Saturday, October 13, 2012

Sending Out An SOS Grimm S2E07 The Bottle Imp

No previouslies today! Most likely because this episode's metaplot only serves to move along things we've established over multiple episodes, so either everyone is all caught up from one episode or another, or someone just coming into the show is going to be thoroughly lost anyway with everything else. I guess. Our quote today is from pick-a-story-about-a-genie-in-a-bottle, though damned if I know how this relates to the overall plot. Unless it's a lesson in knowing what's in bottles and jars before you fuck around with them, Renard.

Nick is demonstrating both to Juliette and to the audience how well he knows her by discussing childhood events and all the ways her father used to embarrass her as a child. Which must mean he knows her well, right, because how many of us tell embarrassing stories from our childhood to casual friends? Or at least, the ones that aren't funny to make us look good. I don't know if it's notable that she's wearing red in this scene or not, she wears red an awful lot. But she remembers, somehow, talking about the fireworks to Nick, which seems to trigger cascading memories and there is a moment of jubilation until he asks her what she remembers of just before she keeled over. And she remembers everything, and it totally makes sense, and this is when we realize that it has to be a dream because the Juliette we know would not just accept like that and say that it totally makes sense. Or at least, this is when A and I realize that. We're still not sure if this is better than our theory about her claiming to remember and being joyful as she was in the trailer teaser for this episode, and then it turns out she's been seeing Renard the whole time, or if this is worse. I'm going to go with better, actually. At least this dream sequence is over as Nick's phone alarm intrudes on his happy dream, giving me and at least one other person fits of 'why is my phone going off.' No, it's just the surround sound/headphones. And just like that, everyone's hopes for Juliette actually remembering go poof.

Following in the theme of everything you think is real and want to be real going 'poof' (because you can't tell me that upon realizing the true facts of the case Nick and Hank didn't want the other to be real) we have a little girl sitting on her porch with a bit of a lost expression, a backpack, and a stuffed toy. A man pulls up in a truck with some farm equipment in the back, her father, by the sound of it, and a loving father by the way he scoops her up.

Over to Monroe! Who brings in Rosalee for a phone conversation about how each other is doing, and somehow Monroe sounds unusually chipper despite Angelina's death, which is highlighted by Rosalee's gentle "I meant..." I'm not entirely sure what we're supposed to take from this, either. Monroe wasn't as hung up on Angelina as it seemed at the end of last episode, because she was for practical purposes out of his life? I'll go with that, because it's more charitable. Rosalee tells him about a special order that requires a special hat doohicky, which Monroe finds for our benefit and bemused amusement, and then she tells him that the first ingredient is dunkelkatzenpissen. I'll separate that into three words for you: dunkel (meaning 'dark' or probably in this case 'black'), katzen, pissen. Yes, that in fact means what you think it means, Monroe. When A and I recover from laughing our asses off at the poor bastard we go back to the father and daughter and see that the father has a fairly explosive temper and no money. This is not a good combination when the father's trying to gas up the truck. And, indeed, we not only see the father's game face, we soon see the gas station attendant being slammed up against the glass wall hard enough to send the glass breaking outward! Yay! Guess we know who the murder victim of the episode is. I'm going to go out on a limb and assume that all of you reading this have seen the episode here, so I'm just going to note the cleverness in both acting and shooting this entire sequence. For one thing, the daughter is clearly upset, but the first time we see it we're meant to think it's because of the father shouting, at which she jumps. Which is pretty much exactly what a lot of small children would do in that scenario, as the parental figure destabilizes, so too does the child's sense of security, and it doesn't feel good at all. However, in retrospect, the father is most likely apologizing not for losing his temper but for pissing the little girl off by taking away the GPS. Likewise, we see the father walk around to the outside of the building with his game face on, but we never see what the gas station attendant sees nor what throws him up against the glass, which in retrospect we should have, since the father and the attendant were around the same height.

Lo, the opening credits have changed again, in small ways this time. Again. The last few changes have been pretty small, this one introduces the credits with a four or so count riff, but pick a goddamn intro, people. Or we're going to start looking for reasons that you've changed them and then there will be a never-ending spiral of doomy detail-hunting. The rest of the credits seem to be the same, dealing with human/Wesen faces, running, hunting, standing still, ha-ha, found you, FLAG. We have the parallel with Juliette and the gun and Nick and the crossbow, which I still can't explain, and on to the episode.

When the credits are over we do get a shot of the attendant who has been eviscerated, disemboweled, whatever, and there's blood all over the place. This in and of itself tells us nothing, though, because a lot of meat-eating predator animals go for the viscera, where there's lots of chewy tasty nutritious bits like livers and things. Wu misses the good old times when people shot, stabbed, or strangled each other, which apart from being morbidly hilarious does go with Hank's question about things getting weirder in this town from last season to tell us that, yes, things are getting weirder. The usual crime scene banter, fingerprints are probably smeared all to hell and back so I don't blame them for not going over that, but they do reference security cameras and credit card machines.

Back to the family and the truck, and another double-meaning conversation. And while on the face of it it seems like a father warning his little girl that he's done a bad thing and the police may be here to address that, in actuality she's the one who's done the bad thing and he's probably trying to impress that upon her. That said, I have no idea why the little girl is quoting Thomas fucking Paine right now. The other interesting thing, though, is that this is a quote from Thomas Paine's letters during the American Revolution, referencing God on their side and how adversity and panic forces people to show their true colors. And more things that could be referring to the Resistance, the Lauffeuer, and the conflict with the Verrat and the Royals, but the one plotline has nothing to do with the other. So I still have no idea why the girl is quoting Thomas fucking Paine. Possibly just to contribute to the impression that the man is a survivalist trying to take his daughter away from the corrupting influence of the world, or somewhat like that, and the revolution dovetailing is an added bonus. Meanwhile, look! Here comes another guy with a truck that's full of gas, and presumably the man's wallet is full of either plastic or paper money, or both.

Everyone's crowded around the computer and, for once, the Captain's head is lower than everyone else's. There are so many things interesting and wrong about that setting that it might take me a whole paragraph to get through them, so let's see, shall we? First of all, it puts him in a corner and away from the main action of the shot and the screen, which isn't the directors' usual MO. As big as Sasha Roiz is, usually if he's not the focus of the shot at the time they're still making use of his height and size and/or compensating for it to get the smaller, slighter David Giuntoli as the focus. And that compensation doesn't usually take the form of squishing him off to the corner. Secondly, it puts him lower than his detectives, which as some of you may know is often a submissive sign in most herd or pack animals. Renard is dominant, if he is anything, he doesn't roll over for Family or anyone. He might lower himself below the height of everyone else in the room if he were around children, victims of assault and trauma, or other people he didn't want to intimidate with his size. He doesn't have that problem with his detectives. Thirdly and lead significant, up until now his pattern has been to either stand over or lean over straight-armed with one or both hands open and flat on the desk, and right now he's crouched probably on the balls of his feet. Without knowing more about his recent behavior patterns it's difficult to say if this is typical of what he's been doing lately, but it seems like a safe bet that he's feeling unnerved and exhausted from the spell and from being under siege from the Families, and this is his way of both staying involved in his detectives' cases and not having to hold the usual amount of force of personality.

Cop work occurs, and Wu focuses on the license plate, which Hank ran. Renard isn't interested in the plate or the identity, he trusts his detectives to get the right information, he's focused on the little girl in the car with the raging man. Oh Renard. We can offer up tons of speculation on Renard's issues with little girls in danger, but his brow is definitely knotted with concern and upset. Hank and Nick provide more expospeak, Renard gives directions both we and they probably anticipated.

The poor schmuck about to get assaulted climbs into his truck and the father, Robert Granger as we now know he is, pops up at his driver's side window. Because popping up out of nowhere is a good sign of shiftiness and danger! Seriously, the now-you-see-them-now-you-don't thing is always, always used to telegraph how shady and dangerous someone is, both good guys and bad guys. Granger wants a ride, but the other guy isn't having any of it because shady, and rightfully so. Only then the little girl pops her head out and asks if he can please give them a ride. Again in retrospect I have no conclusions but that this is a deliberate piece of manipulation on the girl's part, which is the point where I start drawing allusions back to another Criminal Minds episode. In fact, the Monster of the Week plot plays out quite a bit like that episode, and I'll go into it in greater detail at the end. Either way, the scene is played to initially make the father (still) appear to be the bad guy and we know the person they've just run into is now in deep, deep shit.

Back to Monroe! Because this was getting too serious. Monroe finds the final ingredient, viscum coloratum, which is either a subspecies of mistletoe or a Chinese variant (which may also be a mistletoe) which I don't know the lay term for. The label is clearly marked with "store in a cool dry place" And he picks it up but then the silly bugger puts it back on the shelf as the customer comes in, very clearly reeling from some form of balance trouble. The inner ear problem we heard about a little while ago! And he's a Maushertz! We haven't seen one of those since around midway through season one! Monroe reassures the Maushertz that he has the equipment necessary, although why a funny steampunk eardrippy hat is necessary I have no idea, and proceeds to grab the jar next to the viscum coloratum and mix it in. Which my inner apothecary shrieks at him for, being both careless and dangerous. The jar he actually uses, as we see, is labeled nepeta agrestis and "keep out of direct sunlight, external use only." And for all our amusement, nepeta agrestis is catnip. Not the most common kind, but a variant within the plant family of catnips. We now pause so you can laugh all of the laughing with us. Monroe improperly mixes the concoction without looking at the label on the jar to know what he's mixing in there, I throw things at the screen, and he bundles it all up and hands it to the poor Maushertz with a still-bizarre "et voila." Really, Monroe, what's with the random French flourishes all of a sudden this season? Last season it was German, which makes sense considering his family language is German, I do that with Spanish all the time, but French? Where the hell did you pick up French? Inquiring analysts want to know. While I'm at it, why are all of Rosalee's equipment things (the nez-soufflee, remember?) named in French? Goddammit, Grimm, explicate your languages more.

Ahem. Then I pry my teeth out of the language issues just in time for the cop crew to come roaring up. They knock, announce, and since they have reason to believe a dangerous person is either on their way or at her house they enter, guns drawn and vests on. It doesn't get any better when we find the blood trail, and I would scream about contaminating evidence except that with no confirmation that there aren't still-living casualties in the house their priority is to locate and recover survivors and get them medical attention, and rightfully so. They find the girl's mother, who gasps out a question about where her daughter is but, unfortunately, no more than that before she passes out from pain or weakness or both. Nick, isn't it so much easier now that you can just say to Hank "she's a Wesen"? I thought so. And another line about her husband just to underscore the fact that he's the suspect here, and how dangerous he is.

Over to the Captain with this information and the conclusions they've drawn from stuff they've gathered offscreen; family separated, father was a history teacher which explains why he has Thomas Paine lurking around, but still doesn't explain what the hell the quote was doing there. We come in at the end of their walk-and-talk, more cop work, going over the data they have and offering up predictions and theories on what Granger will do next and where he'll go, all of which is reasonable to the data at hand. Going from a steady job and a family to divorced with at least the lesser time of partial custody and no job, rapidly dwindling bank accounts all provide stressors that would turn a man with an already demonstrated short temper into a spree killer or, as Renard calls him, a rage killer. And the fact that he has his daughter with him is no comfort that he won't do worse or turn on her, because when cornered perpetrators like that often tend to turn on themselves and their loved ones to "spare them the consequences." Which everyone in the room, being cops, is well aware of. Interestingly, Renard looks more disheveled than usual here, his suit jacket's gone and his shirt is rumpled. It could be to underscore the urgency of the case; remember, the first time we saw him with a missing child case we also saw him with no suit jacket and a rumpled shirt, and in that case his sleeves were even rolled up. And he has all the reason in the world for child abductions to hit home harder than some other major crimes type cases. Two isn't sufficient to make a strong pattern, but it may be safe to say that no suit jacket and rumpled shirt is Renard's usual consequence for child abduction cases, particularly prepubescent girls. Not that that's his only reason for being ruffled. But I digress.

It's a truck and a couple of bearded, flannel-and-denim wearing older guys who drawl! Therefore country music. Which I find a bit silly, but there you go. But of course we come in on the scene just when the Amber alert is hitting the radio waves, and ordinarily I'd complain about the convenience of a news broadcast coming on just now about the particularly relevant case, but Amber Alerts do go out quickly and often and widespread, so it's not inconceivable that they'd be in the truck with the radio on and hear it. If it wasn't that it might be a road sign, or something else. The sad thing is, given that description, the driver might not have noticed anything funny if a) the Dad hadn't moved to shut it off and b) April hadn't pointed out that they said her name on the radio. Which is kind of a tell. Poor guy, he tries to do something, but doesn't manage it before Granger bangs his head into the steering wheel/column (wheel, I think) and takes over.

Wu has stuff from Granger's! We like stuff. Thomas Paine tells us what category of history he taught and the receipts and information on the laptop give us an idea of what he's been up to these past several however long! But back to Granger, dragging a body into the woods. That poor trucker. We don't know if he's dead or alive at this point, though the part of me that would prefer young children aren't exposed to violence or the kind o0f emotional volatility that leads to violence hopes he's alive. Not that it would help in her case, I suppose. She climbs out of the truck and picks her way to ... nowhere, because her Dad jumps out and grabs her and tells her they have to go. She does sound pretty upset about what did her Daddy do to him, but Daddy gives her no answers and we cut back to Wu, Hank, and Nick going through the guy's computer. Ammo, guns, camoflage, make your own self-composting latrine which did make me perk up, but I have other reasons, and there's the usual cracks about survivalism and Wu does not apologize for his bad jokes. Enter Juliette from downstage. About as literal downstage as you can get with television because the camera pulls back before switching over to see her. She's wearing a deep blue-purple dress and I only mention it because it's such a contrast from her usual red, green, or cream, and because then we get Renard coming up, with his jacket back on and his lavender shirt with a deeper purple tie. Hello, Royal. Hello purple.

Renard's expressions are somewhat fucked up here. That's a technical term. We start off with a pleased smile that doesn't quite lose the formality as he buttons his suit coat again, but is still a smile, then fade into a more serious expression. It's as though his initial instinct is to be happy to see her and then on the heels of that, he realizes either what's going on or his normal personality reasserts itself. She catches sight of him over Hank's shoulder, there's a musical little trill of ominousness, and his expression freezes slightly openmouthed in the middle of either wariness or happiness, it's hard to tell which and it's probably both. He stops with a solid heel-stomp, bracing himself on the ground where he stands to avoid something that most likely involves moving closer to her, so at least there's some facet of his own self that remains, that wants to control this. He asks her if she's feeling better, as would a Captain who keeps apprised of the conditions of his men's families, suit coat buttoned and hands in his pockets to keep himself contained but he can't quite keep from leaning forward a little, oriented and fixed on her. She can't quite stop smiling or looking at him. Nor can she manage a straight, normal-level-of-polite answer, there's stuttering there where we've previously never heard Juliette stutter like that. We get the closest thing we've ever seen to a genuine smile from Renard as he says how it's good to hear she's doing better, everyone was worried about her, and claps a paternal hand on Nick's shoulder by way of highlight and explanation with his "especially this guy." Aw, Renard. You might be fooling Nick but you're not fooling us. Though the Renard who was, likely was indeed worried about Juliette for Nick's sake. An unstable, heartbroken Grimm is good for no one. With the rapid back and forth between the two it highlights the similarity of colors between her dress and Renard's tie. Juliette stammers something about having to get back to work, still with the smile that says it's plastered on her face because she physically can't help it because the excitement is too great, and Renard stomps off with a harder tread than usual after a final 'good seeing you again.' Seriously, I can hear his footfalls, and usually they get lost in the noise. Even when Juliette looks back at oblivious Nick she's still a bit wide-eyed and joyful, and there's a bit of a twirl as she leaves. I should say, Nick is oblivious as to the source of her bounce, but he does look after her with a sort of considering expression that says he's wondering if something might not be happening. I'm not sure if that's her behavior, lingering effects from the dream, or  both. Either way I would not want to play poker with the Captain. Or maybe I would, but I wouldn't recommend it as a general course of action unless you also feel confident starting a land war in Asia. And now that the bespelled lovebirds have both departed, although I wouldn't place money on Renard walking up at that exact moment because the spell drew him to Juliette, back to the case. Wu finds some more pictures of where Granger has obviously put these plans into action, and Nick says there's another place they can 'check.' And somehow I don't think he means for Granger's location.

Nick's car pulls up to the trailer and Nick spends a bit of time both looking around like he expects someone to attack him and talking about how there's some valuable Grimming equipment in the trailer. Which means I spend a bit of time ranting about how he should really move the goddamned trailer. Even so, Hank being in the trailer gave us all the happy bouncy feelings (seriously, we were abusing our capslock and going "HANK IN THE TRAILER" when we found that), so we'll just stick with that. This is also notably the first time we get a long, outside view of the trailer in broad daylight, which adds a good layer of symbolism to Nick finally showing Hank the trailer. He gives Hank a sketch and a book to look through for whatever kind of Wesen it is, and we get even more happy bouncy from seeing some familiar drawings! Continuity, we love you! Though not so much for reminding us that Nick hasn't told Hank about his close encounter with the sexenbiest yet. Nick, you really should get on that. I love, too, how Hank stops on the Hexenbiest page to look over at Nick and ask if he's really seen all of these in Portland. There's some lampshading about Nick's weird life and Hank being a part of the Scoobies now.

Because we didn't get enough of it before, more bespelled Renard! He's working on the budget for his police district, oh Renard. It might just be me, but there's something oddly adorable about that, Renard doing the day to day paperwork of being a police Captain. No, just me then? Right. His phone rings, he answers it more with a 'hello' than a 'yeah' which seems to be his custom, but it's still the same half-there-until-he-figures-out-who's-on-the-other-end expression. Who's on the other end? Why Adalind, of course! Because his life wasn't complicated enough. She wants to know who killed her mother, like you do. And judging by the decor and the outside she's in a very, very swank hotel suite. I have a momentary heart attack as I see a ring on her finger, then I see that it's a large white gem ring, not a Ring-type-ring. So there's that. Renard leans back, says "Adalind" for those of us who didn't recognize her voice, and obviously puts away cop business for a little while. "Good to hear your voice." No, it isn't, Renard, stop lying, your blink rate went up slightly and you're darting your eyes around the room. Of note, right now instead of drawing himself up like he usually does for Princely business he's slouched in his chair, hunched, more like prey than predator. He wants to know where she is, as would we all, and her response is vicious and unsmiling "someplace you'll never find me." "That takes all the fun out of it," he bites back. She still wants to know who killed her mother, and Renard says that they may never know. Which isn't untrue, either, considering he can probably assume it was a Grimm that wasn't Nick. And since he doesn't know the identity of any other Grimms around, though he has reason to know there is one, well. He's surprised Adalind cares, and after the way Catherine treated her the last time she, Adalind, and Renard were all in a room I would be too. She's not surprised Renard doesn't care, and neither are we. When she stands we get a slightly better view of her dress, and I'm a little surprised to see short leg-of-mutton sleeves on it, which don't seem very Adalind-esque. They do, however, seem somewhat Renard's-family-esque. Though with this I'd be just as accepting of 'you're reading too much into it.' (A: No, my first thought was that the dress was a gift from Eric.) She sets her glass down on a sideboard, sidetable, on which is a bouquet in front of a still life of a bouquet. It gives a bizarre, expensively Escheresque quality to the background, not to mention the symbolism of the flat two-dimensional reflection of the vibrant life in front of it. There's a lot of two-dimensional images going around, and a lot of vibrancy underneath. You can take your pick from the relationships Renard has with the women in his life compared to the relationships Nick and Monroe have, the chilled politeness of everyone in the Royal Families ever to the warm, easy conversations the Scooby gang have, the plastic pasted-on smiling faces Adalind and her mother had compared to the joy and real happiness we've seen on Juliette whether or not she's spellbound. Even the overall idea of the show of there being a surface world and a real world underneath. Alternatively, you could interpret it as everything is reflections all the way down and nothing is what it is. Seriously, take your pick.

"Nick took something away from me, so I took something away from him." Where's that jar with the surprised face. Now that we've said that out loud Renard tries a perfunctory invitation for her to come back so they can talk, and Adalind knows talking isn't what he has in mind. When she was last in town she was probably hoping he had sex in mind, now it's definitely more on the violence end of the spectrum. And then he pulls out what's undoubtedly meant to be a wild card, that Juliette's awake. It does slow her down for a moment, and she suggests he had something to do with it, with a slightly hard to read considering expression. Which only brings back my earlier puzzlement, if she and Catherine both knew about his Royal status, why did they only refer to him as Captain when for most of their interactions he was acting in his Royal capacity? Inquiring minds, again. But she says he's the only one who could wake Juliette, so she knows that, too. Whether or not she knows about his half-hexen nature is open for debate. Renard wants to know what she gave her, in a very pissed off and demanding (and, I dare say, desperate) tone. Renard, honey, you should have asked Catherine when she was still alive. Or gotten a second opinion. Or something. The time for that, unfortunately, has passed. Right now all he does is tip Adalind off that he's in some distress over either the spell on Juliette, the cure, or both. Possibly both, if this lovesick obsession spell was a two parter. And Adalind snarks about her cat and glees that he'll be having some fun, and so will she. Before she hangs up. Really, this is an ideal form of revenge for her. Either Nick loses something precious to him causing Renard to lose his Grimm, or Nick almost loses something precious and when he gets her back, she's halfway broken, meanwhile Renard gets to lose his self control and his stability in love with someone who, at least originally, doesn't love him back, the way she did over him. Clever girl. Renard hangs up, grumpy, and turns back to his budget. Except what's on the screen has nothing to do with finances and spreadsheets. We get a series of back and forths, first a very close-up on the screen, Renard's eyes darting over it, back to the screen which more clearly now says "Juliette Juliette Juliette" and the back of the laptop as Renard slams it shut, breathing heavy and looking more unnerved than we've seen him since the coins. Pretend I made some reference to the Shining, because I'm pretty sure a lot of us are thinking it.

And then we never hear from or see Renard again for the rest of the episode. If I were him I'd go somewhere quiet and dark and lick my wounds, too. For a man who constantly, and for decades, has maintained a punishing level of self-control and has a will of iron, to lose control of himself and his thoughts like that must be deeply disturbing, trauma on the innermost level. He'll be a while recovering from that, if he ever does, and it will leave scars. Which is probably the idea in the first place.

When we come back from commercial Hank's found what Nick saw, and we find out it's called a Drang-Zorn. Badger Badger Badger Badger... Nick also snarks about thank god this is in English, and he's had them in Spanish, German, Latin, Italian, he's even had one in Japanese. There are so many things I'm not saying to that. Nick reads us out a bit of the book, and Hank quickly draws the connection between dens and cargo containers, because he is the awesomest cop ever. Followed by Nick failing to fully elaborate on the utility of the crossbow and its ability to deliver various toxins and drugs, which is then followed by Hank going "can't we just shoot them?" I love you, Hank. Never change. Nick admits that they can, indeed, just shoot the Wesen, which leads to a show-and-tell of Nick's various weapons and oh look. There's the elephant gun Monroe shot Stark with. Not only does Hank recognize it, he reminds us of what Renard told him way back in 1x08 and confronts Nick over Stark's death. And there are so many questions here they should be asking about how the Captain knows what either an elephant gun or an ogre killing Grimm gun is, but Hank doesn't ask any of them. He does point out that Nick couldn't have shot Stark since he was in the hospital, so he gets out that Monroe did the deed as it finally starts to hit him that this has been going on under his nose for a while. And by the looks of it and the context, he doesn't just mean with Nick. Stark was a case from back before he knew Nick, and now knowing that Stark was a Siegbarste means he has a more visceral connection to a person he knows to be a Wesen going back a fair ways. Poor Hank. That's quite a poleaxed look he's got there as he tries to process all of this.

Back to the Drang-Zorn, as we get a good long look at Granger's hideout. It looks like a good hideout, the beginnings of what will be a well-stocked lair and indeed we get a comment from him a moment or two later about how he didn't expect them to be there just yet, and he still needs to get a few things. Cereal and milk are apparently on the child's list, who doesn't seem a bit afraid. Which is, both in retrospect and at the time, a little odd. At the time, though, I didn't have context or nature for the oddness. Most of this is visually describing through long pans and long shots the Drang-Zorn's hideaway, as well as establishing in a bit of a longer, less panic-ridden sequence the father-daughter bond. It's really poignant in light of what happens later.

Back to the spice shop! Because things were getting too serious there. Monroe answers the phone with a ginger touch but is happy to hear her, and they work their way around to a slightly clumsy rattling off of ingredients for the inner ear potion. Which leads, of course, to Monroe realizing he used the wrong orange-yellow powder. Oh Monroe. And the dunkelkatzenpissen will never, ever cease to be funny. The two other ingredients, going by what Monroe says, are 2 grams of myristica (nutmeg) and a pinch of phaseolus lunatus (lima beans). Make of that what you will.  I have to note, however, that the labels we see on the jars this time are not the same labels on the jars as previous. The previous labels had handling instructions (which, speaking as someone who handles chemicals and plant/root materials, is always a good thing) whereas these labels don't. That said, what it looks like on second or third viewing is that one side of the jar has the larger, just the contents label and the other side has the contents plus handling instructions label. Monroe's still an idiot for not actually reading the labels before dishing things out. And now he realizes his error and the gravity of it. We cut there before Rosalee can yell at him, though. Oh Monroe. You are not practicing safe potions making, is all I'm saying.

Daddy Granger heads out to the store, which is a far bigger production when you're hiding out in a bunker than when you're at your house. The girl is to stay inside, he gives her a time when he'll be back and a watch to mark it on, and the girl makes a brave face over it. We intercut this and the daddy going to the store with Nick and Hank checking on Wu's information, the girl's okay, they've narrowed it down to a two square mile area (which is still actually a pretty big area) and it's time to break out the dogs. Well, that should narrow down the search a bit! One dog starts whimpering and bouncing over the trap door and everyone starts treating it warily as Granger almost snipes one of the cops in the head. Fortunately, this isn't escalating that far. There's some creeping through the tunnels, suspenseful music, and then the girl! Nick does a funny little dance of putting the gun down and in his hip holster when he sees her, too, and I giggle at him. The music swells to an audible happy ending climax as she dives into his arms and clings and sobs. Aw. Oh Nick. If only you'd read a little more before this happened. I wonder, a bit, if this is meant to be a subtle consequence of having Hank with him in the trailer rather than Monroe, that he doesn't read completely and doesn't get the complete information. Something to consider, at least.

Speaking of Monroe, he's creeping up on an apartment from which all kinds of manic giggling noises are leaking out. Adverse effects, indeed. There's spraypainted colors all over the walls and why a Maushertz has several colors of spray paint and a chainsaw in his apartment I do not know (although it's interesting to note that both Maushertz families we've seen thus far have lived in apartments) but he's clearly undergoing some fit of some kind. He babbles something in what sounds like German, underscored by Monroe saying he knows what that means, although he could mean just the wild look in his eyes and the brandishing the frying pan. Better the frying pan than the chainsaw, Monroe. Anyway, Monroe clocks him with the door and applies the antidote [A: and I go off to groan at the pun], which we all hope he mixed properly, and that's the end of that largely insignificant to the overall subplot. We did, at least, advance the potion-making aspects of the Scoobies some, as well as keeping Monroe and Rosalee touching base. I don't consider it addressing Angelina's death, though, because Monroe very much acted like at this point he'd shrugged it off. I dislike that. He could at least sound less fake cheerful and more honest about how after the initial shock wore off it wasn't so bad because he hadn't seen her in a long time anyway, or something.

Back to the precinct! She wasn't lost, she was with her Dad, which makes sense from an evasive child point of view. At this point, from the point of view of watching the show again, I have to believe that the child is a sociopath. She is audibly dodging Hank and Nick's questions about what happened, volunteers no information about what she did, which she is damn well old enough to know was a bad thing. She does want to see her Mom, which might be playing on their sympathies but might also be genuine worry; if she didn't know how badly she hurt her mother and ran away from what she'd done rather than stay and see what happened. Either way, when Hank asks her what happened to her mother, she definitely dodges that one. Then Child Services intervenes, and we have a moment of adorable where Wu gives her a lollipop and tells her not to tell anyone where she got it because they might want some. Oh Wu. The Child Services woman takes April away just as they find out that Granger went to his wife's house and found out she'd been taken to the hospital. Ruh roh! Bonus points for concluding on the 'ruh roh' moment of the husband advancing on the wife in her hospital bed.

Our intrepid heroes pull up to the hospital, confront the bad guy... who we see is engaged in affections with his wife, not strangling or smothering her in her bed. He woge's out as he tells them they don't understand, to which Nick just keeps pointing the gun at him and tells him they understand better than he thinks they do. Which is true, to an extent, and not true, also to an extent. Sadly, neither of the parents seems capable of spitting it the fuck out until after some angsty preamble during which Nick cuffs Granger and prepares to haul him off. In the Doylist sense, that happens for dramatic tension. In the outsider's perspective, they couldn't have led with the most urgently relevant information first? I'm just saying. Nick finally puts it together despite the fact that neither parent is saying it, or perhaps they just don't want to admit it out loud so that it's hanging there. Which, again, points me towards a sociopathic nine year old. Via flashbacks, we get a more complete idea of what's going on, which is to say she's going through "the change" earlier than she should. Moody, prone to violent outbursts, angry with her parents? I can see why at least one viewer took a dim view of this as a commentary on puberty and women's maturity. I myself would not; it's common for a lot of children as they go through puberty to experience sudden and drastic behavioral changes, boys as well as girls. And given the girl's responses and some of the way she's portrayed, again, I'd lean more towards this girl just happens to be physically precocious and sociopathic. But I also give you that interpretation for your own conclusions.

Child services brings April to her temporary foster home, and of course there's the requisite provoking person who calls her a dork. At which she turns and gives the camera/boy in question a very still, cold look and did I mention the sociopathic? Though here it's clearly meant to be more generally sinister. The foster parents attempt to maintain discipline and I give them a weak kudos for disciplining the boy as well as April, but, well. There goes April. Just as Nick and Hank drive up, too. Hank calls for an ambulance as Nick rushes to the backyard to find April sitting there, swinging, as though nothing happened. She tells him he's the cop who found her, and she likes him, and smiles so we can see the blood on her baby teeth. Yay!

And we conclude in interrogation, where Nick has the girl in a room by herself, god knows what he told her to get her there. A juvenile detention officer comes by to talk to Nick, Jess Riley, and I dearly hope we see more of her. She also lets something slip that I wasn't sure I'd heard right at first, but she says Monroe sent her to talk to Nick. Which is interesting all on its own, how the hell does Monroe know a juvie officer and how the hell does Monroe know a Lowen? Which she is. They discuss April in blatantly Wesen terms, Jess Riley suggests it's the hormones in the meat they eat that cause an early change, again going back through to the puberty parallels and the supposed side effects of BGH and antibiotics, genetically engineered food, and so on. Jess will take care of April, who's going to be in jail until she's eighteen, and says she'll make sure April's on her block. Nick wonders if Jess can handle her, at which point Jess reveals her Lowen self. Thundercats Ho?

I'll pause here right before the ending to go into the Criminal Minds thing again. In season 4 of Criminal Minds there was an episode called "A Shade of Gray" which featured a child killer. In that case, a killer of children who was a child himself. The whole episode, as I recall, was shot to cast suspicion on the father in that case as well, right up until the reveal that it was the son who had killed his brother for the grave offense of playing with the other boy's model airplane. Or something like that. The reason I suspect April's actions in this episode have more to do with her utter lack of affect in certain places, her well-timed attacks of cute doe-eyedness, and her dodging of Nick and Hank's questions about what she knows about what happened to her Mom and the gas station attendant. It's possible that the onset of puberty, with all its attendant Wesen problems, could create a hair trigger temper in a child. It's certainly been discussed and proven that hormonal changes in both men and women cause hair trigger tempers. But hormonal changes do not cause a person to then manipulate others to do what is convenient for them, nor to obfuscate and cover up their crimes subsequently. She's aware that what she is doing would be disapproved by others, and that she could get into big trouble for it, and she doesn't want her freedom taken away, so she lies and dodges and hides. Just as the boy in Criminal Minds wanted sympathy and attention, and lied and dodged to pin the blame on anyone but himself. And there are other crime dramas that feature child killers, in the sense of the perpetrators being children themselves. So that's my take on the Drang-Zorn girl, and how this was portrayed.

Back to the episode, and that final scene. Juliette wants to know if she should make dinner for one or two, which is sweet, and we get a lovely if slightly awkward candlelight dinner with the two of them. For Nick it's an old familiar thing, for Juliette it's got a bit of second-date awkwardness. Nevertheless, it's really cute. And Nick brings up dancing, which is both adorable and makes me think of Jack Harkness and the Ninth Doctor. Juliette, clearly staying out of the gutter where my mind has been lurking, declares that this should be something she should make the effort to remember, and turns up the music. Awww! If we didn't know how the spell seems to be tending towards we'd be having a moment of hope right now. She and Nick start to dance, and after we do the slow pan around the adorable couple for romance and verbal confirmation from both of them that this is a good thing, we have the kissing. Conveniently, the back of Nick's head is to the camera. Just convenient enough for the focus to slide over to Juliette's hair and when the back of "Nick's" head comes back into focus again, well, that's not Nick's hair. Confirmed by the camera switch to show Renard's face instead. "Renard" doesn't look happy. As well he might not. Part of me does appreciate the effort they went to here to get Bitsie Tulloch of the same level with Sasha Roiz that she is with David Giuntoli, because there's about 6-8" difference between Roiz and Giuntoli's heights, and her perspective relative to both men's faces doesn't change. It's still damned unnerving. In fact, I'd say it's even more so because of that. Slightly oddly, "Renard" is in his suit from earlier, whereas when Renard hallucinated Juliette she was wearing the same nothing that Mia was. Regardless, Juliette pulls back in shock, Nick asks her what's wrong. She gives a very mathematical (accurate but not at all useful) answer of "Me" before walking quickly off, leaving Nick worried and confused behind her.

Next week! The plots thicken! So do the spell bindings! Eric and Adalind form Team Rocket! Renard is an even creepier stalker than Hank! There's a certain poetic justice to that, actually, considering Renard is the reason Hank became a creepy stalker in the first place. Fans of Renard may want to take that as a sign that Renard will return to being the morally ambiguous but much more stable royal bastard we all know and love. Hopefully. We'll just have to find out.


  1. I didn't particularly get the sense that reading more carefully would have gotten Nick the information that could have led him to put it together correctly: from everything the parents and Jess Riley said, it sounds like this is anomalous. I wonder if the girl will pop up again? The way we left her in the ep, she didn't look at all like finished business.

    This was a perfectly fun monster-of-the-week ep, with enough of a small dose of plot (Juliette and Renard) not to feel like a cop-out. I wish we'd had a small bit of how Monroe even came to know about Nick's issue and put him and Jess together onscreen; I know it would have been just a couple of phone calls, but it would have helped the two subplots tie together better, which in turn would have helped the overarching theme of unsuspectingly releasing something dangerous all tie together better: Monroe withe the wrong ingredients, Nick letting the girl go to an unsuspecting family (who will NOT be helping the state out anymore, I'd imagine), and Renard's Juliette issue. I suppose Juliette did it too by going to the precinct at all, as she seems not to have had any Renard hallucinations prior.

    As for how Monroe knows a juvie officer: possibly part of his still-mysterious Dark Past? I would really, REALLY enjoy some flashbacks to Monroe in juvie. Oh, man.

    1. Maybe they knew each other from Wieder-Church ;)

  2. I think it might have, or at least, it might have directed him to explore more possibilities. Mostly it's Jess Riley's comment about hormones in the meat and the fact that she didn't seem upset or startled by it, but treated it as a known variation on the theme, so to speak. The way we know menses in women are sometimes irregular, sometimes involve PMDD, it might not be common but it's a known thing that can pop up, that this change happens earlier in the Drang-Zorn's age. And while that might not appear in the books, the fact that there is a change at all involving short tempers and mood swings probably would have been in there.

    About finished business, I'm not sure. I've thought that about a few characters, and at least Ariel the Damonfeuer has yet to pop up again. But maybe!

    I definitely wish we'd had some of Monroe and Jess or Monroe and Nick discussing the Drang-Zorn on screen. It did feel very "huh?" at the end, there. Definitely, a lot of shows (though Grimm is better than most) don't use small things like phone calls or line references as well as they could.

    Maybe we should write something on that theme? ;) Supposedly the overarching theme on this season was family, but I haven't seen much of that from anyone but Renard. There's the aspect of chosen family, too, but with recent events between Monroe, Rosalee, and Nick, it seems like that's getting much more de-emphasized and pulled apart rather than highlighted and drawn together. Poor everyone, though. And it's true, the hallucinations hadn't started up for her. And Renard seems more affected by the Juliette compulsion than she's affected by the corresponding one, which is interesting. The whole thing got a mention in the synopsis for next week, so we'll have to see how this plays out!