Sunday, January 12, 2014

Grimm, Season 3, Episode 10: The Eyes of the Beholder

“I am glad it’s night, you do not look on me, for I am much ashamed of my exchange.”

Juliette is having dinner with Alicia and gently trying to confirm that this time Alicia is not going to return to her abusive partner again. Grimm joins them for lunch and everything’s bright and happy. When Alicia goes to the bathroom, Nick lets Juliette know that Alicia is a Wesen – not in the “run, she’s scary” sense but more worried that when Alicia finds out she’s rooming with a Grimm she may have the screaming meemies and run back to Joe

To the crime of the week – a guy, Jarded, leaves a diner after flirting with his girlfriend, Joy the waitress to a much less pleasant sight – 3 men beating up a fourth, severely, with a woman screaming for help. The man on the ground briefly woges before being knocked unconscious. Jarded distracts the attackers by shouting and they move towards him – but someone else leaves the Diner and the attackers flee – as does Jerry, panicked, seen by the new witness.

Wu, Hank and Nick arrive to learn the man who was attacked, Alonzo, died and the attackers didn’t even rob him. Of course the witness thinks Jarded was responsible since he saw him leave the scene. Joy, talks to Hank mentioning that she thought Alonzo was in a gang – or at least not someone to be messed with – something she repeats to Jarded when he rings her wondering what to do; say nothing, don’t draw attention or he could be next – she certainly doesn’t think the police can or will protect him.

The attackers ominously talk about Jerry and whether they need to do something about him. Just in case we’re slow on the uptake

To Juliette and Alicia and now we know the real reason Nick never told her he was a Grimm – she’s awful at keeping secrets. After acting really clumsily and unnaturally for a bit, Alicia realises there’s something up. Juliette spills the big secret – she knows Alicia is a Wesen! And Alicia… has no idea what she’s talking about and she gets quite snappy about it.

She goes to see Rosalie for advice and Rosalie explains to her how used to hiding most Wesen are – and how a few Wesen are in denial anyway.

At the police station Nick and Hank confirm Alonzo’s gang affiliations – which naturally raises the question of gang warfare and Wu turns up surveillance footage of Jerry leaving the scene in his sister’s car. Of go Hank and Nick to see… Hank’s physiotherapist, Zuri. Yes Jarded’s sister is Zuri – he arrives while Hank and Nick try to figure this out – and he runs. They chase him and catch him – and Hank now has zero chance with Zuri.

At the police station they confirm that Zuri and Jarded have clean records – unlike their father who is in prison (which means Zuri is looking after her brother alone), Nick thinks Hank is awfully close to this one but Hank’s not dropping out – and he’s pretty sure Jarded’s innocent. They question him but he’s following Joy’s advice and saying nothing. Hank tries to talk Zuri into convincing Jarded to talk but she isn’t a fool – she has no wish to see her brother testify in a gang case.

Next person to question is Alonzo’s girlfriend, Mercedes, in the hospital. She doesn’t want to talk either and she woges when Nick describes Alonzo’s injuries – then realises Nick is a Grimm and panics. Y’know it  must be either very good or very bad for Nick’s ego to be constantly surrounded by panicking people. She tells him who attacked Alonzo when Nick threatens to “come back as a Grimm”.

Nick is fuzzing those lines – using his Grimm status to threaten witnesses in what is, as far as he knows, a conventional crime is awfully shaky. Yes he can’t always play by the law when working with Wesen because the law doesn’t have the facts – but that doesn’t mean stepping beyond it.

Time to talk to Monroe about the gangs – he knows nothing, he has nothing to do with gangs, human or Wesen, and is very scathing about them. Rosalie, however, went through a “rough patch” as we know, and bought drugs from gangs in the past. The local Portland gang is Wesen  – Yaguarate (Jaguar Vesen I’m guessing). And a human gang from Seattle is moving in. Nick and Hank leave with the new knowledge leaving Rosalie and Monroe to be sweet and cute and d’aaaaw together.

The gang members, meanwhile, find Joy. Through her they find Jarded and head to Zuri’s flat, thankfully at just the moment’s she on the phone with Hank. While Hank summons the cavalry, Zuri and Jarded escape out the fire-escape and hide until sirens drive the men off. Saved by the police, they’re put into protective custody and Jarded identifies the attackers.

Hank gets Zuri and Jarded settled and gently gets rid of Wu so he and Zuri can have awkward moments to sad piano music, as you do. Every onscreen relationship has to have a sad piano music stage. Next day they get more awkward bonding (of course Hank is great with Jarded)

Over to Juliette and Nick’s morning where Juliette describes Alicia not being comfortable “coming out.” Really, Grimm? 3 seasons without a single GBLT character and you’re going to do this? Alicia comes into the kitchen with news of an apartment she’s found and everyone’s pretending it’s normal and happy but Juliette wants to have the “we know you’re a Wesen!” conversation again and decides to go one further and tell her Nick is a Grimm.

Juliette, you’re normally so smart. What happened? Are you drinking before breakfast?

Alicia does not react well and flees the room. The fact that Nick is a Grimm has been known to make hardened criminal wesen to panic… why would you not think this would be a problem?

Nick chases her to reassure her and is so busy doing so that he doesn’t sense Joe, her ex, come up behind him and clonk him on the head. He goes down leaving Juliette to stop Joe getting Alicia. He throws her aside a couple of times but she’s determined without weapons and more than that when she gets her hands on a pan. He woges at her which isn’t all that intimidating and she kicks him in the groin before she and Alicia break fragile glass things over his head. Go back to the pans! You’ll be days clearing up all the glass! They then start kicking him until Nick arrives with a gun – and being a Grimm which is scary all on its own.

Juliette may be short on brains this episode, but she can lay the smacketh down, apparently.

He’s easily shunted out of the house babbling about leaving Alicia alone after Alicia makes it clear he’s never ever to come back. Alicia then shows Juliette her fuzzy face and Juliette hugs her.

Back at the safe house, Jarded sneaks a phone so he can call Joy – but the gang members have taken her. They try to get her to get him to come over but she warns him instead. Jarded hurries out alone while Hank and Zuri bond before noticing he’s gone and he made a call. When Jarroad arrives the gang members grab him – and his eyes turn gold.

Is everyone in Portland a Wesen?

When 2 of the gang members leave to fight off Nick and Hank (cavalry riding up), Jarded woges into a.. Yaguarate? He looks more cheetah-wesen than Jaguar to me. I think and leaps at the remaining gang leader (the boss) and knocks him out.

Outside the gang members shoot at Nick and Hank through the door, missing, and Nick uses his Grimmy-hearing to tell they’re reloading. Hank and Nick charge in and both the gangers get shot

Round back, Jarded helps Joy over the fence, but the one he knocked out follows with a gun – until Zuri leaps on him with a sound of tearing flesh, yes she’s Wesen too. Hank and Nick come round the corner – hi the cop’s a Grimm! When Nick keeps holding her at gunpoint, Hank intervenes, speaking on her behalf (she is standing over the corpse of a man whose throat she ripped out). Hank and Nick will cover for her and Nick collects Joy and Jarded.

Hank and Zuri have some alone time where he confirms yes he knows about Wesen and he’s got used to the idea. And he cares for her; she keeps protesting, he doesn’t have a problem with her being wesen, their relationship can work… maybe, but it doesn’t work for her. I’m not sure entirely what she means (beyond the super sadness) but maybe she doesn’t think human/Wesen relationships work.

I think Grimm is getting a little silly with the number of Wesen there are. Just about anyone they run into now is a wesen. I keep waiting for Wu to turn round and say “wait, you’re a Grimm?!” and woge-ing. Random old school friends of Juliette? Wesen. Her abusive boyfriend? Wesen. A Witness to a murder? Wesen. Hank’s new love interest? Wesen. One day Nick will go into the police station and the whole crowd of police bustling in the background are going to woge.

Juliette and Hank are the only humans in Portland.

I will say that the last two episodes have been interesting even if they’ve been light on meta. We’ve had no meta development but we have cracked out of Grimm’s very repetitive formula (crime, new Wesen, red herring, find real wesen, solved with death/arrest). Multiple running storylines and wesen that are more complicated than “monster kill it!” and “victim, save it!” have added some more nuance to the show.

I also like that Rosalie’s past was not forgotten and glossed over. Yes she was a drug addict, yes she was involved in bad things, no, no-one’s going to judge her for that, no, she’s not going to sweep it under the rug and pretend it never happened.

Hank also got a storyline – I don’t know if this is the end of it though, I hope not because, as I said last week, it was nice to see some focus on him given how the Scooby Gang has expanded and he’s often on the periphery with few relevant skills.

I have to admit, with the previews I was sharpening my snark at POC showing up in the gang related episode - but while most of them were Black, the leader was White - still that's dubious, but at least the most prominent Black people in the episode, except Hank, were people who were decidedly not gang members; good people working hard in difficult circumstances.

Also Juliette laid on an awesome beat down – which I appreciated (because I don’t think it’s likely that Juliette WOULDN’T have studied self defence after the big reveal – and the times she’s been kidnapped or menaced). I just wish she didn’t have to lose every lick of common sense to do it.