Friday, May 24, 2013

Bring Out Your Dead Grimm S2E22 Goodnight, Sweet Grimm

Buckle your seatbelts and ready your popcorn, folks, because this is likely to be a LONG ASS recapalypse. (Discovered post-recapalyzing: 18K. Eeesh.) At least we've built up a repertoire of shorthand by now! One thing before we get started: we recently discovered someone taking chunks of these posts and passing them off as their own on Tumblr. Now, there's not a damn thing we can do about it, plagiarism is endemic to the internet (and especially to Tumblr), but let's just put this out there: we don't care what you do with our work here, so long as you give us credit for doing it. We keep repeating that we're not doing this for money, but these are hours (and hours. and hours.) of our lives that we're not getting back, and the bare minimum courtesy we ask is that you respect those hours of work. Links back would be awesome. Name of the blog and/or author is your minimum standard. Remember, we come from highly academic backgrounds; the only thing we're getting out of this is credit, and credit is important to us.

(That is the most polite fuck-you plagiarists paragraph I have ever written in my life. Let me be very clear about our feelings: fuck you, plagiarists.)

MOVING ON. We open this week's previouslies with Hootie! And Juliette! And zombies. And the blowfish. This is the weirdest band name ever. It's a fairly long and relatively complete recap of last week's events, which I can understand given the sheer amount of Stuff in that ep, but couldn't they have cut it down to give us more Chirpy? Or Renard? Standard complaint is standard. We pick up right where we left off, too, at the Hotel Gregory in Portland. Which, by the way, does not exist in real-life Portland, unlike a number of other locations they've used. Unless there's a simple explanation that IMDb isn't giving us, like Gregory's a cast/crew/family member they wanted to immortalize, we're going for some kind of an in-joke/reference, and with our history geeking the first thing that came to mind was any of the myriad Pope Gregorys. (Gregory I would be interesting as the so-called Father of Christian Worship, but unlikely. Gregory IX held the Holy See from 1227 to 1241, which falls after the crucial Fourth Crusade and he began the Inquisition, so there's THAT fun possibility. Gregory XII lasted from 1406-1415, which is roughly the right timeframe for a lot of the history, and his forced resignation ended the schism - you know the popes and anti-popes? This guy was the end of that. And of course we have Gregory XIII, from 1572-1585, who commissioned the Gregorian calendar but is relatively unlikely as a target of the joke.) Anyway. That might be relevant, or it might be nothing, WHO KNOWS, but we spent a good hour or so wikisurfing and swearing at potential connections. Aren't you glad.

We will now proceed to smack our faces straight into the keyboard at the fact that they just had to pull the rest of the Hamlet quote for this episode. Look at Nick. Look at Renard. Look at Hamlet. Now back to me. This show is now lit crit. That is not like diamonds, you guys, that is like me dry-swallowing another three ibuprofen and swearing at you some more. Especially as I start to enumerate all the issues of identity in Grimm as compared to similar themes in Hamlet, yeah, that's without taking the dead/extremely fucked up fathers/father-figures into account. (I'm thinking, here, of Renard's father as Claudius and Nick's as Hamlet's father.) I just. Really, you guys? Let's move onto Eric and his smarm, that's less brain breaking even if I do need a steel wool shower after every scene he's in. One of these days I'm going to get up the nerve to check out Frain's interviews to see just how different he is normally, but that day is not today because I don't need to set my brain on fire with cognitive dissonance while neck-deep in analysis. The Pustule is being at least mildly charming, in the way he is with allies he has need of and at least genuinely admires and respects if not likes. He likes very few people; it's not personal. Also, Reg E. Cathey manages to make Frain's purr sound nasal and whiny, which is just fucking impressive. (K: Between the two of them there's more rumble than a pride of deep-chested lions.) So, Eric wants to see how the Baron does what he does! Not, watch him work, but a more circumlocutive way of saying "please murder someone for my shits and giggles." Well, we're all sadists here, or at least driven by biological imperative? We're still not sure why the Baron's doing what he's doing, what Eric Renard is paying him or if he simply enjoys the havoc for its own sake. I'd love to get some clear motivation on him next season, since it seems likely he'll be around, but alas, not this episode. And Eric's also still treating the Baron as if he might really be a baron, so no conclusive evidence there either. He could be doing it out of respect for the Baron's power, he could be doing it in deference to a title recognized by Royals, he could be doing it out of deference to a title recognized by Wesen (the Council, perhaps?), we just don't know. Isn't it great? You're going to be hearing that a lot this ep.

On the Baron's assent, Eric looks like nothing so much as a boy presented with a new toy. Possibly on Christmas morning. Ew, Eric. Ew. And of course rather than sending a flunky out to grab someone off the streets, he will demonstrate how little he fears for his own personal safety and how the bodyguards are purely for show by using one of them for this demonstration! You know, I'd be more impressed by this if we had any intimation whatsofuckingever that the Pustule has modern self-defense training. (I'm sure he knows how to fence. He was raised at court. It's traditional.) This time we'll go for seven years instead of three, and because this is a royal asking about the length of servitude (also seven years is a more traditional length of servitude, indentured or otherwise, in the myths), and I have to go swear some more. In all my languages. Kitty can add hers. Also, if this isn't proof that Royals (or at least Eric) can see woge, I don't know what IS. I would dearly love to know what the fuck makes it possible for them to do that, since we know Hank, as a vanilla human despite being in on the Masq, can't see when Wesen woge unless they want him to and has to ask Nick. Is it prolonged exposure? Which wouldn't really make sense, because that implies you can make new Grimms fairly easily, and I doubt that's the case, as much of a deal as they've made about bloodlines. Therefore, bloodlines, and wondering just how much Wesen blood is necessary to recognize another Wesen and how corrupt the Royals' claims to blood purity are. (Or, oh god, much worse: if they have to use Wesen blood in some kind of a zaubertrank on each newborn Royal to give them the ability. Ew ew ew STEEL WOOL SHOWER.) And Eric has a sort of almost-surprised look on his face, like, that's it? To be rapidly replaced with the same ooh-torture face we were first introduced to him with, way back when. Lovely. I mean, lovely facial control, but Eric, you so broken. Interestingly, the green slime seems to seep into the skin of a zombi-to-be rapidly, that or this was bad effects continuity. The Baron's turn to smarm! Eric's turn to smarm! Smarm for everyone! Except the poor flunky. If this is how Royals raised to power treat their underlings, no wonder everyone's skittish around them, even those of the blood (cf. Chirpy). And if anyone was in any doubt about the eventual target of Eric's schemes, I think the discussion of pain and games should put that to rest. It's not his brother; he has too much attachment to his brother still - it's Nick, his brother's most important toy right now. As the Pustule sees it, anyway.

Oh thank god yes, let's do go to Nick and Juliette's dinner where they're being adorably awkward at each other. And a lot of mirroring going on here, two people who used to be in a relationship and who want to get back there and aren't sure how to go about it. Juliette's first defense mechanism is to go for the bad joke! A woman after my own heart. And fidgeting with her hands because she's both nervous and not afraid to let Nick see it, which is a nice indicator of trust and vulnerability. She cooked, they're both too nervous to eat, let's talk! YES. TALKING. GOOD. Nick has... well, they're both a bunch of excuses that are avoiding the real issue and also the truth. He was scared of losing her if he tried to really explain it, he was scared of being alone in both his worlds and thus decided to split them, all kinds of things more along those lines. But this is a decent start, and Nick's never been the most self-aware character on the block, so aside from one annoyed moment of swearing at him that maybe dumping it all at once wasn't the way to go we'll let it pass. Juliette, because she is the best, takes his first argument about dropping her into a world he didn't fully understand (hey, Nick, your control issues called and they'd like you to take lessons from Renard's if you're going to go that route) and turns it back on him. In the specific rather than the general, that he wasn't prepared either and of course she isn't but now she has her sanity. More specifically, she knows she's not hallucinating and that when she sees Weird Shit she has someone to ask. Because Juliette is fucking awesome. And now we get down into it, declarations of love which are, by the way, really damn well delivered. A little bit understated but the kind of I-love-yous that people who have just been through major trauma and sort of a major fight, at least a major split, but want to make it work would give. Nick will now proceed to swallow his foot, Juliette, please remove it before you start kissing him? Ahem. But really, Nick, going into a spiral of recrimination that's going to emphasize all the bad shit they've been through in the last several months is not the way to healing. Actual apologies for the lying and the deceiving and the lack of trust and faith in her and their relationship that he demonstrated? That would be a start. Because for understandable reasons or not, that's what he did. But hey, make-up sex is good too!

Vodou ceremonies or something like it are not like sex. Okay, some of them are like sex. But not anything involving Baron Samedi, or if it's like sex then you have a far more interesting sex life than I do. The general outline of vodou as it applies to portrayal in fiction involves bokor (sorcerers), houngan (holy men or priests or good magicians, for lack of a better English term), and loa (spirits or genii).  There's a whole lot more to it than that and we can recommend some reading, but as with most traditions that don't involve a holy text where it's all written down for you, there's a lot of variation. In the case of this show and this episode, the Baron has set himself up as the loa Baron Samedi but he would more likely be a bokor, an evil sorcerer. In the ritual we see him perform he is calling upon the loa, a spirit, to help him achieve some task. Most likely involving controlling the zombis he's made, and yes, that 'e' is left off on purpose, in vodou a zombi is spelled thusly. The symbols on the ground are called vèvè, and there is one (or a group of them? at least one) for each loa you might want to call on, great and small. The one in this episode is not one I recognize, I can't find it or any of its component parts, so it's probably made up and most likely intended to be symbols of the ghede family of loa; as we said last week, the spirits of the dead. Because zombis! And because he's most likely calling on Baron Samedi, the darker and more malicious or at least dangerous side of Papa Ghede. So! The Baron wishes ses amis bon voyage, yes, yes, you're very dramatic and there are about to be a fucklot of zombies in the city. WOO. But that's tonight, which means tomorrow night is a different thing that Eric's looking forward to. GEE I WONDER WHAT.

Meanwhile over in Austria in the Alps in a house/cottage that in NO WAY looks like an updated version of the witch's hut (I lie. it totally does. a lot) (K: Hey, my family had a dacha that looks like that... that's not helping the impression, is it.) (A: Not even a little.), Frau Pech is conniving! She's all in white, which makes me wonder if there's some kind of ritual significance to it, that not being a typical choice of colors for her. Oh, look, it's a box labeled Doppelganger. I wonder what she could be up to! We'll just have to come back to that at a time when we can be duly amazed at Claire Coffee's acting abilities.

Because now it's on over to Monroe and Rosalee, who are being awkward and adorable in their own ways! This is shot very much like the night before a major battle, with everyone arming themselves or doing some kind of major prep work, or having sex. Which is like prep work! There's zither music in the background oh my god Rosalee I can see your convoluted logic and it comes from some truly passive aggressive rules of hospitality. Oh honey. Now I'm wondering about her upbringing or if this is all her own neuroses. Monroe reassures her and proceeds to be completely awkward about asking her to stay the night. Oh my god it is a wonder any man on this show has consensual sex with the object of his affections. I swear. (And I'm sad that I have to make that many qualifications.) Rosalee, after a brief bout of awkwardness herself, realizes she's going to have to stop Monroe in his tracks or they'll never get to the naked part, and awww, you guys. Furry jokes aside, because they're nigh-on obligatory and thus I'm not making them, I find it really adorable that it's in revealing herself via woge that Monroe comments that he finds her hot. There's probably some stuff to unpack about the biology and anthropology of that, mostly the latter. Again, the vulnerability, and it's interesting that both the romantic scenes in our opening give us the woman as sexual initiators and the ones capable of talking about their emotions in even semi-coherent language.

Fade to black on that (and I'm dubious about the fade to black that fast, mostly in light of Bad And Morally Ambiguous Characters have more sex in their sex scenes than the Good Characters, though this may be mostly in light of the More Naked Sasha Roiz contingent of fangirls; at any rate the Grimm messages on sex are so mixed as to be incoherent by now) and over to Renard! Speaking of. While I ponder just what the previous aside will do to our poor search terms, we have another of those conspiracy shots-through-the-blinds to establish where we are. Yay! It's visibly night outside, so this is still that same evening, and instead of prep work for a battle or sex, Renard appears to be battling his more usual and mundane demon of paperwork. Poor bastard. Hey, it's the canary! Hi Chirpy! (It is, by the way, entirely on Christian Lagadec that we've adopted that nickname. I'm just saying.) From an unknown number that we get to see this time, which means burner phone, which suggests that the phone calls in the last ep where Renard didn't go for his burner phone were made from Chirpy's regular cell as well. Someday someone's going to slip and give us something that would force them to name the poor canary. At which point we will undoubtedly have to write these posts and then ctrl-f all instances of "Chirpy," provided he makes it into the third season. Also telling is that we only hear four buttons being pushed, suggesting some form of speed dial okay I'll stop microanalyzing everything now. (This is also a lie.) To his credit, Chirpy appears to have gotten out of Eric's office or at least into a less incriminating position in it before calling Renard, but he also appears not to have waited longer than that, judging by the lighting and the rest of the timing on this ep. GOOD spy. Can has cookie. Can has fieldcraft? No, cannot has fieldcraft, appears to be using a fucking iPhone that's hooked up to email for a burner. TEXT. MESSAGES. WITH PICTURES. They exist for a reason, not that it would be MUCH better, but it would be a start. (Though, yes, it is very damn hard to do more than obfuscate the records on the phone number everyone knows about, which is all they appear to be trying to do here.) Interestingly, Chirpy's using English this time, I don't know if they decided we'd had our fill of French last ep (unpossible) or if English is simply what he uses when he feels like he's in a more secure location. I will say that it's good protocol to delete the photos after sending them off to Renard, at least. Three files, one empty, other two with death certs and passports, no photos, just to confirm that/remind us from last ep, thank you. It's safe to say that the other file held the same documents, and that Eric took them with him, even at this early stage, which really just cements our knowledge of what the fuck he plans to do to Nick. Also, the failtern is at it again, because on pausing to stare at the email fields in the hopes of data on the canary (there is none, it's an anonymized "from" field), we see that Renard's address is Really? Sigh. I doubt that's the easter egg we could wish it were. It seems that Thomas Schirach is a known quantity in some fashion to Renard, by the familiarity in his voice; it could just be a known alias and it could be something else entirely. Or it could just be the familiar contempt for everyone involved with Eric's plans! Hard to say on this little data.

Well, what the zombies are doing for Eric is inciting panic! Panic and mayhem! Starting with an enclosed transport car of some kind because why NOT foreshadow the ending scene in the shipyard. From that we go straight to a scene of quiet if not peace and wealth if not taste. Since Adalind's having a late night meal in her pajamas we know that this can't last, and I almost want to say she's been expecting the drugging that follows? We don't have enough information to say for sure. She is enjoying the wealth and luxury of being waited on hand and foot, though. Hey, it's Frau Pech! Hey, she bribed the room service guy! Hey, I have a jar for that. She asks, habe Sie [???], and then und ihr Schlüssel, which is key rather than room key, but context makes that clear. Apparently the drug was in the food rather than the wine, by how the plate's half-empty, which makes sense. Easier to drug that and conceal the taste there than in an unopened bottle of wine. I were Adalind, I wouldn't be eating or drinking anything from people who could be bribed or blackmailed, but then I'm more paranoid. Plus, with a plot like this, I feel obligated to make people work for it. Assuming she's in on the plot from the get-go. Anyway, Frau Pech comes in and there's a moment of creepy sniffing at the unconscious Adalind; I seriously wonder what's with Hexens and their sense of smell at this point. Assuming that's not still a sense that can only be represented as smell and is actually something more supernatural. Needle goes into the back of the NECK and unless you're taking spinal fluid (which she's not, not with that needle and not by the color of fluid), that's just petty viciousness.

Another cut to zombified Portland, this one looks like it's somewhere downtown, yes, thank you, we get the point of what's going on. Although it does lend a nice sense of urgency to the episode to have these cuts while nobody's still aware of what's going on, so that we have the passage of time and aren't left to extrapolate the progression of the zombis throughout the city. We know, and it only takes a few seconds of clips each time. Plus it lets them set up a rule of three, plus it lets them build tension, plus they get to (maybe?) shoot one prolonged scene of zombi action and then edit it for use throughout the episode. I mean, over a couple different sets/blocks if they filmed out in Portland proper, but nonetheless, it gives them Options while filming. On over to Nick and Juliette and their morning after, though! With coffee and cuddles and Juliette plucking at Nick's shirt as though she's dubious about the merits of it being on in the first place. Aww. I don't find Giuntoli particularly attractive, personally, and I'd smack Nick with a cluebat if I got within 50 paces of him, but they are really adorable. They are solidly and thoroughly in second honeymoon stage, or maybe that's just post-coital afterglow for two people who haven't gotten any in a REALLY long time. Or both! We'll go with both. Nick has dinner plans again, and this time it seems likely they won't go over. (I wonder what shape that bolognaise was in by the time they decided food was a good idea.) Especially since his reply to taking the day off is to quip about if people would stop killing each other. It's a nice reminder that even before he was a Grimm, their love life was never going to be smooth and easy. I mostly credit that one to the writers, because I don't think Nick is prone to layering his statements that much, but it does put the Grimming on a similar plane with the policing. Well, Renard has to destroy their happy idyll, but he's doing it in a good cause: sharing information! Not on the phone, which tips Nick off that this is extremely sensitive data and also pretty urgent if Renard's calling him directly. GOOD. Yes. This scene also highlights just how much Juliette is Nick's stability, and how completely adrift and fucked-up he is without her. They'll be okay together! One Wesen at a time. See, now we at least kind of like Nick again. Would never drool over him, but at least he's crawling back up the ladder of "decent human being with coping mechanisms."

More zombis! More innocent victims! More screaming! The fight and stunt coordinators must have had a field day with this episode! Also, that's the third clip of zombis roaming loose in the streets of Portland this episode. So of course, roll credits. As with the rest of the ep, we pick up directly where we left off - minus travel and getting dressed time - with Nick walking into Renard's office. He's perched on the edge of his desk going over files, I assume less because this is normal for Renard and more because he's expecting the interruption and this allows him some movement in the scene while still keeping him in frame with Nick. (Speaking of, things I want to see: Nick and Renard's respective stated heights on their DLs, because half the time it seems like they're trying to shoot poor Giuntoli as a couple-three inches taller than he is.) Well, Renard's not going to stay out from behind his fortress desk for very long, taking advantage of moving to it to deliver the news about Eric's whereabouts in a rather small, resigned voice. Which, in case we need to say it, is not something we hear from him often. Or ever. Which is also the best possible answer to "is this a shut the door kind of conversation?" he could make. I get the sense Nick would lock the door if he thought he could get away with it. His Captain's not supposed to sound... almost defeated, really. Although peering at it I'm not sure there is a lock.

Anyway. I love Nick's utter disregard for the niceties of royalty here; I'm not sure it's so much deliberate as just, typical American. Does not give a fuck about your Royal anythings. (It also gives me hope that once he's un-zombi'd, he'll punch Eric in the face, given the chance. A lot.) Renard confirms that, but more important and more stressed is the amount of power Eric wields within the family. It's something Nick is more likely to listen to and have more context for than anything about "he's the heir," but it would be really useful to have the fucking confirmation on that assumption. I mean, it's a pretty safe bet that Eric and Sean are the only two Renard sons in the direct line left alive, unless Chirpy's another half-brother (and in which case I'm a little surprised they haven't referenced any familial tie; the royals like to lean on those although it could be a method of stating they have a bond which supersedes family) and it's for damn sure that Sean's not inheriting anything as a half-Zauber bastard who's done a great deal to thwart the Family's stated goals. Renard is, I think, trying to deliver a warning to Nick that he believes Nick to be in danger with the "never believe a word he says," at least of a general nature, but for whatever reason - as we'll see - it never crosses Nick's mind that the Cracher-Mortel is in Eric's service, and Renard doesn't appear to have enough of the pieces to put that together. (Or he's being kept too busy managing the police side of things, which is equally plausible and, I expect, his brother's intention.) Renard keeps his hands out in the open for most of this scene, all his cards on the table, and despite the occasional heightened blink rate (which is more from stress and hiding his emotions rather than hiding the truth, I suspect) he manages to keep most of the bitterness out of his tone as he delivers a brief lesson on family history. Enough to let Nick see how dangerous it is for both of them that Eric Renard's here in person, and enough to explain why he's so avid in his opposition to his family. Because Nick does have a fairly simplistic concept of Family Good, Betrayal Bad, at least as it applies to him. And he tends, I think to expect people he's not encountered on the job to have a similar background, with parents who love their children and want the best for them; recent events both with Marie and Kelly have shaken him but that's probably three decades of ingrained beliefs to unravel. On the other hand, the concept of the wicked stepmother is a time-honored folklore tradition, so there's that much! Though in this case technically Renard's mother would be the stepmother, thereby subverting our expectations. It's a little unlike Renard to blame the children for their parents' sins, though we have ample evidence that Eric is following in his parents' (we'll say both for the sake of argument, since we have zero empirical and reliable data on either of them) footsteps. It's also possible, given the later stated age of the murder attempt(s) and our presumption that Eric is the older brother (which matches with actor ages if not actual character ages), that Eric was of an age to begin manipulating those around him into having Ideas and thinking they were their own plan all along.

At any rate, we deal with that massively wincey bit with Christmas and never included and oh Renard. He knew what a real family looked like and he knew how a real family acted, both, at a guess, and he knows the difference, and he knows exactly how fucked up his childhood was. Oh honey. Though there's some odd specificity in one of his word choices here, why included rather than the more customary invited? It brings to mind images of a small, quiet Renard bullied out to the fringes of the gathering and forced to watch while the legitimate/favored children got their presents (and presumably more expensive presents, that being the primary measure of caring that we've seen the Royals still within the loving bosom of family evince) first and his last if at all. There's also an interesting parallel here between Nick telling Monroe about Kelly killing Catherine, and Eric's mother trying to kill Renard's, in a couple of very direct ways (so far we haven't spotted any subtle ones but that doesn't mean they won't arrive): mothers killing mothers, and mothers going to great lengths to protect their sons. We'll keep an eye on these things next season, because they've definitely been building up some slow parallels between Renard and Nick this season. On to business! That's easier than talking over old wounds! Renard you are sharing information again I love you. I do appreciate that they allowed him to have a wrong assumption, that Schirach is someone that Eric dropped a false ID on and dragged out to Portland with him rather than that he's someone Eric plans to take back/send elsewhere under a false identity. I can see why he made it, though I also have to facepalm at the insufficient extrapolation: look, if there's three folders and one is empty and the other two have the same set of documents (including, now, body transport? fuck, you didn't MENTION THIS EARLIER, either of you!) it becomes a reasonable assumption that the third had the same documents. And on the gripping hand, until they talk to Rosalee there's absolutely no way of knowing that there's a cure for the Cracher-Mortel's venom, so dragging Nick off as a fake corpse wouldn't necessarily cross either of their minds as a useful thing for Eric to do. I wish Renard had asked Rosalee? I see why he didn't, though, given the memories he necessarily associates with the spice shop at this point. All from being whammied or just after getting un-whammied, I'd want to forget it too. Plus, they don't get much of a chance to discuss how determined (read: ruthless and cunning) Eric is to get the key from Nick, nor what kind of power/influence it would give him, nor what the possibilities for those documents are, because oh look! Here comes Eric on the phone to ruin everything. Fucker. Nick's got an evaluating look on when Renard says no, stay and listen, definitely one where there's more thinking going on than he's been doing all season. Particularly when it comes to Renard, but far from limited to it. The conversation that follows is typical jabbing while they set up the meeting for that evening, jab jab I feel robust already. No, Eric sugarpie, the only way you're growing is out, and you're never going to be as tall as your brother, stop sulking over it. Jackass. An invitation to meet on Eric's turf, as much as Eric has turf in this city, which I suppose I sort of understand Renard's acquiescence to it but I don't have to like it. He's been trained and raised at court in his formative years, he responds to the authority even when he doesn't want to, and technically all of Portland is his domain and acting as though the hotel suite is already Eric's domain shows weakness he doesn't want to admit to. Jab jab brother, and I swear these two (both character and actor) can make brother sound like the worst insult. It's impressive, and would be more so if I weren't so busy wincing. Not exactly close is the sort of almost-British understatement that we love out of Renard and would like it if he got more of them that didn't underscore how much his family blows a big pile of goat choad. And now Nick's evaluating expression has shifted to the kind of shellshocked "holy fucking shit I have to process all of this new data and I have severely misjudged my captain." Not underestimated, either, and not, I think, been wrong about his faults (and by the way, we managed to work out a possibility for why Nick is letting Aunt Marie's death slide this morning: Renard saved the love of his life, and Aunt Marie was dying anyway; this way she went out fighting as she would have wanted), but been badly lacking in data which he now will use to evaluate Renard's potential as an ally. That was probably the point of revealing all of that personal information, too. Renard doesn't like taking off his armor and getting squishy and vulnerable for anyone, and it cost him a great deal to tell Nick these things, especially knowing that Nick might share that information with any of his assorted friends, including Hank (including Juliette). And he did it anyway because Nick and most of his friends are far, far more capable of processing emotional content than intellectual content alone, and the emotional content gives them a way to look at Renard and see motive, see someone who's capable of great good as well as great evil, and now I really want to know what happens if/when the truth of his directing Adalind to ensorcel Hank comes out. Ah, well.

Time enough for evaluation and processing when you're dead, Nick! Can't parse data, gotta go save the city from the zombis. Wu would like some help NOW, please, with something that he recognizes as related to the woman in the house from the other day. Renard now has even more of the look of a man under siege, he's almost huddled in his chair and I would lay odds that he's starting to put some pieces together but doesn't have time to address them. Which is, again, of course what Eric was counting on. Well, fuck. Nick's off to help out with that before they run out of uniforms rather than after, I love that Wu is refusing to call it a zombi(e) anything even though it could easily be taken as such. With the door shutting after him, both because that's how it was when he came in (again with the office door shut much more often, possibly always, this season, as opposed to the literal open-door policy of s1) and because given the databomb Renard just dropped it's a safe assumption that he'll want privacy for a bit. Particularly if he's going to have to put the Captain mask back on and handle detailing more officers to the "crime wave."

Down at the zompocalypse, Wu is in some kind of charge and really, this highlights that he's one of the natural sergeants of the world. Capable of running a dozen different logistics, not afraid to ask for the resources he needs to do his job, and also willing to and capable of going in on the front lines, whether that's dealing with a domestic call turned into a drug-fueled zombi attack or tackling a weird Wesen prophet type in the forest. Because Wu? Is awesome. And will now deliver a precise, rapped-out report to Nick as they head on into the store. That was a foregone conclusion when Nick arrived on the scene, really, both from a character and a narrative standpoint. I have no idea what Wu was going to suggest it sounded like upstairs, maybe sex? But I agree, if you discount zombis I wouldn't know what to call that sound either. Very violent vomiting? I also have no idea where all the other zombis the Baron released last night are (though I like that they appear to have finally taken shambling time into account. what, this ep was not going to be complete without at least one shambling joke even if they ARE fast zombis), we'll assume either elsewhere in the city or already restrained in ambulances. And we'll hope to hell that the standard stretcher restraints are enough to keep them down, maybe with the addition of some serious tranquilizers. We get an excellent jump-scare of Lilian O'Hara biting the shit out of Wu's leg and dear god I hope those uniform pants are decently thick. I will also complain about the part where they NEVER ASK Rosalee through this ENTIRE EP if this is a thing that's fluid-transmissible from zombi to zombi. I mean, safe money's on no, but STILL. You GUYS. If they're going to act like traditional horror zombies this much, ask the obvious questions just to get them out of the way. (As a side note, we do have a somewhat biological theory why she bit him, beyond the more likely "because they're doing the horror movie thing and zombis bite people". We're not exactly built for aggression, and though it's possible to do fantastic acts of violence with one's arms and fists and feet, primates tend to have amazing bite strength, and reflexes that way. This is why you don't smile with teeth at a chimpanzee.) Anyway, Nick goes looking for Lilian O'Hara who will do the classic dive out window in pursuit of her target stunt. One: damn fine stuntwork. Two: if she gets cured, her recovery time (assuming she CAN recover from the broken bones and internal injuries) is gonna SUCK. Nick's face says "no, seriously, what the fuck," as you do when reasonable assumptions even given the information from the journals on the Baron's zombi creations is taken into account. But she's on the street and as long as she's not coming upstairs again she's the officers' problem. Wu is, one assumes, taking off for medical now that he's done his share of the jawdropping, and Nick would follow him if it weren't for the spare zombi. Nick, did you forget the head count Wu gave you when you entered the building? Bad cop. No donut. (Why yes, given Voodoo Donuts we're going to make ALL those jokes this recapalypse. What.)

Hey, I think we even recognize that zombi. That's the tow truck guy! Looking very much the worse for the wear as he flails and attempts to pound on Nick. Unsuccessfully. More herky jerky camera work and Nick's punches, they do nothing! That brick wall does something, though. Hard to say how thick it is, but running into it face first seems to work where Nick's attacks failed. No one's being very effective at hand to hand here. I take a brief second to ponder if pressure on the carotid artery would work as well on a zombi as it does on a more standard human while Nick takes a second to be so keyed up he almost blows his partner away. I can't say I blame him given the speed and aggressiveness of the zombis, but still. Ouch. Almost ouch. Everyone is relieved that it is not actual ouch, and Hank would like to know what in pluperfect hell is going on here. Zombis, Hank! That's what's going on. And they need to find out how the zombis are going on and stop them. Unfortunately that's the sort of thing policework is only half effective on, that half being the part requiring investigation skills and deductive reasoning. Which they are about out of, at this point. The rest of the legwork will have to be done by people more skilled in Wesen wooj than they are, thus, spice shop! Thus sneaking one of the afflicted out in Nick's car. I feel so sorry for that extra/guest actor/stunt guy, whichever one of them was getting folded ass over teakettle into the back of Nick's car. That does not look like a comfortable position, even for someone skilled at yoga. Hank would like to remind Nick and the audience that they're supposed to be cops and there are some things they're just not supposed to do. Unfortunately for this and everything else, there are some things they just don't have a choice on. At least not unless they want Portland to become the next filming location for The Walking Dead.

So, the spice shop. Where they are securing the allegedly dead guy with handcuffs to... nothing at all. Nick. Guys. YOU GUYS. You know this guy is going to become violent when he wakes up, and at least two of you are COPS. You know that having his hands cuffed is only going to limit the scope of the violence he can do somewhat. You know this. Guys. GUYS? Fuck, never mind, you'll reap the consequences later. Grump. Nick and Hank recap what they know of what's happened, three dead guys who were dead and got up again, the Cracher-Mortel, etc., though notably no mention of what Wu told Nick in the Captain's office. Nick, were you paying attention? Still being a bad cop. And Baron Samedi, because that's the name everyone knows him by. And does Rosalee have any new insight to bring to the table? She does! She has several books on putting marbles in people's mouths, I mean, Wesen Demenz-zustand, dementia-states seems to be the literal and semantic translation. Assuming Demenz is what she's saying, at least. The page in her book seems to think she should be saying Dämmerzustand, which I would also accept, dämmer meaning twilight, so that works too. She lists off a few other creatures or phenomena known to be associated with, well, wild and manic states, like Bacchae and Maenads. I'm not sure Bhakti fits in there, but sure, we'll go with that? Or she could have been saying something else. Cataplexy, paralysis, hypnagogic (i.e. sleep-related, sleep induced) hallucinations, yeah, that pretty much sums up the descriptions of zombi powder survivors, at a guess based on the evidence to hand. Again, Serpent and the Rainbow, movie for the graphically fictionalized account, book as a start to your research. Speaking of, the first three stages actually match roughly to the stages of zombi powder in our world. Though afterwards there's less violence and more wandering around in a dissociative state, severely scarred by the trauma of being paralyzed, having hallucinations induced, and sometimes being buried alive. Science!

This is where the similarity stops, though, because in the Wesen world, presumably for both Wesen and humans, the solution is to wait until they get to the last stage and then "stimulate the nervous system," which for these purposes appears to mean "stab them in the fleshy bits with a really big three-pronged syringe containing Wesen adrenaline." Look, since they're not going to give us any antidote or anti-toxin components, I'm going to take the results of that potion and I'm going to call it adrenaline, okay? Be on the lookout for Pulp Fiction references later. And apparently you can stimulate the nervous system with ointments or in other ways, but since this is television we're going for the most dramatic efficacious way. Injection with triple-barreled syringe! I'm pretty sure this is also an excuse to bring out the trunk labeled Injektionsspritze. Which is exactly what it sounds like. There's five or so syringes strapped to the top, the triple-barreled monster in the case on the bottom, none of these look sanitary. All of them look like nightmare rejects from an even more steampunk Return to Oz. I'm actually more terrified of that case than I am of the zombis, not to mention the tetanus one might get from that. The triple-barreled syringe is apparently called a piquage-contesse, or something close to that, because all of her equipment is titled in French and that seems to be what they imagine the French to be for giant fucking needle. No, I am not getting over this anytime soon. No, I imagine it's not a pleasant experience. But she does think they have everything they need to make the antidote right there in the shop, so at least that's good? Yes. Good, which means Nick and Hank can scurry back to the precinct and Rosalee can handle it because she's the apothecary here and poor Monroe isn't nearly as sanguine about this as everyone else is. What if the guy wakes up and gets free and is violent? He's handcuffed, but. No, Nick, I'm pretty sure giving Monroe the keys to make sure the guy doesn't come unhandcuffed isn't what Monroe had in mind. Though I question the good sense of ALL OF YOU for leaving him untied to something big and heavy. Unchained. He should be bundled in chains like a swaddled baby right now. Immobilized, in short. But is he? No. Sigh. I do have some sympathy for Monroe and his wry wistfulness about how the morning started off so well (and many lulz because Silas Weir Mitchell's delivery is spot on, as usual) but not very much. It's about to get worse, and it's all because you didn't immobilize the about to be hyperviolent zombi.

Anyway. Back over at the precinct! Nick's got some information on their zombi at the spice shop and jeez, Nick, say it a little louder why don't you? If you have to refer to the spice shop at all in the public haunt of policemen could you at least code it up a bit? Maybe say, clinic? As much weird shit rampaging over Portland is going on right now I'm sure your fellow officers would accept that you dropped someone off at a clinic. A spice shop just sounds weird. Anyway, he's got a name and an identity to hang around that zombi's neck, and yes, it is the tow truck guy. Nick has his deets from what looks like a missing persons report filed by the shop owner the guy works for. Hank will add for our benefit that they've got eighteen missing persons reports in the last 24 hours. Up that by half again for the ones that haven't been reported yet and the Cracher-Mortel has about 27, maybe 30 zombis in his power. Yikes. No wonder Portland's in a state of fear frenzy right now. Oh, hey, there's a mention of the bus full of people the Cracher-Mortel horked up on.

And back over at the spice shop where they're working up the antidote as fast as they can, Monroe opens his fat mouth to say that they'd better get it into the guy before he--. I swear, this is just like horror movies and saying you'll be right back, or the part where if someone asks you if you're a god you say yes. Monroe, come on, you were so savvy to these things back in the first season! (No, seriously, go back and listen to his dialogue in Beeware.) To add insult to genre blindness, Monroe tries talking to the zombi. While he's still a zombi, that is. That's not going to work, Monroe. Rosalee. Either of you. Seriously, not going to work. Guys. Guys? No. We're back to the herky-jerky camera, mayhem, I hope that isn't anything expensive he's breaking. Apart from possibly Monroe's femur or something in that vicinity. Maybe just a big bruise. Monroe will proceed to punch him out now like he should have done the first goddamn time, with what looks like a touch of woge in there. And while the guy's out, hey, the injection's ready, time to deliver! We're not watching this, you're on your own. I will say, though, that the stomach is at least a decent and audience-friendly place to deliver the injection if you're going to move clothing around. Other option would be to not touch the clothing and inject him through the seat of his pants.

Back to the precinct! We're doing a lot of rapid cuts here, partly because of all the tense action and partly, I suspect, to keep people either on their toes or entirely confused as to what the endgame is. Nick and Hank are interviewing the boss who filed the missing person's report because his driver, Al, he's a stand-up guy, he wouldn't just disappear like this. Fair reason! He even brought a tape of the trouble call, good man. Bad Baron. Apart from a rehash of the horrible death jokes about the car, he actually gives his goddamn name as Baron Samedi. Which the dispatcher doesn't seem to notice. Get thee to the specfic shelf at the library, dispatch lady. Seriously, if I was her and I took that call I'd screech and hang up on his creepy ass or at least give the tow truck guy plenty of fair warning, anyone who calls themselves Baron Samedi is not to be fucked with on at least some level. Anyway, they get the make and model of the car, plates, color, and the location where the tow truck driver likely got zombi'd. This Will Come In Handy Later. At least half of it will.

On over, at long last again, to Austria! Where the still-unconscious Adalind is taking a much-deserved nap while Frau Pech ingests what is basically Polyjuice Potion, only in this case it has the added trick of swapping appearances (but note, appearances only) so that there's no pesky body double to go HEY BUT I'M ME. It's a good zaubertrank. I have to admire the craft involved, even as I facepalm over Frau Pech's inability to pretend to be anyone other than herself and boggle at Claire Coffee's ability to adapt mannerisms that put her squarely in uncanny-valley-Adalind territory. Goddamn. But I get ahead of myself, slightly. (And nice VFX work on the shift, though I'm confused why it looks in the background as if Frau Pech-as-Adalind also gets the clothing. What the fuck? Adalind didn't get Frau Pech's evil-grandmother clothes! Or the robe in addition to her regular clothes? I'm going to say that's the skirt because that's less brain breaky, and while we have issues with the extent to which they're leaning on the morally dubious-at-best characters for their cheesecake we will admit that at least it's semi-equal. And believable, that Frau Pech would both not fit into her old clothes and want to ogle the new young body, as much of a premium as Hexenbiests seem to put on appearance and sexual power. Seem to put, because we can't be sure how much Frau Pech did when she was young enough to make use of it and we have only Catherine and Adalind, who are clearly fucked up in a familial sort of way as much or more than a Wesen species-specific sort of way. There's also, of course, the potential for a great deal of disgusting consent issues even with the seeming of Adalind's body if not the actual body (it's really unclear how this zaubertrank works for sure, if it's an illusion switch or a full body switch that was best represented similar to an illusion) which they fortunately seem to have opted against going into. Instead we get a very Gollumy look on not!Adalind's face, one that yes, would be better suited to Frau Pech, and can I say again how that is fucking creepy and impressive? Hey, phone! Stefania would like it known that they have a way of dealing with Frau Pech. And again, the delivery is slow and a bit stilted, she looks almost confused at the way her voice sounds conducted through bone (if you've listened to a recording of yourself you know exactly how weird that is, now imagine it in reverse) and also probably confused at the lack of accent. Which would lend itself to the theory that that was a full-body swap, come to think of it. Muscle memory says hi. So if that didn't tip Stefania off, presumably the next scene in Austria did, but we'll have to wait to look into that!

For now, we move on over to the precinct again, where Hank's been doing the deduction and paperwork while Nick makes a coffee run. Aw, boys. You're such good partners for each other. Hopefully with Juliette back, Nick can go back to being a good partner instead of a flailing Grimm. Say, that car? Not registered to the Baron. Registered instead to Mulpus. Where's that damn jar. And current address puts him at the Crescent Hotel, which I'm not going to be bothered to Googlemap but I assume is a long-stay hotel. Meanwhile, Wu's done his own share of the gruntwork and has a location on the Buick! Nick, I have to ask, do you do any actual police work anymore, or is it all Grimm work? Because if you're sticking your partner with all the fucking paperwork I'm gonna shiv you. Or one of Renard's paperwork brownies will. We also get a note that Wu was a good cop (can has donut) and went and got a tetanus shot for the bite. 'cause they give you tetanus shots at the drop of a tophat these days, it's true. They also hurt like a sumbitch, I have much sympathy for our Sergeant. And it's time to head over and check out the car!

Which, if we're playing this episode in roughly realtime, means it's about 8 pm, because Renard is at his brother's suite and have I mentioned how we do not like this one bit, Sam-I-Am? Because we don't. This is going to suck, and it's going to rub salt in a lot of wounds, and the consequences for everyone are likely to be miserable. If we judge our audience right, you've got the details of this scene embedded in your brains, so I'm not going to waste the words (and wrist strength) on detailing that aside from specifying behavioral traits, acting choices, camera choices, and the like. What we will be focusing on is all the unspoken shit and how this ties together with what we already know to allow us to speculate wildly about the brothers Renard and all their assorted fucked up family members. SO. With that in mind, let's stop at the big double doors to Eric's suite, I'm assuming it's the penthouse/honeymoon/most expensive in the hotel, because he's an ostentatious fuckwit like that. In socioeconomic terms, for those of you who are curious about that sort of thing, it's called conspicuous consumption: engaging in rich people shenanigans so everyone gets "I'm rich and you're not" emblazoned on their eyeballs whenever you're near. It is very much fuckwit behavior. We might safely expect Renard to be pulling on all his Princely authority in this situation, where we've seen remarkably little of it all season - presumably because he was first whammied and then traumatized and also trying to tone down the Respect Mah Authoriteh for the benefit of the Scoobies. He isn't. He looks like he's been called into the headmaster's office. Though he is capable of pulling on some of it to deal with Eric's flunky, who sounds marginally hesitant about the desire to check him for weapons. Not out of any lasting attachment to Renard; these are very clearly Eric's Men, but because we've seen what Eric does to his people and Renard is known to be another royal. Worse, he's a bastard and unpredictable (and possibly half-Zauber depending on how open a secret that is, which is something we would STILL love to know, along with how much it's shifted from a private scandal to an open secret over the years) and Eric probably has expressed his displeasure with his brother's stubbornness in myriad ways, both here in Portland and back at his model castle, where he would of course be taking it out on whoever couldn't fight back.

This flunky is, at least, old enough and experienced enough to act like he's got his own authority, however much of that he's allowed, and I really wonder how much Eric had him put up a show and how much this is SOP for Royals. I'm guessing a little of column a, little of column b, particularly the bad-cop routine (which Renard damn well ought to recognize, he's used it enough times) so that this next bit can happen! Heh. It's telling that he seems both willing to call Eric's bluff and not at all surprised when Eric walks into the hallway the second his back is turned. Though instantly wary and stiffening, note the clenching and unclenching of his hands and the dancing fingers, and I wonder how much he was expecting this to be a physical trap for him that he opted to walk into in the fond hopes that it would give Nick warning or him an opportunity to forestall the action. Or both. Because we know Renard has a high estimation (deservedly) of his ability to deal with physical trickery and, frankly, to take a beating if that's what Eric's in the mood to hand out. No, the Pustule's going to spend this entire scene jabbing at him with words. We're going to spend the entire scene grinding our teeth and wondering if we can punch annoying Royals in the face. The initial jab about little weapons is exactly what you think it is both in the more direct physical sense and in the metaphorical sense to emphasize how powerless Renard is, it's a cheap shot that shouldn't work and if it works at all it's only because it's coming from Eric, whose opinions still matter even though Renard knows they shouldn't. The line about trust nets him next to no reaction, not even with the little pout at the end of it, certainly Renard is pulling the interrogation trick of forcing your opponent to fill a silence. It also has the effect of not giving away intellectual information, even as it tells Eric that his words are doing their work emotionally. Sadly, the primary purpose of this meeting is to keep Renard off-balance and hurt emotionally so that he can't see what Eric's doing with his other hand. We can also see, mostly in the facial tension but also some in the stance that's squared up like he's bracing for a hit, a lot of the same physical tics that Roiz used when on Caprica playing Sam Adama. Only these are the tics we saw in Sam Adama around the Guatrau and Daniel Graystone, or reliving old trauma with his brother - not as a general rule around Joseph Adama. Which makes, for those of us who recognize the body language from show to show, even more painful in some ways. It's also the stance from when Renard bashed Wolsey in the face and took his gun to shoot Cousin Menton, and I would lay good odds that he's considering it and discarding it as a really fucking poor idea; now that we have confirmation that Papa Renard the king still exists (though not a good sense of how much power he holds as compared to Eric) I can't say I blame him. I wouldn't want the entirety of a Royal Family coming down on my head either, even if it would be immensely satisfying to see the Pustule with a bullet hole neatly in the middle of his forehead.

(We're simple women who like simple solutions, and if you buy that I have a bridge in Brooklyn.)

Note that this is the only time, as he walks to the doors of the living/dining area of the suite, that Eric turns his back on Sean. We could interpret that as half a kindness, letting Renard get his face under control after the "bro" jab, which is again, patently ridiculous. I don't believe either of them have ever used such an informal, familiar term of endearment, and it's not meant to be one here, either. But no, I'm pretty sure the back-turning is primarily to prove that he's not afraid of what Renard might do. Possibly it indicates that he recognized the stance of someone about to engage in violence and chose the "sure, shoot me in the back" method of mentally disarming his brother. Whatever the case, there's only a couple seconds while Eric's closing the doors that Renard turns his back, and it's accompanied by something of a quarter-turn and sideways glance to confirm his safety. Evidently Eric will continue the unpleasantries by commenting on  how long it's been since they were last "breathing the same air" and you know? Despite the British accent, thank you Frain, I begin to question all these odd little phrases and verbal tics he has as being near-colloquialisms and near-idioms that a non-native speaker would use. Because idioms are the hardest thing in any language to master, and we know that Eric Renard lives in Austria and presumably grew up speaking German as his native language. So it's possibly that some of the ominous-sounding idioms are both intended to instill foreboding in the audience as well as a signal of an ESL speaker.

Renard is having none of that shit, and they circle each other as he gives us the rundown of events that led to him and his mother fleeing Europe (him from Geneva, presumably picked up second/on her way out). He was thirteen (and in French literature, which just gives us both all the squee and makes us want to pet him), at boarding school, and assuming that Eric is still the older brother, that puts Eric at late teens to early 20s. Again, assuming roughly the same age gap as with the actors, which is all we've got to work with, so we'll use it until further data presents itself. This does speak strongly to the likelihood that Renard's mother is where he got his ideas about what a proper family/proper parents do for their children, and would seem to indicate that there's at least one non-malicious Hexenbiest somewhere in this universe. FUCKING FINALLY. I specify non-malicious, because frankly Catherine was creepy and fucked up and abusive to her daughter, and given this data it seems like Renard's mother was at least much better at parenting her son, but that doesn't make her benign by any stretch of the imagination. Note that Renard leans in on the "by your mother" just to make sure Eric feels the blame for what happened, blame to his mother at least by proxy, if not blame to Eric himself. Revisiting the data from The Other Side (2x08), this lines up neatly and expands on what Eric provided Adalind with in that scene, and I will laugh/cry over the height differences here. Which they're managing both to keep in line with the true heights but also, and I suspect this is more than half a stellar performance from the actors, managing to give Eric enough presence and arrogant self-assurance that the height difference doesn't matter. Even when Renard is leaning in/down some. Apparently Eric remembers that day, too! I assume by way of his mother shrieking over her targets being whisked away from under her nose, as he implies by the next words out of his mouth. I cannot tell for the life of me if flinging his mother's words at Sean's head is intended to hurt because one or both of their mothers is dead or because at least Eric's mother is still alive and he still hears her ranting whenever Sean's done something to piss off the family again. (Oh, and, note that they're keeping Eric sinister and Renard dexter for this entire scene? Yeaaaaah. Even/especially when they go to sit down at the table.) There's a lot packed into these few sentences to parse through, but: the phrasing of "stole his heart" is interesting considering the focus on hearts and Hexenbiests and power later this episode. That may be a thematic wording rather than anything literal, but it points up how strong the association between Hexens and blood/line magic is, and gives us an idea of how much Eric likely knows about how their powers work. The fact that Renard was 13 and Eric was "a young boy awaiting the throne" does indicate that there wasn't a particularly large age gap, and he's still awaiting that throne, at least if he means that of a king. As I'm 99% sure he does. We would still like to know what the fuck is going on if Eric has no children, because no matter how long the king has left on his throne it would be stupid not to secure the succession argh argh argh. The only plausible answers to that we've come up with are a) the little girl in the pictures at Renard's condo is either his niece or his daughter who's been raised at court and b) that's what Adalind and her Hexenbaby are for. Except b) doesn't follow logically from that argument, on account of how succession is really fucking important to any royal family I can think of. The final possibility is that there's a spare younger brother who's had children, but we have zero evidence of that. Next, Renard's mother. It is possible that the black and white photo of the woman in his office is all he has left of his mother. It is also possible that that ring he wears that's supposedly not his wedding ring is her wedding ring, resized; it's certainly fine/thin enough to be suitable for a woman as well as a man. To clarify, everything Eric's said about stealing hearts and betrayal indicates that Papa Renard (married and) fathered Eric out of duty or political alliance and (married and?) fathered Sean out of love and choice. Which is not at all something we were expecting, but if she either kept her Hexenbiest nature secret for 14 years (time to seduce and conceive and bring to term included in there), or it never mattered (as seems increasingly likely), then that's a helluva long time to maintain a whammy or a blackmail scheme. And it does sound like something that was an ongoing affair, because if it was a short affair followed by little contact that didn't surround Sean's upbringing/schooling/financial matters/etc., then Eric's mother would have been less vicious about having them killed, in all likelihood. (And, an interesting side note, if the king has little prejudice against Hexens and interbreeding, that explains Eric's relative lack of same. I say relative because he has some, passed along from his mother, his protests over not have been a bit too loud and pointed. And, too, being an indiscriminate horndog also explains a relative lack of prejudices. Though he does seem predisposed to blondes.) It being a love match would also suggest that Papa Renard had a hand in helping them escape, even if for whatever political reasons (and there are far too many possibilities on THAT score to list them all here) he couldn't prevent the attempts/punish Eric's mother for it. Since Eric mentioned a private jet in The Other Side, which we've seen the family has access to at least one and probably several, and it does take a certain degree of power and wealth to arrange for abrupt flights on private jets. Which further begs the question, how much power and money did Renard's mother have in her own right? WE DON'T KNOW, ISN'T IT GREAT. We can also consider the possibility that Renard isn't sure how much of the plot to kill him and his mother Eric knew about/condoned/might even have been advocating for; killing one's siblings to ensure your place in the succession is a time-honored tradition in backstabbing royal families.

Another thing this tells us, along with all of Renard's body language in this scene, from the wary looking like he's been called up on the carpet in the headmaster's office to the lack of eye contact after they sit down, is that he was raised at court during his formative years, almost certainly. Eric calling his mother a whore barely gets a reaction, a bit of a jaw clench, some working of the mouth and pursed lips, but no actual return insult of any kind, indicating he's learned to swallow back a whole lot of response to provocation. He has the behavioral tics that go along with that, the strict sense of hierarchy and what is Done And Proper and what is Not Done. I don't think he was used as the literal whipping boy, which is one of the common fictional uses for bastards (frankly, if Chirpy's a bastard too, his behavior is more indicative of that than Sean's is), but he was probably thoroughly and repeatedly told what his place was, and that it was not higher than Eric's. At all. I wouldn't be surprised to hear stories that indicate bullying by Eric and/or his goons, and a de facto emotional whipping boy style of abuse, though. This goes some way to explaining the loss of authority that Renard would normally fall into by habit in this scene (for Prince Sean Renard see Lonelyhearts 1x04 and Last Grimm Standing 1x12) and this episode overall; Eric was never given any reason to doubt his authority and wears it as carelessly as he does his shirts, but Sean earned every ounce of the authority and respect he uses, and he's had plenty of reasons to doubt himself. As he probably is now. On the flip side, though, Eric is far more pressed and dressed than we've seen him for any reason other than a formal event, which indicates that he does feel threatened or at least feels the need to use all his tools at hand to assert his own authority. So at some point he's stopped treating Sean like the cute little brother he used to have and begun to consider him a valuable opponent or, hopefully in his mind, asset. Speaking of cute little brothers he used to have, if it really has been 25+ years since they saw each other (you cannot tell me Renard is younger than Roiz, and I severely doubt that even someone as skilled and motivated as Renard made police captain younger than ~40), what, no boggling over how his baby brother is now a fucking tree? Photos and surveillance footage, which we may safely assume Eric's seen, only go so far in that respect, and Eric's been shown to be bad at concealing his emotions and responses where his brother is concerned. Moreover, what the fuck about Vienna, with Mia and (implied) Eric? Did they really not see each other then? Inquiring minds would like some internal chronology straightened the fuck out and clarified now kthx. And, finally on the theme of chronology, this places the connection with Wolsey the bodyguard to Cousin Menton in Love Sick as post-fleeing to the States, which may tie him more to Renard's mother than to the family Renard. Which makes his position with Cousin Menton, what, punishment detail by sticking him with the arrogant whiny little twerp of no name? Or is Cousin Menton also tied to Renard's mother in some way? Or is (or was) Wolsey positioned there ostensibly as a punishment but actually as a go-between for Renard's parents due to apparently nobody cares about cousin Menton? Hard to say. Like everything else about the damn family. Given that some portion of Renard's first decade or so Stateside (at a rough guess) coincided with the attack on Kelly and Reid Burkhardt, it's possible that Wolsey is in some manner connected with that incident as well, though impossible to say how with as tenuous a connection as that is. It does make us really, really wonder if Gina Serafini, the friend in the car who died in Kelly's place, was actually Renard's mother. Bonus points for the Italy connection (Game Ogre 1x08 deleted scenes). Double extra bonus points that Marie, if Kolt was telling the truth way back in Three Coins (1x13), has far fewer issues with non-violent Wesen than her sister seems to. We have no indication as to whether or not Renard's mother is alive (though safe money is on not given the prevalence of dead mothers here), and it would be a nice bit of tying the parallels between Renard and Nick together with a pretty bow on top, to have Gina be his mother and Wolsey involved in the accident in some way.

And that's just before they sit down to squab. (Speaking of, in case it needs to be said: fuck you and your pretension with the jet you rode in on, Eric.) Look, I warned you. Renard's got his hands in his pockets! This time to conceal his emotions and in preparation for lying more than the lying itself, and also probably to keep himself from smoothing his tie or making any other self-soothing gestures. Eric settles into a chair with more of his give-no-fucks attitude and keeps jabbing away about welcoming Renard back into the family. Now that he's proven himself talented, or whatever other horseshit he wants to throw out. It sounds casual, but it's not. Having to prove himself, and especially having it take so long, is just a reminder of how little and low that side of his family thought of him in the first place. And Renard knows it, and he also knows that this is at minimum a cover for the real reason(s) his brother's decided to invade his territory. Eric's "sit down" has shades of issuing an order but also has an unstated "it gives me a crick in my neck to have to look up at you" under there. Which it probably does. That one I'll snicker over even as I mutter about iocane powder and not drinking or eating the food of the fairies and all other such assorted warnings against breaking bread with someone you don't trust. Renard doesn't and he won't, much to our relief; in this much he has his own share of gives no fucks for what that makes Eric think of him or how unfriendly that looks. Sean is naturally reserved and formal in many respects, but he has no use for the facades and pretenses of the Royals, and he won't indulge Eric's flippant act at this being a joyous family reunion or anything other than two powerful people trying to figure out just how far their enmity stretches. Mind you, Eric's flippant act is so ingrained as to be default by this point; I'm not sure what Eric Renard looks like under all the layers of "frankly my dear, I don't give a damn" and I severely doubt he has any better idea. How American, my ass, he wanted to pretend there was anything civilized about this. I bet that says a lot about how his mother raised him. The boys proceed to engage in a game of I-know-you-know-we're-a-knowledgeable-family, discussing what kind of a Grimm Nick is, what he has the family wants, and all that he's done for the benefit of those who've forgotten about the Reapers' heads he sent off to der Mann von Mannheim, the Nuckalavee, and the Mauvais Dentes. Renard is somewhat torqued by this, but gives no further sign than phrasing what he already knows to be true in the form of a question. Renard, you are not on Jeopardy. (Admittedly, he probably didn't know about the Reapers from Mannheim unless he heard it on the grapevine elsewhere.) I'd love to know what the Pustule means by "more worthy than we anticipated." More worthy than what. For what. The doublespeak Eric's using in this scene indicates that it's probably more than as just an opponent, so what fucking use do they have for him beyond the key? Again: we don't know! Isn't it great. (Drink. Lord knows we are by now.) This scene really highlights the extent to which Renard is incapable of meeting his brother's eyes for any prolonged period, and makes us wonder a little if Royals have some kind of whammy power or if that's all court-trained submissiveness. So, then, let's talk about Adalind! Not in any kind of new detail, just rehashing old things so Eric can jab some more. Jab jab jab, how attached is/was Renard to her, anyway? Not as attached as Eric would like him to be, so jab jab jab some more over his supposed duty to the family to bring them the key.

Here we will stop and wonder what the everloving fuck made the family think Renard, after what sounds like telling them to fuck off, Portland was his, leave him alone for the last 2-3 decades, would be willing to leap to their beck and call so readily. Shortsightedness? Or some other reason (possibly Mia-related, given their evident history) that they thought he'd rejoin the fray on the family's side and not put up any visible fuss at being put under the yoke like some beast of burden. Maybe just the blinders of arrogance and privilege. Renard's return jab over telling Nick everything about him lacks nearly all the venom it might, which should really tell Eric that that's a losing proposition at this point. Nick's made his decision, more or less, and it'll be fascinating to see if Eric's capable of twisting that loyalty in any way. And it is loyalty, of a kind. I doubt it, but we'll find out! More interesting and telling is the fact that Nick is a lever to get to Renard, who the family wants back at least as badly as they want Nick and his key - specifically the key - and in much the same greedy grasping way. He's of use to them, more use than they anticipated, and without him, what, fully on their side? Or physically present at the family stronghold? They need Renard for something, and all of the options here are fairly disgusting. Ranging from blood sacrifice to strengthen the family's (possibly waning) power to putting him out to stud to increase the family's bloodlines (which would fit with the rape themes they keep dropping) to blood sacrifice for some particular thing or another (maybe the map leads to something that only the lifeblood of a Royal can open?). Lots and lots of options here, none of them pleasant. And yet, there's that moment of genuine attachment on Eric's part at the end, there, as though he's just remembered that he likes Sean and you're not supposed to keep jabbing the people you like with verbal needles. I doubt that all of this is distancing mechanism to deal with whatever he thinks/knows the family wants Renard for, but some of it might be. The rest, probably, is that he no longer knows any other way to be and doesn't have anyone but Sean whom he genuinely likes or respects even a little. And as a royal and the heir apparent, Eric's had zero repercussions to his person for this kind of behavior all his life; flunkies dying or being broken is all a part of the game rather than personal. He'll need to experience some personal repercussions (like someone's fist to his face, hey Nick, please be in range of punching Eric when you get de-zombified?) before he begins to recognize any cost to these games. Renard, for his part, is both genuinely tempted and deeply hurt by this offer; Eric's not saying anything about what he feels, just what the family needs and wants, and if he were willing to express in words some of that attachment he might have instantly swayed Renard to his side. At the very least it would have taken the same kind of willpower it took when he was fighting the potion not to sleep with Juliette. But he's not capable of that (and we may all be grateful for the Pustule's emotional impotence), so instead we get that horribly wounded look, the diplomatic equivalent of a no, and the jawtwitch we knew first as a Sam Adama expression of emotional pain.

There's a lot we could say about the psychology (pathology?) of these two and the likelihood of what manner of fucked-up-ness happened in their childhood. There's a lot we have said, mostly to each other and mostly in the peculiar shorthand we now use after years and years of chatter, but the highlights are these: We think some elements of Eric as he presents at the moment are inherent to him. Or at the very least, more inherent due to the nature of the Royal Families: the sociopolitical maneuvering and acuity, the tendency to view people more as assets than as people to be related to, the calculation of events in his life in terms of cost-benefit, and the level of self-protection that borders on sociopathic mimicry to avoid allowing anyone close on a level beyond asset or liability. And all that said, there's also a significant amount of damage there that perhaps Eric isn't even aware of, damage that chips away at his impulse control, his ability to enjoy more benign things than, say, zombi-creating violence or torture, and his ability to feel positive connections even more so than the isolating he and the rest of the Families (appear to) already engage in. We believe that damage stems from his mother, who was apparently furious enough at her husband's affair to attempt to murder a thirteen year old child. Eric is clearly close to her in some ways, close enough to remember her direct words and her feelings on the matter, dramatic as they were. And rather than this closeness fostering a sense of stability or at least some ability to empathize and recognize positive and supportive emotions as Renard's mother seems to have done with her bond with her son, in Eric his mother fostered this extremely violent psychosis, making him unpredictable, difficult to control either by others or even his own self (see: poor impulse control) and more subtly dangerous than, say, the Mauvais Dentes. Though at that rate, perhaps it's no wonder that he preferred to use such people.

One MILLION digressions and theories later, we come back to that blue Buick. Wu leading us into the scene with a line reference to keys has to be on purpose, possibly just to fuck with our heads or for the sake of repeating that brief, important word. But yes, the keys are inside, the car's clean, and when they pop the trunk there's even a few handy boxes of altar materials there! Candles, homunculi, feathers, bottles or at least a bottle of dark liquid, something that looks like it might be a skull peeking out of a dark colored bag, all the trappings a person would expect of a voodoo person making zombis. Which might indeed be catering to expectations, it's pretty much everything but giftwrapped for them with a bow on it. Personally, I'd be a bit suspicious. Okay, I'd be a lot suspicious. And not just because I'm suspicious by nature. Hank's question of how the guy got away from the scene if he left his car here is a valid one, and I'd give it no better than even odds whether or not there would be tracks left from another car. On the one hand, rain on top of soil makes mud for cars to leave tracks in, on the other hand it also washes tracks away, and that's an awful lot of gravel to get washed around. However he left (assuming he has gone very far, which is the assumption that they're making and we are not), those are very likely the same ritual materials used earlier in the episode. At the very least the candles are the right colors and the twine appears to be the right color too. For extra impressions of hoodoo/witchcraft (note: not voodoo) the keychain has a rabbit's foot on it. I'm not entirely sure what function a rabbit's foot would have in voodoo, but it is an actual lucky charm or mojo in hoodoo traditions. And yes, hoodoo and vodou are different things. Though since we're lacking quite a bit in the way of directly calling things by their names, we'll let this crossing of the streams stand under the category of Blowfish Is Fucking With People's Heads. Hank also correctly notes that there's no tophat, and the unspoken rest of that is that it severely drops the likelihood that the guy intends to come back. Regardless, they and we would like Wu to get prints off what can be printed. At least they can try looking in that direction even if no one thinks it'll get them anything. Distracted Nick is distracted, wandering off in the opposite direction as Wu either goes to call Forensics or gets the fingerprinting kit, probably the former. At least his instincts are good? Yes, Nick, when you add all that up (the phone call, the constant glimpses of Blowfish, the car dump, the tow truck driver zombi left for them to run into) it does sound a lot like you're being played, doesn't it? Specifically like you're being herded. This should tell you something. I'm actually less annoyed or inclined to blame character stupidity for the fact that Nick doesn't pick up on it, at this point. These are the more subtle, over-time signs that he's being herded, and he's not used to thinking on that kind of scale. A spyssassin might recognize it, possibly even a behavioral analyst for the feds, but with Nick, he's a homicide detective, and the kinds of criminals he investigates tend to be pretty straightforward. Hank sees it too. Both because Hank is still the best (drink!) and because Hank's been a detective for a while longer. And it doesn't take a veteran detective to tell that things are getting out of hand, though it might take someone less directly affected to see and confirm that this is a setup. But the mystery of the car will keep, and Hank would like to now encourage the much safer and in a way more productive exercise of Nick going and having his dinner with Juliette while he goes gets his cast off. Poor Russell Hornsby. That had to suck.

His mission in Portland ostensibly accomplished, or at least accomplished as far as it can until Renard gives him a definitive "fuck you", Eric will get into his car and depart for locations as yet unknown. The lack of any sign of baggage indicates that he's most likely not leaving Portland yet, but it's hard to tell just where he and his remaining flunky are going. If anyone's surprised by Renard lurking back there in his battlewagon, what show are you watching? Is it less backstabby than this? Renard does not trust his brother, and since he doesn't seem to have any cop business to do at this time of evening, following his brother he will go. This is also about as close to vulnerable and hurt as we will see on him ever, given that there's no one around but us cameras to see it. His breathing is a little shallower than usual, his brow puckered upwards towards the center and his facial tension is set to "silent screaming." This is a deeply unhappy man. Also a deeply reserved and repressed man.

All right, speaking of silent screaming, the tow truck guy is awake again! This time it seems more like he's actually awake instead of frothing screaming zombi awake, which is good and means Monroe and Rosalee can put down the giant mallet and triple barrel syringe, respectively. This time they seem to have done the smart thing and tied him to something more than himself, and unfortunately this is the time when he's back to himself. I'd freak out if I woke up cuffed to a strange bed in a strange place, too! Especially if the people with the weapons in their hands spent half a minute or so looking at each other and making faces instead of untying me. Everyone takes a few seconds here to either panic or feel relief, depending on their point of view; everyone's point of view here is skewed. Poor Al has no idea what's been going on in the last several hours, but everything he does know in, from his point of view, the last hour or so has been scary and strange and bad. From Rosalee and Monroe's point of view, they have a potentially violent and dangerous person who they may or may not have cured, who they can't explain half this shit to, and who may or may not hurt them very badly if they untie him from the bed. We'll leave them all staring at each other for a bit while they figure that out.

Nick is still knocking on his own door, which I and Juliette think is adorable and Juliette tells him is unnecessary. And right into it then, because the question of "how was your day" has suddenly gotten a lot more loaded. Not only was his day long, it was also weird. Well, strange. Juliette calmly asks him if he wants to talk about it, but Nick doesn't look nearly so calm about telling her. Reservations aside, when he goes and sits down on the couch with her to tell her about his day and what's been happening he sits towards the middle of the couch, closer to her, not at the opposite end with considerable distance between them. The couch isn't big enough to make that a prohibitively wide distance for conversation, so this indicates at least a certain amount of trust in her ability to handle it. And we get the summation of the last episode and a half worth of activity, the Cracher-Mortel, etc. About halfway through she interrupts with "just another day at the office" and an expression that suggests she's not sure how she's supposed to react to this. Two reactions seem likely, that this is all ludicrous sounding to her; she may accept it as truth now that she's seen what she has but it still sounds weird. Also that this is worrying, because this is one more thing she has to worry about threatening Nick when he's at work. Nick goes for the third option, that this is upsetting to her and she doesn't want to hear about it, which she quickly disabuses him of. She wouldn't have asked if she wasn't ready to hear, and speaking of things being ready, why doesn't he move back in? This is one of those odd points where the dialogue and the moves these two are making both feels natural and awkward; Juliette's been making consistent, steady (and fast) progress towards understanding and accepting the Wesen world, but Nick hasn't been there for much of it. He's been avoiding her per her request and probably because it's easier on him, too, and now he's (relative to his timeline) confronted suddenly with a Juliette who is laughing and smiling and strong and capable, and knows everything about him and what he does. Or at least the broad strokes of it, the building blocks for her to understand. This is a new thing for Nick, since becoming a Grimm, at least. And now that we see them together like this, I have to wonder if he isn't also realizing how much he had lost/was losing by keeping Juliette in the dark. Everything about their relationship in season one suggests they were a couple who shared everything and took support from each other, and then suddenly he was unable to do so. And now, just as suddenly, he can again. And is expected to. It looks like a great relief, for both of them. And now to interrupt this moment (and provide a little karmic payback for Nick's moment-killing ways) we have a phone call from Monroe! The tow truck zombi is up and wanting answers. Preferably ones that fill in the gaps he doesn't remember. Nick will be over to the spice shop sharpish, then, and apparently so will Juliette. Because she is not getting left behind this time. And unlike cop business where there are rules and structures and she can accept being left behind because That's The Way It Works, well, they've already broken all the rules about the Masquerade. So, no more secrets, and no more hiding.

And on that note of secrets and lies, let's zip on back to Adalind! Well, not Adalind at the moment. Frau Pech in an Adalind suit. I still wonder why everyone is suddenly pronouncing Pech with a hard glottal ending instead of the softer sibilant, but whatever. And by everyone I mean Frau Pech and Stefania, not so much Claire Coffee, who is still doing an eerily fantastic job with uncanny valley not-Adalind. Stefania, by contrast, is hideously overselling with the smiling and the ingratiating behavior, the more rounded posture to drop some of her haughty authority from the last visit and phone conversation. She's offering "Adalind" food and something to drink, even offering up little personal details such as seem appropriate to share, maternal comforting or a very bad imitation thereof. Overselling for everyone! "Adalind" will proceed to oversell the fear and uncertainty in order to get Stefania to babble her plans, somewhat along the same idea of craftiness as saying gee, that's an amazingly cunning plan Mr. James Bond Villain, how did you do it, and expecting them to monologue everything before the sharks get you. Stefania is only all too eager to monologue, starting with emphasizing how cunning Frau Pech is (flattery to lure Frau Pech into complacency, perhaps?) and then burbling every bit of strategy she's cooked up. Frau Pech oversells Adalind the entire time, first with the nods of understanding and then with the frowns of worry. Her surprise when Stefania brings up the heart does seem more genuine, also more muted with only a slight widening of the eyes before she goes back to being "Adalind" again. (And have I mentioned how much I adore Claire Coffee for this performance? Because I do.) Stefania babbles on, and really, about the only part of this that isn't true is the pretext to get Frau Pech into her tent, since that pretext was for a Frau Pech playing herself, not Frau Pech playing Adalind. And you should be very glad I didn't get even more recursive with this identity bullshit, because I could have, very easily. It's a standard truth sandwich! Put the one lie in between a whole lot of truths and almost everyone will fall for it every time. "Adalind"'s grin when she asks if Stefania really thinks that plan will work is pure smug, because of course now she believes she has Stefania's entire plan and won't be so foolish as to fall into her trap. Except this whole speech has been Stefania's victory dance, and, yes, Frau Pech, you were led straight to the trap, had it pointed out to you, had it described and depicted and printed for you in ten foot tall diagrams with letters A through F depicting each phase and YOU STILL FELL FOR IT. This is only marginally more egregious than, well, I'll get into that later. For now, Stefania says a very pointed and double-speak "We'll find out" and then, oh look. Cord on her throat. "Adalind" on the ground. Knife into her chest, etc, and we shoot on over to Adalind's hotel room where she's slipping back from Frau Pech into her own shape again. Rule Something of Shapeshifting Magic in Fiction states that with the death of the spellcaster all magic is undone and people return to their original forms. Generally. There are exceptions. This is not one of them, and if we thought Adalind was in on it before with Stefania's bit about working together, we can have it confirmed for us now with Adalind's little gloating couplet. Thanks for that. Creepy woman.

Back over to the spice shop now for some more resurrection fun and games! Monroe is only mildly surprised that he brought Juliette, who by now is getting very familiar with the spice shop. I may or may not only be saying this in the hopes that we'll get Rosalee and Juliette running the Wesen clinic together next season. Please oh please. Both Nick and Juliette have only to say a couple sentences to Monroe and two words to Rosalee (with a really excellent emphasis on the geek/science girl look they exchange) for both of them to accept it, and on to business. Where business means Nick plays the part of I'm A Police Officer You Can Trust Me by way of helping Al the tow truck driver to calm down. Though I wouldn't put it past Rosalee to have put something in that tea he was drinking. Or just picked a suitable tea. Nick will start off with a typical cop question, tell me anything you remember about, well, the last thing he remembered. Does he remember the hat, for instance? Well, yes. Yes he does. Not much else, though. Head-crushing pain, the car that was his last service call, a big black room, the legions of shambling undead which from his altered perspective seemed more like the legions of hell. Oh, and the sound of a horn, which just leads me back to Sneakers and the foghorn again. It's a similar type of marker, though, which Nick leads us around before giving up on it as not enough information, is it a boat horn, train horn? Al doesn't remember, alas. Maybe a truck horn. A couple more questions and answers involving something green happen, and then Juliette blurts out "What kind of Wesen are you?" And everyone facepalmed. Well, everyone watching facepalmed, everyone in the spice shop except for Al got that look like they wanted to but couldn't because that would say there was something to facepalm about. Monroe will take ixnay-on-the-esen-Way duties. It's been a long day at the end of an even longer set of weeks, and just about every other time... no, literally every other time Juliette's been in the shop it's been in the company of people who know this shit, so we can forgive her this once. She also seems to realize the oops when Monroe tells her that he's just a regular guy. The answer to all of this is, of course, tea. Because it always is. Tea, dammit! While Rosalee plays comforting harmless person with tea Nick will take Monroe aside and talk this bit of the case through with him, there were some green cargo containers by where they found the car, maybe Al was in one of those! Maybe you should remember the part you were talking about earlier where it smelled like a trap? Maybe? No? Dammit, Nick.

Having gotten about all they're going to get that's coherent out of Al, it's time to figure out what the hell they're going to do. With him, and with this little zombi problem Portland's developed as suddenly and unwelcomely as a zit on prom night. Well, Al's easy, Nick will send around a patrol car to pick him up. And take him to the hospital, right, Nick? Not that I question Rosalee's emergency medical chops, it's just that right now a hospital would probably provide some reassuring beeps, nurses, people in white coats with sober thoughtful expressions, and bio-technical babble to explain what happened to him and why they don't have a clue why it happened, but he's cured now! Al would probably like that. The other zombis, that's somewhat more complicated, and if there's a lot of other zombis then they're going to need a lot more anti-zombi. Juliette would like to help, too. I appreciate the camera focuses and blocking here that set Juliette visible but also visibly in the background until she steps forward. Monroe and Rosalee are tentatively in favor of her helping, Rosalee bringing up the fact that she's a vet and therefore arguably one of the most qualified here to give injections and I love everyone in this Scooby Gang for not only remembering, but pointing that out. That settled, onto the why the hell is Portland turning into Raccoon City question! All Nick can think of is that the last time a Cracher-Mortel went around causing havoc, it started a revolution. And there's a Prince in town. I wouldn't say it sounds as revolutionary as Monroe seems to think, but that's definitely cause for alarm. Poor Juliette doesn't seem to have any context for any of this, though she is looking around with wide eyes and taking it all in. We can only hope that season three starts with someone explaining to her the Royal Families, now that her boyfriend's... well. That's getting ahead, but not very far. Hey, speaking of her boyfriend, he's being incredibly smart about this for once! Since they already know the Royals and especially Eric wants his key, he's going to give it to Rosalee to hide just in case. Now not only (unless he peeked) does he not know where the damn thing is, he doesn't have it on him and only one person knows where specifically it is, though a few know which building it's in. Seriously, the safest way to keep a secret is by not telling people. And admittedly they don't have time to scatter, find one person, and have Nick pass the key over to them, so this is the next best thing. Next order of business: the antidote and the cargo yards!

Ceiling Baron is watching you approach. Ceiling Baron is far too amused with this situation for this to be anything but a trap. Note also the way Nick's car is proceeding along a very narrow corridor. Clearly no one in that car has watched enough military or spy movies to know that this is a fucking kill box, and not a place you want to be going down late at night with an unknown number of zombis somewhere in this maze of cargo containers. Although everyone's been remarkably clever and communicative for most of the past couple episodes, it seems like they're trying to make up for it with some truly monumental stupidity right here. Guys. GUYS. DO NOT TAUNT THE HAPPY FUN BLOWFISH. Just as Rosalee's saying something about them only having one terror syringe, too, and hoping they come at them one at a time, Baron Blowfish opens up the cargo container and it's a swarm of zombi! Is that the collective noun for zombis, anyway? A swarm? A massacre? We need more collective nouns. His French is nigh unintelligible, but as far as we can make out [vous devez [something] allez mes enfants], which is basically "FLY MY PRETTIES FLY" or possibly just "SUPPERTIME, BOYS" in rumbly, guttural French. Right as Nick's ruling out one locked green container, too. No, Rosalee, that is not coming from inside, that is in fact coming from outside. All around you type outside. Combat will now ensue! The Blutbad and Grimm get initiative bonuses (drink if you got that joke) and quickly manage to knock out the first wave of zombis, giving Rosalee and Juliette room to inject them. I really feel sorry for these poor bastards when they wake up, is all I'm saying. While they're doing that, Baron Freaky will open up another crate of zombis! Which is nothing like a barrel of monkeys. And walk off jauntily singing whatever song that is, because the only word I can make out is some sort of chorus that begins every line with "Bonsoir." Help me out, o readers, because I got nothing here. Except more zombis. Yes, Nick, you just walked into a trap. It was a trap five minutes ago, and it's still a trap now. What, do you need Admiral Ackbar to lampshade it for you? Shall we go find ourselves a squid Wesen?

As almost seems inevitable with all of this running and screaming, enough running and screaming to fill a Jurassic Park movie, our intrepid party gets separated. Nick gets herded off in one direction (and/or deliberately lures the zombis away from his girlfriend and less-capable friends, it's shot so it's unclear which is the case) while the rest of them go tearassing off in another, more car-ward direction. Nick might be tearassing in the car-ward direction if Baron Blowfish weren't taunting him and leading him on with some impressive cackling. Nick. Nick, you dumbass. Get back to a place of safety, regroup, and for the love of god, he has a breath weapon, JUST SHOOT HIM IN THE FACE. It's hard to wear body armor over your face. No, Nick will instead engage Baron Blowfish in hand to hand on top of shipping crates. He's really going at this whole making up for his earlier smarts, isn't he. Oh, of course the Baron has a sword cane. Because if you're doing the whole dramatic villain character bit, why not? Also, by the time Our Hero falls into a man-sized crate of packing peanuts it's pretty obvious what's going on, but we'll have a few shots of Nick Weavering around the shipping crate with gun and flashlight instead. I still say he should have just shot the Baron in the face. More cackling (some impressive voice-throwing, I must admit, probably on the Baron's part since I assume that was sound editing rather than Reg E. Cathey, though if he CAN do that more power to him), more altars with voodoo trappings, oh look it's the coffin that was probably in that man-sized shipping crate full of packing peanuts. And what's in the coffin? Well, no body, that's for certain. Papers! Oh, hey, it's the missing documents from that one empty folder. Oh, hey, Nick appears to be Thomas Schirach. As mean as it sounds I do hope Nick had a momentary "oh shit" here because that would mean he put together the information Renard showed him with the documents with "his" alias on them. I would also note, though Nick doesn't have time to think of this, that since the Families have four keys and there are three still out there, three keys, three files, one pair of which clearly belong to Nick. Which suggests an interesting purpose for the other two files, but that's still only speculation until next season. By the way, the names on those files? All three of them connect with perpetrators of war crimes. Our dear reader Ciril gave us the clue with the Czech name, after which it was a short leap through checking recent history to connect the other two names to various in the Nazi party. Eric probably thinks he's being funny. I can't say I share his sense of humor. Anyway, Nick may well have figured it out, but too late, but it wasn't like this last piece of the puzzle was made available until he'd walked obligingly up to the trap and stuck his head in the guillotine. Blowfish! Green spit! Outside, panicked Juliette! Hell, I would be too if I were her, but they convince her to get in the car anyway, which is also sensible. Not only is it defensible and solid to encase them, it's at least nominally mobile. More nominally than mobile the more zombis surround them, but it could work. And they get in. And they wait. Just long enough to be engulfed by zombis. Oops.

And for our last piece of the not very puzzling puzzle tonight we have Hootie and his Blowfish! Hootie enters first, still in the clothes from dinner with his brother although looking significantly more rumpled, and the long look he gives Nick seems to be largely made up of "what, this is what all the fuss was about?" He will also provide us with not only a title drop but also the closing quote, with his Blowfish hovering sinisterly over his shoulder as he closes the coffin. As the closing title card says, yes, we pretty much did know this was coming. Most of it! Including the to be continued. The only question I have is, what the shit is that that Hootie's holding? Possibly his tie, but it also appeared out of fucking nowhere between one take and the other. Possibly Nick/Schirach's papers, though same problem. Continuity editor! Dammit! On prolonged inspection it seems to be an iPhone, a wallet, and maybe a burner flip-phone. Or the iPhone is a cigarette case. Oh Grimm, why your lighting always so dark. (Thank you, Liz, for at least trying to make it make sense!) And yes, alright, we'll sit here spinning theories and updating the Person of Interest and Haven backlog for the next six months. Thanks, guys.


  1. First of all, I love love love your blog which I discovered about a month ago. What pleasure to read your analysis about something I would otherwise have to obsess about alone! And even then, such deep-going analysis would not be satisfactory done less intelligently - hey, I have standards!

    Hoping to at least not bring your standards down, I do have a couple of discussion points to offer here.

    - I do not think that Eric's seeing the Baron woge is conclusive proof that the Royals (or even just Eric) can see woge generally. After all, the Baron is showing off here, a bit like Monroe has demonstrated woge to Hank and Juliette. Not conclusive proof thus. Even though I do tend to believe that Royals can (must be able to) see woge in general.

    - Renard's ring being his mother's wedding band? WAS his mother married? Not to his royal father, anyway. Minor squibble, just to prove that I read every word..

    - Renard's mother being Nick's mother's friend seems to me extremely unlikely. Not because it's far-fetched (some of your theories are and I love that!) but because of the way Kelly reacted to Nick being friends with Wesen. It did not seem to be a concept familiar or even thinkable to her. Although, admittedly, a lot can change in twenty years.

    I so do hope you'll find something to write about Grimm (okay, the Captain, really) in the months before the third season. Otherwise they'll be very long and dark months indeed.

  2. Ditto to Justine's comment about how the Baron could've been showing off with his woge, so I don't know if it necessarily means anything regarding whether Royals can see wesen the way the Grimms do.

    Further on the subject of the Baron, I am a teensy bit disappointed that he opened the crates of zombis with the words "Let the party commence" rather than "Laissez les bon temps rouler." Though somehow I suspect that it may have originally been written that way and then revised at the last minute when some people were concerned that not enough of the viewing audience would get the reference.

    Also…for crap's sake, Nick, the man more-or-less shouted "Here I am, come and get me" and then proceeded to giggle as you chased him. (Insofar as any sound Reg E. Cathey makes can be called "giggling.") Even if you didn't already suspect a trap earlier, how did you not see one coming right then?

    Although…hm. Maybe he did see it coming? Maybe Nick knew exactly what he was walking into, and allowed himself to be set up in this way so that he could be taken directly to the seat of power. One does not simply walk into Mordor, after all…but maybe one can be FedExed there in a steel coffin? Yeah…it'd be nice to think that he planned this out that well, but based on Juliette's surprise that he wasn't right behind them when they got to the car, I'm gonna guess not.

    Speaking of the car…how will our intrepid heroes get out of this one? Well, Eric is at the shipyard. Renard was following Eric. I am looking forward to some serious rescue badassery on the part of Le Capitaine later. Was he wearing a flowy black coat in the last scene where we saw him? Oh please say he was wearing a flowy black coat. (*Runs and checks scene*) Brown coat. But still potentially flowy! Sean Renard, Zombi Hunter? Get that man a shotgun!