Sunday, November 10, 2013

Grimm, Season 3, Episode 3: A Dish Best Served Cold

“’Tis Death’s Park, where he breeds life to feed him. Cries of pain are music for his banquet.”

Well, that quote’s a cheery beginning for the episode. Nick is having a physical check up, probably because last episode Juliette thought he was dead. Nick runs on a treadmill and the doctors are a little surprised that the effort doesn’t seem to be increasing his heart rate even slightly. They increase the speed and incline and… Nick keeps on running away, his heart rate calm and collected an at rest even as he runs uphill at 20 miles per hour.

Zombie side-effect? Or just Grim physiology compared to human physiology?

The doctor is obviously bemused since Nick could be in incredibly good shape, but thinks it’s more likely the machine’s test results are broken. At Nick’s house, Juliette isn’t buying instrument failure and things Nick is having ongoing side-effects from zombification not that there’s much they can do about it – except monitor him. Nick himself feels more “aware” (given what his senses could be like before, that’s pretty extreme) and more in control. Nick is worried that he may become zombie-Nick again and rampage around killing people.

Rosalie and Mornoe go out for dinner (and Monroe is geeky about absolutely everything) while he awkwardly works his way up to asking her to move in with him when the chef brings complementary little beef tartlets. Poor Monroe is tempted but Rosalie steps in and saves him from eating meat (she eats it for him. She’s a saint like that). I love how they bounce off each other – Rosalie can clearly see what Monroe is trying to ask her, he can see she knows, but she’s still letting him fumble and revelling in his awkwardness and he totally knows she’s revelling. I love them. And they love each other – awwwwwww. And then random guy interrupts their meal to say hi to Monroe and show them the watch he fixed. Heh, nothing goes smooth for these two.

Cut to something less sweet – a man running through the woods, ripping off his jacket and shirt. He seems to be having very painful stomach trouble – in fact there’s something bulging and moving in his stomach. In response to this, he climbs a tree. Is that some kind of odd natural remedy? At the top of the tree he woges and his distended stomach splits open.

Police time! Hank and Nick are called out to the body in a tree. They find the body and all the viscera that burst from his stomach on the ground below – the ranger confirms for them that there’s no sign of a bear or mountain lion (or that climbing a tree would be a sensible reaction to escape either).

They get his ID (Ned) and Wu makes a pretty good joke (alas, everyone else is far too Appropriate for his humour). They interview his tearful wife but she says they were happy, had no problems and no enemies.

A young couple kissing under a tree are rudely interrupted by blood dripping on them – another body in a tree, nastily shredded.

Meta! Renard gets a call from his spy who tells him the police are investigating Eric’s study, that the family are at least upholding a pretence of co-operating but they’re also squabbling – things are going to get worse before Eric is replaced. The family thinks either the Resistance or another family killed Eric – no-one suspects Miesner. Also without Eric, Frau Pech will contact another family member to make a deal – and since she hasn’t been in touch (since she’s dead), Renard tells his spy to contact her.

He plans to do so and runs into Adalind who calls him Sebastian. A NAME! We have a name for this guy at last! She doesn’t act like she heard his call instead asking if they’re in danger and what she should do. She also wants to know who will take Eric’s place: “the last Royal standing.”

Back to Portland and Nick angsts over the man he killed while Zombie!Nick. Nick goes to see Renard about it who is pretty dismissive about Nick feeling bad about killing the guy. Renard asks what’s really bothering Nick – killing someone or killing someone who isn’t Wesen? Because he’s killed a whole load of them. Ouch – DIRECT HIT! Renard goes off to his meeting, not ready to baby Nick’s emotions.

Nick and Hank go to the next murder scene (though Nick looks troubled); they consider a serial killer but the new victim, Stephanie, is female. They find one connection – both of them went to dinner at Raven & Rose, a posh local restaurant. They go to investigate the restaurant and find that Ostler, the chef, is very very very temperamental. He’s also a Bauerschwein (pug Wesen), as are all his staff. Ostler is quite agitated at the suggestion that his restaurant caused the deaths.

They get a list of the employees and what both victims ate – but neither ate or drank the same thing. The staff all have clean records and aren’t recognised by the surviving wife. The toxin screens also come back clean. There’s no proof of a crime – but Nick keeps hitting on all the staff being Bauerschwein

Back with Juliette he considers the case and she draws parallels with a more minor equivalent of what happened to the victims with a disease some of the animals she sees get – but it’s very breed specific. Nick wonders how humans could be breed specific and realises the victims could be Wesen – they could be Blutbaden, since the Bauerschwein/Blutbaden feud has been raging for centuries. Except the staff have no way of realising who would be Blutbaden.

Still this is when Nick is moving out of Monroe’s and back in with Juliette. He and Monroe talk about the weirdness of living together as a Grimm and Blutbaden and we’re reminded of their friendship. It turns out Monroe and Juliette just ate at the Raven & Rose as well – Nick quickly points out the place is run by Bauerschwein and Monroe shrugs – he has no issues with Bauerschwein and doesn’t seem to understand Nick’s point. Nick asks if he’s ok – Monroe is fine – and has arranged a surprise party with all the gang and Bud – whose wife has baked an absolutely amazing cake (and isn’t present again – I think she’s a running joke like Maris). The party is interrupted by Monroe’s friend’s wife calling looking for Sam – the man Monroe met in the restaurant – he’s disappeared. Nick and Hank fill in Monroe and he knows Ned – he was a Blutbad as well. Juliette describes the symptoms to Rosalie who has heard of it and rushes to the Spice Shop.

There she gets out one of her books and find a specific mushroom – when cooked they release a toxin fatal to Blutbaden and force them to climb high places and explode to spread their spores. Rosalie remembers the complementary tartlet they were given that Monroe didn’t eat – everyone got one so even though everyone ordered very different meals they’d all get the mushroom.

Sam is out in the forest, with stomach problems. Nick and Hank send out a look out for his car and get a location – they arrive at the scene to hear him roaring and both of them chase into the woods with Monroe. They find him in a tree, just before he bursts. In the aftermath, Mornoe threatens to kill the Bauerschwein while Nick insists they find evidence – Monroe considers being Bauerschwein enough (alas) and tells Nick to sort it or he will.

Nick goes to confronts the chef, accuses him of putting the mushroom in the tartlets and reveals he knows the man is a Bauerschwein and he is a Grimm. And he wants a confession. Ostler isn’t impressed – he has lost family to Blutbaden, all of his staff have lost family to Blutbaden and in the new world order, the new civilised world order, that’s going to change.

At home Nick talks to Juliette about the feud – comparing it to several real life long standing conflicts (Rwanda, Middle East, Ireland – oh Nick you were doing so well) – and how everyone has a good reason to attack the people they hate (which, of course, gives the enemies good reason to retaliate, etc). He doesn’t know how to stop the feud – his ancestors would have just killed him: which Juliette says won’t stop the feud either. Nick agrees but it will stop it here – and stop Monroe ending up in gaol. When discussing that, he freezes and becomes glassy eyed and zombie-like – and Juliette has to snap him out of it.

At the Monroe’s house, Monroe has an uncharacteristic, full blown rant about Bauerschwein and needing to kill Ostler before it’s open season on Blutbad. Nick arrives and confirms Ostler’s guilt and Rosalie and Monroe both point out there’s no evidence and nothing Nick can do, not as a cop. Rosalie and Nick try to talk Monroe down – but he refuses to listen, woges and leaves.

At the Raven and Rose, Ostler receives another shipment of poison mushrooms before walking home – followed by an enraged Monroe. But he’s not the only one chasing Ostler – other Blutbad also stalk him. Monroe confronts Ostler – and Nick tackles him. Nick and Monroe fight. (NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Oh don’t tell me it wasn’t your reaction as well). Nick pulls a gun and tells Monroe he’s under arrest – and begs Monroe not to do this as other Blutbad call for the death of the Bauerschwein.

Monroe charges and Nick shoots him (damn, I used my over dramatic Noooo too soon!). The other Blutbad howl as Monroe collapses and his eyes close (relief! What? C’mon you know this trope) Hank checks him – and tells them he’s dead. Other Blutbad close in and Nick tells Ostler the feud ends now – he won’t let Ostler go unless he confesses. If Ostler doesn’t confess the Blutbad will kill every Bauerschwein he knows (Monroe briefly resurrects to say they can’t be stopped very melodramatically – Nicks gives him a look for ruining his death scene. Snerk – told you he wasn’t dead). Hanks starts talking about leaving – how he and Nick need to run because there’s so many Blutbaden

Ostler confesses. They drive him out of there. At the police station, Ostler confesses but doesn’t think it will stop the feud. Nick thinks it’s a start. Monroe complains that Nick actually hit with some of his punches

Meta round up! In Rosaliengebirge in Austria Sebastian breaks into a deserted cottage and finds a little black book. He calls Renard to tell him he can’t find Frau Pech anywhere. The only clue he has is a hotel name and room number.

Adalind, watching news footage of Eric’s death, cries a tear of blood. And she gets room service – apparently ordered by mistake, but round the corner Sebastian records her in Room 215 – the room number she got from Frau Pech’s book.

Renard made an excellent point about Nick’s guilt that I love – Nick beating himself up for killing someone makes a statement about who he considers a person considering the number of Wesen he has killed without the same level of angst or guilt. Yes, most of them were involved in nefarious activity, but this guy actually attacked Nick with a knife.

Yes, Nick is better than the genocidal Grimms of old and yes he has helped Wesen and he even has friends who are Wesen – but none of this means he sees Wesen as full people as is extremely well displayed here. I think this is an important lesson to learn and display because it does have real world parallels especially concerning marginalised people – how many will say “I have X friends” while at the same time holding views that make it clear how little they respect those “friends”? Or don’t realise how they treat those “friends” differently?

I think this point could have been better made if Nick hadn’t, basically, continues to suspect the restaurant when all reasonable investigation would have ruled it out purely because the staff are Bauerschwein which, as how they’re presented, except for the feud is a pretty peaceable species of Wesen. This isn’t the first time when Nick has basically had a suspect simply because they’re Wesen.

I did like the finding a peaceful way out without combat for once so as not to completely undermine Renard’s message and to point out that cycles of revenge rarely end conflict. And I almost bought Nick and Monroe at odds until Monroe “died”.