Thursday, December 19, 2013

Grimm, Season 3, Episode 8: The 12 Days of Krampus

“Oh Christmas Tree,
Oh Christmas Tree,
How Steadfast are your branches…”

‘Tis the holiday season and it’s time for festive Grimm! Starting with some naughty teenaged boys stealing Christmas presents from a car and a very very angry Father Christmas (with horns and a long tongue) catching up with them, viciously wielding a switch and stuffing one of them into his sack, while the other cowers under a car, managing to escape more than claw marks to his face.

He leaves behind a lump of coal

Ho Ho Ho

Nick and Hank are called to the scene of the crime, assuming that two people fought over what they stole; they find a jacket with “QB” written in it, the coal, a blood stained switch and, they assume, the body of a teenaged boy. But when Wu climbs into the car to check, he wakes up – he’s not dead.

They get him to the hospital and find his father, who has pretty much written his son, Derek off, it seems. The jacket belongs to his friend Quinn though. They interview Derek who tells them Quinn was kidnapped but he’s panicky and scared – and has a full blown panic attack when he sees a mn in a Father Christmas suit.

Hank and Nick get the full name of Quinn Baxter, the missing boy and across town at a market another teenaged boy steals some Christmas presents and runs away – only to be caught by an angry horned Father Christmas with a switch. A passer-by witnesses him putting the boy in his sack and walking away with him. Again, he leaves coal behind.

Hank and Nick go to Quinn’s address and find Bud there – he knows Quinn’s father and they confirm that Quinn is missing – before they’re called to the next crime scene. Another witness description, another missing boy – which means questioning people dressed as Father Christmas, yeah there’s a lot of them. They find one with a record who is a Wesen and it escalates terribly – end result; Hank and Nick on the news arresting Father Christmas in front of a lot of kids. HO HO HO!

Bud sees this on TV and checks to see if Nick has found Quinn – Nick has to hurry but tells Bud all they found were lumps of coal – which causes Bud to have a minor freak out, as is his wont. Speaking of the coal, Wu (after snark about arresting Father Christmas) tells Nick that the coal is from the northern most tip of the arctic.

Nick and Hank check with Monroe about a Wesen he mentioned in the past associated with Christmas, but Monroe denies it can be them because they’re generally benevolent. But he does recognise what they’re talking about – Krampus, who punishes naughty children by beating them with a switch, kidnapping them, hanging them from a tall tree and then eating them on the night of the solstice (cut to Krampus loading up a teenager into a basket to hang from his tree). That solstice would be that night – and they’re in Portland so finding a tall tree in the highest spot is just… not easy. They argue about which park or forest is appropriate when Bud arrives and instantly says one location. They decide to trust the beaver man to know his trees and head out (including a very very nervous Bud).

In the forest, Nick’s super Grim-hearing hones in on the captured teens. Hank, Bud and Monroe free the teenagers while Nick fights Krampus. The Krampus grabs Nick by the throat and he has a zombie moment – and punches the Krampus unconscious with one hit. But when unconscious, Hank can see his horns unlike most Wesen. They can’t arrest him and Hank and Monroe suggest Nick put aside his police role (effectively telling Nick to kill him). Nick objects to the idea of killing a man while he’s helpless and invites them to do it if they are concerned by him eating children. As Nick continues to worry, Hank steps forward, he’ll kill the child eater if he has to.

Then Krampus wakes up – and turns back to human. He’s lost and confused and has no idea where he is and no memories. In the police station he says it happens to him every December – he blacks out then wakes up 22nd December dressed as Father Christmas with no idea how he got where he is (he’s in Portland, he lives in Salt Lake City). And he has no idea what a Wesen is.

Nick updates the Grimmfiles and then they wonder what do to so they can hardly arrest him. They finally settle on passing him on to the Wesen Council – their problem.

Rosalie and Monroe also have a sweet storyline. As soon as Rosalie leaves for the day Monroe puts into operation his cunning master plan – OVERWHELMING CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS! He recruits Juliette to help him put out his 42 boxes (admittedly daunting) of decorations. Yes, she finds the number daunting as well, but he loves Christmas and it’s part of his master plan to surprise Rosalie (Juliette thinks Rosalie should be there to help but he wants to do that other years, this is the first and only chance he’ll have to surprise her).

Rosalie comes home to find THE MOST EPIC CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS EVER! And while she tries to put a happy face on it… it’s not for her. She associates Christmas with the death of dear loved ones. And now feels kind of awful for ruining Monroe’s childish glee

That night, while Rosalie sleeps, Monroe takes down all the decorations. Rosalie comes down the next morning to find Monroe asleep on the sofa and the room returned to normal.

Of course while it’s sweet, Rosalie feels terrible and talks to Juliette about it; Juliette suggests finding a holiday tradition that means something to both of them, like she and Nick did (Nick made her traditions his since he didn’t have many of his own). All Rosalie remembers is her aunt leaving Father Christmas beer and cigars.

Monroe comes home and finds Rosalie passed out on the sofa – and all the decorations are back up. Along with cigars and beer let out for Father Christmas

While all this has been going on in Portland things have been getting more involved in Austria. The resistance has a special meeting – a respected leader arriving after shooting his way through a Verrat road block (calmly gunning down 4 Verrat). The meeting takes place at the nice house where Renard, Meisner and Sebastien arrived last episode where he greets Constantine in German before everyone switches to English and meeting Sean Renard who he calls “the royal bastard” (each of them earning the other’s respect very plainly in that moment).

The meeting begins with many arguments, some people don’t trust Renard for being both royal and for being a Hexenbiest, some are not happy by the assassination of Eric since it has put more pressure on them – yet others are happy because of that since it means the resistance actually has to resist. It’s wonderful depiction of a very fractious movement. Renard speaks up simply, understanding their distrust, but laying out what he brings to the movement: His blood gives him access to people they need, he has a greater understanding of Wesen in general and he has a Grimm (a very impressive card to play). If they don’t act together the Royal families will rule the world and they will be dead or their servants. When leaderman speaks up in support, everyone falls in behind him and Renard

In Vienna, Meisner helps Renard sneak into Adalind’s hotel room where he looks around, examines her freaky blood tonic and leaves her a note and a rose after noticing the camera.

Adalind arrives at her hotel room and finds the note and rose, in which Renard tells Adalind she’s been watched, to stay 5 minutes, smile as if he’s said something charming, change her clothes and come meet him. She does so, looking afraid about changing in front of the camera.

This episode was cute – and perfect for a holiday episode. I like how it could be cute and sweet (and who does cute and sweet better than Rosalie and Monroe?) and also managed to touch on the fact that the Holidays aren’t always super happy dappy times for everyone.

And, of course, just because we’re doing sweet Holiday episode doesn’t mean we can’t have a disturbing, child eating monster – that is very much straight out of folklore.

And we kept the meta going – Renard is where the story is at the moment.