Oh, god, okay, fine, I make absolutely no apologies for the amount of anthropology in this recapalypse since apparently someone out there is playing to our strengths. (Thank you. I think.) Starting with the very opening quote! Which on the Wiki list o' Grimm eps (which is a very useful and usually accurate source for the opening quotes) is attributed to, generically, Inuit mythology. This is… a complicated issue at best, and while the quote itself, "We do not believe; we only fear," is eminently appropriate for the themes of this ep. I have to assume whoever picked it basically just Wikiquotesurfed into something that worked. Or didn't care about doing the research. At any rate, when I Googled the damn thing I got led first to this book, about dispelling the myth of the Noble Savage and pointing out that all societies have fucked up and unhelpful traits. While I wouldn't argue with that premise, a quick skim of the reviews at various places makes me think either the author took it too far to indicate that he believes that there's nothing of value in so-called primitive cultures or that your average layperson is an idiot. No points for guessing which I'm leaning toward! (K: I'm going to go with both. Can we go with both?) (A: We can always go with both. It's not like anthropologists aren't an egotistical lot. Ask us how we know.) At any rate, the implication here is that Wesen society is actually closer to Inuit culture or another indigenous group, probably emphasis on being colonized/ruled by an outside group. (We're setting aside the question of if the Royals really are or started out as an outside group for now; the Wesen we've seen treat them as such in present day, which is what matters for these purposes.) That's. An interesting assertion and probably more data than we were meant to take from one title card, but still. Guys, if you're not thinking about what your source for those quotes is suggesting to an educated and/or nitpicky audience, you really don't know fandom very well.
We cut from that straight over to Renard holding his passport! I'd pretend to argue we don't know who it is for the split second before we pan out, but come on, we all recognize those hands by now. Things we can tell from this passport! They've stuck with Sasha's birthday but aged Renard up by three years, making him 43. AN AGE. AN AGE. FINALLY AN AGE. Also that's fairly young, to be a police captain. Not hideously young, but worth noting. Also also that's actually an old US passport, non-biometric and pre-2006, which despite the issuing date on that being 2008 does not surprise me, since the props department would probably have to go with the old form, just like the PPB uniforms are several years out of date. (Which is probably both for security reasons and because that's what costumes can have free access to.) We know, also, that Renard's been in Portland for the last five and a half years, going by the date of issuance - 08 Feb 2008 - and by the way, if they're really smart and this show lasts long enough, they'll do something vicious and full of bureau-crazy when it comes time for him to renew his passport in five years. God knows there's plenty of options there. Anyway. This also implies that Renard's first US passport was issued to him when he was 18, because passports are good for 10 years after you turn 16 (and 5 if you get one before that) and he'd have to have been a naturalized citizen at some point in there. Which might well have taken the time from fleeing Europe to his age of majority, so I won't even quibble that the Renard we know (and the little we know of Mama Renard) would indicate that he would absolutely want to be able to travel across international lines as early and often as possible. Maybe he was doing it on his Austrian? Swiss? whatever the hell passport, prior to naturalization. And assuming he only used real passports, which, this does (limitations on the props department aside) appear to be his real one, which is interesting. So he wants someone to know he's coming. Probably several someones.
ANYWAY. Aren't you glad we're here to provide this maceration free of charge except your seared eyeballs? I aim to please. Renard puts the passport away in the most sensible place (and now I'm back to wishing I'd cosplayed Rule 63 Tony Stark through at least one airport last week, but I didn't have room to pack the blazer; look, inside jacket pockets are AWESOME okay) and hauls out his burner phone which I'm hoping is a new model. Oh, and he's got a sleek black leather overnight bag. Of course he does. He also wants to see Nick and Hank! To share at least a little bit of information with them, that he's going out of town, implied that he's going to be in danger, I'm betting Captain Hartnell (Hartman?) doesn't know a damn thing about Wesen or Grimms, and hello defensive body language, Nick. Though he drops it when Renard gives the maybe-that's-really-a-yes as regarding the Pustule's death. Really, Nick, you shouldn't have expected anything else. I'm also wondering who the hell Renard thinks might try to contact them by textual means pretending to be him. Or rather, which of the many, many candidates are in his top three list for Potentially Fucking With His Grimm. That's a very "oh here we go a-fucking-gain" between the boys, yeah, I have sympathy there. This shit is days old and smells rotten, though I rather doubt Claudius would've made it past Act II if Renard were in Hamlet's place. Unless he could have been more use as a pawn. Renard will contact them indirectly through Rosalee? Fucking really? That's an interesting bit of some quiet side speculation we'd been doing about how deep her contacts run, and would indicate that whatever those contacts are, Renard isn't above making use of them. Nick, I wouldn't trust that the key is as safe at the spice shop as you might like it to be, though I also wouldn't trust it at the trailer any longer. Anonymous storage locker at a train station, maybe. If he can do well enough with counter-surveillance tactics. (What overexposure to spy fiction as a child. I see no such thing.) Yes, Hank, I would say there's danger, even if the captain doesn't know what sort exactly (or is unwilling to say, right along with the whole "yes by the way I ordered a hit on my brother and it was remarkably effective and I have to go clean up now" let alone the "and I think I might be Adalind's babydaddy") and now Nick's got his arms crossed again. Probably because he's torn about offering his help to Renard, even if he knows it makes the best tactics. No, actually, aside from ensuring Renard's cover there's not a damn thing you can do, Nick. Everyone who's watching Agents of SHIELD may now mutter about how Tahiti is a magical place and everyone who imprinted on Sneakers can mutter about it still not being in Europe and everyone who's watching this show and not free-associating will laugh hollowly about the notion of Renard ever, ever taking a vacation. I bet he's taken several "vacations" that amounted to Royals or Resistance work while he's been captain, though, just to build up the impression of a man who does leave occasionally. It's what I'd do, anyway. We'll note that this whole thing is shot with typical Conspiracy Lighting, for maximum shadows, and move along
Cut over to a church! Which is not actually the same exterior as the church Renard visited back in Last Grimm Standing (1x12) for his demon sheep Wesen priest to kill Leo Taymor, I checked just in case. No, this is a different Catholic church in Portland! And now I'm curious about the percentage of Catholic versus Protestant in Portland, which I doubt very much a simple demographics check can tell me. Alas that I am correct. (Anyone in the readership know? I wouldn't be surprised if it were heavily Catholic, with old French influences in its history, but inquiring minds.) That is a very scared small family and if I had to pick a Jesus analogy to make here, I'd go with the flight into Egypt. Bonus points for escaping the mundane and going into a place of worship/insight, at least in theory, though we can question from here until Ragnarok how much insight the Catholic Church is good for anymore. If the stained glass windows didn't tip us off, the votive candles and young priest in a collar would! And Monsignor, huh? That's not actually a normal title in the Church; it's generally given by the Pope for special services. In non-English-speaking countries it's sometimes used for bishops and the like, but that form of address isn't common to the US, so what the fuck. Okay, what can we get off his robes? Just the red belt, which I'm guessing is actually meant to be purple but isn't for what I'm hoping are similar reasons to the PPB uniforms. Red-trimmed black cassock and red or purple sash means Honorary Prelate, most likely; there are other options but those other options involve further vestments which I would expect the Monsignor to be using for something as major as an exorcism. The poor young parish priest is really intimidated by him, as well he might be; exorcisms are extremely rare in the Catholic Church and more so these days as the Church finally moves on into accepting mental illness as a thing that exists. Which means that this family has almost certainly been to doctors, been to shrinks, been to all kinds of medical specialists and they're viewing this as their last possible effort. And also that this should be something done with the full knowledge and permission of the local bishop. So whatever this is, it's been going on awhile. What is unusual is the fact that apparently the parents are leaving the room while Monsignor Paul (who the parents called Father originally, indicating that he's a priest of some kind or another and not higher ranked beyond the Monsignor title) performs the exorcism. Usually, you want family around so that they can be part of calling the person back to themselves, essentially. The familiarity and comfort of people who - at least in theory - love and know the person being exorcised, that's a thing that's supposed to help. Taking a person away from the familiar entirely is more commonly used in rites of passage and tests of initiation, particularly that latter one. What this tells us is that the parents are so afraid of their kid, and the Monsignor so concerned about what he's been told or seen personally, that they're going to separate them for this ritual. The parents would do a better job of persuading their kid not to be afraid if they didn't sound so fucking terrified themselves, and we keep seeing the Monsignor from varying perspectives: he sounds kindly and well-meaning and also determined (as you would have to be to perform an exorcism), but the camera work has him at a shallow Dutch angle, presumably the kid's POV. The young priest is scared, the musical cues are telling us to be scared though not what of, and as we cut to the waiting parents we see that daddy has massive control issues and mommy's the faithful one. Yay for stereotyping! I mean, I'd buy some nuance to it if there were any throughout the rest of the ep, but there really isn't; what we get in this scene is pretty much setting the tone for the whole thing. What follows is pretty much textbook failed exorcism, the Monsignor does a marvelous job of trying to keep calm and keep control and not saying "so he doesn't hurt us," because you know that's the other thing he's thinking when they go to tie Daniel down, and oh HELLO demon thing. That really is textbook makeup for Demon Thing, too. Young father or deacon or whatever he is goes across the floor with probably a moderate concussion, but the Monsignor is the focus of whatever-this-is and thus gets the whack upside the head with metal and superpowered enough to launch him at the door. Daddy dearest continues to have massive control issues of the LET US IN LET US IN variety. Dude. Have you seen what's inhabiting your son? Do you really want to go in there with him? Honestly, with the macho ego issues on the part of fathers this season. If this is foreshadowing Renard and his issue(s) (yes I did) I will ready the frying pans. Alright, so, freaked the fuck out parents, dead Monsignor, possibly dead or concussed priest! Roll credits. Which look like the marginally longer form again, no, all I can guess at this point for that is that they have two versions that are about 2-3 seconds apart in timing that they switch between depending on how much else is in the ep.
We come back to the police handling the scene, first responders are hauling off one Matthew Barnes, thank you, now we finally have a name for him, yes he's a seminary student. At 26 I damn well would hope so, I know someone in his thirties who's still in seminary. Catholic seminary, yes, before anyone asks. Anyway. Hank knows who Monsignor Paul Dobbs is! That's interesting, and either indicates Hank's religious leanings or that the Monsignor was a significant figure within the community and known to the police, or both. I'm going with both but emphasis on the former, after that second comment. Hank, are you a semi-lapsed Catholic? That's adorable oh my god. Wu gives us the very clinical, precise rundown, which I deeply appreciate not just because it catches up anyone who came into the ep a few minutes late but because we're getting to see him drop some of the joking. Wu: does not fuck around when it comes to missing children and weirdass exorcism shit. A quick check around the internet suggests that it's meant to be the Kearys, which is an Irish name, so Irish Catholic, okay, but I also heard that and thought of it as a bastardization of Kyrie (you'd pronounce all the vowels if you were saying it in Latin), and I'm not at all sure that was unintentional. Father's been frantic, I don't EVEN want to think about how much effort it took them to get him to sit his ass in a pew to take a statement, poor unis. And there's an APB out on the boy because seriously, nobody thought to look in or under any of the many many places to hide in a church? Not that I grew up Catholic, but I did grow up Christian, and I remember there being a fucking infinity of places to hide. Up to and including among the organ pipes; yes, I'm kind of predictable. Though the window is a good red herring, I will grant. Wu gives them the rundown on the anteroom including a photo of the scene as they found it I love you Wu. I love everyone's competence in this scene. Yeah, Hank, I don't think much of the theory that the adults attacked each other either, I'm with Wu, but I accept your attempts to distract from the possibility of Wesen. And giggle over how quickly he's come around to protecting the Masquerade. It's also a valid question of, the parents are the only ones whose word they have to go on right now, so are we sure they're telling the truth. Especially because parents who will take their child to be exorcised may not be the most responsible parents in the world, see also the Satanic panic of the 80s which I'm sure Hank remembers vividly. But wait! Grimmstincts bring Nick to hearing the panicked breathing of a kid hiding under the altar thingummy. GOOD Nick. He's also being really good with the kid, accepting the headshakes as the only answer Daniel's capable of giving right now and bringing in his parents and, yeah, this is gonna suck all around once they get results back on that chunk of side rail. But for right now he's treating this as everyone's a victim or witness until proven otherwise and I really, really wonder who decided to emphasize the Being A Good Cop aspects in this season this much. Because fuck knows Nick wasn't a good cop last season in either the competence or the moral sense. (Okay, let's be fair, I do kind of want to know how much the writers knew to do this themselves and how much they had to ask their technical consultant for help. Regardless of which, it makes a really good metric by which Nick's changed.) So we get the unhappy family being shepherded out under Wu's coat to hide Daniel from what he may or may not be aware he's done, and Nick and Hank following after, the one to see if he can spot a Wesen and the other to read his partner's face as well as the body language off the family. Because they're not stupid. But no, no woge here, which you would totally expect under these circumstances, so what the fuck are they dealing with?
Well, let's let the doctor start to tell us some things which will be useful later! His immune system is horrendously stressed, his white blood cell count is elevated, all signs of battling a disease which that right there should tell us something now, but Nick and Hank are cops, not doctors. At a guess they expect these to be normal things for a boy who's been through at least some emotional trauma and possibly some physical trauma if he's been abused, or if he's been enduring some kind of medical or psychological condition that causes impact injuries to his body (although the doctor doesn't mention any of those, so they'd have to be light/temporary). At any rate, whatever they're thinking, it's not "infection," which is what we're thinking based on that information! Because we have a ridiculously broad surface knowledge base and because some of us watched too many medical dramas, in addition to all our spy dramas. Granted, elevated white cell count could indicate stress as well, but with that emphasis and given that everything has to be important in 42 minutes, not so much. Whether or not they're thinking infection, though, they are aware and careful enough to tell the doctor that a preliminary investigation of the scene indicated violence was present, so she can take that into account when examining the boy and addressing or searching for a cause for his symptoms. Hank gets that role, as he is increasingly the heart of the partnership, the one to take care of the emotional and psychological needs of the witnesses and victims, while Nick is the analytical eyes and ears who assesses the situation and the data and asks the questions that lead to some of the answers. It's an interesting role reversal from, we'll try to put this delicately, certain door-kicking stereotypes. It's also an interesting and, we think, likely unintentional callback to Nick's moments of characterization back in the pilot and second episode, where he was taking single glances at people and offering up a litany analysis of their character based on their surface appearance. He hasn't quite regained the role of profile, but is definitely moving closer to analyst. At any rate, having established both of these things, they can question the boy in 24-48 when he comes up out of sedation and it's time to talk to the parents. Who, arguably, might also need to be sedated depending on how dominant their hysteria and worry is, but they seem to be calm enough.
It turns out that all of this started a year ago and, as the father describes it, overnight. Daniel became different, started having mood swings, fits of violent behavior, symptoms which under other circumstances I would call puberty, even Drang-Zorn puberty. Except that the last time we saw a pair of worried Drang-Zorn parents around their child we also saw their woge form and their awareness of what was happening, and still neither of the parents are in woge, which means they're likely not Wesen and the kid probably isn't a Drang-Zorn. And we're back to what the hell. The father doesn't explicitly say that he ruled out all physical and psychological potential causes but he does imply it by describing their increasing desperation, and how important it is to him that the police not think he took his son to an exorcist at the first sign of demon possession. While this is possibly also indicative of a dislike/contempt for religion in general or the Catholic Church in particular, this is definitely indicative of an emphasis on scientific method and eliminating the horses before leaping straight to the zebras. As it were. The poor man has no idea what's happening to his son. He just knows it's very, very bad. In the interests of scientific method and eliminating horses before zebras, Nick also asks the father about whether Daniel was adopted, which the father denies somewhat vehemently. I question the wisdom of asking the father if his son was adopted, and I'd point out the mother would know for certain the parentage of the child, but we're not going there in the episode just yet. As Nick and Hank walk away from the father and out of earshot they speculate on the kid being Wesen, and how they don't entirely know how Wesen-ness is passed down. We know there can be half-breeds, at least, and so do they! But whether or not that would result in what's going on in the kid (half Drang-Zorn?) we don't know, and anyway the fact that both parents are freaking out about it counter-indicates. If the child was a half-breed and this was woge-related or Wesen-puberty-related, the Wesen parent would have recognized it long ago and this would be a different sort of a problem. Neither parent has a clue what's going on. Just to make sure we know this is some sort of icky horror thing, after Wesen parentage conversation we get a brief shot of the mother sleeping in the chair next to her sleeping son, and some sort of worm or vein issue popping up in his face. Lovely.
Back to matters we can watch over dinner! Not that we don't eat dinner while watching Grimm, we do it more often than not. (And breakfast and lunch, on Saturdays.) Renard's flight has landed at the Vienna International Airport, so that's where he's gone, and he drops his stuff off and climbs into the front passenger seat of a car driven by, oh. Hi Meisner. How very not nice to see you again. Meisner greets him in quasi-formal German. Let's just say it's not insultingly informal. Renard, apart from being hysterically tall and visibly slouching so he doesn't hit his head on the ceiling or something, is looking around the terminal with controlled wariness. He looks alert and wary but he sounds tired when he speaks of how long it's been since he's been back, tired and sad, almost. Which isn't a surprise, but is something to note; he had and has positive feelings for his life in Vienna, or the people he knew here, enough to feel sad in some way about losing it. There's also some tension in his face and jaw, borne out by Meisner's comment about doing "our" (and who's our? who's us? him and Sebastien or are there others involved) best to make sure no one finds out. The comment about what happened to his brother happening to him sounds like a threat to me, I don't know if it does to anyone else. And that provides a segue for Renard to ask how things have been since Eric's death (answer: uncomfortable) and how long until the reunion, presumably the gathering of Royals of this family at least and maybe all the families. Or alternately the reunion of their little resistance movement? Context, antecedents, we would really appreciate those right now. When everyone arrives, of course, which apparently not everyone has. Someone named Forner (Fornier?) is coming, and so is someone named Taliesin. At least that's the only spelling I can put to that pronunciation, if there's an actual official spelling out there I'd love to see it. Because right now I'm wondering what the fuck a Welsh bard has to do with anything; if that is the actual spelling that would mark the first time we've had anything concrete from the British Isles mythology ever. And what about Lucanas? At least, again, that's the only spelling I can put to that second name because now everyone is swallowing their syllables and failing to enunciate and this is vastly annoying, you guys. Sasha Roiz, I know you know better, I have a bag of marbles here with your name on it, stop chameleoning your accent to whoever you're in scene with. And I have no idea what's going on with Damien Puckler except this makes me feel marginally better about not being able to decipher his German. This is how Sean became Jean, you guys. Ahem. It turns out Lucanas (I'm guessing it's something like that, because you have Lucania and Lucan from the Italian and Latin respectively) and Taliesin resolved their differences with Lucanas's murder. Meisner uses the word "dead," I would use the word "murdered." Renard probably would too, that's a very "well, fuck" sigh and tilt of his head as he hears this. A couple more names! This would be a treasure trove of information if we could hear anything at all clearly. Cel de la Resistance, I think, Nord? North? The Asistencia Mar/Maquis makes little sense but the Resistencia Maquis makes considerable sense, and is in fact a historical thing that happened around the time of Franco, from the 1940s to the 1960s. The most recent and famous US depiction of the Spanish Maquis probably comes in Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth. Remember the resistance fighters there? That was them. And given that we already heard testimony from a Grimm about the Verrat in Franco's army? No, I'm betting on this having something to do with the Resistencia Maquis. I think. Puckler, I'm going to shove marbles into your mouth and make you recite Gilbert and fucking Sullivan. Repeat after me: To sit in solemn silence on a dull, dark dock... Ahem. No, now Taliesin's in control of the entire south, which, Spain is the south? Spain and France is the south? the hell? Isn't that the west? Renard muses that this changes some alliances, and Meisner pipes up with how he hopes that doesn't change their alliance, which, what. Is this a personal liking or admiration of Renard thing, a thing where he's using Renard for something and doesn't have the goddamn sense to play it cool and avoid being too eager to maintain their alliance, or is this meant to be a light-hearted comment, or another threat in flippant tones? Or a combination of all of the above? Or something else? The fuck? Meisner I'm becoming rapidly unimpressed. Renard asks, then, where Meisner's keeping him, which is an interesting turn of phrase. Also indicative that Renard isn't happy with anything about this situation, particularly the part where he's in Meisner's hands. I wouldn't be happy about that either. No one likes anything about this.
Having dispensed with that batch of badly pronounced information we move onto some much clearer information! Wesen biology! Ooh, I love those lectures. I do find it interesting that Monroe and Rosalee, primarily, are using the Wesen terms for Wesen and human rather than simply saying human. It's a bit worldbuilding, in that it separates us from the terminology we're familiar with and puts us in a world where everything is at least called something different, but it's also significant in that it shows us Monroe and Rosalee are both becoming more comfortable being their Wesen selves around Hank and Nick, mentally if not physically. They're using terms they know and understand, like speaking one's native language at home, rather than speaking the English Nick and Hank are used to. It's touching, in a way, and shows a level of emotional trust. Monroe seems particularly amused and gleeful to be delivering, as he puts it, the birds and bees Wesen talk. The little positioning of both of them in the room and in a lecturing stance is the icing on the hilarity cake. So! If both parents are Wesen, the child would be too. If only one parent is Wesen, the child has a 50/50 chance of being Wesen. (Dilute Wesen, like the Captain? Or is that a special Royal thing? Or is he still considered Wesen? Inquiring minds, and hopefully since they do all know the Captain is half-Zauber we'll have answers to these eventually.) If one parent is Wesen and the other is Kehrseite something that sounds like gehn or geintrabe or trage. Hard to say what they're going for here, and none of my German expertise is up to deciphering it, but given the context I would guess it means either half-Wesen or a special human possibly along the lines of Pilar. And what if the parents are different kinds of Wesen? Well, Nick might not want to pry into Monroe and Rosalee's personal lives, but Hank is pretty blunt about this being half-personal. Personal in the sense that yes, that is exactly what they're talking about, although not necessarily specifically them. Apparently then you're looking at a what now? Feuer something? Vorherrschen? That second one would be my guess, although I don't discount the possibility that someone's trying to go for free-form creature. Vorherrschen, though, means to dominate or prevail, which would indicate that's a gratuitously obscure (to the audience at least) way of saying certain Wesen types are dominant and certain are recessive and that determines the outcome of mixed pairings. Monroe doesn't care as long as it's healthy! And speaks for Rosalee in this, though I don't doubt that both a) they haven't actually talked about it and b) he's making an accurate guess based on his knowledge of her. Still, now that the topic has turned to something closer and more relevant to their lives, they're shifting a lot more in place and looking a lot less as though they're enjoying being all educatey. Saved by the phone call, to tell Nick and Hank that the seminary student's conscious and it's time to go interview him. Monroe has a good point, though, it's not necessarily going to be easy to get all in one talk because we're mixing magic and science here. And that always ends so well.
Back in Austria, Meisner and Renard are pulling up to? Across the street from? No, to, by the sounds of it, the Cafe Sperl. Which is, by the way, an actual place and that actually looks like the front of it. I don't know if they managed to go shoot on location, but I would be amused if they did; it's a cafe that dates back to the 1880s, is very popular and very chic, though not with any particular history that would involve underground passages or hideaways that the internet seems to know of offhand. Still, it wouldn't exactly be unheard of for such a place to have hideaways and tunnels added. They go downstairs to a room that, by Renard's reaction, reeks, and has two beds in it. Table, chairs, a set of shelves with some pots on, it looks like this place is used for serious overflow storage rather than as any kind of a recent hideaway. Plaster over brick does suggest it's been there a while, though in some places it looks like stone over plaster over brick. Renard muses that the last time he was in a place like this, where "this" presumably means underground hidey-hole, he was running for his life with his mother from his family. The last part added after enough of a pause that we can be reasonably sure he's using it as pointed emphasis, though to what purpose I have no idea. Reminding Meisner that his family is a pack of rabid murderous sociopaths, maybe. He also notes that there's only one way in and out, with a more mild expression than I would have. No, he doesn't like that. I don't like that. No one likes that, but Meisner is moving around to get a couple of crowbars and show him the other way out, via the sewers. Well, that does explain the smell, at least. It does not explain why the fuck your alternate route out of there requires fucking crowbars. Because those are so easy to use as tools instead of weapons in an emergency. The sewer path leads to Puckler needing marbles again and us flinging up our hands in despair at ever getting any kind of data out of him. That's awfully narrow, Renard comments, as well he might considering he's about the size of a barn. Not a bar/n. Meisner finds this all very amusing, and I'll give him that, and they're at least comfortable enough around each other to banter like this. They will stay, therefore, in that underground room until they get word about the meeting. What fun. Meisner goes over to the stairs and removes a step from it so that whoever comes down will have at least some abrupt compensating to do, if they don't actually fall down/over. That's a neat trick, he does get a couple of points for that. In exchange for the points he will give the information that his father taught him that trick, and the Royal family killed him, or possibly just Mama Renard. Given the conspiracy topics lately I'm going to go with the Royal family, but that's also interesting. An interesting choice of things to tell Renard, anyway. Not sure if that's a threat or not. Leaning toward yes, because everything Meisner does appears layered with threats, but could be intended as a backhanded way of bonding.
Back over in Portland the seminary student is also reminding us that the Church is very, very careful about its protocols for performing exorcisms, specifically saying that they rule out medical and psychological/trauma related reasons for the behaviors, all scientific reasons before moving on to allow an exorcism. This is, actually, truth in television. Given, though, that what's going on with Daniel is more to do with the Wesen world than the human one it's no wonder the Monsignor and the combined powers of the Church couldn't find a scientific explanation for what was happening to the poor kid. So, exorcism it was. Hank asks what happened in the room, since this is the first time they've had a coherent, rational adult to ask for his testimony, and the student gives a rough description of what we saw in the episode opener. He also makes a point of saying that it wasn't Daniel's fault, that the boy didn't mean to do it or didn't know what he was doing. Oh honey. Hank rather accusingly points out that they did tie one of Daniel's arms, though given his follow-up question it's difficult to say whether he's trying to get the kid to admit he knew something hinky was going on, something was going to happen, or whether he's tacitly accusing the Church of brutalizing the boy. Or possibly both, starting with the latter but moving to the former so as not to create unproductive conflict. The seminary student describes it as immobilizing Daniel so that the "beast within" couldn't control him and injure himself, which appeases Nick at least. Nick's follow up question is a very delicate and normal-person, Kehrseite way of asking if the boy woge'd, for which we may all be grateful that he's had practice translating Wesen concepts into other terms. The seminary student's freaked out enough. He still thinks he saw a demon, and that's probably for the best, as it keeps what happened firmly within the paradigm he's familiar with and keeps him from going insane casting about for explanations.
Just to emphasize that no, this is far from over, we cut from there immediately to Daniel's room, where he should still be passed out from sedation and a nurse has come in to draw some blood. She probably quite reasonably expects not to have to ask permission by waking him up, and hopefully his parents gave permission? Look, all I'm saying is that I'd freak out a little if I woke up to a needle in my arm, no matter where I was and how much I could expect it. The boys walk down the hall quietly discussing their options, and yes, Nick's out of them right now. He's reached the same conclusion we did awhile back, that even if only one parent is Wesen they wouldn't put their child through this, though I have a question, guys. What happens if you have two parents who were born Kehrseite to a Wesen-Kehrseite relationship? Do the recessives carry? Not that it's relevant in this case, but it would account for a whole lot of interesting folklore and breaches of the Masquerade. But no, Nick's down to a lotta nothin', which leaves them with the demon possession theory, which nobody likes. I'm with you on this, Hank. Meanwhile the nurse gets as far as starting a vial of blood when the kid wakes up and goes all demon-face on her and I'd freak out too! Freaking out for everyone! Nick's turn to go see the demon kid and find out what the fuck has everyone so scared, and the unspoken confirmation from Hank that he sees it, too? Yeah. Just in case we were wondering about some kind of shared hallucinogen, now we have a Grimm and a Kehrseite schlichkennen who confirm they're seeing the same thing and this is so not good. On the other hand, when they stand back, Daniel reemerges and has standard little-boy-whining about wanting to go home. Poor kiddo. The doctor is unimpressed by Nick standing in her way, like a good doctor she wants to see to her patient, but Nick is, finally, learning how to talk to mundanes about inexplicable weird shit without sounding like he's lying. Nick, have you been taking lessons in maintaining a poker face from Renard in your off-hours? I only half-kid. Mainly because he doesn't have off-hours; neither of them do. At any rate, the doc is persuaded, largely by dint of Nick really not knowing what the fuck is going on even if he has an idea where to go to get answers, to perform no invasive tests and do only food and observation. And she sets them a deadline, as well she might if the kid's that dangerous, of 24 hours before she boots him.
Speaking of deadlines, Adalind's running on a long one that's getting rapidly shorter, because she can't hide that pregnancy forever. She also appears to have been out doing work of the lawyering variety, at least judging by that outfit and file folder and oh, hey, that's a ringing cell phone. I actually would not be surprised if this were intended on a Watsonian level to indicate how close the surveillance on her from the Kronenberg-Renard family is, as well as the Doylist level of using an already-established set to film in, by the way the phone rings the second she gets in. She clearly doesn't know the number, but given where she is that's not as much of a surprise as it might be, even after this many months and definitely given recent political turmoil. The voice on the other end of the phone is, by its cold formality, another of the many major domos around the castle, and it's just fucking adorable that they're calling the castle a "house." Yes, right, at least they're not calling it a model. (Which it so is.) Her presence is requested, they'll send a car, she does not get to ask what it's about and they don't even give her a time. High-handed fuckers. Would they like her to roll over and play dead, too? I imagine they would. I imagine that shot of her in the big big room all alone is meant to emphasize her lack of current allies, and here's a question, the fuck has Stefania gotten to in all this? Just saying.
Questions of Wesen paternity and weird fucking biology, pun definitely intended, aside, Monroe and Rosalee are back to help the boys parse out what the fuck is going on here. The fuck is you, demon kid. Hank still thinks it sounds like classic devil worship but he'd really like another explanation now that he knows such exist, on account of alternate explanations might be better! There could be a solution to this one, right guys? Well, um. Not that Monroe and Rosalee are aware of, as Nick rattles off the details to them and they get one of those couple-y half-telepathic hoshit looks. Grausends are a myth, supposedly, back in Ye Olden Times they thought Grausends were a spirit that possessed a Kehrseite child, but never a Wesen one. Modern science has brought them to consider it some kind of mutation instead, and we're slamming our faces into the nearest hard surface because do you know how many things like this turn out to be some kind of infection? Parasite, infection, what-have-you. I'm just saying. Ergot poisoning is probably the one people are most familiar with, schizophrenic hallucination is probably the second most familiar, neither one is precisely applicable here, but it's the right general direction. Which Rosalee is not headed, because Rosalee is scared. Not as scared as she's going to be later, but as scared as we've seen her since her brother's death, more so than she was afraid of zombies. Grausends disappear because the Wesen Council disappears them, is what her explanation boils down to, and Monroe steps both to her side but away from her, like he can't decide which side of this he's on. BUT LOOK. WHAT LIGHT THROUGH YONDER WINDOW BREAKS. It's data. Sometime in the 1600s the Wesen Council, the Royals and the Grimms, and by the way she pauses she's taking Royal-and-Grimms as a unit at that time, which we already pretty well knew, all sat down together and hammered out a treaty. I bet there were other things in that treaty and I would fucking love to know what all of them were, but the salient point here is that the Council is responsible for handling Grausends because they threaten the well-being of Wesen everywhere. Monroe chips in that if left to grow to maturity, they turn into extremely dangerous psychopaths and have been known to lay waste to whole continents. Really? Although I suppose I'm more willing to buy that in the time before automatic weaponry and rocket launchers. Marginally. It's not like we haven't always had volatile and large-scale methods for destroying humanoid things. And Wesen were blamed, therefore it was the Council's job, which implies that the Royals, whatever their range of influence, are not responsible for maintaining Wesen law. Are they then responsible for negotiating the boundaries between Wesen and human law? Or maybe more accurately, what do they think their sphere of influence extends to, because we have every indication that they view it as their right and duty to ride herd on Nick as a Grimm. And if Grimms are the ones who go around killing Wesen, historically willynilly, then what exactly does that make the Royals? What do they want from the Wesen, besides more power? I mean, we know about the map, that's one thing, but we don't know why apart from a need for power over and knowledge about everything the Royals are so focused on the Grimm and Wesen worlds. Assuming they are and that's not a misleading assessment based on the Royals we have seen, remembering that for a long time our only Royal was half-Wesen himself. Hank is not at all thrilled about this turn of events, and continues to represent both the heart of the group as well as the one most capable of remembering the purely human interests at play. Can we not sentence a kid to death, guys? Oh, wait, but if they don't tell the Council, they'll be assassinated. That's just awesome. Rosalee's masking the fear under anger and determination right now, Monroe your proximity to her is not helping and any solutions that require the use of a time machine are only valid on Doctor Who. Hank doesn't want to worry about the Council, but Nick, quite rightly too, points out that now they have to. Not only that but he won't say a word to either of their faces about the fact that they're having to call in a hitman on a child lest they themselves be killed; this may not be an expression of responsibility he's familiar with but it's one he understands and won't push them about. Since he seems to be the more perceptive Nick we saw in s1, he probably even recognizes Rosalee's fear for what it is. Oh everyone. And frankly, even if Rosalee and Monroe keep their mouths shut, the kid's been in public enough that there's a chance some other Wesen will have seen him and called the Council. Not a very big chance, but enough of one that I wouldn't be risking dismissing them from calculations either, let alone the expression on Rosalee's face. Both of them are defensive and scared and trying not to have their first big fight after Nick and Hank leave, Monroe wants to trust his friend blindly and as cute and touching as that is, Rosalee has cold hard logic too. They could be killed not just for withholding this information, they could be killed for consorting with a Grimm behind their back, which says some things about how the Council views Grimms. Unsurprising given the other data we have, but useful confirmation that the Wesen Council isn't on anyone's side but its own. And neither of them wants to go to the other's funeral, that was a very poorly timed flippant comment, Monroe. Rosalee's reaction suggests that she has damn well seen the Council assassinate people before and she won't let it happen to them, and all of this leads me to no seriously, what the fuck is Renard's connection with the Council? Not forgetting how he said he'd contact them via Rosalee if he needed to. I sure as fuck hope Meisner's not part of or henching for the Council, but I'm not gonna hold my breath about it, either.
When we come back from the DUN DUN DUNN of halfway through the ep ad break, we're at the Hague! Where the Council is located oh goodie. Old white guy in a familiar office is back, and he's called in a henchman for these purposes. The Grimm site tells us that this is a "Pflichttreue, a White Panther Wesen known for being smart, fearless, and extremely loyal. Because of these traits, several are used by the Wesen Council to help with some of their most difficult dirty work." Pflichttreue translates roughly as duty-loyalty, which describes the traits more than the animal they're associated with, something that I think is about a 50-50 ratio on the Germanic mashup names. This Pflichttreue, somewhat to his credit, doesn't look entirely happy about mention of what must be done to a nine year old boy, but this is his job and he is, one assumes, damn good at it. I appreciate that the writers didn't show us Rosalee calling the Council, they showed us the immediate results from that and gave us a face to put to the potential assassin, though frankly if he's going to wander around a hospital in a suit that nice I'm pretty sure most people would've made him in the first five seconds. Anyway. He's off to the States to do some child assassination which we all know won't happen because this is a network show.
We're off to the land of adorable couples! Nick brought books from the trailer to his couch for Juliette to go over in the comfort of their own home. That is a) ten kinds of adorable and b) speaks strongly to the extent to which Nick's acclimated to her knowing about Wesen and being both able and willing to help him figure out the more scientific side of things. Fitting things into a known framework and applying knowledge that previous Grimms wouldn't have had to his cases as best she can. I love everything about this scene except the lack of white gloves. That part gives me hives. Nick runs us down the list of theory/belief/myth and if this were a Joss Whedon show he'd end in something as juvenile as "thingie." I'm glad he doesn't. The list of dates, should they become useful later: 1520, 1683, 1741, 1804, 1920, so one every sixty years at a minimum, 120 at a maximum at least as recorded in these diaries, that's just about the right amount of gap to have the knowledge passed on patchily and with lots of confusion and if it is this rare (if the Burkhardt-Kessler line of Grimms and/or the knowledge base Marie and Kelly assembled is this diverse) then no wonder nobody's done proper research on it. That's what Juliette's for! And she brings up the most recent entry, reads it aloud for us that someone thought it wasn't demonic possession but some kind of infection and does this make sense? Why yes, yes it does. And with her usual pragmatism, she asks how long this has been going on, what happened a year ago, or for that matter a little before that because incubation periods vary, meanwhile I'm sitting here with a stupid grin on my face. She blinded me with science, y'all. And continues to blind us for the rest of the scene as she explains how many, many pathogens of all kinds can fuck around with the central nervous system or other sections of the brain which control behavior, this is all entirely accurate in the general sense and doesn't get into the specifics that would make our brains explode with irrelevant data. Nick points out that he's not exactly the image of a guy who could talk to the parents about incubations periods and the like, which is true in that people form some very specific opinions of what cops are knowledgeable about and medicine, the finer points of epidemiology, anyway, is not one of those areas. The more fools they, but the point's valid. Juliette will get her coat! I will aww at them some more.
Late night Vienna under the cafe! Is not full of awwing, except in that Renard's down to suit pants and dress shirt unbuttoned just enough to have allowed him to remove his tie. Okay, yeah, that's hot. I'm also giggling over how he sleeps on his back vaguely like a vampire, except that's how we've seen him sleep before and I'm betting he trained himself into it for ease of military readiness. At which point I stop giggling. Meisner, by contrast, is lying on his stomach clutching his pillow like he's a child, which is a fairly accurate summation of their body language and apparent roles/personalities so far as we know Meisner's. They both wake at the slightest creak, and given that old buildings tend to be pretty creaky and at least Renard is unfamiliar with this location, I can only imagine how little sleep they've gotten. Even if one or both of them's trained to fall asleep between one eyeblink and the next, a pretty standard piece of military-esque training, or something acquired over years of being at war. This, however, is a creak with purpose. Which means when the Hundjagers come downstairs with automatic weapons they're firing at empty beds and that plus the severe Dutch angle reminds me of nothing so much as the Nazgul at the Prancing Pony. We will all pause now to imagine Renard-as-Aragorn, 'cause he damn sure isn't a hobbit. We don't get an angle to see where Renard and Meisner lurk while they shoot the empty featherbeds, just that the Hundjagers go tumbling down the stairs upon hitting the missing step, and again we have massive differences between the two men. Renard kills his target with a snap of the neck; Meisner hauls his upright and bonks his head into the wall really hard (accompanied by a hurt-puppy yelp for extra funny), which might or might not suffice for death versus concussion. Please let that have been death. Hundjagers following you after getting your scent is not something you want to deal with. Neither of them woge out during this, and that might be Renard's calming influence preventing Meisner from wogeing out, potentially? Which is mildly irksome, because I was looking forward to knowing what kind of Wesen he is, if he is one at all. Though he might for that matter be a rogue Grimm, at the rate he's reminding me of a younger stupider Nick. Fuck knows. Not us! We get confirmation that they're Hundjagers and Verrat and WHO, Meisner. Who the fuck called this a safehouse, you stupid fuck, whose word did you take for it without checking first, this is such bad protocol on so many levels that it doesn't even merit the name of protocol. Also, while they may want us to assume death on both the Hundjagers' parts, we know that knocking a Wesen unconscious causes them to de-woge as a safety mechanism for the Masquerade, so I'm going to stay on tenterhooks until they don't end up with a vengeful pissed off Hundjager on their tails. Renard is about as pissed as we are with less ability to express it in words, that's okay, his face does it for him. Oh, and there's someone upstairs still standing lookout, it sounds like, so let us not go out the front, as it were. At all. Ever. Thank you, Renard, for having the tactical sense your counterpart has none of. Fuckssake.
Here come Nick and Juliette to save the day! Or, in this case, to try and talk down the increasingly frantic parents. Who are pissed the hell off that they can't get into see their son, I can understand that. I do. I also sit here staring at the father who has seen what's been happening to his son over the last year and who professes not to comprehend the notion that his son would hurt him. Put your goddamn dick back in your pants, sonny. Father is being even more overbearing and dictatorial in the presence of another woman. I really don't like him. Juliette's probably used to it, but that doesn't mean I'm not offended on her behalf. Dude. She's an expert, maybe not in the field of human medicine, but better informed than you're going to get, and kudos to both actors and characters for standing more or less like they're close but not romantically involved. Because nobody wants a cop going "hi I brought my girlfriend she's going to help now," even if that's exactly what's going on. So. Daddy dearest insists nothing happened a year ago and he wants to see his son and dude you are a broken record. I, along with everyone else in this scene, will put him on /ignore while they get relevant information from the mother, they were with a tour group to Egypt, Jordan, Israel, okay, they were hitting up all the great monotheistic holy sites, that goes along with at least her deep devotion to Catholicism. He was not fine on the trip, he got "the flu" and they gave him antibiotics for three days and he was fine. I need a moment to go beat my head against the wall because the flu is a VIRUS you do not give antibiotics for a VIRUS and even if you're giving them you give AT LEAST A WEEK'S COURSE this is how you get antibiotic resistant, oh, fucking EVERYTHING. Not that there aren't doctors who do that, or else we wouldn't have as many highly resistant bacterial strains as we do, but fuckssake. The incompetence on the part of everyone but the MCs (and, okay, that one doctor) in this episode irks me. It's irksome. (And just as a note, you don't actually have to make your guest/recurring characters incompetent to make me like and admire the main characters' competence. I like competence porn for EVERYONE. I'm just saying.) No, there was no culture, they feel he could've picked it up anywhere, he was swimming in the Jordan River, in the Dead Sea, I'm going to assume these were tourist-approved locations because anything else makes my head hurt. They escape from more parental flailing under the guise of going to check if they can see their son, which no, of course they can't, but the uni says it's been quiet and he's been staying away as much as possible. Can't blame him, at the speed gossip of this sort travels. Yes, he does look young to be causing this much mayhem. I also have a further question about these legends of Grausends, is this a thing that only ever shows up in kids and adolescents? Not adults? Because that'd be another useful point of similarity, kids' immunological responses often differ from adults'.
Anyway. We cut from there to the same night back at Nick and Juliette's, getting ready for bed, maybe? She's putting her shoes in the drawer. Um, Juliette, are you feeling okay? Which is almost what Nick asks, except in the manner of someone used to the quirks of a loved one who's preoccupied with something else. Did they just give her absentminded scientific genius quirk type Putting Shit In Weird Places? Why yes. Yes they did. I can't say this is implausible, either, I've been known to attempt to put the water pitcher in the freezer while I'm blogging. Fortunately right now the freezer's too full for such mistakes. Juliette's been going over her vast databases of scientific knowledge and she thinks it can't be bacterial or virological, it has to be something even more directly impacting behavioral tendencies, and goes on to cite a case study of a colleague's who studied a group of horses she believed was infected after a trip to, yep, Jordan. Well, it was going to be one of the three! And the River Jordan is often used as a symbolic crossing, slavery to freedom, site of several miracles, often a source of healing but sometimes, as in this, a source of death. Always a source of change, as with rivers in general but especially those that end up with mythological weight to them. This colleague believed the horses could be saved, that the solution to their behavior was in treating for a rare protozoa similar to toxoplasmosis, and whatever it was they could fix it. Sadly, the horses were destroyed before anyone could test this theory, and Nick brought an extra lampshade to his nightstand by way of noting that this is what people do with the inexplicable. Psst, Nick. I'm glad you're coming back around to the side of not killing everything in your way, but let's not forget that you were pretty prone to that last season, yourself. Then again, by the thousand-yard stare he's got on, maybe he does remember. Especially given what Renard told him to think about a couple episodes ago, but it's hard to tell. Giuntoli's playing this one pretty ambiguously.
Meanwhile, Monroe and Rosalee are already asleep in bed and he's the one who pounds downstairs to the door as he throws on a robe. Silas Weir Mitchell. I do not know how you manage to be this cuddly after playing 90% villains and crazy people in everything I've seen you it, but quit that, it's unfair. He is, of course, expecting it to be Nick and grousing in annoyance like you do, and not meaning very much of it, also like you do. Hello catman Council assassin! So very not nice to see you, and apparently she's given them her new address but neglected to inform them who she's living with. Whoops. Rosalee also assumes it's Nick right up until creepy catman shoves his way past Monroe inside and Monroe tries to warn her. A little late. These Council people are peremptory bastards; may they and the Royals have the best of each other and leave everyone else alone. He demands a location for the boy, note the distancing technique there because Rosalee would have had to give a name at some point or another. Or you would think, but if she did that then the Council should have the resources to track him down without her help. So basically this is probably another loyalty test, which pisses me off. It pisses Rosalee off, too, and scares her; right at the end she looks torn between spitting in his face and running back up the stairs. And after the door closes the fear takes over and Monroe will, we hope, deal with how terrified his girlfriend is after he calls Nick to tell him the Council's hitpanther is here. She will stand in the entryway with her eyes closed and look like she needs a stiff drink.
Back over in adorable couple land Nick and Juliette are settled into bed for the night, still discussing the case. At least in part because Juliette is doing what we do so often and extrapolating like mad from facts in evidence and early conclusions drawn from said facts. We know the feeling. So very well. Her theory of the crime is that it was a parasite, some microbial life form that manifested in physical symptoms and possibly full-on transformations which then scared the living bejeezus out of all the humans around, causing them to conclude possession, demons, etc. Protozoa! See also above list of ergot poisoning, schizophrenia-induced hallucination, etc. It's not inaccurate! It also sounds, going by the manifestation, we've been seeing like what we're dealing is a Wesen protozoa. So, apparently Wesen are different down to the genetics of single-celled organisms. I can't begin to tell you how much I'm geeking out here, guys. So, Juliette describes the treatment for the protozoa, which amounts to killing the creature inside the host and then letting his body expel it naturally. I'm extrapolating that last part. The problem with that is that they don't know what it needs to survive. What kind of alkalinity, salinity, heat, cold, what. While they ponder this Nick gets that phone call from Monroe. Let us all now appreciate how both adorable and pleasantly aware everyone is of the problematic situation they find themselves in, shall we? Monroe doesn't throw Rosalee under the bus in any way; despite the fact that he likely would have preferred her not say she knows where the boy is, he says "we" had to tell the hitpanther where he was, including himself in the act. Then he offers to go with Nick to identify the catman, but Nick vetoes that on the grounds that it would put Monroe and Rosalee in jeopardy. By hanging up on him, too, ending that discussion. Monroe and Rosalee exchange a worried look as we...
... cut to the hitpanther himself stalking down the hall! Not just with a Dutch angle this time but a Dutch angle and a slow zoom. They're doing their best with the movement and angle of the camerawork to make this guy seem sinister and yet, toning it back some, there's nothing about either the lighting or the makeup that makes him more scary. So, a halfway effort? More, I think, indicating that his purpose is sinister rather than anything inherent to the person. He goes into the boy's room! Because apparently when you look swank in a suit no one stops you. He pulls back the curtains! Cut to black! Because why waste all that lovely tension when you've got a looming commercial break.
After the break Nick and Juliette come down the hallway we saw a moment ago not quite at speed but definitely at a fast walk, giving us a nice comparison shot if you're at all curious about Dutch angle effect vs normal walking effect. Because Nick and Juliette are the valiant protagonists, they get normal cameras and therefore everything is as it should be. Except for the fact that there's supposed to be an officer guarding the kid's door. No one's happy about this. Nick and Juliette aren't happy that the kid's in the wind, however briefly since it won't take that long to track down the parents' home address, and the doctor isn't happy that two cops and a consultant are making a fuss in her hospital about a patient who wasn't deathly ill and couldn't be treated therefore was unnecessary to keep him there. This doctor seems to be on the side of not giving patients medicine inappropriate to their illnesses; we could use more of those, if only she also had a sense of Wesen protozoa and how to treat them. Hank rushes in but has nothing likewise useful except another warm body to do cop stuff, so it's off to the Keary house to try and intercept the child before something else horrible happens!
On to the house! Where the parents are up late in pjs with warm drinks worrying, like you do when your kid is apparently some kind of evil being. Sporadically. Without warning. No, the father doesn't have any solutions and he doesn't want to be reminded of the things Daniel's done, either to himself or to Monsignor Paul, whereas the mother can't stop thinking about them. Ah, yes, the twinned and both extremely poor coping mechanisms of denial and fixation! Into this we have a knocking and our threesome of cops and science! Juliette takes the lead as the voice of reason, science, and a new theory, and it does eventually get through to them and I'm sure they have all the things the doctors have tried memorized, so this has the benefit of novelty at least. They're softpedaling this as much as they can under the circumstances but are duly freaked out, especially because saying the kid's asleep in bed is pretty much a recipe for him not being in bed at all. As everyone with any familiarity with the genre expects, which is why it's such a shock to see him there when they do check in. So! Daniel's asleep, they'll get him to specialists tomorrow with this new improved theory, Juliette sympathizes with the mother over how hard it is for them to get their hopes up now, and father can't quite rage but clearly feels impotent over in the corner. Still don't like him. That parting look through the windows tells us that the hitpanther's watching, though, as we might expect. Hitpanther stands over the bed looking… actually really perturbed over what he's about to do, which makes me like him a little more. Want to lock him in a trunk until this is all over, but he seems to be Meisner's lighter counterpart in this ep, doing horrible things out of believed necessity rather than enjoyment. (Compare against Meisner's bared-teeth look in the safehouse? Yeah.) Unfortunately, woge seems to bring out the Grausend part of the boy, and cue combat rounds! Okay, downstairs they're not in combat rounds yet, Hank brought a lampshade to the party-that-isn't by way of asking what they know about the Council guy, Nick's pondering that he must be here by now, starts to work out the timing, yes, Nick, when you said here I think you meant just upstairs. Doofus. And now we get to have Nick chasing hitpanther chasing Grausend-Daniel through the woods while Hank tends to the civilians and makes them stay inside out of danger. Good man.
It's actually also a bit of a nice change from when Renard and Hank were hunting Nick in the woods. Through the woods. What have you. In this case it's sort of an ongoing montage/theme of hunting, whereby the boy is the prey who is very clearly running to safety. He's picked a direction and is not deviating from it, he's not stumbling or weaving, there's clearly something out there that he's running to even if we don't know what it is yet. Then we have the hitpanther, who's hunting the boy and likely as a secondary goal wants to get out with his own skin intact. And then we have Nick, who seems to be focusing on the catman but might have the boy as a secondary goal in mind, should he run across the boy in his hunt. It's a bit like those open-mouthed fish stickers. There's always a bigger badass. The kid keeps running and trips into a river, which, well shit. Running around in the middle of the night in your pajamas in the kind of weather which prompts adults to wear wool (I think that's wool Juliette was wearing?) coats is a losing proposition at the best of times. But now he's cold and wet, and exerting himself, which uses up energy and heat faster even though for a short time he will likely feel as though he's burning up. Anyone who's ever exerted themselves indoors in the middle of a cold season, then stepped outside to be still and take a second and suddenly realized how fucking freezing you are, you know what I'm talking about. Daniel pauses for a second as he crawls out of the water, though it's hard to tell whether he's pausing or the protozoa's attempting to assert control. Then he keeps running, with what looks like Grausend speed but not Grausend face. Huh. Interesting. We change perspectives as the lightning flashes, as per usual in these circumstances. It simply makes it easier to make the cuts. Then, suddenly, a wild hitpanther appears! Hitpanther uses stand in front of the kid and wave arms wildly! It's not very effective! Seriously, dude, what the fuck are you actually trying to accomplish here. You're twice the kid's size and probably four times his strength, you could smack him into a tree and snap his neck as easily as Renard did to that would-be assassin. As it turns out, as we see Nick show up and engage the catman in hand to hand, our dear hitpanther isn't actually trained as an assassin. Very little of what we see of his fighting technique is technique at all, and Nick easily knocks the woge out of him. Okay, no, Nick knocks him into a tree and my best guess is that he drops out of woge because now a human is pointing a flashlight at him, and Thou Shalt Not Disturb The Masquerade. Nice touch, that! Along with the bit of comedic exchange of "You want me to shoot him?" "Actually, yes."
No, boys, you can't shoot the hitpanther. Nick leaves Hank to cover the guy while he goes in search of Daniel, who is well on his way to dying of exposure. This involves shouting, which, while the words are reassuring, Daniel's ability to believe Nick might well be compromised by his confused state of mind and the simplicity of the protozoa which sometimes controls him, so, dude. Not the best solution right about now. The woman screaming might have better luck if only for the less dangerous sounding, and also because that sounds a bit like his mother. Or rather, not like Juliette, which only leaves his mother. Daniel's slowing down now, wrapping his arms around himself, you don't have much time, guys! Oh noes! And just as Daniel's about to fall over he finds his way to a constructed shelter, laying down and huddling up. Commercial break! No, now it sounds like Juliette, and the three adults meet up to something that is interrupted by the father who thinks he knows where his son has gone. Finally! Something useful he can do. Okay, that was a bit mean, but the guy's been so obstructionist and stubbornly annoying all episode, it's a relief to see him focus on what he can do rather than what others are trying to do to his son and how he can stop them and protect his boy. He thinks the boy's going to a fort they made, which is pretty reasonable. Home is no longer safe, so Daniel will go to the only other place he can think of that he can run to that is safe.
The shelter, once found, holds a very still, cold little boy who in no way looks like a Grausend, and rapidly becomes crowded by three frantic adults. At least the father's reached enough sense to say be careful when you wake him up. Oh everyone. They're freaking out over hypothermia, like you do in this weather, and then something weird happens. Weirder than normal even for this ep! Because that doesn't look like the Grausend trying to assert control, that looks like a dying gasp of some organism or another. Which Nick is the one to notice and comment on, and brings us to the entirely scientific statement that parasites of this sort tend to rely on a very narrow range of temperatures to survive. Normal human body temperature fluctuations are included in this, but this isn't normal, so maybe it's a chance to get rid of the parasite? Nick and Juliette do a very good job of tag-teaming the issues at play here, Juliette the worried and thinking they need controlled conditions to perform this sort of experiment in, Nick worried maybe that the parasite will evolve if Daniel survives this. I'm momentarily sidetracked by giggling over protozoa Wesen, actually. Protozoa with wogeface! Under a microscope! Okay, fine, it's your son? You make the call. That's what you earned when you got into this parenting gig, dude. Hate to break it to you. The father dithers by way of making any decision at all, which is like making a decision in and of itself, and some incredibly disgusting yellow tendrils of goo start escaping through Daniel's nose and ears. Ew. And also yay for Juliette the scientist, who tells Nick to get a sample and causes us to fall over laughing. NICK COLLECT THE DATA FOR YOUR GIRLFRIEND. Good Nick. And then it's just a matter of getting him into the house and showing the family taking care of their son, he'll be fine now. Oh everyone. That's a lot of relief in Juliette's voice when she gets to say she thinks he'll be all right. I bet she's getting a glimmer of how Nick feels about his police work in general, these days.
On over to the model castle model we go, for a much more poisonous family situation. That is a new majordomo, Adalind's in her lawyer's outfit rather than any kind of seductive outfit, indicating any number of possibilities. One, that she's no longer defaulting to seduction as a means to her ends. Two, that her ends are currently such that she doesn't need any seduction. Three, that in the absence of a known quantity she doesn't want to give the impression that she's available with her choice of clothing. Four, that she didn't have time to change before the car came for her. Five, that she's running out of clothes which can conceal her pregnancy. Six, any or all of the above! She will give the majordomo so much side-eye over that prince comment, which means whoever drove her still didn't tell her jackshit and nor did anyone once she'd gotten into the palace. Yeah, I like the Royals even less than I like Adalind at this point, is anyone really surprised? At least the Royals who aren't Renard. So! The prince is dead, long live the prince, enter a study/office which may be new and different and may not, hard to say because we get absolutely none of it including a visual on who's behind the desk. Or at the mantel or wherever the fuck he is. But those of us familiar with Alexis Denisof recognize the voice and can put the unctuous regal expression to it! Well, this will be interesting, but not until next episode.
Meanwhile, under a bridge somewhere, we have... bars! Moving bars. I appreciate that Meisner is going first and that they seem to have grabbed go-bags and weapons. I do not appreciate that Meisner defines the number or names of people who knew Renard was coming as "too many." That's your response, dude, "too many?" Go to the back of the fucking class. He does give one name of the person who set up the safehouse. (Preslaus? That can't be right, but those are the only sounds I'm getting. Marbles, Puckler. Fucking marbles.) Renard can't wait to meet him, and by meet I assume we are meant to hear interrogate with great prejudice. I can't wait to see Renard meet him. But yes, first they need to get to safe ground. And no, they are not going to do that with Meisner's phone, are you stoned or stupid? WHY ARE YOU SCROLLING THROUGH YOUR CONTACT LIST. IS THIS THE PHONE YOU USE FOR EVERY GODDAMN THING? NO WONDER THEY TRACED YOU. Report to Agent Romanoff for remedial spycraft, you fuckhead. Renard will give him his first lesson by grabbing his very traceable smartphone and chucking it into the sewer. I love you, Renard. He pulls out a phone and declares it his turn for security arrangements. I could not agree more.
Whether this is that same day/night or just generally "while Renard is in Vienna," and I'm going with the latter because of time zone fuckery, they have the hitpanther in custody! Not a form of custody with cameras and at this point I almost have to assume Nick knows or Renard's told him which interrogation room to use so that whoever covers up the digital trail at the precinct knows there's Grimm/Wesen business afoot. Not like that, all you Nick/Monroe shippers. Nick flings a folder onto the table and proceeds to dictate terms: the hitpanther is leaving with proof that Daniel Keary is no longer infected and that it was a protozoa, not a spirit, not a mutation, he's cured, please to be fucking off now. Okay, I added that last part, but all of Nick's body language is screaming it. Not only that, but the hitpanther is clearly not expecting Nick to be able to recite chapter and verse at him. Hell, I wasn't expecting that, Nick hasn't always been capable of using that level of knowledge against the people who are acting as gatekeepers to the tower of Wesen History 101. Treaty of Wittenberg what? 1682 double what? Okay, no, backing up and laying this out, this is clearly the treaty Rosalee was talking about and apparently one of the clauses it contains requires representatives of the Wesen Council to take the word of a Grimm for… what? Grausend cases only? Or all cases involving Wesen? Or all cases involving the protection of humans? What, exactly, does this goatfucking treaty say. It's also of Wittenberg, and if you're swearing under your breath and diving for Wiki let us save you the trouble: it's commonly cited as the source of Luther's Protestant Reformation. 93 Theses. Burning of the papal bull. In conjunction with the Catholicism on display in this episode it's very interesting, especially since in 1682 this would have been Wittenberg's primary non-Wesen claim to fame. The year is mildly interesting but nothing obvious stands out with giant neon signs. It was the year Louis moved his court to Versailles, the first year Hailey's Comet was observed, and the reign of Peter the Great began, and any or all of those could be significant events to Royals/Wesen/other magical beings within the world, but we don't have any good way to narrow it down from there. That history lesson out of the way, the hitpanther's also a bit astonished that Nick's letting him go just like that. Well, he trusts that the treaty is binding, I think, but he also won't pass up the chance to deliver a lecture about fear versus belief versus truth, all lit half in shadow and half in light which I think is in this case intended to represent the two (or more) worlds Nick's walking between. I also think this is intended as a lecture, and that Nick of all people given both his job and his heritage knows far, far too well how little reason matters when visceral fear hits people of any species. And the resigned, determined look he gives the hitpanther when he gives an order (and make no mistake, that is an order, he's been learning that one from Renard) to try anyway. Oh Nick. I think I like him more in this ep than I have in a long time; it kind of seems like he's quietly absorbed the lesson Renard wanted him to learn and synthesized it into something congruent with his worldviews.
Back at the Hague, Councilman Attenborough-who-may-be-deGroot is giving the hairy eyeball to the information the hitpanther brought back. Okay, yes, I know the hitpanther's name is Alexander, but only because I went to the Grimm website as they don't make a point of his name anywhere in the episode. The report at least consists of brain scans and what look like blood panel results, and the folder is tabbed to look like a medical file, though why they would smuggle the entire file out rather than putting it into another manila envelope I do not know. I'm assuming the medical file tabs were put there to cue us into the fact that it's a medical file, which the open page of the very clear brain scans you know what, never mind. Props is being weird again. At any rate. Councilman Attenborough wants to know if they should believe the Grimm. The hitpanther takes the fact that Nick let him go when he didn't have to, either legally considering he did assault and chase after a child, or physically, to be proof of Nick's bona fides or at least the earnestness of his effort to keep peace and not enforce his territory via fear. I'd go so far as to say he's impressed with Nick's actions and stated beliefs, or at least his expression suggests so. Councilman Attenborough is not as impressed, but he does make reference to some of the things they've heard about this Grimm being true, indicating that they've heard most likely good things about Nick. From Ian, perhaps? Freddy was apparently both part of the Lauffeuer/Resistance and aware of the Council, maybe there's some overlap where the Council is officially unaware but tacitly aids and abets the Lauffeuer? As long as they don't break the rules, of course. Or maybe not? We really do not get much information out of these Council chambers, but given that Nick's message and files were very much in the interest of forming and maintaining peace and security through benevolence and shared information, it's safe to say that whatever they've heard, it's been good. The hitpanther doesn't think Nick is like anything they've seen before, which, well that's what happens when your Grimm is raised not knowing he's a Grimm. And Councilman whoever he is orders his hitpanther to monitor the boy and the Grimm. (K: It probably shows that I read all the wrong stories because for a second I thought he said to Molotov them.) (A: Oh, I was going to blame that on the swallowed words all episode.) The hitpanther nods and stands to leave and the Councilman ponders, while I bemoan the lack of fucking nameplates on the desk to tell us if this really is deGroot or not.
And finally in the trailer of cuteness, Nick is making his own entry into the Grimm journals! It's all very scientific technical terminology, very clinical language, the sort of thing we write when we're working up in-character analytical profiles of the show characters. (For Haven, so far, but we're eyeballing Grimm for it next.) Even better, when he gets stuck on what the proper technical language is he looks to Juliette, who seems to be going through Nick's library with an eagerness we would totally share given half a chance at those books. She gives him the terminology and a sweet cheek kiss, and we close on her helping him spell eukaryotic, with the trailer all warmly lit from within. Awwww. THIS EPISODE, I LIKE IT. ANOTHER!
Next week on Grimm: two, two, two eps for the low price of cybernetic wrists! Seriously, given this and the second part of the Haven finale airing on the same week, we cannot guarantee that we'll be done with all the eps in one day. We'll see how it goes and update you as we progress. Apparently there are lizards in the sewers and Krampus is coming to town. To feast on naughty teenagers. Wu's right. Christmas brings out the worst in people. No word on conspiracy plotlines as yet, which we're not silly enough to think means we'll be spared infinite datadumps.