Episode 13: Face Off
Episode 14: Natural Born Wessen
By: Carlos Uribe
Grimm is a show about a man, Nick, who hunts monsters which look human.
This episode's Opening Quote: “The will to conquer is the first condition of victory.”-Ferdinand Foch
This Episode's Monster(s):
Hexenbiest: Witch creatures. Adalind is a Hexenbeast once her powers have been removed, making her a normal human but she remains a dangerous foe.
Scharfblicke: An owl-like wessen that helped Renard break into Nick's trailer.
It's a pity that Grimm decided to return just as I was going on my Spring Break. It's bad enough that this show has been off the air for so long but it had ended on a major cliff-hanger. This episode picks up on those dangling plot threads as it significantly changes the status quo before ending on a couple of dramatic cliff-hangers of it's own. Face Off is a pretty important episode of Grimm as it deals with numerous revelations. The episode is mostly pretty good even if the final shot is a bit melodramatic. There is no weekly case this week. We don't really get introduced to any monsters, except for an owl-creature that shows up for a few seconds, but that's because the writers completely concentrate on the serialized aspect of the show. That is a smart move as incorporating an actual case would have made it impossible for the plot to move as far as it did. Removing the need to juggle a weekly case on top of the serialized aspects ensured that all of the time could be spent on what the viewers truly care about: what's going to happen between Nick and Renard. The entire show has been building up towards their confrontation. Nick is a Grimm who has been manipulated by a royal, Renard. This season added the complicated layer of having Juliette and Renard fall in love due to Adalind's spell. They might have had a working relationship in the human world but there was always the background conflict that was secretly building itself up. The only reason that the two have been able to work together is because Nick didn't know about Renard. This episode changes that because Nick knows that Renard is the other man in Juliette's life. Making matters worse is that he also learns that Renard is the Portland royal. It's a pity that not only did it take a whole other character to point that out to him but that it was well into the episode when Rosalee finally made the revelation. It was kind of obvious but it's also understandable due to Nick's emotional state.
It should come as no surprise that Nick isn't happy that his boss has been obsessing over Juliette. The only reason that he doesn't immediately do anything about it is because Monroe manages to hold him back. Renard is also doing his best to fight his feelings for Juliette. He goes as far as to sleep with Adalind to try and distract him. This leads to the ridiculous cliff-hanger where Adalind finds out that she's pregnant with his baby. I'm not sure where the writers are going with this but I'm not entirely on board with this idea yet. It just speaks too much like a soap opera and it was also disappointing considering how it came right after a cliff-hanger where Nick's health is in problems. It felt unnecessary. This could change based on what future episodes do with this plot but I'm currently skeptical. We also find out that Renard and his friends in Europe have allied themselves with the rebellion. Renard and Nick aren't the only ones trying to navigate this minefield as Juliette tries her best to suppress her sexual urge to sleep with Renard. This leads to a pretty great scene where the two are literally hurting each other because they can't keep their hands off each other. This concludes with a part where Juliette almost saw Renard change when he accidentally loses control of himself. This was all really build-up to the epic climatic scene near the end.
It's all because of the key. The key is very important and Renard tries his best to find it. He does take the key when he finds it in Nick's desk. Nick manages to figure it out and the two have a pretty great fight scene. This is until Renard actually gives Nick his key back. He also reveals his desire to end his obsession with Juliette. They pick Juliette up at her place and they all go the spice shop. Nick has to take that heart-cleansing juice but he collapses as it has a bad side effect on him. This cliff-hanger isn't completely effective because this show isn't going to kill Nick off but at least it fits the tone of the show. Overall, Face Off was a strong episode even if it did hold off on the Nick and Monroe fight for a little too long and had some problems with it's cliff-hangers...but on to the next episode that gets the fun job of dealing with them...
Natural Born Wessen:
This episode's Opening Quote: “So the animals debated on how they might drive the robbers out, and at last settled on an idea”-The Town Musicians of Bremen
This Episode's Monster(s):
Blutbad: Wolf-like creatures like Monroe. Two of them were bank robbers.
Skalengeck: A lizard-like wessen. One of them was a bank robber.
The episode does pick up with the Nick cliff-hanger but it doesn't feature Adalind at all. Nick does survive and they manage to go through with the rest of the process of getting rid of the spell with minimal drama. Nick is fine and Renard is having less feelings for Juliette. The problem is that Juliette isn't fine. She's starting to hallucinate. She sees a giant hole in the middle of her house, electrical sparks coming out of it, and endless stairs. Making matters worse is that she also hears a droning noise. It freaks her out until she faces her fear and she's able to cover the hole by walking over it. It's a cool sequence as the floor forms up as she steps on the hole until the house is back to normal. She remains haunted by these hallucinations as she wakes up the next morning with a new hole under her bed and a voice telling her that it just wants her to know the truth. Is this a great visual way for her memory of the night where Nick told her about the wessen world coming back to her? It's an interesting development that certainly promises character development.
The rest of the episode was largely a weekly case that really built up the world of Grimm. It began with three bank robbers that used their natural forms. People thought they were wearing masks when they were really allowing people to see who they really are. Monroe happens to be a witness and he puts Nick on the right path of their investigation. The problem in the judicial system is actually having to prove that's who they are. Nick and Monroe can't just charge them because Monroe recognizes their wessen state. They have to find actual evidence linking them to the crime. What complicates matters is that this isn't like any other crime. They might not be killing people at first but they are breaking a major law. The wessen live by a code where they don't reveal themselves to the public. They don't do it to even take advantage of normal people. This isn't just an honor code that isn't enforced but it is actual wessen law. It was decided by a council in the middle ages and enforced by the Wessen council. What happens if you break the code? They kill you. Making matters more interesting is that Rosalee has a direct line to the council. In fact, she happens to contact the exact same person that Renard does. The Grimm world just got more fleshed out in this episode.
Natural Born Wessen is a pretty good episode of Grimm. It manages to do some interesting stuff with Juliette as it's setting up something. I'm not sure where the writers are going but I'm intrigued and it fits this show's world more than random pregnancies. The weekly case was solid but the investigation was overshadowed by the new details of the Grimm world. It also allowed Monroe a greater role in this episode. He's a fan favorite but he hasn't had a large involvement in the investigations ever since Hank learned about the wessen world. It was great to see him actually helping to solve the case. As for the actual bank robbers? It was basically a case of Bonnie and Clyde who got high on fame and power. It was typical stuff but it was mostly an excuse to help develop the world of Grimm. Overall, I really liked this episode.