You may be sad that Grimm‘s final season is half as long as its previous ones… but the supernatural series’ showrunners sure aren’t.
“There was a chance that we would have gotten 22 [episodes], and we were going, ‘Oh my God,'” James Kouf says, laughing. He and his fellow showrunner, David Greenwalt, are sitting on folding chairs just outside one of Grimm‘s main stages in Portland., Ore., taking advantage of a break in filming the NBC drama’s penultimate episode to chat with visiting reporters. “That’s a long trek,” Greenwalt adds. “We did that for five years.”
“You know,” adds Kouf, “123 times through the fairy-tale world, and you start getting a little slim.”
Later, inside the set that serves as Nick’s Spartan loft, David Giuntoli sits near the kitchen and fields questions from those gathered around Burkhardt’s dinner table. The series’ lead — who makes his directorial debut with this season’s third hour — points out how grateful the cast is that Grimm‘s end came with plenty of notice.
“First of all, it was very lovely to be able to get a final anything in life where you know it’s the final anything. It doesn’t just get pulled out from under you, so that was nice,” he says, chuckling. “I like to call it the Oregon, death-with-dignity, kind-of-our-hospice run.”
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Gallows humor aside, Kouf and Greenwalt say they had just enough “energy and the clarity and the creativity to push us through 13 great episodes” (premiering Friday, Jan. 6) and tease that the final three are “one giant movie.”
Silas Weir Mitchell swears that longtime viewers will be happy with the farewell tour. “I think [the writers are] trying to answer questions for the people that have stuck with us, man,” he says. “The fans have stuck with us from this night to that night and this time to that time. They deserve answers. They deserve the satisfaction of an ending.”
But what’ll happen before that ending arrives? Here are a bunch of teases gleaned from our visit to the set:
♦ As teased in TVLine’s Winter Preview, a new enemy will show up about halfway through the season.
♦ The final season is full of the show’s hallmark nighttime scenes in the great outdoors. “It’s lot of that feeling of the great, black forest/Portland look that we always loved and the fairy tale aspect of that,” Greenwalt says.
♦ Among the season’s call-backs to previous episodes: “I’ll say this: There will be a Hummel figurine,” Greenwalt teases.
♦ A cagey Bree Turner addresses our curiosity about Rosalee’s pregnancy by saying: “There’s been a few incidences where, yeah, some fake bellies have come out. But also, but we’ve been real time, you know, from the finale of last season. So in these 13 episodes, it’s only technically 6 weeks. But they have done a couple creative choices, through storytelling, that are really fun.”
♦ Perhaps related to the previous bullet, perhaps not, Greenwalt previews, “There’s a very interesting time jump at the very end. There is some playing with time.”
♦ Nick shows an unnatural attachment to the magic stick at the beginning of the season, and the feeling may be mutual. So, is it his preciousssssss? “Not entirely so much as you might begin to suspect from the beginning, but yeah, because this is too powerful for human hands to hold,” Greenwalt says. The EPs also promise that “the stick definitely figures through the whole thing” and that any questions raised “will be answered.”
Lastly, how about an early tease for the series finale? “We’re leaving it in a good place,” Greenwalt says. “Great sorrow and great hope, you know?” Claire Coffee adds, “Everything’s tied up. There are great reminders of why everybody liked the show to begin with and what really endeared the show to people. All of that comes back, tenfold.”
Grimm returns for its final season on Friday, Jan. 6, at 8/7c.