Sunday, January 5, 2014

Grimm, Season 3, Episode 9: Red Menace

“To kill Koschei the Deathless,
first you must find his soul,
which is hidden in an egg
in a duck in a lead chest
buried beneath an oak tree”

And that sounds like waaaaay too much effort. Let’s just embed him in concrete instead. But that’s just me.

Starting with a bait and switch, a girl jogging things she’s being followed by someone sinister – but it’s just Nick out for his morning run – and his weird super-duper-zombie-fitness.

More grim, Juliette’s friend Alesha calls her, in tears. Her husband Joe is abusive and she has decided to leave him – Juliette tells her to come stay with them, to get in the car and come now, though Alesha is afraid of what he’ll do. They hang up as Nick comes in – Juliette noticing that despite him running he isn’t even sweating – behold the zombieness! Nick offers to help with Alesha, reporting the abuse to the police, but they wait for Alesha to make that decision and of course she can stay – though she really needs to ensure Joe doesn’t find out where she is. Good solid advice.

And in Vienna, Adalind meets with Renard – under the watchful eyes of Miesner. After some brief talk about Adalind being spied on (“who’s spying on me?” “Who’s paying your hotel bills?” he could have added “well DUH” on the end to make it really clear how silly the question is). He tells her he knows she’s pregnant with a royal child, but she refuses to answer whether Renard is the father or not. Renard leaves with a parting shot – she’s going to need a friend soon, because everyone is very interested in the baby. In Adalind? Not so much.

We switch to a man with glowing green eyes and wesen-clawed fingers holding his hands around the head of a young woman. She’s in pain and desperate – and her head wrap suggests maybe she’s lost her hair in chemotherapy. His eyes glow and he staggers back, exhausted, but he assures her that her pain will end in a few hours or days – she offers to pay but he just wants her to live a long life. A wesen healer it seems.

And switch to another new guy being melodramatic on a phone. He and his fellows are going to “pay someone back” and it doesn’t sound like debt collection.

The healer, Boris, is much recovered by the evening and he and his companions are partying happily (his wife, Olga, seems less than joyful), hosted the owner of a restaurant. There’s lots of praise for Boris that he’s all very modest and thankful for – but when he gets the chance he heads to the bathroom, clearly not feeling his best. There, he is attacked by the melodramatic revenge guy – and Boris can certainly look after himself. After disarming the attacker, he then woges, his face becoming desiccated and skull-like and covered in green energy, before throwing the attacker out of the window. The man survives the fall, but has Boris’s hand prints on his arms – he staggers away but the prints seem to grow – which, by his scream, I’m assuming is a bad thing.

He manages to make it home and start to call someone – but the nasty infection has now covered his hands and he collapses. Ewwww, I think I prefer Wesen who kill with claws. It’s less oozy.

Back to Nick and Juliette, Alesha eventually arrives at Juliette and Nick’s house, after Juliette panics because she doesn’t answer her phone. They invite her in and rally round her, offering comfort and strength. And as Alesha cries she woges – she’s a fuchsbau.

Catch up with Hank in physiotherapy (for his hurt leg) who is sad his sessions are coming to a close and asks his physiotherapist on a date. Alas, she’s too professional to date clients.

Check that whiplash – next scene, a woman finds a body in a giant restaurant freezer; and Nick goes to work to find Renard has returned. After some brief catch ups and Nick being semi-uncomfortable with Renard “handling indiscretions” over there, Hank brings them news of the iced body.

To the restaurant – with Wu being his usual snarky self. The body is a waiter and it looks like someone killed him for his uniform. In the storeroom they see signs of a fight and blood on the floor – the fight between Boris and the melodramatic assassin. They talk to the restaurant owner who tells them they had a private party and hands over Mila’s (Boris’s other female companion, I assume) number.

Checking CCTV they show Renard a man who hides from the cameras and hides in the storeroom – presumably the murderer. They make the leap that the killer was actually aimed at Boris, who Renard recognises as a famed Russian healer, and needed the waiter’s uniform as a disguise. Following the CCTV they identify Boris, Olga and Mila – and see Boris attached and that he apparently threw his attacker out the window and returned to the party without telling anyone. Renard decides to stay involved to deal with any political fall out from the people involved all being Russian citizens.

Meanwhile, melodramatic assassin, while even oozier, still isn’t dead. He makes his phone call to tell a loved one that he’s dying horribly, before one of this teeth fall out. Cut to Olga who just puts down the phone while crying and she snarls at one of the servants/one of Boris’s groupies (as Hank terms them). Well, there’s a simple motive for you – and she woges into something furry with very very big teeth.

Renard, Hank and Nick arrive (with Renard trying to convince them that Boris is a very important man and Hank not sold on the whole faith healing thing). They wait while he finishes healing someone – and Nick sees the glowing hands and eyes (which Renard asks about – so it’s confirmed that Grimms do see more than Wesen). After the healing, Boris collapses again – but the boy he’s healing has healed. The healing finished Renard starts to question Boris and Olga quickly advises him, in Russian, not to tell the police anything, certainly not the truth. Renard breaks in, also in Russian, to claim the police in Russia are useless – with the implication that he isn’t (Hank is completely unsurprised that Renard speaks Russian). He doesn’t know why the man tried to kill him but as for reasons – he can’t heal everyone, some people think he does the devil’s work and some men’s wives fall in love with him (Olga has her own death glare at this one). They leave him with the card.

After more Russian from Renard they leave and Nick fills them in on his grimm-o-vision. Renard identifies him as a Koschei – he’d heard of one before (a monk), one that heals, but the healing ramps up their sex drive.

The melodramatic assassin’s body is found – and it’s really really icky by the end.

Nick, Hank and Monroe go to the Grimm trailer, but the only information they have on Koschei is in Russian – and from pages clearly rescued from a fire. Hank suggests bringing Renard but Nick is not a fan of letting Renard see the Grimm Trailer. What they do find is a letter from a British intelligence (and a Grimm) agent approving a plan in reference to Rasputin (who was influencing the Tsarina to pull troops out of the war and therefore acting against British interests) – a monk, with a high sex drive who healed.

Yes he was a Koschei (and Monroe knows little about them – Russian wesen aren’t his thing) – and be warned that Koschei are nearly impossible to kill due to their healing – and that their touch can kill.

To Renard, he calls his resistance contacts in Russia who are also struggling against the royals – the know Boris. He’s a healer – but he was an assassin, using radiation poison to cause a horrendous death.

Hank, Wu and Nick are called into to see the melodramatic assassin’s body – and find the dead waiter’s uniform, confirming that this is Boris’s attacker. They find the phone, but Olga has been smart enough to dump her phone – but then lots of guys in yellow Haz Mat suits arrive. The body (which may even be alive judging by the way it moved and fell on Hank) is radioactive – they all have to decontaminate.

Which means also checking out the restaurant storeroom which is also highly radioactive. They report all to Renard including that the melodramatic assassin, Alex, is dying of radiation poison. He does get a visitor though – he urges them to leave Boris. No we don’t see their face – maybe it isn’t Olga?

Back to Juliette and Alesha – a storyline that has been kind of neglected – discussing neutering Joe, her abusive husband.

Only an intermission it seems and back to the police station where they question Boris – he woges and sees that Nick is a Grimm. Boris claims self-defence, that he was forced, and no he still doesn’t know why he was attacked and yes, he was an assassin. Was being the operative word and he now heals to make up for that. He’s not even worried about them trying again because “every time I heal, I die a little more” and next time he probably won’t even defend himself.

Boris is free to go and it’s time to see Alex in the hospital - he can barely talk but he does say that Boris killed his father – and is going to “kill her too.” Which means tracking down who “her” is.

Back to the Mila’s house where Boris is staying, and some unknown person puts something in the vodka, Olga’s not happy and Boris doesn’t even try to hide his affair from her. But when alone with the maid he’s sleeping with, she makes a point of him drinking the vodka. And he doesn’t die – she pulls away, rebuttoning her clothes and angrily asks why he doesn’t die. Boris begins to clue in as she tells him how he killed her father.

Boris begs for forgiveness, claiming he’s not the same man – he heals, he doesn’t kill – and she grabs a pair of scissors. Hank, Nick and Renard arrive in time to see them emerge from the bedroom, Boris still asking for forgiveness even with the scissors embedded in his chest. Hank and Nick point their guns at Boris and help the woman get away from him, even though Boris isn’t chasing her (this seems… odd to say the least). But she does run right past Olga who woges and uses her tusks to slice the woman’s throat

Hank pushes Olga back at gun point (even as she realises Nick saw her woge) and Boris hurries down. He uses his healing on the woman even as Olga protests that he’s too weak. She is healed but Boris collapses and Olga weeps with her head pressed to his chest. A very dramatic ending.

Nick returns home to Alesha and Juliette who are happy and sunny – Alesha has turned off her phone so she won’t get any calls from Joe. But Joe calls them – Juliette tells him Alesha isn’t there and then Nick picks up the phone and tells Joe to back off – but Joe seems fairly convinced she’s there. Alesha is obviously worried – but adds that they don’t know how dangerous he is because he’s… not normal.

And we close with Joe, outside, watching the house. And he woges

This episode was a little shaky in the middle I felt, especially with Renard in Vienna, I was convinced that Boris was in Vienna as well for a little while. Scenes followed quickly after one another, with different plot lines running parallel, that at the beginning it was easy to get lost. Alesha’s story, for example, looks like it could be powerful but it was very sidelined and almost out of place.

This was actually one of the few times I’ve seen a redemption storyline done well.

I hope we do get a development of Hank’s storyline – assuming the physiotherapist wasn’t just thrown in for the sake of it – because with Renard more involved and his many many talents, Hank risks being sidelined.

Much as I generally dislike the taking of real historical people and dashing on woo-woo, Rasputin is a man who has already had a lot of woo-woo applied to his legend, including the whole reports about him being nigh unkillable. Also, there is an interesting theory that MI6 may have been involved in his eventual death.