Sunday, April 15, 2012

Grimm, Season 1, Episode 17: Love Sick

“Forgive me the evil I have done you; my mother drove me to it; it was done against my will.”

And I give up guessing where these quotes come from, yes yes I do.

So we begin with Nick in the GrimmTrailer (infinitely less cool than Bat Cave, I just have to say) with the key his aunt Marie gave him 10 squillion episodes ago finally trying to figure out what it fits but to no avail. In his searching he does spill ink and get an impression off it however.

Meanwhile the infinitely more interesting Captain Renard is being held at gunpoint by a man called Woolsey (who appears to be some kind of butler) who is probably evil (he has a British accent, that usually means evil on TV – but could be the butler thing as well) in order to make him visit Captain Renard’s cousin. Damn, the lengths some people will go to for a family reunion.

Everyone is immensely polite and extremely European, British accents and both German and French spoken. I actually have to applaud how well we’ve got such a strong sense of “not being from round here” so quickly without having to be too excessive about it. The family has apparently lost patience in how long Captain Renard is taking to get the key off Nick and are taking matters into their own hands. Captain Renard objects, there is a scuffle and Renard kills both Woolsie and his cousin (which is a crying shame because Woolsie was well and truly awesome even in those few minutes).

Captain Renard goes to a house to see a woman, Catherine, who smells the violence on him and is pleased about it (it’s Nan Flannigan from True Blood!) and he makes a deal with her for Adalind to do something and pay a debt she owes him. Renard warns her that Adalind has her own mind and she has to be careful to make sure she does what they want.

Back to Nick (aww, must we? That last scene was more awesome than any Nick has been in for several episodes) who is on a double date – with him and Juliette and Hank and Adalind – and yes, he does recognise her as the Wesen who tried to kill Aunt Marie. Talk about Awkward dinner dates. Nick decides to set the tone with passive aggressive sniping. Which, of course, serves to achieve little (what, is it meant to warn her?) except make him look odd to Juliette and Hank. He does take a moment to warn Adalind off but is naturally ignored.

And we have a crime – 2 dead bodies interrupting the awkward dinner date (thank ye gods) and getting Nick and Hank out to meet Sargent Wu who is eating chap-stick. Yes, it’s the scene of the 2 dead Renard clan. Nick takes time over the corpses to try and warn Hank off Adalind, but that doesn’t work either. At least Nick notices Wu’s new synthetic diet which seems to be escalating.

Back at the police station they summarise everything to Captain Renard who is worried about the connecting the case to him. But they’ve found a cell phone – oops, missed that Renard. Hank heads home and Wu, after much banter which we really need to see more of him for – passes out. At the hospital the doctor, for some reason, decides Nick is Wu’s next of kin or equivalent and tells him that Wu passed out because of the many non-edible things he’s been eating – she thinks it’s an eating disorder. Renard takes the opportunity to change the sim card in the cell phone. It’s not perfect though as this look suspicious to Nick – why would an old phone have a brand new, blank sim card? He takes the suspicion to Captain Renard since Hank is becoming more and more useless under Adalind’s spell. Naturally Renard does his best to squash that line of inquiry.

Following Adalind home she meets up with Catherine – fellow Hexenbeast and her mother. It’s clear that Adalind doesn’t know about her mother’s involvement with Renard and that they’re plotting behind her back to manipulate and control her. Renard tells Adalind that they have to make their move on Hank now – interrupting her leech beauty treatment. Hank is falling ever more deeply under Adalind’s spell and she is inviting him round to dinner and more.

This episode is starting to run everywhere now, with Nick dropping in on Eddie to discuss Hank dating Adalind the Hexenbeast. Something Grimmopedia Eddie thinks is a bad bad idea since the witchcraft of Hexenbeasts can easily be used to control people. They outsource this to Rosalie, Grimmopedia no.2. And Eddie torments Nick by using Wesen pseudo-German just to poke him (I really do like how they bounce off each other – far better than any other character). In Rosalie’s shop they find Adalind’s shopping list which she used to make the love cookies and they find that the love potion actually kills people. They need to get their research heads on to save Hank’s life. Rosalie remembers Wu’s reaction and uses it to narrow down the potions that could have caused both that and be used on Hank (with some more flirting between the Grimmopedias).

Between them they find an antidote they mix up and test first on Wu who is busy eating his rug – it works, we have a cure. On to Hank – who is at Adalind’s. They arrive – but Hank is unconscious and the cure won’t work because she has changed the potion by having sex with him. Only killing Adalind will cure it – and killing her with the blood of a Grimm. Adalind calls and offers a trade – the key for Hank’s life.

Cue the fight scene at the park, Hexenbeast vs Grimm (yes Nick has gone alone. Why not bring Eddie as back up to help fight Adalind? Wouldn’t a Blutbad have been useful?). Guess what? The spell is broken by Nick forcing a kiss on Adalind – she bites him and his blood enters her mouth, forcing out a ghostly spirit from her and waking Hank. His blood removed her Hexenbeast abilities – she’s just human now.

She runs home and finds Catherine and Renard together. Renard is impressed by Nick’s cleverness (well the cleverness of his research assistants) and both are contemptuous of Adalind. She’s useless to them now – just a human.

And we end with Nick taking a full impression of both sides of the key

I love how much meta-plot there was in this episode – there was no monster of the week, we’re finally addressing all the issues that have been dormant for so long. But it felt almost… rushed? Or confused. There was a lot of leaping back and forth, a lot of multiple events happening, just about every character showed up. I think it may be intentional due to the fact we’re rushing to the climax and it is supposed to be quick and dramatic. But still, it’s like paddling in the shallow end then leaping off the tall diving board. Also, the lack of any real build up around this key for, what, a dozen episodes? Means I’ve forgotten about it and I certainly have no idea why it’s so important – we could have used some foreshadowing here.

There was so much – and it was great but it was squeezed into one episode and was an almost jarring change of pace from all the episodes so far.

I have to say I’m really unhappy with how Hank and Wu have devolved in this series. From the beginning it looked good but now they’ve become victims and liabilities, people to be rescued and saved rather than participants in the story.

I’m glad we have Rosalie who is strong and capable and competent – the series needed it after so many poor representations of women (and another episode where Juliette might as well not have been here). But then we have Adalind (crafty, manipulative seducer woman) who, it turns out, is a manipulated victim (is that a downgrade trope? And her role as manipulative seductress has been taken over by Catherine so that spot is filled still). The quote at the beginning of the episode clearly establishes Adalind's victimhood. Of all the ways to defeat her, forcing a kiss on her was the most skeevy and unnecessary.

Still for the first time in a long while I’m really looking forward to the next episode.