Saturday, November 10, 2012

And A Nice Chianti Grimm S2E11 To Protect and Serve Man

Previously, on Grimm.... well, nothing much happened relevant to the overall plot of today, so there are no previouslies! Instead we get sirens and speed lines, and today's quote, "The beast was simply the Call of the Wild personified, which some natures hear to their own destruction..." which is apparently from a horror story about Wendigo from a turn of last century author named Algernon Blackwood. The More You Know! [star]. 

As we fade out on the quote we get exactly one pause, which I wonder if it's a glitch in my episode or if that's meant to signify something; whatever it is, it isn't repeated. I mean, possibly it's meant to signify the herky-jerky impression of being under fire, when for a lot of people things seem to slow down and occasionally even pause. But since it isn't repeated, I'm not sure. Rather than sirens over the lights we get a traditional police dispatch person talking about a 4-15 on 57th? avenue, a disturbance in progress. We hear a familiar voice say Unit 18 copies and is en route, and by the time we turn a corner things are sort of normal again!

And someone gets out of a police car. It's Hank! With a cute little goatee, oh Hank! Hi Hank! There's something about the facial hair on Hank and his partner coming around the car that seems very 70s/80s buddy cop show, which I put down to the repeated use of facial hair as a very crude shorthand to mean "this is something that is not real or now." (The oldest and most classic example of course is the bearded evil alternate universe clones from Star Trek.) They get out of the car, a neighbor walks up flailing one hand at the house and saying she's heard a terrible fight. Of course as she said that the sound of gunshots underscores her words, so they tell her to get back in her house and charge up to handle it. Not that I think the wood or vinyl siding on her house will do that much depending on the strength of the bullets flying, but it keeps her mostly out of harm's way. They go charging up and since they've heard gunshots, it's announce and enter rather than announce and wait for someone to come to the door. Entering with a dynamic kick to the door! You can tell we're on a TV set because of how easily the door kicks open. Just ask Mythbusters.

The door-kicking and the subsequent first shot are at this point the most prominent, but the whole scene from the pull-up on is shot very jitter-cam, skewed angles and unsteady probably hand-held shots. Not only does this give an impression of quick action and decisions made quickly, it also reinforces that Hank has only a scattered impression of what went down that night because everything happened fast and violently. Anyway. We come into the house, and there's the requisite A Fight Has Happened Here crap tossed everywhere. I wonder, sometimes, if people just sort of scatter stuff on the ground or if they choreograph the fight out ahead of time, figure out what's getting knocked where, and put it where it would have fallen. Never having been in an extended fight indoors, I don't actually know if it would look like that. We focus in on a dark doorway just to be mysterious and imply something's going to come shooting out of it and eat our faces. Canted, point of view style angles alternate with more conventional camera views. One person is dead, one person still has a pulse, so they call the ambulance and Hank hears something moving. Well, someone. He gives chase over couple of fences and through a chicken coop of all things, would someone like to weigh in on whether or not Portland is zoned for chickens? Actually, since they film there, it might be a safe assumption that it is. The guy he apprehends is shouting things that by now we're familiar with, and Hank probably is too, things like "Did you see them? They're animals! They're monsters!" And this would be the Delirium. 

Cut to the present day, with Hank reading a newspaper and being out of it and Nick handing him his money back for the eclair he didn't buy him, which Hank completely fails to notice. Oh Hank. We have a standard conversation about how is Hank okay, dismissive answer, Nick dismissing the dismissive answer. Nick, if you were this perceptive with your girlfriend this potion plot might have been wrapped up a hell of a lot sooner and you might have had more success with telling her about your Grimming. I'm just saying. Now Hank coughs up, far more readily than Nick coughs up anything I'm just saying, the annotated version of what happened that night. He arrested someone for aggravated murder (most likely, as it seems to be the only thing you can get the death penalty for in Oregon) who claimed to have been seeing monsters and that guy is up for execution soon. But now, as Nick says, Hank has a new perspective. He knows there are monsters out there, and now he's wondering if maybe Craig Ferren didn't see a Wesen of some kind. Given what we later see of the Wesen percentage of the population, it's entirely possible.

Of all things, Nick's the one right now who's offering alternative possibilities, I think more to make Hank feel better about not picking up that the guy was telling the truth before. Hank points out that he really could have seen something he couldn't explain, and since it doesn't seem to be that long since Hank saw things he couldn't explain and almost shot his goddaughter because he thought he was going crazy and seeing monsters, he has quite a bit of empathy for Ferren. We cover the basics of the episode goals, get this guy off death row, and a deadline, 36 ½ hours. Roll credits!

Shortened credits. Do I even need to say it at this point? We are not going through the damn credits and looking for significance there, I'm just saying. I don't care how much they change that stupid opening sequence.

Hank slumps in his chair and angsts for a bit about how he didn't believe him, I think less out of a sense that he should and more out of a morbid sense of irony that he went through the same thing and also maybe some regret that he didn't find out sooner. Nick points out that they need something concrete that doesn't involve Grimm things, something they can take to their ostensibly normal Captain. I pause to laugh till tears of irony come out of my eyes because that's a very ostensible ostensibly, meanwhile Nick is asking what happened to the other cop who worked the case. Apparently he works white collar crime for the Feds now. So they go call Peter Burke Robert Anderson and we cut over to a ringing phone and a man passed out on a bed.

Big man. Big bed. Hi Renard! At least one of the lamps he broke last time is not on the dresser, and aren't you glad you have obsessive fangirls to comb over this in great detail so you don't have to? The urn and the books are the same, the lamps towards the head of the bed appear to be the same. There's some mail and a smallish, flat box on what appears to be that angled bookshelf we saw the last time we were in here, which means that this camera angle is coming from pretty high up looking down over our poor sprawled beleaguered apparently very hung over Captain. We can also see a bottle on his bed just above his head and his hands, an empty glass on the bedside table. And the corner of an open book, interestingly enough. So, the Captain preferred to get drunk and read last night. Presumably so he didn't go over and ambush Juliette in the house she shares with Nick, but it's still interesting. He also, it looks like, fell asleep in his clothes. Ew sweat.

I pause now to swear copious swears in many languages because that bottle is apparently a Lomharach (Lomnarach? Only for a Scottish word it shouldn't have an n that looks like a Romance alphabet h, that's the Cyrillic alphabet. This has been your obligatory language geekery.) 40 year old. With a fleur de lis on it. There's still ¼ to ⅓ left in the bottle, so there's a moment of relief that he didn't drink a whole bottle of fucking scotch in one night, but let's all take a moment here to remember that that's what Eric was drinking when he met Adalind at the opera. Complete with vintage. Can I punch somebody yet? And there's all kinds of things we could say about Renard and Eric having the same tastes. In booze, at least.

Somebody's in trouble, though. His very modern alarm clock (behind which there is a bronze? bronze-looking? horse sculpture and a ficusy thing of some kind) says it's almost 10 in the morning, which means that by Renard's usually meticulous standards he is late for work. And this is what comes of drinking things you don't know what's in them, kiddies. Don't accept strange drinks from hexenbiests. Renard gropes around for his phone, which is on the floor, oh Renard. His state of dishevelment is definitely slept in his clothes and now I will spend a few minutes trying to confirm or deny whether this is the same outfit he was disheveled in when Claire Coffee shot his picture on set. Hard to say, though. (Added: Dear reader Kimera is more awake than I am and says it's not.) He sits up as he answers his phone, pulls himself together remarkably quickly for having been asleep a minute or less ago, which speaks to some very quick reflexes. Not that we didn't know that, but coming awake in an instant is an acquired skill for a lot of people. He's aware of something, presumably how late it is and how he's not at the precinct yet. I'm not sure what he hasn't forgotten, but that's an interesting lie to tell considering someone could probably check the metal detectors/security guards for the day and see if they remembered Renard being at City Hall that morning, if they cared to check his alibi/excuse. Of course, to do that they'd probably have to decide he was lying or otherwise doing something hinky, and I'm not sure they will. Whoever 'they' is. Still, he's in pretty rough shape, especially if he's handing out lies that can easily be verified or shot down. And he holds himself like he's got a screeching hangover headache. Poor Renard.

Let's leave him to pull himself together and go over to the courthouse! I have to wonder how they can say the crime was premeditated given Ferren's state of mind at the time of his very sloppily attempted escape, but since he did bring a gun to a plumbing job or whatever it was, sure, you can argue that there was evidence of premeditation. Sloppy meditation, but premeditation. Hank isn't trying to argue that Ferren didn't do it, only against the premeditation and that it was self-defense. We learn from the former homicide detective that they did investigate the house 'thoroughly', whatever that means, and interviewed friends and neighbors and found no trace of evidence to substantiate claims of cannibalism. Given how blatantly we see the surviving brother cooking a foot later on I also have to question the guy's definition of thoroughly, but also given the Dahmer case and how easily he escaped capture on at least one occasion (and This Will Be Important Later!) I can't say I'm entirely surprised. The upshot of this whole conversation is that the evidence was ample to convict, the death penalty was fairly awarded, seven years is on the low end but a not unreasonable amount of time to exhaust appeals for Ferren. He doesn't have the money to hire high-priced lawyers, nor people who will do it for him, nor does he exactly have a strong case that he didn't do it, nor strong evidence any longer that it was self defense. As a point of interest, assuming this is taking place in 2012 Oregon is actually under a moratorium on the death penalty so Ferren, while still on death row, should not be in immediate danger of execution. But that's a relatively obscure bit of trivia that would have gotten in the way of a good story, so we'll let that go.

And now over to Nick's house! Panning from one room with the quilt and pillow Nick's been sleeping on folded on a chair just to remind us of their necessity, over to Juliette and a friend of hers sitting on a couch drinking tea (or possibly instant coffee, ew, we'll go with tea) and discussing Juliette's problems. Her friend is half-sprawled in the corner of the couch, one foot tucked heel between the cushions but largely relaxed and open body posture, while Juliette's sitting with her arms almost crossed in front of her, wrists and hands pointed together over her knees and her shoulders hunched, feet tucked under her. She's not blatantly curled up into a little ball, but her posture's not far from it, signifying how unhappy and self-protective she is. They talk about how she likes Nick but she hardly knows him, despite having evidence that they know each other well all around the house. Her friend tosses off a flippant "I wish I could re-meet my husband," which is only slightly tasteless; there isn't really a social protocol for this sort of thing. Juliette fidgets and looks down and says it's a little bit more complicated than that, leading her friend to guess (accurately) that there's someone else. I like this exchange for a couple of reasons, one because while it's not exactly Bechdel passing material, it shows a greater depth of discussion about Juliette's relationship with the men in her life (or, well, man and someone else, let's not be heteronormative here) than we often get. And Juliette reiterates that it's complicated with that same trying not to smile expression she's been getting when talking to or dealing with Renard. Oh honey.

Well, her friend wants to know what Mr. Complicated's name is. And if Juliette's sleeping with him. Or Nick. It's hard to say if it's trying to be gossipy or just trying to ascertain where all the relationships are, but I think more the latter than the former, going by the expression of cautious concern. And we never see anything different from varying degrees of concern on the friend's face as she confirms that Juliette has feelings for this other guy, and as Juliette tells her how intense these thoughts she's having are and how it's upsetting her. Less tells that second part and more shows, because Juliette's near tears by now, prompting some handholding and reassurance from the friend. Good friend.

Whatever the friend advises her to do about it we don't get to hear, because we're back on the case! We're over to Craig Ferren's girlfriend, current, I think, as much as he can have a current girlfriend on death row, and knocking on her door. She recognizes Hank, wants nothing to do with the police, and blocks them from coming through the door with her body in the doorway which is the first sign that she believes Craig when he says the brothers were evil monster people. If not the part about the monster people, certainly she believes he was attacked or that he wasn't at fault in some way, or at the very least that he doesn't deserve to be on death row. She really doesn't trust the cops at her door, though, and it's not until Hank offers about as close to a clear explanation as he's going to get, that some of his recent cases have given him a new perspective and he wants to apply that to Craig's case (ONE way of putting it), that she does let them in.

Inside the house it's not neat or well decorated, but it is clean. She still has pictures framed of her and Craig, which adds to the locket to all but confirm that she at least considers herself a current girlfriend, or at least currently attached in some way. We get the brief story of how Craig dropped out of college to join the army, came back with headaches and nightmares and insomnia, was diagnosed with PTSD and given pills, developed alcoholism, and racked up a few drunk and disorderlies and DUIs. So, all of it about what you'd expect, all of it fairly standard and, no, none of it pointing to premeditated murder of relative strangers by firearm. She describes how the media portrayed him as a loose cannon, which also makes a certain amount of sense even if it contradicts the direct evidence, and claims openly and verbally that she does believe him. She has letters! That describe everything he saw, at least up until the point where he decided maybe he really was crazy and better off left alone to die or something like that. That's the impression I get from what she says, at least. More than likely the "to die" part wouldn't come in if he weren't on death row, but it sounds as though he tried to stop seeing her for her protection rather than because of a change of feeling on his part.

Over to the public defender's! With a good old-fashioned walk and talk, in which we get the usual exposition for a crime/lawyer show. Filed appeals, was rejected, public defenders are overworked and underpaid and "he got the legal defense he could afford." Apparently the only character witness called was his girlfriend, which that by itself is a bad sign. The public defender didn't want to call any old army buddies to testify and gives a semi-flimsy excuse. It's possible that all the old army buddies were the kind who got out either traumatized and with insufficient psychiatric care, or that they were the kind of were irresponsible and got drunk and partied a lot and therefore wouldn't make good character witnesses. Or it's possible the public defender doesn't know enough about the military to coach said army buddies on how to emphasize discipline and control. Either way, he's overworked and under-rested/under-recreated and he, too, didn't find anything to substantiate Ferren's claims. He does, however, have some drawings Ferren conveniently made of the cannibal monster brothers that Nick can then go compare against his books! Conveniently, the public defender doesn't ask why they want to know what Ferren thought the monster brothers looked like. He does point out that the psych evaluation said Ferren knew the difference between right and wrong, which is true. He would have been able to distinguish, and that's usually the criteria pointed to as far as determining whether or not a person can go forward with an insanity defense. Alas, Ferren didn't meet that criteria.

Back over at the Scooby trailer Hank is now starting to doubt whether or not there were Wesen involved at all, just as Nick finds the entry on wendigo. One of these days those books aren't going to have all the answers, but I'll allow it for wendigo because that is a very North American thing. We get the usual wendigo story about Native American legends, cannibalism (but is it really cannibalism if you're not eating your own kind?) and glowing eyes and implying faster than human normal and eating humans. Hey, look! Apparently Dahmer was a wendigo. Okay, so it wasn't that important later. And, conveniently, wendigo do indeed shit where they eat, or at least they build their burial/refuse pits under their homes. Hey, that's a nice pile of evidence if they can find it legitimately. Did you hear that qualifier, guys? Guys? I didn't think so.

Over to the jail! I haven't confirmed as far as relative times go but I'm pretty sure these scenes are ten to fifteen seconds shorter than the usual opening scenes establishing the facts of the case, to give the impression of running out of time. We get a number of woges from the prisoners here, and it's my impression that they're doing it semi-on purpose by posturing and showing bravado in the face of a visit from the cops. Not that they intend to show anyone but each other their game faces, but partly it's for each other and partly it's a reflex, like straightening your back when you puff out your chest to be macho. And everyone in the prison is putting on a good show of macho, human and Wesen. We also get an interesting cross-section of human and Wesen in an area where a lot of Wesen are going game face, here. It's approximately 4/16 Wesen, 25% Wesen and 75% human, which is either a representative sample of how many Wesen there are in Portland (that's a sizable damn population) or of how many Wesen there are in prison. No, they do not have to be the same thing, just look at minority demographics for prison populations and see how well they reflect minority demographics for the US's population. Though looking at that ratio of Wesen to humans, I have to wonder as we come up on Craig Ferren how many of those Wesen he's seen woge, and therefore just how much Delirium he's gone through. Poor bastard.

Craig Ferren has nothing to say to Hank. For a guy who has nothing to say, he has an awful lot to say, most of it snarky and pissed off, no surprise there. At least until Nick shows him the other sketch from one of Nick's books. He gets up and starts to leave and at this point I would have expected one of the guards to interfere and continue him leaving the interview room, but no. Nick and Hank keep pushing Ferren until Ferren finally coughs up what gave him the cannibal impression. Apparently the brothers like to play with their food. Ferren doesn't crack too much while he's telling this, he's had seven years to come to terms with the fact that even if the brothers Kreski didn't kill him, they effectively ended his life by existing in his close personal space, but his voice does wobble as he starts to describe their woge and shooting them. Now, let's consider it from this guy's perspective, given everything that happened to Ferren that night he's quite likely been doubting his own sanity for the past seven years. And now he has to backtrack over seven years of rewriting the inside of his own head because suddenly not only a stranger, but the cop who arrested him for murder is telling him it was all true. Even the stuff that isn't supposed to be real. Poor, poor bastard. Honestly, Grimm gets a lot more, well, grim, the more you think about it.

They come out discussing what Ferren leaves them with, which is, indeed, that nobody's going to believe them. This whole episode is well timed for that, actually, because pretty soon there's going to be a lot of characters running around trying to convince everyone else that everything they're saying is the truth, no matter how unbelievable. Nick is about to confront the question of whether or not he tells Juliette, and how, again. Renard is going to have to convince Juliette first that she needs to visit this odd shop to get cured of what's happening to her (we're not even touching the Monroe thing right now) and secondly that what's happening to her is outside the bounds of what she knows about science and intoxications. Or at least that's the way I'd imagine him playing it. Juliette is going to have to explain to Nick what's going on, potentially Renard is going to have to explain to Nick what is going on which should be fascinating, and Monroe is going to end up trying to calm everyone down and get everyone to listen to each other. I would bet. I foresee a lot of phrases that amount to "I know you don't believe me, but..." and "you have to believe me..." incoming. Right now, Nick and Hank are getting practice dealing with this sort of problem as Hank points out that they don't have to prove the brothers were wendigo, just that they were killers. Murder is still murder whether you're a human or a Wesen, whether you're doing it because of human reasons or because you're a sentient being who happens to prefer human meat. So there's that going for them.

Hank remembers that they buried their waste where they lived. Nick remembers that the defense never dug up the yard. Over to the house they go! There's just one problem. It's not a house anymore. We cut to commercial as a cover of Live And Let Die starts playing in my head at high volume. If you understand why you get a cookie.

When we come back Renard is closing the door to his office behind him and again we get that strange angle that we first saw when he was on the phone to Catherine talking about the zaubertrank he was about to drink and not asking enough goddamn questions. There are so goddamn many things to unpack in here, we'll start with the way his suit hangs on him. Normally they dress him in relatively tight shirts and we have all deeply appreciated that, but today his clothes hang fairly loose, as though he's been losing weight. Second, the furtive look he gives over his shoulder at the door before he starts tapping in that number. Third, the hunched posture around his phone where previously even doing clandestine things he's had very good posture, controlled, strong. Right now he feels neither controlled nor strong. And finally, there's an element of not so much childlike-ness to the way he sits hunched over, hands clenched around something and between his knees, but adolescence. Uncertain, very much uncontrolled and hormone driven adolescence.

Juliette is doing paperwork and yet again I twitch at him introducing himself as Sean when, really, he almost never does. Not to anyone from Portland anyway. Juliette does the trying not to smile thing, a somewhat better job of not smiling this time because this is deeply upsetting her even while she has to fight the urge to fling herself at him. And their little exchange at the beginning again calls back to adolescent romance, or at the very least awkward and shy romance, with the succession of "Hi...." "Hi." "Hi." I'm not sure how Juliette is on the phone with people she knows more casually (who aren't Nick) but Renard has never stuttered or repeated like this on the phone. To anyone. Both of them are dripping tells all over this. In Renard's case, tapping his fingers and eyes darting around the room, staying hunched if not hunching over further. Juliette is fidgeting with her fingers, with her clothes, which we can tell by the way her shoulders move, and she's also looking around and seems to be rocking back and forth at times. Renard does an amazing job of describing what's happening in accurate detail without actually describing anything specific to the Wesen world or even hinting that it exists, which we will all put down to his upbringing at or on the periphery of court, and Juliette tells him that clearly the solution is they never ever see each other again. Renard's not so sure that's going to work in the exact same tones that A and I are thinking it. Because we're a knowledgeable bunch.

The good thing about Renard saying that there's someone who can help but he's not sure how is that his words have the ring of desperate sincerity. He does indeed have every reason to believe Monroe (or whoever's working at the spice shop in general) can help, but he isn't sure how because he doesn't know what the cure will entail. It might also be the one good thing the damned curse ever does, because I am certain the curse is encouraging Juliette to listen to her One True Love and believe everything he says. So he directs her to the shop which is, of course, when Wu knocks and enters and tells him the DA wants to talk to him. No, she's here and she wants to talk to him. It's at this point that I start twitching again and note that the similarities between Renard and Sam Adama are back. I'm thinking specifically in this case of the expressions and tension in his face from the Caprica episode False Labor; in both cases the characters are not only under siege but in over their heads, out of their depth in waters that are unfamiliar to begin with. Renard's never been dosed like this before, he's never not had a pet hexenbiest to be his potion mistress before, and the Families are already breathing down his neck. His emotions are out of control, a situation he is not used to, and he has exactly no allies in this town and possibly on this continent. He's very worried, maybe a bit afraid, and very alone. And it shows.

Wu leaves to get the DA, Renard asks if he can call Juliette back, which is more likely asking permission because politeness was ingrained in him at a young age than because he wouldn't if she said no. This situation is getting out of hand, and he needs to do something. Juliette is right there with him, even if it takes her a moment to say yes because she doesn't know the full extent of what's going on, and she's afraid of her feelings for this until-recently near-total stranger. For her, the practical solution would in all other cases be to avoid him until it subsided. Unfortunately, that's not an option. So she'll take what hope he offers her.

From that problem to a related but different problem, we pan up from produce to a security camera eye view of the grocery store as Hank walks up, looks down, and says he guesses the living room would have been here. Oh Hank. Oh Russell Hornsby, because that was epic comedic delivery. Nick suggests sonar, and while I try to remember everything I ever knew about ground-penetrating radar I have the sneaking suspicion that will not work as well as he might want it to. It's also time consuming and expensive, which means bringing in the Captain! Back to the precinct to talk to the Captain! Wu tries to warn them off, but they're on a deadline and they're not having any of it, so barging in it is. Hank begins whatever speech he's been rehearsing in his head, because you know he's been rehearsing one for maximum impact and minimum time wasted, and Renard cuts him off after 'this can't wait' by introducing the DA and saying only slightly acidly that they were just talking about them. Ruh-roh.

Renard would like to know about their visit to death row, please and thank you, and why the DA (whom he refers to by first name, which is interesting) is telling him and not his detectives. Nick is more deferential, Hank is more defensive, the DA is more inclined to chase votes than clearing a potentially innocent man, although she does ask if they have any compelling new evidence. But then she interrupts Hank after he gets out that he isn't disputing that Ferren killed one man and shot another, before  Hank can say anything about self defense. She's determined that this man, who is now officially a murderer according to the system, will die tomorrow. Renard doesn't contest it but he does look irritated, and while the fidgeting with fingers, shoulders, and a head-bob appears symptomatic of the potion, the glare he's giving her as she walks out is more symptomatic of him carrying two different kinds of authority, one significantly more powerful and without checks or balances than the other. I'm not sure what names he's calling her in his head but I bet it's in many languages. He also doesn't refute the votes-chasing allegation from Hank, even confirming it with an explicative line, although he does very pointedly comment that they have no compelling evidence. Cranky Captain is cranky but not, I note, taking it out on his detectives. Not even the one the potion might induce him to take it out on. He asks only once if they believe the guy's innocent, and then gives them the all clear, with one last reminder that if they're wrong this is going to blow up in their faces in a big way. And despite his still-hunched posture, this is the Captain we've come to know and love over the past season and a half, who backs his detectives and believes in using the police as a force for good. Which is also a bit interesting considering as a prince his authority is or was clearly powerful enough to be able to chop off ears and until recently most likely heads without anyone questioning why or whether or not it was a good idea. And yet he fully supports his detectives making absolutely sure of a man's guilt before he's sentenced to death, even when it's inconvenient. 

I do love this moment here and I wish Nick could be this calm about his other relationships, but this is the point where they realize they need other, better proof. Hank tries to let Nick out of it, Nick's got a promising career in front of him and has probably only been a detective for a couple of years anyway. Hank, clearly by the initial flashback, has been a detective less than seven but still longer than Nick. So there's no reason for both of them to torch their careers, but Nick's not having any of it, and it's not as though Hank can see Wesen or has a trailer full of This Will Be Important Later. Another couple of half-hearted attempts to shake Nick culminate in "I'm sorry I dragged you into this," meaning the case, and Nick going "You didn't. My family did," meaning the Wonderful World of Wesen, and then everything was all right again. Awww.

Several slices of pizza and a fade transition later, it's late at night and they're trying to find something, anything, that will prove the Kreski brothers are killers. I'm not sure why it takes this long to think of looking in houses before or after the point on the timeline they have, but it did. I will take only one sentence to point out that certain crimes, and especially when there are Wesen impulses behind those crimes, have a high rate of recidivism and therefore are unlikely to have stopped for any reason short of the person being physically prevented. Ahem. Hank manages to conflate proving that the guy's a Wesen with proving that Ferren was telling the truth about the monsters, which won't help Ferren although it would at least make everyone feel better about the other guy dying? Maybe? Hank sings the show's alternate refrain, "we know the truth and there's nothing we can do about it," and somehow now we're back to looking for bodies in current houses and, really, guys, I do not understand your leaps of logic here. Hank, honey, if the surviving Kreski is still doing what he did seven years ago and burying bodies under wherever he lives right now, that's probably really good proof that something illegal is going on. But somehow that doesn't quite sink in right the first time, so we get a repeat of nearly the same dialogue about a minute later. I'm honestly not sure whether this is awkward writing or the characters being tired in character. More detective work! Which, again, lead to three PO boxes and no current physical address. Which leads to Hank's frustrated question of where the hell is he now, which leads to the surviving Kreski brother cooking to classical music in the kitchen!  We all know what's coming here.

In this case, it's a foot bobbing up out of the stew. A and I both react by complaining about how you're supposed to skin and debone that and how it probably still has the toenails on and that's just bad cooking practices. Such are our arguments against atrocities in our fiction.

From a scene of blissful domesticity to Juliette sitting with her laptop at home alone. Looking at websites on obsessive behavior. Websites that do not, I have to say, have the styling of professional websites I would trust. That really doesn't look like WebMD. She closes it the second she hears Nick even rattling the doorknob, which is funny (only not) because that's about right after the camera focuses in on the 'no trust' part. She wants to know he remembers from when she woke up, but he's not terribly helpful, apart from staying down the length of the table and not pressuring her in any spatial sense. He might even opt to be helpful if he could, but, sadly, he wasn't there for that part. She just says she remembers a lot of strange dreams with him being ripped away, though she says 'someone important to me.' And by now we know that's not the case, but considering the alternative is telling him about Renard, I might keep that back too. And on the other hand now we're working on even more lies in this fresh start of a relationship, which is just wonderful. Really.

Juliette has even a plausible excuse for keeping it from Nick, because without her knowing that Nick knows about the Wesen world she really does have no way to explain any of that. Nick, however, has no goddamn excuse for just dismissing the memory loss as the cat scratch without either an attempt to justify it in a scientific her-world way (secondary infection leading to coma and brain damage, off the top of my head) or attempting to sit down and explain it to her starting from the beginning and taking it slow (genetics seem like they would be a good proof, by now). But no. And here is where I start screaming and wanting to shake Nick, because first he gives her a somewhat cryptic answer "This was different" followed by a cryptic question "What do you remember about the night you got scratched?" Well, she was at Monroe's, and... "Do you remember why I took you there?" No, Nick. She doesn't remember you. She doesn't remember anything you said. She doesn't remember your half-assed explanations. Asking if she remembers what Monroe said might be better, but no, apparently tonight it's all about him. She remembers that she was crying. She wants to know if he knows why she was crying. And he wants to tell her but she wouldn't understand and here's where I want to throttle him until his eyes pop out of their sockets, NICK. BAD NICK. He is, functionally, telling her that he has most if not all of the answers as to why she can't remember him, why she's been miserable with not remembering him and why a huge chunk of her life is missing, but he's not sharing. Because he believes she won't understand. Keeping his mouth shut would have been preferable to this. Almost anything would have been preferable. Saying something like, we had a conversation a lot like this one but I couldn't explain it to you in a way that you understood, that's why you were crying, even that would be preferable. But no. She says the words, help me understand, and all he can give her is a lameass excuse why he's not telling her. Which she doesn't accept any more than I would, so go Juliette for this. She gets up and leaves with a snappish comment about how she's glad he knows what's best for her, and either that's shame or exasperation on his face. I hope shame. Nick, that is the exact opposite of the best way to handle it. Come here so I can smack you with the cluestick.

We get a brief flash over to the prison where Ferren is thinking over what he saw, having flashbacks, and generally having a bad time of it. I'm impressed by how bare his cell is, but at a guess that's because it's not actually where he's been living for the past seven years, but a holding cell because if I remember general procedures right, they move prisoners the last 24 hours to a different cell for monitoring. 

And back to the precinct, at least Nick's a competent cop even if he's a dumbass boyfriend. Well, competent for the moment. Each zip code the Kreskis lived in reported a spike in missing persons around the time that they lived there, which is both an egregious violation of the "don't shit where you eat" rule and good geoprofiling. Two great tastes that often taste great together! They also have a place of employment for the surviving Kreski based on his tax records, and I'd question why they didn't have that last night but, hey, speed of government. Over to the place of business, they get to meet Kreski finally! And we get to see if Kreski recognizes Nick as a Grimm, which, apparently not at first glance. Or even second glance. Kreski has nothing to say, and in this case semi-unusually it's actually Hank who pushes him. Understandably, but somewhat unusually. Nick just hangs back and watches as Hank pushes Kreski further and further back towards the wall and also further to a breakdown, which does come when Kreski says Ferren's the monster. And Nick, as usual, can't control his face. Unusually, Kreski's not in a position to see this anyway, Hank's physically in the way. So there's no Eek, A Grimm! revelation, Kreski stalks off, and Hank has to confirm with Nick what just happened. And here's where I start yelling again, yes, the manager probably knows where Kreski lives but you can't do anything without a warrant! Goddammit!

Monroe, save me from bad policework. Monroe and the obligatory Rosalee scene, she'll be up again in another week or two, and that's it for Rosalee. But here's Captain Aviator Glasses! Or I should say Prince Aviator Glasses, because he has his Princely air on. He needs Monroe's help and complete privacy, he'll pay whatever it takes, and there's definitely a dismissive air to both the cost and the inconvenience of Monroe closing the shop for however long it takes. Not that I doubt, with the two places we've seen him living, his ability to pay for the shop's average sales over whatever time he's occupying it, but damn, that's autocratic of you. He tries to get an idea of how long it'll take out of Monroe, but Monroe stands adorably firm on the position that he won't know until he knows what he's dealing with, and for that he needs to see the two of them. Meanwhile Renard twitches and jawclenches his way through listening to Monroe's spiel which, for once, is entirely on point. What time? Well, a customer's coming in, so Renard will scuttle his cute little ass on out of there and call Monroe later.

And now we begin the portion of our evening's entertainment where Kitty screams at cops. First, they pull up right outside the house where the guy can drive up and see their goddamned car, and since that's not exactly an area where lots of cars that might belong to lots of other houses park, this is Conspicuous. Then Nick asks if they have probable cause, to which Hank offers the bench warrant for jury duty. Um. No. I have no idea what the hell that is that they bashed the door in with, something big and iron and hexagonal at one end by the look of it. They also bash in all their chances of doing this quietly, albeit illegally, and getting the hell out. So, okay, now they're in, Hank's developed Renard's tick of crouching on the balls of his feet alone, and they find the scratch marks where the thing's been moved off the trap door, in this case the fridge. Meanwhile I'm screaming about how none of this is admissible as evidence and if they're trying to stop a legal execution they need something better than this. Alas, they're TV characters, so they can't hear me. They peel off the lino from the floor, find the trapdoor, go down flashlights blazing. Hank turns and shines the flashlight in the direction of the camera, and we cut to commercial because the suspense before we find out what's under the house is killer. So to speak.

It's the prison. It's Craig's time. Craig is now in bright orange prison jumpsuit and just as the warden says 'time' we switch focus from the warden to the clock over his shoulder. Because we didn't already know from the many little line-drops that we were on the clock.

Apparently there's not just an under the house, there's an under under the house. With bodies! Juicy ones. Covered in maggots. And again with the yelling because the state of decay of those bodies would mean the wendigo has been consuming an entire human at roughly one a week or so. Certainly those bodies are not more than a handful of weeks old, and there's about two or three ribcages down there. There is one skull that looks several months to years old, that's not so bad, but if the wendigo is killing and eating people at that rate he would have damn well come under suspicion before now. Also, it's just plain damn unhealthy to eat that much rich meat that often. Well, it is for humans anyway. I suppose wendigo could have the digestive system of an owl, considering that damn foot still had the toenails on it. And if he didn't have a strong raptor type digestive system with the ability to hork up nails and teeth and bones and things, cooking entire body parts without dressing them is just fucking stupid. Anyway. Once again, none of this is admissible as goddamn evidence, which means all the crawling around under the wendigo's house that they're doing is for exactly nothing, and the guy's going to die in maybe little less than half an hour.

Oh, hey, remember what I was saying about their car is in plain sight? Well, the wendigo has plainly sighted it! Hank and Nick discuss getting forensics and the DA and the cops and guys you just broke into someone's house.  I don't care what you think you had in terms of probable cause, no you didn't. Hank, baby, I know you're awesome and all, but when you fuck it up boy do you fuck it up. And if you wanted to plant some evidence like you did with that Siegbarste back in season one, now would be the goddamn time. Sadly, no. None of that. They had no probable cause, which means they have no right to search the house, which means that anything they find in the house is covered under a clause called "fruit of the poisonous tree," meaning that since the search was illegal nothing they find as a result of the search can be used as evidence. Which, once again, helps them and Ferren exactly not at all. Hank and Nick aren't thinking about this. Hank and Nick aren't thinking at all. Hank and Nick are about to be ambushed by a wendigo.

So of course they get separated by the wendigo knocking things around the kitchen and onto the trapdoor and of course Hank is the one who has to fight the wendigo while Nick gets knocked back into the pile of juicy corpse bits and I point and snicker. That's what you get for being a sucky cop. Hank shoots the wendigo, who runs off, and gets the trapdoor open so Nick can climb out and twitch in the open air. Just to make sure we all understand that A Man Is About To Die, we will intercut these next few scenes with the execution! I'm pretty sure there's supposed to be either one-way glass or a curtain there but, again, it's been a while since I've been up on my death row procedure. Generally the point of witnesses at an execution is for the witnesses, not for the executed, but whatever. I have more procedural complaints to make. For some unknown reason, I'm not sure why we have to ram this point home but we do, we also cut to a scene of the DA rehearsing her not-campaign-speech about the execution and how this shows she's Tough On Crime (tm). It seems like it's designed to make the audience disinclined to like her. So unless she's a recurring character (which she might be!) I have no idea why this is in here. Back to Casa Cannibal.

Hank seems to have forgotten why they broke into a guy's house and risked their careers in the first place, because now he's all hell bent on going after the wendigo and tells Nick he can call the DA. Goddammit, Hank. I love you, but you're being a real fuckup right now. Nick calls dispatch, dispatch eventually gets him through to the DA after much undue and unlikely pressure from Nick, meanwhile they strap in Ferren and hook him up to the IV. Wait, the DA's name is Lauren Castro? Seriously? I wonder if that's meant to be as symbolic as it sort of sounds, or if they're just going after common names. We have the requisite stalking-through-the-fields scene, intercut with Nick bashing his stubborn head against the DA's. He's not getting through very easily, but the wendigo and Hank crashing through the door comes through her end of the phone just fine! And no, I'm not entirely sure how this leads to her calling the governor and convincing him to stop the execution. All I can do is repeat to myself that this isn't Law & Order, and even Law & Order wasn't Law & Order. It works in broad strokes for the narrative and the show, but it still looks sloppy and makes me cranky.

Hey, let's have the requisite ending fight sequence! Punch, punch, "You're a Grimm?" "Took you long enough!" I was thinking the same thing, Nick. Punch, punch, wendigo staggers outside, Hank tells him to stay down, wendigo doesn't listen to puny humans, wendigo gets shot and killed as a result. Just to make absolutely and completely sure we get it, Hank sticks a lampshade the size of a house on the fact that he killed Kreski in self defense the same way Ferren killed the other guy. Yes, Hank. We know. Oh, and now you're worried about Ferren? I want to shake you both. Ferren is, by the way, getting a truly staggering amount of diazepam pumped into his system. Seriously, that's like a double shot (2 ounces, to be precise) of diazepam except instead of going into his digestive system it's going straight into his bloodstream. Diazepam can be used as a sedative in executions, but it isn't always nor in every state that performs lethal injection executions, and it damn well isn't used in that kind of quantity. Unless that's diluted. To give you an idea of the kind of quantity it is used in, the dosage (liquid) is measured in an eyedropper. And then diluted in a beverage or taken with pudding, etc, but the point is that that kind of injection of diazepam should kill him all on its own. Or at least cause massive seizures or possibly anterograde amnesia since he's theoretically going to live past his execution. Dear lord. I sincerely hope that's a dilute solution of diazepam and saline solution because otherwise it doesn't matter that the governor's issued a stay, the guy's dead already from overdose. We'll ignore the fact that lethal injection drugs are never mixed in order to prevent them from precipitating. And now that I'm looking at the drug labels themselves, that's an odd-ass cocktail on its own. Usually the first drug is a pentobarbitol followed by, yes, pancuronium bromide as a muscle relaxer to the point of failure of the diaphragm and resultant asphyxiation, followed by potassium chloride to induce cardiac arrest. But as far as I can find out, only California offers diazepam as a lethal injection sedative, every other state uses pentobarbitol  or sodium thiopental.


Okay, I'm really going to stop digressing now. I'm sure you're all enlightened and enriched by this rewarding new information on the United States lethal injection procedure. The governor issues a stay of execution, the black-gloved hand turns off the machines, I bitch one last time about how they always test the lines first with a saline solution, and we cut back to the cop crew at the supermarket where they're digging up the last midden heap the brothers had, or at least, the last one they know about. Wu brings the black comedy again with the obligatory Cleanup, Aisle N comment. Now I get to bitch about why if the bodies were that close to the surface didn't they find any of the bones when they laid the foundation for the store!

Presenting all the evidence in front of Renard, who shows absolutely no signs of being disturbed by any of this. On the one hand, veteran cop. On the other hand, Renard you are sometimes used to incredibly creepy shit. I'm just saying. There's some hedging as to who gets credit for this, but neither Hank nor Nick are interested in political climbing and Renard has bigger problems, so over to the DA it is! Which is good because otherwise she'd be busting their asses for ten different kinds of procedural violations. Also good because Kreski isn't alive to hire a defense attorney to skewer them with said procedural violations. This case has more holes than my fishnet stockings, and it would not be something I'd run with in a mayoral campaign. Over to the prison, where Nick's inability to tell people what he can see seems to be contagious. That's okay, though, because Ferren can tell Hank saw, if not what he saw, then something damn similar. And now they both know they're not crazy. Hank looks more troubled than Ferren, though, leading me to wonder if this is going to start a conversation or a friendship between Hank and Ferren based on their mutual uncertainty about how the world works now that their concept of it has been so thoroughly shaken.

Speaking of mutual uncertainty, let's close on the spice shop, as we knew we had to because it was the one plot thread left unknotted! Monroe's in the next room brewing tea when Renard and Juliette come in. Juliette is uncertain, Renard is... actually, his tone and reflexive word choice make me think he's being more proud prince than anything else. Proud prince with a woman he cares about, in a way. But there's also some of the authoritative I-know-best attitude in here. I'm not entirely sure that that isn't desperation, but I'm also not entirely sure it isn't his upbringing, either. Either which way, he is right, and she nods, and by this point they're about a foot away from each other and we all know what's coming because neither of them has much strength to fight this anymore. Cue the long, tight kiss, that lasts through Monroe coming out and interrupting them and clearing his throat and she turns around....

... and it's Juliette. She sees Monroe. Monroe recognizes her. There's a second of outrage before Monroe realizes that she's the other bespelled one, that this probably isn't her meaning to kiss Renard's lips off, and that Nick definitely doesn't know about this or he'd be banging Monroe's door down by now. You can almost actually see him realizing this one thing after the other, followed by a final realization of how much trouble everyone is in. Hoshit.

Next week! Adalind! And her smug little self. Adalind wants the key from Renard. Nick wants the identity of Juliette's new lover. Renard wants to be rid of this damned potion now thank you very much. And if I were Monroe and Hank, I would want to batten down the hatches before everything explodes. Me, I want to know what kind of cliffhanger they're going to leave us on so we can start setting out our patterns and predictions. It's the last episode of Grimm until February! This is going to be barrels of fun.


  1. 1. Lomharach 40 years old, scotch, single malt - from subtitles 2*08 - I didn't find information on this whisky in the internet
    2. On a photo whith Claire a shirt monophonic, here - in a strip

  2. Putting this here for the blog readers! Originally on tumblr:

    1. I don't think this whiskey exists. The only references I find to it are from Grimm.

    2. I will put the Russian conversation here for the benefit of Russian-Speaking fans, with translation:

    Me: Я не понимаю? I don't understand?

    Kim: Да, мой английский ужасен. Yes, my English isn't very good.

    На фото, где Саша сидит с Клэр рубашка однотонная, тут - полосатая. Так что то фото не со съемок этой серии. In the photo where Sasha sits with Claire the shirt is monochrome, then - striped. So that's not the photo from the set of the series.

    Me: Мой русский не хорош тоже. Спасибо! Я была очень усталая. My Russian isn't very good either. Thank you! I was very tired.

  3. I GOT SUPER PISSED ABOUT THE WHOLE FOOT IN STEW POT AND PROCEDURAL VIOLATIONS TOO. I actually think it would have been more effective to shoot the cooking scene exactly the same way, but without the obvious foot, because less campy --> more creepy, and it might keep us guessing a little. And now all I can think about is stirring a sopa and seeing a chicken foot I didn't know was there come floating up, which obviously is not the same but still surprised my sixteen-year-old self. (I may have yelled something about human feet and chicken feet being not the same at the screen.)

    Also, since we saw last week that Nick conveniently and mysteriously can apparently pick locks, SERIOUSLY WHY BREAK DOWN THE DOOR.

    All I can say re: Julliard plus Monroe (yes, I've taken to calling the Star-Crossed Potion Twins Julliard because it amuses me) is THIS IS WHAT I WAS HOPING FOR ALL ALONG AND DIDN'T THINK I'D GET, HALLELUJAH WRITERS, I can now happily fly into the sun.