Saturday, March 9, 2013

A Democratic Drawbridge Grimm S2E13 Face Off

Hello, welcome back, we missed you! Readers-you and show-you both. Last time on Grimm there was a lot of swearing, a lot of capslocking, and a lot of facedesking, and this week promises to be more of the same. The previouslies give us, out of the many many things that happened in the last half season, Juliette confessing her inexplicable feelings to Nick, Hank and Nick discussing Adalind's inexplicable visit, Adalind making entirely explicable threats in Renard's general direction (really, Adalind, this is not making me feel better about your survival instincts), Renard at the trailer, and Monroe utterly fucking up at telling Nick about the Captain and Juliette. Really, you couldn't have led with "love potion mindfuckery"?

Today's opening quote comes oh fuck everything. That's the abbreviated version of my reaction when I sourced it. Today's opening quote comes from an Allied military commander and hero, Ferdinand Foch. First World War, not Second, but still and nonetheless we will now be capslocking to here and back. For those of you just joining us, we've been drawing Axis and Allies parallels since last season, and there are posts to that effect. Now it's just getting blatant. This comes, I believe, from his lectures on military history and strategy/tactics, but since I haven't read them I couldn't say. Though now I'm tempted. The backdrop to all of this, of course, is the key which is the source of tonight's conflict. I'd say the specification isn't necessary except sometimes it's the key, sometimes it's the coin, sometimes the part of the McGuffin is played by Nick himself. Tonight, the key.

And we open on the news broadcast that Monroe was showing Nick, in fact, on roughly the same moment where we last left them! Which means Monroe has just told Nick that Juliette's stepping out on him with his Captain, Monroe, are you high? Seriously? Have you been sampling too many of Rosalee's products? You couldn't have led with bespelled and coerced, because that is quite a different matter from Juliette voluntarily stepping out on Nick with the Captain? No? Okay, then. I'll confine my screeching to Monroe rather than the writers because this is quite clearly Monroe's Distress Makes Him Stupid rather than any commentary on what's going on on the part of the writers; the potion and its effects of love have been played solely as deeply unwanted compulsion, so that's both clear and well-presented. Interestingly, the broadcast itself is from the episode with the Lebensauger, aka Chekhov's Intern, so not only do we have a sideways reference to overarching plots of hidden identity and compulsive issues, we also have some references to Grimming and the history of the Grimms, including its dark side. Monroe confirms that Nick knows the guy who came into the shop with Juliette as the music plays us maybe a half-octave lower rendition of the things-are-trotting-along theme which appears in a judicious half of the scenes Monroe is in. Oh yeah, Nick knows him, and I have to say "under his command" is not actually a phrase I thought I would hear out of Nick's lips. It sounds stilted and formal, though I can't put words as to why. (Maybe that's it, more that it sounds like something we would say with our overeducated selves than something Nick with a less reflexively formal pattern of speaking would say.)  Monroe is distracted by the idea that Nick's girlfriend and his boss are getting it on and Monroe. Be better. Dear god, there are going to be so many complaints about people's inability to communicate in this episode. I'm not entirely sure what, or rather, which reason it is Monroe's referring to in terms of how Nick can't go do violence to the Captain, which is presumably what he intends to go do. There's several reasons, starting with how it would ruin Nick's career and Renard, even bespelled, could probably kick his ass, and ending in it's not actually Renard or Juliette's fault and Nick, figuring that out, would feel bad about it afterwards. Maybe. Definitely bad about Juliette, maybe bad about Renard. Either way, Nick's out of there, Monroe's trying to stop him, and it's not working. Nothing Monroe says is working because he's utterly failing to emphasize different points, try different approaches, or do anything but repeat that this is a bad idea. Monroe. Come here so I can slap you with fish. (Though I do like whoever came up with the line "half, full, or any other degree of cocked." Heh.)

Monroe can't stop Nick, but Nick's cell phone can. This speaks interesting things about Nick's potential clear-headedness and also his sense of duty and cop reflexes, that he'll answer his phone because someone might be in trouble even as he's in about the worst emotional shitstorm of his life. I'm not sure which is stronger, the sense of duty or the reflexes, but either way he does answer the phone, it does give him pause, for more than one reason. Monroe, because that's what you do when your cop friend answers an emergency callout, asks what it is, which means we get "quadruple homicide." And in perfect Monroe fashion, he takes that as a good thing. I do love Monroe's finding the bright side in utterly morbid things, even if this is by far the wrongest time he's ever picked for it. It makes for some good, solidly in-character, easily tossed out and brushed past comic relief. And this quadruple homicide? That would be the one Nick and Monroe committed. Oops. Yeah, Monroe, remember that one? Portland doesn't get that many quadruple homicides that they just sort of have two of them lying around in one night. Though given everything that's happened I can sort of forgive Monroe for not making the association immediately, especially since he doesn't normally run around killing people. Anymore. We close that scene on another of Monroe's amusing little bright-side quips and go over to the Trailer of Infinite Knowledge.

And, you know. Renard. With one of his lackeys, and I would give a lot to know who his lackeys are in this city, which one of them speaks fucking Russian and why, and how he's acquired all of them. This one, a lock specialist, he probably encountered in the course of police business. And Renard's wearing gloves! I love you Renard. Because you are smart. Not only is he wearing gloves, he apparently called a lock specialist who is good at not leaving any traces, as we know from this "You don't want anyone to know you were here?" "That's why I called you" bit of dialogue. We also get a year number and model on the trailer, incidentally, as being a '63 Trotter in case it's ever relevant. If we find out any more tidbits about Marie and Kelly's past we'll refer back to this, no doubt. The reason, as it turns out, that this particular lock specialist can leave no trace is that he's an owl Wesen who can see the tumblers of the lock without having to touch it and leave fingerprints. Feather prints. Whatever. Do we even need to say by now that Renard can see woge? Because he totally can, both by virtue of being Renard with all his attendant past and by the fact that now we know he's half-Wesen himself. Or maybe all-Wesen and just half-Hexen and half something else, we still don't know what the Royals are. This leads me to a minor digression in which I wonder how many times he looked over and saw Nick dealing with a Wesen suspect in woge, saw Nick's reaction, and wanted to shake Nick until he learned to control his face. Anyway. Nite Owl (what? WHAT? If they're going to give me these...) hands him a key having only looked at the lock and not touched anything, and asks if there's anything else he can do. Then when Renard tells him to forget he was ever there, because Renard has read the evil overlord's handbook and knows that you do not kill competent staff solely for the purposes of tying off loose ends, Nite Owl provides us with the best comedic timing and delivery of "I can do that." And now Renard has access to the trailer. Well. Fuck.

For the most part, Renard is a good sneak and keeps his gloves on except to answer his interrupting phone (much to his deep annoyance). He only opens things to look at them, replaces everything the way he found it. We'll see later that he'll be much less careful but right now it plays like he's just having a look at what Nick has access to, evaluating how much he might know. He has a look at the open book (which is, notably, open to a page with a house similar to the one we have the confrontation on later this ep), the cabinet of death, and starts opening a couple of desk drawers slowly and carefully before his phone goes off and he sighs in exasperation.

Which is where it cuts over to the murder scene. The narration cuts in about a second or two before the scene changes, as usual, and it's Wu giving Nick the rundown on the murder scene. Most of which we already know because we saw it go down, but in this case Wu's highlighting what's not there because it wasn't a typical murder, i.e. bullet wounds, shell casings, dropped guns, ID, etc. No witnesses or cameras, either, so it was planned, and either the perp took the IDs with them (we assume they're guessing this because Wu doesn't say specifically, but it's usually one of the guesses) or they weren't carrying ID so as to remain anonymous. The victims were beaten or gored to death, as Wu describes it, very old school. No school like the old school? Wu doesn't sound sanguine about the prospect of it being a robbery, and Renard correctly states it's a hell of a mess as he comes up and we have another Nick control your fucking face moment. Really, he's so bad at that, no wonder he bets sports instead of playing poker. Renard's look in return is definitely a "oh really? what the fuck is it this time?" which both is a bit ignorant that he doesn't guess Nick knows something/anything about him, and a lot expected because Nick's certainly been having his share of I'm going to be inexplicably aggressive and emotional at the Captain because there's Wesen involved in the case. I'd hope that Renard would at least touch on the notion that Nick's found something out, given that he's been compulsed to court Nick's girlfriend, but he's also been compulsed out of thinking clearly, so since he obviously notices something's not right with Nick, we'll let that one go. We close up on Nick's blatant display of hostility and then roll credits. Which thankfully have not changed much.

Nick's attitude, on the other hand, has changed a lot! I know part of this is a nod to Nick's law-abiding desires, that he's so incredibly bad at hiding his reactions and his emotions as surrounds being a perp and having to hide that from his fellow officers, to say nothing of his personal crises, but seriously, dude. If you want to succeed at this for any length of time whatsoever you need to get better about the conspiracy aspects. He doesn't even have to like them; I would venture so far as to say that Renard had to teach himself to enjoy the game for its own sake on any level, but Nick, honey, this kind of behavior means you're going to get dead fast if you're not exactly as good as you think you are. Or better. At any rate, Wu takes the Captain over the scene again, and Renard is noticeably pulling his Captain persona back on despite Nick's constant jabs and intense stares. Excuse me while I facedesk some more, this isn't remotely subtle doublespeak. And then we get to the tattoos! Interesting that Wu describes them as interlocking swords; that's not an image I would've picked up from them but the show is dark mcgrimdark and likes to use the lighting to back that up. So, Verrat, interlocking swords, Renard's poker face is still damn good and Nick's still sucks, film at 11. Nick brings up Waltz, looking for any hint of a response and, I assume, looking to blame Renard for the Verrat's dealings in the city in recent months. (Also, eight months between Cat and Mouse and this ep. I note that here for our feeble attempts at a timeline.) Renard is thrown off his game enough that he's not making full eye contact and looks a bit like a cornered animal even here, which just fuels Nick's suspicions. Thank you for the quip, Wu, which breaks the tension just a fraction before Juliette's call ramps it way back up. Nick moved out, she's having a hard night, she looks like she's losing her tenuous grasp on sanity and oh honey. If it weren't for the potion and the fact that they were pretty much perfect strangers before now, I have to say Nick's boss wouldn't be a bad choice of people to talk to about the situation. As it is, though, if she's thought of anything like that it's under a cloud of potion-applied justification. To Renard's credit, he retains enough control to pass it off with an "I'll call you when I can" instead of rushing off in his black Escalade (which is not like a white horse) to save the girl. So, then, closing out the crime scene with a pointed comment at Nick about underestimating whoever they went up against, because at this point Renard suspects something even if he doesn't know exactly what's going on. Another reason I can't entirely blame him for not guessing: Nick's been so fucking stupid and unable to put the pieces together (largely on account of not SHARING INFORMATION, which will be another refrain you hear a lot this recapalypse) that for him to have abruptly learned anything at all would be a bit odd. But expected, come on, Renard, how long did you think you were keeping this under wraps?

We pause this rant about conspiracies and keeping secrets to visit with the other conspiracy and analyze the shit outta the French. Hey, it's Renard's canary! Contrary to prior assumptions, he did not get dead in the massive Verrat sweep of the Royals cell. Good. I approve. I would like Renard to have some allies, because the more allies he talks to the more information we get. (What. I never said my motives were altruistic.) I will note that the subtitles in this scene are really quite good on the whole. The discussion picks up by telling us that Renard's been in contact with his canary off-screen, because there just hasn't been time to include that and as of SotH we thought he was dead. Therefore: contact off-screen, which tells us they're keeping in fairly close contact, which is useful for a data point though really I would watch an entire episode of Renard and his lackeys/allies speaking French and plotting together. But we're skewed like that. So Renard starts us off with an update on the Verrat cell and confirms for us that those are in fact supposed to be interlocking swords on their hands. THANK YOU. Not that this is very surprising for a military secret police type of organization, but we like our confirmation and our data points around here, if you hadn't noticed. The canary apparently doesn't get to hear Renard's suspicions that Nick killed the entire Verrat cell, but we know exactly who he thinks is responsible, both by tone of voice and by the way he gets up and stares at Nick's desk through the window. Heh. And then he drops into English for a single phrase, "first of all," which I think is probably Roiz deciding that Renard would lapse rather than an actor mistake. Especially with the looking at Nick and being scared shitless of what's happening to him, how his plans are shifting so suddenly and thoroughly. But Renard, at least with this particular ally/lackey/whatever he is, deals in absolutes rather than speculation, and keeps the latter to himself until he has proof. The canary will try to find out more, that word's not in the subtitles but it's understood from context. HEY LOOK A NAME. WE HAVE A NAME. The Parisian was Jacques, before he got his face eaten off by a Hundjager. Alas, poor Jacques, we knew you not at all. Gerard, that's another name, thank fuck, found the body. I hope that doesn't mean Gerard is a traitor, but I will throw it out there in a fit of paranoia because conspiracies breed that shit. Both the paranoia and the traitors. (I'm also a bit suspicious of the canary at this point. Let's be fair, we're suspicious of everybody.) And AGAIN with mention of the alliance with the resistance and give me all your goddamn murderboards. We can speculate that there's a (small?) group of Royals who are allied with the Lauffeur, assuming there's not another resistance movement running around, but we still know not a a goddamn thing about what the sides' goals actually ARE. I mean, we can extrapolate that the Royals + Verrat want the status quo, and the Lauffeur + Royals want to change it somehow, but motivations? Nah. Insufficient data to determine. The last bit of nuance I can glean out of this, and it's fairly telling in one direction, is that Renard uses the informal/to an inferior tu, with the canary. It would be more telling if we knew for sure what form of you the canary uses for Renard, but I would guess, based on Renard's interactions with Jacques, that it indicates a relationship of superior to inferior, since he and Jacques both used vous-form and appeared to be roughly equals.

So the canary will find out what he can and Nick will interrupt and keep being confusingly aggressive. Nick. Your face. Control it. They have surveillance footage from a nearby hotel! Yay! That footage includes Monroe! Boo! Renard's got his hands in his pocketses (precious. look, the Hobbit came out, you knew this joke was coming) but he's pulled a fair bit of authority back around him, being in his office and thus somewhere he's used to having control. (Which, in retrospect, makes the Shining reference when the potion took hold even scarier for him.) Everyone recognizes Monroe! Two of the people in this room can even place him, though Renard's frowny face can be played off as potential recognition from way back in the pilot or picking up Hap or something. He's a cop, he's trained to have that kind of data in his head. Wu is also trained to have that kind of data in his head, but as far as we know he's lacking the crucial bits of information to make it all make sense. Plus he'd probably rather forget that time with the potion and the horrific eating problems and waking up in t-shirt and boxers to a bunch of people standing over him. Poor Wu. Nick, your defensiveness over protecting Monroe is absurd, ridiculous, and bad police work. You fail at this. Please to be stopping that now. Meantime, all of this is giving Renard a headache, as his trips to the spice shop collide with Nick's behavior collide with the potion's effects and yeah, that's giving me a headache and I haven't been whammied. Wu plays mother hen to the Captain, aww, that's kind of adorable. (Have I mentioned our desire for Wu to actually be Wesen and be Renard's second within the city? Because I would still love that. Up to and including tags to the eps with "so what are they passing it off as this time, sir? wait, really?") And it's telling of how bad the whammy is that Renard doesn't argue with the logic that there's nothing more to be done tonight. Which there isn't; CSU and the labs will have to do their work, anything that needs a warrant will have to wait for judges and DAs to be awake, it's definitely time to call it a night. One last intense stare from Nick while I facedesk some more, and thank god that's over. Renard is tired and has a headache. I'm tired and have a headache. Exhaustion and headaches for everyone.

Back over to Monroe and the house of well-meaning but clumsy. He's washing a window with some meticulous pride, and that's a rather clever callback to the Halloween episode where that window got broken and presumably replaced. Aww. Of course then he gets a phone call and treats it in a panic as Nick, to which I have to say, really? Monroe, really? You just thought Nick would call you up in the middle of beating the snot out of his boss (or trying to) to ask... what exactly? No, it's Rosalee, with her affectionate amusement that we so love. Better you than me, Rosalee, even if Monroe can be darling at times. They're both relieved and glad to hear each other's voice, which is also adorable, and Monroe clumsily attempts to explain what's going on. Thereby leading to the fucking hilarious aside of "... not Nick with another man, I mean..." that has to be a nod to the slashers. Anyway, Monroe brings Rosalee up to speed, and Rosalee quickly puts together love compulsion with Juliette's cure. Rosalee, we love you, we've missed you, never leave us again. This is also a blatant example of how quickly things could be solved if people would just fucking talk to each other. This is one of our biggest peeves, that in order for there to be conflict on a show there has to be stupidity and a lack of communication? Really? Note to all you writers out there: a lack of communication will only carry you so far, and in the case of this plotline we have bumped right up against the border of egregious and stupid and are looking through the window with our nose pressed to the glass. Please, let us not go to the land of egregious and stupid lack of communication. It is a silly place. Fortunately we will soon have Rosalee back. Which is also an interesting comment and may or may not be deliberate on the part of the writers. With Juliette incapacitated and Rosalee out of town, communication grinds to a halt and stupidity and deep shit ensue. When Rosalee comes back into town and, hopefully soon, with Juliette less incapacitated, possibly less lack of communication and stupidity will ensue? If Juliette and Rosalee's roles within the show are to be the voice of reason and the facilitators of communication, among other things... well, my feelings on that are mixed to say the least, but I don't really mind what it says about them. We'll get into the fucked-up gender messages a little later, but rest assured we see them and are giving them lots of side-eye.

Not just yet, though. Renard pulls up outside Juliette's house and we start cringing as soon as we see his battlewagon. He looks tired and rumpled already, and gives a dubious look at the house but I think, here, there's also an element of his innate desire to help and protect his people helping along the compulsion to go see and sex up Juliette. More helping the go see Juliette part, obviously. And yet, as he goes up, oh look. Nick's car will roll up like a big lurky rolling thing. Entertainingly, like a much much shabbier version of the Captain's lurking battlewagon. Parallels? I think so! This time when Renard comes up all he has to do is knock, because he's expected, though he's still fidgeting and nervous about it. Which doesn't bode well for Nick watching. There are all kinds of underlying meanings to the two lines of dialogue we do get at the threshold, and do I even need to get into the symbology of the threshold and the question "What happens if I let you in" and the notions of permission to cross the threshold and so on? I really hope not because we could be here till midnight if I do. Suffice to say that thresholds and letting people across them is a Thing in fairy tales, fables, literature, speculative fiction, and so on. Nick will now glare like the most lurky psychotic stalker ever as the Captain and his girlfriend kiss on the threshold. Though that's a fairly restrained kiss for two people who've been whammied so thoroughly. Juliette pulls the Captain in and closes the door, with her body language still restrained but also indicating some degree of imminent sex happening. So does his, for that matter, though the hunched posture and lurching step is equal parts sexual desire and self-protective awaiting attack hunching. The door closes, and oh no, Nick's not having any of this, he gets out of the car and starts stalking to the house and it's probably a good thing that he's stopped because I have absolutely no idea what he could possibly say to Juliette after this that would make anything any better. After all the evading and lying he's done to Juliette I wouldn't believe the truth if I were her and he told me.

Once again, though, Nick is interrupted from doing something stupid by the phone call. For once, it only takes a couple of exchanges for Monroe to get to the point! Nick 'not now's him, Monroe interrupts to say that this is important and launches right into it. Maybe he can be taught! Blah blah Rosalee coming home blah blah compulsion blah blah new information to Nick and not to us, which is that the side effect of the Captain saving Juliette's life and waking her up from the coma is compulsive love for both of them. It's not the best way of saying it, but at least it's out there. Notably, Monroe is saying this from his place of power, his workshop, which is safe and empowering to him. Hard to tell from which direction it contributes to his greater coherence and ability to make sentences happen, Watsonian or Doylist,  but the symbology is there. There's a lot of people in their safe spaces and safe spaces getting violated both in this episode and in the whole season; at this point it seems like the only people who still have their safe spaces are Monroe and Rosalee. But that, too, is a whole other essay. And in the meantime Nick is lying through his teeth to Monroe (really, Nick? Really?) and sliding further down on the slippery slope through moral ambiguity and dickishness, and Monroe is giving us the most ironic cut-out line of the episode, about how he was afraid he had something to actually worry about. Cut to Renard and Juliette about to rip each other's clothes off. No, nothing to worry about here! At least Nick does turn and go, and meanwhile Juliette and Renard are starting to strip down, at least the coat comes off. As passionate and long-lasting as it is, the kissing and clutching is also probably a mark of their willpower and resolution to keep this from getting any further, because if their hands are busy holding each other against themselves, they're not taking off any more clothing than is already on the floor.

And then Nick shows up at Monroe's looking rather more unbruised, so we can assume he did walk away and didn't go back to his car to do something stupid like get his gun. Which, from the look on his face, might well have crossed his mind. Monroe is still reiterating what the audience has already figured out and again, guys, this lack of communication being the main thing that drives the conflict is sloppy and stupid. Here is another reason why; we're in the middle of getting "Renard and Juliette have no choice, they're being compelled, they're going to have magical bespelled sex that neither of them want" repeated to us over and over again. Yes, we get it, we know. This isn't even rule of three repetition, this is just the same information to fill the dialogue and keep the scenes going, and it's lazy writing. And this is what happens when you backload plots, boys and girls. Don't do it. I have no idea why this love potion plot is so backloaded, but given that there's a huge underlying conspiracy and potentially a large amount of worldbuilding to do with the potions shop and the way potions work in Grimm that they could have blended into it to make it paced better? This is really damn sloppy. I expect better of the Grimm writers. I will say, curing the potion at the mid-season premiere is appropriate timing, but the lead up of the entire first half of the season was far too leisurely and better timed for a end-of-season cure. Anyway, that rant aside (we have a lot of them that could make full-length essays, aren't you glad we're not doing that in the recaplysis) we finally get to some of that potion and Grimmworld worldbuilding I was mentioning, which is that the potion ingredients for the purification potion were similar to the ones Adalind used on the cat that poisoned Juliette. Sadly, we can't verify that because we don't have the ingredients for the cat juice except that it came in a bottle in a box marked 'philias irae.' But, sure, we'll go with it. See, if the connections were drawn this way, with additional worldbuilding grounding to provide the sugar in the medicine to help it go down, plus spaced out more appropriately, we would bitch a lot less! And the upshot of all of Monroe the Verbose's babble is that they can cross-reference the ingredients list and possibly work up a cure. Nick will take all of this in with his customary sullen glare that, okay, yeah, with everything that's going on in his life I would probably look like that too, and at least that's listening face and not ignoring face. Monroe gives us yet another line to cut away on, and we go from "before this spins totally out of control" to Renard and Juliette, totally out of control. Yay! Trite, but yay in a Doylist sense. Very not yay in-character.

Much was made of this scene, and since they put so much time, effort, and choreography into doing this we would be remiss if we didn't take some time and effort to analyze it! That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

To switch things up a bit we start out with Juliette as the aggressor, which is both interesting and a welcome balance since Renard has by and large been the primary aggressor when it comes to potion-induced lusting up till this episode. Renard is resisting here, Juliette's body language is both seductive and impatient, though it's unclear whether she's having a bout of potion/lust induced super strength or whether that's Renard backing up onto the cabinet or sideboard or whatever that is with the vase he almost just sat on. His face still shows tension and upset, hers is more relaxed. His voice lilts upwards indicating desperation, hers remains on an even pitch. So, he's still in more control than she is, at least for these few seconds. Despite that her reply to his "leave me alone" is "I can't" rather than "I don't want to" or any other such sentiment. Neither of them can withstand this, and even bringing themselves into close proximity with each other, even if it was to commiserate or try and look for a solution, has ramped up the potion's compulsion to intolerable levels. More kissing, Renard's willpower surges again and he shoves her away, to a slapping reaction. By the immediacy of that it seems to be more the potion than Juliette, and Juliette up till now has seemed like more of a verbally tearing down person than a slapping person anyway. The sound of it or perhaps the act of hitting someone so much taller and larger than her, and it obviously having an effect, seems to shock her out of her bout of lust, though it's hard to tell what that expression is on her face as she walks away. Renard keeps his eyes averted as he appears to try to use the sting from the slap to regain his senses. Unfortunately her turning and walking away from him triggers a predatory instinct as he catches it out of the corner of his eye; that's definitely a predatory pounce on a fleeing target he carries out. That's also some very quick and precise movement on the part of Roiz, there, and the camera focus and movement only enhances the impression of speed. He's being the aggressor this time, putting the burden of stopping this time on her with his "if you want this to end" but definitely she's going to have to try harder than that to impose her will over the potion, only she doesn't want it to stop, and there's ambivalent facial expressions but very clear yearning body language. More kissing, this time from an angle that emphasizes Roiz's comparative size to Tulloch, as he backs her up onto the table. Contrast this to a love scene between two willing participants where the camera work and lighting is usually set to de-emphasize clarity and emphasize healthy skin tone, warm colors for a warm mood, and equality of body. Renard isn't a deliberate predator, but if the love potion weren't working both ways this could get real ugly real fast. Quite probably this is why we started out with a more equal camera angle and Juliette being the aggressor, so we could have that in mind as we move to this part of the scene and it becomes less of a larger man overpowering a smaller woman. We also have her taking direct action as she goes back onto the table (at what looks like a fairly uncomfortable angle, ow) and tearing open his shirt, both because topless men are more acceptable on primetime TV than topless women and, again, to make the lust effects more equal. There is, obviously, non-consensual sex about to happen here. But the lack of consent is on both the parts of the physical participants, and consent has been stripped away by a party not involved in the act of sex itself.

Juliette on the table, Renard overtop of her, and kissing happens. Unfortunately (and possibly because it worked better or was more convincing this way?) due to the shadowing on the faces it's a bit hard to tell initially. But the lust noises do turn to pain noises and after some effort Renard pulls up and steps back and we hear that Juliette bit him either out of protest or out of potion lust. And thank you, everyone, for that callback to Nick and Adalind. In this case the parallel is still male on top of female, and the Hexenbiest is still the one not in control (that might be by accident), but the female is more in control here, for an advised value of 'in control.' As of the end of the episode, no blood magic happens as far as we can tell, though possibly only because Renard's Hexen nature is dilute and Juliette, as far as we know, isn't an anything. There are, however, exactly as many creepy rape overtones as there were in the Nick and Adalind biting scene. We counted. We only half-jest.

Then shoving and shouting, Juliette's coherence decreasing as her desperation increases. With him slumped over the table for a second it puts them at nearly equal height as she walks past him and away again, especially at that camera angle, so, again, emphasizing that neither party is overpowering the other. And again he comes up and grabs her (taking down a good part of her shirt in the process, though that doesn't appear to be deliberate on Renard's part) but in this instance he turns her to face him and immediately drops his hand. This goes along with his statement of "this has to stop," that he's not trying to hold onto her or even touch her more than he has to, but being Renard who pays so much attention to behavior and respect, he wants to look her in the eyes when he talks to her about important things. Even if every part of doing so lands them back in the potion's grip. Oh honeys. Juliette tells him no, no to the stopping anyway, in her husky sex-now-please voice, and there is more kissing. I note this only because they did spend so much time and choreography on this, her shirt is off her shoulder and open in one shot and then back on and only gaping open in a narrow v in the next shot, which indicates that the taking her shirt down was inadvertent on both Renard and Roiz's parts. It's possible they just went with the best take that involved different positioning on the shirts, too, but I'm inclined to believe they re-set to that because of the discouragement of topless women on primetime, and because they're trying to de-emphasize the overtly sexual aspects of this scene a lot, despite sex being the very clear goal. Of the potion, at least, not the participants. Anyway, Juliette vetoes the stopping, more kissing happens, only this time when he pushes her away she has a gun. I literally have no idea where this gun came from. It was on his other hip from the side where she pulled it since they're both right-handed, no drawers have been opened, and I didn't see a gun in plain view on any surface near to where they're standing, so I'm out of ideas. Of course, in the next instant she pistol-whips him, oh god poor babies both of you, and as he goes down we see that his holster is now empty. Which both explains why the holster seemed emphasized in the last shot by lighting and Roiz's posture, and explains nothing since that was a hell of a cross-body movement when their bodies were so pressed together. Actually, now that I'm looking at it, too, his holster appears to be snapped up again. The hell, you guys. I know there's a lot of moving parts to coordinate, but come on. Anyway, pistol-whipped, and Renard stays down this time, because bleeding and head-injury and if there's anything The Avengers taught us, it's that the key to fixing compulsed behavior is cognitive recalibration. No? No. Dammit. But he is staying on the floor because it probably shook him out of his compulsion a bit, and Renard likes being in control of himself. Love potions aside, more than most people do.

Remember when Renard's natural instincts to be all feudal lord and protect his people pushed along the potion-induced lust to get him to go visit Juliette? Now it's Juliette's caring nature that's pushing along with the potion to go tend to Renard. Renard is having none of this because we all know where touching leads, so shouts and pushes her away. Though the first clear shot of his face indicates that he's not holding it against her, he's hurt and startled, yes, but he's not angry that she hit him, the shouting and lurching away indicates protectiveness of both of them and a further loss of control into anger that his, um, urges, are being thwarted. Or repelled, something like that. Remember the slap Juliette gave? Part of this probably comes from the same place. Part of this also seems to be that Renard's instincts, when out of control in body and in mind and in potentially a lot of pain, seem to be "stagger around and break shit." A lot of this stiff-bodied lurching echoes his throes post-potion drinking. And there's definitely a lot of the fighting the uncontrolled woge that we saw when he was fleeing in his Escalade, though fortunately for everyone when he turns around to face Juliette again it's because he is back in control. That wary look she gives him as she points the gun at him would probably be a lot less of a wary look and a lot more of shooting him in the face if he was all Hexen'd out. And then we'd be sad because Renard, shot in the face. There's definitely horror and sadness on both their faces, Juliette with the expression of I really don't want to shoot you please don't make me shoot you. Renard with the resigned dismay of it's better this way (not in the sense that she should kill him but in the sense that she's armed and he's across the room and that will hopefully keep them from touching AGAIN) and I would almost say that, if there were lines of dialogue happening here, it would involve him encouraging her to keep the gun pointed at him. Instead of dialogue we get her firing warning shots into every bit of wall around him while Renard ducks and covers, so, yay? (Also, remembering back to last season, if Juliette had wanted to hit him she damn well would have. We're still waiting for payoff on that gun range scene, you guys, and getting a mite bit impatient for it.) That is, to be honest, much more firm of a response than verbal replies which we've seen are not entirely under their control. She falls back to sitting on the floor and drops the gun, they look at each other with more natural desperation of why is this happening to us how do we make it stop, and... scene.

One ad break later and Renard is seen stumbling out of the house, shirt still open, coat over his arm, but weapon somehow back in his holster. I have no idea how they managed to get him the gun back without touching and setting off another round of no-stop-but-I-can't, but apparently they did. Oh honeys. It also, by the way, seems pretty likely already in this scene that the violent responses are also part of the potion's effects, and goddamn, how fucked up is this thing? That is not a normal love potion. So, staggering to the battlewagon and why is the back of his shirt all wet? The vase, maybe? I don't know, it's raining, but he's not out in it for long enough to get that soaked, let alone in weird asymmetrical patches like that. I'm going to chalk it up to something in that fight-sex scene that we missed and move on. Because hey, sirens, yes, they live in the kind of neighborhood where people will call in shots fired. Especially if they know that that's a cop's house. So we know even as we cut to Nick and Monroe in the spice shop that Nick's going to be pulled away by another of those carefully-timed phone calls.

First we have to have some more headdesking over YOU GUYS. INFORMATION SHARING. IT WORKS, BITCHES. Monroe has all the receipts, Rosalee keeps ridiculously good if not super well organized records (seriously, would it kill them to have a filing cabinet in chronological order instead of a bunch of boxes? would that be too modern or something? anyway) and Nick would like to know why this is supposed to help. Oh my god, seriously, Nick? You haven't told anyone anything ever? You fail. Fail at life. I'm back to questioning if he ever told Hank about Adalind and her blood cookies, or if Hank just put that together on his own. I just. Nick, look at your life. Look at your choices. Look at the fact that you haven't told anyone you now know who the Royal in Portland is. Or the fact that there is one in the first place. Or any of that. And might I also mention here that this is lazy writing, again? Withholding information relevant to understanding the Wesen world even though it's also part of a police investigation is fucking stupid, and the fact that you are just now realizing that Catherine and Adalind were at least working in parallel if not in unison? Yes, thank you, Monroe, you get the Captain Obvious hat for this entire episode. Nick, don't sound so fucking incredulous that Monroe doesn't know Catherine is Adalind's mother when you haven't told him a goddamn thing. I realize that some of this is also to hook new viewers in, but the constant expo-dumping in case we've either forgotten things or didn't make the blindingly obvious-to-us connections in the first place is getting really grating and taking valuable time away from, oh, not backloading the episode. Look, the pacing on this ep alone sucks, and the pacing on the season as a whole blows giant goat choad, and we're going to keep bitching about it until we get sick enough of it to demonstrate how we would have done it better. Honestly, if the acting and dialogue and the characters and a lot of the camera work weren't so tasty and enjoyable, we probably would have stopped watching by now. As it is, we're going to bitch all over the place when it comes up. But now we finally get the reveal to Monroe that Catherine is dead because Kelly killed her and I do, at least, love the pathetic comedic delivery of that "why." My head hurts too, Monroe. I'm not sure what that thing that he needs a shot of is and we took a couple stabs at translating it but couldn't manage it, but I assume it's Wesen or even Blutbad-specific hard liquor. At least that's what I'd be going for under the circumstances. In conclusion, everything sucks and they have data but no imminent solutions that involve Nick going and beating the crap out of the people actually responsible. I'd say alas, but I figure it'd probably end like Kelly's shoddy interrogation of Catherine did, the state he's in.

And now it's time for the phone call! Which tells us this ep is taking place in more or less exact timing, since the sirens were pulling up as Nick and Monroe started going over the receipts, and it doesn't take long with a nonresponsive subject before someone like Wu decides to cut through the bullshit. Plus, checking to be sure that his coworker hasn't lost it and decided to shoot up the house in a fit of anger/jealousy/other abusive behavior, which is, sad to say, no rarer in cops than it is in the population as a whole. And Wu's tone of voice does indicate that he was prepared for that eventuality, which is. Interesting. And says some things about Nick's behavior lately and how noticed it has or hasn't been by his co-workers (note: that's a 'has', there, I included the other for completion's sake.) Nick's immediate response is that he's in the Pearl, which is downtown, which may or may not be where the spice shop is supposedly located but I'm betting on yes, since Nick is a crap liar and he's not giving any significant tells to this. Wu catches Nick up on the crime scene such as it is, with no gun and no statement from Juliette. Yeah, I wouldn't know what to say either under the circumstances. Some shots of Juliette that emphasize her loneliness and fear by pushing her toward the right side of the camera without giving us anyone else in frame, plus, of course, the thousand-yard stare and trying not to cry thing she's got going. Nick will be right over and suspects Renard for reasons that he is AGAIN NOT TELLING ANYONE ABOUT, motherfucking hell, you dipshit. I know you don't want to admit your stupidity to Monroe but would it kill you to explain that you have reason to believe that's a logical extrapolation and not just leaping to the worst possible conclusion? Yes? Goddammit, Nick. At least Monroe remembers to hammer on the "they're not in control of their actions" anvil some more as he heads out the door; whether or not Nick will remember to take that into account is an open question at this point.

First, though, remember Adalind and her sound sleep in a jail cell, knowing that she has to be under Renard's protection or else he'll look bad? Yeah, that ends now. This is a nice reversal of all the tropes of locking someone up who doesn't want to be locked up, from her antagonistic "why?" to the uniformed officer's eyerolling over how most people are happy to be released all the way through to the ominous CLANG of the door behind her. Heh. We know who released her, and we know he damn well isn't happy about this.

That, too, will have to wait; as we ramp up the action the scenes get somewhat shorter and choppier to emphasize the building tension. Nick gets into the house and we can about see his expression of "what, fuck, again?" to the mess, which is about where I'd be if my home had been wrecked multiple times in the last year and a half. Actually I'd probably have moved, but that would require explaining why a move was necessary, which would require not lying to Juliette, so, y'know, nevermind. Nick has a sort of huffy snort over Wu's hope that she'll talk to him, Nick, you asshole, YOU haven't been talking to her. ABOUT ANYTHING. Remember why she turned down the marriage proposal? (Which, by the way, is an example of why we are sticking with this show, because that was a brilliant piece of writing, characterization, and agency.) YOUR LIFE. YOUR CHOICES. Oi. But he goes and gives it a shot, pun not actually intended but I'll leave it, managing to tamp down most of his anger and rarr-smash-Renard until he gets some information out of her, which does say something about how deeply ingrained both his cop training and his love for Juliette are, even if both of them are somewhat subsumed by emotional overload and Grimmstincts right now. Juliette is behaving exactly as you would expect under these circumstances: not looking at him, monotone voice, as few words as possible. Tight, tight control over herself because this is one of the few things she can control right now. Or at least, it's how I would expect Juliette to present as a victim; not that this is the One Right Way for victims to act. (It is, however, one of the more commonly used on TV, which has issues as far as societal narratives go but does also have the writing benefit of being able to acquire information and communicating a distressed mental state in a short period of time.) So: she shot the gun, she thought she saw an intruder, he took it with him. Which means there was an intruder, after a fashion, though I would call the intruder the potion rather than Renard. Sigh. And then Nick does something that I really, really wish could be followed up with TELLING HER EVERYTHING, which is admitting that he knows who it is. Nick, your timing sucks. This is the first time Juliette looks at him, and she's afraid and hopeful all at once. Mostly the former. Nick's just angry and overprotective and exactly not what she needs right now, so at least he removes himself from the situation. I'd be happier about it if he were doing anything productive after he leaves, but he does, at least, deal with the immediate situation by covering everyone's asses. Mainly because he can't explain the motives behind all of this, and if he tries to get Renard locked up it will not result in answers for him, I guess? It definitely won't result in the ass-beating Nick wants to deliver, which is probably more to the point. Wu is not happy about what Nick's asking him to do, frame it as self-defense against an unknown intruder, but he'll do it for a fellow cop, lacking any body language that says Nick was responsible for it and lacking any ability to push for more answers. Plus, putting someone on the house means that if he's wrong and Nick is responsible, hopefully they can stop it. Wu, you have officially been elevated to "the best," for working within some really shitty limitations and doing what you can and wanting to do more.

Oh hello there Adalind walking alone at night in the middle of a very large courtyard and between some very large walls/gate housing. Yes, the whole scene is set up to emphasize her solitude and vulnerability, though she puts a brave/determined face on it. She's also in blacks and grays, for added color anvils. So, out of the police station and down the street to, what, a car? Impound lot? Bus station? Hard to say what she intended to do once she got out other than jump at shadows in case someone was trying to kill her (and rightfully so, really) but either way she's walking very warily down the street. Turns to check to make sure no one's behind her, though her expression and eye darts don't suggest she heard something, she's just being cautious. No, nothing. Turns back around and A Wild Renard Appears! Hey, anyone remember when he did this to her the last time? (Love Sick, 1x17) Yeah, I thought so. This time he looks considerably less poised than he did before. Instead of her demure act last time this time she raps out "If anything happens to me..." as a pre-emptive block. Renard is snarky and not impressed, and tired and pissed and he needs to talk to her, now. Not only does he practically shove her in the car, when she threatens to scream he threatens to kill her, which, indeed, is the kind of mood he's in now. Reckless and violent. Given how deserted the street is it's possible he could get away with it if he killed her quickly and quietly, but he's severely lacking in the kind of control he would need to pull it off, at least the body disposal after if not the act itself. The hostility is real, though, and Adalind doesn't push the issue. And holy shitballs we have another callback because the lighting and camera work, not to mention the dialogue and facial work at least from Roiz is almost identical to the conversation in the pilot after the attack on Marie at the hospital. Only this time it's Adalind asking if Renard got the key. No, but he found the trailer, which seems to calm her hysteria. A bit. She's still either scared of him or pretending to be scared of him; I'd go with playing up her fear of his temper to make herself seem more harmless. Strategic use of legitimate emotions, it's an old trick, and one we've called out here before. And they drive off, with the strong implication being, since we know our characters by now, that Adalind thinks she's getting to go to the trailer and that Renard is taking her anywhere but. Oh look, it's a full moon. That's a bit overblown but possibly also legitimate for both the symbology and the magic.

Back over to Monroe's House of Hamfisted Explanations, where Nick gives Monroe the rundown on what happened with Juliette. No, he doesn't have proof, but he's sure it was the Captain. No, Juliette wasn't trying to shoot him, if she'd wanted to she would have, which, again, the payoff on that gun range scene? No beginner is that good to get a perfect center grouping on the first try, and even Nick hung a bit of a lampshade on it. Pay it up. And no, Nick didn't see him, which shows at least a modicum of good judgement on Nick's part. As far as we can tell this scene only is here to break up the bits with Renard and Adalind to increase that tension, bring Monroe up to speed (which could easily have been elided, but whatever), and give a greater sense of urgency to the episode by filling it with short, sharp scenes rather than longer ones. Monroe has nothing useful to say and is tired beyond good sense, so he's going to bed. Oh Monroe.

And back over to the battlewagon and Renard pulling them up to the river. Which is not at all like the trailer. (Though it is a neat callback to the last several times we had a significant shot of the river, when Nick threw the gun used in the Mauvais Dentes case into it, when La Llorona came up from it, can we say this is Rule of Three? I think we can! We should also start a drinking game for callbacks this ep, I swear.) Renard gets out and stalks down towards the river which is not a trailer as though he's going to get something? I have to wonder if Adalind thought for a second that the trailer was in the river, which would be an entertaining twist on things. No, Renard is holding the trailer hostage against a cure. And he's pissed. There's more anger than desperation in his voice right now, the same sharp, not clear cut so much as vicious or growled tones as he uses when he's angry. We don't see his face in such clear light, but his voice? Definitely furious. Adalind protests that she can't fix it and reminds him of why in tones of her voice that indicate she blames him. Which, okay, it wasn't his direct fault but he didn't have to treat her the way he did afterwards. More threatening that she'd better come up with something, more anger and now that he's closer and we have his face in better light we can see not only the desperation but also the vanishing hope, the idea crossing his mind probably all night that he's stuck like this. Again, she can't fix him. But she can alleviate the symptoms, which he'll jump at just the same. Not so fast, Renard. She doesn't explain, just goes for touching, which gets her grabbed. Her first attempt at soothing is more snappish than soothing, but her second repetition goes somewhat better, and the desperate hope starts to win out over the distrust. Roiz and Coffee give some really wonderful nuanced performances here, he obviously doesn't trust her and isn't prepared to trust her in the future, but he's just as obviously not entirely in control of his own actions and she's pretty much got him over a barrel. The interesting part of this comes when she stops him just as he's given into his impulses (nice timing on her part, there, when he's too riled to question why) and tells him she doesn't want this, she wants the real him. Which she apparently defines as Hexen-Renard. Well okay then. Clearly something hinky is going on here, but we the audience don't get any more hints and Renard's too drunk on the potion and the possibility of some relief to care. Our best guess is this is more manipulation and more abusive behavior, which is obvious on the surface of it but also goes to how Adalind thinks control and sex go hand in hand, and how deeply scarred she's been at some point in her past. Apparently Renard's habit of asking way too few questions goes to all members of the Schade family. So, Renard turns into what we seem to be calling his Sexenbiest form, Adalind gets a big shit-eating fangirl grin, and we start the sexing.

Only not, because once Adalind gets her shirt off it's fade to black and over to the bus station. Adorkable Monroe is adorkable and gets a rightfully WTF look from Nick when he tries to pass the flowers on to Nick to give to Rosalee. Silly Blutbad. And good juxtaposition from the writers/director for going from the wretched parody of love between Renard and Adalind to the genuine, heartfelt love between Monroe and Rosalee. Particularly with the night/day lighting, it's a bit anvilicious, but it's also well done. It's also probably why they cut out the scene that I'm guessing goes right after this one, or possibly right before, to give us more of the night-and-day juxtaposition. I would also guess, speaking of juxtapositions, that one of the reasons Rosalee is more comfortable having this relationship and engaging in it publicly is because she does have ties to the Lauffeur and thus fewer hangups over mixed-Wesen relationships, whereas it seems like Monroe's upbringing was far more traditional. It also fits her personality of taking awhile to make a decision, but once made, it sticks, but given the hints they've been throwing out about Rosalee's connections to something mysterious, that's one of the clues I'd use to support our theory that the mysterious something is the Lauffeur. And after a cute moment it's down to business and over to the spice shop.

Only, again, not, because the next cut is over to Adalind combing her hair in a mirror and looking deeply satisfied. Both self-satisfied and sexually satisfied. Well, she is the problem, I'll grant that much. So it's partly morning after scene and partly she played something well, and this is where I start to wonder if this was her plan all along (in which case, yeesh, Adalind, you left a lot to chance) or if this was her rolling with the circumstances (in which case, well played), or if this was Eric's plan once he heard about Adalind's revenge in getting the Captain, Juliette, and Nick all stirred up (in which case, Eric you sick fuck) or what. But clearly, something is going to plan for the bad guys. And as the camera turns and we get a glimpse in the mirror and a more clear look behind her, oh, hey, we know this condo. Hello Renard's condo. Do we think that there's some significance to the fact that she's preening in the same mirror as the one Renard was, um. We're not going to touch what he was doing in that episode (Three Coins in a Fuchsbau 1x13) but actually, no, there probably isn't. There is some significance to the fact that it's not a bedroom or bathroom mirror, indicating on more of a subtle or subconscious level that Renard isn't comfortable with letting her in. Despite sleeping with her. Hands up, everyone who's surprised. And finally there's the Adalind combing her hair in the mirror and calling to mind that she's her mother's daughter aspect. Renard comes out adjusting his jacket and cuffs, having probably showered and dressed and put his armor back on now that it isn't so stifling, and Adalind goes over to him. She's smiling happily, Renard, not so much. He would like Adalind to consider what happens to him if Eric gets the key, and while it comes across a bit as sounding like he's trying to play off her feelings (HAH) for him, I suspect what he's actually doing is pointing out that going along with what she's going for is not in his best interests and why would he do that again? This, of course, goes over Adalind's head entirely, or seems to, because she retaliates with playing off Renard's nonexistent feelings for her and pointing out what would happen to her if Eric doesn't get the key. There's some verbal jockeying, Adalind pointing out that Renard smacked her down, Renard pointing out that he'll be more careful around her (again, double meanings, I love it when they do this) and that Eric's a backstabbing jackass who will shiv her at the slightest sign that it would be more to his advantage to do so. Adalind's eyes do brighten, I'm sad to say, when he touches her face, so yes, she's most likely still in love with him. Poor girl. There's no such sign of affection when she's playing with his tie; in fact, there's a few teeth there. (I will digress briefly about how incredibly fucked up it is that they're making several men victims and at least one woman the sexual predator, here. Yes, men can be raped; we've known our fair share of them, sad to say. But when your trend is toward femme fatales [Adalind and Catherine] and Madonna figures [Rosalee and Juliette], I start severely questioning your ability to write good female villains. And the way you view female characters in general. This is one of the reasons we may end up not watching the show after this season; we'll have to wait and see.) At any rate, Renard's off to conduct more business and tells her to make herself at home, which is a sign of just how much he's discarded his condo as any kind of safe space. Which is again a definite theme this ep, places that are no longer safe (the condo, Nick and Juliette's, the trailer, arguably) and places that have become safe or have attained some greater significance (the spice shop, the house where Nick solved his first known Wesen case, the river).

Back over to the shop! Where Rosalee will now apply common sense to fucking everything Rosalee we love you. Never ever leave us again. And oh dear god they're finally sharing information and Monroe is the one who has to tell Nick that the Captain must be the Royal in Portland. Nick, I swear to god, come here so I can punch you in the face, you had all that information and you didn't figure out that your Captain was the Royal? FUCKING SERIOUSLY? Because he truly sounds surprised when Monroe concludes that and I want to cry. Nick, I know you've had a bad couple days, but please, for the love of all that is holy and well-written, do some goddamn thinking! No? Dammit. More regurgitation of how this is a compulsed love spell and at this point they're just hammering on it so we know Renard is a Good Person who doesn't want to do this to Juliette and, in fact, tried to save her life, so that Renard is acceptable for joining the Scooby Gang. At least I'm pretty certain that's the main reason for repeating that about the compulsion every time Monroe is in the scene. Seriously, I think he says that every single time he's onscreen, at least once. Rosalee cuts off the repeat exposition for telling everyone to get to work cross-referencing and looking up potential cures, with the aside that if they don't fix it soon someone's going to die. Which leads to some of the dialogue we mentioned enjoying earlier about anything not ending in death? Mmmmmmno. So, time to hit the books.

Hey, speaking of hitting the books, those are some more books hitting the bench-bed in Nick's trailer. It's Renard! Ransacking the trailer, a bit like Nick did in the last season (Cat and Mouse 1x18), with similar desperation. And he's wearing gloves again! Renard, I love you, come away with me and we will make beautiful conspiracies together. He's not being nearly as careful as he was last time about putting stuff back, though. Bad Renard, I know you know better than that. A quick shot shows there's still a welt on the side of his face where Juliette pistol-whipped him, nice continuity there, but he's not finding the key. And he stands (and almost bumps his head on the ceiling and so I giggle a bit) and looks around and, hey, flashback. Nick, rummaging around in a drawer. Well, shit, it's not in the trailer, it's at the precinct! Or at least, there's something valuable there, or so Renard surmises. Something valuable and secret. It's a bit of a leap, but it's also not a bad leap to make; if Nick knows that something hinky is going on and has the faintest clue about the key, then he'll have moved it recently. At work is a good place, surrounded by people who should notice if a stranger goes rummaging through his desk. On his person would be better, but apparently Nick can't be credited with that kind of paranoid forethought, just the kind that tells nobody anything ever. Grumble.

Renard will presumably be in transit while they find the cure yay! Or Monroe finds the cure. He thinks. Maybe. Thank you, Rosalee, for shutting up his flailing and remind me again why you're letting him work in the spice shop? And now I will pause for a moment of headdesking and flailing about yet more TELL EACH OTHER THINGS, up to and including seriously, why didn't you find a way to acquire the damn cat's claws? Somehow. One of them could have pretended to be the owner of the demon!kitty and that would have solved at least some of the issues, and with potions you can never be overprepared. But, alright, fine, they explain that they need both Juliette and Renard in the same room (doable, according to Nick, though I shudder to think how he plans to accomplish that) and the vector of original infection. Not doable, because it's dead. Well, shit. We get the flashback to remind us but Rosalee, because she is awesome, has a second option! Which it seems like Nick isn't gonna like very much.

Once our hearts stop bleeding for the spines of all those books, we move back to the precinct, where we have Captain Mclurkypants figuring out a way to make it look just barely plausible that he's at Nick's desk. Mostly by dint of checking for observers and then sitting down and it's a measure of how rattled he is that this isn't as smooth as, say, when he grabbed the cell phone from shooting Cousin Menton. Though admittedly this is something that takes a lot longer than a simple grab and walk. At any rate, he starts rummaging, has a moment of annoyance where I think he slams his knee against the desk? Ouch. And hey presto, the key! Also hey presto, Hank! Hank we love you and there was not nearly enough of you in this ep. The tone of his voice says that he's now Very Suspicious of Renard even without being up to date on all the latest hijinks, as you become when your captain is rummaging in your partner's desk and jumps up guiltily, and when you are The Best (drink!). Hank would very much like to get the hell back to work no matter his captain's mother-henning, which has the advantage of being both true and useful to him. Hands in pockets again, of course. They exchange some words about Adalind and Renard's lousy excuse for being at Nick's desk, which Hank is not in the least fooled by. Nor is he responding well to the question of her motives, closing up and referencing his marriages, which is one of Hank's standard guarded retorts. And then Renard tells him he had to let Adalind go for lack of evidence, and to watch his back, which I think is even well-meant on the whole but comes off as creepy and manipulative under the circumstances. Hank thinks so too. Hank will be looking in all directions, including smack at his captain's office. Oh Hank. I guess we're all knowledgeable here now!

Meantime, Rosalee has acquired and mixed all of those ingredients in a blender, which is both more modern and a helluva lot kinder than the lumpy mess Renard had to drink when he got this same potion. I'm not quite sure why making Nick go through the purification process will help reverse the potion's effects, mostly because they haven't explained the second step of the damn thing at all, but I guess... something something cancellation effect? Maybe? Rosalee is not telling anyone what the second step is, other than that it involves all three of them, and I am not making any threesome jokes really. Sigh. She does, however, comment that Nick has to survive the purification potion, which doesn't sound too good. Saved by the phone! Hank's doing the exact opposite of what his partner does, which is share information when it happens. And that is why Hank is The Best. Goddammit. Nick immediately knows what's going on and how this is very bad, or at least thinks he does, and one pushing off their protests that he needs to drink the damn potion later, we cut back to the precinct.

Where Renard is doing an ink impression of the map on the key and reads it straight off. You can tell by the little smile and pleased huff he gives. RENARD TELL US WHAT THE MAP IS FOR. But no, into the shredder it goes and now he has some things to take care of elsewhere. Including Adalind and Nick. Hank, under instructions to keep the Captain there under whatever pretense he can muster, manages to stall (badly) for a whole thirty seconds or so! He didn't really have much to work with, unfortunately, since he hasn't been brought up to speed on the quad-homicide (hey, remember that? yeah, the writers didn't. We'll be interested to see if they bring it up in future eps or not, but we're betting not.) and the first thing he thinks of is Adalind. Which is totally an obvious ploy and leads to Renard using full on Captain Voice on Hank. Well, now everyone knows something's up. At least everyone who was paying attention and was in the bullpen. Goodie.

Out of the precinct and out of the elevator and into a familiar hallway, hey, it's Renard's condo! That is a swankass condo, I have to say again. Renard gets a phone call and by now if I were him I would be dreading every time that phone rings, because it always seems to be bad news, but he's still a police captain, so he answers it. Not police business, either. He's in the hallway so he can use her proper name, and his voice does ring with some concern that's more than politeness, poor guy. She really looks at the end of her tether. They both do. As underscored by the fact that he reverts to exasperated about how she's only telling him now, and she found out last night. She rightly points out that she was under no obligation to call him and hangs up on him, which, hey, as useful as being updated and real time would be, Juliette isn't actually your girlfriend or even your friend, Renard, and calling you was probably not uppermost on the list of things she would normally think about. Plus resisting the potion might well mean that she's actively trying to avoid thinking of him, so as far as information withholding goes in this episode (because gee golly there is a LOT of that) this is the least annoying instance. But they're both tired and stressed and talking to each other only increases the stress, he snaps, she snaps back, and they hang up. Which is, sadly, probably the best thing they both could do.

So, Renard returns to his condo and I will take a brief moment here to digress on what's changed since his home got repeatedly invaded and trashed at least once. For one thing, the pictures have moved. There's a different picture on the table in front of the patio glass wall and another on the sideboard where the alcohol is displayed (displayed more than stored, I don't imagine that wall gets any great amount of light but I still wouldn't store good booze there), and while we've seen both of these pictures before, that's not where they were last time. These are, by the way, two daughter pictures. The tables are the same but some of the things on them have changed, mostly the books, knickknacks, and on the hall table in front of the tapestry there is definitely a picture, black and white perhaps, of a woman. And it's hard to tell, but my current guess is that that's a picture of a woman holding an infant. So, that happened. Renard, as always for this episode, looks exhausted as he comes in and doesn't volunteer Adalind any information either with words or with his expression or posture. Well, except for the closed off lying liar hands in pockets thing. His face, while much more haggard and emotional than usual, doesn't give away any specifics by that emotion. Just that he's stressed about everything. Because, unlike half the rest of this show, he can actually lie with a straight face. Adalind's all eagerness and pep, one hand curled in front of her for, well, a number of potential reasons? Excitement, concealment, it's hard to say given the context because in this case there are too many possibilities. Renard's no looks actually a fair bit like a lie, I'm not sure if that's because we know it and are looking for it or because he's tired enough that he's letting things slip. That's an awfully big eyedart to the left, regardless. But as Adalind's glee turns to dismay (Adalind, you, too, control your face, especially if you're going to play this game voluntarily) his mask gets more together as he keeps lying through his teeth about not finding the key, he needs more time. It helps that he follows up the lie with several technical truths. Adalind is bitey at first, and then confident again as she tells him he's out of time and his brother and blah blah threaten threaten. As well, leaving on that note while he's still making demands for time and room to work both makes her feel in control and would give her greater control if the situation were as she believes it to be. Which it isn't, but Adalind still isn't as good at this as she thinks she is. I also have to note that for all she invokes Eric and his influence, the only sign we actually see of his influence is that he sent four barely competent Hundjagers with her, which does not bode well for her being in as much favor as she claims to be. And, again, because conspiracies have layers much like onions, cakes, and ogres, she might also only be claiming to either have a disquieting effect on Renard or claiming in order to pretend she wants to have a disquieting effect on Renard and thereby pretend she's worse at this than she actually is. It could be any of these! We don't know. Isn't it great? She leaves with an Americanly pronounced 'Ciao, Bello', which again, Italian rather than French or German, and she's been hanging out in Vienna Austria? Florence Italy, blah blah map murderboards us tearing our hair out. Or she's just being fancy. And a passing comment over her shoulder of "Thanks for last night" which could be her gloating over finally having Renard in the way she wanted to have him, or could be something else. Which we do find out at the end of the episode, it is likely to be that something else. Renard, as he watches her go, clearly doesn't trust her. At all. Farther than he can throw her, which from that height is quite a  bit far. Just in case we didn't know he's a lying liar who lies, Renard will now pull out the key he didn't find and stare at it contemplatively, with his Royal ring firmly in the shot just to pound the anvil down a little farther.

While Nick goes tearassing down the hall of the police precinct. Nick, it's a damn good thing you have an excuse to be tearassing anywhere, between Juliette and the quadruple homicide you caught but most assuredly are not remembering, because otherwise you'd probably catch some serious eyetracks for that. More than you are already. But the Captain isn't there and the key isn't there and Hank says Nick just missed him, and then Nick proceeds to rant about the key. That he won't tell Hank what it's for. Mostly because he probably doesn't have a real grasp on that last part beyond "ultimate power/weapon," but still. Should've done more research, Nick. And the Captain and Adalind. But he won't tell Hank what he's talking about. Or what the Captain's done. Or who he thinks the Captain is. Hank, if you decide to start doing your own investigation and not telling Nick things, I promise, we will not yell at you. Much. Or maybe at all. Of course, as soon as he's in the car he gets interrupted in whatever madcap rush he was about to make, which is good because Nick, do you even know where your Captain is right now? No? I didn't think so. Because you're a hasty idiot. But luckily for him, it's the Captain, who's decided fuck everything palaver now. There's a good tactical move there, since Adalind and Eric and probably who knows who else have decided to hold his keeping secrets from Nick over his head, he's going to jump the gun and tell Nick first, thereby taking their little informational H-bomb away from them. Pun halfway intended, though I suspect it was the royalty/key part he first intended to talk about rather than the Hexen part. So, the Captain wants to talk somewhere they won't be disturbed. Good plan.

For this plan the Captain will pick the cabin where Nick apprehended (well, Hank shot) his first Wesen! I'm not sure if there's an in-universe reason for this such as convergence of ley lines, secret stash of keys under the floorboards, or something else, but as secret meeting places go for potentially violent encounters it's a damn good one, it's one Renard has cause to know about, it's one that stands as a physical and silent introduction or conversation opener to Nick's Grimming, and it has appreciable symmetry. It also gives Nick silent confirmation that yes, Renard has known since the beginning about Nick's abilities. We can, finally, see that the house has been for sale and reduced, not that that's necessarily relevant to anything, it's just amusing. Nick will remember what happened via flashback for the benefit of those just joining us in the audience, and then the Captain will roll up in his battlewagon. I would place no bets that he wasn't lurking off-road somewhere in his large black vehicle with the lights off waiting for Nick to pull up first and making sure Nick is alone. We get a tangential confirmation that Nick knows that Renard's known about him since the beginning when Nick pulls out his lampshade about the location and, sadly, Renard starts off with no violence, not even a threat in his voice, just a weary statement that they have a lot to talk about. Nick being Nick, he prefers the punching instead. Dammit, Nick.

Despite the shakycam we get some sense of the choreography, which is that Nick is determined to kick his Captain's ass and still a good enough cop or used enough to being under Renard's command that he isn't moving as quickly or as unhesitatingly as he might otherwise. Renard doesn't do much other than defend himself, moving out of the way and blocking most of the time, and stepping away quickly when they become separated. He tries to protest that they don't have to (shouldn't be, really) doing it this way, Nick resumes the punching. Which means that the next time Renard gets room to breathe he pulls out the Hexenface, giving Nick quite a bit of pause. I know Nick says "you" here but I really, really wish that was an "ew" instead, just for comedic value. And we know pulling out the woge was deliberate because he holds it just long enough for Nick to register that holy fuck his Captain's a Wesen (hard to say whether or not Nick knows he's a Hexenbiest, or half) before putting it away again. And again, I wish Nick had said "ew" instead because Nick has never fucking seen HexenRenard before. What does register is I think meant to be shock/surprise, insofar as Royals aren't supposed to have woge, perhaps? At least not so far as we've ever known. Which means it accomplishes the goal of getting Nick to stop punching things and start talking! Nick now is asking some questions, even if they're not the most important ones they're still pretty decent questions. Renard's known about Nick since his Aunt showed up, which means since there was anything to know because even if he knew about Nick's bloodline before, he didn't know whether or not Nick had inherited the Grimming. Nick brings up the one good point he's thought of all episode which is, yes, Renard tried to kill Aunt Marie, and does indeed deserve several good slugs to the face for that at the very least. Meanwhile Renard's still trying to talk to Nick but Nick's still trying to punch him, so Renard will now open up the can of whoopass he's been hiding inside his stylish coat. Those are some fast, powerful, solid punches he lands, and even if none of them floor Nick for long we can hear them connect because, well, we've known since the first season that our Captain is trained to fight and very good at it. And finally Renard manages to get Nick off of him long enough to give him back his goddamn key, which again gives Nick pause long enough to catch the key and fucking listen. Thank you dear god. Nick, would it have killed you to listen first then kick the shit out of him? Yes? Damn. Because every word that comes out of Renard's mouth at this point is a gold mine of either information or more questions. How long is far longer than Nick's known about the key? Did he know about it in the abstract or as in Marie Kessler has one of the keys to the ultimate weapon? If that latter, how the fuck did he know that? Renard's of the opinion that either of them killing the other won't end this because piles of conspiring, conniving Royals, which is both incredibly pragmatic and, given his expression of near-pleading, kind of sweet. In a liege lord who is a manipulative overgrown shit kind of a way. He knew what the postman was and for a second I want to punch Renard again because really? And you didn't do anything? No, because he's a police captain, and while he might have known the postman was a Blutbad that doesn't mean he knew the postman was a murderer, so, okay. And then the knowing about what Adalind did and that he could wake her up, yes, that we saw. And then another plea for Nick to calm the fuck down and see reason and work with Renard, because if Adalind gets the key, the Royal families get it, and then disaster and world domination ensues. Yes, the Royal families, Nick. Though I am curious that Nick doesn't bring up the fact that Renard is a fucking Royal. Arguably because his head's exploding from the infodump plus the revelation that the Royal is at least part-Wesen. The rest of the dialogue is largely to get them to a place where Nick at least believes Renard enough to bring him in on things, Renard now knows there's a cure, and we head over to collect Juliette.

Who looks, if a bit more fragile than normal, still remarkably well put together given what she's been through recently. Then again, it's also possible-to-probable she's been going to work and gaining some stability there, and some space to avoid thinking about the clusterfuck that her personal life has become. The resigned, flat "now what" is some of the best delivery of the ep, and takes us over to the spice shop where Rosalee will mix up yet another purification potion! What, do these ingredients grow on trees? Figuratively. I seem to recall at least a couple did literally. We don't get to hear what discussion they had to get Juliette to go with them to the spice shop in the first place, though I assume that she rode with Nick for safety reasons. I will be very, very annoyed if they just skipped over telling Juliette all about the Wesen world and how it works, but less annoyed if they just said, there's a cure, you won't believe it, come with us anyway because it's not like what's been happening to you is believable or explicable by the science you know. Which might work! And then we have FIVE MAIN CHARACTERS ALL IN A ROOM TOGETHER and it is glorious. Now let's just get Hank in this thing and we'll be set until we have to reveal Wesendom to Wu. (Assuming he isn't already a Wesen, please oh please.) Juliette looks worried and freaked out and I'm really impressed by both their self-control that just standing next to each other isn't inducing either makeouts or physical fights. Plus that's a nice 'ew' face for the potion. Renard's much more impassive, though not without some sympathy. Been there done that lost the t-shirt. (Shirtless rage, remember.) Everyone waits! Renard with more I-know-what's-coming than everyone else, as per usual. This is some excellent comedic delivery on both Giuntoli and Roiz's parts, with the "That's it?" "No." "*hurk*" "That's it." and the kind of dry humor I would dearly love to see more of with Renard in the Scooby gang now. Cue some flailing and gasping and Juliette being concerned, both because she's a doctor (a vet, but the same mindset applies) and because she does care about him, we saw them starting to resume the same spark that got them through the last four years before the potion turned everything sideways. She'd like to do something, but that look Renard has says there's nothing to be done but ride it out, as he knows all too well. Then Nick turns red! Well, I guess that wasn't just a Hexen/Royal thing after all. (Unless Grimms are bloodline related enough to either. Which we will not rule out just yet.) There is, however, no black smoke yet, just a long, VERY tall Dutch angle on account of having to get Renard's head in there too, and fade to black.

But Wait, There's More! Honestly, they could have chopped this ep at the not-a-cliffhanger-because-main-character scene and dropped this in somewhere next ep, but alright, we'll take it. Over in Vienna, Adalind has returned to the Hotel Sacher, her new home. Interesting that she's in ridiculous heels but a blue kimono style bathrobe, which would almost imply that she got dressed after having sex again. Or something. I don't know, maybe she was taught that a woman must never be caught barefoot? This is entirely contrary to my MO at home, which involves wandering around in socks and slippers when it's cold and entirely barefoot when it's warm. Because it's home, dammit. Of course, we've already established that Adalind doesn't define home as the sort of place she can relax and kick back, and indeed that there may not be any such place for her, so. The important part is the pregnancy test, which is positive, which leads me to question a) how long between sex and pregnancy test b) could it be Eric's, since she implied sleeping with him as well c) is that a false positive? I seriously doubt the last, but home pregnancy tests can be unreliable and definitely don't tell you paternity. Plus we don't know how Hexenbiests get pregnant, if they can choose to be fertile or what-have-you, lord knows that's a common genre trope. At any rate, the implication they want us to take away is that Adalind's having Renard's baby and she intended this to happen all along, or at least leapt at the chance when it was presented to her so that she could have a hold over him. Also, probably, that this will give her her powers back, in a Holy Blood Holy Grail way.

Next week on Grimm! Not a damn thing about the events of this ep, which I hope will be the B plot. Instead, there are Wesen breaking the Masquerade. Oh this is going to go SO POORLY. Especially with Rosalee playing community leader. This has all the earmarks of a potential mob scene. Hey, maybe that means a chance for Renard to prove his usefulness with crowd management! We can hope, right?

And finally, the deleted scene, which starts out in daylight with some very clear and blue lighting here. Well, if they were going to do this in daylight they had to leech the comforting warmth of day out somehow, I guess. I'm not entirely sure what they're laying on but they've definitely made a nest and pillow out of their clothing, and that looks like a small towel up above their heads probably from cleanup. The sort of towel one might keep in a car in case of rain or spillage, not in case of sex. Not in Renard's case, anyway. Especially since the towel's up there and his dignity is barely clad with his shirt draped over his lap. Waist. That area there, since he's lying down. The other side of it, because the ginormous man has ginormous shirts, and part of a sleeve is draped over Adalind's backside so that we can have her frontside hidden by the ground, Renard's body, and her arm as she leans up to talk to him. Starting off with gloating about the sex. We even have something to compare it to, and I never thought I would say that about Renard's post-coital attitude, but we do. Whereas with Mia in that deleted scene (why are all the deleted scenes Renard having post-sex'd snuggles?) he was affectionate and smiling, here he's recumbent and still, giving lip or, well, hand service to affection for Adalind with no sign of actual affection in his body tension or facial expression. Whatever feelings he had for Mia, he doesn't even have that much for Adalind, and he threatened both their lives. So. Adalind gloats some, and then proposes that their next date (and she does make it sound like a date) be looking for the key in Nick's trailer! And Renard shoots that down without much emotion or room for Adalind to maneuver, either. She asks him what she's supposed to do and takes it further into, if Renard leaves her alone Nick will find her and kill her and then Eric, Royals, vengeance, telling on Renard, all those lovely things. Adalind, honey, I know you're new? But you need to remember not to go from zero to doom in two point five seconds flat. The upshot is that she wants Renard to protect her both to assert control over him and to feel all loved and cared for, mostly the first but some of the second. Renard's phrasing of it, that is "You're coming to my place" rather than an offer or a question, is rather imperious, but we've come to expect that from him. And I wouldn't give Adalind any more room to maneuver than I had to, either. She seems satisfied with that, though I and I think Renard have no idea what 'old times' she's referring to this being like. She does, however, get in the last little dig when she mentions how he called her Juliette. And it hits, because we can see him looking perturbed and worried. Oh Adalind. I really, really love to hate you.


  1. All the deleted scenes are of Renard having post-sex'd snuggles because fanservice.

    1. Well. Yes. >.> I will say it's nice to have the writers aware of some female gaze, despite the paucity of female writers on staff. (Thanks, Akela!)

  2. I believe it was established in the pilot that "they" (meaning certainly the Reapers, and likely by extension the Royals and the Verrat) knew that Marie had either the key or at least something important: when she gave it to Nick, she told him that "they" wanted it and to guard it with his life (really, Nick, in a drawer that you DON'T EVEN LOCK?). Also, I doubt Nick's surprise at Renard's woge had anything to do with Renard's being a Royal so much as the fact that Renard's managed to keep his Hexenface under wraps around Nick for so long.

    Also, I find it veeeery interesting that when Adalind first initiated the sex, Renard said something like "because this went so well last time." (Maybe this is the same as Adalind's reference to "old times" in the deleted scene?) WHAT IS LAST TIME? Did they previously have a sexual relationship that he broke off prior to the start of the series? That both fits her infatuation with him and yet doesn't, because the vibe I got from that was very much unrequited, not...disrequited, so to speak. Could he be referring to her mother? Does he mean last time as in last time he trusted her, not last time they had sexin's? WHAT DOES IT MEEEAAAN.

    Also also, have I missed something or is this the first time we've really understood that Renard's game was connected to the Lauffeur? We've known that he had some sort of conspiracy going, but I don't think it was ever clear what it was or that he had any allies outside of his own group of informants and contractors (in the sense of people who contribute skills, like the lock owl guy). As you said, we still don't know what his actual goal is--it still might be some sort of personal power advancement among the Royal ranks, but with the promise to the Lauffeur of loosening Royal control on the Wesen/in some other way(s) furthering their interests, in order to gain their support. What I also don't understand is his statement that if the Royals get the key, he and Nick are both dead: how much does he believe the Royals know about his activities?

    I am more inclined to go with your second explanation about how they got Juliette to the shop. At least she was already primed with the idea that something or someone at that shop can help her, and she has someone she trusts in Monroe. I also think that this would have been the wrong time to try to explain everything to her (also, if they do that offscreen I will be VERY DISPLEASED); she's miserable, she's tapped out, she probably doesn't have the energy or even the interest to try to wrap her head around all this right now. Plus, seeing what's just happened to Nick, which is not something you could mistake for a normal physical reaction (bright, unnatural red, I assume black smoke to follow) may make her more ready to believe the unbelievable. Better to take care of the potion problem and then let her calm down a little before dropping the rest of everything on her. I completely agree that it was great to see her concern for Nick, and it reminded me of how much I liked their relationship when it functioned better; it felt so, so much more right than any scene we've ever seen between her and Renard (which, obviously, and we're intended to feel that way, but if I had no investment in Juliette/Nick I'd probably be eyerolling instead). I found her and Renard's newfound ability to be in a room together and act like normal adults in control of themselves less impressive and more inexplicable. It bothered me a lot, actually.

    1. PART DEUX:
      As for Nick not sharing information: I agree that lack of information is a lazy and unsatisfying way to drive plot, and I hope that the other characters will drive him toward breaking that habit more in the future. But I actually find his chronic inability to do so a plausible character choice. He seems to have a deep, often self-destructive (or at least failing at self-care) sense of utter self-reliance, or going it alone; his instinct is not to ask for help, but to try to handle things on his own. Monroe initially forces himself into Nick's life, and after Nick goes through an initial phrase of constantly pumping him for information, he usually only goes to him on something relevant to a case. He treats him like a friend-cum-CI, basically, and the same goes for Rosalee. He tends to investigate independently and call Hank in when he feels he's got a handle on the situation. Etc. (Note: I may be reading in the self-reliance to the point of getting in his own way thing a bit, as it's something I am 100% guilty of.)

      He also seems to compartmentalize individual incidents from all others, possibly because he's trying so hard to compartmentalize Grimming from police work, also likely because he's basically white-knuckling it and has been for a long time at this point. No sooner does one problem conclude than another pops up. So in his mind, the episode where his mother killed Catherine is a separate entity from the current Renard/Juliette problem, both of which are separate from Adalind's treatment of Hank. He doesn't seem to have ever sat down and tried to fit it all together (although I agree that it's stretching plausibility to think that he couldn't figure out that Renard was a Royal from the information in front of him in the back half of this ep).

      I'm not saying this is a good thing, not at all. But Nick's character has never been defined by his thoughtfulness or analytical nature. He has great intuition (which parallels his Grimm ability to see woges), a good heart, excellent people skills, and the willingness to put his head down and just slog through all the boring, fact-finding police work, but he's not the guy with a huge murderboard up on his wall trying to put the pattern together. Look how badly he falls apart whenever he has to try to actively conceal his Grimm activities from his cop life, as when they've investigated various cases in which he or his mother are the perpetrators. He's not good at looking at the situation and formulating a strategy. On this show, that quality belongs to Renard and maybe, I'm hoping, to Hank (it would be another aspect in which he and Nick make excellent partners). I'm absolutely DYING for Hank to come to Nick and make him see that a) he has strategic reasons to trust Renard, at least cautiously, at least for now, and work with him, and b) that he really needs to explain everything to Juliette. (Or SOMEONE does.) He can put himself forward as an example of how revealing the truth can be positive, and keeping someone in the dark is not actually protective of them when they're this close to the action.

      Even though it would be problematic in terms of the way they treat the female characters (and I absolutely agree with you about that), I would like to see Rosalee comforting Juliette at some point. I want them to be friends, partly because I would like ANY of the female characters on this show to have ANY positive relationships with other women (though I suppose we've seen Juliette has close and supportive female friends). I would accept Monroe being the one to do this instead, as long as he's feeling free to be honest with her at that moment.

    2. Okay, end of my long-ass rambly comment that goes on forever, SORRY:

      I'm hoping that this ep represents a turning point and we'll see going forward:

      1. The expansion of the Scooby gang (continued integration of Hank, the inclusion of Juliette and, probably to a lesser extent, Renard) as well as the deepening of those relationships through Nick opening up more about information as well as his emotional reactions to events as they're occurring. Again, I may be projecting, but I feel that his closed-mouth tendencies stem from an obsession with self-reliance that are ultimately about protecting himself from appearing--or feeling--weak by acknowledging stress and unhappiness.
      2. Secondary characters getting episodes or small arcs wherein they get to drive the action more. Monroe has had this, as has Rosalee somewhat when her brother died and when Ian came through town; I really, really want it for Hank, Juliette, and eventually Wu. (All three have had plotlines that centered on them, but they were victims in those cases.)
      3. A return to some procedural episodes that draw more directly on the fairy tales. I'm all for metaplot, but I want a balance of it with the original premise and source material, which I've been missing lately.


    3. " much as the fact that Renard's managed to keep his Hexenface under wraps around Nick for so long."

      The Reapers were after Marie for reasons unknown because Hulda never said anything before dying, and Earless never said anything but that he wanted to kill Nick in revenge for killing Hulda. The only thing the Verrat said was something about "more complicated" and "control your Grimm." Renard was always after the key, but it wasn't until Cousin Menton showed up that we learned anyone else knew about it or was after it. But yes. Nick is an idiot for not doing that before and I'm a little surprised because we saw him have it on his neck previously, when Aunt Marie was dying.

      "...Does he mean last time as in last time he trusted her, not last time they had sexin's? WHAT DOES IT MEEEAAAN."

      I suspect he means, the last time he trusted her with anything, let alone something as intimate and personal as sex.

      " much does he believe the Royals know about his activities?"

      It's the first time they've explicitly stated it. We've had implications ever since the canary showed up onscreen, but yes, this is the first time they've explicitly had in-character lines tying Renard's cell to the Resistance. And as far as that last statement, I think it's more that he's both a) planning for the worst and b) assuming that his position with them is not so favorable that they'll put up with his rebellion and shenanigans if he's no longer useful to them. Exhibit A: Cousin Menton and his lackey Wolsey.

    4. I'm not sure where you're getting that Monroe forced himself into Nick's life; Nick forced himself on Monroe first by making him a suspect because he saw Monroe woge and assumed monster, monster attack, then by dragging him into helping him on Wesen investigations ("What am I, your personal Grimmopedia?" 1x03 or 1x04, I don't have access to my eps at the moment). The only way in which Monroe did anything forceful was when Nick caught him marking his territory at his house and Monroe responded with a show of force against what he probably saw as an intruding threat. With Rosalee it's a bit murkier, because it's Monroe who first thinks of calling her about Hank's problem with the zaubertrank, even though it's Nick who insists.

      I could wish you were wrong about the compartmentalizing, but he's definitely trying to keep his Grimm work separate from his cop work, prioritizing his cop work and not hunting down anyone if he's not given a murder case or something the Wesen don't want to go to the police with (e.g. the Eisbiebers). I'm not sure how much of his keeping the Hexenincidents apart is that or how much is simply not having and not making the time to lay it all out, but certainly compartmentalizing as a habit would disincline him to do so.

      The problem is, Nick's character was initially showcased with an analytical nature. Remember back in the very, very beginning, in the first two episodes where one of the first things we saw him do was size up a person and rattle off a series of traits, much like we do here? He's never done that since. Ever. He's even capable of following chains of logic in police fashion to a conclusion, see all the police-work MotW segments for the most recent episode Natural Born Wesen. But for whatever reason, he's incapable of making certain leaps of logic, such as "my friend Hank knows about Wesen now + talking with my friend Hank helps me figure out cases = I should talk to my friend Hank about this current Wesen problem I'm having and maybe he can help me figure it out." And that bugs me. I feel as though they're deliberately taking away his ability to communicate, to rely on his friends, and to make basic leaps of logic, solely for the sake of furthering conflict and stalling the plot. Which is lazy writing. There are more than enough other complications that could arise, they have other aspects of other cases they could be working such as, oh, Wu could snag Hank about another lead on the Catherine Schade murder. Hank could be suffering physical side effects from the beating he took and thus not be physically available at the precinct. There could be more tension with Juliette, there's any number of ways in any number of situations they could be delaying the reveals, and they haven't been. Lazy writing.

      All that said, yeah, Juliette and Rosalee, especially now, getting together possibly so Rosalee can tell Juliette some more about what was done to her both to screw up her mind and to fix her, that would be an awesome scene, and I want it now.

    5. And the rest!
      1. I would love the group to develop some proper bonds, all of them opening up and sharing information and leaning on each other for support/supporting each other. I doubt we'll ever get Renard doing that with anyone to any great extent, but as much as is possible, I would love to see that with all of them. We don't get very many healthy group dynamics on shows like this (see previous rant about miscommunications and lack of communications and lazy writers defaulting to that to drive conflict), and I would love to see one develop here.

      2. Did you see the webisode series that featured Bud the Eisbieber? Not much action furthering but some character bonding, it was cute. I would love some more character arcs for everyone, but I'm not sure how many more episodes this show has, since it hasn't gotten renewed yet. I suppose that's what fanfic is for.

      3. We seem to be getting that? Although given the balance of metaplot to MotW last Friday I don't know a) how good the MotWs are going to be and b) whether or not the MotW is going to end up just being a shill for the metaplot.

  3. Three things.

    1.) Oh man I loved Renard lying about finding the key. Because not only did his eyes dart, but he twitched his right hand—the hand that was in the coat pocket where we saw him stash the key—making the entire lower right side of his coat flap as he lied. So not only did he whip out the blinking neon "I'm lying" sign, but he also pretty much told her exactly where it was. Sasha Roiz does an excellent job of blending Renard's stoic "I can lie about all the things" face with his bodily tells.

    2.) Pregnancy test…the last I heard, it takes three weeks for pregnancy hormones to show up. But that was on a sitcom in the 90s. Today's home tests…(*Googles*)…can show a positive result as early as 11-18 days after sex. So yeah, "who's your daddy" really depends on when that scene in Vienna happened. Though depending upon Adalind's scheme, she may or may not particularly want anyone to know for sure which brother is the father.

    3.) Renard in Scooby Gang yes please can has? I ADORED that initial scene at the quadruple homicide where Nick was all like "I know" and Renard was all like "Does he know or is he just being weird again?" And it just got better from there. I felt like their chemistry as actors really clicked into place now that this new dynamic of knowing has been added to their relationship…and when I say "clicked," I mean "ka-CHUNKED" like pins in a bank vault. They're not just acting in the same room together anymore; now they're CONNECTING and fueling each other's performances. I feel like both characters just got so much richer, stronger, more energetic, and more fun to watch…both individually and together.

    1. I wish there were a "like" button on these things because your last point: yes.

    2. Oh fuck you Blogger why you eat my comment. LET'S TRY THIS AGAIN, now with recreating from scratch:

      Have I mentioned how much I love Sasha Roiz's acting ability? Because I doooooo. /fangirl

      Plus any biological weirdness from a) having been Hexen once b) carrying a half-Hexen's baby c) all of the above d) unknown unknowns. In conclusion DATA DATA DATA I CANNOT MAKE BRICKS WITHOUT CLAY, aka you've heard this rant before. ;)

      And yes. Between last week and this week, Renard in the Scooby Gang is officially the Best Thing Ever. I'm sad they took this long to get us here, but really happy about the payoff so far.