Saturday, April 12, 2014

What Child Is This Grimm S3E18 The Law Of Sacrifice

Before we get started, we heard via another fan about the tragic death of Burk Biggler, one of the circus performers two eps ago. At this time there's no known memorial fund or place to send flowers, but remembrances can be left on his Facebook page, and more details can be found here. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.

And now, previously, on Grimm! Mostly, the baby, and the various people who want it. Also the epic clusterfuck that is everyone catching up to speed with what's going on and trying to grasp all the implications.

Speaking of implications, today's quote is from Rumpelstiltskin, which considering the deals Adalind's reneged on to keep her baby seems rather appropriate! Still wondering if there's going to be some magical backlash from that, or if Stefania's going to come calling now that Viktor... well, I'm getting ahead of myself. We pick up where we left off, though there's marginally less of Sasha and more of Renard as he holds the fascinated baby, and now I kind of wish he was wearing a tie that the baby could play with. More, now he looks like Renard's had time to get used to the idea of a) holding a baby and b) holding his (alleged) baby, and is somewhat more relaxed. Meanwhile Adalind is raiding Renard's fridge, which, he has actual food in there? Considering the conspicuous lack of anything resembling used cookware in his kitchen I'm faintly shocked. Though what she pulls out is more along the lines of easily throw-together-able snack food rather than anything that would require cookware. Strawberries, cheese. I think there's a bowl of grapes on the counter. Renard apparently has to ask her about the delivery, birth, whatever, only it comes out in the same tone that he uses for asking his detectives about cases and I have no idea why (insufficient emotional attachment to the mother? insufficient comfort level with discussing such things? since usually the father of a child has some degree of lead-up to the birth to get used to the idea), but I may have laughed at that. Adalind is about as snarky as you would expect. Dude. Bowling ball. Between the legs. Not ever fun, especially not in the woods with nothing but hot water and an assassin for a delivery nurse. Renard seems to not so much wish he could have been there for Adalind's sake as because his baaaaaaaby. Noting the fact that he barely looks at Adalind as he murmurs about the whole thing, because baaaaaaaby. Assuming it even is his. No one has questioned that since it was decided on screen by people who have no actual factual reason to know, but we're going to keep doing so! Adalind is more pragmatic and less squishy, and would also like her baby back now plskthnx. Which is probably practical but also slightly mood foreshadowing, heh. And she would also like to know what Renard intends to do to protect her and the child. Not an unreasonable request, I feel. Especially since he's more up to speed on the factions coming after her and the baby than Nick and company are or tend to be at least. Renard, what the hell with the stay away from the windows, your entire fucking condo is 75% windows. I can only assume he's saying that because he's tired and startled, as a security reflex, rather than paying more specific attention to his words because someone clearly didn't think about the layout/construction of Renard's penthouse when they wrote that line. Stay away from the windows in Renard's condo means get the hell out of the condo. For that matter, neither Adalind nor Renard are entirely with it, the next few lines of dialogue are the sort of distantly-connected-ideas, half thrown together by exhaustion and attempting to think their way out of their problems with only half their resources. Having done that a few times myself over the last week to ten days, I can sympathize. Adalind actually looks more with it than Renard, calm and much more self-assured than she has in most of the previous few days, if still tired and frazzled. Renard has all of the tiny stress lines on his face twitching. Not even kidding, the facial tension here is a couple steps away from jaw-clenching and teeth grinding, though he does seem to slightly relax when he looks at the baby. So, how did Adalind get to the condo? Well, stolen truck. I would like to point out that having just been in Portland, it's not unreasonable for Adalind to have taken public transit rather than a stolen truck, though admittedly it seems to have been after midnight. Someday we'll get a shot of someone who isn't the victim of the week in Grimm using the MAX or the bus and die of shock. They also re-establish that Kelly would totally have murdered the shit out of Adalind if she'd known she was a Hexenbiest. Well. Yeah, probably, given her reaction to Renard. And then! The doorbell rang!

Okay, if you all haven't seen Clue, you're missing something in the intonation there. Still, the re-tread-y conversation is interrupted by Renard's door buzzer. Which, if I remember his condo right from the first season, wasn't there before. Also those paintings are different. What? We pay attention to these things. Though at least in Renard's case he has a perfectly good excuse to swap paintings for ones that weren't trashed by Kimura looking for the damn coins. Anyway, who's at the door? It's Nick! Adalind quite reasonably points out that he's not alone and they both have reasons good and bad to want her dead. Renard quite reasonably points out that Nick already knows she's there and if he meets him ahead of letting him into the condo, it at least provides some measure of protection without shooting themselves in the foot as to allies and resources. Okay, not that last part in so many words, but that's the essence of it. Adalind still isn't happy about this. There's an interesting brief exchange where she starts off discussing her baby and, at Renard's insistence (and a very good "I know you didn't just say that" look), switches to 'our.' She doesn't look all that accepting of the joint pronoun, there, but she does use it. Right before telling Renard to kill Nick if he tries to take the baby. Protective Mama is the theme of this two-parter! Also one of Adalind's big redeeming traits, as far as I can tell from what I've seen of the reception to this episode. Though, let's be fair, she's not had much regard for Nick's life for a long while now. Renard neither voices an objection nor looks as though he intends to, just tapping the clip home in his gun with that ominous click.

Meanwhile in the castle of brooding evil, Viktor's flipping through crime scene-style glossies of the dead Verrat. For a change, not so much with the dutch angle, just the long shot that reminds us how ostentatious Viktor's wealth is. Six bodies, as he says, which is is interesting considering we only saw three certain fatalities on screen (the driver and two henchscorts) and I'm pretty sure they had Meisner using variations on Muay Thai (which is Damien Puckler's primary martial art), which focuses on disabling your opponents and, yes, could leave them dead if they didn't get medical attention in short order. But that's not its main concern. Also somebody can't count, because Meisner only has two opponents (though they shoot it so it appears to be more because the fuckers won't stay down), and three plus two equals five, last I saw. Unless Meisner had someone tailing him that we didn't see, which I consider highly likely and yet we're still short a Verrat agent on screen. Grumble mutter go back to remedial Evil Overlord school, Viktor. Writers, stop proving the truism that writers can't do math. Okay, new head of the Verrat mook has some good news, in that they have a location! I'd love to know why Viktor thinks Adalind thinks she'll be safe at home in Portland. Is it because he thinks that little of her reasoning faculties that she runs for home as a safe place? Is it because the Royals have heretofore had an arrangement with Sean about staying the fuck out of his territory? Is it both? Something else entirely? In short, how many boundaries is Viktor violating by activating this guy in Portland? Or having him there to begin with.

Said guy in Portland turns out to be some kind of law enforcement, high ranking by the way he's seated at his desk while he takes a verbal report and dossier from an underling. Probably federal since neither of them is in uniform, and the woman's got significant training that possibly includes military since she defaults to a loose at-ease stance what, we examine all of these things. Royal Mook in Portland takes the call despite being what amounts to busy and jittery over some big case or another, thereby demonstrating his order of allegiance. He's also allowed to mouth off enough to Rispoli to say that it's a good line but not a good time right now, which is interesting since I think that's probably his work cell. I'm also not quite sure why he doesn't clue in earlier that there might be someone else there; if you've ever been on speakerphone you know damn well there's a difference in sound quality to it. Oh well, nobody ever said the Royals picked their henchmen for their smarts. He has pictures of the targets! He knows one of them from work experience, and is not even a little bit looking forward to this shit as a result. At least that's a display of some degree of intelligence. Even as a higher-ranked LEO, you don't go after a fellow officer without a damn good cover story and/or proof that they're dirty. Particularly not a similarly high-ranked one. The extent to which Rispoli and Viktor give no fucks (and our FBI mook clearly knows a Royal by tone if not by voice) is evidenced by the rapidity with which the poor fucker sits down to examine his options, his life, and his choices. Here's a hint: they all pretty much suck, dude. Yes, this needs to be done now. No, you don't get options. Standard leave the baby unharmed and do what you have to with the others rules are in effect. I would just like to ask, what the fuck do they think this extremely powerful baby is going to do if they shoot her parents? Or try to? Because fucking really, you guys. You have not thought this through at all. Kelly, are you sure you shouldn't go work for the Royals? Because they seem to subscribe to a similar "thinking just gets in the way" attitude. At any rate. FBI mook will take his coat with him, because he's in Portland and you always take a coat, and in so doing confirm for everyone's benefit that yes, in fact, he's FBI. Just in case we hadn't guessed from the setup of the office and clothes he was wearing.

Roll credits! Which include Hitler-Schakal and All Shall Love Renard And Despair, two of our primary tipoffs to Major Metaplot episodes. And then, oh, let's have a nice long pan up Renard's building, because nothing says late-night high-political-power conspiracies like panning over upper-class-looking buildings with night backgrounds and bright fluorescents inside. I'm not even kidding, watch a political thriller sometime. Nick comes out of the elevator prepared for immediate threat and holsters up when he doesn't find it, to his credit, and down the hall, in Renard's direction, who predictably is holding the gun behind his back. I suspect that's less for concealment purposes, at least it had better not be because obvious weapon is obvious, and more for the purposes of body language that says I don't intend to shoot you yet but if you push me I will respond with deadly force. Particularly given that he does have his fingertip on the trigger, though not curled around as I would expect to be if he intended to shoot immediately. Damn close though, and not what I would consider safety standard. Oh, hey, Nick gets the ominous dutch angle walk forward that puts him all in shadow against the dim light of the corridor. For extra threatening. I guess when you're sending him up against a guy who's nearly an entire foot taller you do what you have to. The curved hallway also helps that, keeping them from full-on confrontation until Nick's moved some ways down it. Some tense banter back and forth, Nick volunteering information as Renard invites him to confirm it, that Nick's mother is in town and that yes, she was supposed to be dead even to her son. Given that Renard knew Nick was a Grimm even before Nick did, I'm slightly disappointed that the way the dialogue is structured offers no further hints as to what else Renard knows about Nick and his family. Only slightly, though, there's no strong reason to cover that and a lot of reasons for Renard to be concealing what he knows right now. He's glad, everyone's glad, probably even Nick's glad that Nick came alone because no, nobody trusts Kelly right now. Not even Nick trusts Kelly, although that has more to do with not trusting her trigger-happy judgement and less to do with not trusting her as a person. Renard just doesn't trust anyone. Nor should he, nor has he ever been given reason to. Nick would also like Renard to know that he didn't know about any of this until a few hours ago, which is in a way establishing bona fides. Nick's reacting the best he can with limited information and less time to consider all the implications, and whether or not he realizes it, that at least goes some way to Renard determining he's not the worst of the immediate threats and not shooting him. It's not like Renard hasn't either shouted Nick down (for a given value of shouted, but let's all remember that epic schooling session in 3x03) or reasoned him around to Renard's point of view before. Though at this point, well, Renard's also too tired to finesse it. Yes, he's aware that there's bad history between Nick and Adalind, as he damn well should be considering he instigated most of it, but Nick does not get to take the child. Nick, for his part, seems to have the jaw twitch of you damn well should be considering, etc., the point I just made. Meanwhile the predictable shot of Adalind eavesdropping on the conversation is predictable. She doesn't seem unhappy with anything she's hearing, at least, or rather not any more unhappy than she already is with the entire clusterfuck. Nick (and Giuntoli does a very good job of holding this against Roiz) doesn't back down but doesn't push it too hard, either, except to remind the Captain that maybe the hallway isn't the best place to have a discussion about people trying to kill other people and steal babies. So, okay. And only now does Renard tuck his gun away, not making a show of it but not hiding it from Nick, either; he actively drops the gun down flat against his side so that Nick can confirm its existence before tucking it behind his belt, then leads the way inside. We'll take a moment to note that in keeping with Nick's increasing comfort with violence and murder his face is fully shadowed in this scene, whereas Renard sticks to the half-and-half that's been his trademark for three seasons now.

Instead of following them, we duck back outside with Kelly, where the feeb's unmarked (you can tell it's an unmarked by the number of radio antennae) and another car of mooks are pulling up to curbside. I believe this is what we call delivery for the Captain? No, wait, that already happened. Ahem. This feeb doesn't look particularly used to fieldwork, as awkward as he's being about clipping his holster to his waist. And this is why he's a feeb and not an agent. That and the part where he's a bad guy, but mostly the incompetence. We can respect competent bad guys! For all we know, Kelly might be one; she's certainly morally ambiguous enough as she ducks back into the shadows to avoid their line of sight. It's filmed with a nice callback to the last time she was lurking around outside the building, too, I'm pretty sure she had a very similar stance and expression on at the time. The coldly calculating, wary Grimm one. Feeb will now go flash his credentials around, which on the one hand is stupid because it puts him in a terrible position should anyone look into this cover story, and on the other is smart because most people when faced with a badge will leap to do whatever they're asked to do. Fear and/or authority is a powerful motivator, and all. Kelly will lurk behind him looking remarkably deferential and oh-pay-no-mind-to-me, which cracks me the hell up considering how very dangerous and insistent on occupying her own space she is. The doorman will be right with her! Oh, while we're here, let's take a moment to note that condo buildings with doormen are pretty rare in Portland, limited to the Pearl as far as we could tell, and new in the last decade or so. I don't know if that's intended to give us a rough estimate on how long Renard's lived in his condo or not, but it has that effect. Feeb wants to check the security footage, doorman looks awfully terrified probably because he knows which condo she's in and he does not want to be in the middle of an interdepartmental clusterfuck if she's fled FBI custody for the PPB. I can't blame him. Oh, and Kelly's batmanned on outta there while they were distracted talking. That jar: still not hatched.

Up in the condo Nick is facing Adalind and Renard, so positioned by everyone's design both characters and director. But the space between Adalind and Renard is nowhere near as close as it might be if they were a proper (read: emotionally connected by love and other positive feelings) family. There's a good foot to two feet of distance between the two of them, and it's not just to get everyone into the frame with Roiz. Renard is only slightly leaning towards Adalind, too, body cheated towards her but expression and posture still closed off. If he was comfortable with being gentle and potentially affectionate with Adalind in private, the second another pair of eyes is there to watch him, no way. And I don't think that's just because it's Nick, and he sicced Adalind on Nick a while ago, nor because he now needs Nick's help. Adalind's posture is defiant for as tiny as she is, and holding her own in the room, no small feat for a woman that tiny. Meanwhile Nick is looking about as unobtrusive and harmless as he possibly can, which is also somewhat difficult considering out of the three of them he's the least skilled at hiding his personal feelings; his entire body screams "fuck this, you, and everything." His voice, at least, is calm as he says he's not here to hurt or abduct anyone, and also he totally knows Adalind's got her powers back. Adalind will now smuggity-smug-woge for added effect, and probably because she hasn't gotten over the rolling around in her powers all "wheeeeeeee!" I know it'd take me a while in her place! I'm really disappointed that we don't see Renard's immediate reaction to the woge, because Nick's reaction is fucking hysterical. "You find that attractive? Really?" Some of the fuck-everything does get into Nick's voice at this point, and the sheer volume of snark and can we have more of this interaction? Not every episode but maybe every few. It's epically funny. I will also take a moment to agree wholeheartedly with the Grimm Writers tweet from last night about carrying around a squirt gun full of Grimm blood for rapid de-Hexening. Or a vial, hell, anything. Renard would like to move past the topic of his attractions-to-what-Nick-thinks-of-as-fetishes please and thank you (technically it's his own kind, Nick), right up to the point where he's slightly talking over Nick and definitely moving his head too fast to track well, for the first few words of that sentence. Also in the moments that I can catch his face just screams "Really? That's what you want to focus on?" Oh everyone. Adalind, having gotten the twitching reactions she wanted out of probably both men, will now seize the floor and put her foot down about she's not going anywhere. Which is also funny because this isn't even her home, it's Renard's. (Though again, given his earlier acceptance of the baby, I don't think he'd initially object much.) Nick will proceed to shatter her domestic safety fantasies by pointing out that it's not that much of a leap to make for even the Verrat to track her there. Oops. By the look on Renard's face it's not that he didn't consider the Verrat wouldn't know about his relationship with Adalind, which is good since he did go to some lengths to play up that relationship so he could talk to her alone. It's more of a oh god I am too tired for this bullshit at least he's making the arguments so I don't have to look. He's definitely giving Adalind the side-eye of waiting to see how she responds to that. Not well, is the answer. She looks back up at him for support, which she doesn't get, and the tears in her eyes are probably as much real from exhaustion, stress, and dismay, as they are for the purposes of manipulating the menfolk. No choice, sweetie, sorry. They really do have to work together for the good of everyone, and nobody likes it. Nick leaves them with that to consider and goes, for all appearances, back downstairs, which is some of the more sound emotional reasoning I've ever seen out of him. They do need to talk, and his presence there severely hampers their ability and/or willingness to do so. Just in case we didn't get the impression that Renard is a really fucking dangerous father, he'll step forward as Nick leaves, giving him all the sinister shadows plus one quarter of his face lit so his eye glows all menacingly. It's pretty cool.

The door closes, and Adalind doesn't even wait for him to turn around before she's all "Well?" Or more specifically "Don't you have something to say?" I'd love to know which of the many possibilities I can think of for Renard to say that she's thinking of. Certainly his expression as he turns around on that question is more than a little bit of "Excuse me?" Just in case anyone was under any impressions that Renard's falling in love with her or anything. Because he's not. Or not any more than he might ever have originally been, which I've never seen evidence for either. Following up with that expression, Renard would like to know what she told Eric when she went to work for him, Sadly, we don't get to find out, although between his face and the suspicious tone of his voice she looks considerably more nervous and less confident than she has since she walked into his condo. Complete with lip bite of oh crap I was hoping you wouldn't ask me that. There may also be a bit of shifting the baby more in front of her to put poor baby between her and Renard, but we don't get a wide enough camera to see it entirely.

Our feeb of the night is still downstairs, having wandered back out to relay orders to his mooks. I'd question why he needs to do that in person, except he has to pretend he's sticking to something resembling FBI protocols, and since he has no warrant he can't very well barge into Renard's condo past the doorman without first incapacitating said doorman. Which I assume he's got enough tactical sense to do after relaying orders somewhere the poor bastard can't hear them. Also, 1605 is Renard's condo number, let's all bear that in mind on the off-chance it becomes episode number relevant somehow in the future. (6x05? I guess? I don't exactly see this running for 16 seasons, after all.) The henchjagers will take the back, I don't know what the feeb's going to his car to get and it doesn't much matter when his head's being bounced off the roof of the car so Kelly can effect a search and rescue op. Search of him. Rescue of the baby and her parents. As it were. At which point our one-and-a-half plotlines converge by way of a harsh stage whisper and have I mentioned how much I love Giuntoli and Mastrantonio's chemistry? Because it's epic. From her tightly controlled tactical attitude to Nick's MOM WHAT DID YOU DO THIS TIME, because that's about what it boils down to. Complete with massive facial tension and twitches over how the last time the FBI were involved and she was around, two of them got Mauvais Dentes'd to death. Which I think is one of the more clumsily shoehorned in bits of continuity this ep, actually, since it has nothing rational to do with the situation. The emotional logic, yeah, I can make a reasonable argument for that since the vast majority of Nick's current associations with his mother involve a woman who's willing to kill not just to protect her son and herself, but because she deems it necessary for the public good, or some such decapitare-style logic. Anyway, she drags him over to prove the feeb's just unconscious, not dead, and to give some added motion to the urgency of this scene. I'm not sure that was necessary from a directorial standpoint, but it does lend a certain emotional weight to the action as Kelly fills him in about the people headed up to Renard's condo. That poor, unsecure condo. Renard, please get yourself a goddamn safehouse or three. And use them. I'm not even sure he doesn't have a goddamn safehouse or three, it's just that he doesn't fucking use them. Nick will take the front! Kelly will take the back and these henchjagers aren't gonna know what hit them. They're also even less subtle than previous henchjagers. Really? You're blowing out the lock with a shaped charge? I mean, at least they only took out the lock, not the door, but that's gonna attract attention all on its own. You fucking idiots.

Whatever Adalind's answer to what she told the Pustule upon going to work for him, they've sort of moved on, though let's note once again that Renard's over by the windows and Adalind and the baby are nearer the door, where we last left them. I'm not at all convinced that this is meant to be her answer to the question immediately prior so much as an attempt to defuse the situation. She chose him! Really. And if you believe that she won't choose another side more closely aligned with her own interests and those of the baby in a New York minute, I've got some real estate to sell you. She comes back over to his side as he professes that he'll do everything to protect her and the baby, never mind that the only reason I see for that order is common English grammar, which is borne out by the greater emotion and emphasis on the second half of that. That said, Renard's also initiating contact with her in a less sexual sense than she might want; I suspect at least half of that is because he's aware that touch is a weapon along with everything else, and right now Adalind needs someone to touch her and comfort her. To say nothing of the fact that he may need to touch and be touched right now; these are two of the more positive-touch-starved characters I've seen in a long time, and it's indicative of how fucked up they are that they only get anything passing positive from each other. Adalind wants to know if this means they're back together if she's staying at his place, which is not a requisite logical leap and is therefore deliberately manipulative/hopeful. We see flashes of the old Adalind, conniving her way into his bed and hoping for into his heart, right here. We also see a lot of control over her, domineering behavior in Renard's hands on her arms, which tells us that no matter how much they may care about the child, they'll still break each other into pieces if they try to maintain a romantic relationship. Still, it's something Adalind desperately wants, and Renard apparently doesn't think it's giving up too many pieces of himself to give that to her. Though he will take a swipe at her over having slept with his brother, which gets him the return swipe of him sleeping with her mother. I would like to remind everyone that Renard's body language in Love Sick looked like that of a rape victim more than a willing participant in that relationship, but given what Adalind grew up with I can well believe she wouldn't recognize consent if it bit her in the ass, so to speak. As her actions over the last three seasons prove, for that matter. Let us not forget that nothing about the liaison which generated the baby was consensual on his part. I really, really wonder how much the writers know about male rape and have researched, because there's been a godawful lot of it in this show. This touching reunion of belonging-together (and how much self-loathing is in that comment from Renard? a lot, is the answer. He looks more like Sam Adama than his usual closed-off self, and I mean that in the angsting over his life choices sense.) will be interrupted by Nick having the good sense to phone up that there are two men coming for Adalind and the baby as he flashes his badge at the rather harried doorman. Adalind drops the manipulative I'm-scared-please-protect-me routine (have we mentioned this ep about using genuine emotions to manipulate people and how much more dangerous that makes her?) for a rather sardonic now-what. No, I sympathize there. Can we have more competent Nick, though? I like competent Nick.

After the break, yep, Renard is in full drop everything and let's go mode. At the rate shit's been going down at his condo, apart from the egregious lack of safehouses, I'm surprised he doesn't have a go-bag ready under one of the side tables by the door. Alas. He grabs Adalind's coat and throws it over her shoulders instead and escorts/marches her out, while the standard shots of armed men coming up the stairs are standard. Cut back to Renard with Adalind huddling against him for protection and holding the baby huddled against her also for protection, and hey, he picked a coat up from somewhere. Likely by the door. Fortunately he remembered to take his gun out of his waistband before he did that, otherwise that'd make for an awkward draw. Not that walking with a tiny woman huddled into his side doesn't make for some awkward movement if haste is required. Apparently not too awkward, though, as Nick comes out of the elevator we have our first moment of violence from the previews, where Renard half drops half angles in front of Adalind and raises his gun before he sees it's Nick. With an also upraised gun because everyone's paranoid here. Where are the bad guys? Well, Nick will apply his Grimmstinct hearing to the situation and determine that they are coming up the stairs! Yay! It's strongly indicative of how much Renard, for a varying list of reasons, trusts Nick, given that his first instinct when it was just him and Adalind was to pull her behind him and shoot, and now his first instinct is to actually drop, shield her and the baby with his body, and let Nick do all of the fighting. There's a second there where he looks up, but that's about it. Nick, meanwhile, will do actually very little fighting, employing the traditional Hollywood tactic of killing a mook by using him as a meat shield. (In reality, the bullets are just as likely to go through your meat shield, this is a bad tactic, folks. It does, however, demonstrate that the Verrat gives no fucks for each other quite neatly.) Nick gets off a few rounds, but having to shoot around a now literally dead-weight meat shield isn't the easiest thing in the world, and they both go wide. I wish we'd been able to get a glimpse of his face there to see if there was any regret either over another body on the ground or the loss of a person to interrogate; alas, meatshields make that difficult. Fortunately Kelly's charging up the steps at the retreating henchverrat! Possibly a henchjager, the camera won't stand still for me long enough to make a good determination. Anyway, she cracks the guy a few good ones and then throws him down the stairs. Like you do. Then it's through the stairwell door and now, okay, now Renard will stand and point a gun at the new intruder while Nick seems to be clearing the halls. Fortunately everyone is pragmatic and familiar enough not to engage in a standoff of guns at the moment, and of all people Kelly is the one to first take up the cry of we need to get gone. With a nice little dig about how all that gunfire was hardly subtle. That's okay, it's not like the Verrat are known for their subtle. Which Renard identifies for us, thank you, we could have guessed, but for those not picking up on the implications that means either the Royals have some Verrat stationed permanently in Portland and thus Renard is more under siege than he was aware of so far, or the Royals are pretty much there already and Viktor used either a Concorde jet (let's all note those have been retired for over ten years, and indeed all supersonic aircraft as far as I know are retired) or he's got a teleporter stashed away somewhere, a trans-Atlantic flight to Portland takes way longer than the few hours/single night he's had. So, probably under siege. Anyway. Nick advises Renard to get Adalind to his car and follow them out, and they part ways for the stairs (Nick and Kelly) and the elevator (Renard, Adalind, and baby). I guess Renard's operating for speed rather than avoiding the potential killbox. No, I don't like elevators in siege situations.

From chaos and deadly tension to calm, domestic bliss: It's Monrosalee's house! Seriously, those names make the best portmanteau. They're enjoying some nice intimate quiet time when Nick calls, because he has the best timing. Monroe interrupts any apologies Nick might be about to make, which would be appropriate if Nick weren't kind of in a hurry right now. As it is, Nick just agrees that yep, there is shit going down, and confirms that Rosalee's there so he only has to go through this once. So. Adalind! Yes, the Adalind who put Juliette into a coma. She's had a baby. She's in Portland. They're trying to save her life. His Mom's also back and with him in the truck. Adalind does not know that Nick's mom killed her mom, though. (And thank god she's not in the truck too because otherwise that could get really awkward, thank you Monroe for only half-confirming that before you blurted that out.) Also Kelly will interrupt this rapid fire infodump in case you didn't see the last 50-60 minutes of Grimm including previous episodes, to point out that she totally didn't mean to kill Catherine Schade, she just fell on some glass and died. Anyway, they need a safe place for the baby to stay for a couple of days. Where's the baby's father? Oh, that would be the Captain. I cannot stress enough how hard we laughed at the unison delivery of "Your Captain?" Seriously, everyone in this episode is having the best reactions to finding out the baby's parentage. And we were waiting for the "Dr. Scott! Janet! Dr. Scott! Rocky!" last ep, and now we got it. Win. Bonus points for not blinking that Adalind is now a mother, but shitting themselves when they find out Renard's the father. Monroe attempts to sum up the whole mess at least as applies to him and Rosalee, which is that everyone's coming over to his place. Sure! And Nick will tell him the rest when he gets there. Yes, there's more. It's exactly as bad as you think, Monroe. Poor furry babies.

The cops are at Renard's building! Yeah, sirens would wake me up too, and the feeb is not willing to get caught, he will now get the fuck out of there before they start asking him questions like why he's there and what's his case number and who's his supervising officer. Yep. Since the other guys were Verrat, hopefully they won't be able to tie them back to him! If he's done his job right. I don't trust that he has, but I also don't trust that he'll be alive long enough for it to matter.

Nick's truck and Renard's battlewagon pull up in front of Monroe's house, and we all take a second to appreciate how fucking huge Sasha Roiz is as he stands there with everyone else in one wide shot so Renard can ask what the fuck was that. That, my dear Captain, was a bunch of Verrat trying to kill you and take your baby, what do you think that was? No, he's more demanding the specifics, which Nick and Kelly can provide! The Verrat have bought themselves a shiny high-ranking FBI agent. Not good, no. Also not good, at least as far as Adalind is concerned, is that no one is telling her anything and everyone keeps trying to drag her this way and that, going all the way back to Stefania grabbing her hand and forcing her to sign the contract because reasons. No, in this case, Kelly's right, the less Adalind knows about her safehouses, the better. Not that that makes it suck any less. Baby would like to register an opinion too! Baby's opinion is that that was a very shiny locket and she wants to play with it. Also baby has purple eyes, which apart from being one of the standard royal colors, is rather freaky. I think they've gone even more violet since last ep, which may be a function of the light or may be post deciding they weren't freaky enough to start with. Adalind looks a bit "oops" and sheepish, though not nearly as wary/freaked out as the other three. Possibly because she's had more time to get used to the magic baby. Is now a good time to mention, by the way, that the first time that locket came out we thought it might be a Coin of Zakynthos on a chain? The current filming angle isn't helping with that, either, and I'm quite sure it's deliberate. At any rate, that's when everyone decides in silent unanimity that, no, they're getting this dog and pony show off the street before people start staring, and inside the house they go. At least everyone knows who everyone is!
Nick will begin the briefing by appreciating everything Monroe is doing, and Renard will chime in only slightly awkwardly. I think awkward because he's not used to being out of formal settings in other people's homes, because once again, this man apparently has no friends. So, stiff. The appreciation is genuine, though, Renard's not a complete asshole and he was apparently raised to good manners as well as Royal taste. Rosalee and Monroe are attempting to take refuge in those good manners, but Kelly has spent the past ten, twenty years or so if not being out of civilization, at least operating on the fringes of it. Polite greetings are for other people! Kelly gonna go secure the place. And they work better on Adalind, especially when Rosalee leads with a compliment for the baby. It can't hurt that Rosalee, as far as anyone knows, hasn't actively tried to lunge at or kill Adalind yet. Renard trails after the women, and it is definitely trailing after, that exhausted look knows he's marginally superfluous to the caretaking but, baaaaaaaby. And also overprotective. That leaves Monroe to yank Nick off to one side and ask him what the shit is going on. Well, the Royals are trying to kill the baby, who is supernaturally powerful and perhaps prophesied, and as everyone who knows anything about mythology knows trying to kill a prophesied baby (or kill those around it, usually) puts you on the wrong side of prophecy, history, mythology, and every other damn thing. Both the guys are half-lit half-shadowed, befitting the conspiracy and late-night aspects of this scene. Monroe is less concerned about being on the wrong side of prophecy and more concerned about his and Rosalee's immediate safety and the structural integrity of the house they live in, because he is nothing if not eminently practical. Sadly, Nick can't reassure him all that much.

Kelly comes back in the kitchen door from scoping out the security of the house to pronounce it adequate for present needs, apparently to Renard, who is the only one hanging around at the moment. Also likely the only one who would appreciate the requirements of securing a house, though that's more coincidence than anything. Or so it would seem, until he opens his mouth and addresses one of the herd of elephants in the room, namely that under other circumstances he and Kelly would have killed each other by now. You know, I'm trying to think if there's a clear winner here, when all the assets and drawbacks are tallied up, and I can't actually figure who's more likely to kill whom, or if it ends in a mutual kill. I suspect Kelly would win by virtue of being a Grimm and most recently in vicious hand-to-hand, but she wouldn't be uninjured after. At any rate, Kelly takes this somewhat negatively, given her response of pointing out that he did kind of have her sister killed, or tried to. Renard doesn't openly point out that she would have killed him but he does say that Marie was a Grimm, and they do tend to kill 'Biests on sight. Plus she had a key which, dude, that does not help your case for not being one of those grasping Royals like the rest of your damn family. He does allow that if he'd known at the time what he does know now, he might have done things differently. I'm curious how you see that going, Renard. Considering after the Hasslich attack Marie didn't exactly have a lot of time for you to convince her of your good intentions. And yes, he did get the key, and then gave it back. Apparently a Grimm in the hand is worth more keys in the pocket? That's also not reassuring Kelly into putting her homicidal face away. Seriously, what is makeup and lighting doing to that woman, she looks like her head's going to spin 360 degrees and she's going to leap at Renard like a spider, unhinge her jaw like a snake, and bite his entire head off. Not that he's not also lit in his customary ominous conspiracy manner, but we're far more used to that by now, and also seriously. Somewhat more convincing is the pointing out that they both work for the Resistance (with his hands in his pockets, remember when we tallied up all of those tells from first season? he's back at it with both hands in pockets a lot this ep) and right now their priority at least seems to be protecting that child. Right? Right, Kelly? Kelly reminds him that they both might have to end up giving their lives for the child, but doesn't confirm that she would to keep the baby safe, a fact which Renard seems to note given that that eyebrow doesn't exactly go down when they're interrupted. Rosalee also notes the tension of the situation, going by the tension in her voice as she excuses herself into the kitchen with them to make tea. Kelly still has no fucks for manners. Oh Kelly.

Monroe, as always, will provide something that isn't quite comic relief but definitely some lighter fare than death, destruction, and doom-foretold babies. In this case it doubles as a touching expression both of polite concern or attention to Renard's feelings, something that most people haven't been taking into account unless they have to, and empathy/a spotlight on one of the few positive aspects about this situation, namely, baaaaaaaby. Fatherhood! Not quite the circumstances Renard has expected, but he is calm, polite, even nearly friendly about it. Because our Prince is nothing if not properly mannered, and with actual manners too, not the manners-as-weapons quality we've seen out of our smarmy Prince Eric and Viktor the Evil Overlord. Then he goes on to again and more smoothly express his thanks to Monrosalee for putting them up at considerable risk. No one looks entirely comfortable with that, but it's the kind of socially awkward comfortable that usually results when relative strangers do huge favors, no one's quite sure how to express thanks in a way that strikes just the right note. It's probably one of the most normal scenes in this entire episode, and I bet everyone's taking a long slow breath to calm down because of it. Interrupted now by Nick, who says they'd better get going before "they" (likely meaning the Verrat and not the FBI) start wondering what happened to their feeb. What? FBI agent? No, Monroe doesn't want to know any more right now, his weird-shit-o-meter has hit full capacity.

Over on the couch, despite not being the bastion of normality here, Adalind is being lurked at by Kelly from the type of perspective usually reserved for Renard, i.e. looming. Now, granted, Claire Coffee isn't the tallest and Adalind is sitting down, but they are definitely aiming for a loom with the lighting and shooting angle rather than any kind of friendly approach. Which adds another layer to what's going on here; there's a marked increase from the last episode to this one in sinister shooting for Kelly. Implying something's coming down the pipe for her, but what? We haven't seen the coins reappear so she's not likely to turn Gollum and bite someone's fingers (probably Renard's) off. Adalind does not have the benefit of our point of view. Adalind, quite naturally and earnestly, asks if she wants her necklace back. No, that's all right, baby can keep it and play with it until such time as Kelly eats it. Wait, what? No, yeah, I'm not sure I like the way she's looking at that baby. Though to be fair to Kelly, I'm not sure she likes any of the implications of that baby, which could well be behind the look. Nick interrupts my nomming on behavioral data to curtly say they're out of there, my god from that angle Renard/Roiz kind of fills the room. Adalind's panic increases somewhat as she realizes the three most competent fighters are all leaving, leading to what would be a touching moment under any other circumstances where Renard actually kneels in front of her and quietly tells her that, yes, this is the best/safest way to go about things for now. It'd be touching except that he barely touches her (his finger sort of flicker out but it's like he can't tell what to do with his hand, so he doesn't) and there's no real affection for Adalind in his face. Adalind, I think, even with all of this still has considerable feelings for him, and is freaked out that he's leaving not only because he's a damn good fighter, but also because he's being pulled away from her and the baby. Oh honey. Staying together for the sake of the baby never works. Trust me. Monroe promptly exits stage left as soon as everyone else is gone, on the presumption of pillows and blankets, which is still a valid reason. Adalind, well, yes, I buy that she's scared to be alone right now, what with all the running and attempted killing and attempted babynapping, but she is also totally playing Rosalee for sympathy here. And did I mention the dangerous? Because there's a lot of it.

Our trio of badasses will now hare off after the Royals' pet feeb, with intent to commit violence in all likelihood or at least a little B&E and assault. This mission is interrupted by Kelly taking a moment to point out to Renard that, under the circumstances, Adalind coming to him was the worst thing she could have done. We'll leave unspoken the fact that giving Renard a chance to bond with the baby and potentially with her mother will make all of this much, much worse, and move along to the fact that he can't keep the kid. He doesn't have the resources to protect her from the Royals, who probably have people throughout the system including in foster care if they tried to go that route. They've proven themselves willing to kill for the child; there's no reason they wouldn't find a way to utterly discredit both Sean and Adalind and take the baby away through more legal channels if they attempted to go through Renard's police resources. (Plus I'm pretty sure Renard wouldn't throw his men in front of the Royals in the same way the Royals are doing with their mooks, because he's got some conscience left.) So Kelly brought lampshades to this party that he and his daughter will be vulnerable for the rest of their lives if he tries to keep her, and does that right in front of Nick because what the fuck are manners and concern for other people's feelings. On the other hand, at least it's a nice lampshade for him on why she felt she had to abandon him. On the third hand, Kelly, these are not identical situations and you know that thing we said last ep about people with too-few emotional ties and allegiances to others letting their own emotions carry the weight of ethical decisions? Yeah, that's still happening. Renard will spare a backwards glance at the house and a jawclench as he takes that in and admits that, as far as he can see, she's right.

From there, let's let Renard get some of his aggression out on the feeb! This is an excellent plan and should feel good, because of all of them he knows the value of retaining his cool enough to interrogate someone while punching them in the face. We open on a well-appointed living room area, open floor plan to the kitchen, and the feeb pouring himself a stiff drink and praying for salvation from the Royals. Yes. They are gonna kill you, you done fucked up, and you fucked up again when you failed to enact suitable security precautions after going home. I mean, really, dude, you tried to invade a police captain's home, you didn't see your attacker, and you know your shield's missing. The fuck did you expect, a get-well-soon bouquet at your house? No, we have confirmation that he, too, is a Hundjager (making him possibly one of the more intelligent/capable of working with non-Hundjagers we've seen since first season; the vast majority have been employed in pack-like units by the Royals and not very bright but very aggressive, with Edgar Waltz as a significant exception) and it looks like he can't see Kelly's face when he woges and whirls. That's good! That means all his attention will be on Nick and Renard. I would also point out that at least this guy doesn't seem to be aware of who else Renard is, i.e. a Royal and half-zauber. We jump back after the ad break to Renard slapping his face, relatively gently but enough to get him to wake up, and that's twice now he's been concussed in one night, may I just note. Not that Hollywood ever bothers to pay attention to the fine details of what multiple concussions should do, but I'll just leave that there. We're also giving Renard enough of a Dutch angle to be even more loomy than usual, and he's taking point on the interrogation. Kelly watches from behind the feeb, Nick stands at Renard's elbow like a good lieutenant, in every way it appears they're deferring to him but prepared to step in if he gets out of control. It's a very, very neat bit of blocking that implies one set of things to the person being interrogated and quite another set to the audience. The feeb mouths off a bunch more, which gets him punched another couple times and some patented deadpan snark from Renard. I love that, after the scene with a focus on falling back to manners for lack of any other form of interaction, Renard informs the feeb that it's just rude to threaten him after trying to have him killed. To say nothing of backwards, first you threaten, then you make good on the threat, otherwise you look incompetent and your threats are worthless. To say a further nothing of idiotic, on account of feeb's gonna die first. It's really stupid bravado with these people, not that he knows that yet. He's getting an education! Renard is taking no bullshit and also no prisoners, and will now redial the Vienna number last on the feeb's phone. (I know they named him, I just can't be bothered with incompetent mooks. Even though I'm aware that even incompetent mooks can have a good day.) The feeb tries very hard not to answer, but apparently there's some kind of hierarchy in Wesen society, or possibly just the dominance factor of a deliberate woge rather than a fear-woge like the feeb almost did after the third punch landed. (Drink, by the way, for three punches from Renard.) He gives up the Verrat with Renard's hand around his throat, which isn't giving anything up since they already know that. Nick shifts around like he's preparing to interfere, Kelly's giving one or both of them the lift of her chin of it's-fine, I really, really love all the little physical bits in this scene. It takes a bit and Kelly's casual indifference to killing yet another Hundjager, but they get Rispoli and Viktor out of him, at which point it's very obvious to us that there's a plan they worked out on the way over being set into motion. We can tell by the way Nick's eyes narrow when the feeb starts blathering on about give the baby up and all your problems go away, like he's hearing a cue. (I mean, Giuntoli's hearing a cue, too, but still.) They have a message to deliver! Or the feeb can be arrested for attempted murder, being in the pay of someone incredibly shady, and either land in prison or in a Royal dungeon full of pain and death. Note that Nick's the one to take the police aspect, Renard makes the transition to the Royals, and Kelly rounds it out with what he's really going to do for them. Nowhere in there does Renard explicitly agree that he's going to give up the baaaaaaaby, either, and our badass trio will now stalk out of there.

And to a pedeconference on the street, in increasing order of height, does that make Kelly baby bear? I had to, it was right there. Renard is definitely papa bear, at any rate, and sometimes I swear Kelly has the ethical sense of a two-year-old, so. We'll try not to think too hard about Nick as mama bear, though early on he was more nurturing than patriarchal, come to that. Just in case we were confused about the sudden semi-capitulation, they're muttering about how they hope it'll work, and Renard says with some degree of genuine confidence that it will because the mook's more afraid of the Royals than of them. I can't say he's wrong about that, or about the likelihood that the feeb knows in excruciating detail (possibly having carried out assassinations before, given his position) just what will happen in return for failing them. Renard peels off to go to his car, leading to our still not getting any kind of fallout for him over being the instigator on Hank's initial coma and Adalind's attempted murder of him. The second time was at his brother's instigation, so at least it all stayed in the family? I guess? But Nick's gonna bring Hank in on this now! Yay! Kelly questions why on earth Hank would help them given those givens, and I can't say she's wrong to. I think everyone else only has one assassination attempt from Adalind, if they've got any. Or love potions, she's fond of those. Hank will help because it's Nick and because he doesn't want a baby falling into the hands of the Royals, same as everyone else. Also because he's The Best.

Over to Hank's! Wait, no, sadly, that's a really nice place. Over to Nick and Juliette's, because Bitsie needs to get in on the hilarity too. No, this really is the best exposition dump about the baby, because not only do we cut out all the exposition and go straight to the reaction, Hank's first instinct is to panic about what if it's his. Oh honey. And also endless laughing. Juliette certainly seems to be laughing inside as well as she tells Hank it's not his, she promises. Nick gives her a look like he didn't think of that, and Hank is much relieved. At first undirected relief and then, apparently feeling like not wanting to be a father reflects badly on him in some way, clarifying that it's more Adalind he doesn't want to have a baby with than the abstract having a baby in general. I have to wonder if this doesn't indicate some conversations along those lines with one or more ex-wives. At any rate, on to the next instance of me choking on whatever I was drinking at the time, because Hank's next question is who's the idiot father? That'd be the Captain, Hank. Hank can't even muster the words excuse me??? though his face definitely sells it all. Kelly lampshades all the entrapment-by-sex Adalind's been doing over the course of the series and they finish catching Hank up. Hank replies by continuing to be The Best, at least faking like he's taking it all in stride, and asking what they need him to do. Oh Hank. Never change.

Back at Monroe's place the baby is crying, as infants do, leading to no one in the house sleeping through the night, as parents and other people with newborns in the house do. Adalind, as harried mothers do, is up trying to soothe the baby back to sleep, blankets thrown over the couch. I'm not entirely sure why she isn't sleeping up in the guest room they've already established when Nick was over there, maybe they took down that set? No idea. Sleeping on the couch made sense for the great Christmas decoration debacle because everyone was already down there when they passed out from exhaustion, but oh never mind. Grimm will continue to be severely back-and-forth on guest rooms because as far as I can tell the only one who has any excuse for not having one is the Captain. The only Watsonian reason I can come up with is that they don't want to make Adalind feel that welcome in their home, which I can't really blame either Monroe or Rosalee for, and putting her in a communal room puts her in a place where it's harder to plot and scheme behind their backs. It definitely serves to mark Adalind as Apart From Everyone Else. Monrosalee come down the stairs in their robes to help; as far as late night interruptions go, a crying baby is one of the most benign they've had. Rosalee diagnoses a small fever! And no one, including Monroe who actually voices it, was surprised. Babies get sick now and again, and especially when they've been on the run in inclement weather. Granted, not all babies send clocks whirling when they get sick and croupy, but hey. Everyone gets even more agitated, and the noise from all the clocks can't be helping the baby calm down. How about upping the stakes and getting a mysterious stranger approaching from the outside? Because that's always fun! Just as things start to look like the poor kid's going to explode some clocks, with Monroe running between them because they're his baaaaaaabies, everything quiets back down and the creepy purple glow goes away. No, she didn't just magic her fever away, it's Kelly! Who, yes, still gives no fucks for manners or this time door locks, Monroe, ask a silly question. I initially postulated that the baby had imprinted on Momma Burkhardt; I don't know if that's exactly what's going on but, yeah. It's scary.

Meanwhile, Viktor onna plane! Which is actually an awful lot like snakes on a plane, at least in the traditional Western portrayal of snakes as cold-blooded and vicious. (Untrue except in the most technical sense on the first adjective, but eh, we'll go with it.) At least there's no literal red carpet there, but hey, that's a familiar-ish tan trenchcoat! Renard comes by his tastes honestly? Sort of. I'd also like to know why Viktor's in three competing colors like that, with the yellow-tan, the pale blue, and the dark blue with assorted other colors in his tie. Down to the diamonds and crosses pattern, which, what, is supposed to remind us of the Crusades? I don't mind the symbolism, I'm just confused by the color palette. There is really no reason for the gratuitous German in this scene, and I say it as someone who enjoys picking the languages apart. Quickly dropping that, we're on to where's the baby and what are they up to type discussions. No one knows who Kelly is, so at least her anonymity is somewhat intact, but they're still all coming in for a bloody fate. Particularly Renard, if the feeb has anything to say about it. Viktor is more than happy to give Renard to the feeb, except that the distant way he says that implies to me at least that he doesn't intend the feeb to see the end of this either. Whether it's a You Have Failed Me For The Last Time type of death or a Tie Up All Loose Ends death doesn't really matter, does it. Meanwhile Hank is getting surveillance shots of all of this, for identification later.

Over at Chez Silverton-Burkhardt Nick and Juliette are... shopping for cars. Trucks? A truck with not much mileage on it. Smart money says getaway vehicle. Hank interrupts the shopping spree with a call to say that Viktor and company are leaving the airport, so, okay, time to get down to the precinct! Back in the Car of Royal Conspiracy they're passing around the address of the warehouse where Renard would like to meet. Viktor... either is always that Alan Rickman-y all the time or doesn't trust anything about this, or possibly both. The feeb indicates that he doesn't like this meeting place, calling it a good place to get ambushed and bringing up memories of the last Royal to get ambushed in a warehouse. Okay, technically he got ambushed by his ambushee, but still. We'll get to that again later. Viktor would also like to know why they're trusting this idiot with the message. Well, they did kind of blackmail him with arrest and charges of attempted murder of a police captain, so they do kind of have him in the proverbial rock and hard place. He is duly, then, hoping that the Royals will be somewhat more merciful (seriously, dude? what Royals have you been dealing with?) and have his back so that he's only facing one major threat. Viktor's reassurances that the Crown will not forget his good service are, well, less than reassuring. I'm not reassured. Renard, can you improve his face, too? No, probably not. To cap off this lack of anything resembling reassurance Viktor will disregard the meeting request and go straight to the source of the information.

Hello, the source! Renard is doing a less-than-stellar job of immersing himself in paperwork for a change, pretending very hard he's mostly focusing his attention between the computer screen (laptop again, presumably so that we can see all of Wu's face around the screen) and the paper report when we and probably Wu know better. Yes, the visitor downstairs has his attention, he's been waiting for this. I wonder how many times that day he's had someone unscheduled and nearly bit someone's head off. I wonder if Nick or Hank called him to give him fair warning. Hard to say, and it's one of those things that's not strictly necessary in an ep this tightly paced, but it would've been a nice character moment between the guys had they had time. Wu brings the maximum amount of sass to this announcement and really, Viktor? You're going around announcing yourself and all your names to the police sergeant? I mean, Wu's current state of questioning everything he knows to be real aside (and I don't doubt that's on the back burner somewhere), that's a) tacky and b) ill-advised. Renard knows who he is without the display of dominance, and Renard's entirely capable of acting like Viktor has the upper hand without that as well. Oh, well, nobody ever accused Viktor of being an intelligent bad guy. (Which is a shame, really. Denisof could do so much with one of those.) And it gives Sasha a chance to do one of those tiny facial tics of "really? seriously?" that he's so good at. Well, show him in! Hank and Nick are poring over the photos, fortunately on the computer facing away from where Viktor and his mooks are entering the precinct bullpen and snarking in typical cop fashion over what a prince looks like. Uh, Nick, you work with one every day, look for the one who's in charge? Hank will forestall any of this common sense by being the one to play spot the prince in all his in-person glory (I'm impressed I can type with my tongue this far into my cheek) rather than on the monitor. Aheh. Boys, I'm sure the Royals know what Nick looks like but could you maybe not turn to face the Captain's office right as the Prince walks in? You're giving away the homeworld.

Renard looks all manner of exhausted, upset, angry, fed the fuck up with this, Viktor, and everything, but he'll still pull on the flat formalities of welcome-to-Portland. It serves as a nice contrast between this, where he means absolutely none of it, and Monrosalee's place, where he means more than the formalities will allow him to convey. Standing up for looming, hands in pockets to hold himself still and not punch his cousin in the face in the middle of the precinct, oh Sean. Viktor paces like he's thinking about pissing in the corners of Renard's office. Please don't, that's smelly. And he brings up not just Eric's death, but also Cousin Menton's from s1, oh hey, someone remembers their continuity on this show. Yes, Renard's been responsible directly and indirectly for a couple of Royal deaths just that we know about. He also has on what we've taken to calling his Sam Adama look, and that's not even the assassin doing his job look, that's in the last ep of Caprica they made. At a funeral, turning on people he believed he could trust. Denisof chews on the scenery some more, they're gonna want to get set design in to buff out those teethmarks, snarking about how justice was never realized for either of those deaths. Yes, and at least one of those deaths served to land Viktor as the Crown Prince, and I wouldn't bet against him having used Cousin Anton's death in some way, so let's have no more of these mind games, asshole. Renard is having none of these mind games either, skipping the initial bout of jabbing at each other's defenses and going straight for blunt. Except Viktor has several trump cards lurking. Under normal circumstance, i.e., a Royal family that isn't a hotbed of corruption and screaming goatee evil, I'd even agree with him! A baby that powerful should absolutely be raised with all the resources you can muster available to it, but the problem is that nobody here has the baby's best interests at heart except possibly the scooby gang, Renard, and Adalind. I'm not even sure I count Kelly in that, as Gollumy and incapable of maintaining reasonable ethics as she is. Viktor proceeds to deliver his ultimate trump card: Renard has a two-hour deadline, and if he doesn't hand over his daughter, he, Adalind, and Maman Renard will have kill orders placed on them. I'm not sure I buy that Viktor will let them live anyway, but that last one is definitely a "wait, what?" moment. Renard even has an eyeflicker for it! As he should, because she's been in hiding to the best of anyone's knowledge. No, Viktor's ferreted out her current location, and yes, let's do punch Renard some more in the mother issues, because he doesn't have enough of those already. With that, Viktor will stalk out, secure in his omnipotence! Go him. No, seriously, get gone. Nick comes in after exchanging "who the fuck knows" with Hank to ask if Renard can really manage to do this, with more concern for his Captain's well-being than I think we've ever heard out of him. Yes, he's sure. Renard can do anything if you just let him keep all that well-tended emotional armor on, just ask him. Oh, hey, they got exteriors of the supposed police precinct, which by the way is in the north park blocks in Portland if anyone wants to take silly tourist shots, something we would never ever do of course not. (Just please don't try it while they're filming. They'd frown on that.) I will say that there is no way a limo doesn't get noticed by the general populace in that location, it's a very public, pedestrian-friendly area. Rispoli wants to know how it went in his turn, to which Viktor will assert his supremacy some more! Renard has no options! That's so cute. He is rightly worried about Kelly as a wild card, though he doesn't know what kind of a wild card she is (insert your semi-obscure shared-world fantasy references here, folks) and for a change he gets to profile someone accurately based on limited data! Yes, she's more aggressive than the men, though I wouldn't take that to mean more dangerous necessarily. In this case, yes; with other people it would be more along the lines of bravado or demonstration of willingness to kill, whether or not there's any intention to carry it out. In fact, I would say that that's exactly what she was doing, since they're using the feeb as their unwitting patsy in this whole scheme. Not that anyone's clever enough to realize this.

The police cars are pulling up outside Chez Monrosalee while the occupants and guests are inside having breakfast. Oh sweeties. Rosalee is offering to cook eggs for breakfast! It's probably been at least a couple of weeks since Adalind had regular hot meals, let alone eggs for breakfast. Not that she gets that full sentence out before there's a knock on the door, causing Monroe to give out one of those higher-pitched "What?"s that never fail to amuse. Yeah, that's the, what, third, fourth shoe that's now dropping? As the officer reads Kelly her charges, namely the murder of Catherine Schade. Yes, Adalind, the woman who's been protecting you the past few days also killed your mother. At least she's finding out this way and not the "Oh, right, I forgot about that" way. I think that would probably push her over some kind of edge.

After the break Adalind is freaking out over the phone at Renard, who is pacing restlessly about his office. No, he can't prevent this from going down, yes, she killed her mother, no, Nick didn't do that, and he needs her to come down to the station and make a statement. I have absolutely no idea why she's buying any of this, except that she's still a little bit in love with Renard and, I think, emotionally exhausted from not having anyone she can trust at least since Meisner. Plus the emotional whammy of discovering the woman she did trust and who saved her life has reason to kill her. Sadly, that's not a state unique to her and also not one that's likely to change anytime soon. Renard will continue to be a protective papa and reassure her that nothing's going to happen to her in a police station (would that be the same police station in which you called a hit down on two suspects in your custody?) and that he'll send a patrol car to pick her up. Please let it be Wu. No, sadly, it's some other hulking tree of a police officer, at least if that's the same person escorting her into the office. Renard's first concern, again, is for the baaaaaaaby, but it's a much less wary and on-edge concern than it was the other night at his condo at least. He'll also offer to hold the baby while she's in interrogation or what have you with the officer giving a statement, it won't take more than ten or fifteen minutes. He's actually a damn good liar and the only reason I'm calling him on it now is because there is no earthly reason of protocol or anything to separate her from the child, or to have her give the statement in a closed room. The problem of Nick being pissed about his mom getting arrested is waved off, which would otherwise be a question of how on earth anyone thinks that would happen except Nick kind of has spent the past couple episodes going MOM STOP KILLING PEOPLE. It's kind of a thing. So, she hands the baby off to Renard and tells him that she's finally thought of a name. Apparently we now have Princess Diana. Oh that's real auspicious, though Renard's first thought is Greek mythology. Which, okay, yes, is auspicious. Let's also not forget though that it's the name of another princess who died in a fairly frightening manner. Maybe that's balanced out by the Amazonian warrior princess. To sum up, there is no shortage of potential references here, and it'll be interesting to see which ones they go with. Renard, lighten the hell up, would you? At least while Adalind's in the room. Okay, yes, he's smiling, at least a very Renard smile (which is moderately better than the Sasha smile of last episode, I love that man but his joyful expressions do not look like Renard's) but his facial and vocal tension is through the roof, making him stiff and slightly awkward. Anyway. Off Adalind goes to give her statement, and we sit here squinting at Renard wondering just what the fuck he's up to this time.

So, it seems, is Adalind, because that's not an officer waiting to take her statement, that's Kelly. Who apparently has decided that she owes Adalind an explanation, bet that's a first. Also possibly a lie. Adalind is not interested in any explanations, Kelly killed her mother and that's all she needs to know. Kelly takes her time explaining how she went there looking for answers about Juliette, and Catherine didn't want to give up her daughter, and so a fight ensued, etc. While Kelly stalls, because by now it's perfectly clear that it is a stall, Renard comes out of the precinct with baby in arms and a resigned, sad expression on his face. Particularly with that last look at the perfectly happy baaaaaaaby. There's definitely some fussing over that baby going on, constantly tugging and pulling gently at the blanket. Also I'm betting they filmed this in a couple different chunks so the actual baby was outside for the least amount of time possible, on account of we get the one clear shot of it and then a swaddle of blankets. Back in the interview room Adalind offers as close as she'll get to an apology, which is that Nick took her powers (and, not that anyone's delving into the psychology of this, a good portion of her identity and ability to defend herself) and she was angry for that. But yes, she got them back, and that's not at all a friendly look she's directing at Momma Burkhardt when she says that. Trust me, Kelly, you wouldn't care if you knew who died to bring Adalind's powers back, though that does indicate that Frau Pech isn't actually possessing anyone. Or if she is, none of our mains and regular guests know anything that would indicate that's a possibility. At any rate, no one gives a single solitary fuck for Frau Pech and the question is more by way of reminding Adalind what her life is like, followed by Kelly explaining that she gave her son up because her life was unsuitable to raise a child in. Cue sideways glances of concern from Hank for Nick, and I like that they gave us that little glimpse, humanizing the sacrifice some. Adalind still is not in the forgiving vein today, so Kelly spells it out further for her, and it's about the time where she starts talking about sacrificing what you love most that she gets it. And you can see the dawning comprehension, and lo Claire Coffee did break a thousand thousand hearts that day. Out of the room she goes, and of all the things she's done in the last couple episodes that's the one that punches Kelly right in the feels, as we say on the internet. She doesn't react much, but we can see that it hurts to say that to another mother. And it hurts to remember what happened. Nick, watching it, gives a few satisfied nods and a jawclench, though it's hard to say what the satisfaction is for. There's a few possibilities, ranging from the most immediate of a job carried out to some small measure of satisfaction that his mother's finally showing some pain for what she did to him.

Renard continues to the waiting limo, looking like he's going to throw up from what he's about to do, namely hand the baby over to the Royals. Not that this will stop him from doing it anyway. And still looking like he's about to throw up. Or turn into a whirling kung fu demon of death, one of the two. There's a distinct and visibly overwhelming amount of self-loathing here, never mind that he's been resigned and tired of what he's become all episode, here he's actively hating this, Viktor, and himself. About as much so as Viktor is smugging it up! He will now leave without a word, and just so we're clear on how horrible this is, the Captain gets to walk the lonely walk by himself back to the precinct house while the music goes all minor key and mournfully regal in the background. Given the extent of his self-loathing I really wonder how much he got arm-twisted into this plan by Kelly and/or Nick, mostly Kelly, which is something that alas we do not see so that those of us less familiar with false flag ops can be fooled into thinking this was a genuine handoff right up until the end. If the answer, as suggested by the actors' mannerisms, really is "a lot," no points for guessing how far up our shit list Kelly's moved. Adalind picks up the theme running down the corridor and into the main office, looking around, doesn't see Renard, grabs Wu. No, Wu just saw him walking out a couple minutes ago, so Adalind races after while poor Wu's still talking. I kind of hope he never finds out she's the one who made him sick unto eating chapstick and couch cushions. Adalind does manage to catch Renard on his way back in, and it's a good thing he's so much larger and more combat trained than she is (read: at all, Adalind really needs to get some physical combat lessons) because the mood she's in I would not be surprised if he finished out this day with bruises somewhere. Also I really want to know what the entire rest of the precinct makes of someone screaming "where's my daughter" at a very ashamed and self-hating looking Captain, because that's going to go flying around the water-cooler for days. He's going to at least attempt an explanation which, no, sorry Renard, no explanation is good enough for that kind of executive decision about the fate of someone's child. Not just your child, either. His voice is less than steady, and he does have a good point that Viktor and henchjagers probably would have killed them both and taken the baby, but there is going to be a price exacted for not consulting with the baby's mother about this whole plan. This, too, is why Renard/Adalind would never work out, because neither of them seem inclined to consult with or listen to each other, running roughshod over each other's opinions and never sitting down to discuss what the hell they do next. In Renard's case it's at least as much ingrained feudalism absorbed from being a Royal bastard as anything, but now he's really been a bastard in the much more colloquial and pejorative sense. Kick him in the junk, Adalind, he deserves it. No? No. She will, admittedly, prioritize running after her child, which would be fine if it wasn't several minutes too late. Apparently woge form Hexenbiest screams are enough to shatter glass, as Claire goes on to shatter all our hearts with sobbing in the streets. Dammit, Claire Coffee, stop being so damn good at your job. (As always, I kid. Never stop.)

The limo of cackling evil is now a nighttime shoot, with Viktor doing his own Gollum impression over the baby. There's some care in how he's holding the baby, which is to say he's not incompetent at doing so (and I'd be shocked if Denisof were incompetent at it; you can always tell the actors with kids, nieces/nephews, or sibs they've been instrumental in raising) but the expression on his face is all MINE MINE I WON MINE gloating. Rispoli confirms arrangements with someone at the airport, oh hey, that locket's fallen open at some point to reveal baby!Nick. And glowing violet eyes as baby Diana snaps it shut. Not for you, Viktor. You no can has even a pictorial representation of the Grimm. Also your coffee is dripping and forming a death's head in the window. You might want to get that looked at. I have to admit, right up until now I was hoping that the baby was either creating an illusion for Viktor and his mooks, or that she was going to murderate them same as she's killed several people up until now. I suppose that would've been too much baby ex machina, though. Yes. Do exchange uneasy looks and then stare warily at the extremely powerful baby that just told you it wants to kill you. Better solution: don't go around stealing the powerful baby away from where it wants to be. Even if there's not a prophesy, that never ends well. In this case it will end immediately poorly for them, though not in the sense of bodies dropping, more's the pity. I know these are supposedly our good guys, but when the best thing you can say about them is that at least they don't kill people to tie up loose ends, your morality really isn't. And frankly these are bodies that it would be useful to drop, not that I think anyone wants Papa Renard to land on anyone's head, but he's been awfully Fisher King-suspiciously absent all through this series. No, we have five people with guns of various kinds all in black with ski masks and Ray-Bans (hey, nice continuity touch, it means if anyone woges out they won't see there are two Grimms here!) demanding the child in halfway decent German. I can only assume Monroe spent awhile making sure that sounded right, except if anything tips Viktor off it'll be the use of Widerstand instead of Lauffeuer, which we know to be the more common name for the Resistance in German. At least, if they're going with continuity in all the fine details, and since this writer apparently rewatched a lot of s1 including the ep in which the Lauffeuer was first mentioned I'd be a bit surprised if it weren't accurate down to that as well. Kelly takes the baby, nobody except Renard is particularly identifiable in the combat scene without rewinding a lot more, mainly because it's at night, they're dressed identically, and the cameras are cutting back and forth to indicate more action than is really happening. The trio of badassery takes the back of the limo while Hank is their getaway driver and Monroe rides shotgun, hilariously enough, and wants someone to confirm how awesome his German is. The only two people who could are more focused on the baaaaaaaby and overwhelming guilt. So yes, this is a false flag and no, they're not going to inform Adalind of what they've done. Honestly, if they brought Diana back to Adalind, gave her a chance to say goodbye, and explained what they were doing and why they'd done it (I mean, really, Adalind is not that good of an actress and making her reactions genuine helped the initial handoff), she might someday have forgiven Sean. Maybe. This way? No way no how never happening. Kelly insists that this is what needs to be done, and here's one of the few instances where I think we see the presumed arm-twisting from earlier this episode, because Renard looks horribly doubtful about this whole thing. Oh to have been a fly on that wall and have a better idea about how much we should be punching each of the players involved. I can't even blame Nick, who's doing the best he can with the very, very limited data and time he has to absorb it. Everyone else in the car will kind of gulp at the seriousness of the situation.

And Kelly continues her tradition of driving out of Portland with The Most Valuable Thing Ever in her vehicle. Seriously, Kelly, what is it with you and running off with all the quest items? Gollum, much? Right down to the laugh somewhere between a cackle and a chortle as we close out on baby Diana telekineting the plastic ring of keys up in the air. Yes, please teach her not to do that in public, and can you not raise the kid in utter isolation? That way lies Galahad-esque issues. Speaking of, we should revisit our Grail Quest posts at some point, because now Renard is squarely in the Lancelot spot, with Adalind as Elaine and Kelly as the Lady of the Lake. You're all welcome. I hope you weren't using those brain cells. Bonus points for the moral ambiguity of the Lady of the Lake in various rewrites of the myths; she's a force of nature, not a moral force. Similarly, I think we're seeing both enjoyment of having a small child around and glee over the amount of power in the front seat of her car (by the way, BABIES DON'T GO IN THE FRONT SEAT EVEN A CAR SEAT DAMMIT KELLY, though that's probably a filming choice for ease of getting both of them in the same shot and not resorting to mirrors. Why you would not resort to mirrors in an ep like this is beyond me, hello symbolism, but okay)    , not one or the other.

Next week on Grimm! There's another Grimm in town, and she's addicted to killing? And may not have had anyone to help her through the initial period of seeing Wesen everywhere, not even the little bit that Nick did! Hoooooo boy. The metaplot is entirely missing from this promo, which has Filler Ep written all over it, but on the other hand maybe we'll learn some things about the overall mythology of the show as a result. And I assume the metaplot will continue as the B or C plot, too, as per usual. Not that we're hitting up SpoilerTV and Twitter on the regular for sneak peeks. We would never.

1 comment:

  1. The Scooby Gang's set-up with handing over the baby and then staging a Resistance theft was probably a good idea. It may have even been a good idea to not tell Adalind (initially) in order to get the genuine reaction that they did, as to throw the Royals off their trail. HOWEVER! I agree that not telling her afterward about what happened or including her in the plan in any way at any point was a BIG BAD IDEA. People remember what happened the last time that something Adalind cared about was taken away from her, right? Yeah, she's a high-class city girl who likes expensive shoes and whines when it rains, but she will also walk barefoot over broken glass to the ends of the earth to win back what she loves by any means necessary. And she just got a massive hexenbiest reboot. And you, dear Scooby Gang, have just put yourselves on her permanent shit list.

    Also, not gonna lie…kinda wish that Rosalee and Monroe were gonna play Ma and Pa Kent to Lil' Spoon Bender. But to be fair, that would be waaaaaaaay too much stress on their relationship at this point, and would also place the baby way too close to certain Wesen establishments with which Rosalee is connected. And from a dramatic perspective, there's a lot of fun to be had from watching these two characters develop through the typical "seasons of life." If we skip over the stress of wedding planning and go straight to harboring the Chosen One, we miss out on a lot of that fun. (Although seriously, how cute would it have been if Lil' Spoon Bender could've grown up playing with Bud the Eisebieber's kids? You know, a small circle of friends so she's still keeping a low profile, but isn't entirely cut off from social interaction either.)

    That said…really, guys? You chose KELLY to be the baby's caretaker? I mean…KELLY?! Yeah, I know she's a mother and she's the one that everyone thinks is dead and she's highly experienced at the whole lay-low-and-murderize-threats level of protection, but…KELLY?! This is the woman who's spent the last 20 years emotionally and physically isolating herself, who struggles to hold a two-minute conversation that doesn't involve security protocols, who has only just barely reached the point of not beheading every Wesen she meets on impulse, whose ideas of strength and weakness and discipline are nothing short of pants-peeingly scary. THIS is the person who's supposed to give Lil' Spoon Bender the most normal, healthy, loving upbringing possible, that she might grow to be a great leader for good rather than an unstoppable force of evil? THIS?! I know it was supposed to be a cute line and all, but when she said "I've got to teach you not to do that in public," all I could think of was poor repressed Diana who can't go to the other kids' birthday parties, followed by confused adolescent Diana, followed by angry teenager Diana.

    We are so screwed.

    And yes, this trend of Kelly driving out of town with various Rings of Power? Kind of unsettling. Especially since last we'd heard, she hadn't gotten rid of the coins yet. For as long as they've been in her possession, they could've easily corrupted her by now at least a little. We're throwing an extremely volatile purple-eyed Anakin Skywalker into the mix? Oh joy…

    (By the way, when Diana levitated those little plastic keys, I was like, "HOW MANY KEYS ARE ON THE RING? PLEASE LET THERE BE SEVEN!" But no, there were five.)

    All in all…I felt these last two episodes were really solid. I hope they follow up on the moral ambiguity of what the Scooby Gang has done, though. And I don't mean outright justifying it, either—I mean a good long look into the abyss of the metaphorical Grimm's eyes.