Sunday, November 18, 2012

Grimm Season 2, Episode 12: Season of the Hexenbiest

It’s the Grimm Autumn finale (whether that’s the end of season 2 or not, I have no idea – there’s apparently more to come eventually) let’s hope they pick up where they’ve been flagging a little.

“Oh! There is a terrible witch in that house who spewed her poison over me and scratched me with her long fingernails.”

I have to say, considering the monsters we’ve seen, long fingernails don’t exactly fill me with terror. And after she’s spewed poison over you, complaining about the manicure seems a little whiney.

Anyway, in Rosalie’s shop Monroe has just discovered the target of Renard’s obsession – Juliette! She leaves the shop in a hurry and drives off followed by a leather clad figure on a bike. Renard leaves and gets his own biker follower.

The drama from this results in Renard being all pouty and withdrawn, Juliette ringing Nick “hey Nick we have to talk.” And Monroe ringing Nick “hey Nick we have to talk.” At this point I’d have the idea that Juliette is going to run away with Monroe.

Meanwhile, Adalind has arrived in town in a big rich car, staying in a big rich hotel, surrounded by big leather clad guards (including the bikers who were following Juliette and Renard) all of which have been doodling significantly on their hands. She wants to know all about Renard and Juliette.

And Nick gets to have the very very very awkward conversation with Monroe who carefully does everything he can to minimise Juliette’s role and suggests it may be the spell Adalind cast. Time to go see Juliette – who is on the phone to Renard telling him she knows Monroe.

Awkward conversation the second! Nick and Juliette. Lots of high emotion, lots of decent acting as Juliette confesses having uncontrollable feelings for another man. Nick asks who it is and just before she names him… he says he doesn’t want to know (OH GRIMM YOU THRICE BE DAMNED TEASE!), it’s none of his business any more. And he leaves.

Juliette goes from there to see Monroe – who provides a hug and shoulder to cry on. She spends the night and the next day she tells him she remembers that, before she lost her memory, Monroe was going to tell her something. Monroe desperately wiggles out of it (since he was going to woge and show her) and Juliette realises that he’s Nick’s friend and won’t spill the secret.

Renard gets a visit from the hand-doodlers and Adalind who has an ultimatum for Renard after the obligatory snark. He gets the key from Nick in 24 hours – or she tells Nick who he is (Royal and otherwise) and that he tried to kill Aunt Marie

And Hank faces a ready microwave meal for one and a visitor – Adalind. She’s there to apologise and say her baking days are over. Uh-huh. She tries to suggest Nick may have told lies about her than that he was involved in Catherine, her mother’s death, but Hank isn’t buying what she’s selling. When he returns to his meal, he’s attacked by 2 hundjager

That morning, Wu calls Nick to tell him Hank has been severely beaten and his home wrecked. Nick hurries to the hospital. He talks to Hank, dodging his question about who killed Catherine and saying Adalind is behind getting Hank beat up – to get to him.

Renard has a call in French to his contacts  and we get some more tantalising hints of meta – Eric, his brother, is making a move backed by the Verrat (what is the relationship between the Verrat and the Royals!?). One of Renard’s people was caught, tortured and killed – and someone called Danilov is now in control. They hang up – and a Hundjager leaps on Renard’s contact.

Things are starting to get complicated – Renard and Nick (still without Nick knowing about him and Juliette or about Renard and the Verrat or the Royals) decide Adalind is behind the attack on Hank and get Wu looking under every rock for her – and Monroe calls Nick telling him Juliette had left, but Nick worries Adalind may target her again. Nick and Monroe hurry to the house…

But Juliette is having coffee with Adalind and ignoring her phone. By the time Nick manages to get through to her, Adalind has already done several kinds of catching up – and is asking Juliette questions about Aunt Marie’s trailer. Nick and the police arrive and arrest Adalind – so she and Renard can snarl at each other and Juliette can snarl at Nick for… what exactly?

At Hank’s wrecked house, Monroe goes to investigate and smells the Hundjager. Nick interviews Adalind about her mother’s death – though she has a very strong alibi, being in Vienna at the time. After some pointless questions she demands the key.  Taking what Monroe tells Nick about the Hundjager and that GQR industries, which Adalind works for, owned the ship that brought over the Mauvaises Dentes, they realise they’re dealing with the Verrat and Adalind is working for the royals.

Renard speaks to Adalind who tells him how impressed they are with Nick – killing the Mauvaise Dentes and the Nuckalevee. And she tells Renard about the Grimm Trailer, where the key is probably hidden – setting Renard on the hunt as well. Speaking of the Trailer – that’s where Nick is, taking the key out of its hiding place just in time to get a call from Monroe, whose had a sniff around Adalind’s hotel room and found the 2 Hundjager who attacked Hank.

Monroe provokes them again and leaves – leading to all 4 of them to Nick – “do you want to arrest them or what?” “or what?” says Nick – with a big, knobbly club. Nick kicks arse (Monroe knocks one down as well. I miss the days when Monroe ripped off a person’s arm almost accidentally. He used to be dangerous – his whole point was he was a savage, dangerous, terrifying monster who chose not to be) but when one Hundjager starts to answer his questions another rips out her throat.

Nick goes to tell Adalind who isn’t fussed by dead Hundjager – but does say she has a name for the mysterious Royal in Portland. She’ll tell him in exchange for the key.

Back at home, Nick tells Juliette he’s not sleeping on the couch any more (I’m sorry, but their house is freaking HUGE.  It’s enormous. I do not believe that house doesn’t have at least ONE spare bedroom, or somewhere, in the last few weeks, where they haven’t set up a spare bed). He takes a bag and goes to Monroe’s (who does have a spare bed).

While at Monroe’s Monroe shows him a recorded video programme of who Juliette was kissing – Renard. And Renard finds the Grimm  trailer.

The End.

Wait, WHAT?! What do you mean the end? And this is the autumn finale (and what does that mean anyway? Is season 2 over? Are we waiting for season 3? I thought Grimm was going to have 22 episodes this season. Or will it continue next year?)

Ok, episode notes before series notes:

Last week I was happy to see Hank being more than just an extension of Nick and having his own storylines he dragged Nick into. This week Hank is being beaten to get to Nick – makes me look back and wonder if the last episode was just to set up this.

The tension over the Juliette/Renard/Nick has been building all season… but I think this episode, while incredibly acted, pushed it to the point of silliness with the “I don’t want to know” moment.

Which brings me neatly to something with this season. When the season started I as overjoyed that all of the meta that had been ignored for so long in season 1 was now happening. And for 3-5 episodes it did. And we did have some major events with Hank being brought into the story

And then? Juliette has amnesia as we keep being reminded. She has a slow slow slow thing with Renard. The royals are plotting (what we don’t know but they keep on plotting). It improved on season 1 in that it stopped ignoring the meta – but instead it just endlessly HINTED at it instead

And there’s still such a lot of world building to fill – how do the Verrat and the Royals – and the Reapers for that matter – even fit together. Who is Renard, what is he doing, what is his or his brother’s agenda? Fill in some of the gaps!

It came to a head this episode when the excuses to keep Nick in the dark were drawn out to a near ridiculous degree (even the idea that Monroe – AFTER SEEING AND RECORDING Renard on the news would NOT think Nick knew him – given their jobs how could he NOT?)

I like this show. And I think it vastly improved on the last season, it really has, the meta never disappeared, it never went away – but there comes a point when excitement over the anticipated revelations becomes frustration.  At least when Grimm starts again we know the meta has to move forwards because they’ve finally backed it into a corner!

Inclusionwise we’ve had some major steps forward with Hank being involved in the plot (except this episode seems designed to get him out of the plot and use him as a tool) and actually having his own storylines and connections to the plot which added a lot to it and some of the highlights of the season have been Hank and Monroe bouncing off each other. But Wu is still little more than comic relief, which is a waste.

The show is badly in need of some female characters. With Rosalie and Kelly we seemed to have some chance (Kelly was awesome) but both have been packed off now for the long term leaving us with Juliette – the victim, the love interest. And that’s pretty much all her character is – and she’s the only woman who isn’t a villain left on the show.  

We continue to have complete GBLT erasure – already bad after the first season, only exacerbated by another season.

In summation, I love the show, it has grown a lot since season 1, it is getting its stride when it comes to maintaining a meta plot and moving away from its monster of the week. It’s awesome. But it needs to develop the plot not just nod and say “look we got one” and it really needs to beef up its inclusion.