Ask the Fans: ‘Grimm’ Co-Creators Respond to Viewers’ Thoughts on Nick’s Love Life

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NBC's Grimm
David Giuntoli as Nick Burkhardt. (Photo by: Allyson Riggs/NBC)

Only three more episodes before Grimm fans find out if this fantastical beast-filled fairy tale has the genre’s stereotypical happy ending, or whether the whole of Portland dies in a gruesome fiery death caused by the mystery stick, the “event” the invisible pictograms on the cloth prophesied, ol’ green eyes, or Diana’s desire for another playdate.

Either way, while we await the March 31 series finale, you can entertain yourself with the second half of our Grimm edition of Ask the Fans. Co-creators Jim Kouf and David Greenwalt conjured up a list of nine questions they’d always wanted to ask the show’s devoted followers, 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 pair to get their reaction. Last week we ran the first five, and now for our version of March Madness, we present the final four.

DAVID GREENWALT AND JIM KOUF ASK: What are the things you like best about the show?

ANALYZING THE ANSWERS: The answer is all the things. At least that’s what it seems like when you’re thumbing through the questionnaires and you see such a range of answers, including some very personal and powerful ones. When Jules Ian Albis, who hails from the Philippines, was diagnosed with cancer, Grimm was the only thing that made her forget that she was sick. Chiara Balestri wanted to thank the show for helping her “Monroe-esque husband” learn English.

Grimm basically had people at hello. They were hooked from the pilot by the quirky Portland setting, the reluctant hero, the calling, the mashup of cop show and paranormal fairy tales, and the mythology of grimms. “The breadth of the history, the books, the names, the spells, the storylines are all so detailed. It’s so rich it’s almost believable,” wrote Emily Loucks. “The richness of the world harkens back to the vastness of the Star Trek universe.”

People loved when it was time to hit the trailer for research. Gina R.M. Armer wishes it were still around: “Such a cool Airstream! I personally wanted to climb in there and read the books with the awesome drawings and test out the weird weapons and devices. I was really upset when Eve burned that trailer. Such betrayal.”

The show’s popularity also owes a ton to what lordofthebeasts labeled a “wide variety of colorful monsters” and the special effects used to create them. Bonnie Davidson added, “The wesen are so detailed and the woging itself is an incredible process.” And even though some were familiar bedtime stories or book characters, Lori Ratcliff appreciated “seeing old stories given a new spin.”

Last week, with other questions, we covered that people adore the mix of humor, horror, and history. We also touched on favorite characters and how, in the end, the unique characters and overall cast chemistry were the foundation for fan devotion. Everyone gave two thumbs up to strong female characters and loved that Nick’s squad widened as the seasons went on. They enjoyed the mingling of wesen and humans. “I’m really glad Hank and Wu were brought into the fold,” Amanda Terwey said. “A hero needs confidants he/she can depend on like Buffy [had with] the Scoobies.”

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, Russell Hornsby as Hank Griffin. (Photo: 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, Russell Hornsby as Hank Griffin. (Photo: Allyson Riggs/NBC)

DAVID GREENWALT RESPONDS: The showrunners were humbled by the mad love and kind words, especially about the casting and the characters. Because who knew and when was a constant battle in the writers’ room, and there was always concern that they didn’t get it right. Greenwalt remembered: “In my opinion, we had too many characters to begin with, and they just kept adding more, because it’s hard to service that many people. We were so fortunate we got really great, talented people. Jim and I sat in a room casting all day, every day for a month. Dave Giuntoli was one of the lesser-experienced actors, but, boy, was he good. Russell Hornsby was such a good partner with him. Reggie Lee actually read for Hank, but we liked Reggie so much we made up a character for him. Bitsie [Tulloch] was so amazing we couldn’t kill her off. Sasha Roiz came in to read for a character that was originally written as elderly and African-American. We were gonna do the classic gruff captain with a heart of gold, but who in our show would turn out to have a heart of evil. He said he came to the wrong audition, but he got that part because he was so good. Claire Coffee was virtually a walk-on in the pilot, and she just grew. Bree Turner came for possibly one episode around 15, and [ended up] doing the next 108 or whatever were left.”

He was also thrilled to hear that people recognized the multitude of powerful ladies in the mix, but made sure to point out that “strong three-dimensional characters are what matter, not their gender or sexual preference, we don’t put politics before character.”

DAVID GREENWALT AND JIM KOUF ASK: What story arc did you like the best?

ANALYZING THE ANSWERS: Again responses were all over the spectrum, but the arcs that came up the most were the overall mythology of grimms, wesen, royals, and resisters; the quest for the keys, especially when it sent MoNick to the Black Forest (although some folks like Jellybean thought the treasure being a stick was “underwhelming”); and zombie Nick.

Any arc that involved Monroe, from his oddball family members and German heritage to his friendship with Nick and tendency to be used as bait, did gangbusters. But there was never a bigger crowd-pleaser than his courtship with and eventual marriage to Rosalee. People are in love with MonRosalee’s love. Bonnie D likened it to “star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet. That fuschbau and blutbads never date made their love even more meaningful. They defended each other and truly cared about one another.” Nastasha Runner credited Silas Weir Mitchell and Turner’s performances for all the devotion: “The actors did a really good job making me believe they were a couple.”

Kelly even went as far as saying “their relationship saved my life.” She moved in with her fiancé, but things went south. “Mental and emotional abuse with threats of physical abuse as he went into a downward spiral of self-harm and deep depression,” she wrote. “It was watching Silas and Bree that led me to realize I could do so much better. I broke up with him and am now engaged to another man who lifts me up like Monroe and Rosalee lift each other up.”

Many fans also noted major character transformations. Alicia Harrison enjoyed watching Adalind go “from villain to pawn to mother to lover.” Jen Gorman had to give a shout-out to the show’s writers for the way they took “such an abrasive and upsetting character like Adalind and made her a sympathetic hero character. That is hard to pull off.”

Jason Peters liked how it was juxtaposed with Juliette’s spiral into darkness: “I always loved her so it was certainly painful. But, it felt inevitable. The way it overlapped with Nick and Adalind’s burgeoning relationship was icing on the cake.”

DAVID GREENWALT AND JIM KOUF RESPOND: As we revealed last week, the producers have always known Monroe was the fan favorite, and Kouf says they loved “exploring his relationship with the grimm.”

Greenwalt added, “He opened up a terrific can of goodness for us. People like him, and they want to see him happy. Same with [Rosalee]. She had a tragic background. Her brother died. She had a drug issue. He was still fighting his animal nature. It was love at first sight, and they were just so sweet together. They got to know each other and committed.”

Kouf says it was important to take risks with beloved characters. “We made a decision early on that people would grow and change and wouldn’t be the same every week. That made it more fun for our actors and more challenging and fun for us.”

DAVID GREENWALT AND JIM KOUF ASK: Who did you want Nick to end up with — Adalind or Eve/Juliette?

ANALYZING THE ANSWERS: This was by far the most contentious topic of the nine questions they asked. A few fans even wrote in solely to answer this question, and, man, in general, responses had a lot of all-caps, exclamation points, and hyperbole. For example, you can almost hear the hyperventilating in Tiff.C’s note: “Please for the love of everything holy make Nick and Adalind ENDGAME!!!”

In the end, surprisingly, Nick’s former archenemy turned baby mama turned live-in lover prevailed by a margin of two to one. The rationales behind the preference varied wildly from “do it for the kids” to William Myers’ far less dutiful reasoning. “She may be a skank, but she’s a hot and badass skank. I happen to like that in a woman,” he joked. (We think.) Patty G made a good point about longevity. “At first, I wanted him to be with Juliette, but now that Diana is growing up and being more protective of her parents, I change to Adalind,” she said.

For many, Nadalind simply had more chemistry. “They ooze chemistry and now love also. They are the ultimate power couple,” Laurie T wrote, adding that she has her fingers crossed that they will be fiancées by the last episode. “A wonderful way to end the series would be Nick removing the cursed ring with Rosalee’s help [and] then slipping his own engagement ring on Adalind’s finger.”

Many shippers just straight dislike Juliette and never forgave her for turning Nick’s marriage proposal down early on. Cheryl Gore said her favorite episode was the one where we were led to believe that Juliette died. Ouch! AI claimed she “never supported Nick in his decisions when she was human and she was [always] throwing a tantrum.” Things only got worse when her switch was flipped to full evil hexenbiest and she tried to kill Nick and his friends. Worst of all, her actions led to the death of Nick’s mom (who incidentally was also very missed by fans). Dakota Kirk summed it up: “What Juliette/Eve did to Nick’s mother is completely unforgivable. I hate her now.”

But there was still a strong “pick Juliette” faction. Some were romantics who rallied behind first love. Ed Nieto thinks Nick’s love life should “come full circle.” Others pointed out that she did the best she could with the situation, i.e., “finding out your boyfriend is a demon fighter in constant danger — that would’ve been hard for anyone.”

There were some who renounced the idea that just because baby Kelly existed, Nick should stick with his current gal. Carolyn B. Hennesy argued, “I get that they made a kid but we have shared custody in this country. No need to share a bed [with] pretty evil.”

Sure, Juliette did some bad things, but Adalind is not innocent by a long shot. After all, she told the royals about Nick’s mom being alive. She did the spell that stole Nick’s powers, which forced Juliette to do the spell to get them back, which made her go all evil, which essentially led to the death of mama grimm. There are many fans, in fact, that call what she did rape. Bridgetocaptain wrote, “Adalind raped Nick and not sure how a relationship can be built on that kind of deception.” Kate Fazekas agreed: “Let’s be honest. She roofied Nick, had his baby, and took everything Juliette had. Juliette gave up a lot to give Nick his powers back and what did she get? Pain and heartache.”

A few fans think he’d be better off alone. “Don’t think he needs to be tied to either of them,” Kelly wrote. “I never felt Nick was cut out for romantic relationships and both women deserve more.”

DAVID GREENWALT AND JIM KOUF RESPOND: Greenwalt knew this question would mobilize Grimmaniacs and both guessed that Adalind would win the popularity contest, but they didn’t think it would be by such a landslide. “I know there are some rabid Juliette/Eve folks out there because I hear from them,” Greenwalt said. “Guess she did some bad things, but it wasn’t really her fault.”

The ire toward Juliette is something they were aware of, as is people’s belief that Adalind raped Nick. “There’s a very modern, cutting-edge issue for ya. You have to remember that Nick was there to protect his son before he fell for Adalind,” Greenwalt said. “There’s a line in ‘Blind Love’ where Eve says under the influence that [Adalind] had the baby they should have had. But there is a scene coming up where Nick and Juliette are talking about how everybody changed drastically in the course of six years, and it goes into larger issues than who did what to whom. Is happiness or having a purpose the point? Would you go back if you could to some more innocent time? Probably not. That’s a big life lesson. You get your nicks and scratches, but you go forward.”

They also loved hearing alternative coupling ideas fans submitted like Hick (Hank and Nick) or Drank (Drew Wu and Hank). Kouf said, “I get that one, but I’ll confirm that isn’t going to happen by the finale.” They got a particular kick out of Bookie’s concept for Juliette and Meisner getting together in the afterlife. “The amount of wild fan fiction that goes on with these genre shows that touch people so deeply is pretty impressive,” Greenwalt said.

DAVID GREENWALT AND JIM KOUF ASK: Would you have liked to see more of Trubel or Meisner?

ANALYZING THE ANSWERS: This was a very close race with only 10 votes separating the hot resistance leader/supernatural baby saver and the girl grimm. (And truthfully, more chickened out and refused to single out one side character over the other than picked one in particular.) In the end, the numbers were in favor of girl power. “Trubel is strong, capable, and confident,” reasoned Susie Chevalier. Many people enjoyed watching Trubel blossom into a badass monster slayer, particularly when the show doubled down on heroes. As Tony Switzer wrote, “Would’ve liked to have seen Trubel and Nick taking down wesen together a lot more. It was interesting having more than one grimm in the mix.”

Lots of viewers are still holding out hope that the longstanding theory that Trubel and Nick have more than a teacher-student, Jedi-padawan relationship will be addressed before the finale.

Grimmaniacs in the Meisner camp loved when he haunted Renard, and even more mentioned that his chiseled body and angular mug were always a welcome sight. “Oh, sweet, sweet Meisner, cannot have too much of him. Yum,” drooled Maffy Davison. Tawny Welk added, “Meisner [was someone you] always wanted on your side.” Many readers were bothered to not know more of his backstory and wondered if he might even be wesen. Lorraine Collins was not alone in her opinion that not having him and Adalind hook up “when they first met” was “a missed opportunity.”

These two also figured prominently in any spinoff discussions. Several folks suggested a procedural formula be applied and the pre-Portland adventures of Black Claw and Hadrian’s Wall be explored, which would give us a chance to see Meisner, Trubel, and Juliette in full fighting glory. Or they could recast it to tell tales of the resistance and therefore answer some of those pesky lingering questions about Meisner’s history. Katherine Shelby has her fingers crossed that a new show would connect Trubel and Josh, the son of the grimm who gave Nick a key and who a contingent hoped would develop powers and return to the series before it ended.

The biest-battling dream team wasn’t the only idea fans had to continue the series. Many said they have been bombarding Netflix with pleas for the streaming service to pick up the series. Some more realistically pray for a continuation of the story in graphic novel form or as a reunion movie years down the road.

Sixstringhurricane emailed to remind them, “There are so many more stories to be told with the new wesen children.” One responder even dreamed up a whole scenario that would find MonRosalee and their litter relocating to a quieter life in Bend, Ore., and the spinoff would morph into a family or parenthood drama with a fantasy twist.

DAVID GREENWALT AND JIM KOUF RESPOND:

As for whether Trubel and Nick are related, Greenwalt promised the truth will be revealed: “The question of relation is answered in the final episode.”

Unfortunately, there is nothing more on the Meisner front given that he’s still dead. But Kouf was willing to clarify that he was definitely not wesen: “He was basically a guy willing to work for the good side.” Greenwalt added, “Don’t forget his original war was fighting the royals. Then it turned to Black Claw when there was a whole undercover government operation [to] fight all this stuff.”

As for talk of spinoffs, novels, and movies, the duo’s response is of the never-say-never variety, although they want to be clear that so far they have no hard evidence that anyone is even thinking about picking up the thrown-down gauntlet.

“We actually have thought of [many of those] in our iterations of spinoff worlds,” Kouf said. “We never got the go-ahead.”

But Greenwalt is ever the voice of wishful thinking: “You know life is long. You never know what might happen. It might come.”

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

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