Sunday, April 22, 2012

Grimm: Season 1, Episode 18. Cat and Mouse

“’Perhaps some accident has befallen him,’ said the king, and the next day he sent out two more huntsmen who were to search for him.”

A dog-like Wesen is chasing another across the country to Portland. There is some very blatant shooting in the open but he escapes – leaving his hunter to go speak to Captain Renard (He-Who-Has-A-Much-More-Interesting-Storylines). He shows Captain Renard the double square tattooed on the palm of his hand after entering the Renard’s home uninvited. As seems to be the proper higher ranking Wesen etiquette, there is an exchange of pointing guns at each other. He is Edgar Walt and works for the Verrat and is hunting an Ian Harman. Apparently Ian Harman is a leader of a resistance.

Renard doesn’t care much about the Verrat – though he seems to have a past with them – and doesn’t take orders from them. But he respects their threats – especially when the conversation turns to Latin – and threatening a war. So much world building to learn, where was this in the last 18 episodes?

And Nick has graduated to full Grimmyness as he now feels confident enough to write his own notes in the big Grimm books. At his house the tokens are talking – Juliette and Hank pretty much establishing that Adalind’s hold on Hank has completely gone and he doesn’t miss her now the spell is broken. But they’ve found the blood of Ian Harman at the bus depot where he was shot and have to go do the police thing. They find bullets, blood – and a name.

They trace the bullets to a 1902 German gun and see Ian on CCTV – but have his name as an alias.

Meanwhile Ian is introducing himself to Rosalie by trying to grab hold of her and possibly kidnap her. I say possible because Rosalie is working hard to redeem 16 episodes of awful female representation and promptly kicks his arse. Once he’s sprawled on the ground he calls Rosalie by name and she recognises him. He needs a new identity and was coming to see her now deceased brother to get one.

She calls Eddie to help and we hear more about the Lauffer, the resistance to the Verrat and that Ian is Rosalie’s ex. They both are Fuchsbau by the look of it. They also tell Ian about Nick - they have a friendly Grimm. And yes Ian is very very doubtful about this (I still want to know what the other Grimm have been up to to give them this reputation). Ian warns them that the Verrat sends Hundjager after people who cross them – dangerous, ruthless dog Wesen with amazing tracking skills.

The Hundjager – the Verrat’s hunter – is killing Wesen trying to find Ian still. Which leaves another body for Nick & Co to come investigate – and find Ian Harman’s passport left behind at the death scene. The Hundjager, calling himself Max Kurts, also hangs around to tell Nick that Ian Harman was the killer as well. Max keeps in touch with Captain Renard, largely to irritate him, it seems.

Eddie calls Nick in to come meet Ian at the spice shop – of course, Ian is wanted for murder so Nick pulls a gun on him. Of course, Eddie and Rosalie provides an alibi for Ian when the bartender was shot and introductions can happen. We get more information about the Verrat (huge organisation of corrupt Wesen who control vast organisations – just about anything corruptible) and the Lauffer who resist them. The Verrat, controlled by the Seven Houses (the Seven Royal families who are seeking to cause chaos because it forces people to flock to their rulers and seek stability) are going to start a massive world wide war apparently. And the Grimms decided to back the Royal Families.

Ian has lost all of his papers – and he needs false documents to get out of the country. Nick can’t promise that, being a police man and all, but he will try and find Edgar Waltz, the real name of the Hundjager while Rosalie speaks to Reginald (a Mauseherz) who makes false passports. But Edgar has already got to Reginald, threatening his family.

Nick checks his Grimm library and finds more about the Verrat and the Hundjager and how they used the cover of the Spanish Civil war to massacre Wesen they considered enemies. And then Edgar contacts Nick and asks to meet him at a station – and refers to the Friedenreden. He consults with Eddie and Ian what it is – it’s a truce where both appear unarmed. But as soon as they walk away from the truce anything goes. They have a tense truce but really nothing is advanced except the revelation that Grimms and Hundjager are often allies of convenience. If Nick doesn’t hand Harman over, Edgar will kill people

Nick then goes to hank and Renard revealing that Edgar is the real killer and that he called him – trying to get Ian cleared. While talking Wu comes back with the number tracked to the camera shop where Rosalie is picking up the faked passport. The police run to the rescue but arrive too late and find the Mauseherz’s body.

Rosalie is followed by Edgar to the spice shop and Eddie is given an ultimatum – deliver Ian or Rosalie dies. Eddie passes that on to Nick, of course. Big confrontation, Eddie finally becomes a Blutbad again and beats the Hundjager – and Ian shoots Edgar while h’s on the floor and helpless. More Hundjager will come hunting Ian but they won’t go for his friends at least. Nick, naturally, arrests him for murder. Or so it looks – Nick is faced with another of those moments where he has to choose between being a cop or doing the right thing in the Wesen world. He chooses the Wesen world – let’s Ian go and allows Eddie and Rosalie to dispose of Edgar’s body.

Nick presents the body to Hank and Renard and that Ian Harman is nowhere to be found.

Can I say again how very not impressed I am to have the supernatural either blamed or hailed as the causes of major world events that were the doings of people – I think saying the Verrat is the cause of major current events, including the Arab Spring is tasteless and disrespectful to the people involved and their own causes. They did better with the Spanish Civil war suggesting that it was more of a cover for their atrocities than the atrocities of the war being attributed to Wesen.

And on all that meta: The Seven Houses, the Verrat, the Lauffer? Why are we only just hearing about this? After 16 episodes of monster of the week with no meta, all of this is now being dropped on us in just 2 episodes. It’s too much with zero foreshadowing, zero pre-explanation. After episodes of ambling along we’re now sprinting to catch up. Now we have big dramatic “the world is on the brink of war” and we have had zero foreshadowing of it.

I did like us finally seeing the dramatic conflict between Nick as a cop and Nick as a Grimm. It was really well done, the hard choice between letting Ian go or arresting him for murder and shows how the two lives Nick lives are hard to bring together. This was first introduced waaay back in episode 3 and has been utterly ignored since then – which is a shame because it would have made for so much more interesting drama in the intervening episodes – with Juliette and Hank particularly.

I love that the meta is here, I am finally enjoying grim again. But I’m immensely frustrated that after weeks of splashing in puddles it now feels like we’re drowning in the deep end.