Saturday, November 3, 2012

Chekhov's Intern is Fired Grimm S2E10 The Hour of Death

Previously on Grimm: Kitty was a Na'vi Balam and hid behind/under/on top of lots of furniture (nobody ever looks up). The Renard-Juliette plotline did not give us too much embarrassment squick, which means undoubtedly they'll make up for it tonight. We got a name on another Royal-related player, and Intern Chekhov Ryan was more firmly affixed to the mantel. Tonight, we find out what happens IN A WORLD WITH TWO GRIMMS. And if you didn't hear that in the right voice, you're watching an insufficiency of bad scifi movies. I spent most of this week hiding from the embarrassment squick and worrying about Bud the Eisbieber. You leave my Eisbiebers alone, dammit. Also I mutter a bunch about interns being left on the mantel for two acts. I mean eps. Stupid Intern Chekhov.

We open on a blue flame from a blowtorch, which is totally not doom-laden. Oh wait, yes it is. Especially with that brand. And that quote. "And branded on the beast, the mark of his kin. For none shall live whom they have seen." Although made up by the Grimm writers themselves, which is a first, it sounds awfully Biblical. Awful Revelatory, if we're going to be precise. They do a lot with fire and blood and overall brimstone-type cleansing symbols this ep. And yes, it's pretty obvious from the outset that that's a stylized G, I'm not sure why it took them THAT long to figure it the fuck out. Though my refrain through first watch of this was "Nick, be a better cop and a worse Grimm," so there's that to consider. We cut from that to a shot of Nick having a nightmare about a missing girl, and I continue to question why robbery/homicide gets all these kidnapping cases. Juliette wakes him up from the nightmare, the way you do. At this point I pause to note that we've had four dream sequences of Nick's: Juliette running through the woods in a red dress, Aunt Marie stabbing him in the hand, Juliette being fine and remembering everything and declaring that all the Grimm stuff made sense, and this one. So we have an alternating pattern of Juliette featuring in his dreams with Juliette waking him up/being there for him when he wakes from a nightmare, and that second one is deteriorating in the level of support offered. Oh everyone. Note how Juliette's in a dark camisole with a white lace top over; this will be important later. Also, she's clearly forgotten everything she knew about sleeping with a cop and she's damn lucky Nick didn't react violently. They're snappish at each other, which is the first time we've seen this degree of discord. There have been arguments and disagreements and disappointments, but even since Juliette woke up from the coma they've always been trying to be good to each other in the little day to day things that make up a relationship, as much or more than the grand gestures. But no, Nick's snippy about sleeping on the couch. I would be too after this many weeks, and I question why there's no guest room with a bed or at least a futon in a house that size. I also question not getting SOME kind of alternate bed solution so that Nick can be well-rested while they figure this shit out. I mean, guys, this is common sense. Juliette, in turn, snaps back at him that there's coffee in the kitchen and she's going in to work, probably because she feels pressured to accept this stranger back into her bed. Again, I would be too, so I'm judging you BOTH for not coming up with a better interim solution than the fucking couch. My god. Anyway, Nick tries to apologize and have a conversation about it which judging by his facial expressions was going to be along the lines of not blaming her but he needs a better solution (no SHIT), but Juliette shuts him the hell down.

I sigh and imagine all the things I'd like to do to Adalind right now, while we cut over to someone burning pictures of the missing girl while on the phone with an accomplice. It sounds one hell of a lot like there's a sex slave ring going on here, but we never really get any details on it. He's a sloppy perp, too, leaving pictures not fully engulfed in flames before going to answer the door. Hey look! Hank and Nick are doing the horrible slog of footwork that happens when you don't catch an initial break on a case. Zane is incredibly shifty here, and the fact that the guys don't press him harder is evidence of how tired they are. Oh boys. Hank, don't you have a guest room to put your partner up in for cases like this? Because again with the better solutions to this problem argh. Anyway, Nick spots the photos in the stove and Zane woges out and cue Grimming! Instead of policing! One of these days we'll find out what happens when Nick DOESN'T just grab and hit Wesen perps but waits for them to do something inadvisable in front of Hank. And then the world will end. I do love how that's just about Hank's first question, though, when he sees Nick doing Grimm-like things. "Is he a Wesen?" Yes, Hank, you get all the Wesen cases, I don't think I can even blame Renard for this one because the kidnapping vic doesn't appear to be Wesen.

For once it looks like they left the credits the hell alone. I can't decide if that means we should beg off analyzing the changes in the credits over this season or not. We'll see what other posts start hammering on our brainpans and demanding attention. Hi Renard, that's a very... odd Dutch shot of you. And a very odd look on his face, he looks younger and more vulnerable watching this interrogation. He's not in his usual missing-child state of dishevelment, but I would guess that the missing girl is close to the same age the little girl in his photos would be, were she still present in his life. Plus that fucking potion is gnawing on his brain. I would bet that's also his sad/disappointed in his detectives face, because of the timing on when Wu drags Hank and Nick out of interrogation to go talk to the Captain. And he's very much the Captain throughout this scene and oh look, both hands in his pockets throughout as well. Because he's hiding his reactions to Nick as Juliette's boyfriend, though not as completely as he'd like to be. Normally he'd be a little gentler about telling them that there's insufficient evidence and they need to find more or cut the suspect loose, or offering suggestions for how to get more evidence; here he flat out says cut the guy loose. With the heavy implication of, you guys fucked up. Which they pretty much did, and if Nick hadn't gone all Grimmerific on the guy they might have been able to get something else out of him. But no, Nick gave him that nice bruise and now it's cut him loose and try not to be hauled up on charges of police brutality. Good going, Nick.

Hank is still the best (drink) and has gotten brutally practical about it. Yes, do smack Nick with the common sense stick, though annoyingly that won't help when he turns out to be right. Nick, you really are threatening the Schakal. In the middle of the precinct. As a Grimm. YOU ARE BEING A MORON QUIT IT. Wu and Intern Chekhov do a walk-and-talk which is really just to get him into the line of sight for this confrontation here; Nick does a little more threatening this time all the way in PUBLIC fucking HELL. I know you're sleep-deprived, Nick, but I also know you know better than this. Renard looks up from his desk and I'm not 100% sure, it's hard to say anything about his reactions for sure with the potion affecting his mental state? But I would guess that Renard can see woge. At the very least, he's skilled enough at reading body language to know when Nick is acting as a Grimm in the middle of his precinct and he would like that shit to stop now. On the one hand I can support him calling Juliette to talk about Nick's behavior under those circumstances, especially because he should be checking to see if Nick's being this erratic at home as well. On the other hand oh god make this plotline end already. Anyway, Hank tries to browbeat Nick some more with the stick of being a cop rather than a Grimm, not that it takes, and we can pretty much see Hank deciding that he needs to tail his partner's dumb ass so Nick doesn't do anything irrevocably stupid.

Juliette, meanwhile, is home from work already, assuming she actually went to work and didn't lie to Nick (I'm not even going to try and sort the timeline on this one), trying to track down Adalind's whereabouts. So something of what the bruja from last ep said did sink in, even if she's trying hard not to admit it to herself. We are all utterly unsurprised by the lack of information she's managed to dig up, I spend awhile twitching over the fact that that home address is across from a middle school according to Googlemaps, and then I start twitching over the incredibly awkward phone call, thank you all very much for this.

I suspect this is going to be a long section, but let's see, shall we? We don't see what number pops up on Juliette's phone but judging by her polite hello, I'm guessing it's either number unknown or a string of numbers with no name attached to them, as you would expect since Renard hasn't called her before. We now can guess that the pen fidgeting from a little bit ago in Renard's office was due to withdrawal-like symptoms from the potion. Renard looks shifty and nervous, something he never does even when he's doing conspiracy-laden things. He's also never, ever introduced himself as Sean Renard before; the closest we've seen is Captain Sean Renard. Unusually for him, he doesn't close the office door first, though that may have been an attempt to fend off the potion by assuming she wouldn't answer and then he'd just be leaving a quick voicemail. But since she does pick up, he's going to act like a schoolboy with a crush. Have I mentioned how much I hate watching two strong, vibrant characters be mind-raped into a mutual attraction? Because I do. Juliette shifts the phone to her other hand offscreen and scratches her head, a nervous tic to go along with the more nervous, confused tone she adopts. Renard paces a bit in his office, fidgeting with his stance, the hand not holding his phone in his pocket. More verbal tics, too; Renard doesn't do verbal pauses normally, but "well you know um" is a whole series of them. (Three, in fact. Take a drink.) Of course he wants to know if Nick is there, but not for the reasons he states. Stupid potion. The words in this conversation are less important than the fact that he's working around to asking Juliette out for coffee; meantime we have a series of wide, high shots traditionally used for death-from-above. They match, of course, and though we don't have enough evidence about that corner office space to say one way or the other, we do have lots of shots of Renard's office and I have never seen this angle used. (There are binders on that bookcase. I am avoiding making sad, sad jokes about Renard's binders full of women in an attempt to lighten the mood.) And now it's Juliette's turn to pace and shove a hand in her pocket goddammit you two stop smiling. (You're going to see that a lot, this post.) There really isn't any reason that they have to meet for coffee, though making it a scheduled phone call would probably be more conducive were they actually intending to discuss Nick's mental state. Sigh. Juliette is hesitant, Renard is assertive/aggressive in setting a place and time, and she looks confused about why she's happy when she hangs up. You should be, honey.

Hey, look, they brought Monroe back into the main Grimming plot of the episode again! Still can't wait to see Rosalee back, but this is acceptable for now. Far less awkward than having to cram him in around the edges as in the last couple eps. Serum magsolomogesis canaria is I think what he says, which is terrible terrible fake Latin that doesn't mean anything. Even "canaria" is canary, not canine/dog. Oh Monroe I love you and your snark about priests, though I can't say he's wrong. When I finish dying of laughter Monroe's apparently getting better at this potions-making thing and oh look, it's another blue flame. This one for a potion instead of a brand, and yes, thank you, we get the contrast you're pounding into our heads here. Dropping onto our toes, both, whichever. Nick takes the potion and the crossbow and waits for nightfall to come back to Zane's house and I spend awhile shrieking at the screen about wearing gloves. Oh my god seriously Nick, I know fingerprinting commonly used surfaces isn't as easy as TV procedurals make it out to be but that's no goddamn excuse for this kind of sloppiness. There's nothing obviously out of place in the upstairs, aside from general messiness, which means Intern Chekhov either drugged him without a fight or fought him elsewhere. Yes, Nick, the basement! Where of course Zane would be keeping the kidnap victim seriously, CSI's been all over this place, I don't know what he thinks he's going to find. Presumably he's met with the girl's parents and knows they're not Wesen, so what we appear to have is Wesen engaging in run of the mill human-style crime. Not that this matters to Zane now that he's been tortured and killed! Hey, that bootprint even looks right for the boots we've seen our friendly local vigilante intern wearing. This, by the way, is about the point at which I guessed that he either was a Wesen wannabe Grimm or that he came from a family of Grimms but hadn't gotten the inheritance yet. But this isn't an ep that's about the mystery of it so much as the character reactions, so! Speaking of, hi Hank trying to back your partner up and finding him in an incredibly compromising position. Nick's so tired that he's babbling in his efforts to clear his name and yeah, Nick, Hank believes you. You're a crap liar normally and you're too tired to put in even the usual effort now. Hank gets himself in even further by encouraging Nick to get rid of the crossbow and Nick that is not a sidearm you do not mock-holster it under your jacket. I look up from faceplanting into the desk in time to see Wu leading the charge up to the house. I love you Wu. And it's exposition time! The vigilante Grimm apparently went through all the torture to get Zane to confess over a phone call to 911. This can't possibly go wrong, and by the way, this is a really clear indication that whoever this guy is he fancies himself an assistant to the police force. They should be looking for someone inserting himself ('cause it's usually a male) into the investigation. I'd say or watching more Criminal Minds but this actually is criminology... well, maybe 301, subset vigilante serial killers, but still and nonetheless it's not that unusual a pattern.

We never do get whatever explanation Nick and Hank give (assuming they give one rather than letting the body do the distracting for them) for being on the crime scene before the uniformed officers turned up in response to the 911 call, but moving along to Wu's snarky quip. Indeed, Wu, thank you for lampshading that torture usually doesn't elicit any kind of accurate confession. The only reason it's different here is that Nick did see what he think he saw in that stove. Hi Renard, and here he's right back to being the Captain. There are, in fact, many reasons to be worried over Nick and his whereabouts. For all that Renard (and Nick and Hank) are relieved over Donna Reynolds being found, his general attitude until he's talking to her is that of a harried police captain, as you might expect. There's a lot of paperwork to handle in this case, and learning that Zane was tortured and murdered for a confession lands a whole other case and set of paperwork on his desk. That's not Franco, that's a new extra asking how Renard wants to handle the press who are, of course, frothing at the mouth over this one. The forehead scratch is a nervous tic since the potion but a justified one, since the press will be even worse when they get hold of the Zane murder, so Renard buys himself some time to think up a formal statement and hopefully get more information on the murder investigation. And then he ends the phone call and drops fully into comforting Captain persona, as much as a guy that size can be comforting. (I am, by the way, willing to call The Other Side a fluke in the casting at this point, since Donna is never shamed or depicted as anything other than a frightened teenage girl. I just really wish there hadn't been that much casting fail on it.) He starts with the most important information, that she'll get to see her parents soon, when and where, and note that he introduces himself as Captain Renard again, no first name, in case we didn't see how much of an anomaly that was earlier. Yeah. Only after he delivers the reassurance of familiar faces to come does he tell her that they got the guy and make promises about everything being okay. It's very good victim-handling, in that he's delivering reassurance-vengeance-reassurance type news. Not, perhaps, what would be most reassuring to Renard himself, but he's familiar by now with how normal people work.

And now to the torture tapes. For all that they're all experienced cops, nobody's happy about listening to this or used to listening to torture. Except probably Renard, and he's still unhappy about it. Nick, Hank, and Wu all have various fidgeting tendencies, though Nick's is most muted probably because he a) has a clue about torture implements after nearly a year with Aunt Marie's trailer and b) he's fucking exhausted. Renard, by contrast, is more checking on the state of his men, and also not quite rolling his eyes. But yes, Renard, that's amateur hour. Physical torture rarely gets you actual confessions, especially not when you're leading the witness, as we see later. Aaaand enter Intern Chekhov, this time with coffees for the three staying to work the case late. I suppose that's being useful. Definitely doesn't weigh against torturing and killing people, Chekhov, and we can see how much of a sociopath he is by how little doing that has affected him. Or rather, how little it's affected him negatively. He's all bright-eyed and bouncy. And his "oh god" on seeing the crime scene photos (Renard, did you have Wu pull those up in front of the intern because you suspected he was hinky? I would so not put it past him) is at least a beat too late to be believable. Nobody quite notices, because they're late and tired. Certainly Wu's "stick around" is a form of hazing the new guy. I still wouldn't want to play poker against Renard, because he knows damn well what that symbol means and he's going to have to let Nick figure it out on his own. Hank checks with Renard to find out what they'll be contending with for crank calls, press asking for more information, wild speculation, etc., and I stop and go back and stare at Renard, because vigilAHNte is not a traditional American pronunciation. I'm not sure if that's Roiz or Renard, but it definitely points up the Not From Around Here aspect of Renard's character. Also the part where he's too goddamn tired from fighting off the potion to watch his accent. Renard goes off to give his press conference, thank you Franco (and this is one of the few cases where there's quite a bit of both Franco and Wu) and Nick leans over to look at that symbol. Off to the left on our screens (or the sinister, in other words, I see what you guys did there), Intern Chekhov mirrors him. Yaaaay foreshadowing. With anvils.

So apparently Grimmverse uses numbered precincts instead of directional precinct names (actual Portland has North, Central, and East), which keeps us from having to try and do a map layover on what the real precinct boundaries are. Thank fuck, because it would've made my head hurt. I love the pointed "in seclusion" comment in the press conference, subtext "so don't you fuckers go breaking down her door." Overprotective Captain is my favorite Captain. Meanwhile we swing over to Bud's place and then to Monroe's place and now we learn the real reason Renard wanted to release all the information. Because this way Nick gets to find out what the symbol means immediately! As his phone rings off the hook with TERRIFIED WESEN. Clever, Renard. Very clever. Bud is still adorable and protecting his wife and family from finding out about this at least until he confirms it's not Nick. Monroe's hand is actually shaking when he reaches for that phone, oh Monroe, and then I'm distracted by snickering quietly. HI SAM ADAMA. I mean Adams. Actual mayor of Portland! My snickering over Hank's snark is far less quiet and far more hands flailing at the screen. That was an awesome line, I love whoever wrote that and I love Russell Hornsby's dry delivery of it. Though I think we still never end up with an answer about what they did come up with to put in that report to explain their presence at Zane's murder scene. Too distracted by Bud's end of the world scenario, as his turning off the TV neatly coincides with that ad break.

Back in River City Portland (Monroe I will trade you Broadway references any day of the week and twice on Sundays), Monroe is explaining Wesen traditions and I'm dying over finally getting some more worldbuilding in that direction. I still don't know how neither Nick nor Hank recognized that as a G and made the logical leap there; I'd excuse Hank on the grounds of less familiar with odd typefonts but Nick's been studying the Grimm diaries in all kinds of languages for the past 10, 12 months? No excuse, dude. Though I kind of think he suspected and didn't want to believe. Monroe is about as frazzled as we've seen him even though he's gotten himself under some degree of control during the time it took Nick and Hank to get there, just to emphasize the gravity of the situation. The name he gives, by the way, is Alptraume (or Albtraume, I think Alp is the older version) für Wesenkinder, which roughly translated is Nightmares for Wesen Children. And the name for the Grimms is I think Endezeichen, which loosely translates to "end sign." No wonder Bud thought it was a sign of the end of the world, with a name like that in the stories. I adore the fact that the Wesen have a fairy tale book about Grimms and how to avoid them. And then I have to stop and stare really hard at everyone for using the term pogroms to refer to how the Endezeichengrimm dealt with Wesen - it does sound like a somewhat accurate description on the one hand? On the other that is not a usual term to hear in the US for violent persecution. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, it's specific to anti-Semitism. You will of course all know of Kristallnacht, probably the best known example of a pogrom. Typically, when one says the pogroms, one means the late 1800s/early 1900s attacks in the Russian Empire, though obviously there were waves of anti-Semitic violence throughout history. Pogrom may be used as a term to refer to mob violence against other ethnic groups, but its primary usage is to refer to violence against Jews. The reason I side-eye the writers and Monroe for the usage here is that pogroms are typically mob violence on a riot-sized scale, whereas the Endezeichengrimm sound like somewhat more organized groups of vigilantes. That said, all of the other parallels are in place, including branding (and it sounds like killing) every person who harbored Wesen in their village. Yeah. This? This is my Do Not Taunt The Happy Fun Analyst face.

(For the record: yes, we have Jewish heritage. Yes, we both have family history involving the pogroms. Yes, we will fuck your shit up in the unlikely event that anyone comes in and spouts bullshit in the comments; this is a Sensitive Topic for your bloggers. (K: We love you guys, but this is personal.) I'm not even necessarily displeased with the writers, just really REALLY wary of the extent to which they're pulling from anti-Semitic sections of history, and I dearly hope that Sasha Roiz will smack them if they fuck it up. And moreover, that they'll listen. This is a part of history that should come with warning labels. Explosive. Handle With Care. Etc.)

That digression over for the moment, we move on to more German YAY. What Monroe says here is the Sterbestunde, which must be a somewhat antiquated form of "hour of death," because death, in German, is der Tod. Sterben, however, is the infinitive meaning "to die," so presumably a more literal translation would be dying hour. Anyway, thus we have our episode title. Then I stop my translating to capslock at Kitty and swear about the FOURTH FUCKING CRUSADE REALLY YOU GUYS? At this point I'm so glad we got that timeline up. So apparently this happened right after the seven ancestral Grimms got together and made the map that led to the treasure that can end the world. Sure. That's not significant at all, and I have a nice piece of real estate to sell you if you believe that. Hank is distracted by testicles - okay, I might be too even without the proper equipment - and Monroe has to assume that this is another Grimm in light of available evidence. Hank and Monroe cheerfully lampshade the ends justifying the means some more, which Nick ignores because of course it mattered to Donna Reynolds. Nick? That's not the lesson you should be taking away from this. Monroe's lesson is at least closer to the mark, in that if Nick wants to keep doing his job and maintain all the trust he's earned since he became a Grimm, he miiiight wanna catch this guy before he's right back to "OH GOD PLEASE DON'T KILL ME" from everyone ever and nobody calming down and sources drying up. 'cause that'd be really unfortunate.

Oh, hey, Vienna! At first I tense up because Adalind, but no, Claire Coffee wasn't in the credits, so it must be the canary. Hi canary! And then he never comes back again, or not this ep, so I have to assume that mostly this is to establish that the person tortured and killed mentioned in last ep was someone else and the canary is alive and well and chirping away. He's a little less nervous as compared to usual, as you might expect since he's in a car rather than wandering around Eric's castle, but an Endezeichen is good for nobody. As usual. The canary will now proceed to freak out that he might be out of the loop and what if that means he's been discovered, and that should prove interesting for everyone. Especially since he hasn't been. I really hope Renard called him up later, assuming he found out what the kid actually is, and told his canary it was a false alarm. I would like to hypothesize at this point, by the way, that the Duval mentioned last ep was the guy Eric was torturing back in The Kiss, which means Renard? Is working with the Lauffeuer. Renaaaaaaard. Why are you working with the Lauffeuer? 'cause I'm not dumb enough to think you're working for them. What the hell is your endgame here? As usual, with every even implicit answer we have half a dozen new questions. Though Kitty points out that if the assumption is correct it explains how the hell Renard knew about the spice shop in the first place.

We don't get much time to ponder them just yet, since Nick has to be scolded for not doing his job as a Grimm by Intern Chekhov with a really craptastic voice modifier. Who's apparently watching Nick from somewhere outside the house and that's quite disturbing, thank you. Nick, you are really tired, your Grimmstincts should be going off right now. Intern Chekhov, please stop caressing the keyboard like that, it's disgusting. Aaand technologically competent serial killers are the worst. I disapprove. Ooh, more hypothesizing time, since we never get an answer on this? I would bet that Nick laughing at him when he tripped over the trash can is what set Ryan off down his merry path of sociopathic NO I'M A BETTER GRIMM THAN YOU self-loathing serial killing. Not the sole trigger, witness the alcoholic mother and absent father (not to mention being played by Michael Grant Terry; at that point his fate was kinda sealed), but definitely the one that turned him from hero worship to maniacal cackling I'LL SHOW THEM ALL. Nice cut from the upload to next morning at the precinct with the cop crew gathered around watching, and note how Intern Chekhov doesn't come over until Nick shows up? Yeah, someone wants to see the reaction. He looks like a curious puppy throughout this scene, which makes me want to smack him. On the nose. With a frying pan until he stops murdering all the Wesen. I hate vigilante serial killers. Renard is... more resigned than anything, I think he guessed this would go out based on what they already knew. Proud of his work. Heh. It's the only thing he is proud of. Wu has the best line in the scene, as usual (death of its own. hah), and Nick takes advantage of going off to talk to Donna Reynolds to tell Hank about his stalker-tastic phone call. Thank you, Hank, you get a turn with the Captain Obvious hat.

They didn't have to show us all of this scene, but it's a good one. Good detective work, mostly on Hank's part. We're clearly informed that none of these people are Wesen, because Donna should have woged out at least at the beginning of recounting her abduction and she doesn't. And yeah, Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds, as horrible as it is they do have to alibi you. If for no other reason than to give the DA that bit of evidence to use when they finally catch whoever's responsible. And oh look! There must have been a second person with them, because Zane wouldn't have been able to re-chloroform the poor girl and drive at the same time. Not unless he's telekinetic. (Wrong show.) Which means they get to go back through security footage and wow these guys were sloppy. Left ten minutes after Donna was taken and it was the only panel van all night? They could at least have picked a delivery night to do it, businesses often have panel vans bringing things in at least once a month if not once a week, and that would've expanded the pool the cops had to look at. I do love a stupid criminal, though I confess to wondering for a bit if this guy was maybe a patsy for the actual driver. No, no, they really were THAT dumb. I have to assume that everyone in Portland has a general idea of what Nick looks like by now, because there's no other reason I can think of for Burner [Birnham?] to have freaked out about his presence before he woged rather than after. Every other Wesen we've seen recognized Nick as a Grimm after they woged out and Nick made his usual "oh hi you're a Wesen" face. And the only real purpose of that march into the station and interrogation room is so we can get a nice solid look at Intern Chekhov's "ooh new victim" eyegleam. Ew.

Kitty had to coax me out from under the desk before I wrote this scene up, but okay, here goes nothin. Juliette goes in wearing a very similar sweater to the one she had on yesterday, only this time it's dark cami and dark sweater. Yes, thank you, we get the dichotomy of dark and light you're playing with, guys, stop making my toes hurt from all those anvils. (I do, however, like her sweater and want a pattern for it so I can make it. What. Stop looking at me like that.) Also the bad sunglasses disguise that's reminiscent of Renard's own bad sunglasses disguise. You've all been watching too many spy movies. She's a little bit nervous coming in, but not nearly so nervous as Renard sitting at the table fidgeting with his tea (note: tea and not coffee despite his invitation to her yesterday), sighing, and generally looking like he knows he shouldn't be here but he's committed to it now. That's pretty accurate oh my god you two stop smiling. Augh. The kind of happy bright smiles that they sort of to definitely know they shouldn't be letting out but can't help. Juliette politely turns down his offer for a drink, which leaves her an easy escape route later on, and meanwhile I go to hide under the desk again because they're shooting Roiz with his eyes so light green they're practically gray. Which is just eerie, unnerving, disturbing, and all manner of other synonyms for fucking creepy quit it. Even thoroughly potion-whammed, Renard can manage to turn some of this to his advantage! Find out what Juliette remembers about waking up, because it would be bad if she remembered you were there, RIGHT, Renard? After he asks her that she drops her eyes, not wanting to look at him as she remembers this; he spends the entire time being unable to take his eyes off her for more than a second at a time. And there's the nervous tic, index finger scratching at his temple, again. At this point I'm going to just say this is the tic of Renard fighting the potion, trying to redirect the impulses it's instilling in him. Then he's self-deprecating, he's sure he's not telling her anything she doesn't already know, and this? This is something we never see Renard do. Except when he's using every ounce of his resources to fight spell-whammied. After Juliette finishes recounting what she remembers of the hospital she can't take her eyes off him, either, and it's shot so that it's not just the polite way of two people having a talk. No, this is shot and acted to emphasize the compulsion aspect. Renard, you could replace your third person pronouns with first person throughout this bit and it would still be accurate and that makes me very, very sad. This is way, way above and beyond the call of duty for a police captain, I'm pretty sure. He should be encouraging Nick to go see the department shrink or, failing that since it's not technically line of police duty, encouraging him to find an outside shrink who's used to working with cops. And maybe tactfully suggesting that Juliette do the same and/or that they go to couples counseling. Not having coffee dates with his detective's girlfriend.

I wonder just how many people Renard's gotten secrets out of with that comforting, gentle expression. I wonder how many people have seen it be real and neither potion-induced nor calculated. I would guess maybe two: his wife and his daughter. And with this shot we see how close they are, heads bent over the table telling each other confidences. I have to admit, I too would be resentful of a stranger who knew everything about me. Not just the kind of things you can find by googling my pseuds, but everything down to how I am in the mornings and what my favorite foods are and how best to comfort me after a bad day and yeah. It'd be disturbing. I would want to run away and have my space after awhile too. Hello, Juliette, Freud called. Your slip is showing. That's the first verbal indication we've had that the potion is working on her, too, which I think means it's the first absolutely clear sign Renard's gotten that she's feeling the effects. If I were him I'd have been writing off all the signs of interest as being overanalytical and of course she doesn't feel that way - not so much in hopes that it's true as another line of defense against the potion. If you can talk your brain into believing something, after all, you can match your behavior to it a lot better. But no, now he can't argue with himself, so he reaches out and takes her hand argh. I do not have enough swear words for this, not even with four languages. (K: I don't have enough swear words for this in seven.) She starts as if to move away but doesn't, presumably because the potion just kicked her in the brainpan, and Renard looks faintly apologetic, like he knows what a presumption that was. What happened to her wasn't her fault, heh, I'd bet that's because he blames himself at least in part. And that breaks the moment (I'd say the spell but alas, no) and she takes her hand back and runs away, the way you do when someone pushes a little too far. BUT WAIT, she's left her sunglasses. Yeah, that was totally potion-influenced on purpose leaving him an excuse to see her again.

Oh thank god more of Nick being stupid in interrogation. Nick, why are you even in there to start with? Really? This guy already freaked the hell out that you were going to kill him, Hank, why did you let him in there. This is not what we call conducive to a good suspect interview. See? He lawyered up already. You all fail at this. And some unusual shots of what the interrogation room footage looks like, all grainy and black-and-white (heh. heh heh) to indicate that Intern Chekhov is watching in the other room. 'cause he is. Ooh, hey, but taking a break nets them going to see the CSU guys, nets them proof that these are the stupidest criminals ever. Or at least that we've seen in awhile on this show. Copious amounts of forensic evidence AND THE PURSE. Wow. I like how the tech came to get them so that there were witnesses of the "no, really, I didn't plant this evidence, they were just that dumb" variety. Because she can barely believe it, and it'd be good to ensure the chain of evidence for the DA. Not that they say any of this, just that it's a good idea, as much trouble as this case has been with the vigilante killer out there. BUT WAIT, Franco has bad news: someone cut the guy loose while they were off facepalming at the evidence in the van. And Hank and Nick know immediately what must have happened, so they send SERT (Special Emergency Response Team; it's what Portland PD calls SWAT and it's a nice touch of realism) out to Burner's or whatever the hell his last name is, house. Well, Hank does, both as senior partner and as the cop who's more with it on this set of cases. Too late, as we all know by law of narrative convention, but they have to try. This time there wasn't a need for torture to elicit a confession, so Ryan's only taken the time to slash his throat, brand his cheek, cut a G into his right pectoral, and slap a bloody sigil up on the wall. For one, this reminds me of The Mentalist in uncomfortable ways; for two, there are three instances of the Sterbestunde. Yay Rule of Three. No, wait, there's a fourth wall sigil over there. Just to break the pattern, and also presumably to indicate the zealotry with which our Intern Chekhov believes in what he's doing. Nick looks as much annoyed as uncomfortable when the SERT guy comes out to tell them that someone else found their guy first, which goes to indicate just how little he gives a shit about if this guy lived or died. Nick, that's a really fine line you're walking there, watch it. Also it's telling how far Ryan's pathology has deteriorated that even knowing the cops would surely be after him within minutes, that he still took the time to do three sigils. Even as sloppy as they are. And going by the blood spatter he managed to only catch the jugular rather than the carotid? That's either mildly impressive or very sloppy and I'm better on the latter. (Even if my old Bones-watching instincts want to say the former. No, self, this is not the squintern.) By the way, minus one million points for vigilante justice that means they now have no links to the buyer for Donna Reynolds, which means the (assumed) sex slave trade will continue. AWESOME. THANKS A BUNCH. Which just demonstrates further the extent to which Ryan can't focus on the long term benefits because he's so obsessed with short term Showing Everyone (Maniacal Cackle), in terms of both Wesen deaths and human life. Hey, Nick. You just realized it has to be someone in the precinct. No, not a cop. By the way, who's the newest person in? Who's been inserting himself into this investigation? Sigh. I mean, I know they need proof, but this is so blindingly obvious it makes my head hurt. Oh, hey, there's another stalkery phone call from Ryan! Notably he does not claim to be a Grimm in this phone call. "You're a Grimm?" "More than you'll ever be." Which isn't a claim to the bloodline, just to the activity.

Dammit, Bud, don't show up at the precinct with the serial killer. Please? I know you don't know but... sigh. Aheh. Nick comes over to see him, and we get a nice shot off in the distance of Intern Chekhov wandering off after Bud's woged and then cleared back to human appearance. I whimper at the screen and hope the kidnapping will only be a kidnapping, and it turns out Bud's showing up as the local Wesen representative, it's not clear but I assume he's mostly there for all the Eisbiebers rather than Wesen in general. Might be both! Nick needs to clear the case before he loses all his reputation with the local Wesen for being a fair and even-handed Grimm who happens to be a cop, a reputation I'm currently questioning on the strength of his behavior this ep anyway. Bud closes with the politest euphemism for "I'm not getting sleep OR sex and I'm stressed out ENOUGH" I've heard in awhile, and Hank has a break in the case! Ryan managed that very neatly but for the reflection, I will say, and he also manages to look more like a creepy serial killer and less like an overgrown puppy in that shot for a change. Partly an effect of the blurry footage, but also partly an effect of the hands clasped in front of him. Which changes to hands clasped behind him as he stalks Bud. Yay - no, wait, the other thing. He doesn't even say words to Bud, which really really should have tipped the poor guy off to his behavior, but not in time to avoid getting stabbed with a needle.

I remain astonished at the slipshod police work in here. Why on earth would they go to Ryan's place to start with when all other victims have been killed in their own homes? Or at least not send patrol cars to Bud's home or work (or one followed by the other when they're not at Bud's house). Answer me that. It does serve to give us a scene with Ryan's mother, who is clearly an alcoholic. She reminds me of no one so much as a young Jane Lynch playing Spencer Reid's mother on Criminal Minds, in fact, and for a time I wondered if maybe he was a Grimm, and his mother had been driven insane because she went Grimm with no training at a young age. I'm just saying, the visual parallels between schizophrenic mother and Grimm mother? Totally would've worked. Nick interviews the mother in case she woges out (which, notably, she doesn't though you'd kind of expect her to under the circumstances, unless she's on enough downers to slow that reaction?) while Hank clears the house and finds Ryan's stalker-tastic murderboard. Ryan hated who they were, and given what we see of him later I... can't really blame him. That's a very, very neat stalker board, for someone as far gone as Ryan obviously is. Though it does give us a nice view of a bunch of headlines which neatly summarize all of last season; I can track the pilot through Lonelyhearts through Three Coins through the Kimura eps. And that's without getting really nitpicky and specific. Also I think the last rescue pic we see, of Nick with the little girl, is of the sociopathic Drang-Zorn from Bottle Imp, which is nicely poetic and highlights the similarity/parallel/phenomenon of looks-harmless-but-is-secretly-murderous-sociopath. Then a couple other more stalker-style photos, then rushing out the door to find Bud. Yes. That would be a good idea. At least Nick hasn't declared Intern Chekhov a Grimm sight unseen, even though he didn't see the mother woge so it would be a reasonable assumption. Checking on where Bud is, yes, you could have done that in the car on the way over to Ryan's place.

Anyway. Because they're Our Heroes they of course will get there in time, though first we need to have a scene of intimidation and threatened torture. I spend most of this scene hiding from the possibility of torturing Bud the awesomest Eisbieber, and then facepalming at the outfit. CAPE AND MASK? REALLY? Wow, Intern Chekhov, when you jump off the deep end you spare no lengths. Bud keeps prodding at Ryan's softest bits without realizing it, though it probably nets him the little bit of time necessary for Hank and Nick to get there. I love Hank's little look at the chains stringing Bud up, assessing whether or not he's in any immediate danger and then deciding to go help Nick deal with the serial killer instead of getting Bud down. I have to say it's a good decision: potentially dislocated shoulders are easier to recover from than whatever happens if Nick doesn't have backup. Plus, of course, he's been a bit off the rails this ep, so Hank wants to be sure nothing happens. Like shooting people with crossbows. Metaphorically speaking, at least this time. And this, kid, is why you don't wear giant cape-cloak things when you plan to commit multiple murders. It gets in your way when the running starts. (This outfit, by the way, is extremely reminiscent of Salieri's costume from Don Giovanni when he's trying to scare Mozart shitless in Amadeus. Kitty and I pause to laugh and weep tears of blood in chat. The incompetent pretender trying to intimidate the real thing! Oh yes. Someone out there had FUN costuming for this one.) When I stop beating my head against the wall Intern Chekhov is laying all his guns out so Nick can see them and giving us lovely sociopathic batshit commentary on what he was trying to do. Yes, Ryan, we know what you were trying to OH DEAR GOD WHAT IS THAT THING. No, seriously, we never get a scene with Nick in the trailer going "what the fuck was that," so all we can do right now is speculate. I dearly hope that either next week or in deleted scenes we get some kind of information on that. It looks like a lamprey Wesen, if anything, but it is truly fucking hideous. I mean, even the Hasslich aren't this ugly, they have a basic humanoid shape to them. Ryan would like Nick to kill him now please. I would just like him to stop wogeing thank you Nick. Now go take steel wool to your hands. Whatever Ryan is, he's being hauled off now while Wu snarks about psych profiles. Wu, we at Chandler & Hammett would like to offer our services. I'm going to have nightmares tonight, and Bud is hugging the cops because he might be the adorablest ever, and Intern Chekhov is back to looking like a sad lost puppy out the back window of the squad car.

Nick gives us our segue into the last scene here. I'm going to hurt someone for this lampshade, seriously. Whatever he is, it's not what he wants to be? Really? As Renard knocks on Juliette's door. I hate you guys. She's in the kitchen cleaning up from dinner and hesitates when she sees who's at the door. Highlighting, again, how fucking tall he is, that you can see his entire head in that glass pane. Neither one of them can stop smiling again, and the pleasantries are heavily charged, and nobody believes that their house is on your way home, Renard. Not unless his new condo is in a significantly different location from the old one, which I'm pretty sure we've established it's not. Just a different side of the building, or maybe a different building in the Pearl. Juliette tries to apologize for running off but Renard doesn't even let her get to an explanation before brushing it off. Dammit, Renard, I was curious to know what her justification for that was. (Which is probably why he cut her off: he's curious too, and he knows he shouldn't be.) And then he tries to turn away, fails, and ends up kissing her. It is, for all that the potion's working on them both, a relatively chaste kiss, probably the only remnant of control he has left. This next part I have to assume is more of the potion working, because I believe Renard was out the door before Juliette ever opened her eyes in the hospital (K: He was.), meaning that she's extrapolating from two kisses that it was Renard back then. Now, I don't know about you, but I severely doubt my ability to distinguish an individual's lips (yes, even Sasha Roiz's, I see all those jokes you're making back there) just out of a three-day coma. I think I'd write it off, even with additional sense memory, as a weird coincidence. The way this is shot, too, indicates that Juliette was somehow aware of her surroundings more than was previously assumed, but that the memory is only triggered because he kisses her again. Anything he could say to that in reply would be just as dangerous as kissing her again, so sure, let's kiss her again, Renard, godfuckingdammit this potion had better have an awesome payoff. Like Renard working with the rest of them. Juliette responds for a couple seconds before having her oh-shit moment and pulling away, backing up, and it takes her a good four, five seconds of standing there staring about at his chest before she actually reaches to close the door. Probably partly stunned, partly the potion trying to convince her to drag Renard inside by his tie and have her way with him. But she does get the door closed, and Renard pauses to scrub at his mouth as he turns away, with a look of concealed horror at how much this is getting to him. Oh yes. I would be too. Meanwhile, Juliette slumps with her back to the door and looks like she's about to cry angry/confused tears. Again with the I would be too. I feel so, so bad for all of them.

Next week on Grimm! Or is it two weeks? 'cause this promo is awfully unclear, with its "only two episodes left this year" bit. Adalind's back! Everyone is so fucked. From Nick and Renard to Hank and Juliette. WILL WU SAVE THEM ALL? We can only hope.


  1. Intern Chekhov's woge reminded me of nothing quite so much as the flukemonster from The X-Files.

    1. Flukeman! I remember flukeman! If we have a flukeworm Wesen on our hands I think I'm going to have to evacuate my very tasty dinner. It does look something like a fluke-lamprey-worm with sucker-shaped concentric-mouth-having pointy-teeth thing. I wonder if the NBC website is going to explain it to us in the absence of Nick going into the books and doing so.

    2. I was disappointed in how little information/background we got on Intern Chekhov. Which makes me wonder if he's going to turn up again or if there's more to him than just "self-loathing lamprey Wesen".

    3. I feel like there really has to be something there, but then I've said that on and off throughout this season and they only sometimes deliver. So... hopefully there's at least a line reference. I know there've been other Wesen who disliked what they were, though that was more obviously a case of hating how others treated them (Mausherz, Reinigen) or of hating what their biology enforced on them (Spinnetod). So. Ponder. That's an interesting theme there.

  2. OH GOD THIS EP DESTROYED ME. I am also horrified to learn there are only two episodes left, because there is absolutely no way they can tie up all the threads they've started running this season in a remotely satisfying fashion. Eric and Adalind, Renard and Juliette, Nick and Juliette, the general issue of what the Family is playing at, Nick's new freaky overzealousness (hopefully that's a one-off? But I doubt it; it's a natural thing for the character to struggle with, but if they're going to do it properly I wish they'd started earlier. Though I suppose that whole "summarily murder the guy in my trailer and dump the body" thing might have been a clue.). I'm not worried about the coins or Kelly, because it seems clear that's a much longer-term arc. I have some hope given the titles of the last two episodes, though. (Is it coming back later though? Because otherwise this season is half the length of the last, which, what?)

    ANYWAY, I, too, was terrified for adorable Bud and happy to see Monroe back in the game. The horror of Renard and Juliette kissing (RENARD ARE YOU SURE NICK'S NOT COMING HOME WTF) was offset a little for me by her newfound inquisitiveness and recollection of Renard's role in waking her up. My dream plot of him just taking her to Monroe to fix them both seems a bit more plausible now.

    I really, really hope that since they're coming up to the end, the next two eps will have greater continuity than normal, because I desperately want to understand more about how Ryan arrived at this state of mind. I don't think we've ever seen self-loathing Wesen like that before; the closest thing would be the therapist guy from the Bigfoot episode. Also, this is probably purely associative, but Ryan's murder suit reminded me immediately of some of the frankly terrifying costumes I've seen in Semana Santa processions in Andalucía, which led me to > Spanish Catholic Church > Inquisition > more historical instances of systematically targeting Jews for violence. Like I said, probably that's just a product of my particular brain.

    I, also with Jewish heritage, kind of liked that they brought in pogroms. The show's been steadily developing a theme of Wesen being treated as guilty simply by birth, whether it's Nick's ancestors, Nick's increasingly, uh, proactive behavior toward Wesen suspects, and especially Hank's reactions to the subject ("Just because he's Wesen doesn't mean he's guilty, right?"). If I were Hank, I'd be thinking real hard about racial profiling and what happens to black men in the justice system. This parallels that in a way that may speak to a different chunk of the audience and ties in better with the European history (remember what we saw of Franco's Spain?). I haven't seen them do anything with Jewish parallels that bothered me, though of course YMMV. It also functions as shorthand for much of America for "this was really, really terrible," which could be called exploitative but at least is coming from a place of sympathy.

    Sorry I keep rambling all over your posts! I really appreciate all the research and detail you put into this.

    1. Two eps THIS YEAR, then they go on holiday hiatus and come back with the back ten eps. I fully expect the mid-season hiatus to end on some massive annoying cliffhanger, probably regarding the cure for Renard and Juliette. Definitely don't expect ANY answers re: the Family(ies) for most of this season; they seem to be dragging that out more obviously but nearly as slowly as the coins arc. Which makes sense, since I suspect the keys and the coins are more linked than we've been led to believe.

      We've had the Reinigen, the Mausherz, and the Spinnetod last season for Wesen who had some degree of self-loathing, but the Reinigen were a clear case of classism in both human and Wesen worlds and the Mausherz didn't seem to be exactly representative. The Spinnetod are about as close as they've come, and there we had a REASON, not just the OH DEAR GOD WHAT IS THAT THING nature of the beast. As it were. And while it may be somewhat a product of your particular associations I wouldn't put ANYTHING past this writers' room; they have more history in here than we can shake a stick at.

      I definitely like that they brought those up instead of, say, the Holocaust. *wry* And I haven't seen anything YET, but it's so, so easy to mishandle that I'm a little paranoid. (You can cheerfully blame White Collar and their Nazi treasure plotline for that, if you watched it.) Plus I'm not sure that your average US citizen knows much about the pogroms, we're kind of a skewed subset of the audience here. >.> Certainly it's the sort of thing most people probably see in a history book once or twice in high school and never hear pronounced or have discussions about. I don't really have a conclusion here, it's just not a reference I would pick out as designed to resonate with a US audience. A European one? Yes. Then again, it's far less charged than pulling on African-American history in the US and drawing those parallels.

    2. I think you make an excellent point about how the parallels they're using are less charged than U.S. race relations parallels would be. Choosing European history keeps a lot of American viewers from automatically putting up their mental "shit, not this issue again" walls. (Post-racial America, my *ass*.)

    3. This! Here! Thank you. Is what I was fumbling around trying to conclude in that last paragraph. (But we're COLOR BLIND NOW, DIDN'T YOU KNOW. Because clearly pretending differences don't exist will make them go away.) Ahem. But yeah, it gives American viewers a certain distance that they wouldn't otherwise have. I kind of hope that at some point the writers remind us that these things can, do, happen in the US still? But again with the so easy to mishandle that it makes me nervous.

  3. I think it would be nearly impossible NOT to reach a point where "this still happens" could/would be addressed. Though I understand as a writer how difficult it is to handle sensitive content in a way that doesn't grind the story to a halt for a Very Special Episode. I'm less worried about how Grimm would handle it than I would be for some other shows, but. Yes.

  4. We've been wondering for awhile what Nick looks like to the wesen when they woge. This episode gives me a few ideas regarding what that might be: namely, skulls and skeletons.

    Point 1: Maybe the Sterbestunde sigil is representative. Think about it…when you learn "A is for Apple," you usually have the image of an apple worked into it somewhere. If wesenkinder learn "G is for Grimm" and the Endezeichengrimms designed the brand to be a clear indicator of "GRIMMS WERE HERE," maybe they designed it to look like a skull because that's what they look like to the wesen.

    Point 2: In "La Llorona," Monroe dressed up as a skeleton (complete with skull) for Halloween. It's customary to dress up as what we fear the most, so…maybe he was dressing up as a Grimm. Or maybe it was a little tribute to his new friend Nick.

    Point 3: Monroe's book—Albtarume für Wesenkinder—was written by wesen, for wesen. So it stands to reason that they would illustrate the Grimms the way they look to wesen, as Nick's books illustrate the wesen the way they look to Grimms. Those illustrations show black-clad figures with black faces, empty eye sockets, and wide snarling mouths. (They also have noses, though, which doesn't necessarily support the skull idea.)

    Now, there are four possibilities that I see here. 1.) This is what the Grimms actually look like. 2.) This was meant to be a depiction of dark shadows covering the Grimms' faces. So they could still actually look like skulls, but the illustrations meant to show them as skulls cloaked in darkness. 3.) These illustrations are of Grimm masks, not actual Grimm faces. I found it interesting that the noses and mouths of the faces reminded me of old samurai masks, and then Monroe made a comment about how they roamed the countryside like samurai. Maybe old-time Grimms had a thing for scary masks? They could then still look like skulls under there. 4.) These illustrations are not what the Grimms look like at all, or are little more than a second-hand depiction, due to the Endezeichengrimms wiping out entire villages and leaving few to none alive. This could be simply what someone imagined them to look like, or could've been based on an exaggerated (and terrified, and rare) eyewitness account. Let's not forget that the tales of the Endezeichengrimms date back about 800 years. Given that the illustrative style in that book was somewhat advanced for the 13th century, I think it's safe to say that a fair amount of time passed between the actual events and the recording thereof. (Though even if this was the case, it would still stand to reason that whoever illustrated the book knows what a Grimm looks like. Unless they believed that Endezeichengrimms were inherently different from other Grimms?)

    Whatever. Either way, it's pretty clear that Ryan modeled his Grimm look on a copy of the same book that Monroe has. What Nick looks like to him in real life probably had little to no part in his design of that black mask; the costume, like his expectations, were based entirely upon a legend. So I won't count that part towards figuring out what Grimms look like. But the rest of it…yeah, I'm kinda hoping for those bits to factor into whatever big reveal we eventually get. (We…we DO get a big reveal, right? Please? With dramatic chords and everything? We loves the dramatic chords, Precious.)

    1. The biggest issue I have with the theory of Grimms appearing as skeletons is that skeletons are traditionally the symbols of death. Therefore none of these are strong indicators that the skull symbolizes something more literal than "this is a deadly thing" Unfortunately we might only get a stronger indicator if we get a Wesen-eye view of Nick, or if we find a Wesen text account somewhere. Which, that's also an interesting little thing to note, we haven't as yet seen any major accounts of historical events or personal encounters, just kids stories, from the Wesen point of view. It's all been Nick's ancestors writing histories. Which I find deeply suspicious, either on a lazy writing sense or on a something's going to come out later sense. And actually, given recent developments and all, I'm starting to lean back to the something's going to come out later.

      That said, though, I like the theory that the skull illustrations are a reference to Grimm masks. It seems in keeping with the Grimm approach, barring Nick of course, that they would want to be the bogeymen in the night; skull masks would be a great way to do that. Bonus points for using actual skulls. I kind of wonder if the book and it's pictures aren't kind of like plague doctors by current times; an image of a creature or person or role that's not well understood now, except that it was a harbinger of bad things, has been simplified for passing down, and looks fucking scary.

      Either which way, I would love that reveal and I would love to find out more about the Endezeichengrimms. For great data. And chewing.