Saturday, May 17, 2014

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes Grimm S3E22 Blond Ambition

Previously on Grimm: parents drama! Wedding drama! Royals drama in the form of a target-fixated Hundjager! Baby drama mama drama Viktor's face is getting ripped off. Ahem. It's a highlights reel of all the doom, gloom, and poor decisions people have made over the back half or so of this season. Awesome. There's no possible way this can go wrong. Also, let's just stop briefly to note that regardless of Claire Coffee's hilarious Twitter campaign, Adalind doesn't actually know that Nick stole her baby. As far as she knows, the only person she has to blame for this directly is Renard; she can blame Nick and Juliette for not helping her but really, what fucking reason has she ever given them for wanting to? Yeah, not so much.

We open with a quote from the Robber Bridegroom, one of the less obscure quotes and therefore one that leaves me bouncing in my seat going OH GOD WHY. For those of you who maybe weren't scarred by this one as children and/or haven't read Margaret Atwood and/or Clarissa Pinkola Estes (look, my shelves are full of all of these things, what do you want, a picture? though I can only find Handmaid's Tale at the moment), Robber Bridegroom is about a woman who gets betrothed to the leader of a gang of robbers and murderers, unbeknownst as such to the woman and her family. He then asks for her to visit him in the forest (it's a metaphor, go with it) where he lives (like I said) and then plans to kill her, yadda, she gets protected from this fate by an old woman who hides her, then a finger with a ring on it from their latest murder spree lands in her lap, then she has proof and she gets to go home and tell this story as if it were only a story, and finally produces the smoking, uh, finger. Happy ending for everyone but the band of robbers! What's actually way more interesting to me is the Margaret Atwood retelling of this, which flips the gender to the robber bride, and we have a story about three women who are thus influenced by a fourth who's seduced their lovers away from them via a protracted game of con artistry. (This is a very, shall we say, surface level analysis of the plot; as ever with Atwood there's a TON in there but this is not an essay on Atwood.) And whether or not the writers' room was aiming for this, I think we can all agree that Adalind is a classic example of the Robber Bride, because we don't really have a robber bridegroom. Nobody's going to take Rosalee away and (try to) kill her, so let's can that line of thinking now.

Putting all of that to the side for a few moments, we have the rehearsal dinner! No, you didn't really think they were going to cold open on the wedding itself, did you? Though that would've been kind of cool, it would've robbed us of the chance to see a few more developing relationships. I'm torn, here, because Monroe's dad seems to have made his peace with this relationship and with Rosalee largely off-screen, and while I know that's down to actor availability they could've dropped a line reference or two to, yeah, been exchanging emails/letters/phone calls with your father, we're getting along better, so on and so forth. Certainly there have been a few eps that were sufficiently filler that something like that could've gone in there. Still and nonetheless, the actors are doing a decent job of selling it, so I'll pass over it for the moment and come back if need be. Everyone thinks Monroe and Rosalee are adorable! Including the minister they've got doing the ceremony, who's making truly awful jokes. I can't actually blame this one on the writers. Ministers make awful jokes like that thinking it'll dispel the tension. (Hint: sometimes yes. This time maybe not.) I'm torn between embarrassment squick and oh god you are all adorable and protective of a Grimm what the shit is this. I mean, protective of Nick in that they want it not to end with bloodshed, but still, it's a reaction more like he's the one being attacked. Aww, you guys. Oh hey Bud's at the rehearsal! Even cuter. We missed you, Bud! I'm a little curious why Monroe has nobody else at all standing up with him; given that Rosalee has Deetta does that mean that none of Monroe's cousins are close enough to him? Does it mean that only Monroe's parents have accepted his relationship with Rosalee, or have they not even told anyone else in the family? Because we've had a definite sense that his extended family is middling-large up until now, so what gives? No idea. We close out of the rehearsal with some more well-meaning but not actually helpful reassurance from Monroe that no really Nick, everything's going to be fine. Monroe, that's up there with "what could possibly go wrong" as things not to say, quit that shit.

Cut to the precinct, where Wu will be the one to tell us what could possibly go wrong by reporting in with the Captain on where Adalind is. You know, making use of him in this way accomplishes a number of things at once and I rather wish they'd done it sooner with other issues Renard was confronting? First it blurs the lines between police work and Prince work for Renard, and drags Wu into things he doesn't know he's getting into. Second, calling Adalind Miss Schade repeatedly emphasizes the darkness associated with her last name. Third, it gives Wu something to do that isn't snark at crime scenes and therefore we get to see him giving Renard all the suspicious looks over the fuck are you up to, dude. Not that it's his job to question these things, and not that he knows Renard's crossing any lines with this yet, but if it becomes clear Renard has crossed a line, then Wu would have an actual crisis of conscience to deal with! And that would be interesting. I have hopes they'll push things that way next season. Also, Renard has fucking finally gotten coffee out of that machine, that's the first time he hasn't been intercepted on his way there in three seasons. No wonder he's so cranky all the time. Anyway, they have a record of Adalind being dropped off but not picked up from the same location, so Renard wants them to expand the search outward. I question the writing on this severely, because Wu is damn good at his job, why hasn't he done that already? Is it because he's trying to drag his feet since it's not Officially Official Police Business tied to a case? If so, they needed to make that clearer in the writing, because I can only pull that from the acting. I'm also deeply amused by how they're having to cheat Reggie and Sasha in this scene so they both fit in frame, it's shot on the diagonal so it looks like Sasha's more in front than he actually is. And this is what happens when you have to fit the tallest and shortest men on cast in the same frame. I agree, Renard, where the fuck is she is an excellent question, except he can't say fuck on network TV.

The answer, of course, is in the storage unit huffing the witch bong again. Different clothes this time, so we know the first one was a trial run and this one is Srs Business, I guess? Also that's a more off-white shirt this time as compared to the white-as-snow (yes I had to) shirt from end of last episode, in case we were in any doubt about the nature of purity, innocence, or any other damn thing associated with Adalind!Juliette. Bitsie Tulloch does a really impressive job of stilling her face down to the more flat affect Claire Coffee tends to use for Adalind. I'd like it if there was a little more of a hint of vulnerability behind it, but I think we get there eventually. Or closer to there. Oh, hey, it's a blue-purple dress specially bought, it looks like, for these purposes. Nothing can possibly go wrong here. Speaking of things that are going wrong, our creepy stalker feeb gets a Tarantino trunk shot (I can only assume we're doing this either because some writers are really fond of them or because Barba's trying to line up his directing style with Laneuville's a little better for the sake of the sort of two-parter) as he hauls something out from behind a grate. Yaaaay. My, what a number of passports you have, good sir. Two European of some kind and one Canadian, and yes, I can tell passports by color, what. French or Belgian and… Russian? And maybe something in South America, judging by the variety of money in that kit. I believe we're meant to take the gun as not his service pistol, too. I also kind of wish we had more (read: any) motivation for him other than hating having been humiliated, did he and Renard work together at some point? What's going on here? But Hundjagers have long been portrayed as prone to target fixation, so I can't complain too much.

Over to the rehearsal dinner, for a lighter note! Or at least a cuter one, because Monroe's dad giving a speech is not going to be as much lighter as we might hope. And it's not light, but it is entirely heartfelt and very sweet. Shut up I'm not crying you're crying. I appreciate the line reference to as they got to know Rosalee, even though we didn't see much of it on screen, because that does imply a continuity we didn't get anywhere else and I can't imagine that this change of heart would have stuck without a LOT of continued hard work. Those are some deeply ingrained habits and beliefs being broken, even if it's happening out of love and, maybe, finally, respect. (Which: poor Monroe, I don't think he ever expected to obtain his father's respect.) It isn't exactly public, either, that's the happy couple, the other happy couple, Hank, Rosalee's family, and Bud, but it is at least a couple people that Bert doesn't know more than in passing. It's a start! Rosalee looks one part wary to two parts shocked that this is really happening, for values of "this" which include an apology as well as the wedding in general. I feel that last, for sure. Brides get jitters too! They just seem to save them for times when nobody's looking, or they're just with their girlfriends. Juliette has a toast from the kehrseite schlichkennen! Awwwww. You guys are the cutest, and she's totally been practicing saying that in front of a mirror so she gets the German close enough to right. Well, at least Juliette has been, I don't know about Bitsie but probably that too. (Let me tell you, coming to German from any Romance language background is all "what the fuck my jaw doesn't do that.") Deetta you have a drinking problem, don't you. Is that a drinking problem in general, or a drinking problem around weddings? We don't know! That was sudden, basically.

Other things that are sudden: Adalind!Juliette showing up at Renard's hotel room asking to talk to Adalind and/or Renard and it's urgent. That is just not a believable look of concern at all. Renard is duly suspicious. Good Renard. Be suspicious of EVERYTHING and then please do something about it. Roll credits! We're focused on the Hexen/Zauber sides of Adalind and Renard again this episode, not the Princely side, and oh, that's just the least surprising thing ever. Speaking of, while I'm thinking of it, is breaking the bargain - the BLOOD BARGAIN can we not forget - with Stefania ever going to come back and bite Adalind in the ass? Because that's the kind of thing that really should come around again. If there's one thing about blood magic that is nearly ubiquitous in fiction (apart from the two components of blood magic being blood and magic) it is that breaking blood-bound oaths and bargains has really fucking bad consequences. I am not seeing any consequences here. I am not seeing anything that looks like consequences, although given where Adalind ends up at the end of the episode those may be for next season. Anyway. After the credits we come right back to the hotel room, and A!Juliette walks right in and makes herself at home, which is far more of an Adalind territory-staking thing to do. Juliette would make herself at home by way of less tense body language and rattling off a list of reasons why she's here and why it's important that Renard listen to her, and they would be facts rather than vague emotional concerns. Very vague ones, tying back to the baby. I actually read Renard as already incredibly suspicious in this scene of what the fuck, this is body language I'm familiar with in the wrong body what is going on. Which is, I think, why he only gives A!Juliette information Adalind would already know and which if it were really Juliette she would need to know. Blah blah difficult relationship feelings blah blah Adalind even when you're being Juliette you are utterly transparent. That is the most blatant "something happened to me and I might be whammied or not who I appear to be" excuse to run out of the room after she kisses him and the potion starts to wear off (or maybe responds badly to being around a Zauberbiest?). We will now leave Renard sexually assaulted and confused while A!Juliette runs off to a taxi (I don't know as they actually hang around, maybe she left the guy out there with the meter running, but she's supposed to be broke right now, so unless Viktor's taking expense statements on her plan to fuck up everyone in Portland I got nothing), and leave us beating our heads against our keyboards in frustration. The acting is great! Bitsie is selling us on this being Adalind pretending to be Juliette, except when she drops the routine entirely! Sasha is selling us on confused, traumatized, and scared he might be getting whammied again! But here's the thing about Renard that the writers have apparently forgotten: he's smart. He's probably the smartest guy on the show, the most capable of tangling multiple strings, and he's damn sure the most willing to share intel when it becomes important and relevant to others. See also: handled the existence of his child on his own until it became unavoidable, and then read everyone else in. Now? Now what he should be doing is picking up his goddamn cell phone and calling Nick, Juliette, or Rosalee (remember, he doesn't know that she's getting married soon, and he knows the Spice Shop number at least), and saying help something fucked up is going on. About the only reason I buy for him not doing it is shame and trauma over what happened the last time with Juliette, but that's entirely going off Sasha's performance, not off what's in the script, because they're giving us nada to go on. Dear writers: stop dumbing characters down needlessly, it's irritating. It's not like Adalind can't be clever and Renard be clever! And those are some impressively gruesome 'biest effects, I think as much because those aren't supposed to be on Juliette's face as anything else but also because of the loss of control it represents.

Happier matters! Post wedding rehearsal dinner everyone piles into Monrosalee's house all clearly well fed and reasonably tippled and happy. Rosalee asks if anyone wants anything else before they go to bed, semi implying that at least some of the gaggle of relatives are staying elsewhere and that everyone is comfortable enough with each other to share time and food or drink without the structure and shared purpose of a formal dinner. Deetta could use another glass of wine! And everyone stares at her as if to say haven't you had enough? Yes. Yes she has. She coughs up a lame excuse once she realizes that everyone finds this between weird and tacky, but she's definitely already had enough. I think, though, at this point Rosalee has also had enough of being a responsible adult and so is not cutting her off right here, but giving her another glass of wine. I'm of two minds about this whole sequence and the one that follows: on the one hand, we have seen that Rosalee had addiction problems of her own, and it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to imagine that her sister has one too. Plus, we've only seen Deetta once. On the other hand, nothing we saw in Deetta's personality in her first appearance suggested leaning towards an excessive amount of wine drinking, and there were certainly enough stressors going on at that dinner. It's mildly troubling, especially how forced the rest of the dress drama seems to be. On the other hand, apparently there was real life dress drama, so that may have placed some restrictions on the writing and shooting of the whole thing. At any rate, Rosalee and Deetta are off to the kitchen, the elder women are up to bed, and Bert moves to follow them except Monroe'd like to have a word. Which could be bad, except it isn't! Monroe and Bert will now share a moment of bonding and admitting mistakes and giving blessings and thanks and so on. It's a really lovely moment between the two characters that shows growth without, I might add, toning down any of Bert's awkward bluster verbal and vocal habits so, good job to Chris Mulkey on that! Having had our cockles warmed, let's go back over to the chill of Adalind pulling up to her storage unit having fully transformed back into herself. That poor cab driver. I love the look of "yeah AND?" she gives him. Please don't say anything. I'd hate for you to be killed and eaten again.

We move over to Nick and Juliette coming home from the rehearsal dinner, and Juliette's the one who smells smoke! From inside! Since we haven't had a chance to check on Trubel yet, it's a fair bet she's involved somehow; since we haven't seen her yet (or any other threat to her well-being, including the previouslies) it's safe to assume that it's not a Grimm-related thing. ...oh, it's what happens when we allow our boys to cook food unattended in the kitchen. Although mine's usually much nicer than that to bacon. I mean, there's crispy and there's charcoal, and that's definitely charcoal. So! Cute domestic scene, Trubel doesn't feel right when she's not pulling her weight around here, this extends to trying to cook even though she probably doesn't know the first thing about cooking. Aw, honey. That's really adorable and a little bit silly, though I suppose most of her skillsets don't extend to normal-life fixing things around the house. I wonder if it's also that Juliette's the primary (only, by their banter over that flambeed dinner) (K: Except that dinner on fire stories are the best ones, says she who has told the story of that chicken en flambe for eeeever.) cook in the house, and Trubel's trying to take a female role model for the first time ever. Personally I think she'd do better with Rosalee as her role model, if she wants to pick up any traditionally feminine things. Because Rosalee just isn't as invested in clothes and cooking as she is in reading and potions mistressing. But this is who she's living with, it makes sense! It also serves to give us a throwaway line about Juliette loving bacon that becomes important later, see, this is how you do it. Or one of the ways you can, anyway. Oh, but Nick has a task for them to do together as Grimms! Aww. Moving the trailer! IT ONLY TOOK YOU HOW MANY SEASONS, NICK. Although I hear that they may have done that on account of there being construction in the current filming location, so, go figure.

And now their semi-peaceful evening will become even less peaceful. Hello, Adalind on the phone. This is actually a halfway decent setup IF your targets know nothing and/or remember nothing about magical theory. This turns out to be the case, because Adalind feeds Juliette the bullshit story about how she thinks maybe Renard's obsession with Juliette is coming back and she's so worried and she'll just mix up another potion and it'll be all better. Uh-HUH. That's what we're calling it. Juliette, to her credit, is not having with this bullshit of oh I'll just mix something up. No, she hasn't started having feelings again, unless we mean the ones of fuck-you-Adalind. We have a lot of those feelings over here, too, Juliette, I think you get club president t-shirts though. To her credit, she goes to tell Nick immediately, leading to Trubel serving as Exposition Required Character again. (Sigh. I like Trubel, I just wish the writers would stop using her as the excuse to catch up new viewers or anyone who's been half-asleep through the last few seasons.) To nobody's credit, they have promptly forgotten any magical theory they managed to pick up by osmosis over the last three seasons. There's no reason to assume Adalind's telling the truth! There's every reason to believe she's lying for her own gain! That's just the behavioral shit, Nick, aren't you supposed to be a detective? The magical theory, well, you haven't drunk anything strange, gotten weird injuries that don't heal right, injured yourself in a manner where your blood could be used against you? Come on. This is really basic shit here. There's actually only so many uses for hair in common magical theory, and Juliette doesn't even know that's a factor, so there is no reason to believe anything is going on here. Although I have to admit if I suddenly found myself in a universe where magic worked, the FIRST thing I would do would be to start burning or otherwise ensuring disposal of all hair, blood, nail clippings, etc. in a manner that prevented them from being used against me. Not that there's not plenty of other objects to use like that, but at least it wouldn't be body parts! And thus you see how skewed we are.

No one is getting any sleep tonight! At Monrosalee's house there's a downstairs crash, and they have no pets to be knocking things over at three in the goddamn. Ah, but they do have an embarrassing and clearly very drunk sister. Which is actually worse than a rampaging pet because you can at least shut the wedding dress in a closet and have it be reasonably safe from a rampaging pet. A rampaging sister, on the other hand, is perfectly capable of opening closet doors. Getting into wedding dresses. Stumbling around the downstairs with a bottle of wine and a very expensive vintage inherited wedding dress. Complete with dramatic passing out after melodramatic statement! And this is the other part of the dress drama that I dislike as being largely unnecessary. On the other hand, it does give us the adorable revelation that Monroe and his Mom have the same facepalm. Really, was that rehearsed and scripted or was that a happy accident that people decided to go with? Given the people involved I wouldn't lay odds either way.  So, the next day it's off to the bridal shop again to get an emergency wedding dress! Hilariously, the mothers are the ones to pick out the dress from the shop window, possibly deciding that quickly out of desperation but also because there are some classic dress styles, and picking a classic for a woman without any non-traditional figure attributes is easy. The shop isn't open for another hour! And the dress is $exorbitant sum of money, which as I understand it is actually $average sum of money for bridal gowns but still eek. Rosalee and Monroe ... well, they probably could afford it in the most technical of terms, but neither of them is prepared to max out credit cards for a wedding gown. That's all right, apparently that's what fathers in law are for, putting a nice little punctuation on the change they've made since the "you're marrying a FUCHSBAU" incident back in The Wild Hunt. Meanwhile back at Monrosalee's we conclude the drama of the wedding dress with Deetta waking up and realizing she is the most horrible sister ever. I ... guess that's sort of like a punctuation on the war of sisterly mutual not-quite-respect? The only problem with this, as opposed to the coming around of Monroe's parents, is that we haven't necessarily seen a change in Deetta that isn't prompted by her own bad behavior. The cheer the previous night was largely wine-fueled, and there's no acknowledgement of how she treated Rosalee with scorn for having been an out of control junkie and now finding herself in the same position. I'm not saying it's not in character for what we've seen of Deetta, or at least not saying it entirely, but it is somewhat less fulfilling.

And Juliette is coming down the stairs as the phone rings again! It's Renard this time! Renard, you couldn't have called before? Really? No, wait, actually, since he's calling from his office, which brings up the point that enough time has lapsed for him to get to the precinct from the hotel, which brings up the point that hey Renard, how the fuck did Juliette know where you were. Somewhere in here there is bad procedure, either that Renard is not wondering this himself, which previously-smart-Renard would have, or that he's told enough people for Juliette to know and therefore the hotel room is also compromised. I mean, enough people could involve only Nick, she did say Nick knew, but Nick has the informational security of a DC water cooler. Renard is attempting to give her a pre-emptive breakup speech, which works a lot better when both parties involved have all the details of their alleged relationship? Yes, I think so. Juliette is snappish. Renard gets snappish back. I have it on good authority that they used the snappishest take for Renard there. This would make for some interesting future awkwardness if, you know, what's about to happen hadn't happened; she thinks he's obsessed with her thanks to being pre-conditioned to hear that from Adalind, and not hearing how strange it is that he thinks she's been approaching him. Because, really, if you listen to that conversation without being predisposed to a certain interpretation? He's clearly referencing a meeting she hasn't experienced. Though her other option, I guess, is that he's hallucinating. From his point of view, on the other hand, it sounds as though she's denying all interest, which she might well do if there was actual interest and yet Nick was in the room when he called. She hangs up on him, Wu has something, Renard is even more snappish. Again: snappishest take on this bit, and most oookay not asking expression from Wu. Said something is a name on that storage locker where Catherine's stuff is! Not that we namedrop her directly, she's just the mother at this point, which is a little silly considering how much effect she's had on the course of the entire series, but whatcha gonna do. Renard will take care of it himself! Renard, please take care of this problem with bullets. Bullets are good. Before Adalind rapes someone else. No? No, of course not.

Moving the trailer! Moving the trailer finally. Moving the trailer and Renard, why do you not have another condo and, you guys, all of you have the least secure residences ever. Except Monrosalee. Most of the drama that's happened at Monroe's place has happened within the limits of Monroe's friends and family, the Wildemann friend, the fight between Nick and Monroe's parents, etc. Everyone else? How many times has Renard's place been broken into now? The Hunters and the Nuckelavee have both been to the trailer, not counting Renard who Nick still  doesn't know has broken into the trailer, plus the Owlface guy Renard used to help him do it. So, yeah. Your operational security isn't, and you should have moved the trailer last season. It turns out he's even bought a piece of land to store it on, which is a good idea and yet why didn't you do that earlier. Jesus, Nick. I can see why you haven't moved house yet, it's not as though buying and selling houses is that easy. (K: It isn't. It really, really isn't, and it takes forever.) but you should be moving that trailer way more often than you have been. Trubel provides some more excuse for Exposition about Nick's family, with which I will not trouble you here because we've heard this already. A lot. Oh, look, a flashback while they're up in the woods. No, none of this really tells us anything, although there is a long back shot of them carrying the trunk into the trailer that implies someone watching from the trees. If anything comes of this, though, it'll be in the next season.

More phone calls from Adalind, who we get from a Dutch angle for maximum field of magical accoutrements and also evil. Adalind is just calling up to check on Juliette! Because she's demonstrated so much sense of responsibility before she needed everybody's help. Okay, to be fair, Juliette doesn't entirely buy it or trust her either, not without that helpful nudge from Renard, instigated by Adalind. Everyone's being set up! And if Renard were more like he was in first or even second season, he would have figured that out by now. Yes, I am going to bitch endlessly about this. Adalind sounds the least sincere, but this might also be because I'm biased, although she sounds entirely earnest about this not pepper spray. Bitsie Tulloch has the best reaction shot ever to that, too. She can bring it by right now! No. No, Juliette has to get going and I think at least a part of that is also wishing to keep Adalind at arm's length at a minimum. For all that Juliette was willing to help Adalind for her baby's sake, and she probably does still feel a little sorry for her, this constantly intruding into her life is unwelcome at absolute best. Adalind then volunteers to drop it off with Nick, only to be told that Nick is also getting ready for the wedding and this is your mess, you fix it! Yeah, sadly, that's not anything like what Adalind is doing, but thank you for volunteering all the information she needed to know, Juliette! Poor Juliette, though. She really wasn't given any reason to expect that Adalind is being less than... okay, less than straight-forward yes, but less than earnest, maybe not so much. Although now I am a little disappointed that we didn't get anyone spraying Renard wherever with anything. We do know what I mean by wherever, yes? Yes. So, okay, Adalind says she'll take care of it as Juliette hangs up on her, too, puts her bong hat back on the cauldron and a moment later, Juliette comes out of the storage unit wearing Adalind's dress. Like you do.

Meanwhile back in the trailer, we're going to have some bonding time over shiny new Grimm toys that need to be put away! Aww. And commentary about whether or not a normal life is possible after you've become a Grimm, because that's not poignant or anything. I would actually prefer this scene without the subsequent blah blah what if you could choose not to be a Grimm. I mean, it's obvious enough what they're doing with the discussion of Rollick not wanting to be a Grimm (though that was never really made clear in the episode; he was old, you get so you have regrets, that's normal), we don't need it hammered into our skulls with the dagger from the Three Musketeers. Nick has a very valid point that it hasn't made his or Juliette's lives any easier, or Trubel's, for that matter, though she also has an excellent point that it's better to be a Grimm than be crazy. I'd like to leave aside my kneejerk reaction of fuck you I am crazy fuck off, but given what Trubel's been through I can't really blame her for the utter lack of faith in anything resembling a mental health system. It just makes me generally cranky. Speaking of generally cranky, Renard is stalking to the storage unit with a crowbar in hand. I'm not gonna lie, I was totally prepared for a combat scene here, if by prepared you understand that I mean hoping for one. Alas, no, the only use the crowbar will see is breaking the lock. Whatever Renard does and doesn't know about putting magic together, he certainly recognizes that the witch's bong is bad news. I'm mildly surprised he didn't woge right there, that was definitely a "the fuck is you" expression which has often led to wogeing in the past.

Back at the house Nick offers to order Trubel takeout, and we have some more cooking-related laughs. It's sweet, it's domestic, and that's probably why she brings up that she can't stay here. I have no idea where she thinks she's going to go, but I understand the feeling that she can't stay there, she can't keep eating their food and so on. Nick's argument is that she can stay there until she knows all she needs to know which, oh honey. That can and will literally take a lifetime. Grimming does not come as a college major, there is no PhD to study for, no thesis to defend. So unless you give some more specific criteria that's not going to be an acceptable answer for her, and it shouldn't be. She goes on to point out that he hasn't even learned all he need to know, though he seems confident that he will eventually. You're adorable, Nick. I mean that in the most Leverage sense of the word. Also in the conventional sense when he says he likes having another Grimm around, the only problem I see with this is that he sounds rather like a kid with a crush. Nick. Nick, sweetie, please not to be attaching to the new girl. Especially not like that, though apart from the uncomfortable-making tone of that statement, which could well be interpretation, we aren't given any reason to think that's actually happening. Though the parallels might well be intentionally drawn there. Trubel doesn't give any reasons for her skittishness, and there are myriad to choose from so it's not all that much use to speculate, but she does bow out of the conversation and go up to the guest room to flip through journals. And almost lay on her machete. We're not talking about how many times either of us have slept with knives under the pillow, but suffice to say, you can get surprisingly used to it and forget it's there pretty quickly.

Nick goes up to his and Juliette's room! Presumably to get changed, or showered and changed. There's a Juliette in the bathroom! Or at least there sounds to be a Juliette in the bathroom, we all can suspect when she comes out in a different purple lacey thing (seriously, you guys, that's not the same thing Renard found last episode) that this is not!Juliette. The banter is roughly similar, and since we don't have any examples of Juliette's behavior towards Nick in the bedroom we can't say that there's any reason for him to notice something wrong, although conventional storytelling wisdom says that if he were smarter/more virtuous-protagonist oriented, he would notice that her behavior was off. Nick, though, he's not exactly emotionally smart. And he hasn't been portrayed as a virtuous protagonist in a lot of ways thus far. He's flawed, he's impulsive, he doesn't always think through his actions, and he's fallen down a lot of paths of questionable thinking as memorably called out by Renard earlier in the season. So I have no problem whatsoever believing that Nick will fall for this, but you know where I do have a problem? This is the third person Adalind has raped by fraud or magical coercion on camera (or as on camera as you can get in broadcast television) in this entire series. She's worked her way through most of the men in the main cast! What the hell is this obsession the showrunners (or writers? I'm going with showrunners because it's been approximately once a season Adalind rapes some poor bastard) have with male rape by coercion? This is not shocking or even a good writing choice anymore, guys. Rape in general is an overused plot device, and sex magic almost more so, and this? I can't believe I have jokes in my head, really morbid ones, about who's Adalind going to rape next season. Guys. You guys. You can do better than this. Claire Coffee can definitely do better than this, I appreciate the range in short-term individual scenes you're giving her but so far in this series Adalind's role has been to smirk and smarm her way around, fuck things up, and then run off to Europe. Repeatedly. There is no arc here, there is no growth despite that there was some hope for some earlier, and it's getting really fucking tiresome. I can't believe I have to get annoyed at this shit. Though, okay, I will give it this, as far as overused rape tropes go, repeated rape-by-fraud or rape-by-magic is at least more original than Game of Thrones raperrific = darkity grimdark schtick.

Renard will now proceed to read to us in German, with bonus camera work so we can read said German! The relevant verse/recipe he's reading from says to get hair from the sacrifice or victim and it'll make you into an excellent mirror image of them, actually my dictionary suggests "spitting image" as a possible tertiary/idiomatic translation. For this I give them points: they found that instead of going with the good old doppelganger! Renard will even translate out loud for us, because they're helpful like that. It's at least accurate inasfar as I can make it out. All the words in and of themselves translate right! I'm not so sure about word order, though. I approve of Renard's reaction, though! That is the most accurate reaction you're allowed to portray on network TV, at any rate. I'm honestly not sure how much of this is on his own behalf as compared to on Nick's behalf, and I'm not sure Renard would be able to determine it either. He's pretty clearly been refusing to deal with his issues around sexual trauma for years if not decades, going all the way back to Catherine's implicit coercion of him (sex for knowledge as a young man? is the best theory we've been able to come up with) in Love Sick. At least SOME of this is probably wrath for what Adalind did to him, regardless of whether or not he's calling it rape; she's put him in a number of situations he never, ever would have chosen willingly.

Time to deal with the aftermath of said rape, which involves not!Juliette commenting that they should do this more often and I'm suddenly a little concerned, if that's accurate profiling (and it may not be, Adalind's not known for her ability to read people) about how much Nick and Juliette ever got back to their normal, healthy sex life as shown prior to her being coma'd. Nick's ready to go again! Either that's a very long bout of cuddling, unlikely and tactically unsound from not!Juliette's point of view, or Grimm stamina is like unto Marvel fanon supersoldier stamina. (Or is that canon at this point? I haven't kept up with my comics.) I'm going to not think about that too hard. She forestalls him with no, can't, gonna be late, so Nick goes to shower while I twitch some more about how taking a shower is a classic rape victims trope and he doesn't know he's doing it. I think I want a shower now. Pass the steel wool. No, not the apple, thank you for that blatant display of loss of innocence and reminder that there's something like a Snow White trope being played out as well. Or maybe an Eve corrupting Adam trope. Euergh. Trubel runs into not!Juliette in the hall, who treats her as a stranger which is the dumbest fucking move ever. Dude, if someone's hanging out in the house and acting like they belong there, maybe you should do the same? No? No. Now that Adalind's got what she came for she's not going to even try to pretend to be Juliette anymore, complete with snapping at Trubel when she jokes about not cooking and bacon and other things that raise enough red flags that she takes off after not!Juliette to find out what the fuck that was all about. Leaving, of course, a once-bitten apple on the newel post. Nick showers! Renard tries to call him! Renard, you're at least half a day later on that than you should've been, though at least he did make the effort once he had anything concrete. Interestingly, he's listed as S. Renard in Nick's address book, not Capt. Renard or anything else related to work. He used to be Captain Renard in everyone's phones, so I have no idea what's up with this, especially since Nick is still generally his subordinate and detective, so there's no real reason for him to change that.

Renard, at least, has some grounding in magical theory, though we've never seen him display quite this much knowledge. At least, he knows that what's in the cauldron cures what the potion does, which, wait a second, I thought that was the mirror image potion. So apparently this one potion both creates an illusion of form around Adalind, deprives Nick of his powers, and then re-powers him if he drinks it possibly within a limited period of time? This does not actually make sense according to most conventional rules of magic, unless the only rule of magic you're using is "WHATEVER IT'S MAGIC SHUT UP." New powers as convenient to the plot? Or is this an entirely new green potion that's separate from the polyjuice? Which we never saw Adalind make? I got nothing. Renard's got a bottle of formerly something, now green liquid, and a bigass hurry to get it to Nick before something really bad happens. Back at the house Trubel is following the weird-acting Juliette, who gets into a cab, of all things. Even though Trubel knows by now that Juliette has a bike and a car and no real need for a cab. Oh, look! As the cab pulls away, that's not Juliette at all. And now Trubel has no idea what's going on except that it's Not Good. It's not entirely clear if she's been made or not, either, though I'd guess half her expression is assuming she was, and that's even less good.

Oh, hey, speaking of Not Good things, here comes Juliette. Nick's dressed and ready, and a little surprised that Juliette's back so soon when she went out to get her hair done. Nick, honey, have I got news for you. He's confused about why she changed her hair, he thought it looked great before! In that tone I think it might have set off alarm bells if she hadn't been busy getting ready and therefore distracted, but they have to leave in ten minutes and she's not paying so much attention to Nick critiquing her look. Nick is ready, Nick will be downstairs, Juliette turns to get dressed and... lavender negligee. Bed unmade. There's a conclusion to be leaped to here, and I think we all know what that one is, yes? There's even a (very remotely) logical candidate for Nick to be having an affair with! And weren't we just talking about Nick's bond with Trubel? I think we were! Plus, from Juliette's perspective, she and Nick share something that Juliette herself can't. We'll ignore the fact that Trubel is barely an adult here because ick, and because it wouldn't be the first time such things have happened. For a very broad spectrum of 'such things.' Meanwhile, outside, Trubel comes up from having followed Juliette and seen her get into a cab and turn into someone else, and sees.... Nick and Juliette all dressed up for the wedding and getting into a car with a present for the occasion. Eh? Says the look on her face. Maybe words stronger than 'eh?', I totally see her being a "the fuck is this shit" type of person, but you can't say that on television.

Other things you can't say on television are all the words I am saying about this scene that aren't productive ones. There are an equal number, you guys, for every word I type here put a swear word around it. Juliette is distant, monosyllabic, and staring straight ahead, which Nick does at least pick up on immediately as her being upset about something. And she wasn't before! Both before in the sense of the last time he saw actual!Juliette and in the sense of the last time he thinks he saw Juliette. Once again we have one of those cross-purposes conversations where each party's side makes perfect sense according to the events they understand to have happened, and when you put them together you get two increasingly upset people who are both having a conversation with someone intractable and maddening. Nick feels hurt and rejected because Juliette won't acknowledge their apparently awesome and much delayed lovemaking, Juliette feels mocked because she thinks Nick is having an affair he's pretending he's not, and it's perfectly logical to both of them. Right up to the point where Juliette ... well, first she vocalizes the uncontrollable-upset impulse to dive out of the car, which, bless whoever put that in because it is a true impulse and reflects truly, and probably hits home for a lot of people. Then, as Nick keeps insisting it was her, looked like her, sounded like her, had to have been her, Juliette puts that together with Adalind calling and her telling her she was going to be out and, hey! They're both going to be sick now. Nick's expression of horror is somewhat duller than Juliette's, though Juliette's had more time to build up a good head of freaked out. Yeah, "I'm going to be sick" is exactly the response to have. Well, I would have done more swearing and threatening of violence, but that's just me. One of these days the bad epiphanies and the bad news is going to stop coming. But it is not this day.

There is no good news here. There is only Renard's battlewagon, and okay, I give him credit, he didn't get hold of Nick, he has no reason to know about the wedding, he got over there as quick as possible to try and stop things. I still think it's absurd that, after working together on the things they have this season, nobody on either side stopped to call each other while Adalind was still arranging matters, not and figure out what's going on honestly as opposed to sniping at each other and being traumatized. You should've used Hank as a mediator. Is all I will say to that. The opening of this is actually one of my favorite scenes in the whole ep, even given what it leads up to. Because Sasha is entirely capable of bringing up anyone else he's in a scene with who's willing to be brought up, and I actually think someone (maybe writers, maybe directors, maybe execs) decided that Toboni needed to have scenes with all the main cast just to get her the experience. Which is not a bad thing! And unlike the scene with Wu, which felt pretty forced (seriously you guys, integrate him better next season, I have such hopes given what happens, once again, later in the episode), this one's perfectly reasonable within the confines of the plot. Renard is freaked the fuck out and shouting for Nick and he still remembers to stop and identify himself, by name and title if not by holding up his badge to poor Trubel, who has to be extra wary of random strangers wandering up to the house and demanding she get Nick for them when she's alone at this point. But Renard's not a total stranger, she does remember him from the precinct and that tells us a good deal about her situational awareness right there, even as it takes her a second to place him. (He's also a very distinctive police captain. It helps.) Yes, do come on in and keep shouting, Renard, that'll go over well. I do really a lot love them figuring out what's going on together, both within the confines of what they know about Wesen and Grimms and each other. Nick, I just want you to know for the record, this is what happens when you fail to read people in on necessary data. Like oh, hey, there's a baby Grimm in town, I'm working on training her up. THAT WOULD BE HELPFUL RIGHT NOW, because it might have made the difference between Renard explaining in short vague terms that bad things will happen if Nick doesn't drink the zaubertrank and Renard explaining specifics. We already know he's inclined to take people and train them up when they show any signs of potential! I can't imagine him not wanting two Grimms on his side, which admittedly is probably part of why Nick didn't tell him, but come on. If you don't have faith in all your allies' ability to keep Trubel out of Renard's clutches, or at least more on your side than his, Nick, you really need to get some more. I appreciate that she reads his sincerity and he reads her willingness to help immediately and there's none of this oh god whose side are you on nonsense, though!

I do not appreciate Renard getting shot by the creepy stalker feeb. At all. Nor does Trubel, though for entirely other reasons. That's three shots, that's… liver? Gutshot of some kind, probably right lung and probably heart or very very close. How close I expect will depend on contract negotiations, assuming they haven't already signed Sasha to fourth season. Hundjager does not give a fuck who Trubel is. Hundjager wants no witnesses. This whole chase/combat scene is, by the way, very well edited to keep us from seeing that the upstairs and downstairs of the house are two separate sets, even if they are right next to each other. Trubel's instincts are to go barricade herself in her room where she knows where the weapons are, sensible enough, and now for bonus parallel pragmatist points (because that's her main point of congruity with Renard, let's be honest) we have her hitting her forehead in approximately the same place he got hit with the vase last ep. Aheh. Only stunned, though, by that expression and roll.

Over at the wedding we get the aftermath of Juliette realizing that once again her life has been shit on by Adalind, and Nick realizing (and blaming himself for) the Juliette he slept with was actually Adalind. Sadly, I suspect that Nick's reaction, assuming the existence of polyjuice in this world, is disturbingly accurate; male rape is even less reported than female rape, and a commonly seen (even or maybe especially by famous people) response to being raped as a male is to take it as a sign of virility. No, no, it's a power grab, you were a means to an end. Not that I expect this show to go there, especially not with Nick, but let's not forget that he is a victim here, in this instance of Adalind's malfeasance. So. That said, Juliette also has a justified beef with that their whole life has been turned upside down by Nick's getting involved not just in Grimming, but in the Royal conspiracies as well. (Actually come to that, it's probably about equally split.) Nick, sweetie, bringing up the proposal right now was not the best idea ever? Let's all remember that last time he proposed she rejected him on the basis that as much as she loved him, there were things he wasn't telling her and she couldn't be in a marriage like that? It's less the trust issues now and more the sheer amount of upheaval, but the issues are still there. Juliette had gotten used to being a cop's girlfriend, could have been used to being a cop wife, but this? Nick, she's already told you she's not sure she can do this anymore, adding pressure is not going to help. You know what will help? Bud! Well, for a given value of help, having to slap on a polite smile and watch other couples be happy isn't a help, but not talking about it and jabbing new knives into an open wound, yeah, that's kind of a bit of a respite.

Back to combat, actual combat instead of emotionally battered people, we have creepy stalker feeb being continually creepy and looking at a young woman and deciding, nah, I might have a couple-three bullets left (at least) but I won't shoot her! I'll rip her throat out with my teeth instead! If that's not giving you rape undertones too, I don't know if we're watching the same scene. Sigh. Mostly I'm just incredibly tired of them shorthanding many of Trubel's troubles to men wanting to rape her. Come on. You can do better than that. Quit being fucking lazy. She sells it, though, and she's scared and more than that fucking angry and idiot Hundjager wasn't expecting a second Grimm. Stop! Machete time. And head bumping down the stairs on a note of finality, followed by a really pissed off Trubel who nonetheless has kept her head (oh come on I had to) and is following procedure by calling for an ambulance. She even remembers to say it's a cop, because that'll get it there faster! I will note that it looks like that bottle's in one piece still, at which point sure, maybe some's spilled, but it wasn't exact measurements to start GO FUCKING TAKE IT WITH YOU. Oh my god.

Over at the wedding Monroe is having his pre-wedding freak the fuck out, as you do. Poor Hank seems to be the designated expert on weddings, having been through three of them, not that he has much in the way of advice to offer and presumably that's because they've covered everything. At least I hope they've covered everything. No, apparently not everything, because Nick's eyes remain uncovered and he's left the sunglasses behind. Dammit, Nick. Monroe, as you do when you've got a Grimm in a room full of happily excited Wesen, freaks the fuck out some more. Not to worry, though, Monroe's dad has a pair! They're prescription, but you can't have everything in an emergency. I can only imagine the headache Nick would have when this is over assuming nothing else had gone wrong, wearing prescription glasses that aren't yours? Ow. At any rate, Monroe seems satisfied, so on with the wedding again! Back at home Trubel is rifling through the Captain's coat for his keys, apparently in the interests of getting the bottle to Nick and warning him. Good Grimm. We're intercutting this with the wedding for maximum ramp-up and dramatic tension, though at this point Nick and Juliette walking down to take their places at the bride and groom's side is full of its own kind of tension. They're both putting on good faces for the crowd, at least. Hank is giving Rosalee away, awww! The whole structure of the wedding really emphasizes the chosen family aspect of most of the main cast of the show and, actually, in a way it also emphasizes how far apart from it Renard is. Sasha Roiz mentioned in an interview feeling the isolation while the rest of the characters are having cheerful dinners and serious meetings, Renard is constantly on his own, and certainly we've mentioned it here on the blog before. It's never more evident than when the rest of the characters are enjoying an intimate wedding, and Renard is bleeding out on the floor. The wedding vows are definitely personalized, and that just gives them the opportunity to make it that much more moving and touching, both for the in-show audience and the rest of us! Oh, hey, speaking of that contrast let's have Renard surrounded by cops, which are indeed his only friends at this point, considering Viktor shot the last one. (Viktor, we haven't forgiven you for that, come here so we can tear your throat out with our teeth.) He does have Wu at his side! Wu, I love you, I really hope Renard sits you down and explains things to you next season. Actually, yes. Let's have that. Let's have Renard-Wu bonding because they both could use some decent fucking friends.
After the break we have Wu doing the traditional after the break sending off of the ambulance, and Franco is telling him that there's no sign of Nick or Juliette but there is some fucking weird carnage. Like a headless body! No, wait, no headless body, just a wedding. And Monroe waxing adorable about "love at first brick," bless whoever came up with that line. NOW we have a headless body. And an un-woge'd head, thank goodness, not that anyone but Grimms can see the death-woge, it's the principle of the thing. All I can think is if Juliette didn't like the Adalind sleeping with Nick thing, she is going to come back to her house being a crime scene, flip her shit, and leave. Or at least I fully expect her to, and she would be well justified. Meantime, they have a problem, because that's a decapitated FBI agent in a cop's house. With fake identification. Yeah, that's weird. They go through the scene and talk it out, hey, Franco brought the lampshades for how all the weird shit converges on Nick! Wu is busy paddling up and down DeNile. Paddle paddle paddle. Franco gets the FBI, Wu will keep trying to contact Nick, and Nick will ignore his phone while he is being best man at a wedding! Good Nick. Monroe continues to be cute and this time much less awkward, on account of having presumably written his vows and had them vetted beforehand. Which is good because Monroe, you are not the most eloquent. Oh look, Wu's found a book that involves cutting off of heads. Oh look, it's on the page with the Aswang. Okay, so the book being open to the Aswang page is a slight stretch for coincidence, the fact that it has a decapitation reference less so, considering we are all very familiar by now with the fact that all these stories end in decapitation. This wedding, since we are not in Westeros, will not end in decapitation! It may end in tears, or at least the ceremony may, but they will be happy tears that Monroe already seems to have as the rings happen.

And now we begin the inevitable season finale tradition of Awful Shit Happens During Voiceover. Specifically, Monroe says his vows over Adalind leaving the storage unit behind and taking her passport and heading to Europe. Those are really lovely rings, by the way. Rosalee's vows happen over Renard in the ambulance all bloodied up, just in case we missed the whole really unhappy not-couple only bound by the child they created together (and even then that's Renard making the best of a bad situation, not his choice, yes I am going to hammer on this some more) versus the happy couple and their family of choice. Monroe and Rosalee settled on husband and wife, not man and wife, aww! Trubel is damn near to the wedding site, oh there she is, as all the wedding guests who are Wesen start to woge. I assume that might be in keeping with some kind of tradition, a way of showing approval for the relationship? And possibly just that weddings bring out strong emotion in general. Aww, still no Mrs. Bud? Dammit. Nick doesn't seem to be noticing anything, but as we're not getting his point of view to delay the reveal on it, that could be down to the prescription sunglasses. Which is probably a mild pun on the "blind" in blind ambition, come to think of it. If so it's one of the more subtle instances of that we've had, you may all have a cookie. And then Trubel wrecks the wedding kiss by rushing in and waving the bottle of potion at Nick. While bloody. In the middle of woged Wesen. This ends… predictably, by way of the ENTIRE ROOM freaking out, the potion getting crushed on the floor, Nick's sunglasses getting crushed at which point he realizes that everyone looks human to him, and hustling the wedding party plus baby Grimm out through the hallway while Monroe's parents run interference. OH GOODIE. We have about a minute of relative peace and quiet while they confirm that yes, Nick can no longer see woge, and Trubel babbles out a remarkably coherent explanation that hits the high points of what the fuck just happened, it's Adalind's fault and by the way Renard's been shot. Not by Adalind. I love that Hank's the one still in cop mode enough to focus on that, as well as having been the one to start bodyguarding Trubel out of there. Nice brief look of yes, that's what the doppelganger rape was for between Nick and Juliette, and they don't have time for much more because there's only so long two Blutbad can hold off an entire wedding's worth of angry/scared Wesen. We can all take the irony of Wesen trying to tear a Grimm to shreds as read, yes? Yes. So the kehrseite schlichkennen, the Grimm, and the former Grimm will all book it the hell out of there, Renard will aspirate blood (that's gotta be a collapsed lung, there is no excuse for that overdramatic shit without that, I'm sorry; also that had to be completely unpleasant to do multiple takes of ugh), and Adalind will fly back to Europe with the hope - and let's note that she's remembering the dream of Viktor holding the baby - that she'll see baby Diana again. Ahahaha. No. Everyone in the getaway vehicle will now brood and look at Nick in concern and fear and some measure of guilt. Juliette, sweetie, it's not your fault, no matter how much you wanted Nick to stop being a Grimm, this wasn't what you had in mind I am QUITE sure. Trubel doesn't want it to happen to her. Nick is too much in shock to know much of anything. Oh everyone. En… joy? The hiatus, folks. We hope to have some essays over the course of the summer.

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