Saturday, January 4, 2014

Доверяй, но проверяй Grimm S3E09 Red Menace

Previously on Grimm! We start out hoping that Sasha doing the previouslies is just a sign of Russian to come, and then are very wary after we get past Hank's injury and go straight to the summation of Renard and his half-brother both sleeping with Adalind, who's pregnant, and Sean heading to Vienna to start moving some pieces about the board. Sometimes with lethal results. Well, this should be fun.

Cut to the title card, which is for Koschei the Deathless, which is not a fucking Wesen figure goddammit, he is a mythical figure on par with La Llorona or El Cucuy. And then the music starts up and we both sit bolt upright, because while not the Eurhythmics, that? That is one of the original versions of Sam the Sham's Little Red Riding Hood, a song that was played in the room (alas,, we knew you well) in the s1-s2 hiatus, which Akela Cooper ran and I'm pretty sure it was one of her songs. And now we want access to the Grimm writers' room soundtrack, 'cause you know there is one. Or several variations, most likely. Anyway, while this could be the Cascadias or the Cascadias standing in for the foothills of the Alps (because seriously, have you been to the Alps? trust me, once you're on a giant bus with an Austrian driver winding through a backroad with infinite switchbacks, you will appreciate the goddamn Alps in a visceral and terrifying way - and yes, A has pictures of the Reichenbach Falls somewhere), the music tells us it's supposed to be Portland. (Appropriately enough, because the difference between the Cascadias and the Alps looming at you is… kind of the difference between Giuntoli and Sasha.) Nick turns out to be out running behind some poor high school or college aged girl in a red jacket, who starts out looking wary of this potential predator and then just has this "oh fuck you" look on. Yeah, I'd have that look too if I were working out and this guy was jogging at something like a sprint and had enough breath to say a polite g'morning as he passed. Particularly for freaking me out. I kind of assume Nick's got his hood up because he doesn't want people to start wondering who the freak of nature who can do this is, but on a Doylist level it completes the transformation of Nick from confused maybe-prey figuring out how to defeat a bunch of predators to a predator in his own right. Which is about the only reason for the prolonged nature of this callback to the pilot scene I can see. Both a signifier of transformation and perhaps foreshadowing of Nick's predatory instincts taking over and causing trouble further down the road, given that the Blutbad in the first episode was clearly contrasted with Monroe as having let his predatory instincts run away with him, as opposed to a Blutbad who knows how to calm the fuck down and live with others.

Back at home, we see white roses in the first shot after Little Red Jogging Hood. Er? I'm not sure what they're trying to say here, what parallels they're trying to draw, but it's worth noting that we've got a lot of white in this scene, particularly considering how much red Juliette wore in s1. Purity would be my first bet, because innocence is gone these days, but purity for what purpose down the road is another matter entirely. Juliette's clearing up after breakfast (I should get some of that oops) and has a phone call! Nobody calls for good reason at this hour of the morning, and indeed, it's one of her girlfriends, Alicia. I'm not sure if this is one of the ones we saw last season when she was struggling with the issues with Nick, but a quick look over the guest stars says no. Arlene, that was the s2 A-name. Alicia's in what appears to be a completely standard domestic violence situation, down to the hitting, and too frightened and panicky to wait until her husband leaves to call a friend. Which means he sees her on the phone as he gets into his truck. This Will Be Important Later. This is a stupid abuser, too, judging by the bruise on her face. Smart abusers will hit somewhere easily covered by clothing. Or at least an abuser who loses all cunning when he gets drunk and/or goes into a hitting rage. Well, if she decides to press charges at least it'll be marginally easier for her, because she fits everyone's Hollywood mental image of a DV survivor so perfectly oh wait there's a reason for that. Ahem. Juliette does a very nice job of talking Alicia not so much down as in the safest direction possible, and it seems that Alicia and Joe live outside of Portland enough for it to be an order to come to Portland. Interesting, and possibly indicative of jurisdictional friction when this blows up next episode. Also explains why Alicia wasn't among the local girlfriends last season. I take a moment to side-eye them for the indication that there might be a guest room, but we'll save that rant for the later confirmation. (And it will be a rant. Oh yes.) Nick walks back in as Juliette hangs up in the hopes (and that's all they can be right now, is hopes) that Alicia really will be on her way soon. Whether because she's on heightened alert with her friend having just called, or on heightened alert for changes in Nick's physical cues in general, she notices right away that Nick doesn't look like he was out running. Not sweating, not out of breath, not anything. Yeah yeah yeah, he doesn't want to talk about it. Could you sound a little more excited, Nick? Juliette fills him in on the situation, which is ongoing enough (accurate to most DV cases) that he immediately has a clue of what's happening. Nick's primary response is as a cop, wanting Alicia to report it, wanting to know if he should get into it presumably in some kind of official capacity, and despite that he backs down when Juliette tells him no and not yet. Because he really should know how fucked DV cases get in the system, even if he doesn't work them. But he does have one ground rule: as long as Alicia's staying there, she can't talk to Joe. Not that your run-of-the-mill abuser would be the strangest or worst thing to happen to that poor house and its inhabitants, but I appreciate Nick being a cop protecting his own, here.

Back over in Vienna someone is putting his hand on a gun in a newspaper. Clandestine meetings are a go-go! We focus on the person coming through the door long enough to see that it's Adalind before we pan back to the person with the gun o hai Meisner. I'm still not sure I'd trust him with a firearm or, really, anywhere I can't see him, but I appreciate the continuity that Meisner is the one to watch Renard's back as he pokes into Adalind's affairs? Also I don't suppose it takes much to keep a gun on someone you're meeting with, and whatever his other faults, Meisner at least shows some physical combat skills. Enough to shoot what he's aiming at at close range. Renard's changed clothes for some reason, though what he's wearing is innocuous and close enough to his daily wear that it doesn't seem to be significant. And he stands and blocks her as she approaches, intercepting her both with his larger body and with body language, and a hand on her sleeve. It's a bit hilarious how far down Sasha Roiz has to bend to kiss her cheek, and I'm referring to the actor here because it's even more hilarious when we cut to the close shot and he's not bending nearly as far down. Did someone fetch Claire Coffee a box or something? (According to her Twitter, Roiz is three Claires tall!) It's not a genuine gesture of affection, though, as we can see by the stillness of his face throughout the whole process even if he is smiling. Adalind is bemused and wary at the whole thing. You know, as you do when someone who precipitously ditched you and made an enemy of you/themselves suddenly is leaving you notes, flowers, and kissing you. That said, she isn't yet over Renard, as we've all seen and as could be surmised by her own admission of love previously, so she takes advantage of this moment of license to kiss him on the mouth. To which he doesn't respond. All of this is very cold, shot in cool light, and everyone involved is giving either sharp predatory smiles or very icy, very still smiles, the kind of body language that does not look like two people who are in any degree of affection with each other. Whether or not it would fool someone watching her in the cafe would most likely depend on how much of this we're meant to take as an audience and how much of this we're meant to take as obvious to the watcher. Adalind asks why he's in Vienna, did he miss her, not projecting but in a normal tone of voice, and Renard says he did. Whether or not he's lying, really, is difficult to tell at the moment, though it's certainly not as simple as affectionate Adalind missage. Then Adalind lowers her voice and we do get to what they've really come to talk about. Let's also note that while their hands are close, hers are closer to her body and his posture is leaned or hunched, one hand on the table largely because he's a fucking huge man who can cover most of the table just by leaning and resting his arm on the table in that fashion.

So. Who put cameras in her hotel room? Well, that's kind of a dumb question (one not worthy of Adalind, really, she hasn't played the game on this scale up to this point but that doesn't mean she's stupid) unless she thinks Renard has a specific name, which it doesn't seem like there's reason to. Renard suggests the first suspect should be the one who's paying her bills. Which was Eric, and presumably now is Viktor, but since she doesn't come up with that maybe she doesn't know? Adalind, sweetie, that would be a really excellent thing for you to know. I get that they can't show every minute of her consolidating her position after Eric's assassination, but painting her as a little less ignorant of her surroundings would be a start. No? Not so much. The best spin for this scene is that she's playing the ingenue in an attempt to get him to give up more information, which is something we know she's capable of but has shown little inclination toward in recent eps. And Renard has to remind her that the Family (singular? Why singular? Is it just that only one family is applicable to her situation at the moment?) gets very paranoid when one of their own is killed. Thank you, Captain Obvious. He's also fiddling with his whatever that is, espresso? Something that is hopefully served in a demitasse as Claire Coffee says because when he lifts that cup it is really damn tiny, and I don't think Roiz is that huge. Renard apparently also has to remind her that she does have something to hide, assuming she hasn't told them that she's pregnant, which is a safe assumption given that she's putting the baby up for sale on the black market. And he tells her and us that there's a rumor going around that someone is selling a child of royal blood, which would piss everyone off whether or not they cared about the selling of children. Though it's also worth noting, Renard is hardly the most reliable of narrators when it comes to information revealed by imparting it to Adalind. Still. He knows about the sale and his expression as he mentions the rumor and thus informs her that he knows about what she's up to is decidedly unfriendly. Adalind spends most of this part of the conversation leaning back and shifting uncomfortably, she hadn't counted on Renard knowing about the child and her plans for it, and while it's hard to say at the moment if she's bothered by the possibility of his opinion of her dropping even further, she's definitely worried about retaliation or counter-plotting. We get a wide shot as they begin the short back-and-forth about whether or not it's his, just to see how far apart they are and how affectionate their body language isn't. She's not telling him if the child's his or not, probably because she doesn't know, but she will needle him about child support because it's such a formal term, it's a very practical term and it's a legal affairs type term which could also serve to remind him of her particular area of competence. Also as a general rule, one doesn't pay child support for a child one sees and supports on a daily basis, financially and in other ways, so that's definitely a fuck-you-you're-not-getting-access-to-this-child message. Renard doesn't push that part of the conversation further and even looks down, acknowledging the hit, but when he hits back it's hard and brutal, because that's exactly what reminding her how alone she is, is. Referring to when "this" becomes known isn't just about selling the child, it's about her pregnancy, because there's usually a limit placed in fictional works about how long a woman can hide her pregnancy. Though in this case I would also put that down to there's a limit to how long anyone's secrets last in this show, especially in the center of one of the Royal Families' political arenas. So. When her pregnancy becomes known, she will have to choose a side. Implicit in that statement is, or make her own side formidable enough to stand against theirs, because we all know that being on your own side is an option. That's the only side we know for sure Renard's on, anyway. He bats her around like a cat with prey some more, using hard truths to do it, that she doesn't have any friends she can trust, that she's going to need some, that he's not volunteering to be one of those though the fact that he's there is indication enough that he might be willing to be an ally if she came, oh, crawling back? Something like that. And that everyone will be interested in the child, but she's just the incubator that carries it. It's the most blatant example we've seen yet where bloodline is more important than the individual who carries it, though we've seen this somewhat reflected in the fact that Renard is acknowledged at all, in the fact that Eric's mother was so furious at the Royal line being tainted by Hexenbiest (or Wesen in general?) blood, and in the fact that Eric did go to collect Renard in the first place. On that note he leaves her and stalks out of the cafe, with Meisner at his back again. Do I need to remind you how wary we are of that positioning in anything but the shortest of short terms? No? Okay good.

We cut back over to Portland, which they have to tell us specifically I think because that house mansion could be Old World, to the less-than-astute observer. The astute observer will, of course, note the Mission styling on the roof and windows, marking it as probably southern Oregon/northern California area. Inside, there's a rather traditional looking faith healing scene going on, except for that green in his eyes (there will be no Coldplay over this scene, thank you so much to Claire Coffee's tipsytweeting for that earworm) and the elongated nails and green veiny things in his hands. Hello, Wesen of the week! Who is Russian. Now, Russian is admittedly the weakest of my five primary languages, but at least what the patient is saying at the moment and what the subtitles are saying do not sound like they match up. At the very least there's some missing pronouns in there, and some wrong gender verbs. The healer is mumbling so I can make out much less of what he says. Much to my irritation. As with all faith healers, there's a show of exhaustion after it's finished, except in this case the exhaustion is real. My best guess is some kind of cancer, probably brain going by the location of his hands and the way they've potentially concealed shaved spots or stitches (or at least baldness) beneath that scarf. Speaking of his hands, his wedding ring is on the right hand rather than the left, in Russian Orthodox tradition, which is a nice detail I didn't expect them to get right. We have one wife and a daughter or a groupie, difficult to tell right this second, and the wife goes to get him tea with a standard you-are-not-all-right look on. Nice Russian faith healer wants no payment but that she lives a long and happy life! Aww, that's cute. That'd be more cute if I didn't know that your usual healers of this sort would say something like this and then come to extort money at some later date when they need it. Cut to a hotel room with another Russian! We know both by the accent and by the fact that his wedding ring is again visible on the right hand. Either someone did their research, or someone(s) fixed it on set. Anonymous hotel room, Russian guy where we're only getting one side of the call, something about paying him back, gee I wonder who he is and what he's for! Hello, hitman sent to assassinate the Russian healer Wesen. (Yes, I'm holding off on calling him a Koschei and it is Koschei not Koschie as the fucking failtern spelled it on the NBC site, you guys really need to stop fucking up like this. Because once we get there there are going to be ALL THE RANTS, and we haven't even hit the credits yet.) Whether he's FSB or Вор в законе (thief in law, literally, a professional criminal so anointed by other criminals, organized crime in other words) or something more tied to the Wesen world (assuming those two groups aren't deliberately tied to Wesen in this universe, we don't know, isn't it great?) we don't know yet, but he's clearly going to commit a murder. Or try!

To that night and the attempted assassination we go, where they're having a massive celebration at a restaurant that is trying way too hard on the Russian kitsch. Dancing girls, Russian dance music of the kind you hear in all stereotypical TV and movie depictions thereof, lots of vodka, lots of food, lots of laughter. From everyone except the wife, poor woman, who's having to put up with her husband hanging all over at least two women (so, yes, that was a groupie) who look younger than we are. The man hosting this is not Boris Mishkin the healer, but some older gentleman, perhaps the young woman's father or grandfather? Who proposes a toast to his health, both very properly (and in proper Russian, the word breaks are accurate on that toast, in case anyone was wondering) and with actual warmth and cheer beneath it, and Mishkin responds with thanks and at least pro forma demurral, though he seems to appreciate something beyond the immediate booze-drink-music aspects of this party. He is, however, not feeling entirely well; earlier he demonstrated that he was quite fluent in English and here, whether he's requesting a word from his wife Olga for a show of affection between them or because he's lost his English is unclear until he excuses himself for some privacy. At which point I'm pretty sure it is that he's lost his English, he's coughing a bit and sweating and doesn't look so good at all, which of course means it's the perfect time for our assassin to strike! There's a lot of hard surfaces in a storeroom to bash your opponent around on, and they go a couple rounds of that before Assassin Dude breaks out the knife with some sort of shout that I think is supposed to be "for my father" or "for my family," but the sounds aren't quite right. Possibly there's a name involved? It's "for" something. The knife, though, really sounds like it connects on the first attempt, but I see no blood, and we don't get any time to dwell on it because Mishkin is busy demonstrating that whatever he is now, he damn well used to have some training in how to kill people. That's a sharp solar plexus hit and to hold an opponent by the wrists like that so they can't break free takes a lot of strength and awareness of leverage, and it only works for a moment anyway. A moment is long enough to put on a very different woge face than we saw previously, this one closest to a death's head expression. Is anyone else thinking Hexen/Zauber variant right now? Because we so are. Assassin is at this point desperate to get out, either because he's seeing the woge and is freaked right out by the unknown (as you do) or, worse, he knows exactly what it means and would like to go die in peace now. Considering he doesn't appear to have broken any bones when he landed from the second story window, I'm going with either very well trained, very lucky, very Wesen, or some combination of the three. Those aren't normal bruises from being held, either. We take a look upstairs for long enough to see that yes, the knife blow did connect and Mishkin's suit is ruined and he's bleeding a bit. Not that he looks overly concerned with this. Assassin looks like he's both in great pain and great fear right now, possibly pretty angry as well. That looks like a lot of frustration and resignation on top of, y'know, having just been thrown around and supernaturally poisoned. Roll credits! Which are the long-ish form this time, in that they include a chunk of Adalind wogeing out and Juliette at the firing range, but not the Renard All Shall Love Me And Despair bit nor the Kouf/Greenwalt ending screen. Odd. When we come back, the assassin's staggering into his hotel room. How slow-acting is this poison, anyway? Slow enough that he has enough coherence to try and report in while he grows boils and then passes out on his hotel room floor. Ew, dude. You know where that's been.

Speaking of missed phone calls, Alicia's not answering her phone either and Juliette is pacing with worry. Like you do. Nick offers a couple of plausible explanations that don't have anything to do with Joe finding out and beating her or killing her. Good Nick. Bad Nick for pointing out that Joe's surely found out she's leaving by now. Juliette's expression says that she's about to start in on the "really, that's supposed to be helpful, honey?" speech, only probably less confrontational because this is Juliette and not either of us talking. To be interrupted by headlights pulling in! Notably, Juliette goes out to meet her and not Nick. If I were Nick I'd go out to meet her. If I were Juliette I'd go out armed to meet her, just in case Joe's lurking his shady ass around already; it's not like most people know how to look for and avoid a tail. (Then again, most people don't know how to tail a car professionally, so kinda six of one there.) In they go, locking the door and looking out. An abundance of paranoia, I'm going with, because nothing we've seen or heard about Joe indicates he's got an ounce of subtlety to him. Nick, to his credit, does not start off by asking if she wants to report it. He's acting as a friend, not a cop, though Alicia's wary of him both as a man and as a cop, I think. Definitely the former, possibly worried about being judged by him as the latter. And then Juliette has to go and talk about the guest bedroom, and, okay, we all remember how Nick slept on the fucking couch before he moved out to Aunt Marie's trailer last season? How cute that you're retconning this now, guys. Not. No, I am not cutting you any slack here, it would've taken a line reference in one of the scenes prior to Alicia's arrival about clearing out the guest bedroom of crap either that day or after Nick moved back in this season, take your damn pick. They just retconned something that a) they swore in interviews did not exist b) if it existed last season would have changed at least some things but would not have been difficult to stage and c) in conclusion, fuck you guys. I appreciate that the actors are doing what they can with what they have, but this season has shown us really clearly that there is no show bible and there never will be, and as such we plan to keep calling this shit out. Especially when it's this egregious. It's even more annoying because there's so much potential and it's incredibly clear that the cast and crew would absolutely rise to meet writing that bothered to take its own canon into account. And in conclusion, we're irked. This is irksome. Moving back to the scene proper, though! Alicia's phone is out of battery probably because Joe tried to call her a bunch, that'll run your battery down even if you're not answering, and Nick phrases his order not to let Joe know where she is as gently as he can. He's also, I should note, keeping the half-wall in the entry between him and Alicia, which probably helps her be less afraid of him. Juliette insists that Alicia eat something, even something light, which is absolutely true. I somewhat question the value of wine here, mostly because it's hard to tell if she needs the depressant in her system, though given stress/anxiety levels it'd probably help her sleep. And then Nick does a thing that endears him to us even more again, which is draw on some of his cop training to tell her it's not her fault, one of the things DV survivors most need to hear (over and over, usually) and which makes Alicia burst into more serious tears of relief, not just the finally in a safe place tears. Oh honey. It also makes her woge! Hello, Fuchsbau. Given what we know about Fuchsbau, I can only imagine how much additional emotional abuse must be going on, because I can't imagine one sitting still for only physical violence. Nick sees this from the corner of his eye and his FACE. His face both says "oh shit Juliette doesn't know or she'd have warned me" and "oh shit I can't tell Alicia because everyone's scared of Grimms" and the result is Nick getting the fuck out of there. While swapping his words. Put the room in the bag inDEED. It's both morbidly hilarious and very touching that he actually has the damn sense to do this rather than add one more thing to the pile of shit Alicia's trying to deal with right now. Time enough for that conversation (and it better be a conversation, Nicholas Burkhardt, you should know how poorly keeping secrets works by now) after Alicia's settled in somewhat.

On to Hank at Pain and Tor-- er, Physical Therapy! We've all gone through PT here at Murderboarding, we have all the sympathy for Hank and Russell Hornsby both. This seems to be the conclusion of the session, final flexibility, strength, resistance tests for improvement, that sort of thing. Hank offers a bit of banter with what sounds like the kind of tone that says he's totally not winded, exhausted, or in pain, not that anyone believes him. The choice of bantering topic is also a tad suspect in that, bringing up marriage, Hank? Really? But it's the sort of clumsy groping for a suitably connected topic that's also adorable in the right context or from the right person. Therapist deduces from this, correctly, that he's been married before. By the end of that dialogue, though, he looks like he's regretting having brought it up. Oh Hank. Definitely the end of the session, she manipulates his foot and ankle a little more and asks him how it is, and he has to sort through the ache to figure out what's usage and what's left over from the injury, though he does pronounce it "better!" And she pronounces it down to one more session, which leads Hank to get that sad pouty voice that we all get when we're almost out of legitimate reasons to see people we've become interested in or intrigued by. Either Therapist isn't picking up on this disappointment or is filing it under Things I Will Ignore In The Hopes That They Go Away because she responds to the words rather than the tone, and makes a light joke about how he'd better be getting better or she should be looking for a new job. Since that's not a clear no Hank will be a little clearer about asking for a date, though he still is avoiding the D-word. A celebration! Like a graduation! No? No, not so much, her face and body language says. And because Hank is The Best, he immediately backs off and apologizes when he senses his advances aren't welcome. Literally and physically, backs off, and clearly apologizes, for which there was much squee at Murderboarding over a man who not only backs down and apologizes, but physically makes himself less threatening. We love you, Hank. Never change. Therapist apologizes too, but she tries to keep everything on a professional basis, and everyone is awkward and apologetic but insisting that it's fine. Oh everyone. Certain things, though, are much less professional and/or fine. Over to the restaurant, where there's a dead body in the walk in freezer. Yeah, that can't be sanitary. As many people on Twitter have noted.

To the police station! Nick's walking in and closing the door, which indicates, oh, yes, Renard is in residence! And they have Grimmish business to talk about. Wesen business. Royal business. Something that requires the door closed. Nick was wondering when he was going to get back, asks how it was, actually sounds vaguely happy or excited to see him! At the very least he's almost smiling. Renard isn't nearly so happy, as he sits on the desk he has his arms folded over his chest and he is decidedly not smiling. In response to Nick's query he describes the events in Vienna as "the Verrat [paying] a personal call," which, heh. That's one way to put it. Oh, and an indiscretion. That was handled, in other words Nick doesn't need to worry about it or ask further. Hard to say quite what Nick's getting at by his comment about not making any arrests, though at first (or, okay, post-sleep-second) blush I'm inclined to say it's a dig about Renard's lecture on killing and the guilt that comes with it. Maybe just a dig at Renard being the Good Captain in Portland and someone who is much more willing and ready to use lethal force elsewhere. Renard is not playing this game today. Renard will remind Nick that there's more at stake here than he's used to thinking of, world players, allegiances, and a giant fucking power gap where Eric Renard used to be. This is world-making or world-breaking shit, here, Nick. Sometimes you have to shoot some people who are, let's not forget, trying to kill you. All Nick can come up with in response and possibly in response also to Renard's tacit assertion of badassery is that he wishes he'd gotten to meet Renard's brother. I'm not even kidding about that part, there's an unspoken threat to Eric's health and well-being there that makes no sense considering the guy's dead and Nick didn't even know he was a personal and imminent threat until towards the end. But Nick has to assert his place in the grand scheme of things, too, so belligerence and bravado it is. Oh honey. Renard finds this at least amusing or interesting enough to say he would have liked to have seen that. He isn't impressed, either. Nick then asks if they found out he was involved, and as far as Renard knows, no, they don't know that for certain. They're just scared of the bastard Prince and his Grimm, as well they should be. We interrupt this scene of conspiracy, and with all the close-up to the point of being awkward camera angles on faces it is very much a scene of conspiracy, for Hank! Hello, Hank! He'd like to interrupt this little conspiracy because someone got themselves killed, and is anyone interested. Why yes. Yes we are.

Wu gives everyone the sit-rep as he takes them through the dining room and into the back kitchen, describing the victim with culinary based snark, this time. We love you, Wu. Never change, either. Apparently the waiter clocked in at 2 and was never seen or heard from again, street clothes in his locker but the vic is in his skivvies, and his uniform's missing. That doesn't take a genius to deduce, though Hank will say it out loud anyway. The bruising around his neck is only slightly more subtle, one thin line rather than handprints or even general bruising, indicating he was strangled by a garotte, so someone was going forth equipped. No sign of a struggle here but Wu indicates there's something to be found in the storeroom so, fine, storeroom it is! Yep, blood on the floor, canned goods and other things on the floor, and a broken window would tend to indicate a struggle. Nothing necessarily to indicate who on who, except that it wasn't the victim Markov! Time to talk to the owner, who I give a less than average chance of being helpful, for various reasons. Mostly owing to the fact that if they're playing up the Russian Immigrant tropes, they're probably going to hit the one that says No One Trusts The Police. Which is a thing both in fiction and in real life, and for good reason, but still. No, the owner is somewhat more helpful than that, or at least as helpful as he can be. Indignant that he should have noticed sooner, because he was short staffed and they were closed for a private party, but this likely conceals more that he was getting drunk off his gourd and partying with everyone else while his waiter was getting killed, and the attendant guilt that comes with. The private party was booked by a personal friend whose number he even offers the police without being prompted. Cooperative bystander is cooperative. Nick will now ask for the surveillance.

That surveillance footage will be viewed at the precinct! Where they've filled the Captain in on all the parts leading up to show-and-tell time in the bullpen, and are now using show-and-tell time to fill him and us in on what they've concluded from the surveillance. A standard but nice bit of eliding the hours of staring at the footage, though considering how bad a job of it the assassin made at disguising his true purpose for longer than it took to attempt the job (presumably he intended to be on a plane home by now. oops), maybe less like an hour and more like a lot of fast forward on the camera over the storage room and then backtracking to fill in details. It's how I would've done it, anyway. At any rate, the guy was at least smart enough to wander around with a box in front of his face and avoid identification via cameras; when we saw him earlier he was nicely bland for an assassin. No Daniel Craig levels of strikingly handsome, though not quite Phil Coulson levels of mild-mannered I Am Not A Badass I Swear. Average height, average color hair and eyes, no obvious identifying marks until he got those boils. Assassin sits in the storeroom and waits for about an hour and a half by those timestamps, Renard would like a motive, and the best Nick and Hank have for him is a victim. Well, an attempted victim, the guy wanted to kill Mishkin but failed miserably. Apparently Renard's heard of Mishkin! Renard, how the fuck do you know who he is. Is this about your Russian contacts we see later? Is this him keeping tabs on his canton or city or whatever we're calling it now? Hank comments that he's probably a scam artist, which would in almost all cases be true! And he does seem willing to take payment in barter, after a fashion, just not in money. Heh. He's staying with Mila Guilanova? Guryanova?, which is the closest thing we get to anything that sounds like a goddamn patronymic anywhere in this ep. Seriously, for all the full Russian names being tossed around here I would expect a patronymic or two, given that patronymics are important in the Russian nomenclature. Important in Russian etiquette, actually, one addresses a superior by name and patronymic in most social or work settings. For example, I might address my boss as 'Boris Ignatievich' but my husband or son as 'Borya', to use a Boris-type example. Patronymics! Important things! But do they exist at all in the Grimm universe? Apparently not. Grump. This is one of those things that makes me wonder about the hispanic representation in the La Llorona and El Cucuy episodes, and why that comes out feeling more organic and genuine while this is full of kitsch and vodka and no patronymics and potentially inaccurate Russian. (I say potentially. Again, still not my strongest language, though I'm working on it. I know we have some Russian readers, if they would care to weigh in I'd be grateful!) Anyway. Mila Guryanova, we'll take that as the strongest pronunciation, and Boris Patronymic Unknown Mishkin. And his wife, Olga! Who isn't doing nearly as good a job of faking happiness when nobody's looking at her, bringing up the excellent point that she's probably none too happy about the pretty young things Mishkin keeps around. They have no clear image of the assailant, one of the few times in TV history where magic CSI enhance button doesn't work, and there's been no report filed. Mishkin just walked back into the party like nothing ever happened! I know I do that all the time oh wait. That hand-pressed-to-arm pause does look like him healing himself, but dude, seriously, didn't you at least stop by the bathroom to wipe off some of the blood? If so, we don't see it. They need to go talk to Mishkin, and Renard's coming with them, and everywhere fangirls' hearts are aflutter. And something lower, perhaps. Especially those of us who watched the s1 deleteds over and over for language study purposes we swear. (Game Ogre, for those of you who are curious and might not remember.) Because the other reason Renard's riding with them for this is because he speaks Russian, he just doesn't want them to know it until he needs to break it out. I will, however, grant that it's a perfectly valid desire to stay in front of the case before State (and/or "State") gets involved with the Russian citizens and they clam up and the case is never solved. Who grew up during the Cold War? Why yes, I think that would be Renard. Now go imagine the Royals plus the Cold War, for bonus brain hurty. I'll wait.

Meanwhile the assassin in the hotel room is really not doing so good right now. Some of those boils have burst, in a combination of what I'm assuming was blood and pus because the blood's too pale in places. I don't know why he's speaking English unless he's trying desperately to maintain cover, maybe? I don't know why he spoke English in the first phone call! Oh wait, we have an explanation, after a fashion. Namely that he's not talking to a boss in the FSB or organized crime, he's talking to a loved one. And he, too, has been killed. Somehow, he doesn't know how, which tends to indicate that he doesn't know Mishkin's Wesen, or maybe doesn't know what kind? Honestly, Russia is one of those places where I'd expect the Masquerade to be tissue-paper thin, at least when you're discussing portrayals in fiction. He tells her, because most men don't talk to other men like that unless they're young children, not to cry, to be strong, typical goodbyes flavored with Russian-ish grammar. And now he's losing his teeth EW EW HIDING BEHIND THE COUCH NOW.

Moving. The Fuck. On. We're confronted immediately with two possibilities for who the woman on the other end of the phone was, and Olga Mishkin is the one staring her phone in the face. On the other hand, the young and pretty maid is the one lurking in the doorway with towels. So we've got something of a mixed bag, here. Along with what sounds like a mixed bag of personal pronouns and verb conjugations, and that is all I have to say about that Russian. Considering she's the one fluent enough to be asked for a word in English, this is definitely a measure of her upset. We get a brief lecture, fairly standard for immigrants and doubly so for Russians in many respects, about how the younger woman should call home and, in essence, respect her ties to her past. With heavy, heavy implications, though not outright stated, that when a man tires of you it's your family that you'll have to rely on. The maid looks down and left in a classic Hollywood deception tell (honestly, some people look left, some look up, some look right, it's not always that clear-cut), indicating that maybe her ties to Mother Russia run deeper than anyone suspects. Particularly with that soft attempt to redirect Olga's anger without actually lying. Heh. That just gets her yelled at in Russian again, and once she leaves, we see Olga's upset enough to woge! Hello, boar-wesen whose type name we still don't know. (Though this might be the one referenced by Monroe pointing at the guards in the sketch of Stalin later, it's hard to say what the type name is, and the failtern hasn't tried to post it on the website yet.)

Renard and his cops and his battlewagon pull up to the house. Mansion. Thing. Yeah, Hank, you say that now, but do you know the shit rich people get up to and cover up? Renard delivers a brief warning that in Russia, these healers are revered. So don't go around calling them scam artists to their face, Hank! He gets the point, but he's not above joking back that so are circus clowns, and that's at least as much Sasha Roiz as Sean Renard peeking out in that smirk. I love when actors inhabit a character so thoroughly that we start getting these. Nick has a good point, though, this one threw someone through a window, so revered or not he might be dangerous. Maid lets them in, Mila Guryanova plays first line of defense against the cops and Olga plays second, all the women of the house trying to soften up the cops. Not necessarily a standard tactic in Russia, but there aren't any other men around and they're all trying to protect Mishkin, so it makes sense that they're banding together in their distrust of the police. Oh, and let's all note the lack of patronymic again, though introducing herself to apparently American cops, she might omit it. There look to be at least two other families in line for healing, including a little girl in a wheelchair, along with the boy Mishkin's currently healing. I'm a little surprised they let the cops in; then again, they may have been too intimidated. Certainly Renard appears to be trying to loom instead of looming by his mere existence. Though given that they've also put him at the back of the stair-stepping line of police, it's less obvious to the viewer. I will say, cheek cuts like that are a bitch to heal up, particularly if you've got any kind of antibiotic resistant infection going on. Staph, I'm looking at you. And I love that Nick's "I see wesen" face is familiar enough to everyone by now that Renard flat-out asks what he's seeing. The boy's healed, that's a nasty scar but hey, not a suppurating wound anymore, I imagine they'll take it. We will pause to wince mightily over the accent on Спасибо (spasibo, thank you) because it sounds like rote syllables the poor bastard memorized, not actual Russian. There's no intensifiers (EVERY language has those for thank-you), the syllables are very carefully enunciated the same way every time, it's very, very obvious he doesn't speak… oh, probably any non-English language much at all. At least not enough to be able to unbend with the Russian and make it sound less scripted and more natural. They did give him a word that isn't one of the top ten most common Russian words to give to actors who don't speak Russian! Хорошо is what he says upon seeing his son's face healed, excellent or 'okay!' in colloquial use as I've heard it. It still sounds stilted. Anyway. Renard takes the lead, introduces himself and his merry men, explains why they're there, lady, your Боже мой is both overenunciated and an oversell in tone and body language. The oversell, at least, is deliberate acting/directing choice, because she immediately leaps into Russian. For the most part it's accurate Russian, though I'm halfway wondering why she uses the diminutive of his last name (referring to him as Mishi or Misha earlier) rather than his first (which would be Borya), which would be more traditional. It's possible that Mikhail or some similar name is his original name and he changed it to escape notice by other assassins when he came to the States (unlikely given Renard's later source), or it's also possible that they met under circumstances where last name address was more common (usually military or police situations), so it's not quite as rantworthy as the utter lack of patronymics, but it still gives me some twitching. Then she goes on to, yes, tell him to "say nothing" or maybe "do not speak," which he comes back with needing to tell the truth, so. heh. And then, yes, "Never to the police," though she uses the word милиция (militsiya) for police, which specifically refers to Russian police. Go on, sound that out and then think about the Russian police force and extrapolate. While it makes sense given the context of her character, Renard and company are definitely not the Russian police. Well, not his 'and company.' And yes, Sasha's unfairly beautiful Russian is accurate to the subtitles and he, too, uses the Russian term for police. And then, you know, a thousand and one fangirls started squirming. We're not talking about how long it took me to process these scenes because of Sasha speaking Russian. Ahem. As a point of interest, the word he's using for 'useless' also translates as 'futile.' Which again, heh. Russian police. The reputation is widely known and stereotyped in fiction, but also well earned.

Once we've all recovered from the glory that is fluent Russian speakers speaking the language, to say nothing of Sasha's lovely and crisp diction and gorgeous speaking voice (what? we have prejudices), we'll agree with Hank. He really does get the BEST reactions to every new Renard reveal. Nick's eyeroll comes in second best for being less noticeable, but don't think we didn't see that, Mr. Burkhardt. Now that it's been made clear that the Captain speaks Russian but his detectives don't, we switch back into English. Though Mishkin's pacing a bit, he doesn't have any of the small signs of deception; he's using his discomfort with the situation to mask those. Again, a well-trained former operative of some kind. He doesn't know anything, he fought with the guy, who was yelling insults in Russian. At least one of those insults seems to refer to his species of origin and, um, lacking a cultural translator (because believe me, there's a lot of cultural baggage tied up in insults of all languages) we will leave it at that. We will also now snicker quietly over the little body-shift about "doesn't really translate." It totally translates, it's just not something you can say on family TV. It's a nice bit of eliding the swearing, though. Nick asks for a motive and gets one in Mishkin hauling his shirt up to reveal bruises and scars. At least one of those looks pretty old, too. Which is pretty obviously for distraction, as he lists off possible causes none of which have anything to do with reality except maybe the wives falling in love with him problem. As we see by Olga's look away and attempt to regain her composure. Guy got thrown out the window, Mishkin swears he'd have reported it if he'd known there was already a body on the ground, Renard offers his card, his men, and a further deliberate bond of shared language as he leaves. Though I somewhat question why he uses the word for Russian military police there, since it's damn well not a word that applies to the Portland cops. Especially if he wants to differentiate themselves from the police in Russia.

On their way out, the maid tries to pump them for information. Renard knows this tactic well. Renard has had far, far more skilled opponents than you, Larissa. He also knows how to deflect it into flustering the sweet young thing who probably hasn't had male attention she welcomed in a long time. So mild flirting in Russian it is! That's not exactly (okay, really not in terms of literal word-to-word, as opposed to the earlier snark about the police) what he says, though I'll buy it as a semantic translation with no major attendant differences in meaning. Her response is more directly accurate, if oddly accented, leaving me groping after more ability to pin down accents in Russian, and in turn the subtitles distill what he's saying down to essentials again. Sadly, I don't have the nuance of vocabulary to offer up an alternative, but the subtitles continue to gist pretty well. Her subtitles continue to be more literal and we're back to English for a second before she says something again, and the subtitles continue to take her literally. Except for the part where she specifies Russian which the subtitles elide to "the language" but six and one half dozen. I'll assume I don't need to translate Спасибо again, or До свидания? No? Good. Though for all two of you playing the home game of how many languages can we sponge while watching Grimm, that actually is two words, and breaks after the "da" for "da cvidaniya." I'll just put this big black furry polyglot hat away now. At Hank's questioning Nick describes what he saw, Renard gives them a direction to go in with a Koschei (which is still one person not a type rassumfrassum) and his story about being in Moscow with his mother. (I question, by the way, why on earth Renard needs to confer with Nick about what he saw. Can Renard suddenly not see woge? Is it just this one type of Wesen whose woge he can't see? Was it something to do with the angle at which everyone was positioned to each other? Which admittedly was not the clearest given the way the camera was positioned. The fuck?) And now all our ears perk up and what were you doing in Moscow for two years, Renard? When were you in Moscow? Was this a study abroad thing in college? Was this before or after the escape from Swiss boarding school? Inquiring minds, goddammit, give us a timeline! Though based on the conversation they have when they get outside I'm guessing maybe both. After all, there's no reason for him to tell her all of the truth, and the meeting Renard describes has overtones of childhood to young adulthood. Particularly since it seems like it's been a number of years since he and Maman Renard were near each other. He's also remarkably calm about telling this story, the only indicators of emotional upset are one hand sliding into a pocket and the just-the-facts tone he has, which is a common enough tone for him for it to slide past most people. Apparently the Koschei he saw in Moscow was celibate and healing fired up his sex drive, so he came to Maman Renard for a potion to fix that problem. Maman Renard, were you an apothecary for hire? I'm suddenly picturing Rosalee's evil, older sister. Ahem. Interesting, and explains a lot, though why the writers seem to think that women past 40 can't have and match their husband's sex drive I do not know. Do they know any women over 40? No, wait, they work in Hollywood, never mind. It is at least a common enough idiotic male thing to do to go after younger models (I refuse to say prettier, because goddamn have you LOOKED at Alexsandra Kaniak?) that I'll let it slide, though. We close out this scene with some truly hilarious Russian humor about suffering and the nature thereof, I have no idea if that was a written line or if Sasha Roiz ad libbed it but it's fucking funny is what it is. And apparently Renard still has friends in Moscow, so I'm betting he's been back there at least once as an adult with power in his own right. I need a 3D Jarvis simulator, dammit. The maid needs to stop watching at windows.

At the shady hotel room of shady, the other maid is in to clean the room. Honey, you do not want to clean this room. Ew. Also notable, for an assassin who's in the process of dying slowly, he hasn't used any but the most basic lock, no deadbolt or anything. Yeah, that's the face of someone who knows she's not going to like what she finds there but has to know rather than just imagining, and also expects she's going to have to call the cops. Poor woman. That is some impressive levels of gross right there. Covered in boils, many of which have burst, at least some of which have turned into long infected wounds. Grooooss. Can I poke it? (Look, one of us cheerfully ate breakfast right before high school dissection and the other one brought snacks to it to share around, what do you want from us.)

Over at the trailer we have some loose pages, the edges of which have been burnt and the text of which appears to be both typed and in Russian. Mua ha ha ha ha. Wait, what fire? What? What did we miss? If anything. This is the kind of shit that annoys me in my own writing, never mind in anyone else's, but it's not necessarily relevant to the scene at hand so, whatever. The closest we can come up with is that there were mass demonstrations yes, including burnings (the most notable of which was probably the secret police headquarters) in 1917 in St. Petersburg, but a line reference would've been nice. Everyone has papers in Russian! Although that envelope with a hole burned through the middle of the address does not look Russian. If anything that looks faintly Japanese, though I wouldn't swear to that either. Anyway. It's all Russian! Which means the only one who can read it is the Captain, which Hank would like to remind everyone is an option. Nick gives him the are-you-high look, so, that's a no to bringing Renard to the trailer, then. Good thing Renard already has his own key unless he gave that back to his Nite Owl buddy. (Yes, I'm still going to do that.) But it's also a measure of how little Nick trusts Renard for all their camaraderie, that he doesn't trust Renard enough to bring him to the trailer. Either that or he's just afraid Renard would take up all the internal space. I would be. No, it's probably the first, given that he hasn't ever mentioned the trailer to Renard, just the books within. Hank looks somewhat chastened or saddened by not getting to bring Renard to the Russian, no one thinks of bringing the Russian to Renard, and they look for anything they can actually read. Monroe finds a sketch of Stalin and makes the aforementioned comment about it looking like he used Melah-Fatel? Monroe, sweetie, I have no idea what the fuck you just said or even what language it is. Anyway, boar-bodyguards! Which goes with the boar-Wesen Olga seems to be, though we still don't know what the hell they're called. But hey, Monroe found the English! December in 1916, there's a telegram and a photograph from St Petersburg. Blah blah Rasputin blah blah Tsarina, blah blah troops World War I standard history insert is standard and, sources say, accurate. Ian Hastings may or may not be a reference to Ian Fleming (who was actually a member of the Secret Intelligence Service, the so-called Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare), I'm just going to fanwank that it is, but, guys. You guys. It is not actually a Bureau. It is a Service. Come the fuck on. You can get the history right but not the historical terminology? Writer, please. Yes, Hank, Rasputin is in there too because Rasputin is fucking always a supernatural creature, because apparently no one ever remembers (or cares to remember) that his assassins were just that damn incompetent. No, seriously, his would-be assassins were incompetent. They botched the poisoning, botched the shooting, and as for the drowning, accounts vary as to whether or not that even indicates death by drowning or simply that the body was submerged in water for a period of time. Let's not even get into the part where you can try to light someone on fire and, depending on how much they're flailing or wearing or how much snow is on the ground for them to run into, there could be a lot of fight left in those old bones yet. But no, this is Grimm, everyone is a Wesen. Hitler was a Wesen. Franco was probably Wesen. And Rasputin was a Koschei which is still giving me fits of twitching. Extra bonus twitching for everyone pronouncing the damn name, and it is a name, you guys. It is the name of a folk story antagonist in Russian fairy tales and literature. He abducts people and keeps his soul/heart outside his body in an iron box, because apparently that's what you do when you're in a Slavic fairy tale, and oh never mind. Apparently they are Wesen in this world. Maybe the legend of Koschei the Deathless is different there. These Wesen have healing or killing touches depending on how much they like you, and are incredibly difficult to kill. Which fits Rasputin, Koschei, and, really, Russia in general. As a point of historical dorkage, there is recent evidence to suggest one of the shots and possibly the one that actually killed Rasputin was fired from a Webley. That's about all we get out of these papers, though, because Nick is interrupted by a phone call and because the writers have run out of historical referencing. For which I thank ... someone, anyway, because we didn't even touch the alleged lost princess Anastasia or any of the other stories that could have cropped up from this particular point in Russian history. And where the fuck is Baba Yaga? I ask you. No, fine, okay, I'll stop ranting, we'll go to the body.

We do not yet go to the body! First we stop by Moscow for a phone call between Renard and his friend(s) there. Actually, really first we have to pick ourselves off the floor in shock that we got to see and acquire more information about people within the same episode they were namedropped, because that never fucking happens on this show. Then I have to pick my jaw up off the floor because Renard's Russian-speaking friend just used the familiar pronoun. As opposed to the formal, so, what's up with that I wonder. Is that actors slipping up? Was that a deliberate choice by actors? Director? Writers? Who is this person to Renard? WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON? No one has used the informal with each other in the last two damn seasons. In fact, I'm pretty sure the only time we've ever heard the informal second person pronouns in any language is between Renard and the Reaper he de-eared, to make a point. That's how much the casual second person pronoun isn't used in a lot of other languages. See what English is missing out on? Hell, Renard and Sebastien don't even use the informal with each other, and they seem to be pretty close. Ahem. Okay, no, the subtitles are generous but accurate, especially generous when it comes to what Renard's saying, but still accurate. And also Russian is marginally more of a compressed language than English, considering articles. Also of significant note: this is the only time Renard's ever asked to switch languages instead of simply doing so, and there's nothing I can think of that makes it any more or less polite in Russian, without context, to request a language switch rather than simply doing so. It indicates that whoever this friend is, he's probably not familiar with the same levels of conspiracy and spycraft as Sebastien and Renard and the Resistance are, whether that's unfamiliarity of specifics or degree. And judging by their appearance, they're more military-oriented than spycraft-oriented, so that's probably true. That might even explain the informal, if Renard is being treated as a lower-ranked... no, I still got nothing there. Possibly they're also somewhat out of the loop, at least as regards Renard's various activities; and finally, he may view them more as equals, or at least out of the usual Royals hierarchy. That greeting does suggest a level of intimacy and respect greater than we've heard from any of Renard's European allies, even Sebastien to some degree. Sebastien's not Renard's equal in the field, after all, whereas I wouldn't want to bet against this guys in a dark alley. Russian dude on the phone (there are at least three others circulating in the background, they seem to be in a basement/bunker of some kind, probably the former as the guy comes out into something that looks more house-like) has typical Russian fatalism for how things are. Nothing changes! All they have to deal with are puppets ruled by the Royals and I wonder if that's a reference to Putin, to some other high mucketymuck in the Russian government, or someone else entirely. They also look a bit Resistance-esque, dressed in clothes clearly intended to convey Russian winter without having to be outside in it, none of their clothes are stained or ill-fitting but it's not the same as the tailored slick costumes the Royals get. A bit rough-and-tumble, probably a Kalashnikov over the back, an impression that Renard's contact's stubble only adds to. Plus dude in a red ski mask behind him. Anyway, much though Renard might be amused and interested to collect all the current data from his Russian contact's perspective, he's got a specific purpose, and one that apparently surprises the contact. Mishkin was an assassin before he became a healer! For the FSB, of course. Mind you, the restructuring of the USSR into Russia and the KGB into the FSB happened a good 20 years ago, so that doesn't help us much with the timeline apart from making me feel incredibly old once I realize this, but it gives us something to work from. That said, the guy's heard that Mishkin became a healer, so that may have been either a several years ago change of heart or at least one that happened prior to leaving Russia. I say "may" because we have absolutely zero data on this guy other than that Renard trusts him to have data and to be willing to cough it up without asking any awkward questions. Which he isn't, which does speak to a certain level of awareness of the dangers of too many people knowing too much. Mishkin used to kill people by truly vicious radiation poisoning, how appropriate for Cold War and only marginally less appropriate in the years immediately after the Wall fell, and nobody knows how he did it. Uh-huh. Well, we have a few guesses, but it's awful interesting that, once again, Renard seems to have a contact who knows a great deal about the Royals and not much about Wesen. The fuck is this weirdass split, anyway. I demand answers.

Guy in the tub dying of radiation poisoning is not like answers but is like gross. Now that we know it's meant to be radiation sickness, let's take a look at the symptoms they haven't covered on here, including diarrhea and vomiting, both of which were probably on the too gross to add to the list. I don't understand why network TV shies away from discussion of shit but covering a guy in boils is a-ok, but sure, whatever. Also, this is acute enough that what those boils must be is, essentially, spontaneously developing skin cancer over your entire body. At a guess. Because that's not desquamation in the classic sense, and radiation sickness that causes burns usually requires exposure to a blast zone. I suppose it's possible that a Koschei could do that? This is Weird Science, after all, and we're not even touching gamma radiation aren't you glad? Nor did I just spend five minutes checking the symptoms of thallium poisoning to be sure this wasn't supposed to be that. Though I suppose in this world and with greater control, Mishkin's assassinations might have looked closer to loss of hair and slow, miserable death instead of this rapid constellation of weirdass symptoms. Anyway. They've called Oregon Health Services. GOOD. I'm sure OHSU would love to use this as a teaching tool or something. Assassin turns out to be named Alex Ranko, thank you Wu, paid in cash, Moscow DL, Hank's found Markov's waiter uniform. I continue to mutter about no patronymics, but yay! That's the sound of clues fitting together. Sadly, the next clue involves a burner phone that goes to another burner phone which has since been disposed of. Nick sounds so disappointed, not that I can blame him. Oh, there's the vomiting! Black bile! All over Hank. I guess the guy wasn't as dead as everyone thought, though how in hell they didn't hear the squelchy sounds of him getting out of the tub I will never know. Here comes the hazmat team to issue orders and take their clothes! Oh poor boys. Sort of. I mean, lifesaving measures are good, but scrubbing down in a decontam tent is nobody's idea of a good time. It might be Hank's right now, though.

Shirtlessness for all! None for Renard. That's okay, he got the Russian, and every time the Captain gets shirtless it seems to mean more trauma, so I'll take the languages and roll around in them and pass on the physical objectification. Amidst banter, they scrub down, Nick and Hank doing a good job of literally talking over Wu's head about the cause of the radiation poisoning. And, hey, about that storeroom! Maybe there's some trace evidence in there? Also maybe people shouldn't be eating food from it, I'm just saying. Insert your standard Russian jokes about eating enough of it back in the old country. Yes, the storeroom's hot. Not the way the boys are hot, fortunately, and they're left with instructions to take their damn potassium iodide pills. Which might or might not do anything against this, on account of magic intersecting with science in ways that twist our mind into pretzels, but hey. Details. Oh, and your clothes, yeah, those had to be incinerated. I assume you all have changes of clothes at the precinct, yes? Well, yes, but they have to walk through the precinct to get to them, and have more important things to worry about, which leads to a hilarious techno soundtrack and snark from an assortment of extras. The boys update Renard, with some snark from Renard about whether or not they're idiots, thank you, yes, they really should have better situational awareness than to be startled by the supposedly-dead guy getting up and walking around. Come on, now, how recent was your zombie problem? I'm just saying. At any rate, they exchange information, Hank hypothesizes quite rightly that Mishkin's sins have come back to haunt him, and they allow as how maybe they should bring him in again for further questioning. Because let us please not have a bunch of assassins, especially not if they have FSB ties, wandering around Portland trying to kill a Koschei. That way lies a lot of KI for a lot of civilians, in all probability. Speaking of, we'll stop by the hospital where Ranko is dying of radiation poisoning, looking still pretty awful but with the benefit of what I hope is a shitton of morphine to go with those bandages and that NG tube. Probably a shitton of activated charcoal, too, unless they've agreed that nothing can be done but make him more comfortable while he dies. The mystery woman stops by to pay her respects! Ranko is duly fucking annoyed by this, though also a little comforted, because he'd like her to leave Mishkin before he kills her, too. Again with the deliberate obfuscation for the eventual bait-and-switch at the end.

Our theme this week seems to be Dumbshit Husbands And Their Wives Who Suffer Them, because even at the vet's (thank you, writers, we were just saying how nice it would be to see Juliette at work again) the woman with a cat that needs sutures of some kind (those look like belly sutures, eek, poor baby) would have fewer problems if the cat were neutered. Which her husband won't allow. You hear about this more commonly with dogs, but yeah, a lot of men have weird hangups that seem to involve overidentifying with their male pets to the point of refusing to get them fixed. And I will be the first to admit that we're crazy cat ladies here at Murderboarding, but come the fuck on, my cat's ovaries are not mine and they'd make the girl-cats a pain in the fucking ass to deal with when they're in heat. Just. No. Oy vey. This does segue nicely into some girl talk to the tune of let's castrate Joe! I like the phrasing from Juliette which differentiates "Joe" from "man," in several senses of the word. I also can only approve this plan, especially with the emphasis on needing a really good alibi and picking a time when he's passed out drunk. Because even if you're going to fantasize about committing crimes, you'd better have a plan not to get caught! Women after my own heart. Juliette puts an end to this by reminding her friend that she cannot go back, not and, frankly, stay alive. In all probability. Alicia's acceptance of this and statement of no way in hell sounds like she's trying to convince herself as much as agreeing with Juliette, which is reasonable. It's hard to accept that the life you thought you had is entirely gone, even when you're walking into what will be a better life in the long term. But they go back to laughing together over only going back when he's passed out drunk with a good alibi.

We go over to interrogation, at last. Where Renard is yet again taking point, partly to continue the rapport he built earlier and partly because if Mishkin's going to go outside the lines of the law, Renard is probably the best candidate for dealing with him either in the physical or in the mental sense. Most likely the latter, thinking of the culture of bribery and corruption Mishkin's probably got in his past, but let's not rule out the former just yet. Despite that, Nick and Hank are taking their share, and there is no good cop in this interrogation. Maybe Renard. Maybe. At best we've got knowledgeable and more knowledgeable and sort of knowledgeable cops. (Nick, Renard, and Hank, respectively.) Renard lays out their cards in the interests of nudging Mishkin into making a move of his own. Which he does by way of a threat, putting on his radiation-poison woge, I still think he's some kind of Zauber variant, but alright. Nobody in here is impressed, dude. Though I hope Renard goes and starts taking the KI pills now too, because it's incredibly unclear how much radiation Mishkin's putting off when he does that even without trying to give it to people. The woge allows him to confirm that Nick's a Grimm (and offers us an increase in the implication that Wesen can see Grimms only or better when they're in woge), and his increased alertness when Nick says he saw Mishkin heal the boy does suggest that maybe even other Wesen can't seen his woge when he doesn't want to be seen. An interesting protective trait, if true. Dude. DUDE. You do not have the power here, stop trying to reclaim it, they may be nicer cops than the милиция but they're not stupid and they see what you're trying to do there. Hank is not woging for you, and his "no" could mean anything from "fuck you I'm not woging" to "fuck you I'm human," I appreciate the ambiguity of letting Mishkin sort it out for himself. And then, in a display of the greatest outward discomfort we've seen from Renard all ep and that includes the cafe with Adalind, he shifts in his seat like a schoolboy caught out and dismisses it with "it's a long story." The fuck, Renard. My best guess for this is showing weakness to get Mishkin off his guard rather than anything else, though admittedly Renard's had stressors building up all ep. Could be both! Let out some of the discomfort and use it to manipulate Mishkin into giving up more than he would if he were accurately estimating the danger to himself. Mishkin swears he has no idea of the specifics of who his would-be assassin are/were, assumes it has something to do with his FSB days but doesn't have anything else to give, he does appear either genuinely upset or genuinely good at faking it by the way his accent thickens and he drops the occasional article. He's sworn an oath to God to only do good and heal the sick, yes, you're very convincing except for that man that's dying in the hospital. What, you have that little control over your abilities that you couldn't have poisoned him just enough to make him go away and get help? He's very, very Russian about it, too, he dies a little whenever he heals someone but it's a worthy penance and soon he'll be in hell. He sounds almost happy about it! At least resigned, in typical Russian fashion. And he doesn't plan to fight any future assassination attempts so really all you need to do, Renard, is sit back and let the accomplice take things from here. Except nobody's going to do that, because they're not actually in the business of letting people run around committing murder even when it might be wholly justified. Go leave the country and be someone else's problem, is the rather clear subtext of Renard's statement, and Olga would like to! Sure, he'll send Olga out of harm's way. He makes no promises about leaving himself, and departs with further dour Russian commentary about how he may go but he's not free. Yeah yeah yeah. You're very contrite. We get it. Nobody is impressed. Hank has a phone call from the hospital! Ranko's awake, quite possibly for the last time. Poor fucker. Attempted assassination or not, nobody deserves to die like that. We stop on our way there by a table with a large arrangement of red roses and a single peacock feather among them to watch the mysterious accomplice, still in leather gloves (SMART criminal YAY), poison an entire bottle of vodka. Do I really need to spell out the symbolism of red roses and peacock feathers, or did we get enough of that when Catherine Schade was alive for it to be taken as a given? Yes? Good.

Renard takes the lead with Cancer Man Ranko as well, though that's likely practical considering he's dying and can't be relied upon for good English or English at all. The focus is entirely on Ranko throughout this scene, the best we get are blurry outlines of Hank and Nick and Renard's face in focus only when he's leaning over the man and calling him by name. Russian accented name, too. I'll spare you the fifth verse or whatever it is of the tirade of Russian naming conventions and I'm not even going to try to translate what Ranko is saying. (A: That's just because the diminutive for Aleksandr is Sasha, and there are obvious reasons not to do that. Betcha. And now everyone else is laughing as hard as we are.) Rasping. Renard's only Russian apart from Ranko's name is what sounds like asking for clarification, and once that's done we're back focusing on the cop crew again. Apparently all Ranko was able to say was that Mishkin killed his father and he's going to kill a nebulous "her" too. Woo. As we pedeconference back out of the hospital they consider who this mysterious woman could be, focusing on the wife yet again as the episode's been hinting all the while but also touching on Larissa the housekeeper and the groupies. Interesting that we never touch on Mila, but, sure, that's at least one list. The impression Renard has seems to involve Ranko being afraid for someone who's at the house right now, who's in imminent danger, and by the way Renard why are you referring to this would-be now-dying assassin by his first name? Are we overidentifying here or something? Seriously, I have no idea why he's calling the man Aleks or if that's even a character move and not an actor slip-up. Though Hank did start it, so maybe it's just switching identification of Ranko from would-be murderer to another victim of Mishkin. Either way, they're off to the Guryanov(a) residence again to try and stop what might be a murder in progress. Whose murder and by whom, well, that remains to be seen. The blocking here is also interesting in that it has Hank and Renard moving past Nick, who turns reluctantly to follow. That might be convenience of blocking, though.

Back at the mansion we're making the transition to the Olga-Boris conversation by way of the roses. The very red roses. As opposed to the white ones which took us into the conversation between Juliette and Alicia about Alicia leaving her home, now we have red roses into a conversation about another woman in a troubled marriage going home. There's an excessive amount of symbolism here that I can't quite unravel in succinct form, but let's try. From innocence and purity to, while red roses mean love, they also mean both carnal and passionate love, more experienced love. In applying them to the guest couples of the week, maybe some degree of innocence or peace within a romantic relationship to the experience of several trials through a relationship that leave wounds and scars but nonetheless, the two involved in the relationship still care about each other? If we throw in more eastern symbolism we could also include death and spirits versus life, luck, and auspicious colors. Pick your poison, folks, we're here all week until the next episode. Anyway. Boris has apparently been telling Olga at least some of what the police told him, if not necessarily all of it. He's ex-FSB, that does not incline me to believe he'd tell her all of it. And he expects her to be happy, she's wanted to go home for some time, isn't this what she wanted? Well, she also wants him to come with her, which surprises him somewhat. Does she still care? What he does, or about him, or both, and most likely both. Well, of course she does you idiot, if she didn't she wouldn't be this upset by the things you do. Enter Larissa, moment killer! Boris, you are not helping anyone's day by leching on the maid. Stop leching on the maid. Not that he will, of course. He requires vodka and pretty young women, or rather woman, or rather Larissa. Yeah, Olga still cares because that's a very bitter thrust of the bottle into Larissa's hands she gives there, along with some classy stalking out of the hallway. If anyone gives any fucks for her hurt feelings, they're hiding it well. Larissa's objection is more for reputation and scandal than anything, and she does take his hand after and tug him off with a "let's go" in English and Russian. Mostly Russian. They stagger up the stairs with him still speaking in Russian, but since he's slurring and she's laughing and they're both clattering over the words I haven't the first clue what they're saying. Engilsh or Spanish I could probably make out in that background noise, not anything else. Poor Olya has followed them out, what? To watch this and make her suffering greater? Insert yet another Russian joke here, because neither of them look like they're in the mood for jokes, even Boris looks chagrined or just resigned to his own behavior. He's also not taking this moment to go back to his wife, I note. Her eyes woge yellow, but whatever upset she's feeling she's not letting go of more control than that. Boris continues to slur his words and talk around a damn bottle, I'm not touching that translation. I will touch on vodka might be for guzzling if you're of that type who does, but probably not for guzzling at that angle, what's she trying to do, drown him as well as poison him? Badum-ching. Two drums and a cymbal (symbol?) just fell off a cliff. Yes, we're going to go through the many deaths of Grigori Rasputin because reasons and also symbols. Not that Boris notices anything wrong with her trying to drown him in vodka. He probably likes it. He certainly likes her, he's trying to bury his face in her cleavage, and she's had enough. She manages to roll off the bed, stand up, and start the "why won't you die" speech required by all who attempt to kill immortal or near-immortal things. He doesn't quite pick up on this, either because he's really drunk or because the typical Russian sense of humor, but he's at least sober enough to pick up on the fact that she's refusing him now. And when she tells him he killed her father, yeah, that's when he realizes. Also when the poison kicks in, as he rolls off the bed and staggers to his feet, coughing. ... seriously, what the hell kind of poison is that? And does it function in alcohol? (A: Tradition says she botched it! You may ask…) (K: How did this tradition get started?!) (A: I'll tell you: I don't know. But it's a tradition!) I really hope and really don't think she thought about this before she hatched this part of the plan. Apparently it was her saint's name day, which, yes, is a big deal in certain countries, mostly the Catholic (Spain) and Orthodox (Russia) ones. Not that I ever had a saint's name day. Or a saint's name. I'll stop whining now. At any rate, she was ten, she would have been having at least a special day if not a full blown party, and her father went to the car to get her a present and oh honey. Yeah, that would have been pretty scarring. I think the name he's burbling out is Sergei Kamarov? Komarov? Something along those lines, definitely a Sergei, he seems to remember this with particular clarity. And he will now try to convince her that he's not the same man as he was, he's a healer now, not an assassin. Let's all take a moment to note, though, that he's not begging for his life. Very specifically not begging for his life. He's begging for her forgiveness, which is an entirely different matter altogether and calls back to his utter lack of surprise or caring about someone trying to assassinate him earlier. Sigh. Well, they put a maid on the mantel in the first act and she went off in the third? fourth? I can't keep track of what Hollywood calls acts and what's a teaser anymore. She went off like a proper Chekhov's maid, is the point.

The cops come racing up in Renard's battlewagon, as much as one can race in a vehicle that size and a neighborhood of that type, but the intent is there! The battlewagon disgorges the usual crew, with Hank going around to the back, seriously, why are you letting him go without backup? He's the only human! Ahem. We might be a little protective of our squishy Hank and his parts around these parts. Olga answers the door, in case we needed confirmation that this rich and supposedly together household is falling apart at the seams, and while he had Larissa with him she's currently running away from the freaky freaky man who's survived drinking almost an entire bottle of poisoned vodka and now sewing shears planted in his chest. Right around heart level, too, maybe a touch low but not by a lot. Remember, ladies and jellyspoons, the way to a man's heart is between the fourth and fifth ribs and up. The cops, as they do when presented with a truly fucked up situation, attempt to separate all parties. Olga stares up the stairs in horror, apparently she really does still love her husband despite his many, many issues. MANY. BINDERS OF ISSUES does this man have. So does she, at this rate, and we're going to go ahead and have a quiet Russian literature moment over here. It's a trope for a reason, folks. Olga is not going to let Larissa go while her husband attempts to heal himself. Olga is going to woge out and rip out her throat, despite guns pointed at her. And this is what we mean by range of efficacy, folks. Hank shows up to handle Olga, which means Renard's free to try and, um. Put his hand over the gaping hole in her throat? I mean, I get that he's a) constitutionally incapable of not reacting to a crisis and b) trained to offer comfort and support even when he knows someone's going to die and there's nothing he can do, but it's somewhere between sad and morbidly amusing to watch. Particularly because he has to balance pressure of trying to stop the bleeding with not crushing her windpipe, as well as Roiz balancing looking like he's trying to stop the bleeding with not bruising the poor actress. But we all know how this ends, right? Of course right! Mishkin is going to heal her at the cost of his own life, regardless of what Olga thinks or whether or not Larissa wants to be saved by the man who killed her family. Which is in keeping with his egotistical I know how to atone best and fuck what anyone else thinks I should do attitude through this whole ep, I must say. So at least we're being consistent! Again, that's a very nasty scar, Olga is bereft, Larissa's probably in need of a blood transfusion unless Koschei healing can handle that as well and Nick's clearly not betting against it. Nor, frankly, should he be betting against Mishkin being able to survive if an ambulance gets to him in time. This is going to be one HELL of a fucking mess to clean up, and I have no fucking idea how they plan to explain the massive, massive Masquerade breach that just happened.

All of this Russian drama makes for a very somber Nick when he comes home. Juliette and Alicia are happily cleaning up in the kitchen, and they saved Nick a plate if he wants dinner. There's a moment here, too, where he's visibly pulling himself up and slapping at least a lighter expression on his face, trying not to bring his work home with him both because trying not to bring his work home with him and because there's a woman in trouble staying with him. Oh Nick honey. Juliette and Alicia are at least happy and cheerful, anyway, they had a good day with several cats and dogs and one parrot named Beauregarde, which is hilarious in a whole other way. It also seems to be cheering Nick up in a very real sense just to have this peaceful, happy domesticity to come home to. Alicia once again thanks them for being so gracious and she knows this is an imposition, which Juliette quickly shuts down with the don't be silly of a true friend. Because Juliette is, too, The Best. And getting the phone so that no one who might be looking for anyone but her and Nick to be home finds anyone but her and Nick home. Which will become relevant in a moment, right after Nick asks if Joe called at all that day and Alicia tells him and us that she turned off her phone. Good girl. Good move, better than having the phone ring and ring and scrape your nerves raw every time it does. And now, speak of evil, he's on the phone! Juliette is insisting Alicia isn't there, Nick asks for the phone so he can do the same, I really hope everyone pulled down the curtains is all I'm saying. Joe calls Nick Detective, which is a bit telling of where his head's at right now, certainly it's belligerent, asserting himself in the face of someone he sees as an authority. Nick points out that he's not talking to Joe as a cop with a very pointed "yet" and invites Joe to talk to him about his marital difficulties. Putting it mildly. Joe hangs up on him, which could be a sign that he's going to try elsewhere but given that it's a TV show is likely a sign that the call is coming from right outside the house. Poor bastards. Nick insists they can deal with it if Joe comes, and tries to reassure Alicia and possibly Juliette that Joe's just behaving as most abusers do, calling around and trying to bully all her friends. Alicia's use of "not normal" is fucking hysterical now that we know she's a Fuchsbau. Difficult to say whether Nick connects that phrase with what he saw earlier, but we certainly can, as the music goes all dramatic and we cut to Joe sitting in his car outside the house, growling and glaring himself into full woge. Oh hey, it's a Klaustreich. Way to live up to your species stereotype, dude.

Next week on Grimm! Gang warfare! Oh, this isn't going to go horribly wrong at all. Juliette jumping on and trying to fight off Joe! Joe uses Klaustreich woge! It's far less effective than he hoped! Yeah, I'm giving the gang warfare bit quite a bit of side-eye as far as representation goes, but the Juliette kicks ass bit? Oh that I am most eager for.


  1. As an admittedly very rusty native Russian speaker, I didn't take issue with anyone's grammar, although a few of the actors' accents were bad (most notably, the girl who was healed, and the not-at-all Russian dad, as you pointed out). The guy playing Mishkin sounds Russian, but Olga does not to my ear, although it could be she's just got a regional accent I'm unfamiliar with (her pronunciation of "чего ты смотришь" was odd). (As an aside, it is so, so weird to hear my name on tv, nevermind being said by Nick and Renard, aaah). I agree with you on Sasha's Russian - just gorgeous. He does have a tiny hint of accent, but it's less of an accent than I have these days; it's not bad at all.

    I don't share your wrath re: lack of patronymics. None of the Russian expats I know bother with them here - they're too confusing for Americans, and no one ever pronounces them properly. It would have been nice to see them done right (like having Renard know to address someone by first name + patronymic), but I'd rather they be excluded than be done badly, y'know?

    Also, am I the only one who found this episode title a little off-putting? I can see where they're going with it, but no. Just no.

    Oh, and just fyi - you've got a typo on до свидания ;)

    1. Interesting... Russian is, again, definitely not my strongest language, so I defer to your greater experience. :) Olga did have some accent that I heard, but the number of regional accents for Russian that I know by ear can be counted on the ears of one foot. And I'm reasonably sure that when I speak Russian I do so with a faint Spanish accent, because that tends to be my default for non-English languages, so... no idea. Sasha, of course, is a marvel of languages. Even if his German is French-accented.

      That's interesting... okay, for several reasons. And I don't mind the lack of patronymics so much except that a lot of the scenes were between the Russians themselves. Normally I wouldn't have noticed it as a curiosity except this is literally the first time I've heard any Russian speakers, Russians, or second-or-more generation immigrants, anyone not be bothered by a lack of patronymics in situations where one might expect them. Though I definitely agree, for things that I'm familiar with in that way, that I'd rather they be excluded than done badly. And I guess in that way I'm lucky. Anyway, I learned something new today! Thank you. :)

      And yeah. You're not the only one, I just. I have no idea what to say on that except "Why would you" and "stop that." Or maybe "Dude, that's so 80s."

      .... Fixed. Ahem. I swear I can type properly.

  2. In Russia militsiya was renamed to Police (in Russian: Полиция, Politsiya) in March 2011 :)

    1. Ah! Thank you for saying; my information is sadly REALLY out of date except what we get in US news reports. :)