Saturday, January 25, 2014

All Happy Families Are Alike Grimm S3E12 The Wild Hunt

We open with a high-speed chase and a quote from Brother and Sister, which is not Hansel and Gretel no matter how much the two get confused. It is, however, from the section of fairytales that's about a sister saving her brother after they're exiled/lost in the woods/fleeing from a murderous stepmother. I'm not quite sure who I'd count as the sister in this episode - we might need to wait for the second half of the two-parter for that - but I'll take a guess at it being maybe Juliette. Maybe even Adalind, considering she lies to save her ass which has the benefit of saving Renard's ass as well. Or there's another player to come in the WotW plotline! Who knows. We're discounting Rosalee for the moment, since she's out of the picture at the end of the episode, but that's not to say things couldn't change drastically before the end of this arc. And we're beginning under the assumption that the Wild Hunt refers to Herne the Hunter, I'll leave you to wiki-wander around that one. Because I'm giving like that. This assumption, granted, is largely based around a conversation with the Grimm Writers account and Herne's hunt being the more common in fiction, but that's where we're starting from.

Anyway. We have guy in white muscle car doing over 100 mph, he's totally pulling the looks like prey but is secretly a predator thing, highway patrol comes after him, someone is trying too hard in this ep. It might actually be the director, a bit, he did Island of Dreams and Over My Dead Body, both of which I remember as being very unsubtle in their cinematography. Not that that's unwarranted for certain things! Dude looks like a reject out of Sons of Anarchy. What, did you want to keep your beard too neat so they kicked you out? We know where this is going, so we're going to do a bunch of cuts between the semi-tense (we know how it ends but not the details of how they get there) to the genuine tension between Monroe and Rosalee. Not that their relationship is rocky; if anything it's stronger since last episode, but Monroe is clearly nervous about something. Also, and we'll get around to comments sometime during the hiatus, but thank you to our readers who remembered what we didn't: the massive, massive retcon of Rosalee's family last ep. I like this version of it better, I'm not gonna lie, but it's utterly inconsistent with what they pulled in s2 when Bree Turner needed an excuse to take off for maternity leave. The only in-universe fanwank I can manage for it is that it was very, very brief contact and Rosalee pretty much only saw her aunt while she was in Seattle. Maybe the aunt helped her get clean! I don't know. It's annoying, is what it is, and it could've been smoothed out so that it was less of a retcon. It's true that estranged family members will come to the assistance of a mutually non-estranged family member! And then go back to not talking to each other! And that would've given more nuance to the Calverts, not less. Ahem. Anyway. That is a very sexy little black dress. Can I have one? Monroe thinks so too. Rosalee thinks Monroe is up to something.

They're off for a romantic dinner at a hugely expensive restaurant! Talking about first times with the kind of double-entendre language that's both hilarious to those of us old enough to know about sex (this is still a family show, right? scalpings and all?) and serves as a decoy to the presumably non-Wesen other diners. I mean, right up until they start talking about how their first times were with Freddie and Monroe's mother, and I sure hope Wesen have an incest taboo. Yeah, I don't think Grimm's going to do Flowers in the Attic anytime soon. So what they are talking about is first woge, which suggests that Wesen don't woge until they hit a certain age. I bet it's around puberty, particularly given that they're not talking like they were wee tiny things. These are memories which are pretty strong even now. Also, Freddie's a mean fucker of a brother, which I wouldn't note quite so emphatically except that he then wandered off to run a spice shop with ties to the black market in human organs, so, you know, possibly that was an early sign that he was kind of an asshole. Monroe then goes on to finish the bottle of $170 wine Monroe you are the least subtle ever. Meisner could take lessons in unsubtle from you. TWO bottles oh my god. Also, they're going to be so, so sloshed if they do that. Rosalee will now proceed to be direct about what they might or might not be celebrating Monroe you didn't bring the ring, did you. MONROE. Oh my god, Monroe. Their great night out is one highway patrolman's very bad night, poor fucker. Even as I'm screaming about how it's a trap, he's doing his job. He gets massive bonus points for having his gun out and Weavering up to the car (though he probably should have a flashlight, I'll let that slide on account of everyone's night vision is different and he's probably better-adjusted for it than many) and being duly wary of the fact that it looks like there's nobody in the vehicle. Dude, now is when you assume that whatever it is, it's behind you. No? Alright, no, he's treating the car as the primary threat and probably was planning to call for backup before he got caught by the what the fuck kind of weirdass wolflike thing is that. That's not even Herne. Well, this is going nowhere good fast.

Monroe and Rosalee come home! Monroe is distracting her with clock babble, which seems to happen onscreen whenever he's nervous about something. Rosalee is both showing how sloshed she is more than Monroe, and showing signs of the inevitable disappointment when a guy is acting like he's about to propose and then fails to follow through. No, Monroe's just being the adorablest Monroe in the world. Also the dorkiest. The adorkiest. Because the clock babble was a setup for dragging her into his workshop and making her listen to the cuckoo clock which he has, of course, managed to set so that it asks if she'll marry him. And has a ring in its beak. Monroe. I cannot even. I can only squee. Seriously, that was some excellent promo editing, to keep us from knowing just how much of an adorable dork he was going to be with the proposal. There's one of those brief moments of confusion and miscommunication which, them being them, they straighten out as fast as possible, and yay! Engagement! We've only been waiting for that, oh, all season. Still not sure how I feel about them spoiling it in interviews and promos prior to the season start, but it did give us some adorable to look forward to. The poor patrolman being scalped is not adorable. At all. Ew. Wait, they're showing most of this on camera? Really? And also, ew. Oh, Wesen dude is muttering about how this guy was worthy. Yeah, nobody likes this at all. Renard is gonna be so pissed. So is every cop in the general area. Well, this should be fun! Roll credits.

After the credits we pan down a dining table covered in papers to Juliette at the computer and a bit of resigned snark informs us that the reason for this is taxes. Nobody likes taxes. I'm not even sure tax preparers like taxes, and they at least get paid to slog through other people's paperwork. Nick is consoling Juliette from being what appears to be the primary tax preparer for both of them with some hot beverage in a cup, aww. Juliette of course chooses now to bring up Nick's mother and the hunt/chase and so on, which would lead a perfectly reasonable Nick to assume she's trying to avoid doing taxes! Or maybe that's asking her if he can avoid doing taxes by discussing Grimm business. Or a bit of both. Juliette freely admits that that's what she's doing. A little bit. Because plucking and cleaning chickens is more fun than doing taxes, but also because she seems to have been wondering if she should talk to her on her own. I have no idea why, we're not given an impetus for this, but there are half a dozen easily plausible reasons so we don't really need one. Sadly, we also don't get much time to explore this option, because Nick gets the phone call we've all been waiting for. We can see his face go quiet and resigned as he gets the brief, says he'll be right in, then explains to Juliette. So he gets the most unwelcome reprieve from taxes ever, and takes a second to give Juliette the go-ahead to talk to his Mom, while reminding her not to wonder if she doesn't respond. All very reasonable here, and Juliette agrees but seems to be more concerned with clinging to Nick just a little before he leaves. Like you do when your boyfriend's a cop and someone's out there killing law enforcement. There's a slight bit of posture-mirroring and blocking-mirroring here between the two couples, just enough to be noticed. One is clearly having less of a good time than the other. Then it's back to the computer and settling down not to do taxes, but rather to email Nick's mother instead. I guess that's like more fun than doing taxes. I still maintain that bheadr is a ridiculous email address for a Grimm.

We're in for more Monrosalee double entendres here because they're apparently laying flat on their backs and most likely wearing only their dignity under those covers -- wait, no, Rosalee is wearing an undershirt -- and asking where they should do it. Ahem. Right here, Rosalee says. Ahem x 2. No, they mean the wedding, even though we're clearly meant to infer that they just did something else. Though for being as relaxed as they are, that is the least comfortable cuddling position ever and I feel awkward just looking at it. Monroe mistakes her meaning for a second, Rosalee means Portland. Not in a church, they both decide. Outside, in the spring. Spring a year from now or spring in a few months? Considering we recentlyish had the Krampus episode, meaning this isn't long after Christmas. Who to invite? Well, family and friends would be the reasonable choice, and if the no-enemies line isn't there to remind us of all the times the bad fairy wasn't invited to the wedding and shit got real as a result I have no idea why it's there. That said, this is a story based on fairy tales, so the line does make sense in that context. There's also the aspect that Nick being a Grimm makes him an enemy to some of their Wesen friends, which is a whole new level of awkward wedding seating charts. Rosalee suggests Vegas as a solution to this. (K: Vegas solves all problems, at least temporarily.) Oh Monroe. I mean, it's nice that you think that everyone can behave at your wedding and at least pretend to accept everyone else for who they are; it's even nicer that you think people should be accepted for who they are rather than what they are. But it's also a little naive, and we don't have to wait very long before we see these problems occur. Speaking of those problems, Rosalee is curious to meet Monroe's parents! Now that he's met her mother and sister and all. Monroe agrees, with the kind of hesitant stuttering agreement that means he actually thinks 'never' would be the right time. This sounds like the kind of meeting that should take place in a public arena where everyone is forced to behave themselves and will actually take place in the home where everyone can freak right the fuck out. Oh joy.

Over at the crime scene there are more LEOs than I think we've ever seen at any single homicide before, and Nick and Hank get brought up to speed on what happened. Bless dash cam video for getting some kind of footage of what happened, though I'm betting it wasn't much. More sound than anything. They don't have make and model of the car just yet, presumably that's for after they get a look at the dash cam footage, which might also cough up a license plate. The deceased is described as a tough guy and a good cop, as Nick crouches down to give us a good look at his scalped head. Ew. There's really no good reason for this apart from someone didn't think the logistics through; while it's reasonable that the local police would get brought in after the Staties had their turn, since it was a State Trooper call about the speeder and a State Trooper who then didn't check in, it's a little beyond the pale to leave the vic in place at the scene for over twelve hours. Crime scene glossies would give us an adequate view of the grossness without making us all wonder who the fuck are these people and what are they doing in uniform. This is bad procedure, you guys. Anyway, we then get treated for those in the audience who didn't know to a couple lines about scalping, thankfully none of it involving Native or First peoples. It's true that scalps were generally taken as verification for payment of bounties, and also that scalps are one form of taking trophies to show your kills and combat prowess. And we are grateful that no one group was singled out for having done this. This would also have been a good place to reference some Silence of the Lambs, but with Hannibal as an actively airing show I'm not sure what the legal implications of that are (despite the shared network), so we'll let it slide with a quick moment to pout over how great the foreshadowing would have been with that.

From one unpleasant scene to another! This one with bonus awkward. Monroe is both fidgeting in his workshop and talking himself up to the phone call that he absolutely does not want to have. Yeah, here's what I want to know, is where's the good part of his relationship with his parents that's making him come back? Because just going from his body language the only reason he's doing this is out of a sense of duty, and that never led anywhere good. Not that this is unrealistic, just that it's not very nuanced. The Calverts, retconned though they are, get all the nuance. Well, I suppose that's appropriate to Blutbad and Fuchsbau stereotypes, though I'd kind of rather they'd inverted them so as not to Doylistically support the speciesist impressions of the Wesen types. (Foxes are subtle and sly and clever! Wolves are rampaging beasts! Neither of these is remotely true in nature. I'll put my animal behaviorist hat away now.) That also looks like Monroe is typing in a number from memory, which is not something most people with cell phones do these days. Particularly not when you're calling a place that for most folks would be in their contacts list. And he's doing the two rings and trying to hang up thing. Oh Monroe honey. Yeah, this has all the hallmarks of a deeply fucked up familial relationship, from the near-immediate "you're not hurt are you?" as if that's the only reason he'd call to the incessant bickering that would be endearing if it weren't clearly written to put Monroe in the middle of some kind of war between his parents. Also it sounds like they only have one son, possibly only one child? Hard to say for sure, since he's clearly estranged from them and he's never mentioned siblings. Cousins, yes. Mother Blutbad is saccharine sweet and charming and totally has her nose in everyone's business all the time; she's also the one Monroe's marginally close to by the fact that he told her directly about having a girlfriend and not his father. Apparently daddy dearest is prone to leaping to the worst possible conclusions all the time. He doesn't remember a girlfriend! He assumes by that tone that this is a new occurrence and she's pregnant and there's a shotgun wedding! Bart? Not everyone is you. Alice seems like the sort of person who's easily swayed by whoever she perceives as the most powerful person at the time, and seems not to be sure if that's her husband or her son, in this phone call. That's probably written out of incredibly stereotypical wolf pack behavior layered on top of hideous gendered behavior, at a guess, and its only saving grace is that it's intended to be negative. She's also the peacemaker, up to a point, who wants everyone to be happy and celebrate and I've got hives already. Apparently Bart will now ask incredibly inappropriate prying questions! Ew. At least he's not asking even grosser questions, like height-weight-chest size. I was honestly expecting it to go that far, which may just be me picking up on Silas Weir Mitchell's excellent trapped and hunted expression as he struggles his way off the phone. I will give Monroe credit for not engaging with the awful questions and ending the phone call! I will also proceed to facepalm, because it's pretty obvious to the audience (and not just from the promo) that Alice is the sort of person who will decide that of course her son would like them to meet his fiancee immediately and it won't be an imposition they're his parents after all. Bart, too, but Alice really obviously is planning Nothing Good, and this is going to end badly. Yay.

Speaking of things that end badly, let's go to the briefing, where we assume that if Renard catches up to this fucker he will end badly. There's enough LEOs about, looks like the entirety of the department including whoever had the day off because I don't think there's enough desks for the mass of unis and detectives standing around, that they're having this briefing in the bullpen. Lots of high Dutch angles to this, which serves to emphasize the number of officers in the room, manages to get Sasha in frame with everyone else, and reminds us that there's someone out there who wants nothing more than to death-from-above as many LEOs as he can find. This is going to be absolutely zero fun, let me tell you. There's also no music scored under this scene until the patrolman lands on the hood of his cruiser, to emphasize the solemn atmosphere. Even Wu is being serious and wincing. Some of the extras are mirroring Hank's hands-on-hips posture, some are standing arms at sides, some are mirroring Nick and Wu's crossed arms, all of them look Very Srs This Are Srs Case. Oh, and this is why there's a major briefing, because it's been tied to a couple other scalpings, one in San Diego and one in San Rafael. Also this guy's not limiting himself to police, he's going after military as well. I would just like to note that given this, this could - and probably should - turn into a jurisdictional clusterfuck the likes of which create even more paperwork for Renard. We'll go with Renard being too awesome and well-respected in the LEO community for that to happen? Because god knows they didn't have time to fit it in this ep, but it's crossed state lines, making it a federal case, and it's involved the Navy, which means NCIS. I'll leave y'all to write your own crossovers. (Renard and Hettie in the same briefing. ENJOY.) Oh and they think he came up from Mexico? One, ew stereotypes, you guys were doing so well. (On the other hand, actor's white.) Two, that just adds whole new levels of jurisdictional friction and not the fun kind. Poor Renard. Maybe navigating those waters is why he's not more outwardly pissed, though he's being the kind of very-controlled calm that's going to explode the second he gets a confirmed target. The hand not gesturing is back in his pocket, which I think is in this case an indication of emotional control and upset rather than deceit. And the anger is tempered by worry for his men, because whatever else he is, Renard is still a good cop, and he can tell that everyone else is running scared and pissed, too. Which means he has to be as calm as possible to be a good leader while impressing the importance of calling for fucking backup Nick Burkhardt I am looking at you on the lot of them. No cowboys here, please. Just a closing ominous shot of the unsub who still looks like a reject from Sons of Anarchy.

Austria and the model! Adalind's been called in, presumably on legal business, in a classy black dress that still allows for her pregnancy to be at least as comfortable as it's going to get. Heh. That's for later, though. Right now Lurking Sebastien Is Lurking. In what looks like some sort of archer's alcove (bartizan?). Clearly waiting for her because why the hell else would he be in there. He's very pressed and dressed and, honestly, not nearly as fidgety as Renard sometimes gets, but he's also very clearly nervous about something. Just to be sure we know he's spying on everyone and everything, let's have some overhead/downward corner shots of him, usually implying that the person is being watched. He's here apparently to let the audience know that she's early and to warn Adalind that Viktor is with Danilov right now. Adalind doesn't know who that is, which is interesting if not surprising; Danilov is the head of the Verrat now, as we learned last season from Jacques the Parisian. We finally get to meet him! This ought to be interesting. Adalind has, at least, heard of the Verrat by that name, which we might expect since she was using their foot soldiers as bodyguards for a while, but in that case it's at least passing interesting that she doesn't know who Danilov is since he would be both one of the more prominent members and possibly the former supervising officer of some of the Verrat soldiers she acquired. This indicates either a more complex hierarchy than we have been led to expect or a lack of preparation on Adalind's part, and I'd lean more towards the former than the latter. At any rate. Yeah, the head of the Verrat meeting with Viktor is not welcome news, and for that matter Adalind rightly wants to know why Sebastien is telling her all of this, since it's not as though they've been bosom buddies in the past. Sebastien provides her with a very grave-sounding non-answer that amounts to, he thinks he has something to gain by securing her as at least a temporary ally and/or keeping her alive and in a strong position. It's also an interesting word choice that emphasizes his first language as French, or at least as not English. (Soyez prudent is "be careful" in French, from which you can see where "prudent" comes into Sebastien's answer.) Well okay then. I mean, we know what he has to gain and why he's doing this (To an extent, not ruling out the possibility that he's evil. Please don't be evil.), but for Adalind, consolidating his position by at least doing her a favor so she might feel inclined to give him a heads up in return later on is a plausible and reasonable motivation. Adalind gets a slight upward camera angle to emphasize the danger of the position she's in. Sebastien gets some interesting makeup/lighting there that makes him look more sinister than his usual timorous appearance. As much as I don't want him to turn out to be an evil traitor, I would not mind seeing more Let's Get Dangerous Sebastien. What? I have tastes.

Wesley Viktor is bitching about Danilov's lack of good help these days when we first come into the scene. He is also not in the office we've seen previously, so let's take a second to reflect on this, shall we? The first time we met Eric he was in a torture chamber we haven't seen since, just so we could have an establishing shot of Eric interrogating and torturing someone  and then coolly switching to talking on the phone, thereby showing all the fucks Eric does not give. In this case Viktor's establishing shot was in Eric's office, a setting we've come to know very well as Eric's office, indicating him as a supplanter and an opportunist, and kind of a skeevy one at that, before moving him into this dining type area. The decorating style is much the same hodgepodge of old world and various eras, the dining table looks like it might seat ten? I've been in a few grand manor dining halls, that is very definitely not the main dining hall, and I'd guess it's something more along the lines of the main dining hall for whatever guests are in residence at the time in case they may not want to dine in the great hall with the rest of the folk whose castle it is. The lighting is, well, not so much. There's a chandelier that looks like it exists to make the room not pitch dark, with lampshades of red-orange that do nothing to ease the sinister atmosphere, there's some candlelight, and there's a fire going. Apart from the massive number of shadows this creates, it also adds to the warmth of the room, pun intended, creating an inferno/hell-type effect. I have no idea what that angel statue on the table thinks it's doing there. Being tortured, probably. So, yes. This is the type of person Viktor is, a supplanter and a would-be King in Hell, apparently. Let's all take a moment to appreciate that Viktor is being played by Alexis Denisof of Angel: The Series fame and laugh our cute little asses off.
So. Breslau coughed up every little bit of information he had, as far as they know, and from what we've seen that's an accurate estimation. Certainly that's what I'd assume if I were in their position, for safety's sake if nothing else. And who was involved in this little get together? They don't keep us in suspense for very long over this: the photos Viktor flips through are only of the guest stars, no Renard, no Sebastien. Meisner, Frenay, and Tavitian are named out loud in case we forgot, and once again we have to wonder what the fuck is going on in this world and with this Resistance in particular. They know of Wesen and Grimms, but they're not either? They're not Royals, either. The fact that they're leaders of a Resistance implies that there are enough of these humans? half-humans? sub-group of humans raised with certain knowledge but none of the abilities of Grimms? to rebel against the Royal Families, in which case, under what jurisdiction do they fall? Are they citizens of currently established countries? Is there a whole other system of citizenship under that that applies only to the Royal Families and the people to whom this Resistance belongs? What the fuck is going on here? Are they all the royal by-blows who became disenchanted with the entire system? Which would account for the arrogance, the lack of skill, the knowledge, and the apparent lack of Wesen traits. Maybe they're all/largely halfbreeds that didn't manifest as Wesen. I do ask these questions with a purpose; Viktor's tone suggests he's more than passingly familiar with all three men in the photos, which could be just that they're the visible leaders of the Resistance and a constant thorn in the Royal side, or could be more personal. In conclusion, give us more data now please and thank you whaddya mean we have to wait a month. They met somewhere outside Sloshymumble (Bratislava? your Russian accent is irksome, dude. That's the capital of Slovakia, for the record, which borders Austria among other countries and is all of an hour from Vienna. And while we're digressing, let's all note that the alpine region this meeting took place in extends into Slovenia, where Mama Burkhardt was hiding for a bit. The plot congeals). Notably, Viktor is far less icy than he was on first appearance, and appears to give more fucks and have more churning anger than Eric ever did. Appropriate, for a cousin and a supplanter who's probably not as secure in his power base as Eric Renard was. Viktor will now froth in accordance with this collection of traits that the Resistance is solidifying, that Renard is allying with them. Probably not the least of his worries is that Renard might have a legitimate claim to the throne if he can secure the backing of the Resistance, which given that he's been legitimized at least to the extent that he wears a ring, is not unfounded. Viktor bitches about Danilov not killing him when he had the chance, presumably referring to the basement attack and concluding with a really well delivered line of "No need to take responsibility, I have bestowed it upon you." Goddammit Denisof stop doing that, it's entirely unfair. Let's add to the unfairness of Denisof that he's shorter than the actor playing Danilov and he's looming at him. Stop that at once. That knock at the door seems to be Sebastien doing butler duties. Up to and including offering to clear something away, which, huh? Since when do you buttle, Sebastien? I mean, obviously that's an excuse to stick around and try and get a further glimpse of what they know, because those are some pretty alarming pictures when one doesn't know if one's own picture is included in the stack. Still. That's odd. Even more odd that Viktor doesn't seem to realize how odd this is compared with Sebastien's previously indicated role. Then again, we also didn't see Eric and Sebastien interact, so maybe it's perfectly in keeping.

So. Adalind! Presented to Gregor Danilov, who it turns out speaks German as well, that needs no jar. Viktor gives Adalind his arm for all of the five steps it takes to walk her over to the pictures, which is both excessively slimily solicitous and controlling. It turns out she's not here for lawyering, or at least not immediately, she's here to take a look at some photographs and see if she recognizes anyone. There's a note in her voice that could be temporizing and establishing a redirect in advance of further questions, or she could just be trying to find out what this is about, but either way that's definitely a warble as she asks if this has to do with Eric's death. It also conveniently underlines her role as the grieving girlfriend, so to speak. Not that Viktor is answering, he's giving her a thoroughly unpleasant lippy, toothless smile instead. I need a shower. She doesn't recognize Tavitian or Frenay, and she's not even lying about that, by the look of her, but then there's Meisner. Who, let us all remember, is the least subtle tail ever. To Adalind's credit, she seems to have learned when is and isn't a good time to lie, and this truth harms nobody except maybe Meisner, and the fact that they've got her in here instead of Meisner on hooks in the basement means he's evaded capture this long. He looks familiar, but she's never met him, and according to Viktor Meisner is from Berlin. Not that we know differently, but in including it in Meisner's profile let's all note the source and his lack of any compelling reason to be truthful. And Viktor adds, phrased for at least adequate verbal ambush, that they're all friends of someone she knows, and by someone she knows he means Renard. Adalind turns on the uber-truthful face and agrees with this because she thinks Sean's been in Vienna lately and there was a note in her room from him, nod nod big wide pretty eyes. She takes just a second too long to answer the question of whether she saw him, too, and she answers in the negative. Which is a bit dangerous, considering that could just as easily be a question to ascertain her truthfulness as it could be an earnest question to get an answer they don't have yet. Nothing in Viktor's behavior, though, tells whether he's being smarmy and disbelieving her or whether he's being smarmy and knows she's lying or what have you. And what did this alleged note allegedly say? Well, it didn't say you're being watched and meet me in the cafe, that's for certain. Something about the death of her mother, which is a plausible lie, it's not like Viktor can easily check how far Renard's investigation has proceeded. It also provides her with enough covering emotion that she can obscure the signs of truth or lie as they question her further about the whole thing. Viktor's faked sympathy is somewhat better, too, which may say something about his own relationship with his mother or may simply be practice. It's not as though he wouldn't get a lot of practice being fake sympathetic to people's relatives' violent deaths, after all. Danilov is shocked, SHOCKED to find murder in Vienna. Everyone ignores him as far as they can, and Adalind points the finger at Nick, to Viktor's... what is that, deep annoyance? Disgust? At how everything comes back to the Grimm. That's a nice little lampshade there, thank you, Viktor. But since that's all Adalind has to offer as to the identity of the men in the photos, that's all Viktor requires from her, and that's a not very subtle hand on her back to escort her out. At a relatively quick pace, too.

And then, because we're apparently bookending this scene with Viktor and his lackey who's also probably the most powerful ally he has at the moment, we have a discussion of what does Danilov think? I question that Danilov thinks at all, but it's probably reasonable to use him for a sounding board, plus he's been in the thick of things longer than Viktor. He might, and does, come up with useful data as a result! We'll note here that despite his uncertainty with his power base, Viktor does not feel under physical threat from Danilov in his own model castle. Possibly to the point of deliberate disrespect, to a degree turning your back on someone whose primary power lies in brute force is either a bad idea or intended to show how little you think of them. (Alternately, it shows how much you trust them, not quite in the manner of a bared throat but in the manner of an equal, but we're discounting that because the Royals generally don't believe in equals.) They engage in far more useful speculation than Eric Renard ever did, largely because the Pustule was so deliberately isolated that he didn't do this on-screen. It serves as a way to catch up new viewers while emphasizing that Viktor isn't his cousin. Cut from the same cloth, certainly, but it appears that he's got some very different methods of ruling. It also tells us that Adalind has either outright stated or allowed everyone to assume that she's carrying Eric's child, not Sean's. Well then. Danilov has that data I just mentioned to muddy the waters! Which Viktor responds to with a combination of concealed surprise and a look of "the fuck did you not tell me this sooner?" Note that we're getting a lot of Viktor in profile and/or in shadows here, the one for the sort of princely bearing that goes on coins and the other for being a shady fucker. At any rate, we get some more exposition-dropping to remind us (and, alright, confirm once and for all) that Sean slept with both Catherine and Adalind, which gets him the kind of little respectful nod-smirk of your standard douchebag. Let us hope that Viktor never brings that up to Sean in those terms, since we have ample evidence (rewatch Love Sick if you don't remember) that the relationship between him and Catherine was… less than fully consensual. To put it mildly. And now Viktor's chewing over the myriad political implications of Sean rather than Eric as the father; it doesn't tell us what happens with the Hexen/Zauber mix (to say nothing of the belly jelly), nor does it really explain where the poor kid would fall in terms of succession. But keeping Sean alive means he can still be a piece on this chessboard! And means that telling him he's got a child (which may or may not be a lie) is likely to be extremely profitable. Danilov is dismissed to go find out who the daddy really is with some more hilarious delivery. Alexis Denisof: raising the bar for every scene he's in, when given enough room to play. I need a minute for cackling.

Rosalee is hard at work! I say this because while she does a good job playing apothecary and dealing with people, her real passion seems to lie in research and making zaubertranks. And solving problems, but the people part of that isn't her joy. Aw, Monroe, you're acting like a real partner in the shop! Not just being nice to the customers, but apparently he is down there on a regular basis whenever he finishes with his daily round of clock and watch repairs. So cute. Less cute is the nervousness he's still got when talking about his family and the fact that "old-fashioned" is totally a euphemism for "racist as fuck." Not charming, Monroe. Really not charming. Look, just tell her what you haven't told them so she can get started on helping you figure out a solution. That's what partners do for each other. No? No. He will instead distract and evade, and Rosalee's letting him get away with it, probably partly because she's still in the first blush of yay-engaged! and partly because she knows he has problems with his parents and is trying not to force things too far too fast. Plus, yeah, they're supposed to have time to address these things. Not that they're getting it, as Monroe's mother will now proceed to cockblock. That's probably for the best; I can't imagine sex in the shop is the safest idea in the world. Too many ingredients that could get broken. Alice runs rampant over the phone call to the point where poor Monroe literally cannot get a word in edgewise; this looks to be at least as much by his early upbringing as by the speed with which she's talking. We know Monroe is capable of being assertive and even inappropriately humorous at times, but that's when he's dealing with equals and friends, and his parents appear to be neither. Oh honey. Rosalee is duly pissed at him for a) the fact that his parents will now be staying in their house and b) the fact that he hasn't told them it's their house now. Uh, yeah, I would be too. Honestly, even without Rosalee living with him this is rude and one hell of an imposition, no matter who the people are. Doubly so since it sounds like Monroe hasn't made contact in a number of months if not years, so it would be smart to take slow steps? No? Still no. I give up on people.

No, wait, we have Sebastien! I don't give up on people after all. Outside a cafe on the phone, which is not the least conspicuous place ever, but at least gives him the opportunity to notice if anyone's paying undue attention to him while simultaneously offering outdoor background noise to cover his conversation. Not the choice I would make for a secure phone call but, okay, we'll go with it. In French, too! Evidently we're all getting comfortable enough with French that the subtitles omit a few phrases, nothing key (C'est moi, Oui) but definitely omitted. He's calling to alert Renard to the fact that Adalind was called into Viktor's presence and that he saw photos of Frenay, Meisner, and Tavitian while he was there. Renard doesn't seem to be so much bothered by that as he is curious what Viktor could have been doing talking with Adalind for only a few minutes; evidently this is enough to conclude on his part that Viktor is preparing to make a move on Adalind, and to sic Meisner on her first. I can't even begin to speculate what Meisner's supposed to do, but I hope he's been given explicit instructions given his lack of subtlety prior. This also has the feel of Renard dropping the hammer on Adalind, in no small part because it parallels both indirectly and with word choice how he dealt with Eric. Hey, speaking of word choice, let's all give Renard some side-eye for starting out in what sounds like the familiar and then switching to the formal. Which I think is the first time we've ever heard them do that. Either we're mis-hearing or that's a slip up between actors, because I would expect them to make a bigger deal of growing close enough to refer to each other in either direction in the familiar. Though, as well, if Renard were relaxing that much, I would definitely expect him to relax in that direction before Sebastien, who appears to be deeply conditioned to bow and be polite to the Royals. So. What exactly is Meisner going to do? Well, it's not like they're going to tell us that, though safe money's on at least kidnapping. And mother-napping, since the two come as a package deal right now, yes, I had to.
From there to Adalind's massive suite, in an area I'm pretty sure is being monitored. Unless she's come up with some plausible way to get the cameras to malfunction, or found the places out of line of sight since Renard warned her about them. We don't get a shot of the ceiling to confirm that, though, because we're too focused on the Frau Pomander jelly and that's not kicking. That's tiny hands doing a Help Let Me Out inside her uterus. File that one under reasons I don't want kids, y'all. Though I assume real life pregnancy doesn't come with Foley screams. And it looks like that hurts. Whether or not getting pregnant was deliberate on Adalind's part, I do feel sorry for her at this point. That's gotta suck. I also wonder just how much of her energy is going to keeping herself upright, as opposed to being capable of plotting and conspiracy in her own right, which would go a long way to explaining why she hasn't done any of the half dozen clever things I can think of to solidify her place.

We return (at last) to our case of the week, which will take the form of a guy in uniform getting off a bus and wandering down dark streets. There's enough other people on the bus that I'd be surprised if this were particularly late; it is winter, after all, but the streets he's walking are fairly uncrowded. Hello, muscle car. Hello, Wesen of the week. Yeah, that's a Green Beret. Do Not Fuck With Green Berets. Or their situational awareness. Or their willingness to be aggressive, though Mull does wait for his stalker to actually touch him before he starts punching him. It's also almost bar-brawl punching, not designed to kill or even seriously maim, more designed to hurt than anything. Basically, fuck off or you'll really get hurt. Dude, you'd have done better to try and snap his neck while he wasn't fighting back, because this was a test and now you're going to get dead. Hard to say if that's woge the vic's intended to see or not, though I'm going with yes for reasons of shock-and-awe style attack, and that's one more tool in this unsub's arsenal.

Now that we've done that, let's go back to Monroe following Rosalee's lead in the whole having his parents over thing. Rosalee is understandably nervous and jittering, and it looks like they've come back from grocery shopping as they have handfuls of recycled plastic bags. At least four, no, five bags, and Rosalee's still muttering about having forgotten something on the list. Or having forgotten to put something on the list. I know the feeling, good god. Monroe, sensibly, starts out not with trying to get her to calm down but normalizing her stress, because it is normal and because that takes her focus off of trying not to be stressed in the first place because of the discomfort she clearly thinks it causes. She's worrying about the suitability of the food (Monroe's comment about bratwurst is hilarious), how short a time they have to prepare, etc. We will now learn a bit about Monroe's parents via Rosalee figuring out how to treat them! Which is a useful little device there. Their first names are Bert and Alice, let's all note that we don't get last names there because that would be anything like information about Monroe himself. Though it seems like Monroe is his first name and we haven't heard his last name in two and a half seasons. Okay, fair enough, no one's ever put him in a context where we should. Anyway. They're "traditional," which Monroe is trying very hard and squeakily not to elaborate on. Rosalee attempts to pin him to at least some details about what they know about her, which is even less than I would have expected. They know her name, and given the way Monroe dodges after that, that's about it. Rosalee is clearly angling to know whether or not they know she's Wesen and if so what type, being as she seems to have at least some second-hand experience with the kind of people who are militantly racist, as opposed to the more subtle racism of her sister. Sadly, yes, it's going to be exactly as bad as she fears. What has he told them about her? Well, sadly, Monroe, none of those qualities are the kinds of things that are going to determine your parents' opinion of your fiancee, and you should know that by now. Better than Rosalee does, anyway. Rosalee might have started out thinking about her Wesen type but when she agrees it's probably better than Monroe's family doesn't know her whole history, she's thinking about her drug past and jail time. That's okay, Monroe's family has quite the colorful history as well! Let's not forget the dead cousins at the very least. All right, back to less easily hidden issues, which is that Monroe's parents were totally hoping he would meet a nice Blutbad girl, and Rosalee knows it even if Monroe isn't willing to admit it even to himself. Not to mention the fact that they're living together, which even in this day and age raises objections for some people. Rosalee hopes that this doesn't make them think she's seduced him into some kind of parasitic arrangement, referring very tangentially to the stereotype of Fuchsbau as gold-diggers and opportunists, which flies right over his head. Monroe claims that there is nothing in the world about them that would make his parents think that, right as he finds the lacy panties behind one of the couch cushions. Uh-huh. Bree Turner and Silas Weir Mitchell not only have excellent chemistry, they have excellent comedy as well. Rosalee has #sorrynotsorry written all over her face.

From one happy couple to the next! All TV writers take note: you can have, not one, but TWO happy couples on your screen and people will not, in fact, be turned off by that. Even with one of them getting together over the course of the show! I know. It's a shock. Nick gets a beer to brace him against the news Juliette has, which is that she did get a reply from Kelly! And this time the IP address tracks to Kerkira/Kerkyra, depending on which Anglicization you take, which is actually on a Greek island that neighbors Albania, and is a good 8+ hours north of the isle of Zakynthos. At a very haphazard guess, they're writing Kelly as making her way south along the coastline; that's a nominal 15-odd hours from Visnja Gora, the last known location. Also a little too directly south, but then Kelly's probably coin-touched, which tends to cut down on the subtlety factor. Not that this family is renowned for its subtlety. And anyway, she's headed back north. Juliette, how long have you had this information bouncing around your head and waiting for Nick to come home so you have a sounding board? 'cause the answer's either long enough to calm down and get worked up all over again, or not long at all. Anyway, the upshot of this reply is that Nick's a little wary, we're doing the data-data-data dance with Juliette, and Kelly no longer has the coins but hasn't destroyed them either, and she's now aware that people are hunting her. So aware, in fact, that she's sending this from an unsecure location but doesn't want a reply. Oh everyone. Hard to say what of that to believe, encoded and brief as it is, though I'm still inclined to think that "deposited for safekeeping" means in a location, not with a person guarding them, due to the coins making people fucking batshit. It'd require a Grimm to do it, assuming Kelly was telling the truth about Grimms being resistant to the coins, and I don't know if I believe there are quite that many Grimms working outside of Royal hierarchy. Nick translates the encoding, basic though it is, both for our benefit and for Juliette's. I hope Nick is right that L stands for Lauffeuer, because otherwise we have yet another goddamn horsefucking player in this and my mental Jarvis only goes to 3D, not 4D. He does describe the Lauffeur/Resistance (and I remain uncertain that these are the same thing) as a network of various groups all uniting against the Royals. I guess that sort of makes sense? In a weird and annoying way, where it's perfectly normal for a wide assortment of people to ally against a common enemy while having massive infighting and not agreeing on anything other than Those Guys Are Bad, but that doesn't really give us a fuller picture. Nor does Nick have one to offer! Juliette has bouncing and grinning because she brought him a present and it was information okay we would totally do that. Have totally done that. To each other, to our friends, to our SOs, take your pick. Ahem. Nick is going to take this opportunity to fuss in ways we haven't seen since last season, which on the one hand, DAMMIT NICK. On the other, I kinda see where he's coming from; this global politics superweapons that everyone wants shit is a whole new level of having to be worried about Juliette. But as she points out, she's already in the middle, and in this world knowledge is power. Study hard. Be evil. Oh, wait, no, that's just us. But seriously, Nick, don't start keeping shit from her again. That might actually wreck your relationship beyond hope of recovery this time. And then we'd have to punch you. At least he seems to back down to general fussing over be careful don't get caught levels of concern. This is acceptable and even a little endearing.

Over to our next murder scene! Wu catches them up on the absolute lack of surveillance, the street cleaner found him which I will mostly accept as a reason for the delay until morning this time. Wu is also trying really hard to bring some black humor to the situation, probably as a defensive coping mechanism, and not succeeding very well. Oh everyone. They leave the murder scene to the CSU guys, since they're not getting anything here, and since he's got a very recognizable car, let's start with finding that, shall we? Yes, please. Also worth noting that Hank continues to do a lot of the actual detecting on their cases, while Nick is becoming more and more a) the Wesen expert and b) the muscle when the case inevitably turns out to involve Wesen. (Someday the percentage of Wesen cases that come across their desks is going to pay off. That day is not today.) Renard is taking reports outside of his office, which is a nice way of indicating that he's going around to everyone's desks checking to see what everyone has, or at least implying it even if Hank and Nick are taking lead because narrative says. What Nick and Hank have is a whole lot of nothing, no prints, no blood or DNA, no witnesses. They have the make and model of the car, which at this point is most likely stolen, and what little of a behavioral profile they can cobble together. I'll take a second to be pleased that Renard is the one who points that out as an asset. What? I never made any attempt to conceal my biases. Oh, hey, there's a well timed update from Highway Patrol! Two more murders in Mexico match the description, guy's been moving at a pretty good clip. And Hank continues to have a pretty good Spanish accent, which is only interesting because of what it teases about Hank. And that gets interrupted by Wu turning up with a patrol calling in the muscle car. And now it's all hands, no one get near the car, sweep the area, whoever touches the car gets arrested, everyone take suitable precautions. The only final note here is that in contrast to Renard's shockingly calm demeanor in the briefing earlier he's, well, okay, still functionally calm right now but for this series of orders there's a definite note of viciousl irritation in his voice.

Back in Vienna, speaking of things that are vicious, those cramps look spectacularly awful. To the point, apparently, of waking Adalind in the middle of the night. Um. That baby is wogeing in the womb, yeah, I'd be screaming too. Regardless of if it's trying to eat its way out, though given we've had hands and face I think the definite implication is that it wants out of Adalind's belly by any means available. That's a damn impressive scream Claire Coffee has there.

Back in Portland, we're at a boarding house wherein our unsub is tanning the damn scalps right there in the apartment. For those of you who've never dealt with hides or the tanning process before let me just tell you that yes, it does in fact stink to high heaven. Not only does it stink it's an organic stink, which is even more offensive. (K: I've tanned hides. It is unbelievably messy and smelly, like putrefaction and harsh cleaning chemicals all at once.) The manager or possibly landlord is banging on the door and demanding it stop right up until our unsub appears in the doorway and is a good deal taller and broader than the weasely-looking manager. We'll go with manager as his job title because he doesn't seem invested enough in keeping the peace in the building. The unsub offers to talk to the neighbors and explain the situation to them. Um, no. Manager says um, no. He can't back down all the way but he does back down enough to scuttle off, in perfect time for the unsub to go back to the window and catch one of the uniformed officers poking around his car. Oh, great. Now he's been warned. What did Renard just say about no one getting near the car? Down the elevator he goes with what looks like a go-bag or a duffel over his shoulder and over to the manager's office. He at least knocks once and asks in a quiet, normal voice if the poor guy has a car before breaking down the door and dragging him out. Outside, Renard pulls up in the battlewagon with at least Nick and Hank inside, getting the rundown from an officer named Mays, going by his jacket. They're a little ways down the block and nobody's touched the car, and the manager falling out of a doorway down the block gives everyone not only a handy location, but also a nice sign that they've been made! Because really. A guy who is clever enough to attack, kill, and scalp several law enforcement officers and military personnel without being caught or even injured such that he leaves fingerprints or DNA trace at the scene? Is not a guy who's going to engage in public violence like throwing people out onto the street unless he knows the police are right there and coming to get him. Because of this, though, I will also accept that from the point of view of the cops the skinny awkward-looking guy picking himself up off the sidewalk could be their unsub, if only because he'd almost have to be Wesen, getting his kills chiefly by smarts, or both. Assume nothing, approach with caution, attempt not to tip anyone off. So they don't exactly come spilling out of the battlewagon, but they're definitely walking with purpose down the street. The manager tells them that the "crazy guy in room 312" (yeah, we've given up bitching about the constant apartment number not-code) hit him and stole his truck. So, okay, at least that gives them probable cause to search the apartment, but their unsub is most likely in the wind now. Joy. Orders are given, and it's up to search the apartment, where they find a sort of a literal bloodbath and evidence of tanning processes. Time to call in forensics!

Less blatant violence but a nice reminder of Stefania's violent tendencies comes in Vienna, where she's got her ear pressed up against, yes, that's Adalind's belly. I'll remind you all once again that this constant touching is a way to demonstrate Adalind's loss of control over her own body, and for others to assert that they're in control of her life and choices. Eventually, I expect this to come back and bite someone. Possibly literally. So, Stefania is satisfied that the baby's alive, kicking, and otherwise quite awake in there, which means it won't be long until it pops out. Really? says everyone keeping approximate track of the timeline in Grimm. Really? says Adalind, usefully providing us with a timeline! It's only been six months! Which I think does coincide approximately with her visit back to Portland, I'd have to go pull things to see if there's a datestamp anywhere, but for now the salient point is, this is not your normal pregnancy. In case the wogeing in the womb didn't tell us that. Or the Frau Fish jelly. Or anything else. Stefania's reply is completely vague and unhelpful in the manner of wise women everywhere, particularly the evil ones. Great. Awesome. Adalind's got her pouty sullen face on again, which I'm beginning to think is there so that Stefania continues to underestimate her and give her at least little bits and pieces of information. Or at least I hope so. Well, the solution is to get Adalind into hiding! For her own safety, of course. Not because Stefania wants primary access or anything. She would never. I'm also not sure why Adalind has to go back to her hotel room instead of being spirited away right now, unless Stefania's that certain that Adalind's been followed and wants no witnesses to her participation in this flight from Viktor. (Though, alright, Adalind would pout over having to leave behind everything that's there, and Stefania probably doesn't want anyone else getting hold of the belly jelly. I wouldn't, were I her.) And no, no hospitals, are there even Wesen-specific hospitals? I suppose there might be, in a Royal-held city, but I wouldn't trust them for this either. Neither would Stefania. (And nor should Adalind.) The answer to why it hurts so much is equally unhelpful but seems to boil down to, well, you wanted the baby and you wanted your powers back, and there's always a price. Sometimes that price is on an extended timeline. I still want to know if she's stealing the baby's Hexen powers, or if the two heartbeats indicates that her soon-to-be-acquired powers are growing within her. Or what. Data, people! No, the banana jerky looking thing is not like data. At all. Yeah, that's the face I'd make too, since Stefania always seems to have something Adalind needs to stick in her face, on her body, or dig her hands into, and rarely is it anything not disgusting.

The car, back to the procedural we go, turns out to be last seen a few miles from the first victim. As expected, and delivered with the punchline at the end that has me sitting up and going "huh" for about half a second before Hank confirms the details. Great. Awesome. Fuck. Because Cervantes is also a cop? military? captain's a rank in both, difficult to say for sure, but he's been missing for two weeks and at this rate I'm with Hank in suspecting that Cervantes is the real first vic and they just haven't found the body yet. Double fuck. And more likely. Has anyone tried to trace this pattern back further south yet? Well, they will be soon enough! Because Nick has lab reports, they've got a match in the car and the boarding house room to their two local vics and 27 other victims. While we side-eye them for that bit of numerology (3x3 is 27, 3 is a very common magical number, it later looks like he's aiming for a nice round 30 total), we'll also tally up the additional deaths we suspect: two maybe three in Mexico, one in San Diego, one in San Rafael, making at least 22 murders they don't know about. I say again: get thee some access to a nice extensive database, preferably several (don't we have a North American VICAP equivalent by now? I'm not so sure about Latin American/South American, but I'm pretty sure they could get Renard to pour on the charm, he's got buckets of it) so that you can at least start tracking his movements. Though that will take a lot of time, and the trailer should take maybe half a day at most, given how much time they've spent going through the journals by now. Plus, their first guess for any truly fucked up case is Wesen at this point. Guys, can I just remind you that humans are perfectly capable of committing atrocities without it being a Wesen? One of these days I hope this comes back to bite them. That day is not today, as our unsub stares across the street at, yes, the PPD building. Shudder twitch mutter you guys should really be expecting this, by the way. It's classic serial killer insert into the investigation, doubly so since he's stalking LEOs and soldiers.

Nick, honey, you really need to get yourself a laptop with 3D. Google Translate is your friend when you don't have access to a polyglot. Whatever book they've found it must have been based on pictures, because we've got Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, Arabic, something neither of them recognizes, then English. Either a laptop or Renard, he's as good as Google Translate at this point. The name given next to the sketch is at least three different versions of Wild Hunt in related languages, something that looks like it's supposed to be estantigua which means either props left out a vowel or the Grimm who transcribed it didn't have a good grasp of Spanish, something that Google tells me is Norwegian that seems to mean roughly the same thing... Interestingly, and despite the conversation earlier in the week with the Grimm Writers twitter account, none of this seems to be related to the Celtic Wild Hunt led by Herne or Cernunnos. Rather, it's a Wesen species that gives rise to a collection of legends of ghostly hunters, the sort of scary chase-you-to-death type boogeyman that kills via fear. The actual Celtic equivalent might be the Gabriel Hounds or Gabriel Ratchets, the Hounds of Annwn, rather than the later descriptions of legends involving stag-figures, faery rides, and nature cycles. Anyway. The Grimm book here also removes the hunt aspect and instead gives it a battle aspect, which makes only marginal sense as a choice to relate this to the plot since the guy's conducting a hunt, not a war as far as we know. Maybe it makes sense within the context of the second half? Blood-stained warriors, berserkers, etc, Okay, not done with the mythological chewing, the term berserker is currently popularly determined to be derived from wearing a shirt or cloak of bear skin, not the pelts of your enemies. Though I'll let it stand in this because it's not as though braiding the hair of your enemies into your own isn't a common trope in fiction at least. Braiding hair, carrying body parts as trophies, there are half a dozen examples we won't go into. Hank brings the lampshades of how it's a good thing they aren't wearing uniforms and Nick kind of heads the list of prestigious warrior enemies, being not only a police detective but also a Grimm. Heh. Oh, and just to underscore that fact? Let's go to the woods where the berserk unsub in question is making the ugliest looking pelted coat (with what looks like more than 27 scalps on it) I have ever seen and, um, putting into the fire a printout he's evidently done with of an article about Nick helping to bust an organ trafficking ring a while back. With Nick's picture circled. Whether or not he knows Nick's a Grimm, that's not at all comforting, even if it is a nice callback to an apropos first season episode.

On to the last scene of the episode we go, for maximum awkward, cringing, and embarrassment squick, where Rosalee is testing the bratwurst and is so nervous that she expresses a desire for Monroe to be able to eat meat. Considering she has, until now, been both accepting and supportive of his vegetarianism, this is pretty indicative. He reassures her and then distracts her, the latter of which is probably more helpful. Look! It's the family crest on a serving platter! Five wolves in various stages of wolflike behavior, from sitting on haunches howling to standing on hind legs looking a little more like a man. Blutbaden underneath, two axes behind the shield, blue and gold. So noted! Given to him by his grandparents upon college graduation, been in the family for 200 years, please don't drop it, Monroe. Which is probably why Rosalee's not even touching it. He also has a woged Blutbad corkscrew. I'm with Rosalee on this. I'm also with everyone who facepalmed about saying things like "we still have 45 minutes before my parents get here." That's not quite like "what can possibly go wrong" but CLOSE ENOUGH. So Monroe goes for the slightly more hopeful maybe it's Nick! Not yet it isn't, Monroe. Your optimism's gonna get you hurt one of these days. Rosalee points out with some edge in her voice that they are busy, it's not the polite fiction Monroe seems to be coming up with on the fly. But of course, it's the parents. Because that's exactly what you don't want when you're still getting ready and nervous about your parents coming over for at least half of the wrong reasons.

I will say, the lack of checked baggage indicates they intend to stick to the half-heard plan of a weekend visit when Alice called at the spice shop, which is a minor blessing Monroe's probably not thinking about at the moment. And as we're about to see, it doesn't take long to blow everything straight to hell. His mother's a bouncy cheerful type who actually might get along with Gloria if they weren't different species. The father is a gruff manly wolf who clearly has issues with displays of emotion of any kind. The fact that Alice asks if Rosalee's here yet doesn't bode well either; she's clearly expecting Rosalee not to be living with Monroe yet. And once again we all say MONROE. YOU SHOULD HAVE TOLD YOUR PARENTS A LOT OF THIS ALREADY. Not that they seem to either listen to other people or give them a chance to speak. In fact Alice goes charging on to meet Rosalee with enough enthusiasm that she probably doesn't mean anything by it, even though Monroe clearly doesn't intend for this to happen. No, the parents stay in the living room and Monroe goes to warn Rosalee. Which is what everyone hears, regardless of who's pretending to keep to the civil niceties. Which seems to be mostly Alice; Monroe's barely gone out of the room before his father makes a comment about Rosalee cooking that indicates he really really wants a traditional housewife daughter-in-law. I'd give him the benefit of the doubt except we've already seen that Monroe not only is good at cooking, but also enjoys it, so there's no reason to want a daughter-in-law who cooks except to conform to gender roles.

Rosalee is understandably freaked about his parents landing before they're prepared! Though of all the things no one in this house is prepared for, her looking frumpy and in the middle of cooking should be the least of everyone's worries. Monroe attempts to reassure her first with a heartfelt but clearly nervous "you're beautiful" type statement and then with a much calmer one, which works that much better. Meanwhile in the living room Monroe's father is listening to his clocks, diagnosing them, and being scolded before he can fiddle with any of them by the mother. So right away we have a father figure who has no ability to cope with emotional displays of any kind, who seems to have very rigid ideas about what is right and proper in his son's/children's life, and who has no compunction at all about rearranging Monroe's things to conform to his idea of what's right. Oh goodie. By contrast Alice doesn't seem to be disagreeing that Things Should Be This Way so much as, they are in Monroe's house and when one is in another person's house one should not muck around with their things. So she's at least giving Monroe a degree of separate personhood. To the extent that propriety dictates, at least; that still won't stop her from Expecting Things of Monroe, like having a woman to ... decorate his house? The comment about "a woman's touch" wouldn't be so indicative or grating if it didn't come on the heels of everything else. And of course at this point Monroe brings out Rosalee to meet his parents. Alice is pretty much squeeing, nothing terrible here, nothing indicative of the future badness as far as what Rosalee's seen yet so Rosalee, while nervous, isn't freaking out just yet. That comes a second later! When Alice hugs her future daughter-in-law effusively and catches the scent of Fuchsbau. Rosalee picks up on it, Bart and Monroe do not, and gets subsequently startled/pissed off into at least ¾ Woge. Dare we say, this is where it starts to go all wrong? I think we do.

The best thing we can say about this is that they put the woge away in order to deliver the lecture more coherently. That's damning with pretty much no praise at all, really. Rosalee is a) terrified, like you are when two near-apex predators are giving off threat displays and b) pissed. Because Monroe didn't tell them anything. If it were just Alice he might be able to talk her around to it, too, because she's giving off the impression that any disapproval really would end up squashed for her son's happiness. If she had that choice. As it is, Bart starts in on how this will never work, and Alice chimes in to back him up. Even better, he starts in with how you can sleep with anything. Anything? Jesus, dude, could you be more of a walking blathering stereotype? Actually, he could! Oh no, they might be living together! They're breaking the natural order of things! They don't care! I would argue that they care very much and you're both fucking morons, but we know how this plays out. Monroe makes an effort to stand up for himself and Rosalee, which buys him until Bart mentions what their children would be like, and that's it. Rosalee has not just had it with Monroe's parents, she's had it, it's implied, with the fact that he didn't even try to protect her from this despite having a damn good idea what was coming. I do feel a little bad for Monroe that she's barging out; on the other hand, traditional Blutbaden are also likely to be far, far more prone to violence than Monroe is. I'd get the fuck out and let him sort it out too. Meanwhile Alice is comforting her husband and honestly, in a lot of respects this looks worryingly like an abused wife, or at least an enabling wife, trying to keep the abusive husband from committing anything other than verbal violence. I am duly disturbed. Also, Monroe, that would've gone better if you hadn't tried to tell Rosalee what she can and can't do, by word choice if not by intent. Alright, cue the rest of the confrontation, in which Monroe totally does know his parents are racist fucks, and thought they'd changed. Monroe, for the love of little fishies, what gave you that impression? Right now it seems like generic and vague hope that they weren't as bad as he remembered. Well, they are. Or possibly worse, considering he probably never dated outside of his species before. I would like it noted that the only people tearing this family apart are his parents and their fucked up values, yes? We know how this line of rhetoric goes? Okay good.

The potential Blutbaden physical fight (and that's definitely a theme this ep, the touching as establishing dominance) is forestalled by Nick's arrival! Only Monroe's sure it's Rosalee having had second thoughts. Uh, no, I'm pretty sure she needs longer than thirty seconds to calm down. Yadda yadda not apologizing for what's right yadda parents of sucktastic bigotry yadda. Nick is being a good friend, sort of, and checking to see if Monroe's okay because he saw Rosalee drive away before he leads with "so there's a Wildesheer." I mean, at least Rosalee and Monroe probably wouldn't be considered warriors and eligible for scalping; Monroe might if provoked to it but he doesn't have even the physical clues to signal our Wildesheer. So they're not in danger, but Nick totally is, is the upshot, and Nick's not always the best at considering his physical safety. More fighting words, enough to make Nick realize who these strangers in Monroe's living room are, and aside from Bart's sheer inability to fucking calm the fuck down, there's no reason he should be wogeing. Okay, his inability to calm the fuck down is pretty significant, I'll grant.

The actual fight scene between Grimm and Blutbaden will wait for next week, say the Wingdings! Oh you guys. You're such snarky fuckers. The promo gives us some additional clues! Lots of fighting, Rosalee crying in despair and I can't tell if that's a street corner or a darkened interior, and Renard claiming to Adalind that she's carrying his child. WELL THEN. Whether or not that's true is an interesting question. Whether or not Renard knows what the truth is is an even more interesting question.

We'll see you back here in a month; we have no concrete plans at this point in time for filler content, but we promise to broadcast it on Twitter, as ever, should something go live.


  1. You should totally do Teen Wolf for your filler content. It's pretty awesome.

  2. They showed a November date in "Season of the Hexenbiest," and "Face Off" picked up right where that left off (even though it aired in March) so that *should* mean that Adalind got pregnant in November. And since we just had Christmas, that means she's been pregnant for over a year.

    1. I was under the impression that, since season three picked up the same night season two left off, that it hadn't actually been that much time at all since Adalind got pregnant. (Though I wouldn't rule out that they can't decide which year it is.)

    2. Ya know how lotsa people keep asking why are all the criminals Wesen.? What if the shows only air cases where Wesen were involved? What if diff amt of time passes with each episode? Some back to back while for some episode to the next maybe a few weeks have already passed. So you can't really tell how much time have passed over the season. But my guess is adalinds will go into labour sooner than later. After all, it shouldn't take so many months for Renard to find out about that demon child. He supposed to be efficient and what not.

  3. I just don't know that I consider Monroe being "estranged" from his parents. We've had the talk about "Last Thanksgiving I'd be invited to," speech from 1x02, and "Dad I swear I'm doing the right thing" speech in the trailer looking up at the sky in 1x08. (Which gave me a feeling that Monroe's dad was dearly departed, but I digress.) There were also fond memories of Mom's "badenwurst" in 1x11, and Monroe gives Rosalee the childhood history of Halfmoon Lake, New Hampshire and how his parents miss him and just want to come visit, which didn't seem like a strained conversation to me. We also know that before Nick used the attic, it was "their room" first, so the parents have visited enough to have a room whenever they needed one.
    Hopefully more will be explained after the hiatus. We only got a little bit of screen time, and it was full of surprise bombs dropping from the sky, so there was little time for our two Blutbaden 'rents to be content canines.

  4. And I must comment about Monroe's name. Now that the parents have called him "Monroe," I can't see that being his last name. While friends and even a girlfriend might abide to the "Just Monroe" thing if it was a last name, I don't see his parents calling him anything but his first name.
    The whole underpinnings of Monroe's first/last name in the kitchen scene was also torturous. From Rosalee asking Monroe what she should call them -- "Mom and Dad?" -- "No, Alice and Bart." to the question about if he'd told his parents *her* first and last name. Oh, and the reveal of the family crest, only to be the word Blutbaden (With wolves in the shape of a "B"... Cute, Grimm Art Team!) I was hoping we'd get a full name for our little clock maker this episode, but I feel the writers are going to drag that out until "I now pronounce you Mr. and Mrs..." --- But even then that's when wedding chaos may strike and send viewers into another stint of waiting for a name.