Well, this is an interesting... bit... of previouslies... that goes on for over a goddamn minute. Just barely, but still, you guys, what were you thinking? Aside from maybe that they hadn't done one in awhile and there had been a lot of movement on assorted metaplot. Well, alright, but that was still a movie trailer of the last season's worth of plot, more or less, and means a minute less of actual weekly ep oh fine, whatever. We get a lot of morphs, a lot of Hank-in-the-know which we assume is because Russell Hornsby was still out injured for this ep (poor guy) and we were hoping that the "I think they can sense it" recap was going to lead us to a goddamn explanation for that. But alas, it was not to be. Instead we get someone who sounds like a cousin of the IN A WORLD guy (Don LaFontaine) as we get the Royals and Juliette recap. Also they've managed to make Portland look remarkably like the panover of Fairy Tale Land we get in Once Upon A Time. Guys. GUYS. What is this silly nonsense.
Alright, anyway, let's move onto the case of the week! Which will open with a quote from Brother and Sister, which we have not actually had yet. (We had Hansel and Gretel back in Organ Grinder.) Notably, it's not a quote that indicates familial relationship so much as fear of death/abandonment. Well, this should be fun! We open, after the shot of the field, with Nick muttering to himself on a DARK AND STORMY NIGHT in the trailer. I will accept this as a mechanism for reminding us/bringing new viewers up to speed about the key: Constantinople, 13th century, Crusades, key, map, important treasure, no time to talk about that let's go over to the field! The field of cattle mutilations. And I just got done with a Sneakers rewatch, too. (Cattle mutilations are up.) We've got a couple farmers checking on the cattle, smart, too, don't go out alone at night. Not with someone killing cattle in the area for damn sure, but also just because out there if you sprain an ankle, you do not want to be out there all night alone. So, good habits, which will not save at least one of them or we wouldn't have a case. Poor bastards. That is a lot of viscera and maybe we've been watching all the wrong sort of things for way too long but it rather looks like someone wanted something in particular. Mostly because that's Traditional with these sorts of cases. Two cows dead in immediate view and hi, blue glowy thing! Dear blue glowy thing: I know you look like humans' traditional idea of an alien, but STOP BREAKING THE FUCKING MASQUERADE. For the love of. Fight, struggle, spiky bit of wood-and-metal through the back which looks like an accident judging by the horrified look on GlowBoy's face. I'm sorry, honey, there's nothing you can do for your son, son-in-law, whoever he is. GlowBoy is still in full woge and making little growling pain-noises as he takes off across the field and I have to facepalm. You know, if he'd just let the fucking woge go this wouldn't have gotten so out of hand. Unless it's a trait of this species of Wesen that they have no in between function, and if they're woged out everyone can see them all the time. Which would go a long ways toward explaining why they got hunted to near-extinction. ANYway. I get ahead of the game. Growling pain noises, which I would make too, along with some loud swearing, if I lost skin to a barbed-wire fence. Ow. And skin still glowing on the fence as he heads out! Woo! Oh no wait, the other thing.
Roll credits and we're over to Monroe's place! Where he and Rosalee are cleaning up after dinner and we're getting data on his family. Yes. Tell us EVERYTHING you guys. All your data give to Zim. It sounds like at least his father and probably a fair chunk of the rest of his relatives are anything but wider Blutbad, so they still hunt, still kill, are probably something of a danger to humans. Goodie. And whether or not this is meant to be representative of the species as a whole, he also sounds like he runs around on Monroe's mother unless she keeps him in check. Which she does. I'd guess with claws. Monroe is from Half-Moon, New Hampshire, a three bedroom house that backs up onto state parkland and oh my god this is SO MUCH DATA. I love everything. Three bedrooms means either one for an office or Monroe had sibs, the latter being more likely if they're playing up the wolf angle. Wolves have litters, remember. Enjoy that mental image. Monroe and a brother running around in bowties. What. Whaaat. Rosalee thinks it's adorable too! But here's the problem, okay, yes, having your very traditional Blutbad parents in your house with a Grimm would be a BIG problem. Particularly since Monroe seems to think they'd give Nick reason to kill them. What fun. Sounds like Renard's family, only the hack 'n slash is done in front of you... so, alright, not that much like Renard's family. I would love Nick to stay with Rosalee! I want to see the inside of her place so badly. This has nothing to do with being a completist and itching for enough information to finish out the When You're At Home series. Of course not. Rosalee and we get caught up on Juliette and awww. My god, you two. Stop being so adorable. I can't quite manage to be sold on the physical chemistry in a romantic sense between them, but they've got a very nice rapport. It's not young love, it's the kind of love that two people form when they've gone through a lot of horrible, horrible things in their lives and they know to savor the moments they get as long as they have them.
This moment will now be broken by Nick! Goddammit, Nick. Stop cockblocking. They both manage the awkward and embarrassed look as only Silas Weir Mitchell and Bree Turner can, I will now crack up laughing over her delivery on that greeting. Nick is being horribly oblivious again. I miss the Nick that actually had room to give a damn what other people were doing before he stuck his foot in it. At least he realizes once he looks at them playing the awkward parents with an unruly 20-something who drinks all their beer and interrupts their makeout sessions. Which is totally accurate except for the age, and I only lower the age because Nick keeps angsting like a 20-something. Sigh. They're not being particularly subtle about the you interrupted, Nick, looks. I wouldn't be either. Rosalee has the best "yeah you did" face ever. Bree Turner, how so awesome. He will now go to his room, just to play up the parents and kid trope some more, and I think that's intended to be a deliberate comedic thing but it comes out slightly upset. Oh Nick. Rosalee does the standard check to be sure it's not immediately urgent, which it's not, and now that the mood is thoroughly killed they make a rain-check for her place, oh my god you two stop being so cute it makes my ovaries hurt. Meanwhile Nick will do what looks like kicking himself some more for being a moron up in his room. And/or really hoping he's not about to be subjected to hearing wild Blutbad-Fuchsbau sexytimes. Don't worry, Nick, they have way too much decorum for that. Brood brood angst over the key and hello, Monroe. You are such a good friend, even if you fuck up sometimes. It turns out that what's so urgent is that Nick finally decided to share information! ABOUT. FUCKING. TIME. You should have asked your resident history buff a long time before this, you know. He is at least polite enough to check in and apologize by way of asking after Monroe and Rosalee first, thank you, and on to business. This is business that Monroe immediately recognizes, and recognizes again when Nick forks over the imprint of the map. If he were a cartoon character he'd have the "buffering... buffering..." sign over his head. And a lightbulb.
We will start the infodump by discussing the design of the key itself before we get to the map. Apparently a lot of them were first designed in monasteries, with the set of instructions... built onto the key that fit into the lock? Monroe's not terribly coherent when he's excited and Silas Weir Mitchell is swallowing his damn vowels, which apart from being something that English does as a matter of course (what? I grew up speaking Spanish, too, I have weird language ears, stop looking at me like that) is deeply annoying. Also the first time we've wanted to throttle a regular for it! I digress, to no use, sorry about that. Notably, he does mention that it's some kind of a ward-lock, meaning wards are used in some way either on the key or in addition to the thing the key protects or something. It's rather incoherent. Monroe is, as said before, excitable and a bit rambly, so we get information! He's pulling a map out of a flat case one uses for maps, architectural drawings, that sort of thing, an old-looking wooden box case, too, so it's likely this is something he's had in the family for a while. And he tells us that this map he's just pulled out is a map of Schwaben, aka Swabia, aka a region in Bavaria, aka the place where the goddamn Masquerade was formed under treaty in in 1521. (Natural Born Wesen 2x14) Obligatory speculation and tangent warning: Which means, essentially, that the keys and their map and this unknown treasure or weapon (or both) are more than likely linked to either the body which created the Wesen masquerade to begin with, the body that enforces it, or both. This could be in the form that the Council has a key (which we did speculate on before, though not in blog post because we didn't have even an indication of this beyond the Council as another body of unknown but indicated to be significant power), it could be in the form that the weapon/treasure/treasured weapon was used to enforce the masquerade initially. It could be something as distant as that the masquerade stems from an original code of honor related to the Knights who originally hid the weapon, or it could be, considering that Grimms seem to at least partially enforce the masquerade now (remember Aunt Marie saying Hunt the bad ones in the pilot?) that the masquerade was already in place as an informal thing and the treaty only solidified that. Consider also that Kelly said that the Wesen fought for the Royals and the Royals needed the Grimms (back then, the knights) to control the Wesen, which further indicates that the knights/Grimms/whatever they were then, keyholders, were involved in the treaty of Swabia. Regardless, we're now drawing on a whole lot of history to tie the keys together with the Third and Fourth Crusades, Swabia which would have been a part of the Holy Roman Empire then, "knights" which is usually (though not explicitly at this point) a code for "Templars". What exactly the key leads to is also in question: Renard offers up four possibilities that have to do more with magical or spiritual power, Kelly Burkhardt and her Gollum coin-touched self lead with material wealth from the Sack of Constantinople, but since she does end up talking about a mysterious thing that might only be the coins talking. Or the keys could lead to the coins. At some point after the second season wraps we may well do a post detailing all our theories on this subject just to get it straight in our heads, but for now, back to the information Monroe helpfully coughs up to make our brains hurt even more.
Annoyingly, Nick holding the tracing paper to the map (like one would, really, but it's still annoying) means we can't see many of the places. The only name we can figure out looks like Rinckenthal Alb or Alp, which got me exactly two hits on Google (look, you try getting only two hits on Google!) but one of them fortunately was in French, which led to a valley in or at Zimmerbach, which apparently is a small town in Alsace-Lorraine. And apparently an ancient relative of Monroe's was a cartographer in Colmar, which is in Alsace-Lorraine, which does indeed contain the town of Zimmerbach, etc. So, holy crap, Grimm props department or Grimm gaffers or whoever picked out that map, I fucking salute you. Well done. I can't speak to the accuracy of the geography, it's in the right quadrant of Germany at least, south-western, but eh, but well done on picking some freaking obscure names to draw on the map. And goddamn. Anyway, Alsace-Lorraine, yes, it was taken in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, and Monroe seems to have inherited some of his great great's stuff that was hidden away and not burned when the territories changed hands (which they did around that time and for the next hundred years ish. Repeatedly. And often.) Monroe thinks the map on the key is of the Schwarzwald, the Black Forest, and I'm not sure if I concur or not because they don't seem to be able to place it directly on Monroe's map? But if he can link it to that particular style and that particular region, then yeah, Schwarzwald is a good guess. In which case, if we're going to Alsace-Lorraine, Schwarzwald, and Colmar for buried treasure there are at least two candidates for actual historical treasure, both Jewish, and at least one prominently involving coins. And all I can say is if they go THAT route they had better do so with some fucking tact. Another reason, albeit a very, very tangential and probably molehill to mountain one, is because Monroe mentions the grandfather as being on his mother's side, and Judaism traditionally travels matrilineally. However, that might also be a throwaway line that has no significance; it's kind of a fifty fifty chance which side of his family the map came from. After this collection of data that had us swearing and searching through maps, Google, and our history books and cluttered memory banks, we go back over the 13th century absconding with treasure and power and hiding of it from the Sack of Constantinople! See? I didn't just drop that up there for my own amusement. Well, not only for my own amusement. No, neither of them has any idea who has the other keys or what they are keys to, but hah, Nick knows someone who might. Aww, Nick. You're not letting your personal feelings about Renard get in the way of asking him things? You're learning. Have a cookie.
We'll take a pause on that for now, though, and go back to Juliette's plotline. Thank god, because I could use a breather. She's sitting on her bed and holding a picture, most likely one of the ones that was in her upper drawer. It looks like a happy memory, which makes it safe to go after, which she does. With her eyes closed because a) a lot of people do that to shut out the visual input which does make up a huge percentage of what we perceive as data, and b) because it's a good, quick sign of "into the center of the mind." The soft focus on the memory at first makes the lights the most prominent part of the scene, the white Christmas lights and not the colored ones. For all that red seems to be the dominating color of the scene between Juliette's dress, at least one of the walls, and the red brick other wall, the whole thing is tinted very coolly. It's as if they're barely using a touch of the filter they used before when her memories were first returning, and while they used the green blouse as their point of connection then, now the red dress seems to be the most vivid thing and point of connection here. Another thing I like about this section, though is that it brings back Juliette's girlfriends, or at least the concept of them if not the same one this time. Which is fine because it means she has more of them! And while we haven't seen much of her with other friends due to her not being the main protagonist, this does in fact make more times seeing her with friends than we've seen Nick with friends outside of work. Granted, we don't know that these aren't her friends from work, but it's something to note that going by incidents of friendships we see her socialize more than him. We also, as a point of note and going towards their healthy relationship, are seeing them all on good terms with each other's friends. Even with, at the moment, her having doubts and worries over feelings and the saying of them. Which is a normal stage at the beginning of every relationship, or so I'm told, being many years past the last time I was at that point. It blurs, okay? Juliette's expressions are adorable, both in the memory and outside of it as she remembers, in the past being hesitant and yet eager, in the present being happy at the memory. And since it's a memory of Nick in particular, in he walks! It helps that he's been making can't-take-my-eyes-off-of-you eyes at her since the flashback started. Friend (Connie?) will now, um, kitchen, and Nick and Juliette will stammer cutely at each other for a second as past-Nick tries to be smooth and show off how focused he is on her, and maybe steal a kiss. Past-Juliette is nervous enough to back off from that kiss either consciously or unconsciously, and in either case she's aware of it enough to hang a mistletoe-decorated lampshade a second later. It's powered by Christmas lights. And then they kiss, and it's much less awkward than a moment ago, and then there are words. And it's only slightly awkward, mostly because there are many other people around milling and talking and laughing and probably trying very hard not to pay attention to the lovestruck new couple. Like you do. But of course their newly acknowledged in words love and the kissing gives the opportunity for Juliette's friend to snap their picture! Awww! And thus do we have the stuff memories are made of, and we're starting to have old Juliette back again! Happy Juliette! YAY!
Back over to the main plot with the Least Subtle Wesen Ever. Who staggers into a barn, and did I mention that was a truly massive chunk of skin to have lost at one time? Fucking ow. He's got his silver mylar bag and as he goes inside there's apparently a person bedded down in the barn. She is, at least, laying on a pile of what looks like clothing and blankets because speaking from personal experience, straw is fucking itchy as hell. There's a lamp that looks more electrical than oil, which is probably safer, and a bucket visible in the front of the screen, possibly for the necessary or something else. It's also likely that we're only seeing a portion of their camp ground, but either way, the impression is well telegraphed that this is a temporary encampment and they're in dire straits. She doesn't react at all to a strange blue glowy person in her barn so presumably she knows this Wesen, confirmed by her statements. And ew. With the noshing on ripped out cattle parts, very, very ew. Glowy blue guy's actually rather handsome when he de-woge's, we find out that they're together, the bucket seems to contain wash water, and she's pregnant. With a kicking baby and a still-bloody hand on her belly, you guys, really? The wash water was there for a reason. And that's not subtle symbology, either. (A: The word you're looking for is ssssymbolism.) I'm just saying. At least it's her left hand, though his right. Sigh. And they're on the run. Oh honeys. I wouldn't want to do that if I were about to give birth either. Closer towards dawn, we can tell it's on the early side of day because of the mourning dove call, we pan down the length of a trailer attached to a truck and a guy listening on the ham radio. Awww, ham radio! Aheh. Keeping NM Green? This is clearly, for those of you who aren't familiar, a reference to the Roswell, New Mexico supposed alien crash of 1947. I add this in because although it's clear to this former X-Files US born watcher, it probably isn't to people whose geekism does not lie in that direction. So, we're meant to take from this that this creepy guy for whom personal hygiene seems like more of a polite suggestion than a rule of life is a UFO chaser. Or whatever he likes to call himself, there are several terms for it. Oh look! Portland, he is headed to. And this is what happens when you break the masquerade.
Back at the barn of fugitive pregnancy, the guy's truck won't start. Well, shit. Looks like they won't be going anywhere in a hurry, though points for connecting both plausible noise and plausible cause. The pregnant woman will now stay at the barn and the non-encumbered? non-hindered? man will go looking for another car. However you want to put it, yes, he's in better shape to go on a journey of indeterminate length and threat level than she is. But while we're at it, let's have another anvilicious parallel to our formerly happy main couple, because somehow either by direction or by lucky accident he manages to hit the same tone as Giuntoli did with the "I love you." I'm going to hope for direction because that was anvilicious, yes, but also actually well done.
Now we get into more new data! One of the seven was captured, tortured, and gave up the other six along with his key. Renard, could you look a little less gleeful over the torture? Be better. Nick spotted it too, or at least he's responding poorly to the content of those statements, like you do when learning how far back the, ahem, discord goes. The story of how they acquired the other three seems to span the centuries and involves lots of bloodshed! As you do when attempting to gain Phenomenal Cosmic Powers. There's a hands in his pockets moment, more for concealment than deception on this front, I think, and everyone and their idiot cousin Grimm knows Renard's not telling Nick all of what he knows. Partly for time, partly because chosen truths are more powerful than complete ones and yes, alright, we admire the hell out of the politics and the spycraft, because it basically is. Spying and backstabbing and cutthroat politics. Renard is at least upfront about the fact that nobody knows any longer what the map leads to, which is good because I wouldn't believe him if he claimed to know. We can watch him getting the options out of long-term memory storage almost as if reciting a catechism (say your lessons and be true?) and for all we know, that's accurate. Secret of alchemy, everlasting life (hey, guys, isn't that one of the secrets of alchemy? The Philosopher's Stone ring a bell, it was only in a Harry Potter book recently? Guys? sigh), the sword of the Prophet Muhammad, or possibly the True Nails and/or pieces of the True Cross. Aheh. Okay, so, bets that everlasting life may come in Grail form? No? No takers? I love being right. Whatever this thing is, it's certainly assigned a similar level of mythos and aura that the Grail Quest is, and I think we can safely consider the rough outline of the keys-map-Grail Quest confirmed for the moment. Renard is coming over really Princely throughout this scene, but he steps it up a notch or three further as Nick asks with due incredulity if he really believes this? Well, maybe not like that, but come on, Nick, if you accept part of the legend as true, that the seven Crusaders deemed it too dangerous to fall into the wrong hands, and you accept the Wesen and Royals you deal with every day as part of your life... is it that much of a stretch? Renard doesn't think so. More to the point, whatever it is, it is damn dangerous, and may still be. Even more to the point, regardless of what the McGuffin actually is, the Royal Families and probably some Wesen and some of the remaining Grimm are still behaving as though it were the key to ruling the world, which is the only salient fact at the moment since whatever power it has isn't in use right now. Who knows what it is, we'll find out when we get there.
That, then, is the past, and what are they going to do about it? Keep Renard's family's hands off the key, heh, no, Nick, he isn't close with his family. There's some looking away, and folding his hands I think to keep from making any of the self-soothing gestures we're accustomed to from him, but when he looks up to answer Nick's question it is, at least, with complete honesty. You can tell by the angry jawclenching. So, he stays out of their way (we pause here to let everyone else convulse with laughter, NO YOU DON'T, RENARD) and they don't try to kill him. Well, yes, that's why they tried to kill him. On occasion. The next bit of dialogue is fan-fucking-tastic, Renard might stay out of their way. It depends on Nick! And, implicitly, if Nick trusts Renard. (I don't actually consider the apparent correlation of statement and question as related as they might be. Renard is tricksy like that.) About as much as Renard trusts him! Which is to say, they both don't really trust each other, but they're getting an idea of the other's capabilities and they don't hate what they're seeing so far. They might, eventually, become decent allies. But it'll take time. Whatever Renard was going to say in response to that will have to wait, because the case of the week's come knocking on the door in the form of Wu.
Wu by now knows that Nick gets the weird ones! Oh my god. Wu, if you're not secretly a Wesen or otherwise in the know I will eat my hat. Buy one just to eat it. It's nominally out of PPD's jurisdiction but weird enough that the county wants assistance. Aw, it's multi-jurisdictional cooperation. I do like how they just casually portray this as a non-issue a lot of the time, enough that when the FBI showed up at the beginning of s2 it was a Big Deal that they were being stompy. Wu you are the biggest geek ever and have a better comedic deadpan than Renard and I love you to bits. Alright, cattle mutilations, possible homicide, possible alien perp is a go! Renard has the look of a man who is really fucking fed up with Wesen cases, especially Wesen who cannot keep the goddamn Masquerade. I know, honey. I know. One X-Files line later and the boys exchange the ho-shit-here-we-go-again look, so we know they know and they know they're picking up the Serious Political Grimming discussion later and we're all knowledgeable here, yes?
Of course yes. Let's go to the potential crime scene for more knowledge! They're met by the father who is understandably distraught and wants to cooperate with all the law enforcement coming out there, but his babble will be cut off by the county deputy, quite sensibly. Again, a nice little touch of cooperation here, giving names (which I'm assuming are crew namedrops?) of the CSU guys and so forth, smoothing the way for a transition if need be and sharing information and tasks if not. John, the poor guy, was alive for some time after he got impaled but the paramedics couldn't do anything, etc etc, hey, there's a number! Six cows? Six? That's a lot of whatever-it-is that the poor woman needs to eat. The older farmer gives us the blue-and-glowing spiel, which the deputy confirms hasn't changed substantively from the original story. Which is a reliable indicator of truth, or truth as the poor bastard knows it. So there's that much! Wu has the greatest come-the-fuck-on face, Nick's doing his Grimmstincts sobersrs face, the deputy hypothesizes a Mylar coat, that's not a bad cover story. You should take notes for when you need to run with cover stories, Nick. Cult ritual for the cows no butchering yadda yadda okay, a reach, but also not a bad theory. If you believed in the 1980s Satanic terror. And, hey, fenceline! Guess it's time to find the skin bit, which has not magically transformed into human-seeming skin in the interim. As Wu notes, it looks like lizard skin. That's. Interesting. Excuse me, that's the sound of Kitty running to her Wesen bio essays to add some stuff. Damn big lizard, wrap up with the farmer, oh howdy UFOlogist. Who isn't. At all. He spends awhile being appropriately UFOlogist creepy, which is a close cousin to bounty hunter creepy, at least as long as he's not presenting as a threat. Wanting knowledge, they're all on the same side, it's so cute that you think this will get you the remotest bit of anywhere at all. He does toss out a datapoint that the cattle mutilations have been occurring all across the country, which gives them something to check on back at the station, and the boys are all but openly laughing at him. And then Wu comes out with the "nobody was probed. yet." line and I have to go, um. Kitchen. Falling over laughing on the linoleum, I love you Wu.
Meantime, our fugitive couple is still in need of a car, and what should happen along the woods road but a woman in a truck singing along at the top of her lungs! How convenient. Lady, your clock says 11.31 (which is annoying because it should be 11:21, you guys, get your goddamn X-Files references right, and if you weren't a single digit off I wouldn't have figured it for a bad reference) and there's a blue glowy man in the middle of the road, neither of these ever lead anywhere good. Again I say: STOP BREAKING THE MASQ. Argh. Though have you noticed they're ramping the lack of Masquerade up? Again? 'cause we have! Crash bang boom, at least this time she'll just have a hellacious concussion instead of ending up dead? Not that the jump-scare cut to ad break tells us that! After the ad break we go back to the farm with the creepy bounty hunter/UFOlogist and the poor bereaved farmer, who's going through a mugshot book of alien types. The Stargate called. It wants its crazy back. And that is not the face of an alien hunter, that is the face of a man who's about to get a big payday and doesn't care who he has to go through to get it. Back at the barn, Vincent comes in with the driver over his shoulder and lays her on some loose hay while his wife? girlfriend? objects to the measures he's taken. Aw, they're semi-responsible would like to be morally upright fugitives! Yes, thank you, point taken. She's scared, he's determined, there is some Mylar here but it's in the form of that bag full o' cow ovaries, and the scene closes out on a shot of the woman who just got carjacked. Poor woman.
Creepy Alien, er, Wesen Hunter Guy is sniffing the blood on the ground, with a camera. The camera makes sense for an alien hunter (that is, a hunter of aliens, not a bounty hunter who is an alien, look, if the production people aren't going to make as many X-Files references as I feel they should I have to make them, okay?) but the sniffing the ground and the blood? Not so much. So even before we see him Woge we can be pretty sure he's either Wesen or a human in on the Masquerade, either because someone told him or because he figured it out and is hunting Wesen for whatever sick reason, etc. But that is the place where the guy got a chunk of his skin ripped off and, hey, speaking of skin! It's the ME! Hi ME of awesome! I forget what name we were going with in the end or what they've called her more often but she's still the ME of awesome and she's got a show and tell for Nick. Pretty glowing skin! And you know what? Luciferase is actually a thing. It seems to be an enzyme of two combined proteins which, when joined, produce a glowy reaction! That's about as basic as I can get it because I don't understand it enough to simplify it any more, short version, actual science that makes things glow. Incidentally, if you've ever seen the pictures of the glowing mice? Those are mice which have been genetically modified to produce luciferase, making this the most scientifically realistic Wesen yet. Give it time, we could actually have blue glowing humans. Humanoids. Thing. Isn't it cool? ME lady of awesome would think it was cool. Anyway, she gives a bit of spiel about fight or flight response, which is also simplified but sure, why not, and states that it's human skin with an glowy animal response. So, clearly genetic modification has already been going on, yes? If I were her I would start looking very hard at mischievous geneticists. Wu will interrupt all the fun rambling about glowing things in nature to report another witness who was abducted by a glowy blue alien thing. And it took her Bronco. Hey, my aunt had a truck like that.
Actually, now that we get a good look at the inside from this angle, a lot like that, right down to the upholstery I was sick on. Look, I live in the mountains, I was young, the roads were windy, okay? Besides, that is nothing compared to the mess that looks imminent on this poor lady's upholstery, and I will give them big points for Jocelyn seeming like she's either about to go into labor or in the early stages of labor throughout the entire episode, rather than calm-and-pregnant, calm-and-pregnant oh hey screaming labor at the very end! Going by the anecdata of every mother I've talked to about the subject, that's pretty much what it's like most of the time. She's not using the C-word (contractions) but a lot of what she says seriously implies it. Even if her husband doesn't seem to know how the finer details of it work. He does, however, find an old cabin that they can shelter in, good husband. And very good luck on finding that, because I don't know what the density of abandoned structures is around Portland, but I bet it's not that heavy. At any rate, she's got shelter while he hides the car and they wait it out and, oh hell, she's getting hungry again. I would dearly like to know what the hell is in cow ovaries that makes them so tasty to pregnant Gluhenvolk (seriously? glowing folk? seriously? I know David Eddings did the Shining Ones, but that had some dignity to it, and 'glowing folk' is just... eh.) but I don't think we're likely to find that out anytime soon. For now, he'll get her comfortable and hide the car and then they can talk about more cattle mutilations. Ew.
Monroe is working on some clock thing or another when there's a knock at the door oh! Hey. Juliette. Monroe's as surprised to see you as I am! I lie, I'm not at all surprised, Monroe seems to be her closest Nick-related confidant at the moment, and she's been pulling it back together. With, I might add, no one in the Scooby Gang's help, which both pleases and amuses me. She found the help on her own, she got the advice, she took the advice, she is pulling herself back together because she is a kickass lady. Anyway. First she wants to make sure Nick isn't actually there. Which he's not! Monroe is wary at first but when he finds out that she's been getting her memories back, happy for her! Tentatively, he doesn't want to be happy if it's a bad thing, but that's our Monroe. Adorkably happy when the people he cares about are happy, and it does seem like he's been developing a fondness for and friendship with Juliette over the past season. Mostly the past season since they didn't meet much in the last one. Anyway, he's happy for her except the fact that he's not sure what this means, if it's a good thing for her or a bad thing, and possibly if it means that someone else has been casting spells to help her remember, though given how little anyone but Rosalee (and even she has to look it up) seems to know about such things he could be assuming it'd wear off in time. With that ambivalence and a cute little comical expression of "welp. here we go." he closes the door on the house, us, and the scene.
Next up, the conversation between Nick and Wu is... surprisingly routine, really. Both from a procedural standpoint (camera angles, dialogue, all boilerplate) and from an internal standpoint. (This is probably because it used to be a Nick-and-Hank scene and they had to boilerplate it on the fly, actually, but it does its job well enough.) For once the person in the box isn't Wesen, she's human, and she's not suspected of anything, they're just interviewing her to take her statement. Which apparently is that some alien came out at her in the middle of the road, she woke up in a barn, flagged down cars for help. County police went to the barn that, not so incidentally, all this turns out to be near where the ranch hand was found impaled, found an abandoned truck with the hood up outside of it, pretty standard auto theft since I don't think a '78 Bronco counts as grand anymore. Except for the whole perp being a glowy blue guy. That doesn't come standard, you have to pay extra for that. Nick is being a good cop and delegating Wu to hunt down the prior connected incidents they do have, the aforementioned cattle mutilations. Where they started, where they're going, similarities and patterns and Nick is really stepping up his game here back to where it used to be. He may have a cookie.
Back over to Juliette and Monroe! I have no explanation for why the short scenes and quick cuts because there's no reason to ramp up tension. And it doesn't seem like they're trying to do so because the cuts are more natural and at lower energy points in the scene rather than high-energy, urgency points, or coming in on them. They're just ... short. For some reason. Ah well, back over to Juliette and Monroe, and I can't help but think they come in low and from the left (Juliette's) side to emphasize his height, because damn. At the angle they have the camera it puts the line of his body as longer than the line of the corner of the room, and he's standing exactly profile, making it worse. I'm not sure, narratively, why they did this. It just amuses me, particularly in contrast with the other looming giant of the show, Renard, who is almost always threatening when looming. Monroe just looks gawky and rather cute. Juliette is babbling about all the things she remembers, and Monroe's happy for her! She remembers loving Nick, she remembers feeling it, can and does feel it, her explanations get a bit awkward but we know what she means. Aww, we're happy for her too! Except for the part where she blames herself and considers that she treated Nick badly (I dearly hope someone is going to correct her on this at some point, yes? Please? Guys?) and wonders if he could ever love her again after what she did. Juliette, honey, no. You were... okay, you were bespelled, and no one's telling you that, so you're not operating on all the facts, which means someone better open their fat mouths and tell her soon. But first, Monroe will address her immediate issue, which is that yes, Nick still loves her. A lot. He's also using the term "core feelings," which is a hilariously clinical term and suggests Monroe's either gone to therapy enough that it's seeped into his vocabulary or he's found another doctor and is continuing regular therapy. We do remember that he did have either counseling or group meetings, yes? (Big Feet 1x21) Anyway, Monroe opines as that Nick hasn't changed his mind about Juliette a bit, and that there's only one way to find out how he really feels, and she should go talk to Nick. But talking is scary! This is both cute and realistic, as anyone who's had a relationship on the rocks knows, talking is scary. Really, truly scary. It invariably involves changing things, and change is scary, even out of a bad relationship that needs a change or three to get better. And in this, well, it's not exactly a bad relationship but it definitely needs some work to get better. And Monroe, honey, you've been in a couple serious relationships, you should know how scary talks like that can be. Juliette points out that she's not as she has been, and this is very true. We're still only getting an idea of how true this is and what that means for her as an individual and for her as part of a relationship, as is she. She also cuts off any inkling (not that at least we thought he would) of Monroe relaying any of this to Nick, saying that she'll talk to him when she's ready. Which is best. Monroe, bless him, accepts this. This is one of the reasons I love conversations like this in shows that are otherwise devoted to mysteries and procedurals, it shows bonding moments between the characters, during times when things are less urgent so they have more time to think and discuss, and it shows how they do respect each other as intelligent, thinking individuals and as people with feelings, people they care about. It is simple, difficult, and brilliantly done here, and I applaud everyone involved.
So, okay, there is one thing Monroe can do for her at the moment: tell her what a Grimm is. And here is where we all go face first into our desks, because this conversation hasn't gone right in the past, and our hopes are shrinking that it will go right in the future. Or at the moment. Monroe has that 'oh shit' face, too. And yet, shockingly, he does pull out something that is both true and not full of, how shall we put this. Terms and ideas that are beyond what Juliette knows as reality at the moment. Oh, you guys, this is what taking someone behind the masquerade looks like! Every word he says is true, it goes with what Nick babbled at her, but Monroe is speaking quietly, calmly and firmly, and using words that don't push her reality out of the way and try to replace it wholesale and with no transition. It is glorious, and it might actually work. Monroe, have ALL THE COOKIES for this, I could kiss you. As long as you don't fuck the rest of it up. Though given that scenes tend to imply continuing as they begun, I don't think he will. Come and be hugged you adorable lanky puppy.
Over to the other puppy now, as Nick comes into robbery/homicide from elsewhere in the police station, over to see what Wu has. Definitely with the traditional moving shot of the pedeconference except in this case without the pedeconference. Maybe because of Hank not being there? Wu has the information, though, and the patterns! An increasing frequency of attacks moving east to west across the northern half of the US and moving very fast, given that Wu says it started two weeks ago. Yeesh. That's pretty much only stopping in one place to eat and sleep and moving on, at that rate. Twenty seven attacks over two weeks, that's getting up into the range of two a night towards the end. Ew. I want to make a joke about the way Wu says cows and aliens and use it to reference Cowboys and Aliens, but it's been a long week and I'm tired, pretend I made it.
In the meantime a truck pulls up to the barn the blue people were hiding out in when we started this shindig, oh, hey, it's the creepy guy! Yay. Wait, no, that other thing. He's got a rifle with him, some sort of tricked out shoots either with compressed air or some sort of liquid rifle, hard to say which since we don't get much of a good look at the rifle. But as he's stopping to sniff more things and be disgusting and creepy some more, he gets a phone call. So, yay? This person is evidently after the Gluhenvolk child, just in case we hadn't already figured out that this guy was a Wesen and hunting the Gluhenvolk and not aliens. He's also kind of a jackass. Not that we hadn't figured that out already, too. And he turns out to be a what the shit is that? According to the Grimm site, which is the only place we're getting it since Nick isn't hitting the books to tell us, a Raub-Kondor. Kondor is pretty self-explanatory and fits with the bird of prey look (when we first saw this on preview we thought he was a demented Steinadler), and Raub evidently means, um, snatch or rob. We'll go with that because it seems to have less savory meanings as well. I thought we weren't going to go there this episode, you guys! Fucksake.
Back over to the Trailer of Exposition, which is somewhat less expository than most of the time. Right now all we get are cow ovaries (EW. AGAIN.) and a rather nice charcoal and, what, watercolor? of Gluhenvolk. Nick's reading it alone and not aloud, but I don't think it says anything we need to know at this point and Nick Burkhardt if you tear that page out of that book we will eat your heart in the marketplace. Ahem. What? We have Opinions on the subject of handling old books. Wu gives us the exposition instead (which again, might have been originally intended for Hank, hard to say), outside to in rather than inside to out for a change, on the cow ovaries, and since there's no one in the trailer with Nick to exposit to, let's take the exposition over to the spice shop! Rosalee is gushing pretty much the same way A and I do over new interesting languages or linguists, which is kind of adorable. Okay, a lot adorable. We find out that they're supposed to be extinct, probably, oh, wait, no, not by the Grimm for once! By collectors. For their glowy skins. Ew. This episode is full of ew, not major gross-outs like the fly guy but little moments of making faces at the screen and shaking our heads. Nick hasn't seen one yet but he's got a mounting pile of alien abduction stories and a piece of glowing skin! (Actually now I kind of question how long that glow remains because wouldn't the proteins cease okay never mind I'll stop babbling science and wait for the essay revamp.) Rosalee, meanwhile, has never seen one but seems to have the impression that they're unicorns or something. At least, that's the way she talks about them, I expect her to have a hidden away old Trapper Keeper with Gluhenvolk over rainbows on it. Her metaphor of choice is leprechauns. Nick makes more wry comments including the cattle mutilations, and this sends Rosalee to her books, and I swear she'd squee if she got any more excited. Now Nick gets to learn that there's two of them, and one of them's pregnant! YAY. I have no idea how the Gluhenvolk go back to Africa but, cow ovaries! And the increase in number and frequency means she's about to give birth! (All this data serves to give us An Explanation for all the alien abduction stories, which is kind of hilarious and kind of facepalmy, though I think we'd facepalm less if it weren't for the whole thing being so similar to Thing With Feathers [1x16].) Hi, Nick, you're in a sitcom now, have fun. Okay, not quite a sitcom, Nick does have a line reference back to the death that started the Gluhenvolk chase. But back in the line of comedy, a wild Monroe appears! Bearing lampshades and snark! Don't worry, Monroe, in this case the open big heavy books are a good thing, Rosalee's all excited about the Gluhenvolk. Silas Weir Mitchell takes back the comedic timing all for himself with his "I thought they were extinct" and we cut to...
... the Gluhenvolk himself! With a mylar bag, in search of more cows to mutilate. Oh honey. This isn't going to end well for anyone. Back over at the spice shop the terrible trio are trying to figure out where the Gluhenvolk might be hiding given the previously known incidents and locations. They do manage to get it down to a small area of land, at least, which is better than nothing. Rosalee comments that she's going to need more ovaries, I mutter about still wanting to know what the hell is in those ovaries that she needs, and Nick and Monroe play pass the lampshade about being in some weird alternate universe. It's only slightly more subtle than the line in Firefly about living on a spaceship. Anyway, Rosalee and Monroe are coming with, at least as much to gawk at the Gluhenvolk as to provide medical assistance for the impending birth. Nick has half an objection to that, mostly being that they might have committed murder, but it's kind of a sign of how little force there is behind that objection that we came away from the episode wondering why everyone had forgotten about the poor dead ranch hand. Rosalee reminds him that the baby hasn't killed anyone. Unless, I guess, you count the impetus to eat cow ovaries. The fuck, seriously.
So, we have the glowy blue guy collecting cow ovaries and, dude, I know you guys woge when you get stressed and all? But this whole stealth in the dark thing would be a lot easier if you weren't glowing blue. You know, so other people could see. I'm just saying! The Raub-*twitch*-Kondor sees him anyway, though, possibly from the movement, definitely from the blue and glowy, and out comes the rifle. It looks like it is gas or vent or other pressure propelled, and there's a funny cartridge that we don't get time to see that gets loaded and oh god did he have to do the Poltergeist thing? Really? It would have killed him to only go up to 180 degrees and then turn the other way? That's just gross and unlikely/unnecessary. Anyway, now that he's moved off it frees up the truck to be found by Nick and company, yay! Nick still thinks he's a UFOlogist. Boo. He's about to be disabused of that notion as soon as Monroe stops being silly. And prudent, okay. Now it's Nick's turn to hold the idiot/foolishness ball as he makes Monroe open it. So now he's not tainting evidence by entering without a warrant, it's just breaking and entering charges for Monroe? Or something. And inside there's a sleeping area, a table with a knife on it (a badly cleaned knife, even more ew), a cooler, a... oh ew. Ew. It's a medical/butcher setup, some gratuitous French indicating potion (sauver sa peau), and what looks like a hanging rack for, um. Drainage. I'm just going to say it once, that trailer looks too small to hang things for proper drainage. The summation of all of this gruesome is that Creepy Wesen Bounty Hunter is shooting Wesen, possibly just the Gluhenvolk, with a solution that kills the Wesen but leaves their woge intact for a matter of hours after they're dead. Long enough for him to skin them, at least. I can't even begin to tell you how gross that is, although Thomas Harris could take a stab at it, I bet. They have a brief discussion about where the Gluhenvolk could be and voice what the guy is doing just to name it and have it out there in the open, then leave to go find the Gluhenvolk before the Bounty Hunter does. Because they're our Scooby gang, and they're the good guys. Monroe grabs the pre-loaded bullets, and Rosalee even thinks to dump out the rest of the creepyass Zaubertrank before she goes! Because she's clever like that.
Into the woods (yes, I had to) where the Raub-Kondor creeps through the underbrush and our Scoobies find the cabin! You know how Nick has these moments where he clearly has some kind of decent woodsense? He's doing it again, and I really, REALLY want more details on how he got that. Montana? Aunt Marie deliberately training him up to it? Answers, people! We want them! But, alright, up to the gate which is down and I didn't facepalm before but will now; even if you're on the run and want a fast exit it's a good idea not to advertise your presence in the first fucking place when you know people have reason to be looking for you. Sigh. On the other hand, this does go a long way toward pointing up that they are inexperienced with this, they're not malicious, just stuck in a shitty situation and did some shitty things. We still question the lack of anything about Vincent killing the farmer, but let's move on. Monroe's occasional sense of smell comes out to play, though frankly that cabin's not all that far back, a normal human could probably smell the woodsmoke. Tracks, someone's still there, note that both the boys can read those pretty clearly, and on in to check while the bounty hunter tries to shoot Vincent. (Does anyone think that wasn't a deliberate Beauty and the Beast nod? No? Okay good. Though you should know that there is no remake, there is only Ron Perlman reading Shakespeare.) And he misses! Dude, if you're going to get presumably expensive or at least annoying to handle zaubertranks and definitely expensively refitted rifles for it, at least don't be a sucky shot. He does hit the bag o' ovaries, though, which gets Vincent up and running or, well, sort of loping in his Wesen form. It's a weird almost-shamble, make your own zombie jokes here.
It's a measure of how tired and stressed and not trained for this Jocelyn is that she hears multiple car doors slam and thinks Vincent. But then we've established that we're more naturally observant, more trained to observance, and more generally prone to carrying knives around like teddy bears as compared to normal people, right? Right. We're doing a lot of quick cuts again to ramp up the tension, except there's not much point to this since with the Scooby gang there and a baby involved there's pretty much no chance of this not being a happy ending for everyone except the Raub-Kondor. But it's over to the now-shot-open bag of ovaries. Yum. And an irritated bounty hunter who nevertheless has enough control over his woge to only go for the eyes (I don't think we've seen eyes that color before, which is interesting especially in proximity to the glowy blue people). And then back to the cabin where Jocelyn freaks the fuck out, Nick does the smart and sensible thing for once and immediately assumes a less dominant, less threatening position. Aww, Nick. You get cookies for trying not to scare the pregnant Gluhenvolk who's mid-contraction. Rosalee, you might want to do a little of that too, despite looking meek and mild mannered you're really good at projecting alpha when you want to be, and in this situation you're kind of the one who best knows what she's doing as far as anything medical or healer-y. Nick wants to know where Vincent is, and while he could stand to give a reason I'm sure all the ones he can come up with right now would stress her out worse and make labor suck more/start in more force, so I can't entirely blame him. It's traditional that men half lose their heads when confronted by a woman in labor anyway, he's not doing bad at fighting that trope. And then everyone goes wide-eyed and awestruck at Jocelyn's woge, which is, yes, delicate and ethereal and beautiful in an odd sort of way. Not that she appreciates the compliment, since she's probably used to people saying that and then going for trying to kill her. You guys, I know there's childhood stories at work here, but common sense. No, Monroe, you pushed her over the top, nobody has any reason to believe that Nick's a Grimm unless there's something you're not telling us. Grumble mutter it's not like he and Rosalee woged out yet. Well, the baby's coming, Rosalee goes into pragmatic useful mode thank you and Nick's the one to recover first and grab the first aid kit from the car. Which goes mostly to his first responder training but also, I expect, to his having somewhat better people skills than Monroe has. At least the puppy takes direction well, although he evidently is too dumb to know to offer a woman in labor your hand to squeeze. Ow. Hey, is that Vincent or creepy stalker guy? Oh good, it's Vincent. (This sideways joke brought to you by our realization that Vincent's actor looks a little like Robert Pattinson.) He may barge in and be overprotective and furious, but at least his goal is to protect rather than KILL ALL THE THINGS. Easier to talk down. More standard semi-drama semi-comedy birthing sequence, complete with Rosalee's whine-more-please face. Love. Distraction comes with introductions and now Vincent comes barging in. He might have gone for violence except for his partner in the middle of giving birth and Monroe would be more than happy to cede place of honor to someone else's hand. I don't blame him, though I'm still facepalming at him. Silly old puppy. Hey! Babies are born in full woge! That goes in the revamped bio essays too. Though it makes sense that it's at least something of a learned survival trait and certainly that the trauma of birth would leave the child in woge. I'm confused why not the mother, not least since Vincent's been wogeing at the drop of a, well, cow ovary, but alright, fine, we'll go with it. Their CGI budget thanks me, I'm sure.
All one big happy family, which means it is exactly the right time for the Raub-Kondor to show up with his gun and make dire threats! Sugar, you have no idea what you're in for. ENJOY. I'm especially fond of Rosalee at least threatening violence even if her primary concern is being the last line of defense for the Gluhenvolk, looks like. Monroe takes primary battering ram, Nick goes for the gun, and I'm not sure he's even really waiting after birdguy clobbers Monroe over the head for a clear threat before firing. I can't blame him, though it is a little worrisome to watch Nick go from officer of the law to less and less concerned with the finer points of morality. Rosalee: still furious, still badass, and I think this is the first glimpse we've had in a long time of how vicious she can be protecting those she cares about. Answer: very. Do not fuck with her. She and Monroe bring up two excellent points, what do they do with the Gluhenvolk and what do they do with the body, and the answer to the first seems to be send them on their way in the Raub-Kondor's truck. After raiding his trailer for anything useful, based on that positioning of the truck; that's sensible but is anyone remembering the auto theft and battery? Or the manslaughter? No? Guys, all that you need is a line reference about finding the ham radio stuff in the trailer and how they can't risk public exposure, etc. At any rate, the baby seems to either be so swaddled the glow isn't visible or there's something the mother can do to induce woge immediately after birth? Near-immediately? And they're on their way up to Alaska, land of the remote promised land in all kinds of dystopian futures, with a mock-stern warning from Monroe about no more cows. Why do I feel like he's said something similar to his family members. Oh, wait. Interesting that neither of the Gluhenvolk appear to have had the usual OMGGRIMM freakout, though they were at least introduced to him in the context of helping and hanging out with Wesen in the middle of a crisis, which is something that can short-circuit that kind of response. And the answer about the body is that someone called birdman in as an anonymous tip? I hope? Propped in the Bronco, so at least the poor woman will get her truck back - assuming she wants it when she finds out what happened to it. Nick seems to be using the sauver sa peau and the woged corpse to further the alien/UFO explanation! Aww. That'd be cuter if I didn't fear for the SWAT team going through the delirium now, though since they were primed by the cop gossip grapevine for weird shit hopefully they'll be fine. And he morphs back to human just after they see him! That poor masquerade is so full of holes.
Next week on Grimm! Maybe! Assuming the teaser trailer editors aren't fucking with us again! Hank's back yay, Nick's got a case with some Wesen clearly based on the Leanan Sidhe, and that's going to play seven kinds of merry hell with Juliette's belief system! In short, it's Nick's turn to get whammied, Juliette's turn to rescue someone, and Renard's turn to keep someone from doing stupid horrible things while whammied that they'll regret. I have to go giggle over Renard lifting Nick away from the not-Leanan like he's a child now.