Saturday, March 15, 2014

Are You My Mummy? Grimm S3E15 Once We Were Gods

Previously, on Grimm: Conspiracies abounded. Sebastien was made. Wu was made crazy, sad to say, by his fellow cops who are lying liars who lie. Seriously, you guys, this is just cruel, and we are not going to let it go any time soon.

This week on Grimm we're apparently quoting the Book of the Dead, because why not. Or at least the generally accepted translation. I'm not entirely sure there isn't a more relevant text in Egyptian lore and ancient literature to quote, but certainly there aren't many more commonly known and readily available in translation, so, eh. As is the convention with all things Egypt/mummy/ancient burial customs related, we start the episode with someone breaking through a wall. In Portland, though. Or at least, so we assume by the fact that there's no location caption to tell us otherwise. What wall are they breaking through, and is it within the university or outside of it? For that matter, what university? The dialogue, it tells us nothing except This Is A Secret Cache Of Cool Shit, which the visuals told us anyway. So, okay, for the sake of argument and in the interests of filling in the very large gaps the script is leaving, let's assume these are construction guys remodeling whatever university they're at (there are at least two in Portland just going off the first three Google hits, you guys, write better, more efficiently), and that getting someone from the university down means getting someone with authority to issue commands onsite to deal with this unexpected hitch in renovations. Someone in what looks like a lab coat comes down, yep, that's a lab coat. Whoever lit this scene was taking lessons from the X-Files in Don't Show Anything Clearly Ever. Blue light is for "this scene is dark!" Shadows and lack of visibility is for the monster is right behind you. (It also might just be my TV, there is a blue cast, just not enough light to make out individuals apart from their hats and coats.) Okay, no, we have flashlights to show us that the mysterious sarcophagus, er, crate, has passed through Malta, New York, Athens... Apparently we're not paying attention to any of the shiny other objects like some kind of gold cat or jackal statue over in the corner there, and a vase. Just the crate. Which we are opening in this very non-sterile environment. My inner archaeologist is twitching. But how are we to know there's a sarcophagus with an extremely valuable (and fragile. inner conservationist twitching so hard) and weird mummy inside? Well, at least there's a sarcophagus which looks to be NO DON'T OPEN THE SARCOPHAGUS. DO PRESERVATION MEASURES MEAN NOTHING TO YOU? I sob for all my training at the conservation lab. No, she's going to open the goddamn sarcophagus, making her the worst archaeologist ever, and she's going to oh-my-god at the jackal-headed mummy. As you do.

Okay, before I go twitching on here, I have to admit to something. I actually bitch about improper techniques in archaeology and social science largely because I enjoy it. Twitching over National Treasure is a fun light-on-the-brainwork past-time. (The Mummy gets a pass because that was set largely before modern conservation techniques, so they actually aren't supposed to know any better.) In this case I also bitch about it initially so that it's out there and we all know that this is not what real science looks like, not that we have any illusions that this is real science and not television science. But, you know. Now the truth is out there where it needs to be. There will likely be continued bitching and grumbling later if I think of a witty way to put it, but it's not actually detracting from my enjoyment of the episode that much. Just so that truth is out there, too.

Moving on! To other things I bitch about that aren't entirely detracting from my enjoyment of the episode, though more so than the shoddy Hollywood archaeology. Oh Drew honey. Drawing the Aswang like getting out the nightmares will help, and maybe it will, some. It won't make the Wesen be all in his head and he might run into another one later, but it might help his current nightmares some. Mostly I just want to bundle him up and cuddle him and explain that he's not going crazy and make it all better. Over at Nick and Juliette's for breakfast, Hank wants to tell him too. With less cuddling. I'm not entirely sure I buy Hank using 'beast' initially for 'Wesen' (though I totally buy Monroe taking offense because, heh, it kind of was Monroe after it was the Wildermann and the Coyotl, and also beast/biest might be some pretty nasty Wesen slang, all things considered), normally Hank is more sensitive than that. On the other hand, given that Wu's first Wesen was an Aswang none of them knew well, possibly he's thinking more about .... no, actually, this whole couple sentence exchange strikes me as awkward and slightly out of character. I don't have an alternate phrasing off the top of my head, though. Anyway, Hank raises the very good point that he wasn't in a good place after he'd seen his first Wesen, but he got by with a little help from his friends. Apparently the key element here is the bond of friendship and trust, though, and round and round the table the argument goes. No, you know what bugs me in this entire conversation? I buy that the civilians aren't thinking of this, but there is a police fraternity aspect they're not playing up here, and for once it has the option of being used for good. Rarely is the brotherhood of police used in anything remotely like a procedural (Grimm is very remotely like a procedural anymore, but hey) for anything other than the Blue Wall or the Blue Flu, but here is a great opportunity for them to use it as a bond of trust to induct Wu into the class of Kehrseite-schlichkennen. If not necessarily Hank and Nick, then bring it to the Captain and let him explain it, because if nothing else the Captain is the bastion of All That Is Rational, Calm, and Authoritative. And they could use it to explicate the maybe-sort of bond Wu and Renard seemed to share over police work in the early seasons. And it would bring Renard's The Good Captain side back into focus, which has been relatively lacking this season. And... no? No. On the one hand I buy that Nick especially is ruling Renard out as an untrustworthy non-resource. On the other hand, you guys, it would make life so much fucking easier if you would go to him and ask for his help now and again. He is extremely capable in a lot of fields. On the third hand, "Hey, Captain, can you give Wu the Wesen talk and kind of expose your entire people and the fact that you're a half-breed?" Because inevitably Wu will ask how Renard knows, and that could get messy, and Renard might well refuse. Though I would also buy that Renard, having been told that one of his sergeants is suffering the Delirium, would find an alternate method to ease him out of it.

Anyway. I promise I'm not going to spend the entire recap bitching about the lack of Renard and his competence. Which might be part of the problem, really. Renard's competence has been established and grown to the point where it's beyond the writers to handle in conjunction with the problems the heroes have to face, therefore he gets sidelined.

ANYway. Other interesting points in the round table discussion of should-we-tell-him-no-we-should-not are that Juliette places trust over love more emphatically in the context of this discussion, which makes sense and also points up how their relationship has healed somewhat since the "I can't marry you because you're lying to me" discussion. Bree Turner does an amazing job of selling Rosalee's tension over the whole subject, understandably greater than Monroe's given that she's been through some of the bigger breaches in the Masquerade. Monroe points out the very good fact that Wu started out with an Aswang which, though Monroe doesn't add this, is part of Wu's childhood boogeymen and those fuckers are scary, and being told those are real could focus Wu more strongly on the aspect of Wesen existence that means his nightmares are real, rather than on the aspect that, there are a whole race of people out there who are not like humans biologically, but generally like people in every other way, and should be reacted to as such. Rosalee's wait and see doesn't sound like she's convinced, herself, more like she's trying to avoid the awkward discussion. Poor honey.

Over in another part of the city the doctor/professor/bad archaeologist we saw earlier turns out to be Dr. Vera Gates. (Dr. Vera StarGates? Okay, I'll stop.) (A: I might not, I've been watching through the last few seasons of SG1 for mental floss lately. You have been duly warned.) With the (fictional) Meriwether University, talking about the new discovery, mummy sarcophagus blah blah blah. It turns out we're in a hotel room with two young men, one of whom is frothing about lack of respect and things being unholy. Well, this looks promising! We keep flipping back and forth between the TV and the hotel room and I'm bored with these two already. Which is not so much a commentary on the acting as it is commentary on the atrociously unhelpful dialogue. Do what? I mean, for fuck's sake, guys, you could be doing anything. It's a safe bet that what they want to do includes taking the mummy and burying it, burning it, whatever the hell, taking it out of the public eye. But the constant repetition of "doing it" "doing this" yadda fucking blah is boring, rote, trite, would you like me to dig out my thesaurus? I could go on. How do they view this? Is this a sacred duty to protect their ancestor? Is it a duty to protect themselves and other Wesen ('cause it's always a safe bet they're Wesen) from being discovered in the modern day? Protect, guard, do the job, there are half a dozen ways I can find to rephrase this bit of dialogue off the top of my head that would give us no more information than we can already extrapolate about the nuts and bolts of what they're doing while giving us a ton more nuance about why. And you guys. This is an Egyptian mummy episode. If you've seen anything at all in that genre of hilariously awful, and you've seen Grimm, you can guess the basic shape of this Wesen of the Week story. So what matters here is not the what, but the why and how. And as usual, certain of these episodes would rather focus on the LOOK AT THE COOL WESEN TYPE I MADE than on the far more interesting (in our not at all biased or humble opinion) reasons behind it.

Grump. Alright, let's have some action, I'm not quite sure why we need as much of the breaking and entering portion as we get. We needed about half of that to highlight that yes, these are fit young men (god, they look maybe 20? maaaaybe 25? certainly they don't act like they're grownup at all, all impulse and no control), and given the amount of crap they're cramming in here they could stand to milk the extra seconds for all they're worth. Anyway. Breaking, entering, sarcophagus, dodgeball with the sun - I mean, spraypainting some hieroglyphs on the wall. (Tragically, despite it being offered at our college, neither of us took Egyptian hieroglyphs, so we have no textbooks immediately to hand. And A was going to start with Sumerian anyway, though I think hieroglyphs just moved up the list.) Gee, what a shock, security's a little on edge with a new very prominent find in the lab. What a further shock, spraypainting makes noise! Yes, the can rattles pretty loudly. Yes, you're both incompetent morons. (Come to think of it, the sheer lack of competence over so much of this episode is probably why we're complaining about lack of Renard. Someone come be competent for us! Join forces with the hitpanther for maximum competence porn! Grumble.) Oh my god do neither of you know a damn thing about moving quietly? No, I see that you don't. And then this whole thing is going to go completely fucking south, because the security guard is going to go in without backup and the fucking moron of a partner will dive on the guard. With a gun in his hand. Without taking the gun away first. Dear god this is amateur hour, though at least now we have confirmation that Anubis-type Wesen still exist. Yay? Not yay is the part where we now have one dead criminal, one knocked out security guard, one knocked out security guard, and these kids are utter and complete fuckups. This is going to be FUN. Roll credits! Tonight with Hitler-Schakal tape and Renard being Galadriel with the Ring. That's not good.

And then we have Wu explaining in somewhat graphic detail exactly what he saw in that room. To a shrink. Well, it can't be the worst thing the shrink's ever heard? Though it might be one of the more coherent "unrealistic" or "fantastical" things she's heard. Probably because it's true and therefore Wu recalls it as he would a true event that happened. No, I take that back, people recall true events not necessarily as they are, but rather as they've decided they were. Witness reports being notoriously unreliable and all that, but Wu still has the conviction someone who is sure that what he saw belongs to the realm of the real and not the realm of the misfiring brain chemicals. Because, you know, it was. They also discuss some of what Wu's grandmother told him about the Aswang, because that's all the information he has to go on as far as giving definition and shape to what he saw. You guys, for this reason alone you should tell him about Wesen, his imagination and patchy memories from childhood are giving him far more scary uncertainties than anything you could tell him. Not that they know, they're not in this office. The doctor is about as helpful as she can be given both a lack of Wesen knowledge and the constraints of her narrative. Which isn't very.

Hey, speaking of people who aren't very helpful, it's Nick and Hank! Hi Nick and Hank! Grr. A dropped comment from Nick tells us that at least part of the scene where they visited him in the hospital and talked to him last week was a hallucination, and this is how you do line references, folks. Quick line, brief callback, and new information is gained for those who care to observe and think about it, and for the rest, it does no harm. Wu certainly is more talkative this time, also more coherent and chipper. A little too chipper for where and how he is, but I think we pronounce that putting on a brave face. Oh Drew honey. Nick's cheer is even more forced than Wu's, I think the order of hideously forced cheer goes Nick, Wu, and then Hank who is genuinely relieved and happy to see him looking better and has some deeply rooted empathy for what Wu's going through. Poor Wu is a little shook by the information that they were there before and he doesn't remember but, again, brave face. Bad jokes around the fact that he's not clinical, there's nothing physically wrong with his brain, chemicals, and neurons, it's just post-trauma and childhood nightmares courtesy of grandma. There's some interesting lighting effects going on here, where the background of Nick and Hank is full of patches of light and patches of shadow, and Wu is all muted lighting with no such extremes. Nick spends the vast majority of the scene in the most shadow, though, with Hank about half-lit in a way we're more accustomed to seeing Renard, actually. And a shadow of a passing nurse falls over Nick's face as they talk. Just in case we hadn't gotten the message the first few times. I'm going to go ahead and assume that was some intentional and very well done symbolism, since it's better than contemplating the hospital food Wu's threatening the boys with. Sadly, their chance to try hospital food is interrupted by a homicide. Oh darn. Wu would like a homicide! Wu is still in the hospital. Sorry, Wu.

Franco gives the boys the rundown on what happened, the specific blocking of the exchange of gunfire. The surviving security guy got one not very good look at the surviving perp, who looked like Anubis. Franco figures he must have been wearing a mask. Nick and Hank exchange the "oh fuck me Wesen again?" look. Franco also says that the witness claims the sarcophagus was open, but someone closed it between then and now. Nothing in the pockets, no identification, they'll run the dead guy's prints and, oh, hey, since the sarcophagus was open maybe you could dust the lid for prints to see if you can get the other guy's, since all the archaeologists would have been using white cotton gloves? Yes? No? No, probably to all of that, because apparently no one here remembers how to do their goddamn jobs. Some more speculation about the sequence of events, with Hank once again pulling the mantle of Most Empathic around his shoulders by mentioning the horror of having your gun taken and used on someone else. Oh honey. They go into some speculating about what the kids could have wanted in the labs, none of which have to do with Wesen because there are civilians present. In more ways than one, now that the good doctor runs in to demand an explanation for these shenanigans. Franco attempts to be a good cop and bar the entrance of civilians who will muck up the crime scene but, no. They let her in. At least her prints and DNA are already all over the lab, I guess, since CSU hasn't come in yet. That's my only upside to the scene not being cleared yet and I'm sticking to it. And again with the opening the mummy without proper procedure and I have to go sob in a corner. Everyone comments on the weirdness of the mummy looking actually like Anubis instead of having a wooden Anubis mask on its head, and the good doctor speculates about manufactured religious artifacts. You know, I could actually see that. But they haven't examined the mummy in any great depth, so they have yet to figure out why it looks like someone mummified Anubis. She also translates the spray-painted hieroglyphs as "I protect the dead" and uses it to refer back to Tutankhamun and the curse associated with that tomb and sarcophagus and mummy. I suspect this has less basis in fact and more basis in popular culture, but I don't have the relevant texts to properly translate the hieroglyphs. At any rate, the curse isn't relevant here, though it does lead me down some curious lines of thinking involving hexenbiests, their North African/Egyptian equivalents, and curses. Anyway. The doctor would like to get her lab back, and in typical Srs Archaeologist fashion gives no fucks for the bodies on the floor, or at least is relegating them to the back of her mind. (Actually, in a lot of respects Anne Dudek seems to be playing this as a Rule 63 Daniel Jackson, pre-Stargate. I am so okay with that.) The cops would like to get their murderer. The doc is more likely to get what she wants at any time in the near future. We will, however, snicker madly over how Hank immediately jumps to the horror-movie possibility after everyone else is out of the room, because he's apparently picked up some of the genre-savvy slack Monroe's been letting fall lately.

Austria! Oh crap. We will all huddle behind the couch with our various weapons of choice prepared to defend our Sebastien if necessary. Because you know it's going to become necessary. And if you don't, where have you been for the last couple episodes? Stop going to the bathroom during all the important scenes. For maximum emphasis let's get a nice long circling Dutch-angled pan up Vikto-- what the shit is that on his face. No, seriously, what the hell, did we go to Mirror Universe and pick up evil(er) Viktor? Or would Mirror Universe Viktor be good!Viktor. What the fuck. Did he find a stick-on beard or does he have magical evil magician beard growing powers, that he grew that thing between the last episode and the next? I mean, I know there are people who can shave in the morning and have to shave again by tea time, but I highly doubt Alexis Denisof is one of them. And it can't have been more than a couple of days since last week's episode, long enough for Wu to have a battery of tests and some time to recover. Call it 72 hours. So, um. I'll buy that for in the realm of the physically possible but what the hell dude. And also why. Is this a medical thing? Was this for another role and they opted just to have this in here for no apparent reason rather than make Denisof suffer through half an hour more in the makeup chair to stick on this beard for this random other role? What the fuck is going on? He looks like your stereotypical evil magician person on all the pictures. Usually portrayed by Tim Curry. I'll stop. Sebastien comes in from somewhere outside, given the trenchcoat, but that's all we know, and Viktor invites him to sit and pours him a drink with all the crisp civility of a man planning to shred someone. (Armagnac, for those keeping track of the European geography game, is from Gascony in the southwest of France, formerly part of the Aquitaine, also the region from which D'Artagnan hails. Enjoy Lion in Winter and Dumas mashups while we peel our brains off the walls. I'm sure this has little to no significance to the writers, but we'll laugh, okay? Okay.) (K: We will also start mapping the Musketeers to our conspirators, since we already did Lion in Winter back at the start of season two. Renard is Athos.) (A: Meisner's Aramis based on this ep, which leaves Tavitian as Porthos. YOU'RE WELCOME. We're the helpfulest.) We knew Sebastien wasn't long for this world, or at least not going to be in as good health as he is, the moment Renard said that line about faking his own death. This just seals the nails into the sarcophagus coffin, so to speak. Also the lighting in this scene is oddly more clear and bright than it has been the last few times we've seen this set, although I have no idea what the fuck is up with the underlighting on that stag's head behind Viktor. His Is The Fury? Viktor is the Stag in Hannibal? If I wanted to go out on a limb and do some serious mythological fanwank I'd say that makes Viktor the old High King who dies in the hunt to make the crops grow and make room for the new High King, but the wild hunt crap was a couple episodes ago. Anyway, the drink. Which may or may not be poisoned as far as Sebastien can tell; certainly he perceives enough to be wary of it and make the excuse that he's still working. Working how. Sebastien, you wear a fucking Royal ring, why are you buttling. Sebastien is doing a halfway decent job for an untrained operative of keeping the oh-shit off his face, but not good enough, and there's really no purpose to it when everyone here is all knowledgeable. Oh, hey, there's our third person for the scene, yes, Sebastien, you've been made. The dialogue is once again painfully, painfully on the nose and the delivery is… let me put it this way. I don't know if the guy who plays Danilov could do better or is phoning it in. I am increasingly convinced that Denisof is phoning it in, which is kind of tragic. He does villainous so well. I really fail to see the point of wasting perfectly good brandy on foreshadowing the waterboarding in later scenes; there could be all kinds of other ways to express displeasure and indeed to do it in a physical manner, but no, we have to foreshadow that. Yawn. Double yawn (and I know we're lucky that it is a yawn and not a cringe behind the couch) because guys, can we stop using waterboarding as our primary torture depiction on screen? No? No. At least this is the first time it's shown up in Grimm, though I severely doubt it'll be the last.

The cut from that to Renard-as-cop is one of the better ones we've had in terms of thematic continuity, though. Renard is busy juggling all kinds of things! Does not have time to worry about his pet canary this very second, but will do so after he's been briefed during this demi-pedeconference. Dead guy's been ID'd as Canadian, assorted misdemeanors associated with being part of a care-of-the-dead cult, hah, 24! I appreciate being even half-right about supposed ages on TV. Other guy's 27 (and still doesn't act it, but okay, sure, I know a few people half again that age who are about that mature), Swiss-US citizenship, wanted on the terrorist watchlist for arson, theft, and homicide. Yeah, he's just a real charmer. This is my unimpressed face. Renard, at this moment, seems to accept that they're not briefing him on a Wesen case as far as they know, I don't for a second believe he's unaware of the existence of the Beati Paoli, or at least something like them. Though he's doing a good job of not giving them any data, so maybe he doesn't! (Or maybe our continuity isn't, either in the having-data or in the giving-it-out sense.) At any rate, Hank will be the one to inform their Captain that this may have Wesen implications, which leads Nick to stand up and play alpha games. Hang on, I have to go kitchen to laugh at him for that, because even as he's got fractionally darker this season he still can't out-alpha Renard. Though I'm sure that's also to give us a second camera angle on the scene, making it less static and more worrying. Yes, having potential Anubis Wesen running around is worrying. I will now proceed to make confused-Anubis faces. For shits and giggles, really.

(For those of you who did not go to college with us, which should be almost everyone reading this, put your ring and middle fingers together with your thumb. Leave your pinky and index upright. Happy Anubis! Curl the outside fingers down. Sad Anubis! Curl one finger and leave the other straight. Confused Anubis! Hours of entertainment. You knew we were easily amused.) (K: Set! There were Set-hands, too.) (A: Anubis loves you!) (K: All of you who don't know the sign language shorthand for I love you go look it up.)

Over in the hotel room of lack of exposition Tweedledumbass is reporting to his superior, who has called in wanting to know why it isn't done. What is "it", specifically? We still don't know because the dialogue apparently is more interested in providing the rote lines instead of any form of concrete imagery or action, leaving us with very little to bond to. If there's a reason the Wesen of the Week of this episode comes across to viewers as flat and bleh for Egyptian mythology episodes, that's probably it. And there are all sorts of places to shoehorn in some concrete things. Be ready with... what? What's taking so long for... what? Do what tonight? A couple more specific verbs here, that's all I ask. I will say that's a nice touch that the allegedly authoritative phrase of "How is not your problem" comes off as squeaky and adolescent instead. But other than that this scene is so standard it was stamped in a factory on a production line of thousands per hour, and the only thing it tells us - not that we couldn't have guessed by their ineptitude - is that Criminal #2 has someone he's nominally reporting to/working with in addition to the dead partner. This is only momentous if you've got the entirety of the Portland-area guest actors list memorized or in hindsight, after seeing Alexander the hitpanther, and scenes should not be important only in hindsight.

And now for something marginally less standard: Meisner playing mountain man! All bundled up and he actually looks like mountain men I have known. (What? I live in the mountains.) The light is... odd. Do they not have flashlights in the cabin? Did he not pack a flashlight? Or did he run out of batteries? Mostly it's just odd, especially since that light isn't flickering enough to be a candle in a lantern and is probably also electric, but we'll suspend that disbelief on this here lamp-post and assume that he's using lamplight because less noticeable as Person Tromping Through The Woods and maybe the flashlight batteries died. Having solved that mystery, I have no idea what the fuck is hanging off of his belt. Dead something. And one more mystery in the woods: what the fuck with the baby crying. Well, not crying very much, more like registering its irritation while keeping its voice low enough not to be heard by anyone but Meisner, which goes right along with the rest of the creepy baby intelligence. Meisner asks the baby the obvious but still very good question, but the baby either hasn't mastered human speech yet or doesn't care to answer him. He scoops the baby up and trots off home, dead thing still flapping comically from his belt. Seriously, what the hell is that. I can't get a good enough look at its face to tell. Meisner would like to know what the hell Adalind is playing at with her baby. Adalind would like to know what the hell Meisner's smoking because her baby's right there, see? Meisner would also like to know what the hell he's been smoking because the baby is now diamonds a bundle of wood. Oh, apparently it's freezing in the cabin, the fire went out and there's no more wood so... the baby projected itself on a pile of wood so Meisner would pick it up and carry it back to the cabin? Wouldn't it just be easier to do... anything else? I have no idea, I am not well versed in the psychology of babies. I feel like that was the demon baby equivalent of making something in the video game screen sparkle as if to say "here, player, pick this up, stupid." Meisner just sort of dumps the wood into the fireplace, which is more reasonable than it sounds because he's not actually intending to light the fire just yet and he can arrange it when he does mean to, and continues on with the but no there was a fucking baby in the wood. Also with the heartbeat, which triggers the memory of Adalind wondering if she was carrying twins or a Timelord because two heartbeats. Demon baby is tired of all this jibber jabber about what is or isn't possible and lights the damn fire already. There, isn't that warmer? Creepy demon baby. This is not helping with the whole thing where we're pretty sure Frau Pech is hanging around there somewhere, although Frau Pech's spirit plus baby psychology would actually explain the way she's sort of fixated on Meisner. "Here! You fix things. Fix this thing for me, dumbass, our mother's not going anywhere." It's also totally in keeping with the Hexenbiest tradition that we've thus far seen of yanking around whoever's available and useful to fulfill whatever needs the Hexen has at that time.

Let's go to something less creepy? No, only marginally less creepy in that we hope it's been banished to the bad old days as a practice. Monroe promptly identifies that as not-human, using the Wesen term for it which he's been doing more and more lately. I think on the writers' part this is an attempt to remind us that we aren't in Kansas anymore (and seriously, if you don't have that through your head yet I don't know what show you're watching) and in-universe it comes off as Monroe becoming more comfortable with letting out who he is, all the pieces that he's still been holding in reserve around Nick. Yes, thank you, let's theorize about torturing and mummifying Wesen while in full woge, that's fucking creepy. I would like to know if this was sponsored by the Grimms' ancestors or the Royals' ancestors or both (later evidence suggests the latter), and in general I would like it to get the fuck away. Apparently torture is a running theme tonight. Great. That said, the theory that back in the Egyptian dynasty days Wesen were worshiped as gods is… actually not all that implausible. And expands outward to a number of other cultures with similarly theriocephalus deities. The ones Monroe lists off, Tefnut, Ammit, Bast, and Khepri largely correspond at least vaguely to modern Wesen we've seen - lion, crocodile, cat, and scarab beetle respectively. I will cheerfully ignore the part where the animal head portion was intended to represent traits ascribed to the deity, and to emphasize their ineffable qualities, because let's be honest: does anyone ever, ever go that route in Hollywood with Egyptian mythology? No. No they do not. But I'll leave scraps of the truth scattered around like mummy wrappings for those who want to go chasing it. Anyway, Monroe and Rosalee both clearly respect and miss those days, in some ways, and I'm torn between hey wait a minute, this is the first we're hearing of it? and, well, no, that's not the kind of thing you bring up, especially around a Grimm killing more Wesen by the week. But the important part here is, there's an Anubis alive and about, the mummy damn well did not kill those people. Which is good! I appreciate the way Nick and Hank kind of tiptoe around asking that part, it's moderately hilarious.

Monroe has found a language he does not read, for once, in a brief but appreciable role reversal with Nick; he and Rosalee do know what it means once they get the translation, however. I'll take a moment to note that the Beati Paoli is a real thing, or at least a real legend of a sect that supposedly existed in Sicily and which was supposedly set up to protect the commoners from the Inquisition and the feudal lords. Mind you, this apparently comes from a book written in the early 1900s and entirely ignores the fact that if a feudal lord is fucking up that badly then he's liable to starve or be killed or deposed or, you know, any manner of other things. There were real benefits to the feudal system on both sides of it, you guys, it didn't last that long because it was entirely broken. This has been your medievalist rant of the day and it's not even about the ep. Apparently the Mafia now uses the Beati Paoli to invoke a sense of lineage, history, whathaveyou, okay, fine. Given all this I can't actually fault the writers for taking it and making it over into a Wesen secret society. I can and do fault them for adding yet another goddamn secret society based on real history into the number of things we're supposed to keep track of. We, and they, and frankly the problem I have is not with the number (which is believable, all things considered) but with the writers' inability to juggle all these threads of who's doing what off where and when and how. It would be far, far more believable if they'd laid groundwork at the beginning for, okay, these guys and those guys and those other guys all exist and they're doing shit behind the scenes. Actions Are Taken That Nobody Sees. And then they pop out, pop back in, are visibly progressing in Doing Shit. We get that a little bit with the Royals and the Wesen Council, but has anyone heard from the Dragon's Tongue, one of the other six Royal Families, or the Verrat when they're not just doing Viktor's bidding lately? No. No we have not. Sigh. Alright, so, Monroe and Rosalee don't do more than have a moment of pseudo-privacy to flip out over the fact that the Beati Paoli is here in Portland, and Hank and Nick would like data. I will only be happy about it because it's Hank asking and he wants to share data most of the time. The upshot of this infodumping is that we've got a secret society dedicated to protecting Wesen heritage, which probably means "from you filthy kehrseite" and definitely "keeping ourselves secret and safe from you filthy kehrseite." I can't blame them for that, actually. I can and do blame them for allowing in fucking morons who can't plan an op out of a wet paper bag and end up killing people. That is not like keeping secrets. That is like drawing attention. Other things that are drawing my attention: this dialogue being overly on-the-nose. I'm sending the entire writers' room to dialogue school with the collected works of Elmore Leonard. Bree and Silas are doing what they can to sell it, but there's not much to be sold about "hey stop displaying my tortured ancestors that's just fucking wrong." There will be no trailer time for Monroe or Rosalee today, and I actually do think Rosalee regrets not getting to dig into the information about as much as she's relieved not to have to hide her reaction to "and then I killed the Wesen wasn't it great I am badass Grimm!" As all those journals end. No, they have a wedding planner coming - no, sorry, now all I can see is Alexander the hitpanther moonlighting as a wedding planner. You're welcome, internet. We do this for you. Oh, but wait, there's more! Monroe wonders if they shouldn't get the Council involved, which doesn't do much for telling us what the connections between the Council and the Beati Paoli are either now or historically. And I wouldn't lay odds against said connections not existing, because secret societies have a nasty tendency to overlap and become incestuous. Rosalee would like to avoid becoming any more of the Council's local rep than she already is (good luck with that) and points out quite rightly that it's been all over the news. And contrary to the brave-ish faces they were putting on for Nick and Hank, she wants to stay away from the Beati Paoli. I actually don't disapprove of this, I just want to know more of the why, dammit. Lose the rote dialogue over OUR ANCESTORS HOW DARE THEY and give us something emotional to sink our teeth into, you guys. They will not. They will have Monroe namedrop the episode instead. Grimms and Royals happened, Monroe, you know the answer to that highly rhetorical question. And the world got much, much smaller.

Over in the hospital, Wu is having some pretty bad flashbacks. Oh honey. Telling himself repeatedly that it's just a nightmare and just a childhood story doesn't help when all of his emotions and most of his senses are screaming that the scratching on the window is an Aswang coming to get him. Not even the logic that Aswang don't go after men helps. At least by the strictures of this version. Yeah, that brave face has a lot more cracks in it after his friends have left, and we get to see the scared, sweaty Wu in the middle of the night. At least he's not putting any holes in any closets. Nice, if predictable, use of mirrors at the end there for the reality-check.

Over at the trailer Nick and the gang are having a better night, at least. Juliette's found something in her book about the Royal Geographical Society and a dig in Karnak. Oh, let's all note that this Grimm is as prejudiced as either his chronological contemporaries or his fellow Grimms are about humans as well as Wesen, I'm not sure. But the reference to "two of [the RGS's] Egyptians" is just a tad bit biased and telling. At any rate, the Grimm thought the murderer was Wesen or that there were Wesen involved, and as luck would have it he had a camera along! Footage! Dear god, that never happens. Continuity, Nick still has the old film and projector! That never happens either! Let's see, we have footage on the Cult of Kali and Tunguska, and now I wonder if eventually someone's going to bring in the Tunguska probable-meteor event. Given the X-Files in the showrunner backgrounds, I would not be surprised. (I also wonder how the hell Nick ever leaves that trailer. I would be doing research all the time. Okay, not by now, by now it'd be all follow-ups and confirmation and it would damn well be organized by year and labeled by geography and Wesen type(s) and all manner of things. And the trailer would be moved once a week. Look, we were exposed to all the wrong - right? - kinds of fiction growing up.) Oh, hey, film canister marked with a hieroglyph, there we go. Same type of sarcophagus, probably for the purely logistical reason of not having to make props find two suitable sarcophagi, and some banter about how Nick should never, ever do the beard thing. I like this plan. Someone tell Viktor. The footage continues, the beardy Grimm is clearly torturing someone oh hey Anubis thingie. I guess this is because the Schakal didn't look much like an anubis type jackal. Then again, Anubis type jackals are a little smoother than normal jackals so, eh. I have no idea what the hell that thing is apart from being termed Anubis-type Wesen, but I'm sure they have a name for themselves and I'm equally sure it isn't the name of the god they were apparently tortured and mummified into resembling. This is colonialism by Grimm somewhat on the level of calling the Dine, Navajo, I believe. (Any of those people want to come up and explicate that further, please feel free.) Not that I necessarily expected this to make the cut in this episode, although it would have been nice if it had and nicer if it had replaced some of the irritatingly standard useless speechifying. It is, however, a very common thing for colonialist or domineering cultures to pick their own names for the people they are dominating, usually based on very little in the way of the culture's own self-identity. So let us not be at all surprised that the Grimm's diary refers to the Wesen as an Anubis, too. And let us all sit and ponder what the hell they are to themselves. Or is that just me. I'm pretty sure it isn't just me wondering by what mechanism Nick can see woge on old but still ordinary film, and Hank and Juliette can't. That's. Interesting. Part of me wants to know what the hell scientific rationale there is for that. Part of me is staring at myself wondering why the hell I'm trying for scientific rationale on a TV show that has shapeshifters and magic potions. Let's combine the two parts into calling for Monroe to look at the footage so we know if Wesen see it too. Because who's conveniently not in the trailer? Any Wesen! Although if Grimm really are just another Wesen type then, well, what is that, millennia's worth of instilled self-hatred? Like that one episode with Chekhov's intern, only thousands of times worse. I digress. Badly. Juliette continues to read the journal and it turns out, oh this is even worse, that pharaohs tortured hundreds upon hundreds of slaves looking for one who was this Anubis-type Wesen so they could torture and mummify them in full woge. Alive. I'm going to keep my digression on the brains-through-the-nose part of the mummification and wondering how that affects woge to myself. I will, however, remind everyone that we did have that one Wesen hunter (in both senses, a hunter of Wesen who happened to be a Rabekondor) who had that potion that kept Wesen in woge long after they died. So, um. Ew. Pharaohs mummifying Anubis-type-Wesen to ensure their status in the afterlife, etc, people are horrifying. Grimms, humans, Wesen. People can be immensely horrifying. Hank the Empathic One offers sympathy for anyone who would want to give their ancestors a proper goddamn burial, Juliette joins in, Nick is still sitting in his morass of "dear god my ancestors were horrible people." Because yes, it does end in "And then I killed the Wesen and lived happily ever after." Much to Juliette's disgust. You and me both, honey. Well, now they can extrapolate that the one guy was at the university to steal the mummy and since he didn't get it the one time he'll probably try again, therefore warn the good Dr. Gates. Not that she'll heed that warning, but duty calls.

Speaking of warnings, who could that possibly be at the door to the spice shop? Monroe would like to file a complaint. So would Rosalee, though a more tolerant one because she's gotten used to running the shop at this point. (I still wonder what the hell she was doing for work up in Seattle before Freddie was murdered. I don't remember if they ever said, but I don't think they did.) Hi Alexander! You're being an overbearing ass again. Still. I see age does not wither this one. (What. Whaaaat.) Yes, Monroe knows exactly who you are, stop that shit. Also, and I'm sure he's doing that on purpose, people generally don't relax when you smile with your teeth like that and order them to. Be less of a suavely creepy fucker, hitpanther. Rosalee informs us, not that we doubted, that she damn well didn't call the Council so what the fuck, asshole. In approximately that level of hostility, only leavened by the knowledge that yes, he could and would kill her if he felt it was necessary to his job. Sigh. He wants to talk to Nick! That's. Interesting. Specifically he says the Grimm, even though I'm sure he knows, oh, everything publicly available about Nick at this point and probably a bunch of stuff that's not (and possibly some things Nick doesn't know about himself. probably, actually, considering how much shit people are not telling Nick, which is probably not lending itself to his own willingness to share data, I will grant). At any rate. We'll close out that scene with Ominous Grimm Note #2 and come back from commercial… the lab with the CAT scan. Jackal scan. Whatever you want to call it. Yes, I had to. Still trying to come up with a scientific explanation for where the hell a human-shaped body packs all the extra mass that goes into a Wesen like that's head. Look, if they're going to be poking around Wesen with scientific equipment, I demand at least suitably scientific sounding implausible explanations! No, all we have here is a mention of genetic mutation and a brief argument between Nick, Hank, and Gates about whether or not she and the mummy are safe enough. Spoiler: Nick loses. It's not quite as stubbornly ridiculous as it sounds, she does mention hiring extra security, and there's an element of realism to this, as strange as it sounds. Although Gates is currently acting as a forensic examiner and conservationist, I think, a lot of the most coveted archaeological digs exist in places that are massively unstable, politically. Getting shot at or almost shelled can become commonplace if one works in the right archaeological field, and one would-be thief with a gun isn't nearly as scary once you've grabbed all the research in sight and fled with a guerilla army shooting after you. The only other note I have for this scene is in the low lighting which, strangely enough, is not all that X-Files, their science scenes tended to be almost too lit. And in the camera angles, which come down over Anne Dudek's shoulder and up over Nick's shoulder to minimize the height difference. Or lack thereof. Nick doesn't have too much time to brood on the good doctor's safety, though, immediately after she ditches him to go back to sciencing Monroe calls with the bad news that Alexander the hitpanther's back. He wants to meet! He's very urbane and British and purry about it. Monroe is on edge and Nick has this look of "oh for fuck's sake" that I entirely agree and sympathize with. I also feel like that's an actual smile the hitpanther is wearing. Mostly because he has all of the psychological ground here, and is sprawling all over it and making it his own in true feline fashion. I will say, for all that we've been bitching about the dialogue here and for all that the end of this scene does have most of the standard markers, it also serves to point up how commonplace this is becoming for people like Nick (not Wesen) and Hank (not anything inherently connected). They can just have a quick exchange like "What's that about?" "Wesen Council." "Now what?" "Alexander's back." and have it be understood in all its implicative glory.

More phone calls of significance! Renard has his concerned and brooding face on at his desk, and okay, this isn't a phone call, it's a failure to connect via phone. Notably, Sebastien assumes that if you have this number you don't need his name; that may be a cultural thing? I don't think any non-English European culture phone etiquette differs that drastically, but generally you say "you've reached $NAME, I can't come to the phone, leave a message." This one's chopped the first part out. There's no indication of how long it's been for sure, but given the approximate timeline we're working on from the birth, probably a couple days. Which means Renard's getting worried at the lack of check-in, worried enough to call and risk exposure if Sebastien's phone has fallen into other hands. At least I'm going to go with that, or he's still able to use a smartphone as a burner phone as we saw in previous episodes, instead of a sudden lack of competence, because Sebastien has always seemed like the closest thing to a friend our poor Captain has. No, we cut straight from there to where they're torturing Sebastien via waterboarding, yes, yes, your foreshadowing wasn't. I will say, this does seem to confirm that Royals or at least Sebastien either are human or don't have the same woge response as Wesen, because if ever there was a time to woge, this would be it. Christian's selling the torture about as well as he can, given the shakycam and short nature of the scene (and I'm assuming it's also short to avoid, you know, harming the actor, because that'd be bad) and this dialogue is… marginally better? It's still villain moustache-twirling cheese, but at least there are amusing puns about fluid and choking, yes, thank you for that, Viktor. None of it's surprising in the least, it's there to play mark off the plot coupon because this is what we all know has to happen now, and it manages to serve as an emotional punch largely through the force of Christian's acting and the fact that we might be a touch attached to the resident castle canary. Yes, yes, cough up all your secrets and you might live long enough to see the looks on the faces of the people you betrayed, Sebastien. 'cause that's about the sum of it. I'm pretty sure Viktor's not going to trust you as a triple agent; even if he were trained to play that set of cards it's one of the hardest sells both in fiction and in life. And he's not trained at all. There's no core of resistance, if you'll pardon the pun, under the fear and pain. Hands off our Chirpy, you fuckers.

Let's have something much more pleasant. Juliette's come to visit Wu! Aww. She wants to talk to him about what he's going through, to empathize with him and tell him that she's been through something similar. Basically to skirt around telling him while reassuring him that he's not completely losing it as much as she can. She's actually in the best position to do this, too, since Wu was there for much of her own breakdown, though not in a position to know anything substantive either about what was actually going on or what would have been put about as was going on to her friends and other non-schlichkennen. He knows enough about what happened to her to be convinced that she's telling the truth both that something was happening to her and to be assured of the emotional truth of her words, that she's describing a period in her life when she felt that kind of life-chewing terror. He also gets to hear about her memory-visions, which is something he didn't know about. And while it's not exactly as insubstantial as a metaphor, it does apply to his current situation in a vividly metaphorical way. Juliette brings the message, not explicitly (thank god) but with her explanations and sympathy, that she has been in a situation similar to where he finds himself now, and yes, it was scary and horrifying at the time, but she did move past the fear. And, let's all note this, she doesn't even tell him it's not real, or that it is real, neither betraying a confidence nor lying to him in a way that will surely come back to bite Nick and Hank later. She's reframing his situation in terms of, what happened isn't the issue that needs resolved so much as his response to it, his overwhelming emotional response and his inability to direct or alleviate it. About all that's missing is the Litany Against Fear. I'm not even kidding, that's essentially what she's advocating, face your fear, let it move past you, through you, and away, and when it is gone, etc, you will remain and you will be stronger for it. It's not quite the solution we were hoping for, but as far as unexpected resolutions go, it's a damn good one. My only quibble with this otherwise excellent scene is what the hell is Juliette doing at the hospital so late? I don't think psychiatric hospitals have visiting hours that late.

Visiting hours at the Monrosalee household for itinerant hitpanthers never close. Alexander, I'm glad that you have any tells whatsoever, but oh my god dude turning away and shifting from foot to foot when you lie about how long you've been there? That's a pretty big tell, as these things go, even if Nick could maybe trace it back to some kind of feline pacing impulse. I will now die laughing over how asking Grimms for help depends on both circumstances and Grimm, because what's coming across to me is not so much "well we don't think you're a bad guy for a Grimm" as it is "you have this whole law-and-order thing and we are totally gonna use that to pull the wool over your eyes this'll be fun!" Hitpanther Alexander (sorry, that's his name now, we'll go ask IMDb to make the appropriate changes) is here to deliver a lecture about how Hermann's Beati Paoli and they know about the case and, well, they don't usually get involved with Beati Paoli affairs but now they give a damn. This is all delivered with the sort of bland Bond-James-Bond trust-me-no-really face that I instinctively bristle at and Nick will also bristle at. Not in the same direction that I would, I'd do more of the "and what are you not telling me? no, seriously, I accept that there are valid reasons for what needs to happen and if you can make the Wesen mummy go away that's all well and good now can we actually work together please?" type of thing. Possibly showing fewer cards, but less alpha-hostile and more "look how tame I am right up until I rip your throat out." Ahem. Then again, that's a more this-society-feminine approach to the problem, and Nick has a good deal vested in appearing alpha and masculine. Including the whole aspect where the last time the hitpanther was in town he tried to kill a kid and nearly succeeded. 'cause the Council's a bunch of fuckers, is why. I do wonder how much of them coming to Nick is because they sent the Krampus case on over, that would be a nice bit of continuity and I wish there were a line reference here to confirm it. Grumble. No, they want Nick to do the killing! Because he's a Grimm! Um, dude, did you miss the part where he doesn't work for you? No, no, Alexander's here to yank Nick's chain a bunch, including (if you missed it) the look around at Rosalee and Monroe about protecting the Wesen community earlier. You smarmy fucker. I'm impressed, though, this is pretty slick as such manipulations go. Not that they have to be in order to fool Nick. We, of course, can match up this supposed phone call asking the Council for help with the phone call of zero useful exposition in the hotel room of same, which bore no resemblance to asking for help and much more sounded like asking for no interference. Nick can't, but he's at least smart enough not to trust the hitpanther! Good Nick. Yeah, that's a lot of lies being crammed sideways into half-truths and ingrained prejudices, which is, as we all know, one of the most effective ways to lie. Monroe and Rosalee are weirded out by this, enough to mention it and enough for Monroe to half-hopefully suggest that Nick beat the shit outta Alexander some more. Aww, don't smack the hitpanther around too much, lookit that face. Much to absolutely nobody's surprise, Hermann's method of "dealing" with the problem will be to take a hostage with a big fuckoff hunting knife. Poor Doctor Gates. She and Daniel Jackson can go out for drinks to commiserate after this, right? That seems reasonable. They could use some more archaeologists in the Stargate program anyway, and slipshod field methods aren't actual a downside when you're being shot at on the regular. Ahem.

After the break it turns out they've been splitting themselves up by duties, or at least Nick and Hank have. Hank took the surveillance on Alexander, Nick took trying to contact Gates, which went about as well as Renard's phone calls to Sebastien. For similar reasons! It's like a theme or something. Or at least a trend. Alexander's rental has an APB out on it, don't approach just observe, so at least they have some means of keeping sort of tabs on him. I am fully prepared to believe that Alexander could shake any damn tail he wishes, including his own, but it's the limit of their legal powers and they are (mostly) good cops. Even if Monroe still looks like he wishes they could all just go out and beat the snot out of the guy. I sympathize, Monroe, but, cops. The question is, why is Alexander here, now? Until the question is, is he really just here, now. Go go Nick, who is toppling the dominoes on this one, and it's time to follow the money rental car. I deeply appreciate whoever (writers? Bree? Director? some of all three?) gave Rosalee the diffident but insistent don't forget that the respect due to the dead Wesen is important to us line. Because that's what she actually means. And, okay, sure, that's what Hermann is after too, except Monroe and Rosalee's methods involve gently nagging Nick, and Hermann's methods involve holding a gun on a terrified university professor as she makes a not at all convincing phone call pulling the extra security detail. I'm not sure if the letting the person on the other end of the phone know she's going to be at the lab is her way of saying "please come rescue me," or Hermann's idea by way of pre-emptively explaining her presence at the lab late at night, or what. I'm probably overestimating someone here, I'm just not sure who. Either way, that will at least be a useful breadcrumb later.

Our third scene with Sebastien for the episode (drink, for the whumping if not the rule), of course, comes after the torture has concluded in the physical sense and leads us back to that same country road. In daylight this time, but the curve of the road looks close enough to be accurate. That would be several henchjagers, one Viktor in a… a newsboy cap and that Evil Wesley beard? What the fuck, seriously, who decided on costuming for this? He looks like a dissolute rich asshole hunter, which is I suppose entirely apropos, but wow. Mostly I want to laugh instead of hide. Oh look a bunch of automatic and/or semiautomatic weapons, I can't really be bothered to dig around for what they are right now. The important part is they're big and intended to put many holes in people at once. It takes a bit to get the British slurring out of Denisof's voice but he's muttering about how they can't have gone far. One of the henchjagers woges out to catch the scent, another passes out guns, the camera moves back and forth between guns in trunk and guns in hands to give us a sense of urgency, Viktor will be the icy sea of calm in the middle of it all. One of the goons will stay behind with a silenced pistol to shoot Sebastien in case he tries to escape or in case they don't find them and they decide they need to shoot him for that instead. Well, that's all very charming, I'm sure. I'm skipping the boilerplate villain speech some more because it's so very boilerplate villain. Someday they will give us a Royal again who's interesting and not Sean Renard, but that day is not today. I will say this is a nice, quiet callback, however unintentional, to the discussion between Sebastien and Renard over, some people die under torture, others break. Clearly he's one of the latter. It still hasn't paid off with dividends in the back half of that line about Meisner's methods and vagabond days in Vienna, but on that note let's go bug him.

Meisner is roasting a… rabbit, I think that's supposed to be? Small woodland creature, anyway, over the fire. Adalind seems much more tame having given birth and regained her powers. I'm extremely wary of what happens when she decides to bite again, though I will grant that right now she's probably experiencing some of the first casual kindness without expectation of her body or Hexen talents or both in trade that she has in all of her adult life. But it does pry a thank-you out of her, and some dregs of maternal instinct out of her. Okay, no, that's never not going to be disturbing. Mainly because demon baby; we've long suspected Adalind had a gentler side that needed the right contact to bring it out, but let's not go gaga over the demon baby, Adalind, fuckssake. No, she'll ask questions and try and connect with Meisner! Whether because she feels some genuine connection or because she wants to ensure he stays on her side, and making him feel like she values him and getting information out of him is a way to do that, or both, who knows. Right now it looks like genuine connection. We get a tiny bit of information! He had a girlfriend who was killed - tortured and - by the Royals some two years ago, and he still wants revenge for it. Whether or not this is how he got into the Resistance in the first place, or maybe he followed her in, or maybe they met in, WHO KNOWS. Not us! Dammit, backstory snippets, be more informative. They will not! They will be interrupted by the phone, Renard is calling and that can't be good. Meisner's already half-pacing and preparing to go the second it rings, I swear. At least that much he's competent at, knowing when he's in danger. Renard fills him in on the situation with Sebastien so far as he knows it (out of contact for two days is a good reason to be worried) and since Sebastien's the only one who could so much as point them in the right direction, yeah, it's time to leave. Possibly the second most interesting thing after Meisner's girlfriend to come out of his scene is the revelation of ongoing assets of Renard's in Zurich which, it's implied, he can use to get them out of the country and to safety. Whether said assets are monetary or personnel or both (probably both) (Maman Renard is that you?) is left as an exercise for the viewer.

Over at the hospital Wu is considering Juliette's words in a chair and what looks like a meditative state. Over at the professor's house Hank and NIck are considering their options given what they've been tasked to do by the Council, by their jobs, by their own consciences, by their friends' feelings. On the one hand, Hermann definitely needs arrested or dealt with in some way. Whether or not he's Wesen, he's a murderer and a thief and that needs to be addressed. And on the other hand he is Wesen, which means there are rules that the Council imposes at the very least, which need to be considered, and that's not even going into the possibility of risking exposing other halpless sergeants to the Delirium if Hermann decides to woge in front of them too. Certainly he hasn't been shy about it before, see also: security guard trying to figure out what he saw. Oh, hey, more complications! Alexander's been here for three days, not three hours like he said. So let's go find the sneaky fucker, and go back over to the robbery/hostage situation in progress to check in on them. Gates is still alive, Hermann is still holding her at knife point, the security guard does not see a thing. Oh look, he's being distracted from going down the hallway that Hermann and Gates are hiding in by the knocking of the cops at the door. I won't say that's the kind of thing that only happens in television, I'll just imply it very hard. Okay, not only, but it is very blatantly narrative convenience. At least, as far as uses go, it's not a bad one. The security guard brings them up to speed with a dutch pedeconference on Gates calling off security, saying they'd caught the guy, and saying she was going to be in the lab tonight, and off they go! That was some very dynamic camerawork there, guys. All that's missing is the badass 80s soundtrack. Hermann and Gates move further into the building, and Hank's got a message! Alexander's parked behind the building! The jar has still not hatched a Horseman! Fortunately neither Nick nor Hank have their surprised faces either. Nick just confirms that they need to keep eyes on Alexander and off we go to the other other group of people worrying about everyone's favorite hitpanther.

Monroe and Rosalee are, well, Monroe's pacing and wondering how the hell the Council knows about them and Nick. Um. Dude. Rosalee will play the voice of reason here and remind him about that Grausend case. Not to mention the fact that they're the bloody Council, they probably have a whole network of spies, and, Monroe, your fiancee is the Portland Council liaison. Which means she, you, and all your kin are, if the Council works anything like our government (and many other governments) subject to background checks. Which definitely means finding out about the Grimm, Grausend aside. That said, Monroe has some very valid concerns, like being the middle-Wesen between the Council and Nick-as-Grimm rather than Nick-the-person. And, oh yes, an assassin wandering up to the house and/or store at any hour he damn well pleases. Though, honestly, I'm slightly surprised/impressed that he didn't just break in and hover around in the living room. Alexander seems more polite than that, though. Hey, speaking of whom, it's Nick, to talk to Monroe about Alexander! We don't get a clear idea of what Nick wants him to do about Alexander, just that the hitpanther's involved in some way and Rosalee would rather just stay out of the whole business. I sympathize, but this probably will be fairly harmless. It's a simple extrapolation that Nick's calling on them to keep an eye on Alexander, a task he's had Monroe doing since the third or fourth episode.

Back over to the lab! Which is arguably the least interesting plotline of this episode, but we do need to conclude it. Gates attempts to plead science with Hermann, who is not having with that, and Nick and Hank show up just after he woges but before he bites her throat out. So, just in the absolute last nick of time, then, pun halfway intended. Sadly, Hermann's woge act doesn't go so well on Nick, and they throw each other around the room a bit before Nick finally flings the guy into a wall long enough for Hank to draw down on him. Hermann de-woges, concedes not so much defeat as that these two have gotten the drop on him, but he still won't relinquish the goal of an honorable burial for his ancient ancestor. There's not really an argument against that that doesn't make the arguing party look like an asshole, either. So, Nick and Hank don't argue, they just arrest him for the assault, attempted theft, and murder he committed! Because that's what happens when you do bad shit. Bad Wesen. No cookie or vengeance for you.

The boys shepherd out the suspect and their witness and look, Nick, this is a good instance for befuddling people's memories about what they did or didn't see. People who would want to expose Wesen to the world, people who only caught the briefest glimpse before being knocked on the head, who really did get knocked out. You can argue all kinds of interesting things there. My main argument is that with as many fucking stupid Wesen around who throw out full woge at the drop of a sarcophagus as there seem to be, how the fuck have they stayed largely secret this long? I'm just saying. Grumble. Doctor Gates will proceed to largely talk herself out of what she thought she saw while Nick manages to lie with the truth. That's an improvement, of sorts! Definitely leading the witness, but there's nobody else around there to see what they did. Hank comes up to confirm and since the poor woman's more upset over her research (and its imminent loss) and the concussion and less screaming about theriocephalus deities are real oh my sweet and fluffy Anubis? Yeah, we'll take that as a win and as someone who wanted to be talked out of it. (Which is at least half the answer to my semi-rhetorical question.) But wait! Hitpanther and his motives are still in question, as well they might be, so the boys will go back to the crime scene and see if Alexander managed his mischief while everyone was out of the lab.

Viktor and his henchjagers have arrived at the cabin, which, if I were Meisner I would rip their throats out just for disturbing my sanctuary. I never claimed not to be bloodthirsty, okay? And by air in the fireplace still being warm they can't have left too long ago, so go fetch, henchjagers. Far is a relative term for which we have no bearings; Meisner and Adalind are tromping through the woods with the babe in Meisner's arms, oh god that's adorable. The allegedly feared wild card has a squishy gooey inside. Okay, and it's also practical, given that Adalind looks like she's about to fall over. For emphasis of this, she'll now trip over a root branch! Claire Coffee would like us to know that that's a trick that works every time. Claire Coffee, are you shipping Adalind/Meisner? We think you are. Room on that ship for a few more? One of those standard exchanges that at least gives us a bit of bonding/sympathy from Meisner to Adalind, and while I'm at it, where did Meisner's thick as two bricks accent go? Dropping it under stress and with volume was understandable, but it seems to have stayed dropped. Was his accent sacrificed on the altar of clarity of speech? If so I will take that and bless Puckler and all his good work. It's just drawing my attention is all. On they hike!

Returning to the lab, the stone has been rolled away and the tomb is empty oh come on like that wasn't a complete gimme. Someone is a bad, hilariously blasphemous person. Just in time to have the phone ring, and why is there no CSU on the scene already to take the physical evidence that'll back up cop statements? Because there should be. Oh well. Hi, Rosalee, yes, Alexander's loading the Anubis into his car, now that they have confirmation Nick will run out and be more alpha than thou at him. That's actually a good use of resources, since Nick's fought Alexander before and presumably knows his capabilities, and definitely knows he can beat Alexander. That said, Nick, stop moonlighting around without asking your backup to be backup. Especially when there's an audible grunt of ow my aching body parts as he gets into Alexander's battlewagon. I mean, good on Giuntoli, but bad on Nick. It's unclear, by the way, if Alexander is here as a Council representative or as a member of the Beati Paoli; his "we" is singularly uninformative here. Thanks for nothing. This is one instance where I will readily accept the ambiguity, I just wish they'd done more with it with the one-ep guys. Nick is playing up the bad cop/bad Grimm aspect in that they could've just told him what they wanted, and no he hasn't agreed in the tone that implies violence, but see, Nick does at least sort of understand. If nothing else he understands it's important to his friends and he's not going to let his macho issues with the hitpanther get in the way of this. That's surprisingly mature of you, Nick. Now apply this to your dealings with the Royals before acting on emotion gets you and yours anywhere from whumped to killed. I lie, of course; we could use some more Nick whumpage this season.

Bonfire! Part of me cringes at the loss of knowledge. The rest of me is absolutely in agreement that this was a terrible, terrible part of history that should be consigned to flames and treated with the reverence it deserves, not shown off on display. The Wesen and humans (or non-obviously-woging person, whatever the hell Nick is) stand a little apart. Wesen and cops, we'll go with. And then they all woge in tribute to their ancestor! It's kind of touching and now I cannot take Alexander the hitpanther seriously ever again, because that fluffy panther face. Don't mind me, I'll be over here snickering. No, it's totally touching, Hank! You hush and be nice. No, I kid, this is one of those kind of sublime in its ridiculousness moments. Nick's only defense is that they don't do it every day. I will now facepalm at the silly dialogue some more.

Hank and Nick are back at the hospital, and this time they are there to take him home! I hope someone's been feeding his cat, come to think of it. Wu is back to his snarky, excuse me, sardonic self, correction as per Reggie Lee, and there is a brief dialogue where he doesn't so much credit the doctors with his recovery as say he's decided it wasn't real, it was all in his head, and that's how he's dealing with it. That is, as he says, where it's going to stay. Oh honey. Let's just hope for everyone in this hallway's sake you don't see another Wesen in woge, because I don't think anyone will be very happy at the massive amount of lying Nick and Hank have been doing. The look they exchange behind Drew's back, along with the slowly lowering toward something not-quite-dutch camera, suggests that that's an overly optimistic hope, either the part where it stays in his head or the part where he doesn't see another Wesen. Hoo boy.

Next week! Carnival time! And thank the gods not Carnivale time, because I'd hate to see what that mythology mashup would look like. Though this mysterious key-connected artifact being something that makes Light and Dark Avatars would actually make sense. Anyway, circus folk. Because what this show needed was more traveling folk stereotypes. I am more excited about the upcoming Mama Burkhardt being the one to rescue Adalind and Meisner and the upcoming reunion of Nick, Juliette, and Adalind, complete with one of the best comedic line deliveries (Claire's) anyone's had this entire series. And does Renard get to see his demon daughter? Please say yes.


  1. It would be a bit off, after so much time setting up what you point out is a highly unusual relationship for Renard, to kill poor Sebastian at this point. I want to know how, in the backstabbing-heavy environment of the court, these two came to trust each other so much; and I want to know just how far Renard will be prepared to go now that Sebastien's the one who needs help. That, more than anything, gives me hope here; such a bond is surely diamond dust to Renard. Even though the baby is top of his list, Sebastian's plight might be one of the few things that could induce him to seek an accommodation with the new Royal order. Cue scenes between Renard and Viktor, which I really want to see...

    In my none-too-humble opinion, Renard's character would benefit more from a living friend than from yet more angst and reason to loathe his family. Sebastien's death any time soon would be a wasted opportunity - which, sadly, given Grimm's record, doesn't by any means rule out the possibility of it happening.

    1. It would, but it would also be something very often done to show us how high the stakes are, etc. I hope they pick something different to up the stakes, mainly. As far as how, that is a VERY good question, especially since Renard left the court when he was thirteen. Ostensibly. There's also the henchguardsman Woolsey to consider, considering he had to have met Woolsey after he and his mother fled. Unless they're playing merry continuity havoc with Renard's backstory and not keeping track of timelines, there's a lot of Renard making friends who are also in the Konigsberg court, who he can't have met from actually being in the same area/room/castle.

      Anyway. Yeah, I do hope this gets an emotional and vicious response from Renard. He's already got Meisner on the baby situation, so maybe next episode we'll see him deploy to Sebastien? I think, purely in a logistical sense, they'll save any Renard-Viktor dealings for the finale. Also if I were Renard, I'd want to deal with Viktor for Sebastien or the baby from a position of greater strength than he's in at the moment. Though there's always a bluff. I bet Renard's a good bluffer.

      I entirely agree with this opinion. Renard needs a bigger damn circle of trust and fellowship, and it doesn't look like he's getting that anytime soon.

    2. I think it's clear that Renard did return to Vienna and have dealings with the court as an adult, although it seems they didn't end well and he certainly never penetrated far enough to cross paths with Eric again. But my best guess would be that Sebastien's been a part of it all his life.

      I'm sure Renard would indeed prefer to be in a stronger position before dealing with Viktor, but Sebastien doesn't have that kind of time and, as you say, I'm sure our Captain is more than proficient at making the best of the hand he's got.

  2. So, as someone who DID do the intro to Middle Egyptian at University: the hieroglyph graffiti left at the university is actually very well done - it reads, from right to left, "khu=i sb-n ka=f" I'd translate it as "I protect him whose soul has travelled". I could not verify if this is a Quote from a Tut-ankh-Amun inscription, but I strongly suspect that they had an Egyptologist on the payroll, for the hieroglyphs at least. Later on, the film spool marked with hieroglyphs reads "Anubis", so this fits, too.