Grimm series finale: EPs explain why Nick had to suffer
'Grimm' EPs talk Nick's impossible choice in the finale and what the Grimm-verse might look like in the future.
Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Friday’s series finale of Grimm. Read at your own risk!
After six seasons fighting fairy tale monsters with help from his friends, family, and an occasional enemy, Nick (David Giuntoli) defeated the ultimate evil and, in so doing, resurrected the friends, family, and maybe-no-longer enemy who fell in the final battle.
Although he was tempted to turn the stick over to the Zerstörer, Nick resisted and, with the help of Trubel (Jacqueline Toboni) and a surprise assist from his late mother Kelly (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) and aunt Marie (Kate Burton), he saved the world and the people he loves. EW spoke with showrunners David Greenwalt and Jim Kouf to discuss why they took Nick to the brink in the final two episodes and what the post-modern Grimm might look like.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You worked on Angel and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, both of which were notorious for their lethal finales. Why was it important for everyone on Grimm to get a happily ever after?
DAVID GREENWALT: The point was not to have a lethal ending or a happily-ever-after ending, the point was to take Nick to the lowest possible point he could be, where he thought he could not possibly dig any deeper inside. And he was willing to give up the world so that he could have his loved ones, as anyone would do in that position. But then kind of mystically, and kind of not mystically, his ancestors appeared to him, and he found a deeper strength than he even knew he had. And that was really the theme, his deepening purpose as a post-modern Grimm.
JIM KOUF: The power of the stick went back into the staff of Moses, which supposedly had all sorts of magical powers: It parted the Red Sea, it turned into a snake, all these things which we knew from religious mythology. We felt that once evil had been defeated, that it was a reset. It went back to before so he [the Zerstörer] would have no impact. If you can defeat evil and take the power from him, then it was a reset to before he came in. In religious mythology, there also is life from death, so we felt that was apropos for what we were doing.
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The last 13 episodes featured several flashbacks. Other than showcasing everyone’s baby faces, how did that help you tell the story you wanted to tell this season?
GREENWALT: (Laughs.) I think it’s a reminder of the full circle of this, from where we started and the beginning of the relationships. We’re right back to where we started in the very first episode, and what seemed like a dangerous place suddenly seemed like a safe place, but it wasn’t.
KOUF: And we went full circle not only all the way back to the beginning, but 20 years into the future. We wanted to end on that book, on the Grimm book, because of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales. But we also really wanted someone to tell us, “This is not a myth, a legend, or a fairy tale. This really happened.” And it seemed like the person to say that would be his son: “Because my father told me so.” And it also wrapped up the whole blood-of-your-ancestors-and-strength-of-your-family thing, as well. It seemed fun to do it that way.
Is that why you chose to focus on grown-up Kelly and Diana in the flash-forward?
GREENWALT: Absolutely. We see that this has gone forward, this gift has been passed on to a new generation.
Is it safe to assume that their parents enrolled them in German classes, for their own good?
KOUF: (Laughs.) Probably. Probably multilingual.
GREENWALT: Esperanto. It’s coming back.
Is there a particular fairy tale you wanted to put the Grimm twist on but weren’t able to for one reason or another?
KOUF: I think we tackled just about everything we wanted to. We were searching far and wide there at the end for stories that we hadn’t told. We explored a lot of different myths, fairy tales, legends. I don’t think we left any out that we wanted to do.
GREENWALT: One of my favorites, just in terms of ideas, was Cinderella a year later. What happens a year after the happy ending and it wasn’t very happy or pretty? [But] I think we dealt with most of them. … That tree character this very year [the Jubokko from Japanese folklore] was something that we had tried to tackle for many years. That’s not a specific Grimm fairy tale, but it’s something that kept coming back to haunt us, and we finally did do it.
Portland was almost as much a character in Grimm as the humans (and Wesen and Hexenbiests). How did the city’s character influence the stories you told?
KOUF: We couldn’t have done it anywhere else. We wrote it for Portland in the very beginning. We knew that we had to have forests, lakes, rivers, and the ability to get there within the shooting zone. And also to have a city and be able to tell urban stories, we had to have that connection between urban and country. Portland was a perfect place, and they had a great crew.
GREENWALT: We fell in love with that city, and we were beloved there, as well, because obviously we brought a lot of money to the city. Our actors all put down roots there, raised a lot of money for the children’s hospital there. You know, New York and L.A. are very sophisticated about filmmaking; sometimes the guy won’t turn off his lawnmower unless you throw him $50. And Portland was all-embracing, and such a great character in the show. You can just put the camera anywhere, whether you’re in the city or country there. And also, it’s very much like the Black Forest, where so much of our mythology sprung from.
You spent six seasons creating this world, and now many of your fans are reluctant to say goodbye. Do you have more stories in the Grimm universe that you’d like to tell in one form or another?
GREENWALT: That’s always a possibility. You know, there could be a spinoff, but you never know with that kind of thing.
Last question: I couldn’t help noticing the computer in that last scene of the finale. Does this mean Team Grimm finally digitized all that lore?
KOUF: Kelly and Diana? Oh, sure. They’re bringing it up to speed. It’s all in the cloud now.