Saturday, November 16, 2013

Burdened With Glorious Porpoise Grimm S3E04 One Night Stand

Previ-- wait. No. That's not a previously, that's an opening text! Do I really need to explain where this from? (The Little Mermaid, for those of you who don't have the story filed away in the corner of your brain marked Fables and Fairy Tales.) No? Good. We're on a lakeside. With ducks. So, this will be a water based episode, then!

Our next shot is a larger lakeside (riverside? Riverside.) with a cluster of people OH GOD PLEASE GOD NO GO BACK TO THE DUCKS. I have no idea what they're trying to sing because I've got my hands over their ears to shut it out. They're all reaching for different keys and missing all of them. Oh good, it stopped. I agree, they scared all the fish away. Anyway. So we have two guys, two girls. Two very very pasty girls, wow. Girls who typically hang out on stretches of beach in bikinis aren't usually that pale! Should this be a clue? Possibly, along with decent character consistency. The commentary about catching girls instead of fish might also be a clue, except there's really no context to indicate whether this catching process happened a couple hours ago, a couple weeks ago, or a couple years ago. The one guy in truly hideous swim trunks scoops up the one girl in the mismatched bikini and hauls her into the water for aquatic shenanigans, and the other girl kisses the other boy and tells him she's going to get more beer. Aww. Please put that guitar away. Thank you. Couples macking in the river, guy ignoring his phone calls because it's a beautiful day and he's out in a beautiful stretch of land with some beautiful women, phone calls can wait. Like you do. Apparently going to get some more beer looks like grabbing your friend? sister? college roommate? out of the bushes where she's been spying on you. That's not creepy or anything. Deaf sister friend college roommate! And this is the part where we get to roll around in our knowledge base and I get to bring in a friend who's ASL-fluent to talk about the signing and a little about the politics within the Deaf community, who will be going by CODA for these purposes.
Okay, I've been brought in to watch this scene without context and see what I can make of the signing. (Disclaimer: there is A TON of variation within the Deaf community in terms of signing styles, cultural backgrounds, social backgrounds, political backgrounds, regional "accents," etc. I'm basing this viewing on my personal experience, which is that of a CODA raised English-ASL bilingual - and yes, ASL is its own language. Just because I have certain opinions about certain things doesn't mean that those things are always right or always wrong for all signers.) First of all… the blonde actress is not a native signer or CODA. (CODA = Child Of a Deaf Adult. Hearing people who were raised with Deaf parents.) She did a decent job, but it was pretty clear that she's learned her signs from classes rather from living with Deaf people. (Hello, weird pacing that does not match the emotions of the dialogue.) The brunette actress is clearly Deaf and uses sign language on a more regular basis, but I would guess that she was not raised in a Deaf family. (A? Confirm this? … A confirms yes.) The cool thing about sign language is that you can tell these things about a person's upbringing based on how they sign. As for whether the translations are, yeah they are correct, but herein lies another issue. The translation is TOO correct. Natural signing would not follow the English lines word-for-word, unless you're using signed English as opposed to American sign language. Signed English (note: not British sign language, 'cause that's a whole 'nother monkey), is based on the idea of translating each individual word and keeping the grammatical structure of spoken English. American sign language is not based strictly on spoken English, but is intended to be its own unique language. It is generally much more fluid, more energetic, and more expressive than what we're seeing in this scene. In the first sentence that the brunette actress signs, there's more of this going on. After that point, you see her making more of an effort to stick to the script word-for-word. Honestly, I think this restricts the expressiveness of her acting. I feel like in a scene with this kind of emotion, her signs should be bigger to reflect her level of emotion. (Unless, of course, this is an indication of a repressed character.  I haven't seen the rest of the episode yet.) You can especially see the word-for-word translation in practice when the blonde actress signs the phrases "He doesn't care..." or "If you don't want…" A person with more practice at signing would not have broken those phrases up into "not care" or "not want." They would've used a single sign condensing the two words into one concept. Another key issue that you see a lot when a Deaf character guest-stars on a show is how the shots are framed. As usual, the camera starts with a wider shot so you can see that the characters are signing, then moves in tighter and tighter with each subsequent perspective shift until their hands are mostly or entirely out of the shot. Because WHY WOULD THE AUDIENCE NEED TO SEE THEIR HANDS ANYMORE once we've established that they're signing? It's not like their hands are important or anything, right? As long as we know they're saying SOMETHING, why should we actually see how they express themselves? (Yes, this is a pet peeve.) Lastly, the actresses, were they signing more naturally, should be emoting far more with their faces: in ASL, your facial expressions are very important to conveying emotion, much like the combination of facial expressions, tone of voice, and volume in spoken languages. Thus expressions tend to become exaggerated by a hearing, non-signing person's standards. I can understand why they toned it down for TV, but it's still very jarring to see as someone fluent in ASL. Given the assumption that the blonde actress only had a couple weeks (at most) to learn these specific signs, she's done a remarkable job with this, too. 

Many people don't realize that the Deaf community is extremely politically charged with MANY diverse opinions regarding language, education, community, etc. The views expressed herein are the views I've encountered most frequently, but they are absolutely not the views of every Deaf person out there. The reason why I'm sharing these views is to give you a rough idea of how complex and nuanced these issues are, not to name myself some kind of almighty Deaf spokesperson. Trust me, they've got plenty of their own. (Dr. Paddy Ladd, Ella Mae Lentz, Genie "GG" Gertz, etc.) That said, let's get into this.
1.) Choosing whether to spell "Deaf" with a capital or lower case "D" is kind of a socio-political statement. Saying "deaf" means "a condition/disability." Saying "Deaf" means "a cultural identity." Yes, I spell it with a capital D, because that's how I was raised.
2.) The fact that the blonde sister spoke aloud while signing at the same time is...a problematic element. I'm not saying that no one ever does this, or even that I never do it myself, but it's generally something that you really really should NOT do, especially when you're addressing a Deaf person one-on-one. The reason why is because these are two completely separate languages and, to give each one due respect, you don't combine them. If you do combine them, it's considered a "code" rather than a language. (For reasons that I am not sufficiently linguistically advanced to explain.) Since the Deaf community in general is one that has struggled for years with the idea of their language being disrespected, (see: all those nice people who want to "help" those poor deaf people by inventing new communication methods for them rather than oh say, actually learning their existing language and letting them explain for themselves what their needs are or are not), this is kind of a hot-button issue.
3.) When the blonde sister tells her Deaf sister that she'll "never be like them" and she should "stop trying to be something she's not," that um...oh dear, I almost flipped out at the screen. In retrospect, I think the writers meant for this line to mean: "You'll never be human, so stop trying to be." But given the context of a hearing person and a Deaf person, holy crap that was VICIOUS. The element of isolationism and exclusion among hearing people is a HUGE issue for Deaf people, who are very often made to feel like outsiders by virtue of the fact that so few hearing people understand their language. (I mean think about it: how many hearing people can sign what they need to say, versus how many Deaf people who can write down what they need to say?) (One Deaf woman I know compared it to the scene in the Tom Hanks movie "The Terminal" where he sees a news broadcast about a war destroying his homeland but he can't understand what the reporters are saying, and he's running from person to person desperately trying to find someone who will talk to him and tell him what's going on instead of brushing him off as some crazy guy.) The idea of a hearing sibling telling her Deaf sibling that she'll never be able to fit in, never be allowed to have a social connection with anyone, and should just stop trying and accept her fate of being completely alone and dependent upon her family for the rest of her life...fuuuuuuuuuuuck. That was brutal. --CODA

And all of that said I will continue to be annoyed by the impression I'm getting that they had a language expert who they ignored because it was somehow inconvenient for them, but moving on and trying not to facepalm at the iceberg the writers didn't know or didn't care to research. Sister, by the look of it, who has a crush on the boy the blonde has picked out for herself? Okay, that's marginally less creepy. Blonde sister tells brunette sister to get her butt out of there and sigh no more, and hey, we have a name for the guitarist! Apparently he is Jake. We're not supposed to be concerned with the fact that we haven't gotten any names out of the girls yet, we're supposed to be watching her strip down to her bikini and go swimming. In just her bikini bottom. And then inviting, okay, daring her new toyfriend to come swimming out after her, as you do, and brunette sister is still watching. That's ... okay, not still watching, she's stealing his phone and going through his pictures. That's also marginally less creepy? I mean, yes, I realize that we're supposed to take lovestruck young woman from this and go awww, but apart from the peeping tom behavior, there's something deeply personal about going through his pictures on his phone. Going through the contents of anyone's phone, really, these days we store a huge amount of personal data on our phones, which means a stranger going through it is more of an intimate act than it used to be for a stranger to go through your phone, or your rolodex, or even your desk which might be the closest twenty-years-ago equivalent. Anyway. Jake and the blonde have apparently been up to shenanigans in the water, which, ow, water is not a good lubricant and there's got to be lots of bacteria getting places you don't want bacteria, but they seem pretty happy with each other. We'll also be kind of disturbed that both couples are getting up to shenanigans well within sight of each other. Right up until the scaly hand reaches up and starts pulling people down, and then we'll be disturbed for whole other reasons. Redhead screams to get out of the water, but eventually both the boys get pulled under, and both the girls are left to watch in horror? Excuse me? What about running, well, swimming in to help? This is not a horror movie folks. Okay, maybe it is. Including punishment for sex, apparently. Joy.

After the credits, the inevitable result of at least one of the young men floating face down in the water. It's Jake, of course. The brunette is hauling him out of the water and has begun chest compressions with her very aquatic hands. Yep, she has webbing, fins, flukes? Gills. And glowing eyes for no apparent reason. Because Wesen. Eventually Jake, being the NPC protagonist of the story, does cough up half the river and look over at his rescuer, trying to focus his eyes. Also trying to figure out why being half-drowned causes him to hallucinate a pretty girl with gills and glowing eyes who makes dolphin squeaks. I'm kind of trying to figure out why she's making dolphin squeaks, too. She's not going to tell us, though, she's going to run away as soon as he regains consciousness, because we've already established that she prefers a long-distance approach. Well, and if scaly evil relatives tried to drown my toyfriend, I'd prefer a long-distance approach too! I use relatives in the loosest term right now, because all we know is that they're also mer-people, and possibly not even of the same species. Jake's friend Dan is apparently dead, or at least if he was rescued too he was rescued far further down, because there's no answer when Jake looks around and shouts for him. Poor kids.

Leaving them at that most ominous point we move over to Monroe and Rosalee moving in! That's an awfully tidy pile of moving boxes. My moving boxes have rarely if ever been that tidy. It's also a very large pile of moving boxes in what is suddenly a very small living room, which is what happens when you move into the house of someone who's already been living there. Rosalee is mostly seeing the large pile of boxes and not that they're eventually likely to be distributed around the house, not to mention what happens after they go through things like kitchen supplies or bedding and eliminate redundant duplicates (items with sentimental value nonwithstanding), and she's getting a little nervous about fitting into Monroe's house. Perhaps also about fitting into Monroe's life? Since the two usually go hand in hand. No, no, she is immediate and certain about the fitting into his life part, it's just their combined stuff. Monroe will now hastily and awkwardly reassure her that this is a good time to go through and get rid of some old junk! And what about this? This is not junk! No, really, it actually isn't, given that Monroe rattles off its history and connection to his family while showing it to her with all the eagerness of a hyperactive puppy. I'm absolutely in love with Silas Weir Mitchell's ability to rattle all of this clock/watch/timepiece trivia while sounding utterly enthused by it all despite the fact that chances are he is not, in fact, a watch enthusiast. Or maybe he is? Anyway, the geek babble is adorkable, Monroe is adorkable, and Rosalee can't bear to make him part with anything and everything should stay right where it is, including her. Awww. You guys. Stoppit, I can't take all this cute.

Okay, maybe I could do with a little more. Because it's time for Nick and Juliette and morning routines, fruit for breakfast and lots of coffee and enjoying a normal freaking morning for once. With both of them together as they used to and should be, no love spells, no amnesia side effects, no weirdness. Okay, maybe not entirely devoid of weirdness, Juliette would like to remind Nick that he's supposed to have a doctor's report on any physical abnormalities. Well, any harmful physical abnormalities. It's in his email, she can go check it if she wants, see if the doctor thinks he's still alive. That smile of Juliette's suggests she doesn't find it quite as funny as Nick does, but then, Nick wasn't the one waking up with his lover cold and dead in bed next to him. Eek. Still, it doesn't seem to be triggering any emotional stress or panic attack, it's just a visible source of quiet worry that will be resolved when Nick gets his clean bill of health. So, off to the scene of the murder! Scene of the body pickup. Whichever. It's buddy Dan! It turns out someone filed a missing person's report on him the day before, so they called in Portland PD as the issuing authority to check and make sure it was their guy. Apparently the report also lists it as a possible assault, which means Jake filed the report as being the only one there who seemed interested in doing anything about what happened. The girls might have, but if they were going to do something they likely would have done it at the time. Yep, that's Daniel Hopkins is his full name, and he looks pretty clawed up. And yep! Jake filed the report, so it's off to talk to him.

Jake's apartment number is 304, which is indeed the giant honking nod to the episode number that it looks like. (Hat tip to Golamco for the confirmation.) Jake opens the door and when they don't immediately answer his question about did they find him, well, he doesn't seem to quite get it but yeah. That's a pretty big indication that Dan is dead. Jake's apartment is, well, relatively neat, even if he seems to be the sportiest hipster ever to sport hips, bike hanging by the fridge and dart board and surfboard and all. They break the news to him impassively, poor kid, and while Jake isn't terribly shocked he is sad enough to be distracted from the whole going over the day thing. It turns out he had met the girls that day, their names are Sarah and Anna, and One Thing Led To Another which means pretty much what it sounds like. Turns out Sarah is the blonde, and Anna is the red-head! (No, I am not going and re-hennaing my hair. I'm just going to be glad that she's not evil or dead for a damn change.) They paired off, went for a swim afterwards, and then Dan got pulled under, then Jake. Some time later he was pulled out, he doesn't know how, all he knows is he woke up on the bank later, rescued by some young girl he doesn't know if she was even real. And it felt like something actively reached up and dragged him under. Now watch as Hank and Nick make the oh-dear-god-can't-we-have-a-normal-case-for-once face. Would going to the scene help clarify his memories? Well, it might! Not much new information, he points out all the places we saw them camp, their blankets and clothes and stuff, etc. Jake was pulled out further down in one direction, but he doesn't know what happened to the girls and his rescuer ran off as soon as he was out of the water and had coughed up a lung or three. Oh, hey, Nick's Grimmstincts are tingling! Actually, that's his super-hearing, picking up on the little mermaid running through the bushes. Naturally once she realizes she's been made she takes off running, so Nick announces and gives chase. At this point we're just going to go ahead and say it's not a coincidence but really unsubtle costuming that puts all the mermaids in aquatic blues and greens, yes? Yes. Nick tries to call out to her again, to reassure her that he doesn't want to hurt her, but she's off into the water and swimming away. Really, really fast. Like, CGI fast. She surfaces once so we can see her woge with her preternaturally glowing eyes, then flees some more, leaving Nick standing on the bank with his "well, shit" face on. We come back from ad break to Hank running up to ask what's going on, and can we take a moment to appreciate the way he just nods and assumes that it's Wesen when Nick makes comments like that about things most humans shouldn't be able to do? I knew we could. Jake will confirm for their benefit that that's the same girl that he thought he saw yesterday but where'd she go? Somewhere in the water. We don't know, though there's a convenient sandbar to indicate that it's not all that deep at least in some places.

Over to the precinct for a pedeconference it is! I deeply approve of the way in which they're managing to blend police work with Grimm work now that everyone knows and everyone knows everyone knows and in short we're all knowledgeable here. Fortunately the Pustule is dead. Renard's with them on the theory that the girls are still alive and so is whatever killed Dan and go ye forth and be detectives. Detect things. Including figuring out what kind of Wesen you're dealing with, really, you can't expect Renard to just know these off the top of his head, can you? More seriously, though, we've got quite the range of Wesen types so far, and it's not at all uncommon for water-dwelling types to be isolated and less known to the land-dwellers. (See also Haven and the Glendowers, for that matter.) And then I have to go bash my face into the wall, because maybe you all recognize the twist on the Casablanca quote, round up the usual suspects? What you may not know is that the line is spoken by Captain Renault (a corrupt official) to Rick (our hero) and leads straight into the closing line of "I think this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship." My head is going to explode with parallels and I'm not even sure how many of those were intentional, but really you guys. That's just fucking mean, and it goes right along with our Grimm Axis-and-Allies theories from last season. Other things that are fucking mean: Chi- Sebastien's sent Renard a photo. I'm going with sent via email because that's easier to anonymize and computer hard drives are easier to wipe/more secure than cell phones. Hi, Adalind, who will be appearing only via screenshot this episode. We can see the oh-shit look pass over Renard's face, but not the full force of realization. That comes in a few seconds, as he talks it through with Sebastien. Who is once again in a car and it's night, good to see they've got their time zones more or less sorted, and though we can't tell if anyone's in the backseat we'll take it as given until proven otherwise that he means it when he says he can talk. The French is, by and large, again entirely accurate. Though Chirpy says "enfin de m'evité," not "get around" me, the former has more of an avoidance and potential fear factor included. And at the beginning he frames the finding of the hotel number at the start of the sentence, which is both a more French construction and serves to remind Renard upfront where he got that hotel number from in the first place. But it's not until Sebastien points out that they neither know who's selling the baby nor whose it might be that the pieces all click for Renard, because that's some massive trauma he's been repressing. Compartmentalizing, given his job it's kind of six of one half a dozen of the other. I do appreciate the sideways way in which he suggests that Adalind might be pregnant by a Royal without coming out and saying he's responsible directly; it's a show of great trust both in Sebastien's ability to figure out the nuances and great trust in him not to betray Renard if and when he does. Sasha Roiz, as ever, does a damn impressive job of managing to cycle through about five different emotions in the span of a second while maintaining Renard's emotional control, both face and voice because if you can control your face, your voice tends to sound even and steady no matter what else is going on. That's oh-shit and realization and anger over people selling children, renewed anger that it might be his child, and a sadness settling in that I don't think we're going to see lifted anytime soon. Because hand in hand with the likelihood that it's his (and given the big deal over sterility this ep we will eat our t-shirts if Eric doesn't turn out to have been sterile and that's why no heir, and by eat our t-shirts I mean mourn over a golden opportunity for the writers that they're missing) comes the conviction that he'll never be allowed to claim the child as his. He's a bastard out of the line of succession, he's a halfbreed, he's in disgrace with the family; any one of those alone might not be enough to make Adalind refuse to acknowledge him as the father of her child but all three combined? Yeah. Sean's never going to know that child as its father unless something major shifts between now and then. And it's looking increasingly like we're never going to get closure on those photos of the little girl and woman in his condo and office, or the not-a-wedding-ring, so any theories we may have about a past lost family will remain nothing but theories played out in the nuances of Sasha's acting at most. Goddammit, writers. That was an important set of threads you appear to have dropped. Pick them back up sometime? Please? It's not too late.

For once, as we go over to where Monroe and Rosalee continue to sort through piles and piles of boxes, Monroe hasn't got a clue! Rosalee does, though, from her days in Seattle. I'm sure there are Seattle-Portland rivalry references here we're missing, and probably opportunities for them that the writers missed. Regardless, Rosalee knew a naiad, maybe that's helpful? They stay close to the water, very tight-knit families in a tone that makes me uneasy about what form that takes, and neither of the Wesen have a great deal else to offer. Maybe the trailer, though! Oh, you mean that still exists? We were beginning to wonder, but with this ep we return fully into procedurals with the occasional twitch of metaplot, and thus to the trailer. Definitely to the trailer, you guys, Hank and Nick trade looks that seem to say both "let's get out of their hair" and "let's get out of here before they put us to work." I don't blame them at all. I don't entirely blame Monroe for wanting to get out of it, and I really know the expression on Rosalee's face right now. It's the "honey go away so I can get some work done" expression. Or possibly the "I am going to snap if I have to deal with even my boyfriend right now let me introvert and work at the same time" expression. I love you all. Off they go! To a journal written in … English. Because the Grimm was working for the East India Company in the 1750s, so I'm not sure why they needed Monroe. Other than in case it was in German or French. Nick really needs enough of a break to invest in some night languages classes at a local college, or, hell, be like us and teach himself via books and assorted online programs. I'm sure Duolingo and Memrise exist in Grimmverse. (If you look them up and get addicted, you had fair warning. This was your warning.) Upshot of this journal entry is that some sailor got obsessed with a beautiful mermaid-like woman, the Grimm stood a watch and found a Naiad, who was in fin-and-gills form and he caught her in a net. You fucker. Apparently some of the stories about the mesmerizing nature of merpeople are true! Or the Grimm and the sailor hadn't seen a woman in months and were horny perverted jackasses. They elide all of the possibility of rape, at least, which we'll make small grateful faces over only because they're elided, not because I think it didn't happen, and oh, look, Naiads dry out when they're on land. GEE. YOU THINK. Dehydrating to the point of death when they're forced out of the water for 24 hours or less. So that's going to be fun to work around this ep! And hey, it's Wu! They've got a hit on Jake's missing cell phone, up at the marina, not far from where they found the body, they'll bring Jake along in case he can make any identifications, and let's go forth and confront these Naiads!

The questions they ask, have you been here and do you know anyone who lives here, almost seem the same but are really useful followups to each other. Because sometimes you don't go to other people's homes, but you have a general idea of where they live. Aww, Hank, you're giving the kid binoculars to try and ID people while keeping him out of the potentially dangerous situation? That's adorable. I wish they had the manpower to leave a uni with him, because people get really stupid, as we'll soon see. The phone's in a houseboat somewhere! I want a tablet with little blinky lights of telling me things. Useful things. The deaf Naiad continues to hide and lurk and watch the scary humans plus Grimm confront what will turn out to be her father. Hello, Abel Mahario. Abel. Really? Sigh. He's not doing a half-bad job of stonewalling the police, mainly I think because he's got a lifetime of hiding who and what he is from everyone, but he's a little too stonefaced and his hands keep moving on that rag there. He also pretty clearly knows that they can't go look in his house without either a warrant or probable cause, which Wu will helpfully give them by calling Jake's cell! I love you Wu. I love you Hank for saying it outright like that. I love that the father didn't think to check that the ringer was off because this wasn't supposed to happen, and of course Ellie didn't think to check because she's deaf, this isn't a consideration that would come naturally to her. It's a tiny piece of nice continuity. And the entire rest of this scene is, not quite a paragon of good procedure, but they ensure they have probable cause and Hank uses gloves on the phone. Nick, goddammit, use gloves on the photo oh fine, they need prints off the phone more than they need prints off anything else. Honestly, as little of a thing as they make about proper procedure a lot of the time, I'm wondering why this scene in particular. Though they seem to be building Nick back up into good cop behaviors, getting the evidence they need to lock up the criminals and not just killing them out of hand because they're Wesen. And Hank will support him in that, because Hank is The Best. Still, it's a little emphatic.

Father dearest is also emphatic about how his daughter didn't do anything and you can't talk to her, she's deaf, do either of you know sign? Well, no, but I bet Renard does! Joking aside, guys, you can write. Or she can read lips and write you answers. Or you can get an interpreter in because I'd be shocked if Portland police didn't have a list of court-trained interpreters, or at least the county should. But we won't go any of those routes just now because here come Sarah and Anna (and I cannot tell you how weird it is to be typing my name out during this ep, I spent half the time last night twitching) back from shopping or something and here goes Jake being a fucking moron. Kid. You're supposed to tell the cops, not confront the persons of interest. Ellie jumps off to hang out in the water and hide, the way you do when you're the Ariel stand-in, and her sisters are freaked out and denying everything. Oh, here comes a pickup truck with a couple of redneck looking guys in. That can't be good. Lots of quick cuts between characters, lots of circling, we're not quite at a Mexican standoff but if nobody defuses the situation it's going there. The girls don't want to talk and they look, frankly, really scared. Determined and sure of their lies, they were with their dad, but scared. Dad looks scared, too, for that matter. The redneck young'uns just look like right shitheads who think they can out-macho some cops. Guys, I have news for you: you can't. Also, they have guns. A lot of nice physical acting, both by way of posturing and by way of Wu playing the calm levelheaded one on the front line despite the fact that those guys are half again his size, and Hank will pull up all his bluster and macho to deal with them while Nick confirms with Jake that the girl in the photo looks like the girl who saved him. Hank's macho posturing has the benefit of genuine confidence behind it, whereas these guys are pretty clearly bullies and, judging by how they're acting, outsiders despite likely being Naiads themselves. Well this is ringing all kinds of alarm bells. Yes, do let's take the girls down to the station and hope that they'll open up under questioning when they're not being glared at by a bunch of men they're scared of. And the father will now freak out indirectly that his girls will dry out and die while they're down there, which finally stresses him out enough to woge. I do love that instead of controlling his face, Nick's accepted that he can't, so he'll use his recognition of woge as a form of intimidation. Despite that, he's not anywhere near to being as much of a bad cop as he could be, as we well know.

We come back to see poor papa Mahario getting menaced by the young assholes. Lovely. They would like to remind Pa Mahario of where he comes from, most likely indicating heritage since bloodline, heritage, and pride of place have been an ongoing Thing for this show all the way back to Bears Will Be Bears. (1x02) Papa Mahario argues that while he hasn't forgotten anything, the skills and traits they need to survive are different and the world they're trying to preserve died 200 years ago. Is that a more or less accurate figure, one wonders? And if so, what prompted it. Too many factors to say for certain, so let's move on to the part where Mahario accuses them of being militant fundamentalists who are endangering everyone. And then the boys accuse Ellie of being the one putting them all in danger by rescuing Jake (who, let's not forget, was only in danger because they pulled him under and tried to drown him, but never mind that) and now she has to be cut. Cut? Cut? Oh, hey, more both callbacks to first season (1x02) and sideways references, intentional or not, to that exact thing I'm thinking of. How many references to women getting cut can you think of, where getting cut is a cultural practice or punishment and not a reference to generic harm as in "have to cut a bitch"? What's the first one that popped into your head? If it's genital mutilation you get a gold star and a bucket to vomit into. Oh, for bonus points apparently in whatever place these fundamentalist Naiads came from they still do it. They don't do much of anything with this reference in particular, just the fundamentalist leanings of these two Naiads in general, so I'm forced to conclude this isn't a deliberate allusion. if it is, they seriously wasted it. Bonus misogyny points for the comment about this is what happens when you don't raise your women right. Come here and say that to my face, fishman. Arrogant, punchy fishman.

Over at the police station Nick and Hank have Sarah in the box, trying to get an accurate picture of what happened. No one is pretending there's a Masquerade here, which is good on account of she's already got patches on her skin that indicate she's starting to dry out. Nick and Hank point out that she really doesn't want to spend any longer in a holding cell, and they've got a point, but she's really not talking. In a different interrogation room, Anna isn't talking either. Whatever they're scared the fundamentalist Naiads will do to them, it's evidently more terrifying than drying to death in a prison cell. That speaks even less well for the bullies, assuming anything spoke well of them in the first place. Nick and Hank will now apply to Renard to find some excuse to let them out, despite them being viable suspects and material witnesses. On a police level, they can't very well let them go without being seen as incompetent at best, and on a good cop level they can't very well let them go while they know something about a crime that, for all the three of them know, might repeat. On the flip side, as Renard says, how the hell would they explain two dead women in their holding cells if they don't let them go? At this point I just have to wonder why they don't at least make use of some shower facility, even if it's only by sneaking them out for an hour or so. But they don't, and instead they go around it again which, frankly, is a waste of dialogue time, but it does lead to some uncharacteristic viciousness from Renard in abandoning them to their fate. Or playing chicken with their lives, if you will. In other words, he intends to treat them like a human suspect and let them dry out if they don't talk, die, and the ME can explain their weird death by dehydration. Ouch, Renard. And you've been more than willing to accommodate Wesen differences up to and including letting them run fight clubs in your town (though granted that may have been more a matter of lacking any real power to stop them and entirely bluffing his authority) so, jeez, Renard, who pissed in your corn flakes this morning? Was it Adalind? I bet it was Adalind. Hank doesn't look too happy about the no special treatment for Wesen, which now includes life-preserving treatment, but we don't get a reaction from Nick before Wu shows up to let us know that Papa Mahario is here to talk. And by talk we mean confess? Because Wu's face and tone certainly make it sound that way.

Over in interrogation Mahario is attempting to confess. It's not going so well, since he didn't do it and everyone in the room and in observation knows it. He's able to get the fact that Dan was drowned and someone tried to drown Jake right, but at that point Nick and Hank pretty much bombard him with detailed questions and cross-references with Jake's testimony until they make their point that he didn't do it. It's a very nice bit of tag-team cops and genuine interrogation techniques, I'll give them that. As he gives up on convincing them that he did it Mahario turns to asking why it even matters, why can't they just book him for the murder and let it stand there? Um, because they're good cops who aren't just looking to make an arrest in connection with the crime? An arrest that would never stick, either, assuming Mahario lived long enough to make it to trial. Oh, and lest we not realize that some parental and paternal buttons are being pushed, let's have a close up shot of Renard looking stressed, exhausted, and worried, now that he knows there's a chance Adalind could be pregnant with his child. Just for bonus extra pappy angst points. Nick and Hank come back into observation, quickly coming around to the idea of using Mahario's confession as leverage against his daughters; if they won't talk to save their own lives, maybe they will to save their father's? Nice commentary on whether or not it's a loving family, from the guy who was almost killed by his father's legitimate wife. Heh.

Over at Jake's apartment, he comes home with fast food and a dejected slump to his shoulders to find that his place has been broken into. Oh great. Very tidily broke into, though, there's a lamp on the floor and a window open and that's about it. His first move is to close the window, His second move is to jump and try not to shriek because suddenly there's a person behind him! A person who looks an awful lot like the girl who pulled him from the river. Because it is the girl who pulled him from the river! He tries to talk to her and ask her questions, which goes about as well as you'd expect although he does get her name, that she's deaf, and that she can read lips. So at least he can talk to her, but we will once again not make use of that remarkable invention known as a pen and a pad of paper. Which means that when he tells her the police are looking for her, there's a mild conversational disconnect between that and her dragging him off to show him what she really is. Honestly, this is either an unintentional but rather sweet job of casting to the skill of the actress rather than any one attribute, or the clumsiest job of switching plot-related disability I have EVER seen. There is very little in this episode which relates to her being deaf at all, this being one of them and, as I said, clumsy and awkward transition from one topic of conversation to the next. The next being her demonstrating her true nature in the apartment pool! Um. No, none of this explains any of the potatoes I have lying around here, and I'm back to why didn't anyone give her a pad of paper and a pen to explain why she couldn't go to the police. Also facepalming over the blatant white pullover and bikini top for purity and innocence, thank you guys ever so. But at least he knows he's not hallucinating anymore! Poor Jake, he looks adorably fascinated by the cute Wesen girl with the glow in the dark eyes, fascinated enough not to notice the evil Naiad fundamentalists sneaking up behind him with a baseball bat. No, a copper pipe. Still hurts. And keeps him down long enough for them to grab Ellie and haul her out of there, kicking and dolphin squeaking. I'm assuming some of that has been foleyed out of being screaming to just being dolphin squeaking. Otherwise she has a very appropriately pitched scream.

Something much more pleasant. Back at Monroe's place they have finally unpacked the last in what he refers to as a long line of boxes. (K: Seriously? It's been a year and I still have boxes in my office.) (A: It's been a year and a half and I still have a box on my floor while I finish up the crafts storage.) (K: They must be supernatural creatures, they moved and unpacked in a day and a half.) No wonder it was the last box, it's from her brother's apartment and not stuff she brought with her and it contains a fucking chia bunny on a stick. Because of course it does. Rosalee remembers this from her childhood! As you do with those hideous things that stuck around in your house for years and years. We'll note the Holland reference for now without shrieking too much about the fucking Hague and the fucking Wesen Council, and interesting that she specifies Holland and not the Netherlands, which may indicate the province as well as the country or may be the fairly common shorthand for the country. Hard to say. Since it is a childhood momento, Monroe must put it in a place of honor! Which is adorable in at least two ways, because Monroe loves her so much he's putting a fucking chia bunny onnastick in a place of honor, and because Monroe's default reaction is honor to family and childhood mementos. I'm not sure if this is playing up the theme of family, either, or if this is just a coincidence and an ongoing theme between the two. We know Monroe and Rosalee's families will come up by midseason, and we know that both of them are deeply tied to their families with decent to happy memories. Whether or not Monroe's memories are entirely happy (some of the stories he's shared have been a bit on the callously gruesome side) they are both numerous and highly regarded in his mind. At any rate! Chia bunny goes in a place of honor long enough for Rosalee to gently point out that he doesn't have to, honestly, and that thing is butt-ugly. I love you Rosalee just for saying butt-ugly. Monroe backpedals somewhat, only somewhat because it's not so much backpedaling as side-pedaling? Treading water a circle? He's worried about something, we all see it, for a value of we all that includes Rosalee. And since Rosalee is the best and does not go in for dodging around important topics, she asks him directly why! It turns out he's at least partly worried that she might not like some of the things in his home, including himself. Awww. They don't really resolve anything in this conversation, in part because there's no real way to resolve nerves about sharing living space for the first time except by living in it. But we do get a resolution to the current jitters that involves a glorious dialogue about building a relationship on hating the chia bunny. This also makes a nice, entertaining counterpoint to the moving into the house conversation we saw between Nick and Juliette. Extra bonus points for the girlfriend, this time, being the one to throw away a treasured yet hideously ugly artifact.

Something much less pleasant! Over in the jail the girls aren't looking so well, but they're being released because their father has confessed! Anna still doesn't want to talk, but Sarah isn't willing to let her father dry up and die in a jail cell for something he didn't do. So, Dominic and Jesse are the names of the Naiad fundamentalist jackholes, and out come the girls! At which point Anna woge's out, and I appreciate that Nick's face this time is less a "augh new Wesen" face and more of a "ho-shit she's gonna expire right here." Anna's face is more of a "ho-shit it's a Grimm," but Sarah's right, they really don't have a choice. Nick will have to prove that he's a good Grimm along the way. No matter how reluctant Anna is, which is very, since she stays in her cell the longest even after Nick opens the door. Over in interrogation, Sarah gives them the rundown on what happened, including that they didn't even know Dominic and Jesse were there. It turns out that Dominic and Jesse showed up from Alaska about six months ago, arranged as per older traditions that were mentioned earlier when they were beating up Papa Mahario on the dock. Naiad men, we learn, are born sterile, and Naiad girls can only conceive and give birth in the water. Hence the river shenanigans. Which means having sex with human men in the water. Or, presumably, other aquatic Wesen. So, and as Sarah thinks, Dominic and Jesse killing or trying to kill the human boys is more about territoriality and revenge than anything else, which skirts this whole Hate the Other trend we've been on at least. Sadly, males killing other viable males in the nearby area and even the children of those males is not limited to the human race. It's not even necessarily limited to males, but the bulk of observational studies has been on that line of thinking. Interestingly, while Sarah clearly isn't condoning the murder and attempted murder that the Naiad fundamentalists perpetrated, and while she clearly hates their attempt to lead what they call (and she isn't sure is even true) a traditional lifestyle, she also by her tone and choice of words sympathizes with the Naiad men who have to raise other people's children with their families. Basically, the situation all around sucks. It also raises some interesting questions about where the girls' mother(s) is (are), which we will of course not get any answer to, why would we do that. We now interrupt this sucky situation for another sucky situation, which is Jake contacting Nick to report the Naiad jerks kidnapping Ellie! Sarah knows exactly what this means, they're going to cut her, which is now spelled out for us as cutting the webbing between her fingers and toes, which is how they mark and banish lawbreakers in their society. Which of course has absolutely nothing to do with that other method of cutting women and girls as a control mechanism and would never be a commentary on female genital mutilation as a horrific thing that happens in the real world. Actually, I don't think it is; that, too, would be a clumsy device usable only to reinforce the strict nature of fundamentalist Naiad society, would be dismissive of actual female mutilation that goes on in the world, and would be awkward as hell, at best, as a commentary. I just can't think of too many other forms of mutilation that are specifically related to crimes of sexuality, and who controls it in other people. Usually women. Ahem. (As far as mutilation as punishment goes, we have loads of precedent, cutting off fingers and hands and ears and so on. But this is clearly punishment of a woman who is clearly indicated to be dominated by men, and we just got finished talking about the sexual/reproductive ability or lack thereof of the Naiad men and do I really need to go on? Please let's not.)

Ahem. So, yes, they're taking her home to make an example out of her. Let's start off with some typical abusive fuckwit dialogue, i.e. You Shouldn't Have Made Us Do This. No, asshole, you're the only one making you attack and hurt this lady. Grr. Eh, you weren't using those balls anyway, you won't miss them when she relocates them up to your throat. Not that it does her much good, they're larger and stronger than she is and are pretty well able to wrestle her to the ground and tie her up for mutilating. And... drowning? No, in this case the holding her breath is less to drown her and more to make her woge so they have something to cut on. Eventually, of course, she does. Though they only get as far as cutting her hands free before she de-woges again, depriving them of their, what, choice parts to mutilate? And that's as far as it gets before the cops get there, leading them to try and push her underwater before their plans can be interfered with. Unfortunately in the process they push her against the tie-up, which makes a nice foley metal thunk as her head bounces off of it. No more Ellie for the moment! The anchor drags her underwater, unconscious so potentially no woge here, this could be bad. Meanwhile Dominic and Jesse will, like all good fundamentalists who are violent and cornered, attack the cops! Idiots. This doesn't take too long, Hank's spidey senses have improved too, and fortunately neither of them are venomous aquatic based Wesen, I guess we had our fill of that last season and in this season's premiere? And down goes Nick to rescue the girl! With his gun on. Oh NIck. Now here's something interesting, not only do we get the sound of his slowed heartbeat as seen on the doctor's office monitors last episode, we also get Grimm-o-vision, which is clearer and more focused and brighter than it has any right to be under the water like that. Nick apparently even has time to blink and wonder what the fuck is going on before he finds the rope and follows it to her bound feet, which he undoes before hauling her to the surface. Where Hank is freaking out. Like you do when your partner is underwater for a truly unreasonable amount of time. For the record, in episode it's a little over a full minute, and for an untrained diver that's a bit unreasonable. Not outside of the realm of possibility for a trained professional, so at least Nick's Grimm abilities aren't elevating him too far yet, but definitely cause for Hank to worry. The more so when Nick's looking rather corpselike for a few seconds when he gets out of the water. Maybe now Hank and Juliette can tag-team Nick (not like that, you pervs) and make him see reason about talking to Rosalee or some other specialist about his changed abilities? At any rate. Here comes the rest of the family, and the day is saved once again. We'll excuse the abundant talking and lack of signing, because hugging and relieved smiles don't leave much ambiguity.

Back at Nick and Juliette's house Juliette is on the computer perusing Nick's email from his doctor as he'd suggested. The doctor is utterly baffled by Nick's readings, but since it doesn't seem to be affecting his life he's not recommending anything at this time. This is a good doctor and he should feel good. The computer chimes a new email announcement, which means we get a good look at at least a page worth of Nick's email as Juliette scrolls up to it. Largely spam, it looks like, with the usual headers, I have no idea what CpnRicks means or why he's discussing Previous Assignment with Nick but this makes me deeply suspicious about earlier Casablanca references. And a case file from a Detective Jero, a couple of other maybe-personal maybe-spam emails in there. There's also a Spaceship inquiry in there. That's hilarious. The new email at the top, though, that's from bheadr. Again, least. Subtle. Email. Address. Ever. And oh look, she hasn't destroyed the coins yet. Who's surprised. Are you surprised? What TV show are you watching? Go re-read the Lord of the Rings until you are familiar in the ways of addictive artifacts. I will buy that the Royal assassination is causing a significant amount of turmoil, but since that was a recent event and she's had the damn coins for a while now, given modern abilities to cross distances this seems like a poor excuse for not having destroyed them. And all of that is so much noise rather than signal to Juliette, who is more worried and confused by the Love, M part. While we know that M stands for Mother (or I hope it does anyway), Juliette is still operating under the impression that Nick's mother is dead, having been in a coma for the whole resurrection part and they haven't exactly had much time or space to catch her up on things. Hopefully he will as soon as she asks him about this email? The last time they had a potential jealousy conflict going on (Plumed Serpent 1x14) it was resolved quickly and in a reasonable and communicative manner! We will hope for the same to happen here.

Finally (or what should have been the final scene, the ending on this is a little too tapering off to a whimper) we have Renard watching over the news footage from Austria, the funeral of his half-brother in what they're now calling a terrorist attack. Which I guess is better than targeted assassination? Marginally. Interesting, though, that Eric was second in line to the throne, still a Prince but not in the immediate future of the succession? That at least explains the lack of wedding ring and/or children! One mystery solved and another one opening up, who the hell is the immediate future of the succession? Who's first in line to the throne if Eric was second? The broadcast continues with Austria working with French and British authorities to find the perpetrators, who have been linked by an unnamed source to an underground movement, oh really? Who's controlling that bit of information? Is it at Renard's behest, throwing attention off of the Resistance or is it something Meisner did on his own? Or Sebastien? Or something else entirely? And why French and British authorities, why not get the German authorities in there? Swiss? Italian? All of these countries have been mentioned, and more. Interesting, along with the question the newscaster poses, which is who will be given the reins of this royal family. Who will be given the reins? The reins? Who will be given? Okay, let's unpack this all for a second here while I still have words that I can say on television, first of all, we just established Eric Renard as being second in line to the throne, so he shouldn't have reins of power at all. He should be doing, well, basically what Prince William does, to use the example I suspect is most likely recognized by most of the English speaking world. Holding down a job, being respectable, upholding the dignity of the royal family but not, repeat, not governing a damn thing. I'm not sure being respectable or upholding anyone's dignity was really in Eric's wheelhouse, but at least he knew he should be doing it. And yet, apparently his death leaves this royal family running loose, to continue the metaphor. No one at the reins. We know his father was alive at last check, so why the fuck isn't his father at the reins of power? Why is the fucking second in line wielding the power, and what does wielding the power even mean anyway? Is this political power? Power over the family only? What the fuck are you talking about, announcer man? Financial control? What? Next up, who will be given? Given by whom? Is there a committee? Who's sitting on this committee? Shouldn't whoever has authority to pass over the reins have control? WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON HERE? The plot congeals and starts to grow little fuzzy bits in the back of the fridge.

So, okay, our real final scene, for real now. Jake is picking his would-be murderers out of a lineup. All is well and good right up until he screws his courage to the sticking place and tries to ask the cops about Ellie. Who he thinks is a mutant. No, Jake, you really do sound crazy, and we have no idea why you're asking the cops about this instead of her sister or father or anyone else. A friend. A biologist. Anyone? No? No, this seems to be an excuse for quippy one-liners that riff off Chinatown: "Everyone's weird, Jake. It's Portland." and Nick and Hank to encourage him with weird looks to think he's crazy. Um. Yay? Go take lessons from Renard in maintaining the Masquerade, guys.

Next week! More childhood terrors for Kitty! Along with a very Punisher-esque theme to the episode. And luchador masks. Well, this ought to be, um. Interesting.


  1. Surprisingly I rather enjoyed this ep despite the Juliette silliness.Doubleplus points for the lokism.

  2. It also really bothered me that Eric was second in line, but they're talking about someone being "given the reins." Did the writers do that deliberately? If not, it's going to drive me mad.

    1. The apparent disconnect between what the writers are implying with what they say about the Royals and what they actually mean is ALREADY driving us mad, so you're in good company there. I'd love it if they either admitted to making it up as they go or demonstrated the existence of a show bible, but I'm not holding my breath, alas.