Episode 12: Season of the Hexenbiest
By: Carlos Uribe
Grimm is a show about a man, Nick, who hunts monsters which look human.
The Hour of Death:
This episode's Opening Quote: “Oh! There is a terrible witch in that house who spewed her poison over me and scratched me with her long fingernails.”-Town Musicians of Bremen by the Brothers Grimm
This Episode's Monster(s):
Hundjager: Hound-like creatures that work for the royals.
Hexenbiest (former): Witch creatures. Adalind is a Hexenbeast once her powers have been removed, making her a normal human but she remains a dangerous foe.
Season of the Hexenbiest is a thrilling fall finale that instantly ranks among the best episodes this show has done. It is captivating from beginning to the end and it takes just about everything this show has been building up to and unravels it all. The previous episode had ended with a pretty great cliff-hanger: Monroe catching Juliette kissing Captain Renard. He doesn't recognize the captain at first but he instantly realizes who Juliette is. Juliette's reaction when she realizes it's Monroe is to run out of the spice shop. Renard tries to follow her but it's too late. She has left. It's notable that two different motorcycles are seen following these two characters. The cliff-hanger scene might have ended quickly but the effects vibrated throughout the episode. All three characters in that scene react differently to what happened. Renard goes back to his office but he's too perplexed to do anything. He thinks that Juliette has gotten cold feet and he's trying to figure out a way to fix things. He doesn't know that Monroe and Juliette know each other or that Monroe is Nick's friend. Monroe and Juliette decide to call Nick because they both decide that they need to tell him what they know. This similar reaction is different because of how they end up telling Nick. Juliette just tells him that there is someone else and that nothing has happened. Monroe is able to tell Nick that something has happened: he caught her kissing someone. Juliette isn't willing to tell Nick who the person she's obsessed with is. Monroe tells him as soon as he realizes who it is. It's the level of honesty that varies between the two characters. The fall-out of this along with Nick's secrets is finally what breaks them apart. Nick moves out of the house and into Monroe's spare room. I may never have been sold on their relationship but everything that's happened since the cat scratch has been excellently executed throughout the entire season.
The show has also been slowly building up Adalind's return to Portland. She's met with Renard's brother and had some threatening phone calls but she hasn't really been doing much this season. Her presence has been felt in the way that she cursed Juliette but that's about it. She takes center-stage in this episode. She's ready to execute her plan. She gives Renard forty-eight hours to find the key or she'll reveal the truth about who he is to Nick. She goes to Juliette and manages to figure out that Aunt Marie had a trailer and that it's in a storage place. She does give Renard that information which allows him to find the trailer. She does get herself arrested in the meantime as she's hoping that Renard won't kill her while she's under her custody since that will make him look bad. Her entire plan rests on getting the key and she's willing to do anything to get it. She doesn't just help Renard with finding the trailer but she teases Nick with the information of who the royal in Portland is. She even makes that deal sweeter when she tells him that it's the royal who tried to have his aunt killed. She's willing to use Juliette to get as much information as possible out of her. Every action she does is to guarantee that she gets that key for the royals. That's partly what makes her dangerous: she doesn't really have a side with our characters as she's really using everyone she can.
The single best part of this episode is that Monroe actually plays a part in it. Since Hank is beaten up in the beginning of the episode, he's out of the action for most of the episode. All he does is tell Nick that Adalind is back in Portland and he's largely gone from the episode. Hank is a great character but his recent discovery of the wessen world has pushed Monroe too far into the background. This episode allows the fan favorite of the show to have a lot more screen time. Monroe is simply able to bring a lot of the show alive that the other characters can't with his sense of humor. Monroe doesn't just play a significant role in trying to ruin Adalind's plan by taking her care of her Hundjager underlings but also in Juliette and Nick's relationship. When Juliette realizes that her feelings for another men might mean that she has lost Nick, she rushes straight to Monroe. She doesn't just go to him because she's crushed but also because she's hoping to finally find some answers. When he can't give her any, she leaves him. Monroe is also the one who tells Nick that she kissed another man along with his identity at the end of the episode. Monroe plays a critical role in the relationship and in defeating Adalind's henchmen that simple makes it feel like he's not being underutilized. As much as this was Adalind's episode, this was also Monroe's episode. The series is going to have to figure out a way to properly balance Hank and Monroe in future episodes because I still want Hank to be involved.
This is all to state that Grimm simply had it's best episode of the season so far. It is in fact the most engrossing this series has been since the season has began. It's not just that the first half of the season had been building up to this point but that the writing simply felt more crispy than usual. It definably has made me way more excited for the next episode of Grimm than I have been for any other episode this season (including this one) besides the premiere itself. Don't get me wrong: I'm a fan of this show and it's one I constantly look forward to. It's just that if the episode could be delivering more episodes like this, then I would be more than a fan. It's this kind of well-written episode that would make me fall in love with Grimm.
Interestingly, Claire Coffee (who plays Adalind Schade) was credited as a series regular this episode. Sadly we don't get Rosalee this episode but Bree Turner should be back full-time when the show comes back.
The whole “Too be continued...” line got a nice touch when the showrunners added an apology right after it. They know how frustrating it's going to be waiting until January to find out what's going to happen.