Ask The Fans: ‘Grimm’ Co-Creators Are Sad to See Series End, but Your Answers to Their Burning Qs Help

Carrie Bell
Silas Weir Mitchell as Monroe, David Giuntoli as Nick Burkhardt, Bitsie Tulloch as Eve, Bree Turner as Rosalee Calvert, Claire Coffee as Adalind Schade, Reggie Lee as Sergeant Wu, and Russell Hornsby as Hank Griffin. (Photo by: Allyson Riggs/NBC)
Silas Weir Mitchell as Monroe, David Giuntoli as Nick Burkhardt, Bitsie Tulloch as Eve, Bree Turner as Rosalee Calvert, Claire Coffee as Adalind Schade, Reggie Lee as Sergeant Wu, and Russell Hornsby as Hank Griffin. (Photo by: Allyson Riggs/NBC)

We know it’s hard to hear, but the sad truth is there are a mere four episodes, including tonight’s installment, left before Grimm and its collection of creatures and cops call it quits. (At least until, fingers crossed, Netflix or some other network reopens the book on this fractured fairy tale.) Maybe it would help to hear that you aren’t alone in your grief.

“We are disappointed that it is coming to a close [but] 5 1/2 seasons were all they wanted,” executive producer Jim Kouf says. “We were only done because NBC was done. If NBC said ‘more,’ we’d obviously do more. If [fan petitions worked and] Netflix said, ‘We’d do more episodes,’ we’d sure be interested in doing it.”

While he says the finale is a “good wrap-up for the series” and “worked within the context of a story that uses fairy tales to drive its storylines,” he also admits that the series ends in a way that could easily pick up where it left off. (Again, hint, hint, Netflix! Or Hulu for that matter.)

In the meantime, to help ease the pain of saying goodbye, and to honor six imaginative seasons, we asked Kouf and co-showrunner David Greenwalt to make a list of questions they’d always wanted to ask the show’s fans. They came up with nine questions, which we passed along to viewers, and more than 250 Grimmaniacs from at least four countries answered via the comments section and email. We then tallied results and delivered them to the producing pair to find out their take.

“It was a fun opportunity, and it was interesting to hear what people had to say,” Greenwalt says. “I feel like a politician taking a poll.”

Read on for our report on the first five questions. We’ll post the final four on March 17.

DAVID GREENWALT AND JIM KOUF ASK: What was your favorite creature?

ANALYZING THE ANSWERS: Votes on this topic were all over the map from aswang to ziegevolk, and every season of the series was represented. Shelby Graden said the Gello will “haunt [her] nightmares forever. I’m still trying to shake off the shivers from 2014.” Mauvais dentes, eisbibers, blutbads, and dämonfeuers all got mentions in the double digits. Speaking of dämonfeuers, numerous fans thought it was disappointing that the fire dancer played by Danielle Panabaker never returned, despite living through her run-in with the grimm. Jason Peters explained, “There is something very classical about them even as they possess a well thought-out modern take on biology and idiosyncrasy.”

Guest star Danielle Panabaker (Credit: NBC)
Guest star Danielle Panabaker (Credit: NBC)

There were also a surprising number of people who picked the lady who looked like a hippo when she woged and who kept herself from becoming dinner in a recent episode.

Hexenbiests/zauberbiests were most heavily singled out. We assume it’s because they’ve been around since the beginning of the show and two main characters, Adalind and Renard, fall into this witch/warlock camp. Tea L supported our theory with her opinion, “Adalind/Renard because badass ambitious survivors are awesome.” Or maybe it’s about having a face you can’t forget, as Arimar Junior suggested in his email: “[It] is just so horrid. And the powers are amazing.”

GREENWALT AND KOUF RESPOND: Greenwalt had no clue how people would respond because there were so many to choose from, but he was thrilled to hear that one of his favorites, the tree being called a Kinoshimobe, got a few likes. Kouf guessed that the top dog, err wolf, would be a blutbad because “he was the first Wesen ever.” Given how important Adalind has become to Nick’s story and Renard’s recent stint as enemy No. 1, the producers understood how hexenbiests/zauberbiests could become the frontrunners.

(Credit: NBC)
(Credit: NBC)

They were tickled that one of the lesser monsters remained memorable. Greenwalt said of the hippo that beheaded the hibernating Casanova, “She was a terrific critter and a great twist no one saw coming. If I was a bigger person, I’d credit NBC for that twist, but I’m not.” Kouf thought it was cool that a handful of fans mentioned the ogre from way back. “The ogre was a fun one, too. I like that one. It was kind of a take on The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.”

Hap (Credit: NBC)
Hap (Credit: NBC)

When we mentioned that someone gave love to Hap, a character we couldn’t even recall, the guys were also dumbfounded for a few seconds. Then it hit Kouf: “I think he was Monroe’s cousin.” That jogged Greenwalt’s memory: “He was quite the character. It starts with him smoking and drinking and trying to lift this weird weight on TV at the same time and it goes flying out his window. It was an early one about the pigs and the wolves, and he was assassinated while staying at Monroe’s house by a bauerschwein who turned out to be a fire investigator.”

GREENWALT AND KOUF ASK: Who is your favorite character?

ANALYZING THE ANSWERS: Nick, Wu, and Adalind held their own in this category. Bonnie Davidson defended Nick as the right choice, saying, “Not only is he an attractive man, but he also has a good heart, and him being part of the Portland PD was a good choice.”

But it was immediately clear when combing through questionnaires that no one could hold a candle to the lovable and fiercely loyal Monroe. People adore his personality, his bromance with Nick, his devotion to his wife and coming-soon children, his quirky habits, and his sense of humor. The only thing that seemed to bother people was that they never learned his full name.

GREENWALT AND KOUF RESPOND: Both men knew Monroe would be the man. Kouf says Monroe “has always been the most popular character since we started the show and is the most fun to write.” (For the record, Greenwalt thinks writing dialogue for Bud is more fun, because “he has no governor on the id. He just spews whatever is in his brain.”)

And as for that name situation, Kouf said it was omitted on purpose and you shouldn’t expect to get an answer. “It’s like Charo. You don’t need a last name.”

They credited Adalind’s second-place showing with what Greenwalt calls “her amazing transitions” and “interesting journey,” which led her to “become beloved.” Kouf added, “She’s had the wildest character ride, having slept with Renard, causing so much havoc with Nick and Juliette, having two kids with two different guys, and then turning around and falling in love.”

GREENWALT AND KOUF ASK: What is your favorite episode of the show so far?

ANALYZING THE ANSWERS: Again, there were almost as many different answers as there were people who filled out the questionnaire. But some chapters came up several times, like “Oh Captain, My Captain,” which people loved because it featured Nick impersonating the captain (and, in turn, Sasha Roiz playing Nick playing Renard), and “Key Move,” because it furthered one of the original big-picture plots.

Some fans favored funny installments, such as “The Grimm Who Stole Christmas.” Karim Groves said, “It’s one of the funniest and ironically feel-good episodes of the entire series. I was impressed that the cast was able to keep a straight face during filming, because I died laughing.” Others gravitated to serious offerings like “Tribunal,” in which Monroe was kidnapped and put on trial for being a human/Grimm helper and for loving someone of a different species. “Monroe’s speech had me and my dad in tears,” admitted Icarus.

Perhaps because it was fresh in fans’ minds, “Blind Love” — a Season 6 episode that was A Midsummer Night’s Dream-inspired revenge story and saw Hank falling in love with his reflection — was mentioned the most.

GREENWALT AND KOUF RESPOND: The producers felt vindicated to hear about all the “Blind Love” love, because they had to really fight to get that one to screen. Greenwalt said, “We worked on that script rather long and hard, and we had many discussions with the network on the value of that script. They weren’t 100 percent sure if a lighthearted episode in the last 13 was the right thing, but we were very sure you needed the relief of it.”

For people who enjoyed seeing the flashbacks in that episode, Greenwalt teased that in the final episode, “We really look back as well as forward, which will hopefully be quite satisfying to our fans.”

In regard to “Tribunal,” they always knew they wanted to put Monroe on trial for cooperating with Nick. “We started thinking about that the first year, but it took a few years for it to be the right time for that episode. It was pretty harrowing,” Greenwalt said. “Genre is a great place to [tackle] serious issues with real-life connections.”

As for their own faves? It’s just as hard for them to pick a winner. Kouf joked, “It’s like your kids. How do you pick a favorite kid? They all attacked different issues and attempted to be entertaining in a different way. Some are stranger than others, some are funnier, some are serious. It’s hard to compare.”

They both have incredible affection for the pilot and the finale — “the bookends,” as Greenwalt called them.

GREENWALT AND KOUF ASK: Did you enjoy the humor of the series?

ANALYZING THE ANSWERS: Now this was something all responders agreed on, with one exception — a guy who was only “50/50 on the humor.” More commonly, people raved about the humorous side of the story; for instance, Daniel Babai, a Grimm Wiki administrator, wrote: “Humor was one of the unique qualities of the show that would help put that twist on what would otherwise be very gory and dark moments, like when Monroe tears off a guy’s arm in the hospital in Season 1.” Laurie T agreed: “Its quirky humor can’t be matched by any other show out there, which is what makes it irreplaceable.”

While every character had funny moments, specific and repetitive shout-outs to Wu, Hank, and Monroe made them the MVPs of comic relief. Jason Peters wrote, “Through characters like Bud and Monroe, you were able to show the bright side of the Wesen world, allowing us to empathize and believe in a community worth fighting for. With Hank and Wu, you could give the case of the week a dose of sarcasm and explore the common man’s often mind-boggling induction into the Wesen of it all.”

KOUF RESPONDS: “Everything we’ve ever written has humor in it, [but] it’s not an attempt to be humorous. We don’t set out saying we need three jokes in this. It’s more about who we are than anything we set out to do.” And as for the leaders in laughs, he explained, “Anybody can make a comment to be funny if it’s appropriate to the character, really. But Bud is just Bud. He’s humorous just because of his personality. He’s more of a goofball. Wu is more of a cynic, because he’s a cop and he’s been on the beat for a long time. Same with Hank and Nick. They all have kind of a cynical, gallows humor.”

GREENWALT AND KOUF ASK: Did you realize how much history you were learning?

ANALYZING THE ANSWERS: Between the Crusades, vintage maps, Constantinople, artists, writers, various popes, and casual Hitler-is-Wesen references, there was a lot of true history packed into plots. More folks than not noticed the little lessons. “[That was] another part that I loved so much. It added an amazing element to the show,” Sarah Bokhari wrote. Others didn’t always catch it because it was “pretty sneaky the way [the writers] worked it in.” It even encouraged some viewers, such as Ramona Faaititi, to hit the books after the show.

Others, like Irma Palacios, avoided getting schooled: “I keep telling myself to just enjoy the show and not let it teach me anything.” Loraine Gordon had a hard time separating fact from fiction: “I never could tell what was real and what was made up.”

Others argued that they learned more about mythology than history, or picked up very limited info. As Ken put it, “It was kind of fractured fairy tale history. I enjoyed it, but not sure I would use the show to study for a history exam.”

KOUF AND GREENWALT RESPOND: Kouf stands behind the history hints. I was a history minor in college. It’s always been very important to me. The first time I got a chance to use it was on National Treasure. This is so history-based, and we always try to ground everything in some reality. All the historical references are usually pretty accurate, or they made sense within the context of what we were telling.”

Greenwalt added that he considers episodes about mythology educational as well. “There’s a reason why we are [seen] in 200 countries. It’s quite a universal show. It is a kind of United Nations of fairy tales or mythology. Our characters spoke Russian, German, French, Spanish, Hebrew, you name it,” he says. They used folklore and traditional tales from various eras, cultures, and religions from all over the world — Latin America, Mexico, the Philippines, Africa, Germany, Japan, and Israel — as jumping-off points. “What is evil? How is it manifested? How could you possibly explain some stuff that is just so crazy in life? That’s a universal issue that nobody, not even the Brothers Grimm, has a monopoly on.”

Grimm airs Fridays at 8 p.m. on NBC.

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