Sunday, March 10, 2013

Grimm Season 2, Episode 13: Face Off

This hiatus seems to have lasted a lifetime but Grimm is finally back with us! And we left on such a dramatic cliffhanger with Nick finally learning something about Renard – his Wesen-ness and being with Juliette. Meta’s a-marching!

“The Will to Conquer is the First Condition of Victory”

Monroe shows Nick Renard on the TV, revealing him as the man kissing Juliette, and Nick is not a happy Grimm. Nick starts to storm off out the room and Monroe gets in his way, urging him to slow down, to pause, calm down and think. Of course, Nick doesn’t listen to the voice of reason – but he does listen to his mobile phone reporting a quadruple homicide. That would be the Wesen last week that he killed. This is not Nick’s best day.

Meanwhile at the newly discovered Grimm Trailer, Renard has brought an Owl Wesen to use his super-sight to open the locks. Inside, Renard has a good root around the Grimm Trailer, looking at the books, the weapons and all the niftiness, he doesn’t find the key before his phone rings though.

To the crime scene where Wu tells Nick what the evidence says about the 4 people he killed: no guns (all medieval weapons), no witnesses, no CCTV, no IDs. You can almost hear Nick relaxing. Until Renard shows up DUM DUM DUM. Feel the tension in the air. Time for lots of discussing the case with extra subtext and double entendre and Nick glaring at Renard (I wonder if we’re stuck on the “he’s with Juliette!” jealousy or if the “he’s a Wesen!” has kicked in yet).

Wu notices the tattoos on the palms of their hands (the symbol of the Verrat), which Nick links to an older case, also involving Wesen (and the Verrat)

You know what this scene needs? More tension! So Juliette calls Renard to tell him, tearfully, that Nick has moved out. She says she’s having a hard time and doesn’t understand and needs him to come over – which can’t really happen with the crime scene and all (especially with Nick giving him angry eyes). He hangs up and returns to the case and notes that the dead men really underestimated who they were going up against – and yes Nick reacts to that (a sort of angry, wry amusement).

Back at the station Renard calls someone in Vienna to confirm (in French) the dead were Verrat and gives basic descriptions of them – he wants to know who they were and who they were sent by (he bets his brother the Prince) and says that their killer is a mystery – while looking out at Nick. But his contact has his own warning – someone called Jacques is dead and their alliance with the resistance (that would be the Laufer, those who can remember past all the monster of the week episodes)

Then comes Wu with the surveillance footage – showing Monroe leaving the hotel in a hurry followed shortly by the 4 angry Verrat. Nick tries to distract attention questioning whether someone who looks like Monroe could be that dangerous – and Renard gets a huge headache.

Speaking of Monroe, he gets a call from the far-too-long-absent Rosalie and gets to pass on all the gossip. Rosalie puts 2 and 2 together and realises that Renard was probably the one who woke Juliette from her enchanted coma (it’s only after a hiatus that you realise how much meta there is in Grimm to catch up on!). Rosalie believes  Juliette has no choice and is returning the next day now her aunt is better (thank you – the show needs more female characters than the perpetually imperilled Juliette).

At the house, Renard goes to visit Juliette for lots of sexual tension, kissing on the doorstep and finally her letting him in – holding hands. All watched by Nick, in his car, seething in barely contained rage. He gets out of his car in a towering fury, but Monroe rings with Rosalie’s revelation about Renard waking Juliette up and adds that he’s probably overreacting and there’s no way Nick was planning on doing something stupid *ahem*. Nick turns away from the house and we cut to Renard and Juliette making out inside and beginning to remove clothing.

At Monroe’s Nick arrives, still all angry and tortured and Monroe points out that Renard and Juliette both came to his shop to try to be cured of their obsession. So they haven’t fallen in love, they don’t want this and Renard does believe the obsession is dark arts related. And he remembers Catherine (the Hexenbiest) and the ingredients she ordered for the purification spell – and puts it all together with some decent deductive reasoning and no massive psychic leaps of logic.

While Renard and Juliette are still all over each other but Renard keeps pushing her away, saying “no” while they both also say they can’t make themselves stop. Then she slaps him and he says if she wants it to end she’s going to have to try harder (uckies) but she says she doesn’t want it to stop. They rampage back and forth, ripping clothes, destroying furniture, desperately trying to resist each other, pushing each other away, grabbing each other, Juliette hitting Renard with just about everything. He almost starts to Woge and she points a gun at him and starts shooting at random – walls, ceiling, more furnishings. It finally seems this breaks through and Renard hurries from the house before the police arrive, called for the gunshots

Monroe and Nick are now storming through the recap, identifying Catherine Schade, Adalind’s mother, as the one who set Renard up to be obsessed with Juliette, Catherine being dead thanks to mummy Grimm (I do love Monroe’s plaintive little “whyyy?” there) And then Wu calls from Nick’s house to tell Nick that the place has been trashed, shots have been fired and Juliette isn’t talking – off her goes, anger against Renard returning.

Nick goes home but Wu doesn’t think she’ll talk to him (and it’s clear Wu is aware that all is not rosy). Juliette claims she shot the gun at what she thought was an intruder, while sitting looking shellshocked on the sofa. She says he took the gun with him. Nick asks if she’s hurt, asks if there’s anything he can do – he’s doing so well – before he reveals he knows about Renard. He goes back to Wu and tells him that she’s not talking and between them they work out it being shelved under an intruder and self-defence – and Wu agrees to have a someone around to keep an eye on things.

Meanwhile, much to her surprise, Adalind is released from gaol. She doesn’t know why and doesn’t know who authorised it – but she’s out, and suspicious. And rightly so because as she walks away she is grabbed by Renard forcing her into his car with a death threat thrown in when she hesitates; Renard is severely on edge. He tells her that he’s found the Grimm Trailer and she’s much more enthusiastic. But that’s not where he takes her – he takes her somewhere isolated and refuses to tell her a thing if she doesn’t fix him. But she can’t – she’s not a Hexenbiest any more, she lost her powers.

But she does say she can make it better. They kiss, him more than a little frenzied, and she says she wants what he never showed her – and he Woges. Partially anyway, one eye goes –what is that? Reptilian? Rotting? Just plain nasty? – this is just what Adalind wants apparently. She has odd tastes it seems.

Next day Nick and Monroe got to meet Rosalie, with Monroe adorably nervous (and, after all the heavy angst of the episode, it was nice to see them bounce off each other a little). After greetings, Rosalie insists they go to the spice shop, she has an answer to the problem.

While Adalind and Renard enjoy the morning after and he tries to get her on his side and not giving the key to his brother – she points out she was on his side and he turned his back on her (which is more or less accurate if, perhaps, missing some details).

back to the spice shop – and more pieces are being put together by the heroes. If the purification potion was made by Renard then Renard is the mysterious Royal in Seattle they’ve been hearing about (I love how the plot is unravelling here. All the secrets finally being known!) She warns him that if they don’t act quickly, one of them will end up killing the other. They start searching for remedies. And they find one – but it’s not easy. They need Renard and Juliette to take it together. And they need the cat that first injured Juliette – the cat that escaped and got hit by a car.

While Renard is in the Grimm Trailer searching for the key. It’s a long, frustrating and fruitless until he remembers Nick hiding something in his drawer at work. Where he finds… the KEY. But as he’s leaving Nick’s desk he’s spotted by Hank who thinks it weird and tells Nick.

Nick was seconds away from step 1 of the cure Juliette process – drinking the purification potion (a cat alternative?) when he gets the call and runs out, realising Renard has the key. Hank does his best to try and keep the captain in the precinct when he tries to leave but Hank can’t stop him. Renard goes home, taking a call on the way from Juliette telling him Nick knows. He meets Adalind just as she’s leaving – but lies to her, telling her that he didn’t find the key.

Nick arrives at the police station and finds the key is gone. Hank realises that Nick is gunning for the captain and has a thousand questions Nick doesn’t have time to answer. He wants to go with Nick but Nick tells him to stay out of it, and tells him to find Adalind instead. Nick gets in his car and Renard calls – asking to meet so they can talk.

They meet somewhere isolated – the cabin from the very first episode of Grimm (ok, bonus points for totally awesome nostalgia there). Renard arrives – and Nick attacks him. Renard tries to talk to him, to be peaceful, but Nick’s not having it and keeps knocking Renard about – who either isn’t trying or isn’t on par with Nick, until Renard Woges and Nick sees him.

Nick asks how long Renard’s known about Nick and he says ever since Nick’s aunt came to town. Unfortunately that prompts Nick to remember Renard tried to kill her. Renard insists it was always about the key, not about her – and they have another round of fighting until Renard pulls out the key and tells Nick he’s giving it back, that’s why he called for the meeting. He throws Nick the key and has an awesome speech about things being a lot bigger than him and Nick – that if the Adalind and the Royal families get the key they’re both dead. Nick listens but asks about Juliette. Renard makes it clear he wants the end to this thing with Juliette but he doesn’t know how – well, Nick, thankfully does.

To the house with Nick, Juliette and Renard (I love her greeting “now what?”) to the spice shop for more potion mixing and this time Nick drinks the purification potion (which caused Renard incredible agony). There’s a pause – and then it kicks in, agonising pain and Nick turning bright red.

Meanwhile in Vienna Adalind takes a pregnancy test – she’s pregnant. Presumably with Renard’s child (so a 75% Hexenbiest?) She seems happy about this.

Nick and Renard working together. Yes yes I can work with this. Oh yes I can.

Renard and Juliette. I am several kinds of skeevy by this whole magical compulsion forcing them to have sex even while they desperately resist – it’s bad enough they had attraction. But, I have to say as far as “magical compulsion that rapes us” thing goes (and why is that even a trope in the genre? No, really, why are there sufficient examples of magically compelled sex to make it a trope) it was done pretty well. They conveyed the magically induced unbearable obsession while at the same time making it clear how much both of them do not want this. This is a genre where we get a lot of magic forcing people to have sex and the reaction rarely conveys the full sense of how wrong what is happening to them is (though we often have guilt portrayed later – it’s usually in the vein of “I had sex, oh what a hussy I am!” sense.) Reluctance we see, but rarely this outright rejection. In short, it’s one of the few times where magically forced sex is treated as a violation rather than an inconvenience, a reason to self-slut-shame or a catalyst for happy sexy times.

I want to know more about Renard – we know his mother is a Hexenbiest – but what was his father? Yes he was royal – but are the royals human? It seems unlikely that the Royals aren’t some kind of Wesen themselves. But the partial Woge suggests partial Wesen? I need to know more!

This week’s meta was all kinds of shiny – just the fact that Nick & Co learned so much of what we’ve known for so long was great to watch and a revelation.

But there’s one glaring question that has to be asked: where was Hank? I mean, yes he was hurt last episode, but he doesn’t even get a visit? A phone call? Wu making a snarky comment about him laying back and relaxing while they investigate? He only shows up in the last 10 minutes of the show.