Claw was officially defunct as of the season premiere or shortly thereafter.

2) What is the stick that Nick found in the Grimm treasure chest, and what part will it have to play in the coming episodes?  Does it only work when he touches it?  Is it meant for him or for any Grimm?  Is it divine in origin?  Where was it found?  Why do the Grimms have it? Can wesen use it?  Does it heal but also take life away?  So many questions have been raised!

ANSWER: The stick, with the magical healing powers, turns out to play a critical part in the final season.  What we learn is that the stick is a shard of a larger whole: a staff, in possession of a demon called Zerstorer (which is German for “The Destroyer”).  Zerstorer resides in a world beyond mirrors, a heaven or hell for wesen, in which they are voged all the time, though humans also exist in this looking glass dimension.  Zerstorer possesses the staff now, but Monroe pieces together that the staff has been passed around through the ages; in fact, whether it began with or was merely possessed by him, the staff at one point belonged to the biblical Moses, who carried commandments and parted seas.  The staff seems only to respond to Zerstorer, to Nick (or, perhaps, a Grimm), and to Diana, Adalind and Sean’s daughter.  The shard/staff plays a larger part in a prophecy foretelling the end of times, should Zerstorer obtain the shard, make the staff whole, and also marry his destined child bride, the all-powerful Diana.  

The show did not explain outright that the staff/shard is divine in origin, but as the staff is connected to Moses and to other biblical figures, like the David who slew Goliath, I think it is safe to assume that the power of the stick is, in fact, divine.  The show, however, does not explain how the staff came to appear, where Zerstorer came from, or how he came upon the staff himself.  We do know that the Grimms who fought in the Crusades found the shard stick and hid it in the Black Forest in Germany, accessible by the Grimm keys.  Wesen can use it, if the wesen in question is Diana, who is three quarters hexenbiest.  The shard can also destroy, particularly if arming the staff of Zerstorer.

Despite all the questions, the show and its writers did see fit to answer all of the questions (or most) pertaining to the series’ overarching mythology, though the ending sort of confused matters.  Listen to the podcast episode for details.

3) Will young Diana, who has grown at an alarming rate, be the “Big Bad” of the final season, with her bratty child demeanor and potent magical ability?  How will Adalind (and Sean) keep her in check?

ANSWER: Diana, fortunately, is not the Big Bad but is connected to said Big Bad by prophecy.  In fact, she figures into the proceedings like something of an Antichrist, Grimm-style: if she marries/mates with Zerstorer, the world this side of the mirror will end.  To her credit, Diana responds dutifully to Adalind and Sean, though they handle her with proverbial kid gloves.  After all, when set off, their daughter proves to be quite the little murderer.

4) Is Juliette still a hexenbiest? Will she be more Juliette-like since coming into contact with the magical Grimm healing stick?

ANSWER: Juliette, now Eve, remains a hexenbiest as of the final closing credits of the series, but as far as whether contact with the Grimm stick brought out her inner Juliette – undetermined.  Juliette/Eve seems to experience remnants of former emotions and memories of her love for Nick, but these fleeting feelings never last. In fact, at the last, she is willing to die for Nick, having no regrets about the paths their lives have taken.  Unfortunately, the epilogue fails to discuss how Juliette/Eve fares twenty years into the future.

5) Will there be a war between wesen and humans?  Did Black Claw and the resistance organization Hadrian’s Wall effectively incite one?  Are humans more aware of wesen now?

ANSWER: The short answer is no.  Apparently, Sean’s swift, marionette-like murder (courtesy of his daughter) of Bonaparte effectively ends anything to do with Black Claw, Hadrian’s Wall, or the potential war among wesen. Humans, at least those in Portland, further remain blissfully unaware of the innately monstrous inner qualities of their wesen neighbors.  If it smells like an abandoned plot line, it most likely is an abandoned plot line, or so the panel surmises in this podcast episode.

6) Will Nick end up with Juliette or will he be with Adalind, who he now also loves and who has custody of their son, Kelly (listen to the podcast for details)?  Will Adalind be able to return to Nick?

ANSWER: Survey says – Nick and Adalind!  Juliette/Eve, feeling no regret about the trajectory of her life and her split personality, does not pursue anything with former flame, Grimm Nick.  In fact, Adalind is swiftly able to return to Nick after Bonaparte’s death, and, following the ending events of the series finale, it is presumed by the panel that she and Nick raise their son Kelly to be a Grimm fighter like his father.

7) Does Sean really subscribe to Black Claw’s philosophies?  What will he do that he is now mayor, owing to the fact that he “got in bed” with Black Claw, who aims for wesen to live free as the creatures they are?  Who will be promoted to Captain of the South Precinct? Will Hank (Russell Hornsby)?  Will Wu (Reggie Lee)?  Will Nick?

ANSWER: In a complicated shuffling of allegiances and character motivations, we learn that, apparently, Sean bought in to that whole Black Claw mantra and is drunk on potential mayoral power, declaring Nick a fugitive and ordering his fellow police officers to search for, arrest, and detain Nick as the season begins. Nick, though, is a wily Grimm with a willing group of friends ready to help, and through the same hexenbiest ritual that led to Adalind’s pregnancy, Nick breathes through the Sorting Hat to take on the visage of one Captain/Mayor Sean Renard.  It is a risky venture, though, as Nick’s inherent Grimm-ness puts Nick in jeopardy of being Sean’s double permanently, but while playing doppelganger, he is able to stage a press conference, where Nick-as-Sean renounces his public office and abdicates as mayor as well as declares Nick free and clear of all criminal charges, thus leaving Sean to continue in his capacity as captain and to seethe at Nick from a much-too-close afar.

8) Is there a cure for Wu’s lycanthrope condition?  Rosalee said there wasn’t one, but she’s pretty resourceful with spices and teas.  What will happen to him?  What is he, really?

ANSWER: Apparently, there really is no cure, or none found within the six seasons of Grimm. As of the final moments of the series, Wu remains a lycanthrope – who, as panelist Jen pointed out, looks vaguely (and more) like a caveman rather than a werewolf.  And since the show fails to mention Wu’s fate in the epilogue, we presume he lives happily ever after – lycanthrope and all.

9) Rosalee is pregnant.  Will the baby be half blutbaten, half fuchsbau, or one or the other? Will she be able to have it, since wesen mixing is uncommon?

ANSWER: Well, it’s not so much the baby as the babies. Rosalee and Monroe make triplets, as it turns out, though what mixture of wesen they might be remains a mystery and one unsolved by the show’s writers.

10) Will baby Kelly be half hexenbiest (or zauberbiest), half Grimm, or one of the other?

ANSWER: We know Kelly grows up to be a Grimm like his dad; whether he has magical ability or not like his mom, the show did not say.

11) Will Hank finally find a woman or fall in love with one who doesn’t leave him or physically threaten his life in some way?

ANSWER: As of the series’ final moments, Hank is not romantically linked to anyone, but we think it’s safe to say that Hank is able to achieve some much needed self-love and appreciation during a farcical run-in with this show’s version of Cupid.  A little venomous spit, a little champagne, a mirror, and some Marvin Gaye will go a long way, am I right?!

12) What is at the end of the tunnels underneath Nick’s secret bunker apartment? Why did we spend so much time worrying about those tunnels, except to set up the other characters’ escape from Black Claw and Sean while Nick stayed behind to fight them when they descended upon the loft?

ANSWER: The tunnels are nothing more than a way out and to the surface above ground when the plot calls for such a convenience, a place to lay low when the characters need to hide (like Nick and Eve), and a place in which Eve can magically carve mysterious symbols on the underground walls as a result of her contact with the Grimm shard.  Lucky the tunnels were there, then, we guess.

13) What will Sean do to Nick, since Nick took out all of the Black Claw that came to kill him?

ANSWER: Sean tries to have Nick arrested and/or killed as the season starts and as described above, but when Nick pulls his magical body switcheroo and solves all of the ruckus and ado, Sean and Nick reach an uneasy detente, at least until they are forced to work together to protect their children from Zerstorer.

14) What will Nick do to Sean, since Adalind was coerced into leaving Nick with Kelly to be Sean’s political trophy wife and Diana’s caretaker with the promise that Adalind could be reunited with Diana?

ANSWER: Nick gets a few licks in while wearing Sean’s looks but ultimately chooses to keep his distance after the hullaballoo, for the sake of their precinct and their children.

15) Will baby Kelly grow as fast as Diana?  Or, was Diana augmented by the spell that Adalind underwent in season three to regain her hexenbiest abilities?  Will these young but presumably magical siblings have to duke it out somehow?  Will Kelly grow at an alarming rate?  Or, will the show time jump during the final season?

ANSWER: There are no answers to most of these questions.  The show did time jump in the epilogue, so we see Kelly first as a baby and then as a 20 year old man, in a trailer not unlike Aunt Marie’s trailer, previously torched by Juliette when she first assumes her hexenbiest abilities.  We don’t know how or why Diana came to be so powerful (except by prophecy), and the epilogue tells us that brother and sister get along fairly well in their grown up years.

16) How will the show end?  Will there be a “happily ever after” for our characters?  Will we lose someone this season?  How will these thirteen episodes shape up?

ANSWER: Zerstorer ends up killing everyone that Nick loves in succession, beginning in the penultimate episode with Wu and Hank at the precinct, followed by Juliette/Eve at the Spice Shop and Sean, Adalind, Monroe, Rosalee, and Trubel at the cabin where Nick first met/worked with Monroe in the pilot and where Nick, Adalind, and Sean are hiding the children from Zerstorer.  Zerstorer facilitates this carnage to entice Nick to give him the shard stick to complete the broken Staff, which Zerstorer needs whole in order to fulfill the prophecy of his world domination and creepy wedding to Diana.  Nick momentarily contemplates willingly volunteering the shard to Zerstorer’s reaching claw in order to bring back all who have died, after Zerstorer revives Trubel to show Nick that it is possible to have everyone back and alive with the Staff’s power.  Trubel resolves to stop Nick, and they get into a drag-out fight, Grimm versus Grimm.  Nick bests Trubel but meets the (spirit? embodiment? walking dead?) personages of his mom Kelly (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) and his Aunt Marie (Kate Burton), who not only convince him to do what’s right but go into battle with him, fighting alongside Nick and Trubel.  They defeat Zerstorer; Trubel doesn’t see Nick’s family, but powerful Diana does, as do Nick and Zerstorer.  The spirits of his family disappear as Nick resolves to revive everyone with the staff Zerstorer left behind (now whole with the shard). After Nick removes the cursed engagement ring from Adalind’s cold finger, ready to revive her, a portal opens instead, and Nick is drawn back to this world at a time when everyone is alive, at the point where Zerstorer originally came through the mirror before all the dying happened and without the Destroyer himself.  Only Diana knows what really happened, while Nick feels gratitude and relief that everyone is saved, though Monroe finds the staff, a new anomaly to this new present.  Also, Adalind wears no ring when Nick returns to this world.  It is a tearful moment, ringing of a cast goodbye.  Eve, who was temporarily not a hexenbiest after emerging from the mirror portal a first time without her wesen side, is restored.  Nick and Adalind remain forever together.  

In the Epilogue, we see Kelly Jr. writing in the Grimm books, telling the tale of his Dad’s heroic saving of the world (he also tells us how Trubel is related to Nick, in that she is his third cousin on his mother’s side).  Diana comes in and informs him that Dad-Nick, Mom-Adalind, and “the Triplets” are on the trail of a wesen.  They are clearly nice siblings to each other.  Diana magically closes the Grimm book.
The End.

17) Are Nick and Trubel related after all?  What does the ancient Grimm registry reveal?

ANSWER: We don’t get to see any glimpse of the registry, but Kelly Jr., in the Epilogue, confirms that Trubel is Nick’s third cousin on his mother’s side.

18) Will any of the characters end up dying?  The podcast panelists feel that Wu, Monroe, Rosalee, and Adalind are particularly susceptible to possible collateral self-sacrifice because of their histories (Wu has the strange lycanthrope disorder, Monroe and Rosalee constantly run into danger for Nick, and Adalind does the same for her children and may do something self-sacrificing for Nick or even for Juliette, as she has sometimes done in the past).

ANSWER: All of the characters survive, thanks to the magical, possibly divine, Grimm stick/shard/staff.  Monroe and Rosalee have the triplets, and everyone keeps on fighting wesen, at least for another twenty years… In other words, They Live Happily Ever After.  The End.  Again.

Lingering Questions

1.) Who were the Royals really, other than Sean’s biological family, and why were we forced to care about them for so many seasons if they were only going to be forgotten in the end?

2) What sorts of beings are Monroe and Rosalee’s triplets, and why did the show not bother to speculate upon this important detail?

3) Where are Hank, Wu, and Juliette/Eve in the epilogue?  They’re not worth a mention after all that?

4) How about a spin-off, Grimmsters?

PARTING SHOTS

Grimm became appointment television for our devout panelists, whether on Friday fright night or via Saturday morning Hulu doses.  Though never a perfect program or more than a cult favorite because of its steep mythological aspects and show-specific jargon, the fan base it cultivated in six years became tenacious, voracious, and loyal.

The entire panel recommends Grimm to anyone who likes anything about the fantasy or horror genres and advises that such genre nerds consider giving it a chance – or a second chance if the first chance didn’t quite sell the stable. Apart from some shaky continuity and several abandoned story threads – in fact, the most consistent continuity arises from how regularly the show abandoned some plot arcs without offering a deeper meaning to the overall narrative or a neat resolution to leave our panelists satisfied – Grimm remains well written and worth the look, with a decent, good-not-great, and ultimately satisfying denouement. Grimm goes out on a high note and no doubt earns at least one nostalgic re-watch, somewhere down the line.  Also: David Giuntoli is a handsome leading man, if those kinds of details matter to discerning viewers like you. 😉

LOOKING AHEAD

Grimm has officially ended, but the CPU! Grimm podcast panel is not quite finished!  We will publish a second part to this mini podcast series saying goodbye to Grimm, in which we will Look Back at the series as a whole, next week! Stay tuned, subscribe, like, and follow to keep abreast of that publication, and tell us what you think in the comment forums.  What’s more, review us on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, Google Play, or YouTube, and check out our other podcast episodes related to a growing array of TV shows! Until next week!

The Vampire Diaries, Season 8A (MAJOR SPOILERS)

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A new podcast episode of Couch Potatoes Unite!, which is based on a blog of the same name hosted at couchpotatoesunite.wordpress.com. In this episode, recorded in January 2017, our less small but more robust panel– including moderator Kylie, Jen, Kelsey, and Allie – is Around the Water Cooler and discussing Season 8A of The Vampire Diaries, including two Siren Sisters and this show’s version of the “Devil.” If you have not watched any of The Vampire Diaries, be aware that there are MAJOR SPOILERS! Tell us what you think in the comments below and check out the blog and YouTube for other TV related discussions, in both podcast and blog format. Also, if there are other shows you’re interested in the blog covering, sound off below! Tell us what you like or don’t like. Keep the discussion going!

PODCAST! – Around the Water Cooler: “The Vampire Diaries” – The Season 8 Mid-Season Recap and Progress Report (MAJOR SPOILERS)

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Moderator: Chief Couch Potato Kylie

THE SPECS:

Who: “The Vampire Diaries” airs on network TV, specifically on the CW, Fridays at 8:00 PM.

What: “The Vampire Diaries,” a supernatural teen drama focused on a young woman, Elena Gilbert, who becomes entangled with two brothers who are vampires–-one a soulful, conflicted type who wants to repress his vampire urges to be more human; the other a sarcastic, ne’er-do-well who embraces the nature of his nocturnal condition, except for when his love for Elena interferes. In addition, these two vampire brothers were sired by Elena’s doppelganger, a vampire for the centuries named Katherine Pierce (for a more detailed Synopsis, read here:http://www.aceshowbiz.com/tv/vampire_diaries_the/summary.html).

When: The Season 8 premiere aired on Friday, October 21, 2016, at 8:00 PM on the CW.

Where: The show is primarily set in the fictional town of Mystic Falls, Virginia.

Why: Two reasons: vampires and Ian Somerhalder, formerly of Lost and Smallville fame. CPU! Chief Couch Potato Kylie loves non-sparkly vampire television, and Ian Somerhalder is too beautiful a man not to find an excuse to watch.  My fellow panelists found the show due to the vampires as well, and at least thirty-three percent of them stayed for Ian…

How – as in How’s It Going? (THOUGHTS…at present)

In 2016, our Vampire Diaries panel helped to catch CPU! up on this program by discussing seasons five, six, and the first half of season seven.  We also covered, in great detail, the second half of the seventh season in a second episode.  To hear our thoughts, or to catch yourself up, listen to the embedded links below:

Seasons 5-7A

Season 7B

Halfway into what has been announced to be this long-running vampire fiction program’s eighth season, our less small but continuously robust panel–Jen, Kelsey, and Allie–reconvened to discuss the dysfunctional but smoldering brothers Salvatore and the rest of the motley crew hailing from fictional Mystic Falls as The Vampire Diaries winds down toward its series finale.  Feast your ears and/or your fangs on this new episode, in which we cover major plot points from the first half of season eight, as the audience is introduced to the monster from the Vault: a siren sister with a stronghold on Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and buddy Enzo (Michael Malarkey).  While our panel’s particular devotion and/or sire bond is frequently tested in TVD’s later seasons, we still have lots to think and to talk about, particularly as we speculate upon the show’s near and final future.  Give us a listen with your vampire super-hearing, and see if you agree or disagree with our thoughts.

This podcast was recorded in January 2017, and there are, without question, MAJOR SPOILERS, as the panelists cover key plot points of the first half of the eighth season. Listen at your own risk, and let us know what you think by commenting below!

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Remember, new episodes and blog posts are published weekly!  Next Wednesday, we will introduce an all new podcast panel, as we catch CPU! up on the dystopian post-apocalyptic science fiction drama, also from the CW, entitled The 100, for a longer-than-usual and highly passionate episode.  Stay tuned!

Questions, Impressions, and Future Considerations

Old Questions

1) Will Matt return?  Will Tyler?  Will Jeremy?  Will Elena?

ANSWER: (see below)

Matt Donovan (Zach Roerig) returns.  He steers clear of Mystic Falls for a short while, as he sought out his dad, who had left him, his mom, and Vicki when Matt was younger.  Matt protects his dad with vervain, but Damon looks for Matt’s dad as he hunts for an artifact that Matt’s dad possesses as a member of one of the Mystic Falls founding families, which forces Matt to become involved in the goings-on of Mystic Falls once more.

Tyler Lockwood (Michael Trevino) confronts Damon while Mr. Salvatore is on the road during his siren-induced vampire binger.  Damon responds to Tyler’s hesitant confrontation by snapping his neck and killing Tyler during his two second guest spot. So…RIP Tyler.  Matt is particularly distraught after learning of the death of his best friend and vows vengeance against Damon after this event.

Jeremy Gilbert has not yet returned – he’s hanging out on the “Chicago” franchise, over on another network, apparently. Will he yet return?  There’s always hope.

Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev) WILL return.  It was announced in January that Nina Dobrev would return to film the series finale, and Dobrev herself Instagram-ed a picture of her script.  I’m assuming this means that Elena will awaken from her magical coma.  I assume this also means that Bonnie (Kat Graham) might die, since Elena’s life and consciousness is inversely related to Bonnie’s ability to survive.

2) Is Season 8 the show’s last, considering that Ian Somerhalder has told the press that he can’t see doing more than eight seasons of the show (and the podcast panel can’t see the show surviving without Somerhalder/Damon)?

ANSWER: The show’s producers and the network have all confirmed that season 8 will be the final season of The Vampire Diaries.

3) What is in the Vault?  What has possessed Damon and Enzo?

ANSWER: One member of a pair of deadly sirens, i.e. the mystical beings first introduced in Homer’s Odyssey that magically sing and lure men, usually aboard ships at sea, to their demise.  The particular siren in question sports the moniker Sybil and takes a special interest in Damon and Enzo by singing her way into their enraptured brains and forcing them to murder people, as she is required to eat flesh to maintain immortality, youth, and beauty while harvesting the damned souls of these poor sods for a larger, darker power.  Damon and Enzo react differently to her particular form of sway: Damon elects to turn off his emotion switch, despite entering a safe space in his brain on which he focuses upon Elena.  When Sybil discovers this, she performs psychic surgery and replaces memories of Elena with similar memories featuring Sybil instead, ensuring Damon’s enduring fealty to her (at least for awhile). Enzo, on the other hand, is so devoted to Bonnie, he combats the siren’s cry for a time, at least until Damon and Sybil conspire to trick Enzo into turning off his own emotion switch, leaving Bonnie to decide that she must risk burning herself alive to entice Enzo back to humane vampirism in order to preserve their love. Listen to the podcast for details.

4)  Why was Reina a red herring for Elena/Katherine?  Cheap shot, writers!

ANSWER: We’ve decided, on the panel, that Damon has a type.  Sybil looks remarkably like Elena as well…

5) Will Alaric return?  Will his children return?  Will they be evil Children of the Corn, half siphon/half vampire children?

ANSWER: Alaric (Matt Davis) returns as does his children, so that he and Caroline (Candice King) can co-parent the girls.  One of the siren sisters, Seline, tries to offer up the twins to be the keeper of the sirens’ immortal Faustian deal, but Stefan (Paul Wesley) intervenes and prevents that deal from going down, so the twins remain innocent (but definitely siphons) as ever.

6) Are Damon and Enzo collecting bodies in sacrifice or in ritual to the thing from the Vault?  Is there a purpose to the warehouse of suspended but highly dead bodies?  Is the Vault thing controlling them, or are they acting of their own free will but in service of the thing in the Vault?

ANSWER: The siren’s cry tends to obfuscate free will and spellbound enslavement. Arguably, as Damon and Enzo show us, the siren’s cry is strong, but enough strength and will to resist can break the spell for some time, as it did with Enzo, in lieu of his love for Bonnie.  Damon could have done the same, if he didn’t feel beholden to a comatose Elena and a sense of guilt for his sins; he believes his service to Sybil is penance for his misdeeds as a vampire, so he opts to flip his emotion switch to withstand the poor judgment and murder sprees in which Sybil has him engage.  The warehouse scene merely serves as a grisly end button to season seven, but the bodies are a sacrifice to Sybil’s siren-infused flesh-eating appetite.

7) Are Damon, Stefan, and/or Enzo connected to the Vault thing somehow?  Or, is Bonnie connected to it?

ANSWER: There appears to be no connection, per se, between any of our beloved characters and Sybil, except insofar as Damon and Enzo are under her spell, and Bonnie’s family provided the sealant magic for the Armory Vault that hitherto contained her.  Still, Sybil, Seline, and their boss Cade, possibly The Vampire Diaries’ analog for the Devil, repeatedly draw stark parallels between the brothers Salvatore and the Siren Sisters, showing that there is a blurring of what is good and evil among them, particularly as it relates to who is the good sibling and who is the evil one.  Listen to the podcast for details.

8) Is the Vault thing something akin to the First Evil or the First Supernatural Something, a la Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Supernatural?

ANSWER: The sirens are not the First, nor are they the Darkness (as Supernatural depicts).  Cade created the Sirens.  We know that Cade was a psychic, martyred for being different by suffering stoning and burning at the hands of his fellow villagers.  Their negative energy created a so-called “hell.”  What this “hell” is or how Cade became psychic we don’t know.  We also don’t know who came first: Cade or the Originals, i.e. the family Mikaelson as the first vampires, or the Mikaelson matriarch Esther and her family of magical witches.  The history, to the members of the podcast panel, is unclear.

9) Are Caroline and Stefan really in it and together for the long haul?

ANSWER: Well, Stefan pops the question, in a rather anticlimactic way, and Caroline answers yes.  Trouble is, as of the season finale, Stefan, to save the twins and Damon, makes a deal with Cade: he and Damon will take the place of the Siren Sisters, harvesting souls for him.  In the meantime, Stefan is required by Cade to flip his emotion switch and to become Ripper Stefan, a side of soulful Stefan that intrigues Cade.  Cade promises that Stefan can return to Caroline one year after living under these conditions – but the dark figure bets that Stefan will not want to stop being the Ripper, since Ripper Stefan seems to relish his evilness even more than an emotionless Damon.  The last moments of the mid-season finale show Stefan and Damon driving away to do Cade’s bidding, the cold dark eyes of Ripper Stefan becoming apparent as Stefan’s emotion switch visibly flips.  Will Stefan make it back to Caroline?  Do we care? These are the questions that follow us into the show’s final half season.

New Questions

1) What is the artifact that Matt’s dad had, and what does it do?  Who has it now?  Do we still care about it?

2) Will Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) return to The Vampire Diaries to see it off as one of the original cast members?

3) So, Elena will return.  How?  Kylie predicts that, in order to save Damon, Bonnie will sacrifice herself, so that Elena might awaken from her coma and draw Damon away from the darkness of his emotional void once more.  Kelsey predicts that Enzo and Bonnie might snuff themselves together, in a fantastic Thelma and Louise or, perhaps, Romeo and Juliet type fashion.  Kylie further predicts that Stefan might not survive the series – he may decide to remain the Ripper, and the other Mystic Falls residents, Caroline included, may be forced to stake him; or, the writers will cop out, and Stefan and Caroline will reunite for their happily ever after.  What will happen?  How will it all end?

4) Will the twins be factors in saving the brothers Salvatore from themselves or Alaric/Caroline/anyone else from Stefan and Damon?

5) Damon ripped out Sybil’s heart on his way out of town with Stefan in the mid-season finale, but we know that Sybil can heal due to her magical deal to keep her immortality, which she made with Cade in exchange for selling out Stefan and Damon.  Will we still see Sybil, and how will she factor into the overall end?  Where did Seline go?  Are we done with the Siren Sisters?

6) Who or what is Cade – really?  Who came first: him, the Originals, or the Witches?  Will we see a mutual crossover with The Originals, the spin-off of The Vampire Diaries, this half season?  If so, can it be the whole cast and not merely an exchange of one character, like Klaus and Stefan, as happened last season?

7) What will Damon and Stefan do as Cade’s new soul harvesters?  How will their brotherly bond be affected?  Ripper Stefan is kind of a dick, but Damon also has his emotion switch off.  We’ve never seen both brothers with their emotion switch off at the same time except during flashbacks of their initial days as vampires.  How will this manifest, and what will they do?

8) What will the Mystic Falls Scooby Gang, particularly Caroline, do to try to save the brothers from themselves?

9) Why was Cade not introduced sooner, if he’s truly the “devil?”

10) What is “hell” truly?  How did the pre-devil version of Cade become psychic?

PARTING SHOTS

The Vampire Diaries definitely has its best years behind it; the panel believes that though the show has lost much of its initial magic, not unlike Bonnie herself, the first half of season eight made a valiant effort to recapture some of that former glory in time to send the series off with a bang (and a few fangs!).  Most if not all of the panelists are ready for The Vampire Diaries to be done but are simultaneously excited by the second half of season eight and what the final half season will bring to end this epic story of two vampire brothers and the women that came between them, which is what, ultimately, TVD was all about in the end.  We think that the talented writing team will offer up a satisfying conclusion, which ought to include Damon and Elena back together, Bonnie resting and at peace (that poor girl), and everyone else in a place that makes sense.  If anyone can do it, Julie Plec and company should be able to do it!  We also hope the wrap party following these eight interesting seasons is as epic as the series itself.

LOOKING AHEAD

The Vampire Diaries returned from mid-season 8 hiatus on January 13, 2017. The Vampire Diaries podcast panel will next reconvene following the eighth season and overall series finale of TVD, which will likely air in or around May 2017, with a two-part goodbye series of podcast episodes. The first of these episodes will review the show’s final half season; the second will look back at the show as a whole.  Of course, the announcement that this will be the show’s final season was made as of early fall 2016. As always, even for the limited amount of time remaining, CPU! will keep you informed of news and additional TVD coverage.  Until then!

Supernatural (Season 12A, MAJOR SPOILERS)

couchpotatoesunite

A new podcast episode of Couch Potatoes Unite!, which is based on a blog of the same name hosted at couchpotatoesunite.wordpress.com. In this episode, recorded in December 2016, our now full panel of unabashed Super-Fans – including moderator Kylie, Nick, Jen, Kelsey, Allie, and new panelist Jeremy – is Around the Water Cooler and discussing Season 12A (following the mid-season finale) of Supernatural, including the brothers (and mother) Winchester, angel Castiel, demon Crowley, and the ongoing shenanigans of Lucifer. If you have not watched any of Supernatural, be aware that there are MAJOR SPOILERS! Tell us what you think in the comments below and check out the blog and YouTube for other TV related discussions, in both podcast and blog format. Also, if there are other shows you’re interested in the blog covering, sound off below! Tell us what you like or don’t like. Keep the discussion going!