This week's previouslies are a) full of conspiracy but b) start out with Renard delivering part of his lecture to Nick. So we know what our big themes are going in, then! Alright then. The title quote is out of Dryden, who was a Restoration-era poet and I find it very interesting that the better part of the non-fairytale quotes actually come out of British authors. That's probably just personal bias from the writers, though, since that's the sort of Western canon most frequently taught to overeducated fuckers like ourselves. You can hit up Wiki for a rough summation of his influence and work, but let's just leave it at incredibly influential for his time, to the point of being credited with the invention of the heroic couplet, and move on to some sewers. Otherwise I'm going to spend an hour dissertating on the implications of this poem to the conspiracy plot and nobody actually wants that, right? Of course right.
Let's begin in the sewers! Which looks remarkably like the beginning of the Labyrinth, since we're going back to all the influences of my childhood. Well, some of them. And a man who, by the rules that govern opening shots involving strangers, we will not see except for shadows, shoes, and maybe hands. And the backpack of loot. And the barrels into which he is distributing said loot. He sorts it out by, what, type? Location? Maybe that's just the barrel that was least full. Not a very clever criminal if he's keeping and not fencing that kind of loot.
Speaking of not very clever criminals, let's go back to Eric's model! Which is, alas, no longer Eric's. Now it's Viktor's, he of the many names almost all of which are royal in some way or another and the surname of which is German, German, and more German. That wouldn't be quite so significant in a show rife with heavily Wiki'd German trivia except that thus far most of the Royal presence has been confined to Austria and Switzerland, so having one who is this German is... interesting. Second cousins to Eric Renard means his mother's either mother or father, and most likely father given that most Western European bloodlines run patrilineally, was a sibling to Eric's either mother's parent or father's parent. Which makes it less likely but not unlikely that he's bloodline connected to Sean, and makes him only distantly bloodline related to Eric. Not that this affects how likely it is that they were close, considering large families sometimes are; the fact that they were raised in an environment that foments plotting and backstabbing, that'll kill any intimacy or closeness they might have had pretty quick! Denisof has his full Wesley on, and while I accept that he's not actually investing Viktor with the same self-esteem issues and uncertainty that Wesley has, his "I was devastated by his passing", apart from sounding formal and insincere, also sounds very stuffy and uptight. Also British. Even the Brit didn't quite sound this British, though Denisof is also using a more crisp form of RP than Frain did. And, okay, I will give that he might be more devastated by the manner of Eric's passing (assuming he is passed, I'm still not convinced he won't pop up somewhere if they manage to secure Frain again) than his actual death. Do we need to point out that him turning and looking at Adalind as he says that about bringing to justice the "or women" responsible for this act is a sign that he thinks she might have something to do with it? No? Good.
He goes on to say that he wishes to retain Adalind in legal capacity and she'll be staying on in her present position. Um. I didn't think her present position was a legal one? We can all hope he means in her present location in the hotel, though there's definitely something smarmy about the way he will be counting on her to honor her relationship with Eric, not to mention the slight canted angle that puts him in the fore and looming tall (as much as Denisof can loom in a show that includes Roiz, who is thankfully sir not appearing in this shot) while Adalind is seated back and at an angle that makes her appear smaller than she is. No, that's not an accident. She's giving him the same look I'd be giving him if I were expected to honor a "rather intimate" relationship with a now-dead prince, by his cousin. Because yes, that is implying exactly what it sounds like. Royal history both in real life and in fiction is full of arrangements like this, it's not really a surprise that they'd go there, although it's no less icky for being aware that it happens. That established, Viktor goes on to say that while police have their own list of suspects, he has his, which has more to do with his activities in Portland. That implies that he doesn't actually know overall what was going on in Portland, or at least not as much as Papa Renard seemed to considering he seemed to be giving Eric last minute Master of the Obvious type instructions as we saw in Eric's phone conversation. Viktor doesn't even know that much, or at least if he does he's not sharing it with Adalind, which is a necessary but annoying constraint on learning what Viktor knows. He understands Adalind's spent time there! Well, that indicates that Adalind wasn't born and raised there, as we'd guessed before. And he understands Adalind knows another cousin of his, Sean Renard! Who he thinks of as more of a half-cousin, with a distasteful grimace. Still trying to work out if that means he knows about the hexenbiest mistress and therefore Sean's ancestry, and by the blinking and mouth twitching Adalind's trying to work that out too. I'm going to go with he does, though, because that was definite distaste and emphasis on the half-cousin, indicating that he knows Sean's only half-related to the Royal Families, and if he knows that he likely knows the circumstances of Sean's mother's flight. So, that seems to be an open secret among the Families! Or at least this Family. Yay. And he understands she knows Nicholas Burkhardt, which is notable for being the first time Nick's been called anything other than "The Grimm" by anyone in the Royal families proper. Adalind seems to be thrown by this, too, or at least she's careful to put Nick back in the "Grimm" box for reasons not yet entirely known. As a start to their relationship he would like her to put together a list of anyone she knew in Portland who might have had a hand in the assassination! Well, that's going to be a shortish list. He also would like to put his hand on her shoulder now while he's standing right in front of her almost completely dominating the shot, just so we know he's a smarmy git. Let's all take note of that ring, which is styled differently, of a different metal, and on a different finger than every other Royal ring we've seen thus far. Different family? Different status? The fuck is up with this?
Let's have something less confusing. A straightforward breaking and entering, with the rudiments of clever in that he wraps his elbow before he busts the window with it. Quick look around and then he starts stuffing things into his backpack. Metal things, for the most part. But what's this? A car pulling up with writing on it, turns out to be a cab. And a young man coming up to the house while talking to his Mom on the phone, giving us just enough time with him and his parents to know that it's by and large a loving family who will miss him when he dies horribly. As with most people, he tends to monofocus when he's on the phone, so it's not until he hangs up that he realizes someone's been breaking into his place and eating his porridge. And they're still here! Well, shit. The poor kid puts up a fight, even grabs a knife, but this goes much the same way Nick vs Stark goes, only much more brutally since the poor kid isn't a named character. We don't see the carnage, just the woge and the kid getting picked up and his legs flying around in the air.
Roll credits! Which are the long form again, said long form as far as either of us can tell being to the purpose of giving us Renard's All Shall Love Me And Despair shot (and where are those coins, anyway, Kelly?). That does not give me warm fuzzies, but we knew that as far back as the previouslies, so, okay then. The cops were called in what must be a pretty short span of time from the initial disturbance report, that blood hasn't congealed much. Then again, there's a lot of it TO congeal. As we can see by the torn-off arm at the scene as CSU finishes up. I will even allow as how that blood spatter looks about right, maybe there should be a bit more on the ceiling/surrounding walls, but this isn't Dexter and they're not CSU specialists. Arm pulled straight out of the socket, Hank's immediately leaping to Wesen conclusions and frankly I can't blame him. Humans hopped up on PCP and/or steroids could maybe manage that, but you'll pardon me if I don't go googling for proof, and I can't remember any cases off the top of my head. It's a safe bet, anyway, that in the spirit of Wesen Shit Happens Here, that it's not human. We'll be over here in the corner with our pad thai and crab rangoon cracking the hell up at how Nick can estimate shoe size to size 15 or greater, and then we have to wonder about Sasha's feet. Renard's. Whichever. Both. Look how we're being good and not making the requisite jokes. Anyway, Nick leaps to a not unreasonable conclusion based on his experience of the Wesen world, it might be a Siegbarste! Yeah, I'll allow as how that's possible, big and strong and angry and gives no fucks for committing criminal acts relatively in the open. Fits the known facts, in other words, and if the behavioral patterns end up not matching it's a good estimate for size/strength which Hank has some basis for comparison in. We get a Hank-POV flashback so we know he remembers, though Nick apparently still hasn't (and won't) bother to explain who saved his life back there. Nick, one of these days you two need to have a sleepover and paint each other's nails and you need to give your partner epic storytime.
Back at the precinct and doing the footwork, Hank clears the cabbie of suspicion and Nick's going over burglary reports! Conveniently, this means they haven't had to go outside the division to get information. I'm trusting that they actually kept the street names straight, since they go get a map out later? If some native or another wishes to correct them, by all means. We know they leave the directionals off the street names, but speaking as someone who used to live in a city with directionals (NW, SE, etc) it's at least an easy way to keep people from stalking real life addresses. Anyway. They have three burglaries, similar methods, no other murders, which means they can't necessarily tie them together but that's what checking the pawnshops is for! Good, solid, run of the mill procedural work. Punctuated by the ME calling in her report. Hello ME! We've missed you this season. She gives a nice, precise rundown to Nick which holds some generalized awe but not as much freaking out as you might expect; apparently everyone involved with Portland PD is getting used to the extra-weird shit. Cause of death is not, as we might expect, exsanguination due to limb-rending but a multiply-broken neck. Basically, the alligator Wesen shook him until his neck broke and his arm came off. I, uh. That's some massive predator behavior which reminds me somewhat of 'gators and their death rolls, somewhat of crocodiles, and also somewhat of large cats.
Meantime we're about to get our second victim of the week with a PGE guy going down to the sewers to check out something or another. A blockage, as it turns out once he gets down there and starts radioing back to Charlie above ground. There's some nice banter about the poor soon-to-be-dead-guy's sandwich that's intended to serve as humanizing to the workers and honestly throws me out of the narrative. Oh, here we go, PGE guy's going to ask if there's another crew working, which is protocol, and then go check it out his own damn self, which I bet is not protocol. I mean, sure, you probably get homeless people down there, maybe some vandalizing teens, but A remembers the steam tunnels around UW-Madison which were (are? haven't checked the local stories in awhile) used for drug trafficking and dealing. And this is why you check with the guys up top and call for the cops, whose job it is to deal with random criminals, petty or otherwise. Or even vagrants. Come on. No, he has to go wandering, and then he finds a tunnel out of bricks, and then he finds a moss-covered door, and then he ends up dead. Which we see represented in classic horror fashion by the winch up top going crazy and then stopping at the presumed extent of its rope. I do feel for Charlie, though, and I appreciate that for once the black guy isn't the one who gets dead! No, Jimmy is very, very dead. Even if it was a broken neck this time, I'm going to go with bleeding out from the femoral artery might be a concurrent cause of death. In other words, they might be proximate in time as to make no nevermind.
From one poor dead mook to one poor nervous canary- er, Sebastien. Who is visibly alone (we can't rule out the possibility of a tail, even if he's been upping his spycraft lately) and who has a brown paper bag full of what either is food or is guns designed to look like food. Look, I think about these things, okay? Also I think Lagadec's slightly taller than we believed, or maybe just used to compensating for people Sasha's size, or maybe just telegraphing "in a screaming hurry." I'm going to go with the latter considering when we finally get a decent angle on him he doesn't come much past Sasha's shoulder, which suggests he's probably 5'9", 5'10", maybe if everything really goes to shit we'll see him and Giuntoli in the same frame and be able to make a better guess. Anyway. Renard has a gun on him while Meisner clears that potential for a tail, which I'm going to assume was at Renard's instigation because he's the only one with any glimmer of tactical sense out of the three of them so far. Sebastien, just for the record, if you think you might be followed, looking around furtively is a sure tipoff that you've reached your clandestine location. Fuck's sake. Renard is not above holding a gun even on the one person he thought he could trust, that is definitely a look of hurt and consideration. Not yet betrayal, but about half a step from it. Meisner's tone when he says the Verrat knew where they were implies that Sebastien has enough pull, however convoluted that pull might be, to sic the Hundjagers on them. That's. Interesting, but not hugely significant since we have some clear indications the Royals control whatever Hundjagers we've seen so far, and if we're at all right or even close about him being a Chancellor he'd have some pull to move human resources around. Renard relaxes a good deal when he sits down and listens to Sebastien's litany of semi-indignant, semi-horrified denial. He didn't even know they were there! Who did? Well, Meisner made the arrangements through Breslau, which means that when Meisner answered who knew Renard was there last ep he was answering in the general and not specific. While not all that much better, that does help narrow down the current list of suspects to Breslau and/or anyone he might have told. Sebastien has word that maybe doesn't trump this but is equally important, that Viktor arrived two days ago (so this is the third day? of fucking course it is. DRINK) and the family wants him to take Eric's place. Notably, Sebastien's the one saying "your brother" and Renard uses the more distant "Eric." Not just that but your, constantly, which for someone who wears a ring is a bit odd. Isn't he related to any of them? And if so, how? And if not, why's he got a ring that matches Sean and Eric's rings by all appearances? Renard's drinking what could be juice and could be wine, I'm going with wine by that bottle, and chewing on his lips and frankly looking a lot more like Sam Adama, Ha'la'tha assassin willing to get his hands dirty and and lot less like Sean Renard, bastard prince in plotting. (Not waiting. Sean Renard does not wait. He lurks. At most.) He has about as much contempt for safehouses under anyone's control as I would at this point, wants to know when and where the meeting is. Sebastien has half of that equation! Midnight tomorrow, Fernand Tavitien? Tavitian? Which must be the thing like Taliesin from last ep, the consonants got all slurred somehow. Whoever he is, there are rumors he was involved with the royal assassination, which is good for his reputation which needs no help. That's a fair bit of info in a few short sentences, none of which does us any good except to indicate that Tavitian is probably a higher-up in the Resistance, he's got a rep for being bloodthirsty or at least for taking significant action, and he wants to meet Renard which means they're not already acquainted. Not uncommon for large-scale underground movements which need to protect and contain information, but an indicator of where Renard falls in his association with them: not all that high up the totem pole, at least in their estimation. I wonder how long his acquaintance with them goes back, in that case. I doubt it's terribly long or involved, given that. I further wonder if Tavitian is a case of meet the new boss, same as the old boss, given the discussion of his differences being settled last ep. Meisner announces that he needs some more food and ammunition, just in case they need to take out an entire stronghold of Verrat? Not that I consider this unlikely, the way they're going. Renard has nothing polite to say to that, and looks like he hasn't had a decent meal or drink in probably too long. I suspect that's more because he's so far out of his comfort zone (and they're taking him further and further out as his wardrobe gets more and more casual even if he does look really good in a partially-unbuttoned white dress shirt) that he wants the comfort of simple things like food and drink rather than because he's incapable of or unused to going without.
Something easier to deal with than a bunch of names we're only beginning to get the glimmers of context for. A nice, simple, alligator in the sewers trek. Charlie's about as unnerved as you'd expect a guy to be after seeing only 75% of his buddy come out of the sewers. Oh, they've got a deputy ME now? Hello deputy ME. He will confirm that the poor bastard was dead when he came out of the sewer and comment about how the only thing he's seen like this was a bear attack. Yeah, I'd buy that. Bears in the sewer! Go on, Nick, sell that as your cover story, it's not as fucked up as the weirdass sonic not-screwdriver device from Happily Ever Aftermath. (Seriously though, with Renard out of the country who's running the coverups for them? This is concerning.) Ahem. Wu is on scene now to offer his typical snark about alligators in the sewers! At this point whenever they do pull Wu in behind the Masquerade I'm not going to be at all surprised if his response is "yeah and? knew that." Because this sounds like he's providing the urban legend cover story so people will talk about that and not the potential for something real. People remember a wisecracking sergeant who tells tall tales and essentially goes Look Over Here Guys so the Wesen can escape detection. At any rate, stories about peeing in the bathtub aside (I love Hank's little yeah-okay shrug at Wu), it's time to go investigate the sewers for the crime scene proper. Or mauling scene. You know, whatever they've got. Charlie will take them down, Sammy will be up there keeping an eye, is there a guy on this crew whose name doesn't end in -y or -ie? Just asking. Wu's just asking if Nick's claustrophobic, too. For a friend. I'm kind of amused that the tiniest guy out of the group is the one most worried about confined spaces. We have a small dose of Sinister Ordinary by way of telling us that yes, life is different down here in the sewers, there's a different set of sounds to get used to and Wu will be our audience identification character for those of us with heightened startle reflexes. Poor guy. Cue blood on the walls, cue Wu freaking out with genre savvy snark about whatever it was being long gone by now. Yeah, nobody's really hopeful on that score. At all. Nick least of all, though I'm betting he hopes that a large-ish group will prevent the whatever it is from attacking again. Oh hey, blood on the wall in two separate places. And a backpack and a few other things! Also the familiarity of picking on poor Wu; despite the reluctance with which he takes it it's pretty clear that he's glad for some kind of touchstone in that regard. We get the lecture about how many miles and miles and miles of different kinds of tunnel there are down here, the upshot being that if someone's living down here and knows the system even a little bit they could easily avoid anyone they wanted to. (Which begs the question, why didn't the 'gator Wesen avoid Jimmy?) Nick takes off further up and further in no wait definitely not Narnia, to be followed by Charlie and Hank with a nice bit of subtle inquiry about Nick's Grimmsenses and nothing doing there. He hasn't learned to filter properly at the new intensity level, and the echos down there must be brutal. Wu has something! Wu has a nervous. And a leg. And a falling ass-backwards into the sewer because legs are a) heavy and b) this one's stuck under something. Well, that concludes our on-scene investigation for the moment!
Back at the precinct we have an oddly familiar scene for this former archaeology student; they're mapping the location of artifacts on a grid! In this case the grid is the Portland map and the artifacts are evidence recovered from the underground base, but it's by and large the same principle, geographic profiling from what appear to be an abundance of data points. From data recovered from the evidence with Wu, to police reports with Hank, to Nick putting little pins with flags on them on a map, it's a fair division of labor. They've got clusters of robberies, but nothing useful, and Nick is likewise wondering about the quality of the loot. Seriously, medical bracelets? Briefcases not full of bearer bonds or gold bars or sensitive information? This is not shit worth keeping around. More relevantly, it's not stuff worth defending by ripping people's arms and legs off; by itself it's a few robbery charges depending on what they can get to stick, okay, a few dozen robbery charges. The quantity alone might bump it up to felony level, but the dollar amount, not so much. Ripping people's arms and legs off, though, that's murder charges, and people take those much more seriously. Oh, wait, here's a connection! A gym card found in with the rest of the stuff belongs to the murder victim we first saw. And the bite marks match that of an alligator, much to Wu's eternal delight. The problem is, as he says, alligator's don't rob houses. I would like to raise my hand and point out that idiots who keep alligators as pets, on the other hand, do. Which doesn't entirely explain the above-ground death but totally explains the below-ground one. I'm just saying.
So let's take this theory of the crime over to Monroe, who I guess is sort of by now like a librarian to the Grimmopedias Nick has stashed away in his trailer? (Hank being at these sessions will never, ever get old. Never.) Monroe has a name! Not a proper name but a species name, and no, it's not a gator or a Siegbarste. Gelumcaedus is the name of this week's monster! Latin, not the usual German. And I don't mean to alarm anyone, but if you split it into it component parts 'gelum' and 'caedus' you get a somewhat warped translation of, um. Cold Cuts. The monster's name translates to Cold Cuts. When I can stop laughing, it turns out that these are in the category of rare and not to be fucked with. Over to the trailer then, since that is the extent of Monroe's readily available knowledge, that and the fact that the Siegbarste are uncomfortable in tight spaces. But not before we have some banter on the spelling of Gelumcaedus, because Hank and Nick, while we love them dearly for their many skills, language awareness is not among them and they cannot pick apart the likely spellings of that name by the sound of it. Monroe will write it down for them, saving them any further pointed banter about unintelligible names! I love that looking new Wesen up in the trailer is becoming a research party thing. Love, always, for the Scooby gang.
From one set of about to be adorable conspirators Scoobies to a way less adorable and trusting set we go. That looks like Sebastien's car, too much glare from the headlights to be sure but it looks like two people in the car this time? And Renard fidgeting a little as he eats on top of the packing crates. I have no idea how he manages to make that look even halfway elegant except that we're so accustomed to associating Renard with elegance by now that the quality transfers. Also he's down to sweater and peacoat, which means he changed, and all the people in fandom who immediately started shipping him with Meisner are probably doing so even more now. I still don't see it, personally, mostly because Meisner reminds me of a dangerous yappy puppy, but to each their own. He's kind of a cute yappy puppy, I guess? Not my type. Everyone's twitchy, Meisner more noticeably so than Renard but only because he's generally twitchier. For Renard, this is quite twitchy, down to picking up a rifle (taken off the Verrat last ep, and by the way this is what they were toting around, SD6 to be specific. You may all now whistle under your breath like I just did at the level of overkill. Quiet, decently concealable, moderately heavy, primarily useful in close quarters, i.e. pistol range.) and pointing it at the door even though Sebastien's been cleared once at least in theory of any treachery. Though wherever he was going presumably to get the supplies Meisner cited, they consider it too early for him to be back. If we knew Vienna at all well or thought the writers did, that might give us some interesting geographic markers; as it is the best we've got is an increase in discomfort levels. Sebastien holds up his hands when he comes in, still not used to this level of distrust. Honey, you're swimming with the sharks now, you'd better get used to it. Though that look suggests he doesn't much like the company Renard's keeping and that that has more to do with their methods and the look on Sean's face than with their desired goals. Maybe. Or with the way in which their desired goals dovetail with Renard's? Hard to say for sure, given the lack of privacy they've got for Sebastien to express his reservations. Right now he's got Frenay what sounds like downstairs right now and they have to go right now and nobody likes this, but Renard's ready to move out. Black leather go bag and all. Can I have a black leather go bag? Note that Renard's bringing up the rear after Sebastien offered to go first, which is the soundest tactical decision available to him. I approve.
It IS a research party! Though at Monroe's house rather than the trailer, which is good because that's a bit cramped for five people. Rosalee's reading from an entry at around the turn of the century, apparently Gelumcaedus is one of the oldest known Wesen (as befits a dinosaur-based Wesen), served in the Praetorian guard, and tends to live in sewers, storm drains, and other tight underground areas. (A: Also someone mentioned in the diaries was named Anna and was probably not totally evil and may not have died! Look, I take what I can get outside of Disney at this point.) The Grimm who wrote most of it sacrificed at least one of his other hunters, which he did note down in the logs, and discovered what everyone who's ever seen a nature documentary about gators know, that they have a bite strength of You're Fucked. Apparently to prevent himself from becoming gator chow he fashioned himself a vambrace? For those of you who may not have heard the word before this episode, yes, that is the correct term for it, no, they don't usually come equipped with slide-out knives. A vambrace is simply a forearm guard, and it works by shielding the arm from the teeth of the animal and giving it less bite purchase, though anyone not a Grimm would presumably still get their arm broken from the pressure. Also, unless the Gelumcaedus is going to swallow the person's arm fist first having an extendable arm blade isn't going to do you much good when you're being grabbed from the side and crushed or having your body slung around by the wrist. Yeah, I have no idea what's up with the vambrace thing, nor yet the holiness with which it seems to be imbued. It's not a bad idea as far as armoring up goes, though! And if you worry about the teeth, well. They also make shark armor. No, I'm not kidding. And given that they're going to need to go in equipped with shark armor vambraces, well, that's not exactly something they can explain to their acting Captain or to Wu. Nick and Hank will be going in Not As Cops. Which is not at all like not being on a boat.
They may not be going in as cops, but it helps them to wave badges around at city archives/planning/wherever the fuck they've gone to get the sewer maps. Could be pretty much any maps room, though this one looks less dusty and suitable for students to run off and have study break sex in (I would never. Stop looking at me like that.) and more governmental and well-tended. Could be PGE corporate, too. Anyway, the very nice woman who knows all the things they need to know explains in basic terms that yes, all the burglary locations run along some of the same systems, are easily interconnected, the upshot is that Our Heroes can go sewer-searching for the Gelumcaedus without playing Theseus in the labyrinth with the minotaur. They have a potential location for its lair now! Honestly, anyone who's ever seen any procedural-ish ep with an underground-dwelling unsub knows what this scene is for, which is why they fortunately don't waste a ton of time on it. Instead we visit the trailer, with the iconic shot of Nick opening the weapons cabinet, this time with his kevlar on. He and Hank are gearing up! They have the vambrace, which Nick being adorable and aware that his partner's squishier than he is, not being a Grimm, offers to Hank first. No, no, he'll pass on the thing with etching and teethmarks, he's going 21st-century style with kevlar and a shotgun. I love you Hank. Never change. Besides, a shotgun is as good as anything to shove in between a reptile-Wesen's teeth if all else fails. Okay, sure, it's kind of a cool vambrace, it makes a schick noise when the knife slides out, ooh, it's even serrated so you pull out more guts than with a normal blade! Testament to Grimm strength, no doubt, that's harder to do than it sounds. Hank makes a face to similar effect, and Nick has a flashback to the bar where he killed a human while all raged out on blowfish toxins. That's less of an angsty look and more of a considering one than he's had in previous flashback instances, which does not actually make me feel much better. Hank doesn't feel too good about it either, calling his name to get his attention and checking up on him. No, he's ready to do this! Really honest and true. Nick, you need therapy so bad, and not just of the kind where your Captain hits you over with some home truths. Also preferably a Rosalee-style checkup, since it's not clear how much the Cracher-Mortel shit is still affecting him aside from the enhanced senses.
They pick up into the sewers at a riverside entrance, maps and flashlights and going forth equipped! Not exactly with the equipment I would have chosen, but for whatever reason cops do tend to prefer larger flashlights that don't clip to headbands for maximum encumbrance. Though it's also true that if a flashlight is big enough to require hand-grip it's big enough to hit someone over the head with! As long as it's sturdy enough make, which all Maglite-brand and possibly a couple other brands are. Which is why cops carry Maglites (not that these look full-sized, the full sized ones are at least the length of my forearm), though I haven't actually noticed any nightsticks to go along with them; have they fallen out of usage in the past 10-15 years? It's been awhile since my knowledge was current, though I vaguely remember the cops at the station a couple doors down from work carrying them. (I also remember them not snapping up their damn holsters, but that's a whole OTHER rant.) Pepper spray at least is small enough not to be noticeable but they should be carrying it. Even if that won't help necessarily against a Gelumcaedus. Though it might! Okay, I'll stop bitching. Footprints are relatively fresh, indicating that someone has been here recently, depth of footprints indicates either they were a large person or a medium sized person carrying a heavy load, though weight distribution would tend to indicate a large person since you don't normally get that kind of balance with someone carrying large amounts of weight. Ahem. I swear, I just know this shit.
All right, into the tunnels! It's wet, as we can hear from their footsteps, it's dark, it's generally nasty. I can see how Nick's orienting them with the flashlight, map, and markings, but I also have to wonder if there's some Grimmstincts at play here, because let's face it, down in the dark in a maze of twisty passages all alike is not a natural place for human beings to be. We tend to get lost in such circumstances, at least the first couple times, and especially under stress. Maybe not thoroughly lost, but definitely disoriented. Nick is not only sure that they're getting close to where he's been once before, and is now returning in the dark, under stress, with only a map and whatever tunnel markings are there to guide him, he's also able to hear breathing that isn't theirs, as well! Definitely Grimmstincts. Ooh, and a night vision scope. I will accept that as decent planning even as I bitch about the lack of readily available easy-switched goggles to the general public. There's really no way for Nick to have convenient night vision and be able to readily switch to normal. As far as we know, at least. So, breathing, no signs of movement or other visuals, until hey! A sign! Someone running past! Ooh, let's go chasing that nebulous unidentified someone down the tunnels without taking note or keeping track of where we're going! Because that'll help. At least they don't go very far, down a couple of straights and making only one or two turns. Ending up in the requisite room with many branches off of it, and Nick says it sounds like he's in two or three places at once. While yes, that can be an echo and water makes sound carry even further over its surface, yeah, that's foreshadowing. Some bitching about how they're going to have a job and a half of finding this guy in four hundred plus miles of tunnels ensues, with the conclusion that they should retrace their steps at the end of it. They take it much slower this time, with Nick listening. And finding ticking. All of you who have copies of Peter Pan feel free to do a Monty Python Monk impression, because god knows I am.
In this case the ticking is coming from behind a wall and not in the alligator, so we can at least be grateful for small favors. Opening the fairly well disguised secret door leads to a water filled room that I'm fairly sure held the climactic battle from the first Underworld movie. Okay, maybe not, but it looks very similar. A few more twists and turns gets them the ultimate loot room. Treasure room? Holy shit, you guys, it's a D&D setting! They've reached the treasure room! And failed their spot checks, too, or at least that's the only reason I can find for Nick, Mr. The Gelumcaedus breathes so loudly I could have shot him in the dark, not hearing the giantass robber coming up behind him. And knocking his partner into a shelving unit. Nick, that's a really good way to get Hank seriously injured, you need to quit that. Combat ensues, naturally, Gelumcaedus has the initial advantage of the surprise attack but it does seem like Nick and even Hank have the speed advantage, eventually getting the Gelumcaedus on its back with guns pointed at it. I don't care what kind of bite strength you have or have had, guns wielded by people who know what range of efficacy means will fuck your day up any day. The Gelumcaedus knows it too, dropping back out of woge. Nick is very pleased that his forearm armor worked. Yes, Nick. That's what armor's supposed to do. You might want to balance it out by putting another vambrace on the other arm, yes? No? No, because the vambrace exists in this episode more to be magical and mysterious than to actually be useful armor. Nick will now confirm the Gelumcaedus description for us by, well, saying it out loud, which is a bit like pointing a gun at someone and saying "Human." I guess you could do it? More interesting is the Gelumcaedus's return volley, looking right at Nick and saying, not "Grimm!" as we're used to hearing, but "Decapitare." So, um. Yeah. That happened.
With THAT ominous pronouncement, and yes, we both facepalmed over the Latin word for Grimm involving decapitation though we weren't at all surprised, we return to Some Villa Somewhere In Austria. While I twitch over the similarities in style to a villa that was being written into an original story awhile back, I also note that wherever they've ended up, it was probably several hours from Vienna, on account of it was night and now it is most definitely daytime. Their German is rapid-fire, requiring me to slow it down to half speed to pick up the actual words, at least some of which aren't even German at all, for those of you playing the Watch The Polyglot Froth game at home. It does give us a first name for Meisner! Franz. Franz Meisner. I'll be over here giggling. Some of those are loanwords. From French or English, given the word it's hard to tell which and I'm not sure it really matters anyway. The German is, well. We'll go with a nod in the direction of accuracy to the subtitles and leave it at that, it's less that it's inaccurate to the spirit and more that I would have translated it differently. They're all using the formal with each other, though, which indicates that no one here is exactly close friends. Renard gives no fucks for their desire to speak in German. Renard will force the issue of civility to the stranger by breaking into English himself. It is, by the way, both rude to start out in a language you don't know a guest is comfortable in and rude to indicate that you can understand the language being spoken but wish to speak a different one. In pretty much any etiquette you care to name. But at this point it's pretty clear that Renard needs to play More Macho Than You with these guys as the only way to build his cred, and if he didn't already know how to do it from growing up with a bunch of Royals, he damn well should've learned when he became a cop. The response comes in what I can only describe as Deutschlisch, because that's ein, a, but trial is not a word in German I can find at all. For a trial or interrogation you could go Versuch, Prozess, Vernehmung, Frage, Verfahren, but none of those sound even remotely like the English trial. We'll take that as the character making an effort to reply in English or possibly another of those irritating loanwords despite the subtitle because anything else is going to make my head explode in a case of THAT IS NOT A LANGUAGE. If anyone with any current experience in Austrian German as it is spoken by people in real conversations would care to indicate how loanwords like that are used, feel free to make my head explode less please. By trial we mean interrogation and by interrogation we mean torture and is this introduction to the Resistance reminding you of our introduction to the European Royals when Eric Renard was torturing a Lauffeur member? Yeah, me too. Yes, I think that's on purpose. Renard may have the stomach to withstand watching, suffering, or inflicting torture, but he's not happy about it, by that tone and that squinty cranky look.
Down to the barn where poor dumb Breslau is being tortured. Renard hasn't met him or seen a picture, apparently, good conspiracy tactics which I cannot fault for all that I wish Renard were running things. Partly because Renard, but largely because competence. And known quantity. Better known, anyway. We don't get a name on the interrogator just yet, though we do see that there are three other Resistance? members, or at least henchpeople, standing behind Breslau. Partly to ensure they're blocking off avenues of escape, partly to bear witness, I guess. As you do in a conspiracy when you want to ensure someone can back up what you claimed was the answer. Notably, the interrogator, I'm going to go ahead and call him Frenay for brevity's sake, is already separating Breslau from the Resistance linguistically if not actually. Either because Breslau's been outcast due to his betrayal or because he was never a formal member, I'm betting on the former but it could be a little of both. Breslau is either protecting or hoping they'll kill the woman he gave up the information to, it's unclear from his tone though tradition would dictate, again, the former. For all that this was a case of torturing Breslau until he talked, there's not a lot of visible damage. Several punches to the face, but all that means is that they're skilled enough at this to conceal the damage in soft tissues and/or joints we can't see. Yes, these are things we think about and are aware of. Aren't you glad. Frenay goes on to state that maybe he didn't know she, whoever she was (and are you thinking Adalind? I'm thinking Adalind or, worst case, Mama Renard. hell, even Stefania or Frau Pomander depending on how long this betrayal's been going on, though those two are less likely), was working for the Royals. But he should have! I can't say he's wrong to be annoyed about the incompetence, actually, though I rather severely question the direction that irritation has taken. By the look on Renard's face he agrees with me, at least half because he doesn't enjoy watching people be tortured (though he also looks like he's seen it before, and given what we know of the Royals I have some further very unpleasant ideas about what his childhood entailed and pardon me while I go hurt some people for doing that to a CHILD) and the other half because everyone with two brain cells to rub together knows that physical torture gets you only what you want to hear. Breslau mutters something that I guess could be Adalind or could be come here, it's hard to read lips when one of them's made up to be swollen and bloodied, and then whispers something which we presume is a name or three in Frenay's ear. Which completely defeats the purpose of having witnesses there, may I just say, unless they've got some kind of Grimm or Wesen hearing, something I'm rather starting to doubt. Frenay comes over and hands Meisner a pistol with an almost chipper offer for one of them to do it, it's one of those perpetual tests you get in a conspiracy setting of someone's devotion to the cause versus devotion to an individual within that cause, this part implying that Meisner and Breslau were close enough that it might cause him issues. Not by that half-feral look on Meisner's face it won't! Two of the assorted hench-Resistance members haul Breslau out for execution, following Meisner, which gives us time for introductions all around! Frenay to Sebastien, the former reaching out to the latter in a display of casual French and some actual politeness. (Oh, and no, that means it wasn't a second person in the car at the warehouse. Maybe I caught a cameraman's reflection or something.) Renard is more guarded, but he takes the first step, putting himself in the more vulnerable position of able to be rejected as he extends a hand and mentions that Frenay saved his mother's life once. But not his? Interesting, and indicative that it happened either before or after she picked Sean up from that boarding school, but likely not during their flight from Europe. Frenay, rather than anything warm like appreciating her still being alive, appreciating Renard still being alive to be an ally, any of the gracious-host things he could say, only comments that he was well-rewarded. That's not inspiring warm fuzzies or great confidence in the durability of this alliance. But there's a handshake, at least. And then a gunshot, at which Renard flinches. We could interpret that as battle reflexes coming back to life and general unease, but given what he thought of the torture I rather doubt that. It seems that Renard is increasingly not okay with loss of life, which isn't exactly a 180 from what we saw in the first season (de-earing. shooting people in the face.) but is definitely less callous in some regards. Plus he's been poked in all the worst childhood memories of late, and though we may not have a great deal of detail on what those entail we can hazard a guess that he's going through some PTSD-style issues with it. Frenay catches the flinch and has one of those evaluating looks for whether or not he can trust Renard to do what needs to be done or at least not stand in the way of it, for Frenay's definitions of necessity, but he won't say anything about it. Yet. Nor will anyone else! They'll go have food up and drink up at the house until Tavitian arrives, at which point they can get down to business. I am alternately thrilled and dismayed by this prospect, given how little they seem to think of Renard.
A more civilized form of interrogation! The Gelumcaedus has his hands chained to the table, as you do with people who have assaulted a police officer, so whatever else he goes down for he's definitely going down for that. And his hands clench as soon as the door opens behind him, indicating at least a heightened level of awareness. He's been arrested before! Twice for breaking and entering, acquitted for lack of evidence, oh look, he winters in Florida. That doesn't even merit the jar. What I can't figure out is why they're interrogating him as though they can pin the murders on him as well a the robberies. Maybe the link between the robberies and the murders via stolen goods? At any rate, it's tag team cops hour with the summation being turn yourself in now while you can still cut a deal. The Gelumcaedus, who we still don't have a name for despite having his criminal record, is deeply unimpressed by this. I haven't seen someone this unimpressed in at least a few episodes! Okay, maybe since Renard was unimpressed with Meisner's security protocols. Nick and Hank are both unimpressed by his unimpressedness! Bravado for everyone! Nick will finish up with calling Monroe and Hank will head on home, which since it's too early for them to have broken this case entirely unless the last ten minutes or so of the episode is all conspiracy, means something's going to get him on the way home. Oh goodie. The entire phone call to Monroe, too, consists of Nick using him and Rosalee as a Latin dictionary. Seriously, Nick? You couldn't figure that one out on your own? Though I do always appreciate the look at Monroe and Rosalee's home life. Those two are adorable. I'm still going to facepalm that Nick couldn't figure out "decapitates" from "decapitare" At least he can figure out that the timestamps on the robberies don't match up! Because as Hank pulls up to his place, he's getting an urgent phone call from Nick. At least two robberies in several cases took place within minutes of each other, many blocks away or clear across town. They don't really have any other viable suspects until the Gelumcaedus starts talking, but that's definitely proof that someone else was involved. But no, Hank doesn't need to come by the station (really? seriously?), Nick's going to crunch the numbers and run the paperwork first and then stop by later. Because.... he doesn't like company or something. Seriously, I have no explanation for why Nick either didn't tell his partner to get some sleep and they could take it from there in the morning, or didn't tell him to get his ass back to the precinct. And given the reaction most Wesen families or groups so far have had to being messed with? (Bears WIll Be Bears, Natural Born Wesen, The Thing With Feathers, The Bottle Imp) I would have heavily leaned in favor of get his ass back to the precinct. No. Hank will stay at home, wait for Nick to stop by, and get tackle-grabbed by ANOTHER Gelumcaedus. Because that's how they roll.
And then, you know, duct taped and dragged into the sewers, because he hadn't gotten beat on enough in this episode. You leave my Hank the fuck alone, bastards. Nick proceeds to pull up to Hank's place and pound on the door because he's got something more! At least we're assuming that's what in the file folder he's carrying. We'll take the timing on this phone call for probable dramatic tension purposes, though given what we learn later it's also plausible that the third brother's sitting there watching Nick and texted the one who took Hank. Did I stutter? Hands off our Hank, you fucker. Standard hostage rules apply, bring Gregorek, come alone, we'll make the trade then. Standard negotiation rules apply, or at least Nick tries to make them: confirm that the hostage is still alive, don't make any promises, don't antagonize the unsub. Not that those rules are worth shit when the unsub hangs up on you after delivering his message. Alright, fine, Nick will play this game since he lacks any other move to make that doesn't involve SWAT teams in the sewers and breaking the masquerade in truly horrific ways. And wouldn't that be a Christmas present for Renard. "Hi boss, I brought you all this paperwork and some press conferences you need to do to smooth over my fuckups." No, he'll go get Gregorek out of his holding cell and be generally irritated by the Gelumcaedus' unwillingness to cough up any goddamn data at all, including confirmation that he has any idea what Nick's on about. At least he has the sense and patience not to react violently to being slammed up against the bars, which is admittedly also kind of a sentient reptilian portrayal: really, really patient on account of being fuckall ancient and knowing that these little people, too, will pass. I'd love to know what the natural lifespan on one of these things is. I bet it's much longer than human average.
No, there's definitely a third one tailing Nick, because the timing on this phone call is too fucking suspicious. Someone has to be keeping Hank under guard while someone else knows where Nick and Gregorek are at all times, and I very much doubt they're technologically inclined enough to be doing it via cameras. Mainly because if they were we'd have had those indications by now. Hey, Nick's taking charge of this negotiation! Not the tactics they generally advise, but understandable, and it does have the advantage of actually getting us proof of life. Not that anyone watching doubted, it's Hank, but the proof is always better had than not. Unfortunately, in this ultimatum Nick's also given away that he's carrying a gun, which is something he can be told to leave behind. He has not given away the homeworld! He still has the vambrace. This is not significant in any mystical sense, just in the sense of it's good to be well-prepared. Boy Scout Grimm to the rescue! The Gelumcaedus demonstrates Wesen sense of hearing minus the woge by reminding Nick to leave the gun even though Nick's phone wasn't on speaker. Heh. Down to the tunnels we go, now complete with villain speech about how he used to hear stories of the Decapitare, had great respect for them and was told scary stories by his grandfather, which fits in with what we know of Grimms and Wesen relations. But they're not scary anymore! Look, I know Nick's short, dude, and you're a giant, but a little respect? No? Your stupidity is not our problem, then. The brothers are reunited, we do a little walk around the room deosil (and what is is with round rooms and prisoners this week anyway), Hank is trying desperately to signal Nick with his eyes BEHIND YOU NICK, come on, what happened to that whole breathes so loud I can shoot him in the dark thing? Of course there are three of them. Rule of Three says. Please to be drinking heavily right now I need to finish this before I can touch alcohol or I'll pass out. So you're doing me a favor by drinking for me! From there it's a nice, tightly choreographed fight scene in close quarters which starts with punching and ends when Nick pops out the wrist blade on his vambrace. Okay, sure, punching with a blade's pretty lethal. As two of the Gelumcaedus discover, to their dismay and soft bits falling out. Throat-slitting and gut stabbing, respectively. I can't even argue against this being self-defense, these guys clearly stated "and now we are going to kill you for knowing what we are." They're not the brightest bulbs in the box, just some of the more physically lethal. Which has been something of a theme this season, I think. Hank saves Nick from Gregorek, who being the one we've had the most contact with is also the one naturally left alive. He sounds like he's trying to do an Inigo Montoya, except I really have no sympathy for the whole "we're gonna kill you!" followed by "you killed my brothers!" Uh. Yes? Did you expect them to roll over for you? I mean, I'm not big on what this is doing to Nick's mental state, but I really can't fathom why the fuck this guy thinks they would've done anything else. They leave the disposition of the final Gelumcaedus up to our imagination for the moment.
For our final ick-scene of the night Adalind is displaying both her lingerie clad body and the first signs of maternal instinct we've seen in her. Mommy seems to suit her better than I expected, actually, or at least she smiles when she says it. Mother gets a much less happy reaction, almost a scowl. But we all remember what her mother was like, yes? Yes. For extra bonus creepy points, sure, we'll assume Adalind is repeating "mommy" to herself because the novelty of first-time motherhood and also rubbing Frau Pech Belly Jelly on herself like it's lotion, but let's also stop and wonder here if maybe that isn't the baby taking advantage of its nascent hexen powers to possess her for a second. It's something in the way she says Mommy for the first time. I point it out because I love our readers and want you to be as creeped out as I am. Also the CGI sort of alternates between making Claire Coffee look somewhere in the second trimester and not doing a damn thing, depending on the angle. Come on, guys. God only knows what's going on with that final Mother. Thinking of her own mother? Deciding she's not going to be that horrible? Wondering if her own mother did this with someone else's gut jelly while Adalind herself was in the womb? Oh, the gut jelly makes spiders now. That's fun. You know what's even more fun? Cameras in your hotel room that you didn't put there and don't know about! Including in your damn bathroom. Congratulations, Viktor, you've been onscreen for all of one episode and you've already out-creeped Eric in the creepy Royal jackass department. And Eric was played by James Frain in all his smarming glory. I think I speak for everyone watching when I say EW EW FUCKING EW. Though I'm not sure those cameras weren't there before. Fucking ew. Fucking Royals. (A: What have I told you about that. Not for all the latex fetish and steel wool in the world.) (K: I can't respond properly to that, there may be innocent eyes reading this blog.) (A&K: [hysterical laughter])
We get a brief palate cleanser in the form of Nick, to close out the episode. Mostly this involves Nick standing framed by all his weapons with creepy green lighting and saying how much he likes the sound of "decapitare." You're not filling us with confidence in your mental health, Nick. Or with great confidence that you booked Gregorek rather than slitting his throat and leaving him in the sewers, though I'm trusting that Hank didn't let him. I'm just saying. That's okay, next up? He gets to beat up Santa Claws! I'm sure that'll be just awesome.