Saturday, October 20, 2012

Les Liaisons Dangereuses Grimm S2E08 The Other Side

Previously on Grimm, the showrunners would like to remind us all of what a lovely, lovely family Renard has, and all the various ways in which it's fucked him up. Well, this is going to be a fascinating ep. And by fascinating I mean interesting. And by interesting I mean ancient Chinese curses. Poor everyone.

This week on Grimm, your friendly neighborhood recapper is under the weather with a cold. Just in time for her birthday. If I start talking about pink and purple polka-dotted elephants it's probably just the zaubertrank DayQuil. Though you really never know with this show. At least Kitty will tell me if I'm hallucinating from the cold meds, just as soon as she finishes laughing her ass off at me and telling me not to be Renard.

(I don't want to be Renard. That's far too doom-laden.)

ANYWAY. You see how this is going to go. We open with a quote from Pinocchio. "I thought of making myself a beautiful wooden marionette. It must be wonderful, one that can dance, fence, and turn somersaults." Uh-huh. I mean, there's the obvious MOW tie-ins there, but we also have whatever the Families turned Renard into, whatever his mother turned him into, whatever the Families turned Eric into, and whatever Nick's heritage is turning him into. Just at a rough count off the top of my head, and if they keep packing layers like that into their fucking pull quotes I'm going to have carpal tunnel before much longer.

Our first scene is an academic decathalon. Man, that takes me back, though I always did Knowledge Master instead of individual competition. (K: I did Olympics/Odyssey of the Mind. Is anyone surprised by either of these? No? I thought not.) (A: I did that too! Though only in grade school, KM went through high school.) Probably better for me than the decathalon is for these kids. Definitely didn't end up getting killed by a gengineering experiment. Unless I'm a zombie. From more than just this cold, that is. We get shots of the kids, who seem to be relatively stable for all that they're obviously going to be the focus of an investigation this episode. Probably a murder investigation, since robbery/homicide's been light on the robbery aspect from day one. Poor kids. We get a couple shots of a mother and the coach, because we should know by now that one or more or the mentor/parent figures is always in on it.

I'm going to be upfront with you guys about something we usually try to minimize: I really, really disliked the MOW plot this episode. It was sloppily written, badly cast (I'm sorry, WHAT, the two minority kids and the only girl are the two child deaths? FUCK YOU), and badly scheduled. We should not have had two MOW eps with child killers and virtually no difference in the plot back-to-back. These are rookie mistakes. I don't know who was responsible for this crap (probably several people combined), but it was crap, and I expect better out of this show. The metaplot, at least, was tightly written, and since that's what we're here for that's what I'm going to focus on, as much as the OH RENARD NO aspect pains me.

Unfortunately for me, the metaplot has a number of aspects paralleling the MOW plot, particularly at the beginning. From preparing from a competition to preparing for an awards ceremony! And Juliette and Nick are very cute, trying very hard to be a couple again now that she seems to have decided that this is worth trying. I guess even with the wackyass shenanigans of last week? I can see Juliette excusing that to herself as being some kind of momentary lapse, except she clearly still has Issues what with the way she goes still and can't quite look at Nick when he talks about Renard. At which point Kitty and I had this horrific mental image of the last ten seconds or so of Renard's speech and how much embarrassment squick we'd have to live through. Turns out it wasn't public embarrassment squick, for the most part. Very miniscule favors, there.

Flip from that to the next parallel scene, the kids winding up for the night and going out to a diner. You know, for all that I'm going to be complaining about this ep, I will say that they got the overachieving brainiac kids depiction right, by and large. I think this is, by the way, the only shot of another parent we get in this episode, certainly the only other parent with a line, which irritates me on a whole other level. Most parents of children like this? Involved. Often over-involved. So they go off, and it's readily apparent that they all enjoy each other's company, they may not be best friends but they're bound by ties of understanding, which in some respects is all that matters in high school. Being that kind of smart is no cakewalk. (I will say that I don't recognize my high school experience in the being the only girl aspect, though. It was ALL girls running my high school. The boys were all lazy, like dude who's dozing off over there at the diner.) The scene would be far more heartwarming if we didn't have all of this foreshadowing about answers dumped into his cranium in the womb, and his mother will kill herself if he doesn't win, the three top competitors for the decathalon (including Pierce) and so on. I was using those feet before you dropped the anvil on them, guys. At this point we know that one of the guys walking home is going to die, and because of the way they've been focusing on Pierce, we know it's not going to be him. And look! Brandon's walking home and suddenly has a bad feeling about this. You guys, I am not okay with the black kid dying first. I think I told Kitty over the credits (after grumbling about how they changed them AGAIN) that if the girl bit it next I was going to bite something. For those of you perhaps unfamiliar with the racial tropes in American horror movies, I know we have a number of readers outside the US: the minorities (especially the African-Americans) and the women are always first up to die. Grimm's done a decent job of avoiding those tropes so far, so I'm really, really pissed that they used them here. The sole saving grace, and it's a damn small one as far as I'm concerned, is that they're considered the next smartest/most likely to beat Pierce. Because of course we don't have enough tropes where white people feel threatened by POC, and minus extra points for the touch of Asian People Are Smarter, there.

(Mind you, looking back over these episodes the only other POC I can come up with who turned up in a guest role are Kimura and the guy from Last Grimm Standing who ended up dead. For a show that has Hank and Wu, they really don't do a good job of racial diversity in their week-to-week casting. Mind you, Portland really IS that white and they're taking their guest actor pool from locals, by and large, so I can understand why not. On the other hand, the first time we get characters we're supposed to connect with who aren't white and they pull THIS shit? Oh hell no.)

Digression over! Back to the awards ceremony. Though there is a Landmark engraving/trophy company in Portland, my google-fu gives me nothing on any awards associated with them, and Renard's speech doesn't tell us much about what it's for. Some kind of community service based organization, I take it; the details matter less than the opportunity to shove him and Juliette together again. He does, as a good captain would, end by acknowledging the efforts of his people and using the polite speechmaking form of "I know I'm the figurehead for getting this award and everyone else did at least as much work." Oh Renard. It's also a much gentler public speech than his last one that wasn't directly related to a case, where he was much more bombastic, fire and brimstone.  Significant look between him and Juliette is significant, but she politely drops her eyes when she realizes that whatever this thing is, it's affecting him too. This is the happiest we've ever seen Renard, and we know that it can't be real, but I have to say for all that it's a pleasant change from the reserved and stoic Captain/Prince we know and love from a distance. As long as I don't think too much about the reasons for it. Then I start grinding my teeth again. For all that these are wider smiles with the photographer than we've seen from Renard, they're still obviously politician smiles. The lower half of his face makes the appropriate motions while his eyes scream that he'd rather be anywhere else. Preferably with Juliette. So I do, actually, buy his comments about not liking the ceremonies and so forth, though perhaps not the reason. He does do a lot of work for the precinct, keeping it running, keeping it on budget as we saw in the last episode, and from everything we know about him I would say Renard far prefers being the unacknowledged power - at least, to public perception. And don't think I didn't notice those other parallels here, too: his public persona getting awards and recognition while his private life falls apart around him? Surely that's not intended as a parallel to Pierce and his mother. They would never do anything like that. There's some nice byplay between Wu and Renard here, which aside from the hilarious height difference I like just because it's the first time we've seen the cop crew interacting when they're all off-duty. Renard's not friends with any of them, but he'll accept a few more liberties than usual. Out of Wu specifically, whose position in this group bears a resemblance to nothing so much as the court jester. (I still want the one where Wu knows all about the Captain's double life and sits down at the end of things like Happily Ever Aftermath. "So what's his excuse this time? ...he didn't." "He did.") But not too many liberties; his tone is joking but his frown isn't so much, and Wu acknowledges that he may have pushed that a little far. Renard's right hand stays in his pocket most of this scene, indicating his discomfort with the compulsion pulling him to Juliette even as he's unable to fully resist it. Meanwhile Nick's phone vibrates and I stop to blink over and be sure that that's on the show and not coming from inside the house. I mean apartment. Renard and Juliette can't keep their eyes off each other, him more than her but I don't think she's stopped staring up at him since he walked over to their table. The truly sad part is that the rest of this scene would be normal enough, the Captain taking care of the extended family of his men, if it weren't for the unprintable potion. Because of the potion, Kitty and I are instead sitting capslocking going WHAT ARE YOU DOING RENARD. RENARD, STOP THAT. Not that it gets any better. Juliette's reminded to at least put on the appearance of a good girlfriend as Nick kisses her goodnight, and god, oh everyone. I feel so sorry for all of them right now. I know I was muttering earlier this week about Portland being heavy on walking/biking/public transit, but Hank, why did you have to pick THIS week to walk? Though there's a lot of that this ep, one car for each group including the kids. Hank will also be helpful and throw Juliette some liquid courage which, that looks like scotch or whiskey of some kind. Possibly watered down but that's a lot of booze for someone Juliette's size. Cue all of the twitching ever. Renard's body language throughout this scene is oriented to her, almost as if she's the only person in the room. And I think Nick's finally beginning to notice that something's not right here, in these first couple scenes, but he has no idea what.

One basic introduction to the crime scene later (Franco's in this too! Hi Franco!), Renard and Juliette pull up to Nick's house. I would love to have seen any of that conversation, or even just a shot indicating that they sat in awkward confused silence for the entire ride. Which the establishing shot does seem to indicate, however briefly. They still can't quite take their eyes off each other, there's a little bit of reluctance in Juliette leaving the car, but the compulsion isn't as strong for her (yet) as it is for him and we do not get them making out in Renard's battlewagon like teenagers. Thank god. We will now pause while I tear out my hair because this is a fucking clumsy way to give Renard access to the house. There's no reason other than that for Juliette not to have her own damn keys. She has a purse with her. She has the memory, still, of this being her house, not hers and Nick's together. There is not one single Watsonian reason for her NOT TO HAVE HER KEYS. This irritates me so much. I mean, hell. Renard's a cop, if he wanted to look for a spare key that'd be one of the first places he checked. For that matter, Nick's a cop, why is there a spare key in the most obvious place ever. For that matter part two we never see her replace the spare key. I just, I love the acting in this? I do not love the directing or writing or editing. Grumble. So, fine, she's inside the house, please go away Renard. Go home. But of course he doesn't and he can't, and Juliette's plenty shaken. For all that she does dress up for work some, she doesn't usually dress up this much and I would bet that her thought process is also running toward a shower to clear her head. On the one hand, good, it's probably the only thing that saves us from a face to face confrontation between the bespelled lovebirds in a private setting this ep. On the other hand it's about to give me Psycho flashbacks, thank you SO MUCH writers. Significant shot of the photo of her and Nick is significant, as Renard grabs the key and sneaks in while she's undressing.

Renard is clearly fighting this, too. It's subtle, but it's there. The way he pauses in the entryway, jaw clenching and unclenching, the way he looks around at the empty first floor and tries to keep his hand on the doorknob like he's going to leave in just another second no really. But he hears the shower go on upstairs and I really must say, Renard, if you're going to sneak around like that could you be a little quieter? Though that, too, may be a form of trying to fight the potion's effects, making more noise in the hopes of being caught so that he has a reason to flee. As he will shortly. Cue a shot looking up at him from the bottom of the stairs as he hits the landing; this whole thing is shot like Psycho's mind-controlled cousin. Although, guys, if you're going to try and give us slightly shaky Renard-cam, I think his perspective comes from even higher up. Tall bastard. (Yes, I had to.) Juliette's left the bathroom door open, like you do when you're home alone, or at least I do, and oh this is bad. This is so very, very bad, we can see the potion practically reeling him in until Renard manages to reassert some level of control. We can just about see the realization of "what the fuck am I doing" pass over his face, and the subsequent jaw clenching and leaning against the wall out in the bedroom, carefully not looking into the bathroom. Even if all it is is him using the potion's effects to assert that if this is a woman he cares about he does not have the right to do this to her, it's a damn impressive assertion of control, as seriously fucked up as he is right now. And I wouldn't place bets either way about Renard's willingness to redirect the emotions the potion is causing right now. Ability to, I'm fairly confident in, I'm not so sure he's willing to take the love-obsession and try to use it to keep from harming her. This may just be more of his ironclad will at work, in which case I am deeply, deeply afraid for everyone when it breaks. More than it already has. He focuses instead of the picture, leading us to the stereotypical cracked picture and Juliette being clued in that someone's in the house with her. Which we then never see her bring up to Nick. Um. Guys, some continuity would be nice, is all I'm saying. Also, I know this never happens, it's Hollywood, but one day someone will write a scene with a woman getting all made up for a night out and then have her at least appear to have taken it off prior to a shower. And then I will die of a heart attack. (Seriously, I usually don't wear enough that I need more than basic face wash, but with that much I would want cotton pads and makeup remover. And with the huge amount of eyeliner she's wearing in this scene it's extra obvious.) It's telling that it's her face he was so focused on that there are cracks of glass across the frame from his hands (and that is a LOT of hand strength), not Nick's. Juliette is, quite rightly, jumping at every little noise at this point.

And we cut to Renard completely and utterly losing it. I mean, seriously, there is no semblance of the control we know him for in this scene. He's running away from Juliette before his actions can be any further influenced, he's driving like a drunk, as the good Samaritan points out, and he's not thinking one bit about the consequences of his action. He's turned fully from predator into prey in this sequence, and it's painful to watch his flight instincts in action. Not just because of the loss of control but because he's so bad at having flight instincts. Renard doesn't do flight. Renard doesn't do fear, even, most of the time, but this is mind-rape and that I cannot blame him for wanting to run from. Only he can't. Not only can he not run from it, it's making him lose all that vaunted control over his woge, though I'm not sure this puts paid to the idea that mixed-Wesen can fully control when they reveal themselves due to the extenuating circumstances here. He is so, so angry, and I would bet that almost all of that anger is inward directed, blaming himself for taking a potion he didn't know enough about, blaming himself for falling to its side effects (I'm not sure they're side effects at all, I'd bet on that being the primary intent of the potion with the ability to wake Juliette a bonus). Blaming himself for not being able to find anything in Nick and Juliette's place that would help him find a cure, which I'd bet is the way what little rational thought he had about the matter was justifying being there in the first damn place. RENARD DO NOT PUNCH THE oh why do I bother. At least once he gets home to hide in his cave and lick his wounds he'll be off the fucking roads and less of a menace to the rest of society? And at least his wogeing out helps protect his identity not two hours after he's been publically recognized for protecting the city. AWKWARD.

Somewhat less awkward but no less full of tragedy is the initial interview session with the kids. And their parents, sort of, though it's really only Pierce's mother that comes over to talk to the cops. On the one hand I understand that all the other parental figures are backgrounded for reasons of time. On the other, it telegraphs Mommy dearest as having something to do with the investigation/being a Wesen of the week way, way early. And on the gripping hand I just don't quite buy that some of the most traditionally involved parents, those of G&T children, would be standing back while the police interviewed them. It's a fairly common trope for any parent to be hovering more immediately during a round of questioning, even if it's not done at the precinct. So this whole scene struck me as off from the get go, and then we have the behavior from the mother which on the surface of it looks submissive and scared for her son/the other children and which we now know is a sign of guilt and shame. As they walk out, Hank asks some very excellent questions about the extent of Nick's Grimmstincts, and yes, Hank, we'd like answers to that too. Obviously Nick has a lousy poker face when he sees Wesen, above and beyond whatever the Wesen perceive when they look at him while woged out. We've known that since first season. (Though I will grant points to the longevity of Hank and Nick's partnership that Hank's seeing this so immediately.) It would be interesting if Wesen could scent a Grimm, except based on all the Wesen reactions we've seen so far they would be cowering in fear the second Nick stepped into a room. So probably not, you know? And oh look, it's the coach! Who is stereotypically aggressive violent Lowen at them, though he wouldn't have to be Wesen at all for that reaction to make sense. (Which is, of course, in some ways the whole point of the show.) Nick and Hank exchange several of those significant aha! looks. Lowen behold, it's their first suspect.

I'll give you a minute to come up with suitable punishments for that joke. When I finish dodging the things Kitty's throwing at me, Hank and Nick are busy looking into the coach. Not that they get much out of it apart from that three-year-old restraining order. Which is telling all on its own, those are damn hard to get and harder to make permanent, but the no reported violations would on the face of it indicate that he's been behaving since the divorce. Also, that morph did NOT look like the male Lowen we got last season, I know their budget's been changing but I wish they'd do a somewhat better job sticking to the original FX. At least the hexen morph is roughly equivalent. (K: If we're forced to assume that's a Lowen morph, that really makes him look like Scar from The Lion King. With all the attendant baggage of looking like a Disney villain.)

Cut to Renard's office where our detectives have just finished telling Renard that their best suspect is the coach and that, of course, doesn't make him happy. He's hunched into his chair again, looking hunted and haunted both and fiddling incessantly with a paperclip. Which, before I got an up-close look at it this morning, I thought was a shard of glass from the picture frame the night before. That would have been both incredibly suspicious and much more apropos, though presumably he's fidgeting in order to keep himself from doodling little hearts around Juliette's name on his blotter, or punching Nick out for being a barrier to him and Juliette being together, or both. Renard doesn't look at either of them to speak of in this scene, he's so uncomfortable with their presence. Either because Nick/Renard's work is preventing him from being with Juliette, or because he's hallucinating her over every face these days, or again, possibly both. Since we don't get a Renard's eye view of this scene it's impossible to say for certain. All we know is the potion continues to affect him, and now it's to the point where it affects his behavior at work and people notice. Though again, Hank's the one calling out all the weird shit associated with Nick's new life and Nick's the one brushing it off. I cannot wait for Hank to figure out that Renard is the Royal in town and I want to know under what circumstances, because I bet you a box of Voodoo Donuts that that'll dictate whether he goes to Nick or Renard with that knowledge first. We then have what seems like a wholly unnecessary scene with a random intern, who we assume to be secretly named Chekhov, because there is no other reason for this clip to be in this ep. According to Michael Grant Terry's IMDB credits he's in again for Hour of Death, 2x10, which is the serial killer ep, and all I can say is if ANOTHER Bones intern turns out to be a serial killer I'm going to have to hurt someone. Someone remind me, since that one's going to be one of my posts too, that I need to go rewatch this little clip come that ep? Though I'll be a little surprised if he turns out to be a Wesen; many would woge out in surprise at landing on their ass like that. Not all, but a lot.

While I'm pondering that, I become massively distracted by that location tag there that says Vienna. UH-HUH OKAY THEN. (Don't think I've forgotten about you, Chekhov's intern! I will be watching you. I just have more important things to worry about now, like what the hell Renard's family is up to this time.) Look, it's a blonde at a bar! A very expensive opera house, judging by the background music, and a very expensive bar. Though she's not actually as much the focus of the establishing shot as the building itself; she, like the flowers half-hiding her, is there for decoration. Or so we're meant to think until she does something interesting. Hello, Adalind, it's not at all pleasant to meet you again. She's quite obviously waiting for Eric, though we never do know how she learned that he would be there that night. Either she's been doing her own stalking - excuse me, observation - or she's got contacts we know nothing of in Europe who've been helping her. One assumes that she acquired even more money after Catherine's death, enough to set up shop for the last couple months. Plenty of time to do her own footwork, then. Kitty's the one with any Irish at all, and judging by what Eric and Adalind say he orders something along the lines of a Lon/long marach/maraigh, only I cannot find a single whiskey with that name anywhere in my googling. And I know a reasonable amount about scotch, and that's not ringing any bells, so I have no idea what gives. Adalind takes full advantage of this opening and this really is a beautifully written and played bit. The forty year old is quite remarkable inDEED, I feel fairly confident in asserting that's either Sean or Eric's intended age. Though yes, if you're as filthy rich as these people are, scotch does come in 40 year aged varieties. Eric's been ignoring her until she starts talking - taking note of the pretty blond who's got her back to him and then dismissing her as not worth his time, likely. Which is the intent. He gives her his full attention almost immediately, though, before she ever turns to face him, body language somewhat guarded with his hands folded in front of him but still open and intrigued. When she turns, she doesn't try to get closer than the turn would naturally take her, showing a reasonable amount of self-preservation.

Royal Lachnager inDEED, and that is a real brand of scotch. Highlands distillery, actually, which makes me give the Renards all the side-eye ever, what with the Sean and so on. Though Eric isn't really a Scots name at all, it's much more Germanic, so perhaps the Scots comes in on Renard's mother's side. Hard to say, but the point is, Adalind knows Eric's a Royal. She looks a little unnerved by the bodyguard, and I'm not sure if that's deliberately done to get under Eric's guard or unintentional because she's not used to dealing with someone who wanders around with bodyguards. They both have on their teeth, clever and conniving and full of layers. Even though Eric doesn't know what she is (or was), and even though Adalind doesn't yet know if her plan's going to work, they recognize each other as a predator and are inclined to play the touch-noses-jump-away game for awhile. It has, at a guess, been some time since anyone new entered the game for Eric, and Adalind will of course be using that to lure him in. This scene is something of a poster child for smiling and smiling and being a villain, to bastardize the Shakespeare. Eric pushes at her a little, to see if she'll do anything interesting and to see what the hell this random woman knows about him. She dodges the first part neatly and drops a clue about her knowledge in his lap, to which he pushes again. What could be worse than torture and murder? Why of course. Betrayal. And where he's been looking at her like someone who he might have to have removed in the next few minutes, or at best a one night conquest while he gets all her useful information out of her, that reply makes his smile fade, makes him realize that there's something interesting here. It's only for a fraction of a second, though, as he puts his best patronizing look on. Adalind's young, after all, far younger than Eric, what could she know about it. With the implication there of, as compared to him. But she knows Renard, looking down and away, a little bit coy, a little bit pained to remember it even after a couple months. She may have done her repair work and planned her revenge, but Adalind was in love with him and his rejection hurt her badly. Eric, for his part, takes half a step closer, intruding on her personal space. Part promise, part threat, and which way it ends up going will depend on what use she can be to him. I have no idea but a great deal of speculation about what that line about being well-versed in betrayal means. The main theory Kitty and I came up with after chewing the available evidence is that perhaps, given the lack of wedding ring on Eric's hand and the presence of one on Renard's (but the absence of a wife), is that they were courting the same woman and she chose the half-hexen bastard son. Whatever the case, there's history behind that line, and not history we find out about in this evening's conversations, so all we can do is speculate wildly. Feel free to join us!

Adalind replies with a godawful pun/double meaning about the circumstances of their discord being Grimm. And Eric guesses at what she means, though I doubt he's guessed the extent of it down to her being depowered, unless Mia's been doing research and reporting back. (Which I would not put past her. Or him. Or anyone in this backstabbing excuse for a family.) I have to wonder what Wagner they're going to see, considering that could be highly symbolic if the writers chose to toss it in. I don't like him enough to recognize the soprano's aria off the top of my head, and said head hurts enough without flipping through famous Wagnerian passages on Youtube, so we'll just have to assume it was Highly Appropriate and move on. Adalind's face tightens on "you have no idea," revealing at least some of the anger/hurt/pain she still feels, though she regains control of herself when Eric smirks at her about a shoulder to cry on. Two, she flirts/bites right back, and they saunter off to what I assume is a private box at the opera, trailing the bodyguards. A very nuanced scene, full of small tells and layers and two players trying to figure out what side the other is on. This is why I watch this show, for these kinds of scenes and performances, you guys.

As usual when the show gets too tense, we break that tension with some Monroe! Or we appear to for a few seconds of him talking to some poor schmuck who just wants his wife's tea and to get out, Monroe, not all your customers need the blow-by-blow. Only not so much with the breaking the tension, as it turns out, because Renard walks in! Hello, Renard, you really don't know the first thing about how to disguise yourself, do you. A pair of oversized sunglasses is not the answer, though at least he's in street clothes instead of a full suit. I have to laugh in places, but sadly, because oh everyone. Presumably he's here because it's the only/best Wesen-run potions store in town, though how he continues to fail to know that Rosalee and Monroe are Nick's friends with at least one local working for him (that we know of) is beyond me. Renard is just utterly incapable of not having an air of command even when he's deeply upset and uncomfortable; all of those "really? you're asking me this?" looks have a distinct overtone of "I wish I could smack you for asking." And I don't think that's just because he's upset that it's come to this in the first place, though of course that's a large part of it. Some bumbling confession about his feelings for Rosalee later, we get more questions and more answers from Renard and oh honey, yes, he really, really wants to get rid of these feelings. A lot. Though the correct answer to "do I know you" is not the fastest denial in the history of ever, Renard. It's extremely indicative of how far gone he is that he can't control his instinctive snappishness and defensiveness to these questions. At least Monroe recognizes that giving him an apparent out ("is that possible?") makes it easier for Renard to give a semi-accurate reply, and no, no he is not going to give you a name, I don't know why you thought for a second that would work, Monroe. And then we're left with Monroe staring off in confusion. It's okay, Monroe, it's not technically anything you did. Accept the vagaries of your clientele, I bet Rosalee's seen weirder.

Cut to the setup for the girl getting killed, they're both distraught, Pierce has a headache that won't quit, oh look it's more foreshadowing. And more death. Right about here is the point where I had a horrible suspicion that we had two child killers in back-to-back eps, but I dismissed it because no, surely they wouldn't schedule that on us? Only they did. And she's dead. And Nick and Hank are called out to the obviously related case. Yay. Even Wu doesn't have a quip for us this time, though he's been quipping a bit less since he had to shoot the poor infected woman in Quill. Oh look, a watch! Pierce's watch, to be precise, and again I had to say, no, surely not. Besides which, Lowen in general don't seem to have good control over their woge, so we should've seen kid, mother, or both woge out by now, or at least display the aggression characteristic of their species. NONE of this makes sense until you consider his mother's work with genetics, and then it makes horrible sickening Frankensteinian sense. Though Pierce is more mid-pubescent than just beginning, the way the girl last week was, there's a definite theme of growing up and adolescence running through these eps that says some unpleasant things. Especially about women, going from the probably-sociopathic little girl last week to the mother who played Gepetto this week. I'm not liking this trend either, writers, I would like that noted. The Madonna/whore complex? We've noticed it. Get over your mommy issues already. (Yes, some week there will be a full post on this, because it is getting OLD.) Nick, that is a bad answer and you should feel bad. "We push him"? He's letting his Grimm get in the way of his cop, in some ways. In others not so much, because that's some hard physical evidence tying Pierce to the murder. So they do push, and they figure out what Wesen they appear to be dealing with, and at this point I have some small hopes that maybe it isn't Pierce after all. Because that doesn't fit with what we saw right before Brandon was attacked, after all. Damn my optimism. The mother is again, very submissive, very disinclined to meet anyone's eyes, swearing up and down that he couldn't do this. As we now know, of course, this is the way she lies. Nick doesn't recognize this kind of Wesen, but Kitty and I immediately start muttering about reptiles and snapping turtles. Meanwhile mommy dearest brings hot chocolate to soothe her conscience and not incidentally to soothe her son's issues with his split personality, which turns out to be a horrible mistake since he's still playing Dr Jekyll and the good son that Pierce would, I'm sure, prefer to be is the sort of person who puts the laundry right in the washer without needing to be told. Cue the bloody clothes and the freaked out mother! And this might have been resolved even faster were it not for this next phone call canceling the academic decathalon. Poor coach. The awkwardness of that goodbye says to me that she has a damn good idea what's going to happen when her son finds out about this, only she's not a good enough liar to come up with some better reason to be upset on the spur of the moment.

Meanwhile back at the trailer, Hank discovers just how different his partner is from the historical Grimms. Yes, Hank, they killed innocent, harmless Wesen just because they were Wesen. They were assholes. Please make sure Nick doesn't start pulling any of that shit. I'm pretty sure that's his actual thought process, too, is oh hell no my partner's not going that route. Because Hank is the best. The Genio innocuo, I suppose that's one way of saying here be harmless Wesen. In fake Latin, because this ancestor sailed with Darwin so of course they were named in Latin rather than German or anything else. That's a nice, classic case of colonial Grimming. Thanks for that, guys. I wonder if that means there were First Nation Grimms ever, only they were maybe less violent than their European counterparts. I wonder if we'll ever find out instead of having to speculate. Ahem. They toss a couple theories back and forth as Nick reads through the journals and he does seem to be doing some skimming this time, so maybe there will be some eventual consequences of that in his police work. Time to go check on the coach, regardless, because I guess nothing in their notes suggests a snapping turtle's sort of teeth but they have a known Lowen around. Oh look, there's blood! By this time I was pretty certain that there was a split personality thing going on, to which I could only repeat OH JOHN RINGO NO. I mean, that's been done on non-fantasy shows, and it never ends up being done well, because nuance of this nature is damn hard to pull off in an hour's worth of TV. Of course, if you just skip all the nuance and go straight for the cracked-out explanation, sure, I guess that works. If by works you mean is lazyass writing. Okay, okay, I'll stop now, mostly because I need to facepalm at the irony of a Lowen keeping parakeets. Really, you guys? Several Dutch shots later we come upon the body, so no, no that is not your guy.

Nick and Hank go to check the back, and we go to check in with our poisonous couple over in Europe! I'd say that we have a location for Eric's model castle now, only given that the entire family has a bevy of private jets and Europe isn't that large I'm not committing to it. I won't be surprised by it being in Vienna, but neither would I be surprised by it being elsewhere, though probably in Western Europe. They're in a sitting room of some kind, the variety intended to scream opulence and power rather than comfort and home. Though I suspect that's true of 99% of this castle, so that's not much of a tell. Eric's taken the time to take off his tux jacket and undo his bowtie, unbutton that top button, which is a more subtle version of the "I'm so wealthy I give no fucks about propriety" that we got from him with the super-casual pajamas. It looks in many respects like Renard's first condo in decor, except for the fact that his condo is clearly new construction and the castle is, of course, older. Tapestries and paintings and old books, though. Rich, dark fabrics and old styled furniture, a fireplace. All the trappings you would expect to find in a castle, so whatever power Eric's amassed over the years he either prefers to play to type or feels constrained to play to type, or perhaps both. Adalind gives some snappish responses that don't reveal a great deal of detail about her and her mother's liaisons dangereuses with Renard, nothing Eric probably didn't already know or guess given that the two of them seem to keep in some level of contact. Adalind, notably, takes her own sweet time about orienting her body toward Eric, shoulders turned forward as she sips on her drink and talks about Renard's focus on his future. Eric, by contrast, is giving her his full attention, arm slung over the back of the sofa. Bringing her into his circle of influence by sheer physicality and using his presence as a Royal to try and overwhelm her into giving away all the information he could possibly want. Yes, I would love to see all your Amazon wishlists, I'm sure there are copies of evil overlord guides on all of them. On "don't we all" Adalind looks down and away as though she's insecure or demure or both, and while I might buy the former I sure as hell don't buy the latter, and neither does Eric. He recognizes the suppressed curiosity under there, too, and offers her a tantalizing glimpse into Renard's past. I'm sure Adalind knows there's a price for this knowledge, but I'm also sure she came prepared to pay it. By her standards, she doesn't have much left to lose at this point.

We then get some fascinating details about Hexen-Royal history, and how Royal bastards are treated as a general rule, and in general WHAT THE HELL. I don't doubt the factual content of this story, though I severely doubt the emotional content of it, mainly in that I doubt Eric's showing everything he's got in the way of feelings for his baby half-brother. Of note, he emphasizes half-brother and half-Royal within five seconds of each other here, and given what little we already know about the brothers I would not be surprised to find that this is intended to draw attention away from whatever very tentative, very fragile alliance they retain. ("We always find a way to work things out," after all.) Alternately, it may be a test of Adalind's perception, but I wouldn't be letting on that I caught his attempts to figure out how dangerous I was either. Also, and I don't know if this is a writer mistake or a deliberate mistake put in Eric's mouth because he's an arrogant ass who doesn't WANT to know anything about the New World, but Portland wasn't part of the Louisiana Purchase. It was part of the Oregon Territory, would be the oldest European name for it. Hinter reaches, heh, nice subtle language emphasis on Eric speaking German, there. Though, and this would be interesting if it's accurate, Eric never outright states that his brother went first to Portland. You know what the ass-end of the Louisiana Purchase is? Montana, roughly; certainly the Rockies in general. Do you remember waaaay back in the pilot, Aunt Marie's license plates? Were from Montana. I don't know that it means anything, but I don't know that it doesn't mean anything, either, and it's exactly the sort of sneaky detail the writers love to throw in. "When I was a young boy awaiting the throne" implies that Eric was out of school, or barely in school, probably. I'm not sure what his definition of young is, and that right there tells us all KINDS of interesting things. They really are in line for the throne, and that probably ruins our heir/spare/bastard theory, that Eric's not the oldest of the lot. Unless it's awaiting the throne in the sense of playing the political power games that result in assassinations to the point of then being able to take the throne? Insufficient data. Also insufficient data to establish whether or not Eric's still a Prince or if he did take the throne, that phrasing's ambiguous at best. Inquiring analysts are chewing their desks right now. Even if it is all power plays and political assassinations, though, why the fuck isn't Eric married? And where are his heirs? This seems like a bad, bad way of securing your power, I'm just saying. Certainly not in the traditional manner of European royalty. "One of my father's mistresses," okay, so keeping mistresses is a common and at least reasonably accepted practice within the Seven Families, but having them be Hexenbiests is not. And she kept it a secret for a number of years, at least until he was old enough to be in school, so a good, what, five to seven years minimum. What with time to seduce their father and carry a baby to term included in there. That's some impressive control, especially assuming that their father didn't know. (Perhaps not a safe assumption, but we'll run with it since those prejudices appear to run strong and deep and they learned it from somewhere.) And that gives us another option for the reason Renard has such good control over his woge, too: he was taught to have that kind of control since he was a baby. Quite. Literally. Not even from the time he would've started gaining his Wesen side, either (presuming most Wesen have a human-appearing childhood up until puberty), that's something you'd have to ingrain as a small child for it to take securely when he was going off to school. Oh Renard honey, you were screwed from the get-go. And now I want to know everything ever about his mother, this woman who, by the way Eric tells it, cared enough for her son to take him away from Royal politics but not enough to set him up in a less horrific environment for growing up to begin with. Or couldn't do so safely. ALL YOUR MURDERBOARDS, WRITERS, GIVE THEM TO ME. It sounds as though Eric's mother was somewhat instrumental in this process, too, probably kicking up enough of a fuss to convince Renard's mother that leaving was a better option than trying to stick up for her son's rightful place. Echoes of Mia entirely deliberate, yes. And Eric obviously knows or suspects that Adalind's a Hexen, or was before Nick got hold of her, the way he clarifies his supposed lack of prejudices and if you believe that I have a nice piece of real estate in Brooklyn for you. Also, ew, Eric, could you possibly be any skeezier? (There's a nice parallel for you. The brother whose natural state of being is a smarmy fuckhead that I want to taser, and the brother who hates what the potion is turning him into and wants to stop being a creepy stalker approximately three weeks ago please.) MORE mentions of zithers, at this point I want to know what the writers have for or against the damn thing. Eric wants to be sure, too, that Adalind isn't another random relative come to surprise him with demands for power/attention, which makes me wonder just HOW many of these incidents he's dealt with. Smarmy. Fucker. The money, the property, or the bloodline my ass. It also neatly puts Adalind in her place, judging by that look she gives him. But she lures him in further with talk of Nick, and I have to assume that at this point she spills at least enough of her knowledge base to give Eric all kinds of plans. Not that we get to know them at this time. Damn.

Back, at last, to Nick on the case at the most recent murder scene! Pierce is terrified and knows who the killer is. Well, no, he doesn't, but he thinks he does. Dramatic parental intervention sequence and headache and no, Pierce, your mother isn't the killer. Nor could she fit into your clothes, I don't think. I have no idea what the hell she was thinking, since this explanation is muddled at best. Why did he need to be so much better? What happened to her to make this so bad? In short, what the actual fuck, you guys, I don't understand the motivation here. Nor will I get a chance to, as Pierce switches to his Lowen half and takes off after his mother in time for the cops to pull up! They switch neatly between Hank's view and Nick's view of Pierce as the camera slides over Nick's shoulders, so we can see how very bad this looks to Hank who didn't see any of the sequence where Pierce was attacking Nick like... well, a wild animal. So of course Hank pulls him off and does the responsible cop thing, calls for an ambulance, because he, too, is in what the fuck just happened to my partner and is he really seeing the things he's claiming mode. I'm belatedly amused that the mother just takes it as written that Hank's in the know, despite clearly being human. And Hank doesn't really care about the hows or whys, just what it means as far as getting Pierce safely in the system in whatever form that needs to take. Because Hank is, say it with me, the best. Mind you, this is temporarily distracting enough that Pierce can get up and run away to somewhere nice and high for a tense scene of attempted suicide. Which, though I hate to say it, might have been easiest for everyone in the long run, but Nick is also a good cop and trying very hard not to blame the kid for the shit his mother put on him. There's a whole thing in here about helicopter parents that I'm not getting into, and of course our heroes save the kid even though he does try to jump, which is a bit further than these things usually go.

Cut to a walk-and-talk with Renard which is mostly notable for the not at all subtle part about the poor kid whose life was ruined before he was even born. Subtle, guys, real subtle. Worse for having it come out of Hank's mouth rather than Nick's. At least with this one they don't need to come up with much in the way of a cover story, in utero genetic experimentation is a pretty solid one and god knows she probably fucked him up in other, subtler ways. Poor kid. Renard's body language is almost back to normal in this scene, though he's fidgeting a bit more than usual with his hands, thumb of his right hand brushing over the fingers, maybe because he has fond hopes that there's a cure on its way.

Cut to the kid's tough time in prison, which he will undoubtedly have with all the time he's going to spend in solitary if he keeps killing the other inmates. Including, of course, the obligatory incredibly bad joke about Lowen and king of the jungle. We are all utterly unsurprised and Kitty sent me bottles for (part of) my birthday present so as soon as I get labels on them I will, in fact, have a surprised face bottle on my desk. Don't look at me like that, you all came here because of the crazy, not to escape it.

I love Monroe for not assuming the gender or anything else about the object of Renard's fixation. I hate everything else about this scene. Oh honey. I mean, not that the writing or acting is bad, it's just painful to watch Renard register the hopelessness of his situation. Monroe explains that Renard can, essentially, not physically need Juliette, but emotionally/mentally this is only going to get worse, and I don't think the physical component is the one driving his behavior nearly so much as the emotional one. Renard strikes me as the kind of person well-accustomed to and capable of controlling his physical urges. It's the part where he can't stop thinking about her that's more of a problem, and it's that part, Monroe says, that can't be reversed or controlled without having both halves of the obsessive love-bond present for, y'know. Testing and dosing and so on. We close on Renard's horrified face, and though the implication is that he doesn't trust Monroe enough to tell him the truth of what's going on and walks out, we don't know that for sure. I would love it if they wrapped up this plotline, because I don't see how they can have two major characters behaving this erratically for much longer without it severely incapacitating all the other balls they've got in the air at the moment.

Before we get into the previews, I want to pause and discuss the family themes we're getting this season, since the writers promised us this season would be all about family and they are, by and large, delivering on that. We started the season with the big obvious family issues thanks to Kelly Burkhardt and Eric Renard, and then they continued as a theme, twisted family rites of passage in Bad Moon Rising and the emphasis on allowing children greater freedom than their parents had. Then for a couple eps the family themes went more dormant, with Quill and Good Shepherd - we had almost nothing in Quill and an emphasis on mob mentality/flocks/chosen family in TGS as compared to the rest of the season. Also, to some extent, some speculation on what sort of life the two Seelengute mothers will give to their hybrid children, but that can only be speculation at this time, and there wasn't much in the way of follow-through on it. Over My Dead Body continued the metaplot family themes, though more in the way of Royal families and less in the way of biological ones. I hypothesized to Kitty awhile ago that perhaps we were meant to take some lessons from the shift between biological family fucking you up and chosen family being better for you, but as the Scooby gang isn't quite all familial yet (still want more Hank-and-Monroe scenes, to say nothing of introducing Hank to Rosalee and Juliette to everyone), that's mostly hypothesis until such time as they give us a true family unit instead of Nick passing through different groups of friends. But then we have these last two eps, and though I think it's incredibly poor scheduling to have put them back-to-back, the showrunners clearly have some unpleasant things to say about the ways in which biological family is not, in fact, good for you. And more likely to fuck you up in long-term and severely damaging ways, often because they're just trying to do the best thing. I will be very interested to see what happens when they get around to stating a counter-thesis to this, not least because this is a vast change from some of the usual Adoption Is Bad tropes you can get. We've had one experience with CPS/foster care as a system this season already, and they were portrayed as loving, competent people who were in over their heads with the little Drang-Zorn girl. I can't really give you a conclusion to this, since it's simply A Theme right now, and I expect it to be stated and restated in various ways until we reach some kind of concluding "this is the unattainable ideal" recapitulation in the back, oh, I'll say four eps of season two.

Next week on Grimm: La Llorona! Kitty has nightmares! I provide teddy bears! Apparently ghosts might be real. Or might not. Hard to say for sure off that trailer. Note what we're not getting in that promo? Oh yes. Any Renard or Juliette subplot at all. And isn't that interesting. I would bet that's because they want us focused on the MOW this ep, not because nothing's happening; given developments in this episode I would be very surprised not to see movement on the potions plotline.


  1. Great analysis as always, guys! The whole ep I was feeling really sorry for Renard. Juliette too, I suppose, but she wasn't as bad off as Renard (yet, anyway).

    Why, oh, why didn't Renard know who Monroe was? I mean, wasn't the whole point of him interrogating Mia to find out what she was doing in Portland? Which I presume would include information on who it was she was putting out a hit on. Or did she somehow manage to completely withhold that very specific info? Or, perhaps, Renard did know who Monroe was and was simply desperate enough to risk it?

    Ugh, that whole scene at the spice shop just frustrated the hell out of me. Though, I suppose Renard completely failing at being inconspicuous was pretty funny. At least wear a hat, man!

    Hank is the best. Yes, yes, yes. Nick, one of the greatest decisions in your life was finally coming out to Hank (a bit unwillingly but still).

    Ooh, La Llorona next. That story always creeps me out. Hmm... Might have to invest in a night light for next week.

    1. You exist! Thank you. :)

      There's a number of possibilities for that, honestly. You've suggested a couple of them, another is that he knew a name but not a face. A third is that regardless of what he did or didn't know, he didn't expect Monroe to be at the spice shop because word hasn't gotten around that Rosalee's out of town yet. In which case some of the awkward might have been momentary recognition, though I would STILL not want to play poker against Renard in that event.

      Definitely one of the best decisions the showrunners made, too. It makes this season MUCH less awkward in certain areas.

      Kitty grew up with that legend; she keeps muttering about how analysis will maybe give her enough distance not to be thoroughly creeped out.

  2. Lol, sorry, I kept meaning to comment on your other posts but I am a lazy, lazy girl.

    Ah, you're right. I'm so used to seeing Monroe at the spice shop by now that I've forgotten he doesn't actually work there regularly, hehe. I doubt he'd have a name but fail to put a face to it, though. He's misused police resources before, no reason why he wouldn't do so again especially if it's related to Nick. Also, the case with the missing girl was pretty high-profile. Monroe as one of the very few suspects (roster of two?)wouldn't be someone Renard forgot easily, even if he can't recall his face. Now that I think about it though, you're probably right in that Renard recognized him (but didn't expect to encounter him) and that he simply continues to make a killing at poker.

    Oh, and I agree with you guys about the whole spare key thing. Why so contrived, Grimm writers? Along with the MOW, you guys are getting very, very lazy. Or you need betas.

    Supernatural did a turn with La Llorona way back in S1. Beyond the whole woman in white appearing out of nowhere thing, they didn't manage to get the creepy across. I hope Grimm does better. Haha, not that I want Kitty to be creeped out.

    1. No worries!

      And then I got distracted hypothesizing about why they wouldn't show us the misuse of police resources in that case, because the writers are just flat refusing to give us a second name for the poor guy. (Maybe he really did legally change it. I have NO IDEA, but I have some suspicions regarding Royal/Verrat ties.) Ahem. But I would also not be surprised to learn Mia had kept the details of who the hit was on from Renard. She's sneaky that way, and Renard would be easily distracted by confirming that it's not Juliette, even with the potion not fully at work on him back in that ep. In conclusion I demand deleted scenes of the airplane conversation, dammit.

      GOD YES. I can't see Juliette acting like she doesn't live there. I can't see Nick having a spare key... well, probably not out at all, but out somewhere THAT obvious and easily seen from the street? Oh hell no. The only, only explanation I can come up with is that that was a very subtle form of manipulation from the potion at work on Juliette, making her show Renard how to get into the house. And we didn't get any indication that that was what was going on. Grumble.

      That was the pilot! I remember that. From the days when I still watched SPN. Yeah, I have faith that Grimm will do FAR better with it, even as much as this ep made me cranky. Kitty says SPN was insufficiently creepy. Now, The Cry, on the other hand...

    2. Yes, please to any deleted scenes of the airplane convo. Hints, writers, to what it was Mia told Renard would be very, very appreciated.

      I just really wish that this whole Juliette/Renard thing will be wrapped up soon. Not that I don't appreciate Juliette finally having a less bland personality (I didn't think she was outright dull in S1 but she really wasn't given much to react to) or watching Renard lose it (What's happening to him is horrible but out-of-control-Renard is a fascinating creature in small doses). It's just that there's still the amnesia thing and whatever it is Renard's up to (a storyline with many a plot-threads dangling already). If they could integrate the MOW with the serial plots better, then this wouldn't be a problem. As it is, though, I just find myself getting annoyed with the cases and wishing that they would just relegate them to the background instead of taking up the majority of an episode. And that's a stupid thing to be thinking because the show is about Nick and policing and Grimming goes well together for him. Also because I do enjoy most of the cases.

      Oh, I don't know that show. ...Is it a show? Lol, I'll be checking that out. I do like me some creepy. And re:your spn comment below, I tried to stay with SPN throughout S5 but it was like the writers all developed selective amnesia or a compulsion to retcon pretty much every plot and rule they laid down during S4. I just gave up after that. Dear writers of SPN 5 onwards: solid worldbuilding+consistent characterization = not crap.

    3. YES. "Tell me everything" is so utterly non-specific, care to vague that up for us some more, guys? (I shouldn't tempt them. They probably CAN.)

      You, me, and Kitty all three, yes. It's not just that it's painful to watch mind-rape tropes to play out (which it is) or that I want our kickass Prince back (I do), but that the extent to which they're dragging the plotline out is making the other plotlines sloppy. And frankly, dragging out metaplot like this prevents new fans from easy entrance into the show; they need to wrap it up soon so that new viewers aren't going "huh what the fuck?".

      The Cry? No, it's a movie, I haven't seen it, I'm just taking her word. I tried too! They swore it was a 5-season arc and that was all they had planned for the show, and as as Babylon 5 fan I felt obligated to at least try to stick it out. And just... no. Really, really no. Which is a shame, because the actors deserved better material. (I don't say better overall, because a steady paycheck is pretty damn good. But.)

  3. SPEAKING OF SUPERNATURAL (above), Pierce's mother had a turn as a Leviathan/boss from hell on Supernatural in season 7 (last year, I guess?), so pretty much all the heavy-handed foreshadowing you bemoaned went straight past me: when you recognize an actor from a similar show-type, you already know they're going to be important. Since I'm talking about Grimmpernatural or whatever people want to call it, I'll mention how delighted I am that the French reaper, the one whose ear Renard took? He played a reaper (as in, takes your soul to move on when you die) in Supernatural. Most specific case of typecasting I've ever seen.

    Speaking of the mother, while I agree that the motivation made little sense, I thought the idea of in utero genetic engineering was a pretty smart way to put a modern horror twist on Pinocchio. Focusing on creating a toy-child, a puppet (helicopter parenting much?), rather than focusing on the honesty trope, was a very good choice IMO.

    I 100% agree about Juliette's keys. I mean, sometimes when my parents go out only one of them takes keys, but neither of them is liable to be on emergency call. However, the two-child-killers-in-a-row thing didn't bother me; I didn't even realize it until you brought it up, and then I had to think hard to remember what last week's MOW even was. I guess it didn't impress me much?

    The ENTIRE Nick/Juliette/Renard problem makes me absolutely miserable. I'm surprised to find that I now care a lot more about Nick and Juliette's relationship than I did pre-zaubertrank. Even little things, when he was zipping her up, I just--okay, I'll stop. FEELINGS.

    WHAT IF (this will not happen, but this is what the internet is for) Renard approached Juliette, said, look, we've got a problem, it's sort of medical, can we go fix it? and that was how she got introduced to the Wesen world? SO BACKWARDS, SO TWISTY. And Monroe would be the gateway again, but in a different way.

    LAST THING (sorry): Remember when we were talking about the grail quest? Doesn't this sort of reek of Arthur/Guinevere/Lancelot, except for how Renard isn't Lancelot? (Except I went to refresh my memory about Lancelot and I can convince myself enough to worry.) Does that piss you off too? PLEASE, WRITERS, PLEASE NO.

    1. I'm afraid I have nothing printable to say about Supernatural past s4, so all I can do is nod and smile on that part. >.>

      THAT I will agree on, yes. Pinocchio has always been more about body horror for me than about the wackyass honesty moral. I just really, REALLY wish they had scheduled these MOWs better, because I think they could've said some interesting things with this as a variation on the theme if they'd had some eps in between that covered other aspects of how family fucks you up.

      My father worked for the police reserves. Not even a normal, this-is-my-primary-job cop. We did NOT have a spare key lying around the outside of the house, and my parents always took their own set of keys, and grumble grumble totally unrealistic. Especially with Juliette having memories still of it being just her house.

      I really want to see Renard doing that too! It was one of the things Kitty and I hypothesized as a potential fix, because THAT would let ALL the cats out of the bag unless Juliette persuaded Monroe not to tell Nick on the grounds that this is a thing neither of them wants. And yeah, though it's a bit of a cheap trick to put the relationship in jeopardy and therefore make us care about it on the writers' parts, the actors are doing a beautiful job with it, so I can't be too cranky.

      It does feel... sort of like that, only it feels more like Lancelot bespelled into sleeping with Elaine. NEITHER ONE OF THESE IS A GOOD OPTION. I miss my unlikeliest Galahad ever, dammit.