On the surface, "The Good Soldier" was another episode of Grimm featuring another Wesen to learn factoids about while seeking out the connection between its trail of corpses—but underneath, the episode had a surprising amount of depth. Nothing crazy, but after two weeks of tales that would've been right at home in Season 1 or late Season 2, I'm so starved for layers and complications that I'll take it. The tale of Frankie and the Manticore wasn't just a revenge story—in fact, it wasn't really about vengeance at all. It was about forgiveness. The colonel's campaign against his former subordinates was his way of trying to right his own wrongs from years before. He was seeking Frankie's forgiveness for contributing to the cover-up of her rape in the military.
Rosalee also got in on the forgiveness action, by visiting her mother and sister for the first time in seven years. Apparently, back when Rosalee was on all the drugs, she was kind of a trainwreck and missed her father's funeral because she was in jail. I can see where that one would inspire someone to hold a grudge, but Rosalee's sister was a little ridiculous. Shove the self-righteousness, girl boo.
All told, however, there just isn't much else to say. "The Good Soldier" followed a clearly defined path, complete with a misleading clue or two, and now that most of her assailants are dead or sorry, Frankie is going to be just fine because I guess that's how severe emotional and physical trauma works.
It's a weakness found in pretty much every TV show ever, so I'm not trying to pick on Grimm here. It's just that when you only have so much time to tell a story, and that story overwhelmingly revolves around a one-off guest character who will never be seen again once viewers' one-time sighting is through, something is lost in the presentation. Frankie probably isn't going to go off and live happily ever after just because of her experience in Portland. It'll probably help, certainly, knowing that at least one of her attackers was plagued with guilt and that the man she turned to for help realized that he didn't really help at all. To then turn around at the end of the episode and say BYE FRANKIE and sit back all satisfied with how awesome her life will now be is, in a way, undermining the severity of her backstory, and as a whole, Grimm's treatment of it as just another case-of-the-week showcased a missed opportunity to explore the problems faced by women in the military—including higher rates of sexual assault.
"The Good Soldier" was a bit of a downer for everyone. Rosalee was ultimately forgiven by her family and welcomed back. Monroe got the "hurt her and we'll kill you speech" (it's a classic) and surprisingly, the Blutbad prejudice was kept to a minimum. Their journey was traumatic like early-to-mid-'90s sisterhood movies: affirming in the end, but emotionally wringing. I'm looking at you, Boys on the Side.
MEANWHILE, IN VIENNA...
Adalind levitated a coffee cup and blew out every bulb in the cafe. Renard seemed to think that meant her powers were coming back. Fingers crossed!
AND BACK IN PORTLANDIA...
Juliette helped again, no frying pans required this time. Huzzah.
Mostly, I'm just excited for Adalind's potential re-powering. The Vienna side of things has been stalled for awhile now, just waiting for her to push out that freaking kid, and Grimm still hasn't reclaimed the intense focus it boasted in the first half of the season—though "The Good Soldier" was certainly the closest we've come so far.
– "What did you shoplift?" "A watch." "Really? What kind?" The delight on Monroe's face.
– What was the point of making Frankie a Wesen?
– Okay, the Manticore fight was pretty badass.
What did you think of "The Good Soldier"?
AIRED ON 5/20/2016
Season 5 : Episode 22