So. THAT happened. Also, I would like to register a complaint about the opening credits. I severely dislike them. Also also I would like to register a complaint about how much research frenzy the second season premiere induced in me and my partner in profiling. We spent far too many hours digging through our information base on the Crusades, the dynasties, the Holy Roman Empire…
We like chewing on the show, okay?? XD Don’t look at us like that.
I said don’t look at us like that!
So, the first thing we get is the Captain bursting in on Nick’s
aftermath with Kimura with the rest of the crew. Yay! Complete with a
perfectly legitimate reason to be there, because as Captain and having
experienced firsthand the psychosis of someone bent on stalking and
torturing his people including him, he gets to go along. There’s the
usual sit-rep and just in case we didn’t get it from his expression,
there’s a good series of close-up shots first on his face, then on
Kimura’s (backwards) back tattoos, then on his face again. Whether or
not Renard can read Japanese, and I wouldn’t put it past him, he
recognizes those symbols. Also of note: there are ten coins visible on
his back. And also ten coins of Zakynthos, if I remember right.
They roll Kimura, the Captain holsters his gun, more discussion of
what happened. Just in case we didn’t get that he was a benevolent and
protective Captain at all last season they give him the line “I don’t
want him hurting anybody else,” which is adorable. He snaps up like a
good cop and folds his coat back, habitual, and he asks after Juliette,
as a good police captain who knows his men would do. He expects Juliette
to be home, as she would ordinarily be. I know he’s taking a special
interest in Nick because Nick is HIS Grimm, but I suspect he also would
do that for any other officer with family because that’s how he rolls.
Feudal lords and their responsibilities, the good ones, that is. He’s
their Captain, he’s responsible for them, that includes checking on the
well being of their support network when a crisis is going on. There’s
even some quiet concern that sounds real in that “what?” when Nick says
she’s in the hospital. Adsartha: The fact that Nick
didn’t immediately say “my girlfriend needs medical attention” is
plausibly a good sign, but Renard knows not to take anything for
It’s opportunistic, but I believe that him suggesting Nick go to the
hospital to be with Juliette is also a way of getting him off Kimura so
the Captain have some alone time with his prisoner. And by alone time we
mean vicious and vengeful interrogation. That said, the responsibility
of the Captain and the Prince is no doubt also driving him.
Something about the way he looks at that dart makes me think he
either knows Kelly Burkhardt or knows the reputation of the
Burkhardt-Kessler family, and is now wondering what tore up that house
and why Nick had help. Consider what he knows: He knows that Nick’s a
Grimm. He knows Nick’s pretty much had to learn by doing since he isn’t
aware that Nick has Monroe and Rosalee to help him. Probably. He might
well be by now, but that’d be new information. He knows that Nick has
access to at least some of Marie Kessler’s resources, and he knows who she is. Now, what he probably
knows, he probably knows that Nick’s parents were Grimms and he
probably knows that Kelly Burkhardt was kind of a badass, that sounds
like a reputation that would have gotten around. There’s a premise that
he was aware of what happened to Nick’s parents at the time of their
deaths (well, supposed deaths) so assuming that is the case, it’s also
possible that he knows or now knows that Kelly Burkhardt is alive, and
knows about her Grimming style.
And with all of that chewed over, we don’t have too much more information except the look he gives that dart is very much a sigh here we go type of look. Or possibly a well, Nick’s been raiding his aunt’s equipment look. Which he knew from the bat device fuckup.
He doesn’t ask Nick, though. Nor does anyone ask Nick why Kimura was
half-undressed, which I find a little odd. Though maybe they had the
conversation off screen, Nick could easily have claimed he saw the edges
of tattoos and wanted a better look at the identifying marks
considering he already is known to have done some research with Hank on
the organizations to which Kimura belongs. Renard makes protective
noises, leaving officers and anything he can do to help Juliette, and
then leaves. He has Kimura and Nick seems okay, there’s no reason for
him to keep nosing around.
Next, Renard’s day job as a police captain gives him the perfect
excuse to just walk into hospital rooms, apparently. It’s only
stretching plausibility a little, too. We get a shot of him reflected in
the glass, nicely ominous, but also a protective or watchful
implication. He goes in and pulls the privacy shield, and his moves are
smooth and with purpose. It’s a subtle emphasis of his authority and his
knowledge about these kinds of things, nothing about this startles or
surprises him. There is no hesitation as he checks Juliette’s eyes, just
a dismayed sigh. He recognizes at least the symptoms of a Hexenbiest
spell. Though as we saw from the last one, there are probably dozens of
spells with the same symptoms, so finding a cure will be tricky.
He walks up to Adelind’s mother’s house with long, quick strides.
It’s one of the few times we see him walking by himself, i.e. not
adjusting his pace to match someone shorter (which is everyone else in
the damn cast) and the way he covers ground is impressive. He pounds on
the door, she opens it, and unlike last time he doesn’t wait for her to
invite him in, just walks in and starts looking around and demanding to
know where Adelind is. His body language is tense, angry, visible in the
way he holds his head and his trying not to clench his fists.
I find it interesting both that he assumes Catherine keeps tabs on
her daughter and/or is close to her, and Catherine assumes that she
doesn’t need to or shouldn’t have to. My guess is it’s either him
projecting the responsibilities of head of household onto Catherine or,
more poignantly, he has an idea of what family and parents should be.
And I would lean more heavily towards the latter, given the glimpses of
pictures we saw in his house. She comments on his line of questioning
and calls it old-school, highlighting that Renard’s attitude on parents
and children is unusual. Which also implies interesting and sad things
about Catherine’s ideas of Renard’s (or Royalty in general?) childhood.
Catherine’s behavior shrieks Inherited Mommy/Female Issues, so no
surprises there, though it’s nice to have the confirmation.
I love the blocking in this next scene. First we have Renard in the
position of head of household while he’s detailing Adelind’s crimes,
rooted stance and standing in front of the mantel facing Catherine, who
is in the foreground representing the audience with her back to the
camera. Catherine asks if he can really blame Adelind after what Nick
did to her and Renard snaps, yes. While turning away and fidgeting with
his hands and face, shoulders drawing up a bit, which to me indicates
residual guilt. As cold as he was when he turned Adelind away, he
doesn’t have the same confidence in that decision now as he did (or
projected) at the time. He stuffs his hands in his pockets, too, when he
says that Adelind should stay out of things she does not understand.
Deception and fraud, in this case, the deception is his confidence.
“Well, maybe you played with her heart a little too freely and that
confused her.” I cannot begin to describe the ways it is obvious that
she’s not just talking about Adelind. We’ll go with a quick list:
stubborn and proud angle of the head, sharp enunciation, word emphasis.
Interestingly, the camera focuses in on Renard not as he looks at her,
but as he looks in the mirror. Which could be any of several reasons,
most of which I suspect will become more obvious after the next episode.
He could be using it to avoid looking directly at her, which would tie
in with the victim posture from the last Catherine episode when she
groped him on the couch. He could be using it to avoid looking at her
because of his own feelings on the Nick and Adelind and him affair, the
production crew could be using it to put Renard in the mirror as a way
of highlighting duplicity and conspiracy. Or, given that Catherine is
clearly supposed to be the Mirror Queen, it could signify Renard is
about to be trapped by her spells. I do favor that last one, given other factors, but we’ll see.
When he answers why he cares about Juliette’s fate the camera follows
his turn, first Mirror Renard, then side views/back views of his head
and face, then full on by the time he’s saying “… to Portland, to me.”
It obscures the tells he’d normally give off whether or not that’s truly
the main or only reason he wants Juliette cured. That might be on
purpose or, again, it might be highlighting everyone’s duplicitousness
considering for a moment there we get multiple Renards/multiple faces of
Renard. Renard explains the basics of good ally-building to Catherine
while she watches him and decides whether or not she believes him and
what to do about it. And then there’s the expected threat, which is very
much an expected threat because there is little in his voice or
expression to suggest he believes it. And he leaves, and she doesn’t
look as perturbed as he’d probably like her to. More contemplative. Note
that she never takes her eyes off him in this scene, which, in contrast
to the last episode when he was in her home, is more about
self-preservation than lust. She knows damn well he could snap her in
half if he wanted.
First of all, we get a good long shot of Renard walking up to his
office, albeit broken some by the office windows and their blinds. I
remain convinced that the camera loves these angles because Sasha Roiz
has a confident, sexy stride. Him and his longass legs. There’s some
discussion about the ship with the bloodbath, and possibly GQR
Industries will be important later. Although right now I like to think
it stands for GQ Renard. Hank’s pronunciation is painfully American as
he says the container and therefore the Mauvais Dentes came out of Le
Havre. For those of you playing at home, Le Havre was under German
occupation during WWII, which somewhat ties in with the Axis and Allies
parallel that may or may not be purposefully drawn so far, with the
Royal Families on the Axis side. (More on that later.) So, the ship
“traveled” sort of down the north and west European coast, from
Rotterdam to Le Havre over to Portland. Which is sort of a long-ass
journey considering it’s now in Portland.
Renard has his laptop this time instead of his monitor and reminds us
all that the Feds have jurisdiction over this case, on account of
international. Nick raises the customary objections both for him wanting
control over all wesen-related cases and as a nod to the usual
jurisdiction issues that come up as a way of securing dramatic tension.
Before we can get any more exposition or back and forth the FBI shows
up, and Renard introduces himself and the detectives by shaking hands
and standing very very straight and tall. He doesn’t quite loom over the
FBI, the blocking and direction doesn’t allow for it, but we do get a
wide shot that shows how much bigger than everyone else he is. No
question who’s the authority in the room.
Can I just say how sexy it is that our dear Captain can command
obedience and loyalty with a quiet word? All he says is “Hey, Nick.” and
Nick shuts up and backs down. No one questions him. Even the FBI
doesn’t pull rank which, if you’ve seen any cop shows involving
interdepartmental cooperation, you know the usual trope is for there to
be departmental friction and a lot of “we’re taking over” style
belligerence. Not here. The FBI is deferential and Renard is gracious.
And it’s hot. The FBI nods, takes the file, and leaves.
Cut to the jail, the holding cell with Kimura, looking somewhat the
worse for his encounter with two Grimms. Oops. Renard stalks up and
buttons his coat, which he’s now done twice that I’ve taken note of upon
confronting/dealing with an enemy supposedly on his own and separated
from his backers, when he’s acting as the Prince. And he sticks his
hands in his pockets for concealment of intentions. The blocking of the
scene doesn’t allow for us to see both of their faces at once, so the
camera switches back and forth between them. We start out with a sort of
a three-quarters shot of Renard talking through the bars on his left,
and then it’s back and forth with their faces between the bars. His
speech here is less formal than we’ve heard him in the past, I’m
thinking specifically of the Freienreden with the siegebarste and how he
treated Edgar Waltz. Using phrases such as “If I’d’a gotten to you
first” and “woulda been better for you.” And then in the middle of that
sentence he pulls up and becomes more enunciated and precise in his
speech. I’m honestly not sure if that’s a Sasha Roiz thing or a Renard
thing. Particularly since it happens right around “had you known what I
am,” when he implies Kimura should be aware of his Royal background.
And now Renard knows who has the coins. Or thinks he does, anyway,
and we know he’s right. Difficult to tell if Kimura even knows or
guessed at any point during this conversation that Renard is Royalty,
they’re playing him incredibly inscrutable. Kimura blusters
dispassionately that he would have gotten the coins, that he was
blindsided by two Grimms, and we see Renard pause before leaving. That
pause is the only sign he gives Kimura that he didn’t know about the
second Grimm and, as we will soon see, it doesn’t much matter. But I
still want to know if that was a pause of confirmed suspicions or
assimilating new information. I want to know if Renard suspected there
was a second Grimm and, if so, if he suspected who it was at any point.
I’m just going to address a few things here about the man torturing
the Resistance person and controlling the Mauvais Dentes even though he
hasn’t been given a name yet. Yes, he is Eric Renard, our Captain’s
(older?) brother. We get a subtle cue for this, his clothing is
reminiscent of our Captain Prince’s clothing, the dark jacket, the
purple shirt. But where the Captain is always almost immaculately tidy
and pressed, his brother is lightly rumpled, no tie, and khaki pants
with his dark jacket. And, of course, as we see when he picks up the
phone, he also has a ring. He does, however, move with the same casual
grace and confidence that Renard has. Due to their different body types,
Eric’s is more delicate and insidious, less emphatic and occupying less
space. Eric speaks with Frain’s usual? (I’ve never heard the actor in
interviews so I don’t actually know) smooth British purr, subdued
received pronunciation, his manner very casual aristocracy. Talking of
dinner plans and fine wines over a tortured person and more concerned
with his phone call than the torture. He shows no sign of being
discomfited by what he’s ordering, but he’s clearly not getting his
hands dirty. It’s a significant and powerful introduction for a
character we may or may not be seeing a lot of later.
And I have to say, it bugs me that his pronunciation of the French is
very British-person-speaking-French where his brother’s is very much
more, French. (Possibly French Canadian, it’s been a while since I’ve
had opportunity to pay attention to French accents.) (Adsartha:
It is French-Canadian.) There’s some conversation, some reference to
the families, about what you’d expect from where the plot is going right
now. And more on Eric and his pet cat later as well.
Phone call from Catherine! Renard has more crap on his desk, I note.
I’m pretty sure that particular bird wasn’t there before, and it’s more
peacock than his usual eagles. As we saw earlier, the peacock is
Catherine’s bird, which might be foreshadowing. Or it might just be that
props and set decoration decided the Captain needed more crap on his
desk. There’s also a box that I don’t remember seeing before, but which
might certainly have been there. The round crystal was there, I don’t
remember if it was in that housing. The laptop is still there. Unusually
we get a side angle on him this time, with his back to the blinds and
the rest of the office, on his more usual right hand side when he’s
sitting at his desk. Not sure if this is significant or just a lighting
Caller ID means no one has to wait for people on the other end of
phones to announce themselves anymore! He picks up with a simple “what
did you find out.” Because he has no interest in talking to her if she’s
not going to be useful. Catherine explains that she can’t find Adelind
but she thinks she can reverse what happened to Juliette, and she’s very
cagey about how she plans to do this. Of course given the very direct
and blunt Sleeping Beauty reference and the fact that Renard is a
prince, we can have some idea of how this is meant to go down. Given the
hulkfit Renard seems to be having in previews for the next episode, I’m
really intrigued by all this and questioning whether what Catherine intends to do is meant to involve Juliette at all.
And finally we have Renard speaking French, much to the delight and
pants-wetting of fangirls everywhere. Yes, including me. In fact I was
so distracted by his lovely French that I completely failed to notice
the first couple of times that the conversation indicates he didn’t know
for certain there were two Grimms. I still wonder whether or not he
suspected, but evidently he didn’t know for sure. The subtitles in this
instance are pretty accurate for those of you who were wondering (I know
we have French speakers following Grimm, yay!) and I note that he uses
the slightly less formal and more visceral veux instead of voudrais. He
also pronounces the ‘oui’ as more ‘ouay’, which, again, could be French
Canadian or could be informal slurring as opposed to formal crispness.
Whoever he’s talking to on the phone definitely didn’t suspect there
were two Grimms. He says “they cannot be allowed to get to Kimura” but
what he actually says is “I don’t want them to to find Kimura”, which is
a subtle but potentially significant distinction. Again, he doesn’t
want the families to know, which means he’s either talking to a local
henchperson (which is somewhat counter-indicated by the fact that he
says he’ll take care of it rather than take care of this for me) or the
Parisian he called about the coins in Three Coins in a Fuchsbau. Two
scenes later, Kimura is dead. So I’m assuming that’s what Renard meant
by ‘take care of it.’ I really hope he was careful enough not to let
that come back on him.