Monday, May 28, 2012

Analysis S1E03 BeeWare

Yes, I ran out of clever quotes. It’s the last day of my weekend, and I’m procrastinating my edits for a different project, so you know what that means? More character analysis of Captain Renard! Because nothing says obsessive fangirl like going over every inch of information with a fine-toothed comb.

The first thing we see of him is him coming over from someone else’s desk, presumably from checking in with another team of detectives. Interestingly, his suit coat is left behind in his office or wherever, indicating a hectic day. Initially, though, he’s behind the one thing in that entire office that could hide him: the pillar. So we don’t see him until he pops out and tells Nick and Hank to give their full attention to this. He also gives a plausible Captain’s reason, two of them actually (people scared to use public transportation and a powerful legal figure raising a fuss about the case), but given that we know that he knows the victim is a Hexenbiest it’s entirely probable he also wants his pet Grimm on the case. He checks in with them quickly and goes back to work, brisk and efficient. Reinforced later when Wu tells Hank and Nick that the Captain is “taking a keen interest in this one.”

Interestingly, no one seems bothered by this. Maybe a little bit surprised, but not even much of that. And for all that Wu says the Captain’s taking an interest in the case the Captain himself doesn’t show up much or interrupt the course of the investigation. One of many times we see his ruling/commanding style as being efficient and pragmatic on several levels, giving all of his detectives equal time and full attention, enough to get the gist of the case and allocate it some resources,  but never focusing too much on any one pair of detectives or case without a damn good reason. Yes, he’s still keeping an eye on the streetcar case, but he’s not hovering over Nick and Hank’s shoulders or breathing down their neck.

Besides, his missing suit jacket, rumpled shirt, and slightly unkempt tie indicates that he’s got more than enough to keep him running around the police station for the moment. At a guess, he doesn’t have time to do more than ask for updates.

And, you know, go to the crime scene before Hank and Nick can get there. It’s the next day, and Renard’s tie confirms it, as does the presence of his suit jacket. Presumably he’s less busy.

This time it’s not Renard’s actions that interest me immediately so much as Nick and Hank’s. I wonder if they would look so dismayed if the Captain hadn’t been kneeling beside their victim. Renard doesn’t say or do anything to chastise them, so presumably it’s either chagrin at another victim or their sense of respect for the Captain making them embarrassed, or both. Interestingly, for such a big guy, Roiz balances on the balls of his feet when he crouches down like this, and it’s not the only time in this series. Presumably both Roiz and Renard have been trained in some form of physical art, martial arts or performance art or both. The Captain doesn’t have much to do in this scene; his presence at the crime scene before the detectives underscores the attention he’s paying to the case, but he stays behind while Nick calls for protective custody for Adelind Schade. We don’t see his face as Nick walks off saying this, more’s the pity.

When the Captain leads the detectives into his office he’s got his wary face on, the face he has I think most often when he’s dealing with something that concerns both the Prince and the Captain, and he has to juggle both roles and the Masquerade. As he does in this scene, with Adelind. Let’s Pretend We Never Met. Nick, of course, recognizes Adelind. Renard has a much better pokerface, introducing himself as the Captain and his detectives. Of note: this is one of the very few times we ever hear his name spoke. He is always, to his detectives, the Captain. Even when they’re calling for uniforms to check his house because he might be in trouble.

This is also the first time we get a good look at his office. The first thing I remember noticing, back when I first watched this episode, is that it’s very, very tidy for a police Captain’s office. His secret Wesen ability is clearly to keep the paperwork under control. He has a few pictures, a few awards and of all things, a few eagle sculptures. Not exactly common, but not exactly stand-out either. Of more note is the picture of a baby behind him on the desk, not in his direct line of view as most people have their family pictures, but still close. Not something he wants distracting him in the day to day, then. But something or someone he wants to remember and possibly honor.

He pokes Nick some about Adelind, at first with his soft concerned purr and then with his Captain’s voice, being a good Captain and making sure his detective is focused and on point. Nick chooses the astoundingly hilarious phrase of “I don’t know anything more about her than you do” and we’re treated to the look of uh-HUH from the Captain. This is his believing you face, Nick. Really. Promise. He holds Nick’s gaze for long enough to make Nick squirm under the lie, then lets it go because he doesn’t have anything to pin Nick with. The way they light him in this scene makes him look a bit sinister, shadowed and reflected from below. Captain, my dear, if you’re losing the light through your windows you might do well to turn on some of those lamps you have in your office, I’m just saying.

Not that he stays in it long. Nick runs his mouth in interrogation and then goes to track down the Mellifer, while the Captain skulks over to Adelind. Very obvious skulking, too, with a fair bit of glancing around. We see him in the background look over his shoulder at Nick and Hank walking away, and then he does a bit of looking around as he comes to the doorway of the interrogation room. Once again his hands are tucked in his pockets. So, most likely, that is a tell of clandestine, covert behavior. His posture isn’t slouched or furtive, though, so one assumes that anyone who sees him talking to the woman in interrogation room whatever doesn’t see anything wrong with the Captain following up on a case. His voice is low when he speaks to Adelind, but not soft, not like before, which makes me less than reassured by his promise not to let anything happen to Adelind. He does give us the tidbit of “Serena and Camilla are not you,” which implies that she’s special in some way. He certainly goes out of his way to imply a more romantic or at least sexual interest in her later, and we see the connection with her mother, but given later episodes I have to wonder if he’s singling her out as special for reasons of vengeance against her mother even as early as this episode. I’ll go into that more later, though.

And then the next we see of the Captain he’s in the viewing room with Hank, Nick, and Wu. Arms folded, hands tucked again. “This better work,” he says, not with any particular grimness (pardon the pun) but with definite gravitas. Not so much a threat as the Captain being growly about a case and a perp he wants to put away.  ”How quick does this stuff work” sort of amuses me, considering he has a smartphone and he does seem to know how to use it. On the other hand, he probably doesn’t make much use of social media, and he might be asking more about the tracing than the actual usage of Twitter.

“AS, Adelind Schade.” I’m not sure what to make of the shift to focus on Renard’s face here, and his blink-and-eyeflicker. Is it concern? For Adelind or the Masquerade? We could go with any number of Watsonian or Doylist explanations here, the Doylist explanation most likely being at this point Roiz knows that Renard is a figure of authority both in and out of the Masquerade, and Adelind is his people, therefore Renard is concerned about his people. The Watsonian explanation comes potentially in many flavors. Is Renard concerned about his people both as Captain and as Prince? Is he wondering what Adelind will say to Nick while she’s under his protection, or what the Mellifers will say? (Incidentally, who the hell is this mysterious ‘he’ who is coming? It isn’t likely to be Renard, he’s already there.) Is Renard concerned for Adelind on a more personal level, as he pretends to be later and as she seems to want him to be? Irritatingly vague, and the last we see of our dear Captain. Until next time.

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