Friday, May 10, 2013

Your Spirit And My Voice Grimm S2E20 Kiss of the Muse

Again we bring you an ep with none of the Royals metaplot, but a fair bit of Juliette metaplot! Yay! Sort of. Because that means they'll be dropping all the Royals plot they keep hinting at in promos and interviews in the last two eps. You have been warned that there may be a longer delay on our recaplyses for those, therefore.

We open this week at Juliette's house, and it's a Thematic Thing of Theme-ness that we start in the kitchen. For a lot of people, the kitchen is the heart of the home, Juliette and Monroe among them, and we get to see them working through things in that part of their respective homes a fair bit. (And yes, yes, that's a quote from the Odyssey, though I would compare the WotW to a Leanan Sidhe before a Muse. Our biases let us show you them.) So, she's in the kitchen washing up and there's a hesitation as she turns off the faucet that says a memory just hit. Well, that plus the staring at the cat scratches is a big clue; and the memory turns out to be the beginning of her last argument with Nick, over the cat scratches and how she's not going to the doctor for something she's had a million times before. And then, because Juliette is also now The Best, she shows us that she's learned to recognize and ride these memories over the last few weeks, as they come. Stopping and centering herself, and hey, it's the full scene! Being run with Juliette in her now-clothes instead of her then-clothes (which are, for the record, a near-identical blouse to her now-clothes only in green; in fact I think it's the same green blouse she was in when she first started remembering things recently, with the move-in sequence) and leaving her with more questions than answers. We know that feeling, honey. All too well. At least she has an idea of what the right questions are, which is a step up!

From there over to Monroe's kitchen, and some of these parallels may be intended as deliberate nods to the slash-shippers? But I can't really blame them for throwing breadcrumbs because it's also pointing out the two homes Nick's half-living in, in memory and presence, at this point. Monroe's just getting in from the market, awww, and he's right about the farmer's market too. Though I'm a little surprised he doesn't grow some of his own. Anyway, he spends awhile being adorable about the veggie steaks and no, sorry, we're in total sympathy with Nick here. Poor guy is an omnivore, dammit. Even if he's doing a good job of being a good friend and not teasing Monroe. Do not taunt the happy fun Blutbad, etc. Although I question Monroe delivering a dinnertime when Nick already said it depended on work, I'll buy that at this point he has an idea of when Nick gets home even if he does work a case. And Hank's back!

HI HANK WE MISSED YOU oh, they did find a way to work his injury into the script. (Internet scuttlebutt says Hornsby did, in fact, fuck up his Achilles. Poor guy.) We get a brief story about ziplining in Hawaii and some standard guy bonding time in which they express sympathy and confirmation that Nick'll take the chasing perps down the street part of the job via bad jokes and ribbing. Aww, boys. And a quiet nod to Nick-the-Grimm, who does do a lot more of the action!Grimm stuff than Hank does, by virtue of being a super-whatever-the-fuck-he-is. One of these days they'll explain to us in some greater detail all the benefits of being a Grimm, possibly with flowcharts and genealogical reports and then we will die of happiness. Oh, and Hank took one of his ex-wives ziplining with him as "kind of an experiment." I would guess of the "can I still have semi-normal relations with a woman after being roofied to hell and back" variety. Oh Hank. At any rate, they have a lot in common still, maybe he/she/both of them just needed a little time to grow up? It's unclear if he took her to Hawaii or had a chance meeting with her there, and he's not volunteering any information. (Equally unclear is if they're dropping this in because they could or if it's going to come back to bite us later. Ah well.) To business! He missed the devil and some space aliens oh NICK. I love you. And whoever wrote that line. And further explanations beyond the facepalming will have to wait, because that is definitely a gunshot and not a backfire. I love that Hank turns his reach for his sidearm into a reach for his phone, because I'm pretty sure that's what that started out as, and Nick will go be action hero first responder while Hank calls for backup. I missed you boys. I missed you a LOT. Hank, please knock sense into your partner again.

Out on the street, a small crowd of people made to appear larger by virtue of panic/adrenaline shakycam, some of whom may be screaming over seeing another man with a gun before seeing the badge. But, alright, they all ran the RIGHT direction and cleared the scene for Nick to handle. One guy left in the store, probably the owner/manager/whoever was on duty, and one dead body slumped over an author signing table. The book is called Passion Play? Oh this is gonna be fun. Woman screams, Nick finds a white horse from somewhere, the last few civilians straggle out, and that is not an Eisbieber Wesen, though that's the closest match on first sight! Otter Wesen, turns out. NBC's site calls it a Luisant-Pecheur, good to know, which translates actually a couple different ways. The primary meaning is shining/gleaming fisherman, but a secondary meaning would be shining sinner. Which, given this week's case, is rather on-the-nose. I have no idea if that was deliberate, and also no idea why we suddenly went for a French name when most of the random French up to now has been Renard and the Royals speaking it, and the occasional technical term. Not a Wesen type. They struggle, he's obsessed and woged out, she doesn't seem to care which suggests either it's not full woge or she's not human either, and he has terrible aim with that gun. Stairwell chase scene! Nick actually NOT SUCKING AS A COP and calling it in despite not really having time to wait for backup. GOOD Nick. You may have a cookie. And then the Luisant-Pecheur goes straight over the railing and into the water; I have to say that's a nice impression of a non-human diving style, as much as you can get with a human body. Doesn't come up, but it's way too much to hope for that it's a straight jumper-suicide and Nick knows it. So, time to take notes on the crime scene itself.

We start with Hank, who is somehow managing the crime scene on crutches and also tamping down what would be perfectly reasonable irritation at limited mobility. Which makes me think he's done this enough before that maybe he's got the coping mechanisms firmly in place? It wouldn't be surprising, as a cop. Also, Nick, I know he's your partner and he knows all your faces, but learn to control your face. This has been your weekly announcement that he still can't manage it. At any rate, Wesen means maybe the shooter could've stayed under for longer than normal human capabilities, divers are on it, nothing more to be done on their end. The vic! Was an author at his book signing and the woman was the vic's girlfriend. According to her, anyway. And the shooter was an ex, crime of passion. Wu seems to both dislike the woman on sight by that rapped out report and yet expect it to be the truth, that this was a crime of passion. Well... sort of. While they walk over to talk to Chloe the not-Leanan (seriously, who came up with Musai? Dumbest name ever) we'll see the otter Wesen climb out of the river, and once his fur is all wet he's more obviously an otter. Which is only appropriate. Chloe spins them a mahvelous story about how she broke up with Anton the shooter six months back and he wouldn't let go and so on and so fucking forth. Looking away, looking down, doing the fake crying thing that some people learn to do and sell and some people don't. I don't know if Nora Zehetner is capable of selling that kind of expression any better - I assume she is, which makes it more impressive that this is such a blatant show. Hank sees it. Hank is unimpressed by her protestations of not doing that. Nick is playing the good cop and keeping his skepticism under wraps, which isn't a bad tactic except when it gets you whammied by a not-Leanan. Okay, no, I will call her a Musai now, because this is some truly atrocious seduction going on. And it's intended to be. Wow. They're not even trying to make us sympathetic to the femme fatale this time around. Remember the rant from last ep with Adalind in? And how women keep being cast as the predators and men as the prey? I'm beginning to wonder if Kouf and Greenwalt don't need some goddamn therapy that's not in their writing. Ahem. Hank's eyes about roll out of his head, Nick begins to evince the whammy by way not so much of the uniform in front of her house but the card with his direct number on it, oh goddammit Nick. Hank calls him on it, gently to start, and there's no time for more because let's go on over to Anton's loft!

Where there is no Anton, who has better sense than to go upstairs when the squad cars coming tearassing down the street. So however the whammy works, it's not ruined his ability to recognize danger to himself when he's not around Chloe. The nice landlady gives us a spiel about how he was somewhat of a stereotypical slightly-off artist who broke up with his girlfriend and was heartbroken and then he got Chloe and she was his inspiration. Oh GOODIE. That's the look from Hank and Wu of "yep, she lied, where are those crazy bloggers keeping the jar this week?" Er. I mean, their surprised faces. And the look from Nick that's more of an "oh, she lied, but she'll be an ex soon enough!" Or at least the bare beginnings of it. It's not a cop look, is the point. Landlady didn't much like Chloe either. Wu gives us the rundown, no body in the river yet so they go in guns up and Hank at the back. And what do we find? A loft absolutely covered in paintings of Chloe, ranging, as Wu says, from Impressionist to WTF. I love you Wu. Never change. Nick continues to show us the whammy's working as he's caught by one of the paintings, and we'll start saying it now: Giuntoli really brings the acting skills this ep. He's just a little bit put out at having to walk away from the painting and go see what Hank's found. Oh hi there really graphic evidence of premeditation! Pun intended. Nick grabs a snapshot of the blood-red just as Juliette calls and you guys, you are not being subtle with your shift in images. That was anvilicious. Both the guys see that she's calling, and have near-matching oh here we go again looks on. She'd like him to come over for dinner, and it's a measure of how much she's been steeling herself up to this phone call that she insists on asking him despite his being in the middle of an investigation. Oh honeys. Both of you. Hank has his matchmaking look on, aww. But Nick's all whammied and surly about the possibility of things getting better, someone please smack him with a dead fish. A very dead fish, by preference. Picture of Chloe looks like it goes in his pocket to obsess over, oh this is going to be so much fun. Urgh. On the other hand, for once Nick is the one getting whammied, and while I'm not sure how to feel about it in the sense of "here now see how it feels" on a Doylist level, it should make some things start clicking for his dumb ass on a Watsonian level. Though we'd like to declare a moratorium on love spells for all of next season now, please; we don't care about the Arthuriana anymore it's BORING. There's a reason the love spells are the most boring, annoying part of the assorted Matters of Britain and France to our modern sensibilities: it's called consent. We'd like it back on the show now please.

After the credits, we come back to the precinct, where Nick is sketching out the Luisant-Pecheur for later perusal in his trailer of infinite knowledge. Or at least that'd be the normal reason for it. Hank has to take himself off to PT, also known as physical torture, I don't know about this "therapy" nonsense. She says, speaking from long and honored experience. Some standard-ish banter and lampshades about wishing they could put the woge'd out Anton on an APB, not that it would help if he weren't showing to humans as well. But, you know. Lampshades. Because what Masquerade. Somehow we doubt that the dinner Nick hopes goes well is the same as the dinner Hank's hoping for, but we'll have to wait... not very long, as it turns out! Segueing from there to Nick headed to an unknown building with the copy of the drawing in hand. And there's a squad car outside. Hi Chloe's apartment. We get a brief moment of Nick checking in with the uniform, I think mostly to indicate that he's not totally lost his sense of professionalism. Yet. And up to the door, where he gives a very odd bit of reassurance that she can open the door. I think this is meant to show us that Nick's fighting the whammy, because there's no earthly reason for her to assume that a detective at her door means imminent physical danger. And she's in a robe. Sigh. Like that wasn't planned. On the door closing we shift over to...

Juliette! Lighting candles while she's on the phone with Monroe oh god so cute. And oddly romantic for their first dinner date back together, but alright. The rest of this scene is cut back and forth in what I think is similar to sitcom format of two people on the phone, at least as long as you're not going for maximum cliche of split-screen. (Not having seen a ton of sitcoms, I wouldn't mind some confirmation on this score.) What we're more familiar with it as is as a technique to ramp up tension, and it does some of that, but its main purpose is to allow us to see both their facial expressions and how the juxtaposition of them both being stood up by Nick is parallel and painful. It is, however, really damn adorable at the outset. Remember how we said cooking and kitchens are the heart of the home back at the beginning? Here we are again. Both in aprons, both cooking, Monroe's got her on speaker because he wants his hands free whereas she's more accustomed to tucking the phone between ear and shoulder. Right up until Monroe stops mid-veggie-steak-broiling and asks what the fuck. Not in those words, but his expression couldn't possibly scream it louder. Nick, honey? It's a good idea not to be an ass to your friends. Turns out she's calling for reassurance! Aww, Juliette. If he weren't whammied you'd have nothing to worry about, and you also have nothing to apologize for. And for a miracle Monroe manages to pull out something that's comforting and doesn't shove his foot down his throat to the knee! I approve much more of this less-awkward Monroe - still bumbling, still not good with people, but less actively harmful in his flailing about. I missed him. So, perturbed look at the dining room table where Monroe had two place settings, and on back over to Chloe's apartment.

Which we see through the glass blur of a sculpture. That's not a visual metaphor or ANYTHING. Nah. Couldn't be. What's this big iron thing? It's just my footrest. Chloe has put on clothes, earrings, possibly changed her makeup, and definitely redone her hair. If only her ability to seduce with words were a little better, she'd be actually good at what she is. Instead she's just mediocre. Given how the other femme fatales in this show have also failed at one time or another, I have to assume this is if not deliberate then rapidly approaching thematic at this point. I'm not sure I like it. Green top to contrast with Juliette's red. Sigh. Nick leads off with telling her that they have to assume Anton's still alive without a body in the morgue, though he's nicer than I am and doesn't phrase it that bluntly. Flirting and touching that's subtle like a ton of bricks, and then he counters with the repro of Anton's premeditated murder scene. Yay! Either she genuinely dislikes the violence that comes with being what she is or she wants Nick to think she does, and we're betting on the latter. Definitely the latter, as little time as it takes her to come around from that demure look of disgust to pride in being a model and inspiration for a variety of artists. More sigh. At this point I think Nick really is fighting the whammy, given his tense and wary body language and terse language. Unfortunately that lasts right up until she plasters herself against him and lays the whammy on good and proper. Lady, you sensed him being a Grimm, which I think does qualify for passion and drive, especially since he chose to become a cop as well, a mundane equivalent to the ideal of a Grimm. This is not gonna end well for you. She delivers a very standard speech about artists and talent and live fast die young leave an earless corpse, but where our attention lies is with Nick, who is obviously and increasingly whammied and incapable of doing anything other than wanting to touch her. That was... really fast. And then she woges out talking about fear and hey look, you woged in front of a GRIMM. Again with the no, really, what do Wesen see when they look at Nick in woge? At any rate, it's too late to fix her mistake! It's pretty clear that her "shouldn't have done that" comment includes whammying him at all, not just wogeing out, and she is duly terrified of the Grimm in her apartment. Yes. You dumbass. Oh my god when do the Wesen in this city get the memo that there's a Grimm cop working who prefers to hold Wesen to a roughly human set of morals instead of killing them on sight? That would be useful in cases like this. (And horribly counterproductive in others. BUT STILL. You would think the grapevine would work a little better.) Fortunately whatever platitudes Nick was about to shove down her throat with his tongue will be forestalled by the phone.

It's Monroe! Poor, poor Monroe, he's about to be treated incredibly badly as Nick goes stomping all over everyone with his whammied self. Though Monroe, when opening with the dinner with Juliette thing, doesn't sound that upset. Because, presumably, it's Juliette, and his friend mending his relationship with the love of his life trumps the offense of skipping out on a perfectly good vegetarian steak. Yech, vegetarian steak. I don't care how primo they are, Monroe, that's just gross stop calling it a steak. Monroe guilts him some about not telling him that Nick was (in theory) planning on having dinner with Juliette and Nick doesn't even hear it, he's offering up the investigation excuse as though it is an excuse, with no attention or focus paid to what would be the investigation if he were investigating anything other than Chloe's body. No, I still don't approve of the love potion. Anyway, he'll call Monroe back. Monroe doesn't sound either enthused or believing. Still, that did seem to shake Nick out of it enough to realize that something's going awry here, so he's going to, um, leave. He does warn her to lock the door behind him, which is prudent when you leave a trail of deranged obsessed men in your wake (and possibly a last indicator that he's struggling against the whammy), and stumbles out with the wide-eyed oh-crap look. Oh Nick. We're not quite done with her victims yet, though! And don't ask me why the brick against blackdrop in slow motion because I don't know either. If you've got theories other than it looks vaguely artsy, please feel free to share them! The brick's Watsonian purpose, of course, is to break the window of the paint shop Anton is stealing from. Along with their inexplicable directing choices of slow-motion brick we have a somewhat befuddling directing choice of an extreme Dutch angle which makes Anton seem both taller and longer. This, at least, makes a little more sense as he clambers through the broken glass newly-made entryway; since Chloe is playing Anton up as a deranged stalker which he may well be by now, this emphasizes the scary stalker part. I still kind of expect something to be going fee fi fo fum, though. With all the big stompy boots.

After the break Nick is not quite banging on Juliette's door. Knocking hard, definitely, but the posture and attitude when she opens the door isn't that of a man who's been banging, and the first thing he does is apologize for being late. Aww. He is very tense, mostly around the face and shoulders, but he's also genuinely trying to smile, which is good. He apologizes, got held up on a case, and if she's up to the trailer memories by now she must have remembered times when that's happened before, so her ease at this reasoning is very understandable. There is a bit of pouting as he comes in, but the hesitance seems to be equal parts whammy and uncertainty from everything that's happened between them. Even when neither of them is dealing with mind-fuckery from Wesen magic they're going to have a lot of things to work through as far as their relationship goes, never mind the individual journeys they've been on. Awkwardness lampshaded here with an inane comment from Nick and the resultant puzzlement from Juliette, who at least has a built in out of that halting start to a conversation by warming up dinner. Poor kids, they're both nervous. Nick rolls up his sleeves for lack of more habitual fidgeting movements because, really, fidgeting is not an asset when you're a detective for so many reasons. Juliette, on the other hand, is free to fidget because she's not in a position where she needs to keep up an icy exterior to deal with her patients or suspects or what have you. Poor Juliette, now, because right as she starts talking we get muse voiceover, oh goodie. Just what we always wanted, someone else's love whammy getting in the way of organic, wanted relationships. Juliette continues on a stammering apology for how she's treated him while Kitty and I protest that she has nothing to apologize for. Coerced attraction is not something you apologize for, it's something you go seek out the person coercing you and punch them in the throat for. Ahem. But she feels bad nonetheless, at least partly because she doesn't understand everything that happened but also because she feels bad when the people she loves feel bad, for whatever reason. Thus, torrent of apologetic babble. To which Nick isn't even listening. He's over by the window staring out in the direction of his muse. Oh Nick. Juliette doesn't even push it much, or at least, not the part where she was saying important things and he was supposed to be paying attention. We could wish that the "for what" was genuine acceptance of what's happened and his way of indicating that she doesn't need to apologize, except he didn't actually hear her. Juliette, assuming he's paying attention now, goes on to describe how she felt like she was losing her mind but now her memories are returning, and it's all coming back to her and she remembers not just what they did but her feelings for him, and Nick could you turn the fuck around and pay attention to your girlfriend please? No? Dammit, Chloe. The closest Juliette comes to calling him out for this is asking him if there's anything he has to say, too, after saying that this is all a lot to handle for her. Both statements fly over his head on wings of quicksilver. He does manage a half-hearted apology and a distracted excuse, but the whole conversation ends poorly, weakly, and with Juliette feeling much worse about things by the look and sound of her. Also his "let's talk soon" does not sound genuine or warm or even the way one person would speak to another with whom he's familiar.

Over to Monroe's house, then, to fuck up with his second friend of the evening! Monroe's still fairly understanding since he's assumed Nick and Juliette have been talking and having dinner, and, well, why force your friend to eat a veggie steak when he can go make up with his girlfriend? Right? Am I right? Nick isn't paying attention to Monroe either. He looks sweaty and exhausted, he looks actually similar to how Barton and the others looked under Loki's whammy; reddened eyes must be the latest trend of indicators that a person's not in his right mind. He also looks saddened or worried about something, which is a little more unusual, especially since Monroe hasn't led with anything that overtly would give him cause to be sad or worried. Yet. He also also seems to be only capable of picking up one word in maybe every five that anyone says. Two out of three of these are deeply worrying signs. In this case the word he picks up on is 'dinner,' to which he replies that they didn't eat, to which Monroe interprets that, well. As most people probably would. Though apparently also with a side of maybe they got distracted talking about things? No, Nick just got distracted. As he's distracted now, Monroe, he's not paying attention to you. He is also turning into a teenager. Because almost everything that comes out of his mouth at this point is the kind of overblown rebelliousness that teenagers tend to react with when upset, often upset and distracted by relationship issues. Which raises some interesting questions about Giuntoli's acting choices leaning toward the adolescent these last few eps; we weren't' sure it was deliberate but now with this we're leaning toward yes, it is. Which is interesting. Monroe has no idea what's going on and reacts about as one might expect given how we've come to know him over the couple seasons, annoyed, somewhat snarky, a bit rambly, and hurt. Nick's storming out is followed by an entertaining comment with worrying implications about Nick finding his own house (not that it will go that far, but if they had spun this over several episodes that would have been an interesting, complicating consequence) and then by Juliette calling! Immediately, too, rather than a scene change, despite the fact that that would have been a good place for a scene change. The mood shift from combative to half-panicked half-confused-but-comforting is jarring. Anyway, she's freaking out that she's said or done something wrong, Monroe recognizes the description of Nick's behavior towards her and now him as odd, and tells her he'll call her back and check with Hank! I love that this is becoming the Scooby Gang's emergency protocol: someone's acting out of character! Quick, activate the phone tree and collect data for solving of problems! It is awesome and communicative and for all the bitching we've done about everyone communicating, this is a fabulous example of why it works when people do. I love everyone in this Scooby Gang.

Hank, much to his credit, doesn't start out by saying anyone at all is worried about Nick. Because that's one surefire way to get his hackles up even if they weren't already. Instead, noncommittal arranging to have beer together! Down at a common enough hangout, at least this looks like the sort of place they've used before, and no, Hank, you probably shouldn't be drinking assuming you're still on painkillers. He doesn't get a chance to, though, because first it's finding out what the drawing's of - or more accurately whom - and then it's a really obnoxious drunk. We've known drunks like that. They are INCREDIBLY annoying and, yes, they often end up needing punched or at least bounced, especially the ones without a more sober friend to haul them off and make the stop being little shits to everyone. On the other hand, that, Nick? That was an overreaction, coming from you. I love that they made both of these things true; it's a microcosm of the loss of black-and-white worldview everyone in this show who might have started out that way has undergone. Nick in particular, Hank and Juliette and Monroe secondarily. I don't think Rosalee or Renard ever had such illusions, and I think in some respect Adalind still does have those illusions, only hers are power and its lack. At any rate. Drunk guy is not getting the drawing. Hank will keep the drunk from starting a major bar brawl, just barely, and you know, he hardly ever pulls this much authority out? Mostly he does the large teddy bear impression, but here he is fed the fuck up with his partner being whammied, the drunk trying to start shit with a cop, and the attention from other bar patrons he's getting. I cannot blame him. There's no really good answer here, so Hank picks the one that allows everyone to go home with a minimum of bruises. Also? Crutch as improvised barrier/threat for the win. That takes a helluva lot of balance and strength to pull off, by the way. Speaking as one who has been on crutches for an extended period.

From there it's over to Monroe's where Hank confirms the phone tree for everyone's benefit! I love that they're looking to Hank as the authority on Nick and the law, and Hank looks back to them as the authority on how to figure out what any given Wesen is. Love. The group dynamics here are amazing, everyone's expertise in its proper place and nobody posturing or puffing up their chest. Monroe is mostly pacing because that's what he does when he's worried, not because he wants the advantage of height; it's a nice contrast to when he was in Renard's office and trying to out-alpha from a position of slouched in the chair. And it's beautifully subtle that while Monroe is pretty certain Nick's not in his right mind, he looks to the person who's known Nick the longest for confirmation. And that Hank doesn't make a big deal out of it. In conclusion, I love you all this is what being communicative, responsible adults looks like. So they need to do some research, and Hank and Monroe know about the trailer and Monroe even has the keys! But Rosalee still doesn't! I have no idea why the fuck not; her with her potions mistressing would damn well be better at her share of the work with all that data, but we've established that Nick is something of a moron when it comes to sharing information. Rosalee will now proceed to go wide-eyed and awed and do you need a drool bucket? It's okay, we understand. Even if we still cringe over the white cotton gloves argh you guys those are HOW old. Monroe will yank her out of her scientist's fascination by reminding her that most Grimms are not Nick, most Grimms would like to kill them and doubly so if they knew a pair of Wesen were getting to read and poke at all the cool shit in there. Onto work! Hank has the napkin with the drawing of woged-out Chloe, and did any of you remember to bring coffee? Also I would kill for a deleted scene with Rosalee getting lost in the middle of one of the journals. There's a brief cut to Anton doing some street art with giant splashes of paint out of the cans he stole and a rake or something? No bets for guessing what his subject matter is. And back at the trailer where Rosalee is caught up in the journals and how awful and gory they are, that looks like a drawing-and-quartering. Monroe is the one to find the Musai drawing! Good Monroe. Have a... vegan biscuit. In German, and about Van Gogh and Gauguin, with the razor attack and the ear cutting and everything, anyone who knows even a little bit of art history is familiar with this one, yes? Yes. The Grimm writing the journal appears to have assumed Hexenbiest to start, not a bad guess, but oh look, not so much. Blah blah beheading, how lovely, I'm sure that did absolutely everything for Van Gogh's mental stability. Oh wait. Exposition trailer also tells us that the Musai's kiss is addictive, euphoric, the relationship always ends in death (K: EVERYTHING ends in death), it's a literal kiss not a figurative one, so Monroe thinks they're in the clear! Alas, no. Let Hank explain to you the ways in which you are completely fucked. And Rosalee will bring up the entirely valid question of where the fuck is Nick? Since he stormed out of Monroe's, wasn't at the trailer, has moved out of Juliette's, this kinda becomes a pressing question, you guys. Cut to a hand with a brick breaking into Chloe's place! It's not an awful fake-out, but it is an obvious one. If it were really Nick they wouldn't have tried so hard to disguise who it was! We all know these genre conventions by now. Hello, Anton. Hello, Chloe in semi-skimpy nightwear (of the kind where it doesn't look uncomfortable to wear to bed but also reveals miles of legs, the better to seduce you with, my dear), and another of those nyah-nyah-we're-not-telling-you angles of Anton's shoulder.

Sigh. Alright, back the next morning at the precinct! Nick's still in his day-old clothes, and who the fuck knows where he's been, because telling would involve him not being a petulant teenager or a deranged stalker. They're taking advantage of Hank's injury to shoot him at something of a Dutch angle and make Giuntoli look taller than he is, for extra looming and brooding. And again with the teenage sulking. Where were you, Nick? Nowhere. Who did you see? Nobody. Now stop interrogating me. Really, Nick? I guess it's a good thing for the Musai that she usually picks artists who conform to the loner stereotype, because otherwise their friends and family would notice some serious personality shifts. Just like this. (I also question, given the addictive kiss thing, how the fuck they procreate, if there are male Musai, etc. Dammit, you guys, you read the books! We just want all the Wesen bio answers ever. More so if you're going to keep concentrating on Wesen interbreeding.) Still, Hank is The Best and also a damn good cop who knows when to back off his partner and take a different tack. Starting with the Grimm aspect and when Nick remains an ass over that (dude, you had BEST buy your partner flowers or something for putting up with your shit this case, whammied or no), moving to getting his direct attention with Chloe-related happenings. And he hauls Renard in. Hi Renard! With a look of "we are in deep shit here just follow my lead." I love that look. I love that Renard follows that look down the merry path of unflappability to the point where we weren't sure if Hank had gone into the Captain's office early to set it up or was just running with luck of the draw. Renard's hands go in his pockets, in this case I think because among all the other tells that's also what he does when he has nothing better to do with his hands, but I would also buy habitual concealment and at the moment concealing any wariness or nervousness he might feel about there being Deep Shit Going Down, despite the boys both being in on the Wesen aspects of his life at the moment. (We don't include the Royals aspect, because we doubt either one of them has a full understanding of what all the ramifications are yet, nor do we think Renard is particularly forthcoming about them without a damn good reason to spit them all out. Hopefully the finale!) So we've got footage of the paint store break in, confirmation that Anton's still alive, oh now we have your attention, Mr. Sulky? Well played, Hank. Well fucking played. Meanwhile Hank's pulled all police reports that have Chloe Sedgwick's name attached to them I love you THIS MUCH, Hank. And Renard just blandly plays along; we've got time for just two reports and three vics and some snark from Renard before Wu shows up with the vandalism call. Hey, looks like someone found the street art! Thing. Goodie. Wu would like Renard to join them for this, and that I wonder if it's not related to things we haven't seen, either Wu interacting with whammied!Nick or Hank talking to Wu about his partner. Or just that Chloe Sedgwick is leaving destruction in her wake and Wu wants Renard on the ground to deal with any PR issues. OR WU IS IN ON WESEN-WORLD. We might be a little anxious for the s3 reveal, because we really hope it's coming.

While they trundle their merry way along to the vandalism scene, we'll swing by the spice shop! Is it just me, or are our episodes being shot more and more in approximately real-time this season? At least insofar as each day's worth of events goes. Rosalee's bent over her books now that she knows where to go, and no, there is no zaubertrank-based antidote to it. Musai secrete psychotropic substances in their lips? Really? Ew, and also weird, and the page she's reading says that scientists who have tried to acquire samples to develop an antidote usually end up infected themselves, who's surprised? Yeah. And also the reason that the Musai moves on is that the obsession is only pleasurable for them "up to a point." Yeah, I would say so. A brief discussion of how this isn't love but probably feels like it to the poor bastards under the influence, and Rosalee brings up the old chestnut, the only way to break this kind of a love spell is with the real thing! Yay! Speaking of which, hi Juliette! She's not here to help break Nick's obsession with true love's kiss or anything, she's here because she'd like to go back to the trailer. Monroe is duly skeptical, and I can't blame him, having seen someone he's come to consider a friend go damn near batshit insane with too many visions. But she's better now, honest! The bruja helped, although Juliette sees no need to share this particular piece of information with them. Considering they're not sharing all their information with her, I don't blame her, since it would (for her) fall into the category of "oh god these people already think I'm crazy." No, honey. Promise. She doesn't need company, she'll go alone, she just needs to get the key. And we can see Rosalee looking her over, realizing she's upset but much more in control than she has been, and making a snap decision. I love you both. Now go have all the team-ups. If by next season we don't have Drs. Silverton and Calvert running a Wesen clinic I will be SO disappoint. Monroe starts to hem and haw and, no, dude. Listen to your girlfriend, for she is far more sensible about people than you ever will be. Tulloch's delivery on "wish me luck or... whatever" is awfully reminiscent of the tone Kitty and I take whenever we're about to do something of dubious sanity but much necessity. Rosalee and Monroe will be Talking About This later, but for now...

… it's over to the vandalism scene! Wu compliments Anton's eye, and no, nobody saw this at 2 am nor, as Renard quite rightly points out, is street art unusual in this city. (Have we mentioned recently that it's awfully funny to watch the repressed semi-traditionalist Captain/Prince dealing with hippie liberal Portland? Because it IS.) Hey, where's Nick gone THIS time? Hank can't run, it's beneath Renard's dignity to run (aww), so Wu will go find the whammied detective. Seriously, when Wu gets the reveal on Wesen, either he'll have known the whole time or be utterly unsurprised, as much weird shit keeps happening around him. Regardless, this gives Hank and Renard a chance to confab about the Musai and Nick's obsession. Yay! I do very much appreciate Hank deciding that no matter if he trusts Renard or not, this is crucial information for him to know, for both his jobs, and have we mentioned in the last three paragraphs how this is a brilliant ep for explaining how sharing information like rational fucking adults makes us very, very happy? I'm just saying. Because it doesn't actually get rid of the problems, it allows everyone to shine in their element, and in short, THIS. This is what we've been waiting for out of this show.

We've also been waiting for Juliette's return to the trailer. Which takes a bit for her to get working, and that's only realistic, too. The way her memories' return has been working, it's basically deja vu, proximity to a place or repetition of an action that triggers a memory. This is quite similar to how flashes of memory work for normal people who haven't been zaubertranked out of their gourd, too, just with us it tends to be a little less visceral. So it's a nice bit of writing that when she's all psyched up to remember, despite being in roughly the right place, she needs a little while to find her center. Closing her eyes helps, not least since the place has changed some since Nick ended up sleeping there sometimes, and hey! It's the whole spiel on Wesen, Blutbad and Fuchsbau and Eisbieber. ICE, Nick, oh my god get better at languages. (Actually, can that be a Thing next season too? Juliette signs them up for language classes at a community college or something? "Honey, if you're going to have all these journals in languages you don't know, you can fix that." Or at least signing herself up for them, since her schedule's more predictable.) Unlike the last time he tried this, she's calmer, not even participating in the memory or at least not seeming to participate in the emotional content of the memory. Remembering that she was crying and scared and thought her boyfriend was losing his mind at that point. This time she's calm, still a little confused, but more willing to consider and accept that he believes what he says and that, just maybe, it might be the truth. After all, she did end up in an inexplicable coma, have an inexplicable love spell/compulsion for someone she didn't even know, deal with massive hallucinations post-compulsion, and drink at least a couple strange things that fall outside her experience of medicine but which nevertheless helped with the compulsion and the memory issues. It's not really a good way to get to a point of believing someone about the world working in strange and fantastical ways, but it does work. Now that she has that memory restored and slotted in its appropriate place, it's time for her to go cross-check with other people! Good scientist. I love you Juliette. Never change.

First we get another round of phone tree! Nick isn't with either set of his minders, Monroe and Hank and Rosalee agree that this is not at ALL a good thing, and no, he's not in the wind, Hank. He's going to go find the object of his obsession, that's what target-fixation means. Even if they're not using the profiler term for it. Hank grabs Renard, Renard steadfastly resists the urge to facepalm and says they'll head over to her apartment, hopefully this will not go as far south as it damn well could given these parameters. And NOW we get Juliette! Rosalee has the most pertinent question, considering Juliette looks awfully shaken and like she might need to sit down. Well, she remembered that night that Nick told her everything. Monroe would like to know without asking directly if she remembers him wogeing out right before her collapse, I bet, but he's also not asking directly. Yes, Juliette, they both believe Nick. You could put it that way. Rosalee still has the better poker face and is more accustomed to letting people fill up awkward silences on their own, at which point she can confirm or deny as (she deems) necessary. It's a kind of astuteness and people-handling that we more often see in cop or other interrogator training, and it makes us wonder where the hell she picked it up from. Or if she picked it up from being on the other side of it a few too many times, with the drug addiction? At any rate, Monroe brought lampshades to this party. He's reliable like that. Get to know them, indeed. And now Juliette would like to talk to her ex-boyfriend and hopefully mend fences and learn all the things! Well, she doesn't say that last, but you can bet she's thinking it. Uh. That's gonna be a problem. Monroe's face says so. Monroe's face is eloquent like that.

Speaking of said ex-boyfriend, look who's trotting up the steps to Chloe's house! Just as the uniform on guard duty is getting a call about this very situation, thanks to the invisible machines of Murphy. That's Hank on the phone and he would like to know as soon as Nick arrives at the subject's hou-- oh, you say he's there already! Well, shit. And major points to Hank for not openly saying well shit, because I would have. At least the Captain's on his way, which Hank duly relays and tells the uniformed cop (Gates. Heh.) not to let Nick leave. Which at least will be a damn sight easier than not letting him go in or trying to drag him out, and means that Nick is staying somewhere where they can get ahold of him, so that's good. Poor Hank. Dealing with your whammied partner with a busted leg. You need another vacation after this, with less injury.

So, Nick is coming in the door, she's letting him in aaaand it's the kissing prelude to wallsex, or at least, what they can show on a broadcast television at what is only just after the watershed. Is it? What is the watershed hour these days? I think it is 10, so, okay, there's a little more leeway but not much. Some hot and heavy kissing and taking off of over-robes suffices to imply that Nick's mind is now fully consumed by whammy. Especially when she brings up the fact that technically his kind kill her kind. At least, that's the only thing I can think of for why she'd bring up the fact that he's a Grimm, unless it's to remind him that he's a deadly killing machine. Which might be the case because her next statement is that, hey, Anton's here! Go kill my ex-lover, love-slave. Which is about what it amounts to, not that she calls him her love-slave, but her look and tone are about that gleefully domineering. Nick doesn't need much encouragement, really, but at least he doesn't go tearing off in any one direction. Instead he does a sweep of the apartment maybe half a step slower than he would normally. And yes, it is covered in art. So, yes, we can presume she's had a LOT of artists. Of note: most of these pieces are landscapes or floral pieces, there's very little portraiture here as compared to what we saw at Anton's studio. Possibly these are pieces she acquired before her artists turned into all-Chloe-all-the-time? At least, that's all I can think of. Nick continues to do a half-assed job of clearing the apartment and, what's that, o billowy white curtain of horror-movie ominousness? Someone's hiding behind you, you say? Well, let's just turn my back on you so he can strike! Hah! No one will see that coming! Said no one ever. Nick, I'd say you're a dumbass, but you're whammied, so you get a pass this one time. Don't do it again. Seriously, if the curtain is billowing, the window is open, if the window is open, someone can come through it. Argh. But, again, whammied. Not thinking clearly. Screaming "she's mine" is obligatory in such cases, too, and Anton has a good one. Chloe is enjoying the ensuing fight scene way too much for two men who haven't ripped each other's clothes off yet, and when Nick turns toward her with a grin that's lurking in the uncanny valley between doofy and psychotic, she turns him back to the fight with grin that's definitely on the psychotic side. Because of course he can't have her yet, he has to kill the other guy. One wonders, given that this is the only representative sample we have at the moment, if all of this species leaves this many bodies on the ground or if it's just Chloe. Because if this is the violence inherent in the Wesen, I'm surprised it's lasted this long as a species. That's incredibly obvious and would probably get you drummed out of villages or burned at the stake given that the whammy is limited to a highly specific kind of physical contact.

At any rate, thank god for Gates! Who shows up right about now to sit on Anton and handcuff him. Along with Renard! Hello Renard, we love you, we're sorry they keep putting you and yours in the path of love potions (although you did start that first one). Renard walks up with a deeply wary expression, not quite moving fast enough to intercept that first punch Nick delivers to the handcuffed prisoner, alas. But he's fast, big, and strong enough to keep Nick from doing any further damage to Anton or his career. Mostly by physically picking him up and putting him down like a child away from Anton. I doubt this would work nearly so well if they hadn't cast two people the size of Sasha Roiz and David Giuntoli in the roles they did, but they did, and it does, and it's both beautiful and fucking hilarious. Anton will continue to ramble, but since everyone thinks he's the crazy ex-boyfriend anyway, no one really cares. Except Nick, the poor mindfucked bastard.

Let's go to calmer settings now. Monroe is attempting to make a long story short and one has the impression that he's not doing so well. If only because he does have a history of rambling. Which he's still doing. Oh Monroe. Rosalee will make the long story short, that's okay! Sort of short. No, now Rosalee is doing the stammering while we bang our heads on the wall and mutter at the screen about how really, of all the Wesen-related shenanigans to falter at explaining to Juliette? This should not be one of them! It's not like Juliette herself hasn't been under the influence of inexplicable loves/lusts before. All they have to do is remind her gently about that and explain that something like that has happened to Nick. Please? No? No. That's okay, at least, it's Juliette's turn to take a swing at the knot when she comes up with the word Wesen. (Which to her sounds like she's pronouncing it Vessen, indicating she might not have read all the books? Or remembers the sound of the word more than the written word. Or we could just be hearing things.) Rosalee and Monroe gape at her and try to figure out just how much they can tell her, and Juliette reminds them that Nick did kind of try to tell her all this before. You guys. Come on, now, I know we're not all used to sharing all this information, but do try to keep up? Not only will she give them the shortcut past the explanation where there are Wesen and magic and abilities and things, she will offer them that selfsame explanation that we had earlier, where it's like what happened to her! Because Juliette is still the Best. Everyone's getting a turn at that this episode except poor whammied Nick! It is very like what happened to her! Except without the whole potion thing. Juliette herself is the antidote this time, and she looks a little too overwhelmed to even react to that at this point. Poor Juliette. But at least she's taking the hits pretty well as they come.

Back over to interrogation, and I would love to overhear the conversation and the amount of dancing around Renard had to do to get her there without her putting the whammy on anyone else. Alas, no. We just have her in interrogation, excuse me, the interview room since she's not a suspect as far as the human law is concerned at the moment. But since acts of violence were committed in her home and in her direction, they need to take her statement. And once Renard and Hank get into the box with her (and I dearly hope Renard remembered to turn off the damn cameras or something) they drop the pretenses. Hank is on the table for some reason, possibly because it gives him more ease of movement with the cast than sitting in a chair with his legs bracketed by table and chair legs would? Renard isn't sitting down or using his height to loom over her, he's actually across the room and in a corner, giving him a nice shadowed and wary look, almost downright hunted. It's a nice touch on the part of either the director or Roiz; after what happened to Renard where love potions are concerned, some PTSD would not be unlikely, albeit within the bounds of Renard's impressive self-control. Certainly he seems to be giving more rein to his temper than he has for any non-metaplot related Wesen infraction since the Lowen, Leo. This is in stark contrast to Hank's reactions to the love enslavement aspect; Hank seems to have dealt smoothly and well with his love whammy, and it was the initial awareness of Wesen in woge that sent him screaming off to therapy. The most obvious reason for the contrast is that Renard keeps himself so tightly under control, particularly when it comes to his personal life and emotions but also in general, whereas Hank is much more accustomed to the ups and downs of sudden passion. He might normally temper passion with much better judgment than he did when he was whammied by Adalind, but he's more used to it and it's a lot less of a loss of self for him. He's also more used to having attachments to others and being protective of friends and especially of his partner; Renard seems to be having a case of nerve endings waking up, in that sense. Anyway. Interrogating the Musai. Which is still the annoyingest name ever. She doesn't react to them knowing what she is, which could be a few things, first and second being that she thinks they're either Wesen (well, half right. quarter right?) or Grimms (no). And neither of them are buying her I can't help it it's in my nature act. (K: Actually, I wonder why no one's picked up that little fable yet.) Renard would like her to cut it the fuck out right now plskthnxbai, only with less internet speak and more authority. From both sides by his voice, although his posture is more Captain than Prince. And possibly more Sean Renard than either of his titles. We also learn, interestingly, that the process is accelerated because Nick's a Grimm. She refers to it as power, but possibly a more accurate term would be chi or personal energy. Whatever you want to call it, neither Hank nor Renard are pleased to hear this. Hank is still calmer, still more stoic, but Renard looks away, bites his lip, turns away, more tells and fidgets than we usually see out of him, more visible signs of his upset. Especially as she audibly drools over the Nick's 'power', followed by claiming that what she is and what she's doing is for his own good. I wouldn't be surprised if Renard had heard that before, love-whammy with him and Juliette aside, from people like Adalind or Catherine. It hits him once again where he's hurt, and we get a deep, shaky breath, finger pointing, still-visible emotion and still with Hank being the calm one folding his arms and sitting there impassively. It's almost as though they switched body language signals for this scene. Renard's control hasn't slipped enough to be behaving too far out of character, but the fact that we see any of his upset is noteworthy. Chloe, of course, doesn't realize any of this or how close she's coming to getting chokeslammed against a wall by 6'4" a-few-hundred-pounds worth of angry half-Zauber. She's too busy smugging it up and declaring her intent not to stop.

Back over in the bullpen Nick is doodling frantically on something and giving the camera a few good Kubrickian stares. For those of you not familiar with the works of Stanley Kubrick as such, it's the psychotic look with lowered brows and usually lowered chin, staring up from beneath eyebrows so you get a lot of white, a little color, and some time-honored psychosis. Previous masters of the stare include Jack Nicholson in The Shining, Malcolm McDowell in A Clockwork Orange, and Vincent D'Onofrio in Full Metal Jacket. It's fucking creepy. It's also a good tradition to evoke the feeling of This Guy Has Gone Off The Rails without further dialogue. A uniform walks up (female! black! I love you casting director!) to tell Nick as requested that Anton's been booked and is in a holding cell and ready for murdering. Not that she says that last part out loud, but you can tell that's what Nick's thinking. Because of the stare. Also the voiceover of crazy telling us that she can't be truly Nick's as long as Anton's alive, etc. We will now have a series of ominous shots of Nick opening the door to holding and Anton's eyes opening as footsteps draw closer.

Hank and Renard come out of interrogation mildly annoyed by Chloe's refusal to do pretty much anything but what she wants to do, and Renard looks somewhat better for not being in the room with her. Or at least more in control. I take a second to giggle at how fast Hank has to crutch to keep up with Renard and his legs, even though he probably slowed his pace some for Hank, and they discuss their increasingly limited options. Like locking Nick up. Speaking of whom, hey, look who left a little gift in the form of a premeditative drawing! Oh dear, that's Anton dead in his cell. Get thee and thy long legs to the holding cells, Renard! Along with a conveniently appearing Monroe, Rosalee, and Juliette.

The voiceovers and, presumably, the voices in Nick's head continues as he heads down the hall to go shoot Anton in his cell. This may have to become a new euphemism, because that cell is awfully barrel-like and an otter is close to a fish, right? With the water? Nick brings up his gun as Renard, Monroe, and Juliette burst in, Renard with his gun now drawn and, heh, pointed at Nick. He is a good enough shot to plug his cousin in the face while in motion, so likely he's also a good enough shot to only blow off Nick's kneecaps or something, but still. This is a dangerous situation for everyone, as highlighted by Renard's warning that he can't protect Nick from this, what he's about to do. Which works on oh so many levels, I'm rather pleased by it. Working on the level of a police captain trying to protect one of his detectives from his own actions while under the influence of something he didn't willingly take, on the level of the Prince protecting his Grimm, even an older, more experienced soldier in the world of Wesen and crime trying to guide and help a younger. And that's without getting into the cross-contamination of the layers. Nick isn't pulling the trigger but he doesn't seem to be listening, either, and the volume of the Musai's voice warbles between roughly even with the voices of the others in the room and louder than the other voices in the room. So, Renard gets the paternal/commanding officer dialogue, Juliette gets the role reversal of please listen to me, and Monroe gets to sound calm and level-headed and generally be the practical one he usually is, even with the babbling. And Nick's still not shooting, but it doesn't look like it'll be long before he works himself up to it and/or snaps. Juliette gets one more try at a distance and then, interestingly, looks to Renard for encouragement or the nod to keep going. Now that's an interesting choice; as a practical matter it might just be because he's pointing a gun down her intended line of travel, and she'd probably like not to get shot. But given what happened between the two of them before and that this is the first time since they got unwhammied that they've been in a room together at close proximity, there's also a number of loaded things that could be between them right now. And we see none of them. They're both here for and focused on Nick, and there's no tension or discomfort in the air between them because they have immediate shit to do. So, he lowers his gun far enough that she can walk down the corridor to Nick, with the voiceover/voices getting louder and louder. Smart Juliette, she doesn't get between the barrel of Nick's gun and his target so much as she comes up sideways, puts one arm between his arms to shift his focus up close but behind the line of fire. Her voice breaking, she keeps talking to Nick, who crumples. From the touch or her voice, it's hard to say which, but it's definitely the fact that she's now deliberately imposing her connection on him that breaks what sounds more like a hypnotic trance state enslaving him to Chloe. Nick drops the gun, and Renard's posture (since we don't see him from the shoulders down) relaxes and straightens a little more, indicating that he's lowered his gun the rest of the way to his side. Monroe, too, looks relieved.

Normally this would be the part where we get the True Love's Kiss to break the spell, but the standard pleading to open his eyes works, too! We'd go with this as being eyes as the windows to the soul schtick, except the voiceover if not the music stops before he meets her eyes. And Nick still looks a bit crazy but he's also looking around as though he has no idea why he's there, and at least part of the crazy is due to the camera angle and the way they have him lit. First a look at Renard, then Monroe off there in the corner, Renard hasn't come down from the wary and weary protective watching, Monroe still has that look of please don't fight, okay? And as Nick comes down from the whammy it takes him a fair number of seconds to stop looking around crazily and, most likely, out of mental focus, but Juliette's right there with him. Because, folks, this is why we love the Nick and Juliette narrative as a couple, piles of bitching about pacing and repetition aside, is because when it comes down to it they do work as a team and they save each other. Which Juliette has a lampshade for! Thank you, Juliette, for saying that in words. Let there now be cuddling and gratitude from Nick, and notably no kissing. Possibly because a) kissing is what got him into this shit in the first place (technically it's what got them both into this kind of shit) and b) this is about a more general bond of comfort, love, and trust. Kissing is only slightly more specific than clinging, but there is still that specificity.

But we're not done yet! Hey, everyone's forgotten about Anton in that rush to save Nick, right? So Anton will sneak over to Nick's dropped gun so he can take care of his rival aaaaaaaand. No. The only way this could have possibly been any better is if Renard had stepped on Anton's fingers along with the gun; Sasha Roiz's delivery on this one word is priceless. It also speaks to Renard's hyperawareness and long habit of clearing all sources of trouble. And probably all weapons, too, making sure they're all in the hands of people who can be trusted with them. He will now take his gun and Nick's gun and his tired, pained-looking self out of the holding area as Nick and Juliette cling to each other in relief and the hope that everything can for fucksake get back to normal. That's a quick stride, too, for our Captain, that's the businesslike pace he uses when he's got Places To Go And Shit To Take Care of. Monroe lingers in the holding cell, which might be as much protectiveness of his friends given that Anton is still there as anything else. (Speaking of which, we never get that loose end tied up, either. I suppose given the nature of the compulsion, if it doesn't fade enough for Anton to resist once he's let out of jail he'll probably go find Chloe, but argh you guys with the loose ends.) I also pause to snicker as Renard passes a sign warning people that they're under surveillance in the holding cells, at least that's what the iconography suggests. Which goes to Renard doing the coverups for this sort of thing as well, and we'll have to see if they involve any consequences next episode or any mention of Renard scrubbing the tapes. Regardless, it's a somewhat hilarious bit of focus.

More of the purposeful stride as the Captain turns the usual corner towards interrogation and, hey, it's his turn to get his Kubrick on a bit as he stops, considers something, and decides that yes, he is pissed off enough for this. Where by 'this' we mean going into interrogation and warning the Musai to fuck off and never return. He did not, I think, actually sound this pissed when he was warning the Reaper off the last time he gave this kind of ultimatum (and then he got fed up and just started shooting people.) Apart from being in French, that va t'en et ne reviens pas was, along with his expression, very cold, very Princely. So was the lighting, for that matter. This is warmly lit (or rather warmly lowlit, the overhead lights are cold but the high- and low-lights on his face are warm oranges and reds), deeply shadowed, and full of vehemence and fury. Not only does he offer up the threat, he pulls out his Zauber side and flings it in her face just to emphasize that, yes, he is a violent and bloody son of a bitch who will rip her apart piece by piece if she pisses him off enough. And it does scare her. Apart from all the artifice of being scared or startled earlier, there's clear wariness and fright when he woge's on her. And shock. Again, I'm not sure what she expected when Hank and Renard told her they knew what she was, but it clearly wasn't that! All your smug (and authority, and power) are belong to Renard. As an end piece, it leaves the episode on an unusual note both for Renard and for the show in general. Because not only is this the first time we see Renard showing this kind of vulnerability in front of other people and without the influence of potions, this is also the first time we see him being fiercely and violently protective of Nick against an admittedly not very dangerous threat. Okay, yes, she's dangerous, but on the scale of the various things they've defeated? Not so much. Ever since bringing in the Musai Renard has been rattled in one direction or another, and our theory, going by his looks and posture in the jail cell and after it, is that this underscores the fact that at some point in his life he was either married or in a long term familial relationship. One that he no longer is a part of. Renard threatening and scaring Chloe was as much about defending Nick's heart and his choice and relationship as it was about the Captain defending his detective, or the Prince protecting his Grimm. If he can't have it, he will damn well defend those who do, even if it hurts to watch that kind of dedication and support. Notice the contrast between Monroe's look as Nick and Juliette's reunion and Renard's, even allowing for their disparate personalities. Notice also the speed with which he books it out of there, which can be explained away as the Captain giving them privacy and starting in on the paperwork and fixing everything so Nick doesn't get blamed for being whammied, but given his expression and where he goes has several other motivations under it. Getting himself out of the most painful of the situations, steeling himself to going into the other painful situation that brings up all sorts of recent traumas where he had his choices taken away from him, and keeping Monroe from seeing that something's wrong. Because Monroe is perceptive at the most damn inconvenient times. He's also breathing harder than usual, out of an excess of emotion and possibly out of controlling an anxiety attack. And, finally, letting the Zauber side out is not something Renard has done frequently or, in at least one case, willingly. All of this indicates and underscores just how much this case has tried his much-vaunted control, along with the steady wear and tear of suffering from recent trauma. It's an excellent bit of writing and acting, giving us a chance to glimpse what kind of a man Sean Renard is under the layers of duty and ambition he keeps on the surface. The short answer is: a man capable of great passion and great focus, in his personal life as in his professional. And not a man you want to cross.

Next week: they finally do a full woge reveal for Juliette! Or at least that's what they're heavily implying, with Bud and Rosalee and Monroe all there, and after this long teasing it we would be shocked if they pulled the rug out from under us again on it. And everyone rejoiced! Well, we damn well did. Also, Baron Samedi finally got his ass into Portland, or maybe that's the finale. Or both. Probably both, at the rate they're going; either which way we get zombies, Baron Samedi or someone pulling on his image, they'll even give us the French for the Wesen type! Aww, you're too kind. Craché Mortel, sounds like, spitting image of mortality is how I would free-translate that, which is an apt name for something that seems capable of bringing the dead back to life. Now with extra-red eyes, snark from Monroe, and... green spit? Really? Well, this should be just fascinating excuse us while we go brush up on our knowledge of the loa.

1 comment:

  1. I adored reading your review of this ep, as, indeed, I enjoy all of your analysis of this show.

    I wish very much that they had emphasized the "fairy thrall" aspect of Chloe's power rather than playing her up as a femme fatale; the fairy lore nerd in me wanted her to be shown in a less human and more terrifying creature vibe. among other things, it would have lessened the taint of misogyny hanging over this ep -- and this season, for that matter. You may have a point about the head writers and their need for therapy.

    Sometimes, in this fandom, I despair of encountering anyone who loves and admires Juliette as much as I do. I find the level of hatred directed at her character from the fandom baffling and disturbing, and the lack of appreciation for the actress and how she plays the role dumbfounding. So your take on her scenes was a refreshing read. I loved how the character handled herself in all of her scenes in this ep, and I thought her last steps towards acceptance and belief were very believable, considering the wierd she's been living.

    I loved the intercutting between her and Monroe in their kitchens. It was sweet and funny, and the underlying running joke of Nick as "shared spouse" was great.

    I did interpret the look between her and Renard differently, though. To me, that played as Juliette giving Renard an unspoken command to ease up and let her through, and his nod as consenting to it.

    Nick as immature teenager -- oh my goodness, yes. I think that's an intentionally-played character flaw that's been present in some form or another, here and there, since the beginning of the show, and I liked that it manifested strongly here.

    I confess, the final Renard scene didn't really work for me. My problem with it was threefold: I've never bought that Renard is as badass as he likes to go around proclaiming he is; he does not and never has come across as a capable mastermind so much as a grasping bully. So his intimidation of Chloe felt like more posturing to me. secondly, the inclusion of it as the last scene felt poorly-placed to me; it switched the final focus from Nick and Juliette, who were owed that moment, and it didn't make sense to me thematically. Thirdly, I didn't understand the motivation, primarily because I don't think Renard feels protective towards Nick as a person, or concerned with his personal well-being beyond its ramifications for Renard and his plans. Possessive of him as a tool, maybe, but in my eyes, Renard has shown too much of a disregard for other people and total lack of conscience for me to believe he's capable of that kind or concern or bonding. while it does feel as if they're trying to do a bit of a reboot of the character this season into something less vile than he was last year, my beef with it is that it hasn't been earned. He's shown no remorse for the things he did to Nick and Hank last year, so I can't get on board with him as one of the team. It feels less like the show is trying to redeem him than it does they're trying to pretend he was never all that bad, and that's a big stumbling block for me.