Saturday, April 6, 2013

Twelve Meddling Kids Grimm S2E17 One Angry Fuchsbau

A quick bit of administrivia before we get started: our apologies to the Person of Interest folks for no new post this week; we'll get that up for you next Wednesday as per our usual posting schedule and just end up a week behind. Illness/injury and assorted other problems kept us from doing our usual blogwork and, well, let's just say Kitty has some renewed sympathy for Finch.

Last week on Grimm! Well, if you didn't watch last week you might never know, because they seem to have done away with the previouslies in order to steal a few precious seconds to further either their A, B, or C plots. And this is the consequence of backloading your plots, ladies and gentlemen, if they hadn't spent the first half of the season dragging out the love potion they might have been able to go more slowly with the reveal to Juliette and so on, and therefore have less plot to cram in every episode on the back half of the season. They're actually doing reasonably well with the pacing of the Royal conspiracy arc, I'll give them that (although we missed the canary this week! Hi Chirpy! We love you!) but the pacing of Juliette's arc is awkward, with a lot of things spun out solely for the sake of drama. We're not being given any visible character development on her except "Juliette goes slowly insane" either by love potion or by returning memories, and while it does give her a nice fresh chance to assert herself against all the people who seem to be inclined to lie to her, conceal things, and run roughshod over her, in the balance that's not enough against "woman goes slowly insane."
ANYway. I will stop ranting at you now.

This week on Grimm: The opening quote we have not a clue on the attribution of, if someone would be inclined to help out on that. ETA: Sharp-eyed ensere07 has given us the answer! It seems to be from Hans Christian Andersen's "The Garden of Paradise," though the translation directs it less from the inhumanly beautiful origin and over to the inability to resist the singer. It might be justified in the skew, though, as we do note that male seductors are rare in structured beginning to end fairy tales, if not so much so in fantastical creatures. The opening quote apparently takes us to six months ago and a mansion that looks like nothing so much as the one from Happily Ever After. I was trying to forget about that episode; not one of the better ones, in our opinions. Same styling, anyway, as Lucinda's mother's mansion and a similar interior when we go inside to see, oh look, a man chasing a woman up the stairs. Lovely. He starts off with "what the hell is that" and degenerates into appropriate rote aggression such as "don't run away from me," etc etc. The woman is offering up the rote responses for mercy and pacification, which of course don't work. The camera follows them with speed-blurring and shakycam for effect, and about the only thing I can say is that the buttons on his shirt migrate when she supposedly tears his shirt. I actually didn't pick up on what she'd done at first because after the initial movement/disturbance of fabric all his buttons are back on again, in a fairly confusing mis-set. But, you know, any excuse to throw your vic-- er, wife, off the balcony. Neither of these two are characters within their own right, they're plot devices to set up the need for the trial which sets up the main plot of this episode. And they're treated as such. The most interesting part of this is that he's a Lowen and she appears to be a Mausherz, which makes the third Mausherz and fourth or fifth Lowen we've seen on the show (which might indicate proportions of species or might not) as well as underscoring the male-predator female-prey thing they seem to have going on here. Out of the various Wesen couples we've seen, only Monroe/Rosalee don't conform to this dynamic, being Blutbad and Fuchsbau and both of them predators in their own way. Apart from that, though, we have Klaustreich and Seltenvogel (male-female respectively), Blutbad and Seelengut (male-female, twice over considering the two Seelenguter), and now Lowen and Mausherz. And given that most of these are plot device pairings I'm not entirely sure how offended I'm supposed to be by this, certainly we've had our share of predator-species women (the Lowen woman's prison warden, the Balam cop) but goddammit, you guys. Would it kill you to have a woman predator in a relationship with a prey-male? How about a Steinadler college student hooks up with Roddy the Reinigen, that sounds good. I mean, I know the dynamic here is either actively or passively abusive male abuses female, but I also know it's not like that's all the Grimm staff is capable of writing, e.g. Lucinda the psycho shrill-beast. Also it'd be quite a switchup to have an Eisbieber woman as the abuser over a Schakal boyfriend or something. Or, for the love of god, have a perfectly well-balanced couple of interbred Wesen (not the main characters) that get caught up in a crime some other way than via domestic abuse. Fuck's sake.

I keep digressing like this I'm never going to get through the episode. Anyway. Horrifically trite dynamics aside, again, these two aren't important as characters. The Lowen snaps, throws his wife off a balcony, and there are witnesses. Oh dear. At this point the prudent thing would be to kill the witnesses and have a tragic fire from which only he miraculously escapes and his wife threw herself to her death to escape, but hey. Oh, and did I mention his shirt is perfectly arranged when we get the look back up at the killer? Unless he smoothed it back over, that's another mis-set they didn't bother/have time to correct.

And now to today! Monroe's house, Monroe making breakfast, Nick making, well, not to put too fine a point on it, an ass of himself. Nick's been thinking (a dangerous past-time) and he's decided that Monroe should take Juliette to the trailer. I'm going to need a new desk I can tell you that right now, because I'm going to facedesk this one into kindling. Monroe thinks Nick should take her. I agree! Nick brings up his one good argument for Monroe taking Juliette to the trailer, which is that Monroe's on better terms with her right now. I also agree! She seems at least to see Monroe as sympathetic and a friend, and she remembers him, so that's actually a good argument for Monroe introducing her to the trailer and then maybe afterwards they can both go to Nick for discussion, or something similarly gradual and with support mechanisms. This is a good plan. .... That's not the plan? Well, fuck. Monroe points out that this is more of a Nick and Juliette thing than a him and Juliette thing, which is an also good point, and Nick refutes with the theory that if Juliette remembers it could go as badly as it did the last time. Hey, Nick. You know why it went badly the first time? Because you acted like a fucking psycho. You cannot, cannot dump the entire contents of the Masquerade on your girlfriend and expect her to just accept your excitable babbling and emotional frothing as you telling the truth rather than you needing serious psychological help! Jesus Hitman Christ, is this how you treated your relationship with non-Grimm matters? (Further signs point to possibly yes but likely not, so, what the hell, Nick.) Do the words "go slow" mean nothing to you? Extra special bonus egregious points for not taking advantage of the proof he does have, the fact that Juliette feels like she's been going crazy because first feelings and then visions/hallucinations. Monroe gave it a good shot when they were curing her and making Nick turn funny colors, Nick, why can't you follow his good example? Please? No? Goddammit Nick. Monroe is also upset with you, going by the comment about it's okay if he's crazy. No, Nick, Monroe's right, you can in fact both be crazy, two does not make a majority or any kind of proof you know what? I take it back. Let Monroe explain it to Juliette; babbling and all, he'd probably be much better and less threatening at it. And let Monroe hit you in the face a few times with his frying pan while you're at it. Yes, Nick, I think you're being an ass. Monroe thinks you're being an ass, too, and a cowardly one at that. There may be something else at play here as well, but in the interests of keeping the digressions at least somewhat spaced we'll get into that later. Though, viewers may be entertained to notice that the whole time Nick's irritating the hell out of Monroe, he's wearing a red shirt. Not that I think that's intentional or relevant, it just amuses me.

All right, back over to the MotW. Right now the trial for the murder of the Mausherz is going on, and I have a bone to pick with the prosecutor for choosing to try this as murder in the first, which is pre-meditated and pre-planned, rather than murder in the second degree, which is intending to commit murder but without pre-planning. Which is what the crime actually was. I mean, she has no way of knowing the Lowen didn't decide weeks before that he was sick of his wife and going to throw her off the balcony, but that's still a shoddyass pre-meditated murder if that's the case. Murder in the second would be a much easier case to try, but then again as far as the narrative goes it's not as dramatic as someone saying in ringing tones in a courtroom "murder in the first degree." C'est la vie. Her body language as a prosecutor is emphatic and confident and, oh, hey, that seems to be the same DA (Lauren Castro) as in To Protect And Serve Man, with the wendigo. So go go conservation of characters! I guess if you have a talented actor pool you make use of it, yes? We will now hear opening statements from the smirking, smarmy gi-- er, the defense. Yes. That smirk as he stands is the look of a man who knows he has this trial all sewn up from the opening statements, so even before we get into the meta details of the thing, if I were on that jury pool I would be wary. (Well, up until the Ziegvolk pheromones hit.) Also, this guy is a lousy poker player. It's not until he stands and approaches the jury that he works his face into something resembling the sober solemnity the case warrants. He does put up a good opening statement, citing that the woman committed suicide due to undocumented psychiatric conditions, which might even fit with medical evidence available depending on the nature of the abuse prior to the murder. Certainly it would fit with generalized anxiety and unhappiness alternating with manic forced-cheer that the Mausherz seemed likely to present. The Lowen seems to be putting on a show of quieter grief, as befits a widower when the tragedy happened six months ago, but it's most likely a show, or at least, masking other feelings with a sigh and a folding of hands. And the defense attorney keeps monologuing and now we see why all the blue lighting when courtrooms are often depicted with warmer, yellower lighting unless the scene's meant to emphasize isolation as cooler tones often are; as the defense attorney gestures, little yellow sparkles of light start to drift out and cover the jury's faces. You fucker. The blue lighting brings out the yellow contrast and emphasizes what he's doing to the jury, and they all start looking more responsive. Just to make sure we know what's at stake/what's involved, we close on an image of Rosalee nodding, enraptured.

And back over to the B plot, and this is why I bitched about them cramming too much into each episode and their pacing being fucked for the season overall. We get no real opportunity to meet or develop the MotW and, for that matter, no real opportunity for each case of the week to reflect itself on the character development of the main characters, all their development is being powered by side plots. I'm going to stop myself there before I go off on another tangent and Juliette is in the kitchen with what looks like a cookbook, making what might be a grocery list. And reminding me that I should do that myself for the coming week. Ahem. This goes along with all the little touches we've seen where Juliette does the cooking in the relationship, so, nice character continuity there, and it also reinforces the mirror-effect of Rosalee and Juliette to Catherine and Adalind, all the women in their kitchens with their cookbooks making either cures or tasty dinners, or evil nasty love potions they're going to lie to people about to dose them with. And now Monroe's calling to tell her that he thinks he should take her to the trailer. Aww! She looks both incredulous and hopeful at this, while Monroe is still convinced this is a bad idea. He's also outside, being shot from the shoulders up, so we know something's up there. So he babbles, like he does, but, no, she's not busy and she still wants to go, at this point she's probably just amazed that anyone wants to tell her anything at all and deeply relieved that something might get fixed or at least help her madness. I know I would be, anyway. When? Well, Monroe's ready right now. And on her front porch. MONROE. THAT IS NOT NICE. I mean, that's not creepy stalkery at all, Monroe, stop that. You should know better than that. If you're going to just turn up, just freaking walk up to the door and knock, don't call her and then tell her you're on her porch potentially watching her through the window, again, creepy stalkery. No matter how much he's trying to hype himself up to do this and not chicken out. Sigh. It turns up for the best, though, because Juliette opens the door, blinks at him for a second, then flings herself at him for a hug. Awww. Monroe is startled and concerned, and really adorable with his "what's wrong" in that "oh please don't cry I'll make it better" tone. And yes, Monroe, Juliette didn't think you'd do it, she's probably past the point of believing that anyone but Rosalee, maybe, would want to help her or trust her or tell her the truth. At this point Renard would almost be the best candidate to tell her, except that neither of them probably want to see the other again outside of very formal situations for a very long time. Poor kiddos. She, too, is in red this scene, making for a nice bit of continuity (we know Juliette wears red a lot) and a nice parallel with Nick in his first scene. Juliette grabs her jacket, they leave, roll credits!

That seriously is one uglyass rundown boat. They drive up, Juliette remembers being here and that it was raining but she doesn't remember Nick at all. And she doesn't even sound bothered by this anymore, just resigned and possibly a little annoyed. As many of her memories of the past several years have an inexplicable gap where Nick should be, that sounds about right. Bonus points when you consider how many of her actions or the things that have happened to her have been caused by Nick, directly or indirectly, and now those actions or events are orphaned from him in her mind, so she's just drifting through her life being moved by a strong invisible force and doing things she has absolutely no context for. Thinking about it to a logical middle, it's a wonder she's still sane right now. The brain is an amazingly elastic thing. Anyway, Juliette is going into the trailer. Yes, she's sure, Monroe, she's losing her mind and she would like not to. So, they go in, Juliette looks around with only a slightly stronger "whoa what the shit is this" expression than she had the first time. Probably because she was half asleep the first time, and the second time she was accompanied by Nick being a crazy person. She looks around, they discuss Aunt Marie and what use she would have for a trailer, Monroe offering up some limp explanations for all the weird stuff in the trailer and leading to some entertaining comedic moments ("That's no gift!"). They also cover the night Aunt Marie was attacked but, again, no mention of Nick. Monroe isn't even asking at this point, no one wants to pull the thread of how Juliette knew this woman without Nick or why she would be here or anything like that. She does recognize the desk with the books on it as a place where she's been seeing Nick in her visions, though, and we get the appropriate flashback to the pilot. And the fact that she now has memories of Nick give her new hope. Entertainingly, Juliette seems more surprised and a bit excited by the weapons than afraid as she was the first time around. Monroe wants to book it out of there as fast as they can once they've established that she remembers Nick even a little bit; Juliette wants to stay and poke around. She wants to know why. And, honestly, the best thing right now would be for Monroe to come up with answers that are shades of the truth but not lies, even if it takes him a second to come up with it. It's not like he can't buy time by pointing out that it's not his family or his trailer. No? No. Juliette continues to poke and ask questions. Good questions, too, because Juliette is not fucking stupid and at least the writers have remembered that. Monroe continues to prevaricate or outright lie. At which point Juliette's hallucinations veer into the auditory right behind you territory, and now it's getting scary. The production guys do a really good job here with alternating between Nick who is clearly a hallucination, transparent and with the ADR coming through distortion filters to make it sound like it's a long way off or underwater, and a Nick whose voice is at about the same pitch, volume, and distortion level as everyone else in the trailer so that it sounds like he's right behind one of the other two. Poor Juliette didn't need this on top of everything else, her memories are coming back but they're all coming back at once, in no coherent order, and it's freaky. Once she's out of the trailer and away from all the triggers she's more coherent (somewhat), more able to answer Monroe's questions so now he gets to know that she was beset on all sides by the inequities of Nick's selfishness and the tyranny of stupid men. I mean, Nick's awkward, babbling explanation, now in stereo and from multiple points in the hysteria at once. Monroe offers that maybe they're not taking the right approach here; Juliette and I both agree. So, now it's time for her to go home and process everything that's just happened to her.

From one woman who's terrified she's going insane to another woman who feels a bit sick because her head's been getting fucked around with! I don't know if Rosalee being semi-aware of this is supposed to be a benefit of being the potions mistress or of being a (the only?) Wesen affected by the Ziegvolk pheromones, but I would bet on a combination of the two, since Ziegvolk have to this point deliberately preyed on humans rather than other Wesen who would know what they are. I take a second to double-take because not only are they drawing the parallels, they're hammering them in on anvils today, because hello red shirt and tan coat. Does that ring any bells? Because I had to make sure that was Rosalee and not Juliette for a second. Monroe tried to get them a table at a restaurant, aww, he's such an adorable boyfriend. Anyway, she's curled up on the bed for her sicker patients in the back of the spice shop and Monroe immediately drops the cheerful let's go out when he sees how she looks. Monroe, I love you, could you manage to be this kind of astute with women you're not dating? Please? (To digress briefly, I assume that most of his incompetence with Juliette comes from hating having to lie to her and from being terrified that if he tells her the truth she's going to go the rest of the way insane, because That's Just What Humans Do. Monroe. You've met Hank. Oh I give up. Anyway.) He asks about jury duty, because that'd be enough to give anyone a headache, and I now get sidetracked into wondering what the hell jury selection looks like when you have some Wesen involved in the trial. To say nothing of what Rosalee's for-humans-only cover looks like on paper. Well, she went, she started feeling bad partway through, Monroe encourages her to take the day off and points out that they have alternates for a reason. Oh Monroe. Though he's right, and that points to a knowledge of the judicial system that maybe he didn't have before he met Nick. Rosalee's tale of woe sounds suspiciously like jury tampering even if you don't know anything about Wesen, and Monroe's scrunchy face says he's going to go be overprotective. First by sending her home and offering to close up the shop, which is totally reasonable, and second by offering to drive her to court tomorrow. There are some definite benefits to being able to set your own working hours, here, included in which is the ability to settle in for a morning of staring daggers at the defense attorney. The whole scene is very cute, very domestic, and very much a reminder of what Nick had and lost.

Speaking of things Nick had and lost, Nick's checking his email! There's a case that's been reopened due to the exoneration of some guy (who was probably being racially profiled, with a name like that) and there's new DNA evidence to suggest a female suspect. We'll just file that one away under "might or might not come back to bite us in the ass later." The way more important email of the moment is from the mother Nick had and lost, along with a certain several coins, and Kelly. bheadr@genericdomain? REALLY? You are the least subtle in the history of ever, and can I just complain that this is the woman who couldn't question a hexenbiest without killing her despite supposedly having managed to stay on the run and hide her existence from everyone for the last 18 years? Because I'm going to. Especially with a subject line like "Mom" in there, on account of that is not hiding your existence. At-fucking-all. Nick squints at the screen, we swear a bunch, Monroe comes in and banters a bit and no, Nick cannot cook. He can, however, be taught to share information. Sometimes. With some people. There's not a ton of data there, just Kelly checking in to say she's still alive and she plans to "spend the money wisely." Okay. Nick? She was supposed to throw the fucking things into Mount Doom. You should really be asking, after this many months, why the FUCK she hasn't done it yet, not going all misty-eyed over aww I have a mother. No. You have a Gollum. You should deal with that, because it's going to bite you in the ass. Or the finger. We're not picky around these parts. Sigh. At least he's sort of sharing information again. This is a good enough segue for Monroe, who brings up the trailer and Juliette. Nick is terribly excited! As is reasonable with this lead-in. Right up until Monroe discourages him from calling or going over and talking to her and, okay, Monroe, I know you think you're doing the right thing? But when a person's got shitpiles of hallucinations in the form of one's ex-boyfriend, they might actually want to hear the real thing. Bluntly, Monroe, you don't know shit about how the brain works and you're flying by the seat of your pants here, either ask Rosalee or stop being an authoritarian ass about it.

Over to the poor woman in question. Juliette, this time, not Rosalee. Juliette is... well, okay, I don't know what she's doing, she's in long-sleeved something that might be pajamas, her bed is perfectly made except for her in it, and she might sleep that way but I know precious few people who do. (Renard seemed to, at least in one episode!) And while she sleeps she dreams/remembers and, hey, conservation of characters yet again! Grimmfolk may have a cookie for that. This one is the bruja from the La Llorona episode (2x09) The subtitles here are roughly accurate, I'll go with the differences: I would translate 'Usted está sufriendo' more literally/directly as "you are suffering", rather than "in pain" because Juliette's suffering is more generic than what might be conjured up by 'pain.' But it's a fair translation. The little details continue to differ, what has happened rather than what is happening although again, nuance, and "I have something to tell you" rather than "we need to talk," in that last translation the one implying a one-way flow of information rather than the two-way implied by the subtitles. I may have mentioned this in the episode recap itself, I may have been too busy twitching over fucking nightmares on my TV screen. Then we get some Spanish over English with the bruja and Nick talking simultaneously, and when my brain is done trying to run on two tracks at once it seems that apart from tengo algo que decirle none of that was in the original episode. Which is interesting, and may or may not be intended to be a part we didn't see (difficult, considering that scene was pretty tight). It might also be intended to be a sign of how Juliette's mind is tearing itself into shreds and constructing false memories or just missing things or messing things up because of all the damage done. It might, too, be not intended to be a memory so much as a dream, a figure who presents as non-threatening because she is outside of what is familiar-turned-strange (Nick and Monroe) as well as being part of a cultural construct that allows for supernatural things, or at least magical realism. Juliette's mind might have seized on that figure in order to provide reassurance or at least stability. Any one of those would be likely, and go with the bulk of the things that weren't part of the original episode being voiceovers rather than flashback footage. The only thing that is flashback footage that wasn't in the original episode is the line about su mundo se esta desbartando, and tearing itself apart is a good way to translate that. Juliette does the requisite sit bolt upright thing and we go to... commercial.

After commercial, even less comforting things! The next morning in the courtroom, still with the heavily blued lighting, and to the testimony of the one witness. The DA or ADA or whatever she is does a good job of asking the requisite questions, giving the maid freedom to react and fill in and otherwise not leading the witness, leaving her distraught on the stand and ready for Kellogg to wreak havoc on her memories. We get a requisite flashback of what actually happened, which seems initially overblown but serves to set up the subsequent mindfuck. He doesn't do any kind of decent job at not leading the witness, but then he doesn't need to. I wonder how the hell this asshole passed the bar in the first place, since you can't whammy a bluebook or a scantron. So we get the replacement flashback as suggested and whammied by Kellogg, cue shocked faces from Rosalee along with other jurors, and also Monroe. Uh-HUH. Jinkies, you guys, I think it might be a CLUE. (Yeah, we're just going to keep lampshading the Scooby Doo nods, it's not like the writers didn't.) The prosecutor quite rightly objects to leading/tampering with the witness, though she can only attest to the former. Some bog standard bickering between lawyers goes down and meantime we shriek at the judge not to let the defense anywhere NEAR the bench. We have no idea what the range of effect on these pheromones is, but it seems to require at least semi-proximate distance to the tune of a few feet. Fortunately Kellogg's idiotic blatant tampering doesn't seem to extend to the judge, though I wouldn't be surprised if it had extended that far in the past. Sigh. She'll allow the answer to stand because she can't prove any tampering, but she delivers a warning and now it's time for a lunch break! Good. Monroe, go tell your girlfriend that this fucker is messing with people's heads, wouldja? Okay, fine, don't go do that, first exchange a what-the-fuck look with her, that's some nice nonverbal communication that tells us just how far they've come as a couple. Aww. And then follow Kellogg down the hall to the bathroom? Oh dear. At least he's at least passable by normie standards for this kind of subterfuge. (You should hear that as four syllables and a hard ee at the end, for extra snark.) By our usual spyssassin standards he's terrible, but we freely admit we're skewed on this kind of thing. Monroe, you could only be more hilarious if you were saying "sneak sneak sneak" as you did this. Sadly, the background music does not oblige with the typical cartoon accompaniment. Alright, so, in the bathroom, with the Ziegvolk and the frog. Not a toad, guys. Frog. And the requisite frog-eating and wogeing out sequence for those of us who don't remember back to Lonelyhearts (1x04), hello, yes, Ziegvolk. Not that Monroe needs the wogeing out to be sure, he'll just casually wash his hands and it's a good thing that Kellogg's a big bad high-powered defense attorney who ignores the little people, because that's definitely help save Monroe's lack of sneaking.

Meanwhile at the precinct, it's Renard! Hi Renard. Oh. Hi crime scene with the bomber from last week. Wait. Hi Renard telling Nick and Hank all about this? AWESOME. WE LOVE YOU RENARD. He is not telling them about his canary just yet, because that's definitely a thing you keep compartmentalized and on a need-to-know basis. (We need to know where your canary even IS, Renard. Is he staying at your place? In a safehouse somewhere? Were you both crazy enough to let him go back to Europe? INQUIRING MINDS.) He gives them the bomber's cover ID as told to us in the passport last week, Henri Leseuer from Marseilles with ties to al-Qaeda through Morocco. Okay, that's actually quite a reasonable alias and lets the PD get involved and stay involved without it looking overly suspicious. On top of the whole thing where a police captain took the guy out, mind you, which would be reason in and of itself. Nick points out that for as much data as is contained in the story Renard just told them none of it's very concrete, and he's right; there should be a name, a location, any kind of a firm contact or motive tying him to the PacNW. Which there isn't. Hilariously, Renard's hand goes into his pocket during the cover story exposition and comes out the second he says "well, that's because none of it's true." Excuse us, we need to go cackle maniacally, because at this point we're just going to consider this proof that that's a conscious acting choice on Roiz's part. Awesome. Pure awesome. So who was this guy really? Augustin Kent, from Malta, born a year before the year given on his fake passport, who joined the French Foreign Legion when he was 17 (which is, I believe, legal adulthood in France) and rose through the ranks. We don't get a duration on that, only on the eight-year gap, which probably puts him safely in late 20s to early 30s by the time he resurfaced with his new identity working for the Verrat. HOO boy. This is ten kinds of awesome, first that Renard is simply assuming Nick knows what the Verrat is (which he damn well should by now) and second that he immediately gives Hank a precis on what they are. Nick gets his oh-shit look on, so this is all addressed to Hank and I would love to know why the fuck Nick hasn't sat down with Hank for beers and given him a proper introduction to the geopolitical world they've landed in. I mean, this is important shit! People KEEP TRYING TO KILL NICK OVER IT. Oh my god, Nick, you are the worst politician ever never, ever try to run anything. Leave that to Renard. So the Verrat was founded in 1945 by the Royals, a squadron made mostly of Hundjagers and comprised of Wesen who fought on both sides during the war. He doesn't say what they were intended to do, quite notably, other than fuck shit up and be a paramilitary force, but it's a reasonably astute political move to take a bunch of trained and potentially violent former soldiers and stick them into a unit. Especially if there's even the barest chance that their assorted reactions coming out the war would involve wogeing out in front of humans. It's a good way to control them. Nick would like to know if the bomber was after Renard. So would we! Well, after him or the man he was meeting with, and that appears to be ALL the data they get on his canary. Good man. Good compartmentalization. Nick would also like to know what they're going to do and Nick, honey, sometimes the best thing to do is a fat sack of nothing. Which is essentially what Renard tells him. Hank has a better question, which is why is he sharing information all of a sudden? It's a warning and a message to all of them to be on guard, and this is again directed almost entirely to Hank rather than Nick. Probably because telling Nick to be careful is like asking a fish to get out of the water. Hank has more reasonable questions about belief and trust in Renard, and well, yes and no, is the actual answer. Any further discussion about this new information will be forestalled by Monroe calling them down to the courthouse for a possible Wesen issue! Oh goodie.

Several things about this infodumping. One, the French Foreign Legion is renowned in pop culture as a place to go be anonymous for foreign nationals willing to serve in the French army, which is its actual mission. It's a romantic view of elite soldiering that allows someone to leave behind his old life and form a new one, and may thus contain all manner of Very Bad Men as well as unfortunates who fell on hard times. (Look at all the if-only-Valjean Les Miserables jokes I'm not making! Be amazed at my restraint!) In general, it's code for This Man Engaged In Shady Military Training And May Have Done Bad Things Before Joining. In this instance, Kent was probably then recruited out of the shady military organization and into an even shadier one! We never saw him woge out, so it's possible to probable that he's either human or royal (we'll discuss this split in more detail when we swing back around to Eric Renard's model I mean castle), and if the latter probably a bastard son like Renard. It also implies that the FFL might be a recruiting ground for the Royals/the Verrat, lord knows if I were in their position I'd recruit like mad out of any foreign legion you care to name. And then there's the Verrat themselves, and let me just remind you all of back in Cat and Mouse with Franco's Spain? (1x18) That was set in the 1930s, given the tape warble it's not 100% accurate but we believe 1936. This, people, is why you need a show bible, because now we have at LEAST two approximate founding dates for the Verrat. Unless the intent in C&M was to show us the depredations of the Hundjagers, which I really don't think it was. At any rate, maybe they existed outside the control of the Families before 1945? We really don't know, but now we have conflicting data, which we strongly disapprove of. The only saving grace is that the later date comes from a character rather than a film reel and is thus subject to inaccuracies of the unreliable narrator type. I don't think Renard was lying when he explained the founding of the Verrat, but it's entirely possible he got the party line from his family and never learned any better. It's ALSO possible that either the original date was a fuckup or we misheard, because the actual dialogue of the speech on the tape uses the phrase "Franco's army" and Franco only came to power in 1936. To be fair, Franco also was in command of the army before he became supreme dictator, so it's possible that a Grimm in 1936 in Spain would have used the phrase Franco's army even before he came into power. And that, plus the fact that he speaks of the Spanish Republic which is what Franco replaced, might mean everything is as we originally speculated. Confused? Good! So are we. Aren't you glad you have historian recappers/analysts to point all this out and confuse the issue even more? At this point my best guess is that originally the Verrat were intended to exist in 1936 (again, Spanish Republic, Franco's army could refer to his command of the military rather than his dictatorship, etc) and that somehow they forgot this in this episode or Renard is lying/wrong. But just in case, I leave you with all of this jumbled up information.

Historical analysis aside, we're going down to the courthouse where Monroe has mentioned rampant witness and jury tampering with the kind of delivery only Silas Weir Mitchell can make hilariously endearing. We have to go through some expo-dumping for Hank's benefit and also because it has actually been awhile since Lonelyhearts, and not everyone has that ep memorized and filed away in their heads under Renard Makes Reaper Earless God That's Hot. I mean. Not that we do. Or anything. That would be silly. It also gives us some more reasonable lack of filling Hank in on all the details of the Wesen world, on account of going over every single case from the last 18 months or so and explaining all the different Wesen would take up ridiculous amounts of their time, and they're very busy homicide cops. So we get explanation on the courthouse steps, including the toad (IT'S A FROG, DAMMIT) comment which leads to hilarious potty jokes, and on we go in for some proof. Oh, hey, it's Wu! Wu was the responding officer on the scene? Poor bastard, hasn't he had his mind fucked with enough already? No? No. Dammit. Hank lampshades it and gives Wu a little bit more characterization by saying he's an experienced police witness, which is frankly pretty fucking awesome. We love Wu! Who won't be tricked by any lawyer, of course not! Pull the lampshade, Hank, it lights up. The husband was uncooperative, looked angry according to Wu's initial memory of him, and refused to say anything but that he'd already called his lawyer. Well that's not suspicious at all! Prosecution finishes, defense begins, and Wu has the best "oh you have got to be kidding me with all this bullshit" face right up until he gets whammied. Objection to leading the witness is sustained this time THANK YOU, but it's not in time to avoid confusing the shit out of Wu's memories and contaminating the testimony, since all he needs is to cast reasonable doubt. Fucker. The gavel sound of Wu's memories getting whacked is interesting, since it implies a higher threshold for this sort of thing than the maid had and we were oh so hoping for some kind of resistance to the Ziegvolk. Alas. We get Wu's revamped testimony that the abusive husband was distraught and close on Nick and Hank's shocked looks and Monroe's "it's the toad!" Yes, Monroe. You may have a Scooby snack now.

When we come back Rosalee is coming into the spice shop with the boys arrayed in the middle of the floor before her, Hank looking resigned to delivering bad news, Monroe looking fidgety, and Nick with that gormless and earnest concern that precedes some emphatic but likely overly impulsive explanation. It's a classic setup that the camera obliges by only filming the terrible trio all three of them standing shoulder to shoulder. Oh boys. Oh Rosalee, because she has that "oh boys" look on her face too as she asks them what's going on. This setup also skips us past rehashing everything that's happened in the last 20 minutes or so and straight to the part where Kellogg's a Ziegvolk and he's been drugging the jury. And, well, everyone. We also skip past the part where we bring people who came in late to the party up to speed, by having each person but Nick make a few incredulous statements. Which is actually not a bad tactic, it gets past the idiocy of having people ask questions they reasonably should know the answer to, especially by putting some of it on Hank, who's still new to all of this. Also Monroe made her tea. Monroe you are an adorable boyfriend. Hank goes straight for the solution, and I like the callback of the nasal spray even though he wasn't around for that one: everyone remember Wu with the spray and the zaubertrank that wasn't meant for him? That was admittedly hilarious. Rosalee isn't sure (and also annoyed with herself for missing this; honey, you were being whammied, come here and let us tell you about superwoman complexes and how to defeat them) and Monroe brings up the very good point that they'd have to get it into the entire jury to keep them from being whammied. I will say, though, that it wouldn't be too hard if it was in aerosol form to create something that filled the room with a pleasant scent (jury deliberation rooms are probably pretty stinky on account of several people in a small space for a length of time and under stress) while simultaneously inoculating them against the Ziegvolk. Harder would be if it had to be ingested, you'd have to make sure everyone got the same and appropriate dosage, etc. Hey, you know what would be easier? Stopping it at the source! They take their time to get there with Nick and Hank bringing up the very good point that this guy isn't just doing it with this one case, he's getting acquittals again and again and they need to stop him for good. Rosalee will close out our scene here with a sense of urgency because closing arguments are tomorrow, and Nick will provide us with a priceless "SIGH." moment. Giuntoli come here let me hug you for that, you're so cute.

And back over to the B-plot with Juliette pacing up and down in her house, clearly wondering or waiting over something. In this case, waiting. For... oh, hey, the bruja! Excuse me while I switch the language toggle. The bruja is exactly as unsurprised as she says she is, she moves past Juliette almost like the younger woman is an afterthought and into the living room, the center of the house, to get a feel for the place. The first subtitle I quibble with the the "you've been experiencing things you can't explain" which is more personal than what she says, which is that "inexplicable things are happening," así que le están pasando cosas inexplicables. The phrase Juliette uses doesn't include any form of "expect" but the implication and meaning are the same, along with the next few subtitled phrases. Rather than "different" the word the bruja uses is 'changed', which I include here only because 'changed' tends to be a significant word in English-speaking folklore and supernatural tropes. And yes, something has changed, both her memory and the now lack of whammy towards Renard, and we are all grateful for that. And now the dialogue here is largely the same again, poor Juliette has no idea what's real and what isn't, and her memories are all coming back at once. And the bruja isn't surprised by any of this, implying that it's a phenomenon she's familiar with. The more we see of this bruja the more I wonder if she's Wesen, too, considering that she seems to be awfully cognizant of the consequences of zaubertranks. Or does human magic work the same as Wesen magic? INQUIRING MINDS, PEOPLE. Your world bibles, GIVE TO ZIM. Ahem. Now we come to a severe disjunction, starting with the fact that the subtitled statement is a statement and what she actually says is begins with creo que, I think that. Going to the phrase á penas which, okay, that roughly translates to the "just" part of "just beginning" but the choice of words is suspicious and implies hardship or regret, as well. Basically it sounds like they took a stock phrase and shoved it into the subtitles rather than finding someone to translate what she actually said. At least Bitsie does speak Spanish, so Juliette's reaction of not quite fear, a bit of anticipation, a whole lot of confusion and wariness and weariness is appropriate to what the bruja says, rather than to what the subtitles would have us believe she says. And aren't you glad Grimm has limited itself thus far to languages we speak? We are!

We'll leave Juliette contemplating her fate and head over to the spice shop again where we are learning more about Wesen biology, you GUYS! I love you guys. I love everyone in this bar. Hank will start the lecture with an inquiry about pheromone production in salamanders, but it has to be toads, because the Ziegvolk eats FROGS YOU GUYS. THAT IS A oh never mind. That book Monroe has is a treatise on Ziegvolk anatomy GIMME GIMME GIMME. No, apparently all we get is something about three vs four stomachs. I whimper with longing for good textbooks and information and Jinkies! Rosalee's found it! A diagram of a Ziegvolk brain. Oooh shiny. Apart from I'm pretty sure the brainstem is located a little higher than it normally is on human anatomy the diagram is pretty accurate, with the addition of the Geruck gland. Which isn't actually a word in German but if we assume the Watsonian explanation of either language drift or non/incompetent German speaker it becomes Geruch, which means smell or odor, which fits. And this gland is apparently unique to Ziegvolk and is responsible for the control and release of pheromones via the sweat glands. I will now collapse into a sobbing heap of appreciative fangirl. And add that to my list of things we know. And now Rosalee's solution is to make a solution that will neutralize the gland, thereby inhibiting production of the pheromone cocktail of doom. As long as you find the one that neutralizes the gland and not the one that sends it into overdrive, is all I'm saying. Nobody wants an out of control pheromone-leaking Ziegvolk running around loose in Portland. I love, too, that she actually uses the word "vasectomy" just in case we weren't sure about the metaphor here. Because oh yes, the subtext is rapidly becoming text, we all get it, thank you very much. I'm not sure it'd exactly negate what he's told the jury, but it'll definitely pull the attraction effect leaving the jury wondering what the fuck is up with this defense attorney and why is he effectively feeding testimony to witnesses in his client's favor when they so blatantly previously knew and testified to the exact contrary. And that ought to be enough for a guilty verdict whether or not, as I bitched earlier, murder in the first is the appropriate charge. It's like jury nullification in reverse, I guess. Anyway, problem solved! Except, not. Rosalee don't say oh no, and definitely not in that tone of voice. The unfortunate and difficult to get ingredient of the evening, thank you for the lampshade Monroe you can set that anywhere, is Barry Kellogg's sweat. I think I speak for everyone in the room when I say 'ew.' I think all the hoops Nick is having to jump through are pissing him off, not that I can entirely blame him. While the sweat of the Ziegvolk in question makes a tiny amount of sense in the intuitive-but-not-actually-logical biology sense, ew. Just, ew.

Ah well. Back over to Barry, then, so that our gang can roll up and nab his sweat or something. He's dropping toad frog in a club, right out there in the open. And then some breath freshener, dude, you have super-powered pheromones, you don't need it. Although this does make me wonder if someone in the Grimm writer's staff or crew or even that actor is a Torchwood fan. It might be just a visual cue of man propping himself up to go find himself a lady friend, but it might be a reference to Owen's roofies mouthspray. I'm just saying. He catches sight of a pretty woman and after a quick cut, he's walking out of the club with her. Ew. Seven different kinds of ew. Not enough soap and water in the world for this ew. She starts having doubts, he whammies her again, and I have to take a minute to go find some steel wool for a shower. In addition to the ew, his pheromone sparkles for picking up a girl appear to be pinkish purple like the last Ziegvolk we saw doing this, implying some kind of color coding to the visuals here? Gold for a more generic believe everything I say, pinkish purple for you want to sleep with me and you think I'm hot and charming. I don't think you're hot and charming, Mr. Kellogg, I think I want to punch you in the face. Well, at least he won't get very far with this woman, because first there's a sound (I really wonder what Wesen woge-ing sounds like outside of the TV) and then, hey, it's a Monroe! It's a Monroe in woge. Monroe, why are you terrorizing civilians. Why are Nick and Hank letting you. Why are all three of you doing this not four episodes after two people got killed in the precinct for wogeing and terrorizing humans oh my god. This is not your best plan ever. This is not even the most rational plan. Or any kind of a plan, considering Monroe and the council and I can't believe this is happening. Monroe will now chase Kellogg down the street while I scream at him. Oh, hey, look. Police. Two handsome and stupid police detectives who will get the woman off the street, at least, and likely take charge of the situation so they can steer her away from thinking about what she just saw. I am this close to smashing all of your heads together, you idiots. Kellogg continues to pelt down the street in terror and runs into Bud the Eisbieber! If there ever was a Wesen likely to be a friendly ally you've never met before, yes, Bud would be it. I love you, Bud. I do not blame you for this clusterfuck of a plan. But we have now reached the part of the episode where everyone runs back and forth across the screen chasing each other, culminating in them running at least once everyone in the same direction, stopping, realizing they're all running together, and cue chase again. Grimm chooses to execute this by having Kellogg get into the truck with the friendly Eisbieber and they can both run from the Blutbad now with faster truck action! Monroe un-woges and limps back to Nick and Hank, who've just pulled up. Apparently he's pulled a groin muscle. Cute callback. (Thing With Feathers) We'll just be disappointed the soundtrack to Scooby Doo isn't actually playing for this part, because really. Or Yakety Sax. I would also accept that.

Bud and the lawyer will now bond as they flee the "menacing Blutbad" and Bud doesn't do a half bad job at this deception, either. Still babbly, but at least he doesn't break cover. He even comes up with a plausible excuse to get the handkerchief back! Albeit executed in a really clumsy manner, and I'm pretty sure the only reason Kellogg doesn't get more suspicious is because he doesn't seem to know about the potion that de-powers him, nor its ingredients. Then again, it's not like Bud comes over suddenly babbly and nervous, he's been like that the entire truck ride. So, back to the spice shop where everyone is sitting around pondering the potion, and Monroe is stretching out his pulled muscles. I'm laughing at you, Monroe, but you can pretend I'm not if it makes you feel better. Rosalee stuffs it into a pot and exposits about brewing the potion and then comes the hard part. (I agree with Bud, that last part was pretty hard.) Hank, of all people, and have I mentioned how much I fucking love that Hank is in on this now? Because I do. Hank is the one who points out that they have to get it into the next toad frog the guy eats. Yeah, okay, that'll be pretty difficult, too, it looks like a pretty rare frog. Also a pretty bright one. Which usually means poisonous. Not to a Ziegvolk, I guess. Anyway. How do they get it into his toad frog? Why, by having Nick and Hank go to take his statement about the attack last night and distract him while Monroe sneaks around and injects the toad frog! And, really, apart from it being an episode of Scooby Doo, it's not even the worst plan. Except for the fact that half of it is predicated on performing actions that we recently established would get you hunted down and shot a few episodes ago. Yeah, I have no idea if we're supposed to be seeing protagonist-centered morality here, which they've usually been very good about not doing, or if this is supposed to highlight their desperation, or if the writers just forgot or dismissed it under the assumption that we would dismiss it (in which case I have a binder full of recaplyses to slap you with) or what, but that entire part of the plot irritates me.


We move into the hotel room scene full of Scooby action! It is somewhat noteworthy that this guy has a hotel room, meaning that wherever he lives normally is outside of Portland proper and that he's a sufficiently high-priced lawyer that he's billing his hotel room as a work expense, in all probability. More to the point, it means that if rumors are circulating locally about the Grimm on the police force, he hasn't heard them yet, and it builds up the credibility for the end of the episode, as much as we may facepalm at it. Monroe is injecting the toad because Rosalee needs to be in court and she'll be recognized, they make a big deal about just one dose so we know that's going to be a problem really soon, and here come the hijinks! Kellogg trying to get rid of the cops because you can't say "it was a Blutbad" to a pair of human-so-far-as-you-know cops, Monroe freaking out with the suitcase in the bedroom, also this hotel suite is larger than A's entire apartment, just in case you wanted further proof of the ostentatious displays of wealth going on with this case. I severely question the fact that they only made one dose, what the hell you guys, Rosalee I expect better out of the potions mistress than being constrained by stupid narrative convenience reasons and we know they have to win anyway. Can't they win by being smart and well-prepared? Can it not be by luck and narrative causality? Goddammit you guys. When we come back from commercial and Monroe's desire to swear at the toads frogs, Nick and Hank are doing actually a quite good job of doing the dumb and dumberer cops act and dragging this statement-taking out. Obligatory yakety sax music pla- wait, no yakety sax music? YOU GUYS I AM DISAPPOINT. As Monroe chases the frog down the hallway and Kellogg gets vaguely suspicious and starts demanding to leave. Also annoyed and impatient, these cops are the sort of people he twists around his little finger and ew mommy one of them touched me. Ahem. Speaking of touching, I guess Blutbad are immune to probably-poisonous frogs? Because that's a good way to get sick, Monroe. I hope you washed your hands a LOT afterward. Hank picks it up again and carries the ball over the finish line, thank you Hank you are the best, and alright then. Back in the hotel lobby, Nick and Hank get to learn the problem! Monroe, despite all your semi-competent flailing about you may have another Scooby snack for picking one frog instead of halving the dose, because that would have had FAR worse results. I can only assume Rosalee's been smacking him with lessons on how zaubertranks work after that clusterfuck with poor Bud and his friend.

Over to the courtroom we go for closing arguments, and I want to know where the fuck Kellogg is from so I can stay far, FAR away from it. Heifer by its hide? Fucking seriously? That doesn't sound suspiciously like a misogynist bastard culture at aaaall. This is a truly, truly terrible closing argument, and the delivery on it is for shit, and hey there go the gold sparklies! For once the jurors don't look all that whammied, though Rosalee is quite successfully hiding all the smug that it worked so we don't know for sure until later. Except insomuch as we do, because the Scooby gang doesn't lose, narrative sez. And the Lowen looks less grieving and more like a megalomaniacal villain here, with his pinkies all steepled together. Ew. More sparklies, Rosalee watches him go with a "oh fuck you I have you NOW" look on, and it's up to them to see that justice is done!

Speaking of places that justice is not done at all, that castle is still only a model. And not the pretty kind. On the outside anyway, on the inside, Eric can I kill you and take all your stuff? Pretty please? It'll only hurt a lot. It looks like it's all mahoganies and cherries and some cream colored marble and candles and lights freaking everywhere. Huge carpet on the floor. A butler buttles in and introduces Adalind in German just so we know... I'm really not sure what we're supposed to take from that, since we already know Vienna, I think they're showing off. Eric tells Adalind she looks fabulous without even looking up from whatever he's doing, which amuses me. It's clearly only a pleasantry of form because his very next line after that comment is responded to is bringing them around to the key. She doesn't have it, but what she does now have is his attention. And possibly the sharp end of a weapon. But it's not her fault, she delivered the message/threat as scripted, and Eric sounds genuinely surprised to know that his threat was not in the least effective. Frain actually sounds a lot better when he's not purring like Doctor Evil's cat. Adalind offers up Renard's excuse, which everyone including these two know is an excuse and Eric goes to pondering what would work better to motivate his brother into coughing up the damn key. I have to wonder, at this point, since that seems to be the one he's focusing on, how many keys he already has. And I have the feeling I won't like the answer. Adalind complains about Renard's complexities and not being sure how to (read: not being able to) motivate him to do anything. Eric either is brushing her off or genuinely believes that Renard's complexities and inclinations are a result of his hexen/zauber side, more on that in a second. Notably, here, he doesn't offer her a drink, just pours one for himself as he contemplates informing the Grimm (poor, poor Nick) the "truth" about Renard. Adalind volunteers to go back and talk, and I have no idea how she thinks that's going to end well for anyone, but Eric would rather do it himself and says it's been a long time since he's seen his brother and he's looking forward to "wrapping [my] arms around him." And what the everloving fuck does that mean? That's about the opposite of a commonly used phrasing, that is. While I throttle Eric in my head with that comment, he's eyeing Adalind and wondering aloud what's different about her, at which point we start facedesking and trying to throttle him even more. Adalind will apparently, instead of telling him about the pregnancy (which almost answers at whose behest THAT was), lie her ass off. Badly. I don't believe her, Eric doesn't look like he believes her, nor should he, in either the there's nothing different aspect nor the being with him aspect. Being around Eric puts the glow of I-want-to-hurt-you in my eyes, personally, not any kind of loverly glow and we're not even touching the other thing. Scene close on Eric ... cackling? Snickering? Chuckling? What's a word that encompasses all three? And, Frain, please, for the love of small furry things, find some roles that don't involve smarming all over the place? You're cute when you're not smarming.

And now that we've done the play-by-play, let's take this moment by moment. There's a lot that's packed into these two minutes. As I was drooling before, the entire room is decorated warmly and with lots of light; what I didn't get into because it would have led to the entire digression I'm about to make is that the room has far more of both space and chairs than an office strictly needs. Eric's desk is in the back there as an afterthought, looking like it was carried in when he took over the castle for someone else. This, oddly, lends a certain legitimacy to our notion that Eric's a usurper and his and Sean's father is squirreled away somewhere drooling on himself, or worse, or dead. Eric's desk in there as a visibly temporary measure creates the illusion that he'll give up power eventually, or that he's a transitional figure, but it's not true. I know it, you know it, even educated fleas know it, Eric will hold onto power as long and as tightly as he can. But for the moment, a show of not being in the seat of power, which means taking a desk in a study where there are at least two other groupings of chairs, one around a table. And for that matter, on the long shot, that looks like a dining table he's at, not a desk. There's a chess set on another table, a more proper table, signifying that These Are Smart People Who Play Manipulative Games. The decorations, books and tapestries and a horn somewhere and statuary, are all the old-world Renaissance/baroque/etc chic that convey the impression without actually giving us any identifiable markers to set a proper time, place, or artist to. Fair enough.

Eric doesn't even look at Adalind when he tells her she looks fabulous; not only is it a perfunctory nod to politeness, it's a dismissive gesture to put her in her place. He might have slept with her but he doesn't give a damn how she looks from moment to moment or whether or not she feels complimented by the things he says. Except, likely, if it should inconvenience him. Adalind doesn't react to this because she doesn't expect anything else; she knows at least the basics of who she's sleeping with: a jackass of a prince with no openly displayed attachments to anybody. There are neither love matches nor beliefs in genuine affection here. So that's something, at least, both of them knowing they're using each other for power. Also worth noting is that while Adalind is pressed and dressed, Eric is rumpled and mussed with his shirt unbuttoned and no tie or anything, likely he wouldn't be wearing that jacket if he didn't have to maintain some vague semblance of the appearance of royalty. He does look up when he brushes aside any further perfunctory dialogue and goes straight for the key. Up, and with a very power-lustful sort of a face. Half a smile, anticipating her handing over the key, we're not even going to go into the oh fine yes we are. For one thing, there's not even a question either in his face, in his voice, or in his words. At this point in time he believes she has the key and she'll just hand it over like a good little hexenslave, which, if I were Adalind, oh fuck no. I'd make him jump through at least a couple of hoops first. And preferably not from inside his freaking office inside his mod-- er, castle. Second, he believes that when threatened with revealing his presence to the Grimm, Sean just gave up the key to Adalind. Someone who he had previously kicked out of his little club for being useless to him. (Incidentally, that "you're useless now" I suddenly now question as to whether it meant her powers or whether it meant "you're useless because you've proven you're a fucking dumbass who let herself get depowered." Because given Sean's lack of clever henchfolk, I'd be frustrated by the latter. And I digress even within my digressions.) No, Sean is not likely to either give up the key or trust Adalind, and somehow Eric's managed to miss this. Well, maybe not the latter, he didn't exactly send Adalind to bat her lashes at Sean. But he does believe that Sean will just roll over at the threat from his brother, despite this being a simple threat with a simple solution. If you're being blackmailed over information, the easiest way to eliminate that threat is to control the goddamn information and release it in a manner of your choosing. Which, as we saw, Sean did. (It's possible to probable Eric has a different spin on it that will put his brother in a much worse light, but if I were Nick I wouldn't be inclined to listen to the elder Renard at this point. Certainly not without checking with Sean first.) Which Eric hasn't even thought of, or at least, it really doesn't look like he thought of that. Which brings up the interesting notion that Eric might be susceptible to the same tactic Sean neatly blocked, but also the notion that he doesn't know his brother half so well as he thinks. This goes in with all his previous feints at Sean, the Mauvais Dentes and the Nuckelavee, being more physical ones. Testing the fighting strength and tactics of Sean and the Grimm, not playing spy games. This is actually kind of reassuring. Sean should have no problem smacking his brother in the face with his superior intellect. In theory. We'll go back to The Kiss (2x02) and remember that Eric did warn us that patience was a strategy for Sean, but not for "us," whoever the "us" is. Evidently that's true.

So, back to his little display of impatience where he's all but drooling on the desk for his precious key. Adalind doesn't have it. The way she says "I don't have it" makes it sound like she's expecting to be hit, yelled at, something, it's a very tentative and warily held statement with the tension of someone who thinks she might need to run very fast at no notice. It can't be a surprise, so it's telling that she's confident in all other aspects of this scene (except one, that we'll get to in a second) up until she has to tell him she doesn't have the key and then judge his reaction, and react accordingly, herself. She isn't sure how she'll react, and she's hedging her bets that his wrath won't be directed at her. And, fortunately for her, there isn't much in the way of substantive wrath. Surprise, yes. Contemplative surprise, and the temperature in the room likely drops a few subjective degrees as he leans back and adopts a more leonid pose. Seriously, he's doing the occupy all of his space with as much authority as possible thing, which works a lot better when you're not as slightly built as Frain is. On the other hand, the fact that Frain can pull it off even somewhat is a testimony to his abilities; he comes across not as larger than life type domineering, but certainly a man in control of his environment. Which is exactly what he's trying to assert when things don't go as he expects/wishes them to. He checks whether Adalind delivered the threat exactly as given, which she did, and this time her attitude is entirely tenuous for show rather than tenuous because of actual nervousness, thank you Claire Coffee, brilliant as usual. And now Eric would like to know what the shit his brother is playing at.

The dynamic between these brothers is a curious one, and I am really anticipating Frain and Roiz in a room together (and if that doesn't happen I may have to fly out there and strangle someone, please, you guys.) The first time they speak to each other (The Kiss 2x02) they speak in the familiar, they not so much wheedle but threaten a bit, Eric's tone is more gently chiding than assertive or biting and Sean's, while certainly aggressive, is not as coldly violent as we've seen him be (Lonelyhearts 1x04, Love Sick 1x17). They always do refer to each other as "my brother," despite the fact that they are half brothers and despite the fact that that bloodline difference has meant a great deal in the shaping of at least Sean's life. Likely Eric's, too. All of these indicate that whatever was going on, there may have been genuine affection once, and might still be, buried deep down somewhere neither of them goes or thinks about. In Sean's case, affection isn't useful, would lead to hurt when Eric disappoints him as he most certainly will, and could cost other people their lives if it hasn't already (because where is that little girl of his, again, I ask?). In Eric's case affection isn't useful, it's a sign of weakness, and no one in the Families is affectionate to each other if they are at all the sort who jockeys for power. Not in public, certainly, and possibly not in private either. Depending on how far gone they are. There are ways and ways of showing the bond between relatives, most of them involving polite forms and rote actions and words. And yet despite all of this, especially despite the fact that Sean's status within the Families is questionable and low enough for Cousin Anton to feel safe bullying him, low enough for Eric's mother to drive Sean's mother out because hexenbiest, and despite the fact that to show open preference for Sean would likely expose one or both of them to danger, they still call each other brother. Even now. All that as the foundation for the surprise in his voice when he asks what his brother's playing at, surprise and I think hurt and possibly anger. This is not the Sean Eric knows, this is not his baby (we think) brother who was supposed to go along with him, who would have returned under terms Eric set, remember (Over My Dead Body 2x06) but not likely under terms anyone else would set. Eric is the example Sean follows, he might also think of himself as the only one in the Families who cares about Sean. (He might be right about that.) Thus, though they might disagree on the finer points of ideology, since to Eric it's only an academic issue Sean should follow right along when threatened back into line. And he hasn't. And that throws Eric for a loop-de-loop, leaving him hurt and betrayed. Sean, of course, doesn't feel this way. Sean has his own ideas of what should be going on, what the actual role of the Families is and what his duties are, and it's more than ideology to him. To him, this fight isn't about rival points of view, it's about real power grabs that are going to hurt real people, and it's something he's passionate about, and his brother completely misses this. So while Sean likely has a reasonable estimation of Eric, or at least we've been given no evidence to believe he doesn't, Eric has no idea who Sean really is or, possibly, who Sean has grown up to be.

Restoring his faith in his idea of Sean, or attempting to, Adalind corrects herself to tell him that Sean said he couldn't in the time given to him, implying that he would obey if he had more time. No, Eric's faith has been shaken but, moreover, he knows how this game is played. It's not the time, it's the fact that Sean isn't doing as his brother tells him to, which is both astute and at the same time utterly blindingly selfish by focusing on disobedience to Eric rather than the possibility that it is actually a logistical delay of needing more time. Well, in this case, he's also right, Sean is not motivated by threats to roll over and play dead. Adalind bitches about Sean being complicated, and there's no real speculation to the complexities here, she's still half in love with him or at least fascinated by him and she's still pissed that she can't bend Sean to her will either. You guys, he's really not that bendy. Eric isn't interested in Adalind's Sean-problems, but it's also interesting that he offers absolutely no insights into Sean's motivations or personality even to further his own goal, rather blaming it on Sean's hexen heritage. The way he says that, however, with a very fake smile, makes me think he's dismissing the whole issue and lying through his teeth at the same time. Okay, Eric doesn't have many smiles that aren't fake, but you get my point. Again, he only pours himself a drink, pulling his thoughts and his care back in on himself while still giving some small attention to Adalind. He needs to regroup and reassess, and Adalind is peripheral to whatever he's thinking. Which might be why she feels free to let some of her control over herself slip a little, but more on that in a second. One last thing he's doing which I find both interesting and amusing is he's stealth-insulting Adalind. If we're blaming Sean's stubborn refusal to obey orders on his hexen heritage, then that puts quite a bit of negative value on hexenbiests in general.

So. Eric decides it's about time the Grimm knew the truth about his brother and him. Well, that implies a whole lot of things, most of which it's likely, again, that Sean never told Nick. For one thing that puts the focus of whatever he's going to disclose between the two brothers, and while Sean did tell Nick that he had a brother who wanted the key and had sent various assassins, thieves, spies, etc to Portland to get it, he hasn't exactly told Nick much else about his family. Certainly not about any issues in particular between him and his brother, or at least, if he has he hasn't done so on screen. It also implies that there's some specific event that happened in the past that he believes would shock or appall most of everyone, since he doesn't know a damn thing about the Grimm or what the Grimm believes in or holds dear or important. And, you know? I would dearly love to know what this is. And if it has something to do with the pictures of the girl, the history of the Families, the not-wedding-ring on Sean's hand, any of it. But we get no further clues except that whatever it is, Adalind believes she knows it, because she volunteers to go tell. To which Eric rumble-purrs a "no" and jesus fuck, Frain, with the rumbling. Did they go with the take that had the most rolling rumble in it or is that all delivery, was that requested or what? I'm fairly sure it was meant to be alluring in some way but it only makes me more convinced Eric's a smarmy bastard who needs to be strung up from his own battlements. Though it does go along with the leonid posturing earlier. It's been a long time since he's seen his brother, okay, and then we have the wrapping arms around line, which I have nothing for. Absolutely nothing. I'm sure that must mean something, that phrasing is not just unusual, it's freaking awkward, but apart from following that up with a good solid backstab I have no idea what that means. Possibly something to do with another thing I'm about to deal with.

Because here's that moment where Adalind lets her control slip. She grins, all triumphant and smug and something about her mannerism, Eric describes it as a glow but we'll never know specifically what tipped him off, but something about her signifies both a victory and a change since he last saw her. The second she realizes he's looking at her funny, of course, her confidence drops, but it's too late. He's seen or perceived somehow whatever has changed about her, and this is another of those points (along with the rumble, along with the discussion of Sean's bloodline and along with the Royals' place in this world) where I think the Royals must not be human. The look he gives her is both predatory and even a bit wary; she's done something he wasn't expecting  and, more than that, she's hiding it from him. He now wants to know what it is, how he can control it, and if he's smart (which sometimes he is and sometimes he really isn't) how it will or could come back to bite him in the ass. He definitely knows she's hiding something. The choice of words indicates that he knows or is certain that he knows she's pregnant. How the hell he knows this when up until a few years ago it would have been too early for all but the most advanced lab tests to tell she was pregnant, I have no idea. But the best guess for this is something scent or otherwise pheromone based given that the biggest changes right now are chemical and hormonal, and in that case, Eric's no more human than his brother is. The only evidence, really, that we have for the Royal Families being human at all is Catherine's statement that Sean is "barely human," and that still doesn't exclude the possibility that they're super human which is enough to qualify them for the species if not for the societal and cultural implications in Grimmworld. Speculation until we find out otherwise, but it's still aggravating and curious. Regardless, the knowledge that she's lying most likely comes from decades of living among liars far more skilled than Adalind, especially when her attempt at brushing it off consists of petting his cheek and saying she's happy because she's with him. No one believes you, Adalind. Not with that fakey-fake smile, not with that reason/excuse, and not when Eric's smile and laugh fades within two seconds. Or starts to fade, because as he drops the chuckle we fade to black on that information-packed two minute scene.

We shall now tuck our biases away and go back to the courthouse steps where Monroe's jittering about how long does the jury usually take and Hank's bringing the lampshades this time. What do you people think we're running here, the lights panel or something? Put those on the damn spotlights and leave us to our back-of-house shenanigans, please and thank you. Guilty usually takes longer than innocent, for good reason, but this time we know by the way they're pretending to ratchet up the tension and Monroe's twitching over picking the wrong toad frog that our scoobies have won again. Yay! By the way, I know that it wasn't really possible in this ep, but I would have loved something more similar to a locked room one-set show with this episode title. It would have been awesome and I hope they have a reason to do it later, because my god, people, don't give me that title and then make me this kind of sad. (Yes, yes, I know, they're flipping the innocent-to-guilty plot from Twelve Angry Men, yes, they're very clever, bored now.) The verdict comes back, Kellogg is shocked, SHOCKED to find justice in this establishment, his client is pissed, Rosalee is smug. Bree Turner gives good smug, I will say. (Also, guys, if you're going to give me an episode title like One Angry Fuchsbau and then not let her be truly angry as opposed to annoyed and determined the entire episode, we are going to call you on it. With annoyance.)

So it's back to the spice shop, where celebrations are in order! Everyone has a snarky comment or pleased statement to make, and why are we here? Oh. There's the front door. Surely they wouldn't do it so that everything comes around full circl...e. Yeah, they totally would. Monroe freezes for a long several seconds when he sees Kellogg, and meantime we get some confirmation that this is at least the best if not the only shop of its kind in the city, being that everyone told Kellogg to go there. And I don't think generic Wesen on the street, whoever he found to point him, are clued in enough/mean enough to send him there deliberately. Rosalee, stay in the back room. Well, this went very south very fast for the winter. I sincerely hope those weren't expensive ingredients Monroe just flung a Ziegvolk into. Ow. It's been a long time since we got to see angry, possessive, Blutbading Monroe, and it's about time we got a reminder that he is a predator and he does not take kindly to anyone fucking with his mate. Which he seems to have decided Rosalee is. That's... cute, in a deadly sort of way. (Our favorite kind, around here!) They go off to huddle and be cute, Nick goes to arrest Kellogg for assault, and now we get even MORE of a Scooby Doo moment. Seriously, the only thing missing is the soundtrack, a Scooby snack (here, Monroe, that's your third of the recapalypse) and "I would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for you meddling kids!" Hank is the one with the lampshade about how any of this is tough to prove in court, being that he's the one still adjusting to what is and isn't within his jurisdiction as a cop and what falls within the spirit of his jurisdiction now that he knows things that most humans don't. He's doing pretty well at it, too, with some notable errors in judgment (seriously, THE MASQUERADE, THE HELL) and this is why Hank remains the best. (Drink!) Kellogg is escorted to his jail cell, which is... right next to his former client's. Will he last the night? Signs point to no. And that rumble-roar, once again, sounds very like Frain's purr and have we mentioned wanting answers about the royals? 'cause we do. Still.

Did you forget about the B plot? The writers didn't! Back at Juliette's, she's trying to sleep and now she's being haunted by multiple Nicks in multiple timelines, one of them shirtless and talking about his shaving cream. I will be over here being amused that the ostensible protagonist who would normally be the eye candy is only now showing up shirtless and practically see-through, whereas we've had HOW many shirtless Renard scenes now? Uh-huh. Aw, the guitar is/was Nick's! That's kind of adorable, though we've had no indication that he has any interest in music any longer. This would all be a little bit adorable, little pieces of domesticity and homeyness, if it weren't for the fact that Juliette can't stop them and they're all pouring into her head at the rate of whatever her neurons firing happens to be this evening. Poor honey. Up to and including what looks like the first time he told her he loved her, and all of this points up what a stable and relatively normal relationship they used to have and how horrific things are now. This also goes to something we've touched on above but didn't get into detail on, the idea that a lot of Nick's more horrific and offensive lapses in judgement are due to his lack of Juliette and its destabilizing influence. We saw, for example, that at the beginning of last season he was a good cop, generally a good guy, and knew where his towel was. And since trouble started in the Nick and Juliette land he's gotten more and more impulsive, and less and less thoughtful. Which might well coincide with the loss of a close loved one to whom you can talk things out with. It might also be an unintended side effects of things getting more serious and more dangerous, though. At any rate, we close out on Nick's hallucinatory self saying he's out of shaving cream again and go to next week's promo!

Which is not the same as last week's, and they're playing merry buggers with the editing on these teasers again. We do not approve. We would like answers about what the fuck is happening to Adalind from last week's promo, because if there's a bunch of body horror shit relating to pregnancy we have WORDS for that. Some of them are even printable. Most of them are coherent and unprintable. At any rate! Next week's teaser includes a... demon? Really, you guys? The fuck. Demon, bringing Monroe more solidly in under Renard's command, at least I bet you anything that's how Renard is thinking about it, and Adalind goes to meet the gypsies. Well that'll be. Fun. And by fun we mean rife with issues, probably.


  1. Thank you for mentioning the missing POI. I was looking forward to that all week. Well there is next week.

    I was also upset about the promo and at least one or two scenes missing from the episode. The scene were they are either trying to force an abortion or trying to do a paternity test on Adalind's baby (there wasn't enough info to determine which), and the throwing a woman off the balcony... If there was a deleted scene give it to us.

    Juliette kind of upset me again this week. Last week she could not stop touching the images of Nick and making them go away... this week she never tried to touch them to see if they would go away... Come on at least touch one and see if it goes away, maybe it does and you can touch them all but one and start putting things back into some sort of order.

    I am tired of the Juliette story line and how it doesn't in any way fit into the rest of the show. At this point the Scooby gang should just have her committed to a long term mental health facility if they are not going to actually put some effort into helping her.

    I am also tired of her reaching out to anyone and everyone but Nick. To me this is a sign the relationship is doomed regardless what happens. If she goes insane the relationship is over... If she remembers and doesn't believe it the relationship is over... If she remembers and does believe she blames everyone for not trying harder to help her and the relationship is over.

    I am having a hard time seeing the path back to a stable relationship where both are happy and trusting and healthy together. I also have a hard time seeing her integrate at some point into the Scooby gang which makes her a useless character.

    I had alot of hope they would give Wu a bigger role after the side plot with him in season 1 unfortunately it hasn't happened yet. From interviews I have seen with Reggie Lee they were going to give him a bigger role but wrote themselves into a coner (hmm... juliette side plot?) and have pushed his character's developement into season 3 (which is not renewed for season 3 yet. What gives?) This just gives me more reason to dislike the whole juliette side plot.

    With Eric they are giving just enough info to get us interested but not enough to know what is going on. This leads me to think that they are going to back load the whole plot on us and do crazy info dumps to catch us up once they decide to start letting us in. They really have a bad habit of this. Isn't there another/better way to build suspense?

    Again you both are doing an excellent job and I enjoy reading your reviews even if it takes me longer than watching the episode.

    1. We had it about halfway through when I tweaked my back again, and there is really no way to do this kind of analysis when you're stoned out of your gourd on painkillers. And that was the better part of the week. Still, it's up now! And we should be on schedule from here on out.

      Generally, I'm not in favor of any solution that sidelines women any more than they already have been, particularly in genre shows. With involving her with Monroe and Rosalee in her quest for a cure they've begun integrating her into the Scooby Gang already; remember, she already knows and is comfortable with Hank, so that only leaves out Nick again. Or still. As we said, our biggest problem with this is the pacing, that this would have all been much better had it been compressed into fewer episodes, and then we would have more time to rebuild the relationship with Nick. Which, if they actually do show two adults communicating well and working on their relationship on a network show, I may die of shock. Even for all the setbacks that relationship has had, I actually would be more pleased by seeing them get BACK to that stable relationship where both are happy than the other way around. Giving up is easy; struggling for something good is hard. But worth showing.

      I have no idea what's happened to Wu, but I suspect you're right that it got sidelined for endless Juliette-goes-crazier-before-she-gets-better. And I have no idea on renewal. I don't think NBC's announced their lineup, though. I know they haven't announced Grimm one way or another as of tonight.

      I don't THINK they're going to backload the Royals plot. I think that's one they're going to spin out as long as they can, they've done a reasonable job balancing that out in information bursts so far, the overall conspiracy. But it seems like that's because that's more the story they want to tell over the whole thing. I hope they don't, anyway, because it's been a wonderful story thus far and I hope they can stick the landing.

      As always, good to have you along with us for the ride!

  2. I rewatched the promo and the woman being thrown was in the begining of the episode it just wasn't part of the Royal story line like it was portrayed in the promo.

  3. I'll leave a longer comment later but this is what I got for now:

    Great job on the recapalypse! (Is that what it's called?) As always. Your posts really are very enjoyable and quite a nice companion to Grimm-watching.

    The A.V. Club says that the opening quote was from Hans Christian Andersen's The Garden of Paradise. I'm not sure if that's accurate but there you go. I'll leave the fact-checking to you guys.

    1. When it's this long it is! Although we probably should adjust up our ideas of "long" because these just keep creeping upwards in length. We started off calling them recaplysis-posts, a portmanteau of recap and analysis.

      And we're glad you enjoy them! We definitely enjoy shredding it to bits like this, it's fun looking at the little details and making guesses about what comes next, and seeing how close we are.

      Ahh-hah. We shall duly check, thanks for the heads up!

  4. I eventually satisfied myself on why there was only one dose by deciding that the proportions of ingredients are important to the solution's success (pun totally intended) and that they only got so much sweat outta that handkerchief. It's weak, but I've chosen to accept it because for whatever reason all of the "two toads?" "Two toads!" dialogue was hilarious to me. (Probably too many Danny Kaye movies as a kid.)

    I am still loving all of Juliette's assertiveness and active attempts to keep putting things back in order. And GOD, I hope the bruja gets to do a little more substantive explaining or healing (WHAT IF SHE TEAMED UP WITH ROSALEE) instead of just making mystical pronouncements. I can't decide now whether the endgame is to bring Juliette into the Scooby group or if they're writing her character out of the show--the "or she'll leave Portland" threat could easily have been introducing that idea far enough in advance that it doesn't seem too abruptly ridiculous when it happens. (If it happens.)

    Also, a small aside: I was sort of facepalming over how anvilicious, to borrow your term, Adalind's outfit was. Because WOW. Two sides, you say! A divided nature, you say! Putting on a pure white front toward others while you harbor a solid black hidden side! You say! Well, well, well.

    1. But, see, the pellet with the poison was in the vessel with the pestle, and the flagon with the dragon had the brew that was true! No, as explanations go that makes sense, given the time crunch as well.

      We are loving it too! Particularly her insistence on knowing what's going on and will people stop freaking lying to her. And I would LOVE it if the bruja became a recurring character along the lines of Rosalee, especially if they're going to give Rosalee a more political role. I can't say I'm a fan of writing Juliette out of the show when there are so few good female characters in TV in general and genre TV in specific, but yeah, that does lay some groundwork if she does. Sigh.

      Good catch! They've been doing the black and white thing with her a LOT lately. I wonder what that's going to lead to... Hmmmmm.

  5. First of all, loving your recaps (pls, pls never stop writing them)

    Second, while reading about the Eric/Adalind scene, it occurred to me that Eric might have no clue what sort of a grimm Nick really is and further more we, the audience, have no real clue what a normal grimm is like (especially those in Europe, that Eric might have met). After all, we only met Marie at the end of her life (running from dangerous things that we know nothing of) busy protecting the key instead of grimming, and met Kelly while hunting for the coins (and sometimes attacking wessen left and right) busy avenging the death of her husband and friend (or so she says), again instead of grimming. Maybe in Eric's book, exposing a royal to a rogue grimm (he has no master) might be a valid threat... just a thought...

    1. Not planning to! We were a little worried before s3 got renewed, but now we can commit to lots more Grimm next fall. (And a day after. Stupid schedule changes.)

      Exactly. Exactly! Nobody has any idea what other Grimms are like, and Kelly is pretty clearly coin-touched at this point, and WHEN WILL WE SEE MORE GRIMMS, DAMMIT.

      Not that this has been a point of ranting-in-chat for the past year-plus. Of course not.

      There's also the fact that Eric's phrasing was fairly specific, the truth about my brother, which indicates that it might be family-specific and/or something between Eric and Sean, rather than simply that Renard is a royal. Which might also be severely nitpicky on the phrasing, but they DO that kind of shit on this show. Hopefully tonight we'll get some answers!