Thursday, June 28, 2012

Captain Renard and his Merrie Men Grimm S1E08 Game Ogre


Renard uses Epic Looming! It's Super Effective!

Yes, I'm punchy, why do you ask.

So, Renard first appears at the judge's house crime scene and just off the top of my head, this is about as informal and dressed casual as we ever see him apart from the pajamas. The top two buttons of his shirt are undone, his shirt is even rumpled, and there's no tie. For a man who always is the picture of pressed and dressed that's a considerable amount of casual, indicating that he gave formality a cursory nod when he was getting dressed to come out for that call. I also suspect they did something in the way of less makeup to give him a more real, unkempt appearance. I suspect, though I have nothing to go on except the way the shirt drapes on his body, that he's also not wearing the undershirt he usually wears, if any at all. He also has the black coat, which doesn't come out as often as the tan, and which seems to be cut along the lines of a peacoat. A captain called out in the middle of the night for an urgent case, dressed in a hurry.

In the precinct house we see him with his shirt sleeves rolled up but without the jacket, which also might have contributed to the rumpling. (Which leads me to wonder if that's why we didn't see much of it later in favor of the tan trench, it didn't fit right.) He's a little more poised, or giving a good appearance of it, and his shirt is buttoned to where it normally is again, albeit no tie. I'd also swear by the collarbone area creases of his shirt that the now-buttoned button was done up after his shirt was tucked in to his pants, but that would mean I have officially spent way too much time costuming and have put way too much thought into this. Let's move on.

His demeanor is that of the Captain again, with the curve to his back and shoulders indicating a more relaxed posture without actually slouching or slumping. A couple of the camera angles give a good view of the line of his body, which is straight and well postured. Even when he leans over to look at Hank's computer monitor his back is very straight of line. His voice is relaxed as well, his speech patterns less correct but still precise, as one might expect a captain to be.

When he comes down the hall following the entry team to Vince Chilton's apartment he takes the wall, as though following up on their entry, maybe. As though there are armed people inside, which isn't a bad bet. It's equally interesting that he hugs the wall for a moment as that Hank doesn't. Then we go into the room and he crouches down on the balls of his feet again. In almost third position, I think, for you dance people who know what I'm talking about. I am nothing if not a product of my upbringing. By contrast, Hank is on flat feet almost the whole time. If not the whole time. Maybe more of interest in terms of Roiz than in terms of Renard, he turns from one side to the other, while balanced, with no significant show of awkwardness or disbalance. Then the conversation comes to an end and you can hear his foot thump on the floor as he moves forward a bit.

Tongueless body, and now Hank knows who the killer is. Cue pedeconference! Everybody, West Wing! He doesn't take the usual corner they come from at such an angle as he has before, but he's definitely on the move, legs extended about to their full length and arms swinging. Presumably the first is because the taller two are talking, so there's less need to slow down, and arms swinging because, well, it's hard to walk at a brisk clip with your hands in your pockets. Of course, the second he stops walking and stands behind his desk, into the pockets go the hands. Interestingly, he doesn't seem surprised at Stark's past crimes. Possibly because he knows what Stark is. He does seem perplexed (and irritated) that Stark got out, there's genuine confusion in that question. Hank goes through it, and Renard takes one hand out to gesture, there's not a lot to conceal here except perhaps how much he knows how bad this could get.

Actually, with that look to one side and out through the blinds, I'm revising my theory on the body language of the hands in pockets on this one. It's less concealment and more control, to keep himself under control, because the Prince is the side of him that wants to hand down a death sentence. But as a Captain, he can't do that. (Added: Now that I've seen the deleted scenes I have a much better idea why the Prince attitude was intruding so much on this episode when it didn't seem to be relevant, and there is an additional analysis for those scenes specifically.) When he turns his head to the side it's a very aquiline, very regal profile. The set of his head and the way he holds himself. Another shift, and he drops into the Captain again. He goes and perches on the edge of the desk for the Watsonian reason of needing to be the approachable Captain and the Doylist reason of Sasha Roiz is a tree. And they need to get him and Giuntoli in the same frame.

And for the most part we have the Captain, leading Hank to explain the theory of the case to him (and the viewers) possibly to gauge Hank's level of involvement. Arms folded but his body posture is still open, so it's still more of a control thing, and also for the same reason that he stands up when he contradicts Hank's wish to go after Stark, tells him he's going into protective custody. He stands up, and the camera obliges us with augmenting his looming ability, to use every body language weapon he has to get Hank to follow his orders. The angle of him from "protective custody, that's my call, not yours" is shooting from below to Renard looming above. He does something funny with his hand on "I know how you feel, I'd feel the same way." Not normal American male authority figure gesturing, but I'm at a loss for what it is. More graceful than the usual gestures tend to be, at least, more muted and less angular finger pointing. Renard stomps all over Hank's argument, most likely because he knows what Stark is and what Hank would be getting into. And then Hank stomps off to run the case with Nick.

We don't get a good enough look at what the Captain's doing in his office before Wu brings the information (Added: Well, NOW we know!), but we do get to see him grabbing his coat as Nick and Hank start to roll. There's something both of Prince and Captain here in the way he tells Hank to, essentially, follow orders and sit down and shut up. It's the expectation that Hank will obey, no questions. He's not even particularly harsh about it, his expression is mild, but he speaks his piece and that's that. And there's the tan trench! Over his arm.

A brief moment of the Captain at the crime scene, preferably without me giggling over Nick being so tiny in the man's battlewagon. Since the scene is so brief the only notable thing in it is the Captain shaking hands with the fire chief on scene. Very mannered, is our Captain.

The hospital, and Juliette. I find it interesting and rather touching that he sticks with Juliette to hear Nick's prognosis, the diagnosis from the doctor? nurse? medical person. That's probably to do with both sides of him, the fraternity of policemen and the responsibility of a lord for his vassals. His body is bent towards Juliette, again, without hunching over. More curved than bent. His voice is softer than it usually is, the rougher buzz smoothed out of it, but I also find it interesting that he thinks "Trust me. He'll pay for what he's done." is comforting to her, over the more customary approach of repeating that Nick will be all right, you heard the doctor/nurse/person. Vengeance and/or violent justice over healing and the recovery of your loved one. That speaks to either Renard's priorities or his past or both.

And then Hank goes charging off. There's no surprise in the Captain's face when Hank stomps past him, and his eyes brush closed for a moment with resignation more than anything. Resignation and annoyance. So he turns and follows and by the tone of his voice he knew Hank was going to do that. I wouldn't be surprised if (in-Universe) he has police waiting at the entrance to turn back Hank if he tries to leave. The confrontation in the hallway is full of jaw clenching and angry faces. Wu interrupts and it's like flipping a switch, which is a good indication that anger wasn't in it in the first place. Annoyance at Hank's disobedience, yes. But not anger, not quite the way he used it to be loud and large and authoritative. It's also interesting that he immediately knows of a place that could be used for a trap. One way in and one way out. I'm not sure, though, if that's something he knew from a previous case or something from previously made and discarded strategies. There are a lot of reasons for him to know that, none of them pleasant. But once he has that plan in place the annoyance dissipates. It's almost as if the concern for Hank was a smokescreen. Certainly the thundering authority was, I doubt he pulls that out on his officers very much. His more usual authority is calmer, cooler.

As shown in the last scene where he comes in to Hank sitting in his office like a boy who's been sent to the principal for misbehavior. He closes the door behind him after telling Hank he's lucky to be alive, so that no one else hears whatever dressing-down he's about to give. Again, behavior of a good leader, praise given publicly and rebuke given in private. With the angles of his face there I suspect his expression is more fierce than his tone, which is calm and conversational. His words, not so much. "I should have your badge." But if he's saying that he's not going to do it. He wouldn't issue a threat like that, he would simply demand Hank turn in his badge. This is more to make the point that Hank stepped out of line, with the implication that next time the Captain won't be so understanding. Then a backhanded compliment, even, about how he'd rather have Hank alive and wearing it.

Then the explanation, or at least as much of one as he's willing to give. He does explain his reasoning to his officers in a lot of cases; he seems to prefer informed and thinking officers who can understand the purpose of his orders to blind obedience. In this case, respect for your fellow officers, and respect for the procedure and fraternity of police work. Tied in with the emotional connection when he says "I wanted Stark dead too." That's not even a lie, considering he probably knows what Stark is capable of. Then the open compliment, "You're a good detective, Hank, but you're much better when we're all working together." Just in case Hank/the audience didn't get it. Back to the case for a moment, describing the bullets, and if Hank knew more about elephant guns he might be surprised at the way the Captain just rattles off the information like that. Sure, it's information a ballistics or forensic person with an interest in history could have told him, but it's still at least an odd thing for him to know. Let alone by sight, because it doesn't look like those bullets have been sent to Forensics yet there wasn't time for those bullets to get pulled out of autopsy, go to Forensics, go through ballistics, and pull all that history out unless they did have a historian working in ballistics. By the light over Renard's shoulder and his fresh shirt and tie it might be the morning after, but by the wound on Hank's head it's only the early morning after, because that wound hasn't healed much. And that's an awful lot of relatively obscure information to spout off for someone who ostensibly has no reason to know that. We know why his Highness knows it. Fortunately for him Hank's probably too tired to wonder why his Captain knows it.

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