SyFy Face Off — Scene of the Crime
The final four perform reverse crime scene forensics, Nicole takes over quote of the week, we get to see Laura’s wedding photos, and the entire episode in one big promo for Grimm. It’s Face Off!
This week’s challenge begins with a great concept – the contestants visit murder scenes out in the woods, where they have half an hour to take photographs and collect samples. Then they have to decide what kind of creature committed the murder, and go back to the lab and design it. I love how fun and creative that is (and not a hint of whimsy). Sadly, the whole thing is intended to promote hit NBC show Bland Buffy with Testicles, which I guess people also call Grimm.
So we get an actor from Grimm, an FX guy from Grimm, and a writer/producer from Grimm. And that’s the last I’ll speak of it.
As everyone starts designing, Nicole got in early for quote of the week. Actually, quote of a lifetime. “I like the bloody and the gory and the creepy and the freaky and all that.” Call me…
Laura starts suffering from self-doubt, missing her husband, questioning her concept and generally having a breakdown. Of course, it was a low-key Laura breakdown, so it basically involved her turning slightly pale and frowning a bit. Or, as Nicole put it, “Laura’s got her serious face on.” Still, it’s been fascinating to see the role confidence has played this season. I think that Alana and Sarah’s eliminations were mainly caused not by a lack of talent, but by self-doubt screwing up their work. Laura seems to fight through it pretty quickly, showing off some wedding pics (radiant, of course) and coming back for day two focused and ready to rock.
Roy clearly avoids doing any large fabrications this week, but we still get to see MacGyver in action. First he wraps his sculpt in fishnet stockings to create a realistic snake scale effect. Then he shows Laura how to make spider webs by blowing glue past a jet of compressed air.
This episode hit all the classic Face Off notes, with mold drama and everyone chipping in to help someone overcome mold drama. When it comes time to apply prosthetics to models, Nicole runs into the same trouble Sarah had last week with a particularly busty model. That girl’s boobs are the bane of FX artists everywhere!
The final four designs were all pretty killer. We’re way beyond the point where anyone is producing crappy work, so I knew from the outset that the judges were not going to have an easy choice this week. Yet as soon as Roy put that terrible wig on his snake lady, I kinda had a feeling. Amazing sculpt, even with the slightly odd lip fangs, great paint, she looked great with those green eyes. But, yeah. Bad wig is bad. Bad enough to get Roy sent home. Look at that, he finally does what the judges ask and avoids fabrication, then immediately gets eliminated.
Nicole’s werewolfina was cool, if a bit static around the mouth. It’s really hard to articulate a canine face, so there was really no way around it. I like the fact that she decided to just execute a traditional monster as well as she could instead of trying to win with a crazy design. I wasn’t sure why Glen criticized the clothing choice, since it totally sold the character. She looked like a waitress, which was perfect.
Derek’s feathered raptor stole the show for me. First off, I thought it was great that Derek made the connection between bird-dinosaur evolution (you don’t have to say “supposedly,” Derek – it’s pretty thoroughly accepted fact at this point). The raptor claw on the toe was a fine idea, if not executed particularly well. But the sculpt was aggressive and creepy, the incorporation of feathers added a ton of character, and the iridescent green accents on the paint job looked amazing. That’s the kind of effect I was hoping Laura would accomplish with her beetle man.
Which brings us to Laura’s strange semi-beetle/spider/bee thing. Great sculpt with clean lines. It seemed to get muddled by the end, though. And it was weird how the judges were fawning over the paint job, because to be honest it looked terrible to me. She never really got that pearlescent quality she mentioned. I don’t know, this one just didn’t work for me. I’m certainly not saying Laura doesn’t deserve her spot in the finale, but I’m not sure I’d have picked her to win this week.
Speaking of the finale, there’s a double-shot of Face Off next week. On Tuesday, there will be an episode in the usual time slot showing the creation of the finalist’s designs. The following night, Halloween night (Wednesday, Oct. 31) there will be a live finale revealing the winner as determined by fan voting. I explain all this because the promos have been really confusing about it.