Our episode-specific opening is fairly standard horror, victim closing out at work, everything dark except for one or two lamps, working late. Killer comes up, there's a lot of screaming and please-no's, and some red eyes that we knew to expect because Blutbad. There's also a few moments of false reassurance that we're not going to see an incredibly gross murder scene because it cuts away right before the poor Seelengut is dropped into the grinder.
Buffy style opening credits! Sans narration, thank you whoever that was.
Nick coming home mirrors Woman in Black, not quite a callback to remind us but rather a contrast. We can hear, if we listen and play them both back, the resigned weariness in his voice. Wariness, too. He's trying to behave as though he's coming home to someone who barely knows him, and it's hard. And this time Juliette's not there and it's even more heartbreaking. Too, Nick now feels that something is after him, so the couple-three steps deeper into the house as he picks up the phone are tense and exhausted. He doesn't want this to be more of people coming after him and getting Juliette instead. We get a lovely contrast of Juliette in the bright, warmly-colored club with her girlfriends and Nick, at home, in the darkened house, silent except for his voice. We see the Eisbieber's quilt on the couch, also a good note of continuity as well as a dig at their not-quite-right relationship. Overall, it's a tasteful but powerful example of how hard it is for him right now. Nice glimpse of Juliette having friends outside Nick and his work, though.
And now the case of the week! Wu introduces the reporting civilian and A and I take a moment to beat our heads against the wall because Reverend Calvin? Really? We are judging you, Grimm writers. We are judging you and your terrible historical puns. This week we have embezzlement/theft and a preacher who smiles a little too much and kind of oozes. I appreciate the need to highlight some shady characteristics about the episode's bad guy, but this seems a touch much. More police procedure occurs, Nick and Hank go to the man's place of business to try to get an idea of where the guy might have gone, and now we get the gruesome when one of the workers comes up to say why the wood crusher isn't crushing wood. Not one but two scenes of the leg, one more at a distance but still close enough to see the gore and one really good close up view. Ugh. I'm glad I wasn't eating when we saw this.
Back to the police station and we still don't get a break from the gore because there's the leg with the top all torn up. Really? Hank goes over the medical history while Nick has a clever moment and investigates the Rev. He finds out that this has happened before, which makes our dear Reverend Calvin just a bit more suspicious than his smarming all over everything did earlier. For that matter, I'm not sure that Lance Calvin isn't a twofold bad historical joke, but we'll pretend it isn't. Armed with this knowledge they go to brief the Captain! Now, up until this point we've been getting a lot of rapid cuts between scenes, a lot of hurried action despite the relatively blase nature of the crime. Outside of the murder, at least. But the briefing is where it slows down a tad, giving us a more leisurely pace through the rest of the episode. I'm not sure if that's a conscious editing choice or just how things fell out.
I am briefly distracted by whatever the hell Renard's wearing, that's an edging on his suit I haven't seen on anything like the ones he's been wearing. Specifically on the lapels. It's called pick-stitching, but what the hell it's doing there I have no idea. Ahem. Anyway. I have to wonder why they came to the briefing with the Captain armed only with a printout of the article from the last church heist, though. They had to have started a file on this at some point between the robbery and the homicide (see what I did there, they're robbery/homicide?) but it's nowhere in evidence. No, it's probably not one of the ones in the metal hopper to the Captain's left, this is a case they're actively discussing, so if the boys brought it with them he'd have it in front of him. Going over the murder, we get the summary and Renard provides us with a not ironic at all command to rattle the Reverend's cage, which might force him to make a move he's not ready to make. Like your Family has been doing to you for the past several episodes? I mean, it is good strategy, but it's also darkly amusing in the thought that Renard might be taking some small satisfaction in being able to do this to someone else. Another piece of the profile that no one's bringing up in the briefing directly (though Hank touches on it) is that the killer must not know about the hip replacement, or he would have dumped the body in a different way. It's somewhat sloppy, or it indicates that the murderer arrived to the church more recently than four years ago, when Norman had his hip replaced. Which could also point to the Reverend, guys. Just saying.
Miss Marston isn't a very good liar, I have to say. Wide eyes, tense body posture, and her words sound incredibly rehearsed. Nick and Hank go in to confront the Rev, who is busy lying through his teeth through to the board, all of whom are looking up at him with complete trust. It's all a bit creepy and telegraphed. And come to think of it, it's at this point that we first get a look at the Rev's preaching and see that he doesn't have the kind of emphasis and emotional attachment to his words that we'd expect out of someone who believed in what he was saying. The affect just isn't there. Sheep morphs! I'm imagining the very distinctive scent of raw wool. The Rev brings his speech to a powerful wind-up and now he does have the conviction as he talks about building up the parish, presumably because he's excited by the prospect of building up the church to harvest it again. I'm also 90% sure that his 'come forward, gentlemen' and putting them on the spot is meant to discomfort them. They falter, recover, and then take their turn to poke the Rev by explaining that they found the missing man's body, which triggers morphs for everyone! Yay!
Sadly, the Rev recovers better than one might hope. And we get a good long scene of Reverend Calvin being smarmy and protesting his innocence and what a terrible thing this is. There's some textbook reversals, a lot of smiling and religious imagery, and a lot of alluding to a past one might expect from a Blutbad while carefully avoiding admitting to anything criminal when he's talking with two cops, so nice dodging there. And while he might not be willing to admit to the murder of Norman Brewster he's certainly complicit in the murder of the German language. We get some new words, Seelengute (singular Seelengut), meaning sheep wesen and translating more literally to souls-good, which isn't terribly mangled, and something that sounds like Kiraseda, to which both A and I went "Japanese what?" Now, I don't know how many of you are familiar with both languages, dear reader, but when you get four syllables of German mangled so badly as to sound like American-accented Japanese, you have fucked up somewhere. Later we got a slightly more accurate pronunciation from Monroe, by which I was able to decipher that what the Rev is trying to say is Kehrseite. The English for this is 'other side' or 'flip side,' and as a point of interest it can also mean 'down side,' though presumably depending on context. And right there we have an interesting commentary on how Wesen see vanilla humans, or at least, enough Wesen to make a term for it. There's definitely a perceived species barrier there between Wesen, Grimms, and humans, since Grimms don't fall under the category of Kehrseite, and there's room for some Wesen to interpret humans as lesser and some Wesen to interpret humans as simply different.
Off to consult the expert on Blutbad redemption! Poor Hank, not knowing when Wesen are woge'ing out makes him really puzzled by the one Wesen he does know is a ... a whatever he thinks of him as. Monroe takes it with resigned acceptance, and the only reason I make note of his "Entrez" is because a) Monroe why do you speak French and b) that's still not a bad accent. Hank, to his credit, seems to be aware that he's treating a person like a zoo animal and tries to stop when he's called out on it. Everybody's treating Hank's continued slight wigginess as normal, natural, and to be eased out of over time. Once they're discussing cop business and investigations (and once Monroe's had his little bit of macho posturing, really, Monroe, you're adorable, but no) Hank's on much more solid ground, his voice is more confident and the wide-eyed staring dies down. And Monroe gives us the pronunciation as well as something that I think is supposed to be Schlichkennen, which literally translated as trick-knowing. As a phrase rather than a compound, 'die Schlich kennen' with the direct object preceding the noun, it means 'to know the ropes.' I'm increasingly convinced that the secondary reason they picked German as the butcher's meat of choice, apart from the Grimms, is because German habitually smashes words together to get new words, cf. the internet's favorite compound "schadenfreude." I'll shut up now.
I have to say, Monroe does a good job at looking more sinister than usual right now. The Reverend speechifies, Monroe establishes himself as a Blutbad and, predictably, freaks out the church full of Seelengute. We get a brief glimpse of the guy and his pregnant girlfriend, the guy admirably shielding her and the baby with one arm, that'll come in handy later. I will say, this scene and the next couple of Monroe scenes do show off Silas Weir Mitchell's acting chops, giving him more range than Monroe usually gets. More German!
We approach Renard's office from the side, a somewhat more unusual view because the blinds are fully up, giving us an open view through the glass. He's battling the monster Paperwork when he gets what appears to be a sharp, stabbing type headache, or some other unwanted head-based sensation, maybe an interrupting daydream that doesn't feel like his? Or both. He brings his hand up to his head as though trying to push an image out of his mind more than as though he has a headache, and if we thought the office view was green-washed before it's nothing compared to the green-wash on the flashback to the infamous kiss. When he lifts his head that fraction of an inch and comes out of it, though, he seems deeply troubled rather than relaxed or in love, as he might if the potion was taking effect without him being aware that it was the potion influencing him. If Catherine's concoction was a love potion, he's aware of it changing him as it drags him into love with Juliette. His eyes dart a bit, looking through the possibilities of what that could be, what it could mean, and what can be done about it. No time for him to come to any conclusions, though, as his phone rings. Credit to his Canary, he only gives Renard one yes or no question to answer before spitting out his message and hanging up again, nothing suspicious or unusual for Renard to say that could be overheard. Also credit to the Canary but much more annoying, the email comes from "Unknown" and is addressed to "Captain Renard," thus putting it potentially in the realm of day-job related business. The Nuckelavee's name is David Esquibel, aka Edward Irastorblur (Irastorbles?), aka Rizal Hosek, aka Alfaro, aka Nils Benson, aka Hargrund, aka Philip Krysl. Hargrund is circled, indicating the name he's currently going by. The Spanish, at least, is accurate to the language although I don't know what Spanish police/Interpol Wanted forms look like. There's a couple connections to the Scottish Water Sprite being out of Spain, but most of them date back to Roman or previous times, so that's a bit curious. Hey, speaking of the Nuckelavee!
Monroe's guest room is pretty spartan, as one would expect in the church. But wait! Conspiratorial whispering! I'm deeply amused by a) Monroe's little window thing looking like something in a confessional (but also not surprised) and b) the stained-glass sheep behind Miss Marston. Oh noes, the Rev and the Secretary are having an affair! Scandalous.
Nick's doing his homework on Reverend Calvin and we see that he has only been in the city for two-three years, so not long enough for him to have been around for Norman's hip replacement. Still shoddy work of getting to know the people he's intending to, uh, fleece, but not quite as bad. And he's got a bogus social security number! Bad Reverend, no communion wafer. Monroe calls to give a lukewarm testimonial to Calvin's conversion and compares him to Robert Bly which, for those of you who weren't deeply familiar with him (and I wasn't) just take a look. And then you too can laugh wearily as I did. More relevantly, Monroe gives the detectives a Mystery Coupon with the affair news. And a bad pun.
Juliette comes home! Juliette, seriously, why do you work at a vet's in heels. The Nuckelavee is doing less of a tossing of Nick's place and more of a careful search, and there's a series of well-choreographed movements where the Nuckelavee slips through the house and out the door without Juliette being more than vaguely aware he was ever there. Unlike the last couple of assassins sent after Nick or, well, anything else in this city, this one is competent and professional and doesn't hurt or kill people he doesn't have to. I approve! Too bad he has to die.
Another Mystery Coupon in the form of a picture from an event at the last church, in this case our intrepid detectives finding out that Miss Marston worked at both churches as well. Dun dun dun! The plot congeals. Renard comes up looking surprisingly relaxed for the news he's gotten and the love potion trying to take over his thinkmeats, and they go round the case for a bit till they kick loose a couple-few new theories based on this new information. One more good bit of reinforcement on the cop-Captain dynamic. And now we get our first interrogation room scene with both Nick and Hank and the Grimm issues at work. She's still not a very good liar, but when the lies rack up her body tension becomes more acute. Particularly when she sheeps out as she realizes that Nick, a Grimm, is asking about the bad things she's done. It's hard to tell whether or not Hank sees her sheep out, but the fact that she's huddled against the wall trying to get away is telling enough. I'm deeply entertained by Hank, heretofore the older and more experienced cop, looking to Nick for approval to use the G-word.
Contrast her bleating protestations of innocence to her calm, confident appearance in the bed in a slip and with a book on her lap, side-angle view to get the length of her legs and a sexualized appearance to contrast with her pink sweaters and demure manner to this point. We get a look at the dynamic between her and Calvin without the whisper-whisper, and contrary to the earlier behavior of the Seelengute she isn't at all fazed by his red-eyeing when she tells him the cops brought her in. She also feels comfortable telling him what she thinks they should do. Tellingly, over half of the way he talks to her is the speechifying preacher way he talks to everyone else. He doesn't treat her any different from the rest of the congregation, though no doubt she'd like to think he does.
Nick is in the trailer, this time not so much looking over the Seelengute in the journals as making his own sketches and additions. And he leaves and a wild Nuckelavee appears! Cue fight scene! Very well choreographed and performed fight scene, I might add. Bye Bye Nuckelavee, though not before getting the trailer somewhat broke. Nothing much to note here. Except that the Nuckelavee does have, not quite hooves, but something close to them. Then we get the morning after with Nick and Juliette talking in the kitchen over breakfast, and seeming much more calm around each other by the light of day. And once again we will note how much we like this wonderful new dynamic of couples who talk to each other, even when one of them has no memory of being part of the couple! Communication, egads, what a new concept! They both acknowledge how hard it is, Juliette explains how she feels guilty over not remembering him, Nick tries to convince her that it's not her fault. And there's that fragment of the scene that we all saw and worried over where she asks if she should move out. This just goes, I have to say, to show how much the editors? the people who make the trailers enjoy fucking with our heads, because while the bit where she asked if she should move out seemed like something we should all be wringing our hands over, in context it's only part of a conversation where two people explore options and how feasible they are, and then come to a conclusion. That conclusion being that they're going to stick it out and see how it goes. Which is far more hopeful than it seemed. I shake my fist at you, trailer-makers! In admiration and annoyance. They smile at each other like teenagers who just arranged a first date, and on that positive note we go to...
... a horrible breakup. The pregnant girl gets dumped by her boyfriend at the bake sale, the boyfriend accusing her of having some other man's child. Which is true. Then Miss Marston goes to comfort the girl and we find out that it's Reverend Calvin's baby, which is all kinds of interesting. First in that it causes Marston's revelation that, no, Calvin is still a scumbag, and second in that that's the third example of a mixed-breed child we've seen on this show. Several human-Ziegevolk pregnancies were mentioned, although come to think of it we never found out if they carried those children to term. Renard, although we still don't know what his full background is, only that he's half-Hexen. And now a Blutbad-Seelengut child. I would dearly love to get a look at a Wesen genome project sometime, is all I'm saying. This also serves as an interesting callback I'll refer more to later.
Wu knocks on Renard's door and remember that open door policy we were talking about last season? Not so much this one. Renard is a man under siege, getting phone calls from Europe, speaking in non-English languages which is probably something he wants to keep from his men, so, door shut more often. No one's really brought it up yet, but there have been a few cautious looks and the energy in the room is more often tense than usual. Less approachable Captain is creating some distance between himself and his men, and we see it in how everyone behaves. Wu hands him a folder on the Nuckelavee, in this case as an alert come down from Interpol (the Canary moving behind the scenes, perhaps, or did Renard ask for something offscreen?) and we get a good shot of the top page. The spelling and phrasing is definitely European, but all the new information we get is that he's going by the name Hargrund, his place of birth is Madrid, and he speaks English, Spanish, and French. Wu says that the preliminary ID matches a body they found floating in the river earlier that morning, indicating by the phrasing that the Interpol sent down the alert before they found the body. Possibly that's not the case, there might be a missing 'that' in the sentence, e.g. "preliminary ID (that was sent) matches the body we found" compared to "(It's a) preliminary ID (that) matches the body we found." Difficult to tell. And either way, it works out, as Renard delivers a very dry and unconvincing "that's too bad." We cut before we can get a reaction from Wu on the subject, though I doubt Wu would shed many tears over the death of a person high on Interpol's wanted list either. Thankfully, all the assassins sent after Nick so far have been blatant criminals as far as police records go; one wonders what would happen if the Families sent over an assassin with an ironclad schoolteacher/aid worker/other benign person cover.
Back out to the bake sale! Requisite setup of how the sheep trust the Blutbad for contrast for when Marston comes out and denounces Reverend Calvin. Now's as good a time as any to note how the flock is all dressed predominantly in either whites and grays or white-backgrounded patterns, or pastels. The occasional fit of blue jeans. Heh. Cut back to Nick being a good cop and checking into travel records, tying the Rev and Marston to the countries where the money was being stashed. Cut over to the Rev, a lot of fast cuts here again, setting up Monroe very clumsily, really, for being the attacker and giving the Rev an excuse to kill Monroe. All the birds, or in this case sheep, come home to roost and we get all the requisite revelations and accusations and frothing villain speech, and then the stampede death of the Rev. Oh noes. And Oh noes for real as they turn on Monroe, condemned by virtue of his species. With the crowd worked up like this, even a human group would probably turn on him, really, he's an outsider and therefore not to be trusted. Chase sequence interspersed by Nick and Hank pounding pavement towards the scene, culminating in a balcony thing where Monroe actually bleats the 'wait' part of 'wait a minute,' and I want to know if I have to throttle Silas Weir Mitchell for that or someone else. Bad auditory pun is bad. The shout of 'police!' seems to stop them, though. Thankfully, because Monroe could have gone over the edge very easily right there.
And now the final briefing scene where Renard gets to exercise his weekly "Really? Seriously?" face. I have to say the whole exchange: "One man attacked twenty five people." "He attacked one, they all came to his aid." "All of them?" amuses me to no end. It's startled, faintly tenor, and somewhat more soft than we're used to thinking of Renard. Bemused, at a guess, by the notion that twenty five normally meek and god-fearing people killed, well, a Blutbad. Not that we know Renard's aware of what the church is, but, Prince. And we've already seen that he's involved with one church with a Wesen leader. And for that matter, both churches with Wesen leaders that we've seen so far have had predator species leading them. Twice could still be a coincidence, but I'm wondering. Rule of Three indicates a third example is needed. Anyway, Renard has twenty five murder confessions to deal with, and he's washing his hands of it, telling them to turn it over to the DA. And yes, I used that phrase on purpose, with all the other religious imagery I'm skeptical that they have him playing such a role not on purpose. (A adds: I might have kind of squawked over the Pontius Pilate setup there, really. Bonus points because Roiz bears a faint resemblance to the guy who played Pilate in the most recent movie version of Jesus Christ Superstar.) But before Nick and Hank leave Renard has a couple more questions for them, about the woman who may or may not have been the Rev's accomplice. She's in the wind, and Renard has the 'oh hell I'm not going to like this, am I' expression when he asks the two detectives if they know where she is. Hank has a pretty good idea. So do we, confirmed as we get a good beach scene of the two unrepentant ladies, on the beach, with the requisite drinks with flowers and umbrellas in. Yeah.
Next Friday! Weird hooded snake guys! Adalind's back! So is Angelina! Juliette remembers! Nick is overjoyed! Monroe is a great big troll! And the Captain, gasp, shock, SMILES! Two notes here for those of you joining us in the land of wild speculation. Firstly, as previously indicated by the trailers for this episode and then the scene in the episode itself, the people who make these trailers are great big trolls and the scene of both the Captain and Juliette smiling great happy smiles in the precinct might not be what it looks like. Remember, we also know someone from the Captain's past is coming around. Secondly, all of those Adalind scenes? Old footage. The Hexening out is from Love Sick and the 'Remember me?' is from Island of Dreams. So whether or not Adalind's back in the episode or as a stinger scene at the end, hard to say. But we'll be waiting for her when she does come back! With bated breath and sharpened weapons. Oh yes.