Sunday, October 28, 2012

Grimm, Season 2, Episode 9: La Llorana

“On many a dark night people would see her walking along the river bank and crying for her children”

There’s a man and his son fishing, enjoying themselves – when they see a woman in white walking along the bank, crying. The father watches her and sees her turn and walk into the water. Telling his son to stay put he runs after her, running into the water where she went into try and find and save her. He keeps looking until he sees, on the shore, the woman now dry, leading his son away. He hurries out of the water and tries to chase them but when he gets to the car park the woman and his son, Rafael, have gone.

Nick arrives at Monroe’s house – it’s Hallowe’en and Monroe goes waaaay over the top. He reminisces about the good ol’ days when Wesen used to Woge through the woods at midnight terrifying villagers (alas, he can find no villagers in Portland). He’s borrowed a morning star from Nick and further becomes all geeky about the history of it – Nick’s wonderfully amused by Monroe’s geerkery. Then he uses it to smash pumpkins. Nick finally leaves the scarily decorated house but only after Monroe promises no-one will get hurt.

Brief interlude to a woman who is dreaming of a woman in white, underwater, who becomes a strange banshee-type person. When she wakes she’s surrounded by a wall board and newspaper articles about missing children. She seems… intense

To the crime scene, where the father is telling Wu what happened in Spanish, though Wu’s Spanish isn’t really up to it. Hank and Nick show up and Wu fills them in – Luis Alvarez missing his son Rafael and they have a video of the woman in white taking the boy away

To the police stations they fill in Captain Renard, inept intern Ryan is still inept – and Nick calls Juliette in to be a translator, which means she and Renard have another moment. With Juliette in tow (She’s a fluent Spanish speaker) they can get all the details from Luis about what happened and what he knows about the woman (very little).

Cut to intense interlude woman again, pacing around near her computer until it beeps – with an Amber Alert for Rafael Alvarez. She woges into a blue furred tiger and books a flight to Portland while panting with anger.

Hank, Nick, Juliette and Luis go to his home which has several people waiting for them and is majorly decorated for hallowe’en (Juliette comments on “dia de los muertos”). Nick, Hank and Luis go to check Rafael’s room (and take a photo of Rafael) while a woman asks Juliette how she speaks Spanish so well – Juliette’s grandmother is Spanish. She says she knows who took Rafael – Nick & co return – but Luis tells her she knows nothing. She insists – the person who took Rafael was La Lorana (the weeping woman), a ghost story about a woman who takes children and drowns them. They show her a picture of the woman from the film they have and she says that is La Llorana. Luis doesn’t want to hear it and gets more and more agitated.

When they’re alone, the woman sees Juliette’s cat scratch and says they have to talk. Juliette says it was nothing – but she says she must have been very sick and then not remember any of it. She says someone brought her a cat and the cat was sick – Juliette tries to shut it down but she tells Juliette someone did this to her. Juliette becomes angrier and won’t talk about it. They leave Juliette with the family with Wu to act as translator. Later the same woman tells Juliette she’s in pain and going to have to choose between the 2 men she cares for – something she angrily rejects.

At the police station. Renard is having a phone conversation with someone about a man who was badly tortured – and they need to find out what he told since it could put their people at risk, especially people on the inside of the organisation. Why, possibly this man his brother Eric was torturing? And is Renard involved in the resistance against the royals? He’s interrupted by a knock on his door – Intense Cat Woman, is here, she’s a Detective from New Mexico. Damn it, we were getting exposition before she interrupted! She is Detective Valentina Espinosa of Albuquerque and has information on the boy.

Outside Hank and Nick are doing some calling around trying to find an enemy or a reason or Rafael to run away and coming up with nothing. Renard introduces them to Valentina, she’s been tracking the kidnapper for a while – if Rafael is the first child taken then she will take 2 more. Just as she did in New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, Arizona and Utah. And all will be dead by morning. They have no forensic evidence, only bodies – always 2 boys and a girl between the age of 7 and 10. She’s killed at least 12 kids but many more just go missing they don’t know of. They show her their video – and her eyes turn gold watching it. She also knows that the three children are always taken near where 2 rivers meet – 1 from one fork, 1 from the other and a third downriver from where the two rivers meet, forming a triangle.

La Llorana is in a shack with Rafael, humming to him while he lies motionless – when we look at her face again, it’s withered and a little oozy. She goes out and lures a small girl from a Hallowe’en party and brings her back to the shack with Rafael.

They go to the scene and find the same circumstances – but Renard stops them. The only Valentina Esponisa the Albuquerque police force have was relieved of duty 3 years ago and the FBI want her for interfering in a federal case and impersonating a police officer. Hank protests that a second child has been taken and that Valentina was right. Renard orders them to bring her in. Nick grabs her and she Woges into her blue kitty and he warns her not to do anything she’ll regret – Hank notices and asks what kind of Wesen she is – he says he doesn’t know. She says she’s a Balam (Jaguar?) – and he’s a Grimm and going to kill her.

At the police station, Renard questions her, how she was thrown off the force for her obsession and asking if she is involved in the cases. Her sister’s son was one of the kids who was kidnapped and killed – she’s obsessed because she saw the woman, she went to rescue her from the water and she was the one who was supposed to be looking after her nephew.

Research in the Grimm trailer – and they find La Llorana. But she wasn’t a Wesen but it was something even his ancestors couldn’t figure out. They do find one reference to the Abrazos del Rio – the embrace of the river. They take this to Valentina who has never heard of it, they take her out of custody – risking the FBI’s anger for the sake of the children but as they get outside they hear that a third child has been taken. They know all the kids are drowned but their bodies wash up down river. Working with the word “abrazos” (and “brazos” for arms) they figure that the confluence, where the rivers meet, is the most likely spot – and it’s not like they have any other likely spots. They hurry to the park.

La Llorana takes the three children to the river, where she cries for her children, begging them to forgive her, crying tears of blood. Three ghostly children rise from the water, she says she has taken 3 to take their place. As they approach the water, Valentina, Hank and Nick run to them – the ghost kids sink back into the water and La Llorana goes all wrinkled and oozy. Weeping, she continues to lead the kids to the water. Nick grabs La Llorana and tackles her into the water while Hank and Valentina get the kids.

Nick wrestles with La Llorana in the water, she tries to drag him under while he strangles her – then suddenly she becomes human again – and fades away. He swims back to the shore and Valentina says it’s one minute after midnight.

The kids are rescued and returned to their families, Ryan the intern is inept, Renard says they’ll throw some credit to the FBI and make them back off and Juliette looks on, for once not staring at Renard, but watching Nick.

While all this has been happening, Monroe is having an awesome hallowe’en, much loved by the kids for his ridiculous over the top windows. He stops 3 boys stealing a girl’s candy and they come back for revenge – using his mace to break his window. Eddie’s eyes turn red  - I was thinking we were going to see some limb ripping, alas no. He finds the boys, taking the Iphone they recorded the destruction on and says he will keep it until they pay for his window. They say they’re not scared of him and he woges at them.

And Renard, as well as checking on his possible involvement in the resistance, is also tracking Adalind in Vienna

It’s nice to see more racial diversity on Grimm – they haven’t had many Latino characters before. At the same time, it feels like an insert so they can use La Llorana ghost story – which is a Latin American myth. At the same time, that’s better than many shows like this that feel free to life monsters from all the world’s legends without bothering with the people or cultures from that region.

I want to know more about Renard! I think he’s rapidly becoming the most intriguing figure on the show.